This variation of the Smith & Wesson No. 3 is also known as the "Model 1874," "Cavalry Model," and "New Model Russian". 41,138 were manufactured primarily under contract with the Russian, Turkish, and Japanese governments. Others were produced for the commercial market including a special group of 3,000 numbered in their own range that were not marked "RUSSIAN MODEL." Interestingly, both the Turks and Japanese were at war with the Russians in this period. Unfortunately for Smith & Wesson, the Russians liked the revolvers but did not like the price, so they had them reverse engineered and manufactured by their government arsenals and some European manufacturers. The resulting loss of sales nearly bankrupted the company. The included factory letter indicates this revolver was manufactured in 1876. This model is easily identified by the large thumbscrew on the top strap, integral front blade sight, trigger guard spur, and humpback grip strap. The barrel is marked with the long one line patent ending with "RUSSIAN MODEL" flanked with Maltese crosses on the rib. The butt has the serial number, "P," and "1874" in a box along with a lanyard ring. The full serial number is also stamped on the underside of the right grip panel, and the matching assembly number "794" is stamped on the barrel, barrel latch, cylinder, and right side of the grip straps. The left grip panel has a lightly hand scratched "P" near the top, and the right has a coarser "F."
Very fine. 97% plus of the original nickel plating remains. Most of the loss is on the cylinder which also has a drag line. There are some spots of light dull frosting on the cylinder flats. The hammer and trigger guard retain strong original case colors. The grips are very fine with minor scratches. The action functions fine, and the markings are crisp.
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