The accompanying factory letter lists this special order New Model No. 3 Target Revolver with a 6 1/2 inch barrel in .44 S&W Russian, Paine front sight, adjustable target rear sight, special checkered Russian style trigger guard, blue finish, and checkered black hard rubber grips when it was shipped on October 18, 1896, to Hartley & Graham Co., New York City. This revolver is pictured and identified in Neal and Jinks' "Smith & Wesson, 1857-1945" on page 190 as being from the collection of pioneer S&W collector Charles Duffy, published in 1965. This very fine special order New Model No. 3 Target also has the one-line Springfield address on the barrel rib and matching serial numbers on the butt, right grip panel, cylinder, barrel latch and barrel. Comes with an extremely rare correct and proper New Model No. 3 box which appears to be original (number illegible). The New Model No. 3 Target was the first Smith & Wesson to come with adjustable sights as a factory standard option, as well as the introductory revolver for the 32-44 and 38-44 Target cartridges. Provenance: Charles E. Duffy (1923-2013), WWII U.S. Navy submariner and pioneer collector of fine S&Ws beginning in 1947
Very fine, retaining 95% original blue finish with the balance thinning to a mixed patina. Good original case colors remain on the hammer and special order Russian style trigger guard. The grips are also very fine with the right panel faded to a brown, otherwise crisp checkering. The box is fine with a split lid corner and some minor edge wear. Most of the end label remains. Mechanically excellent.
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