Only 4,333 of these target revolvers were manufactured between 1887 and 1910 compared to 35,796 standard New Model No. 3 revolvers in roughly the same period. The included factory letter states that this revolver was shipped to George C. Thaxter in Carson City, Nevada, on February 25, 1888, in its current configuration. George Clinton Thaxter was born in Bangor, Maine, on October 14, 1842. He served a brief stint as a hospital steward in S Company of the 11th Regiment Maine Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War but was dismissed due to a disability. After the war, he operated a pharmacy in Iowa briefly before moving to Carson City, Nevada, where he lived from 1870 until 1892. He operated a lumber mill with his brother-in-law before a fire destroyed it and then opened a Pioneer Drug Store. He was also a state legislator and a delegate to the 1888 National Convention at Chicago. He took up marksmanship as a hobby in 1878 and joined the Nevada National Guard in 1879. By 1886, he was recognized as a talented marksman and was an ordinance officer. He moved to California in 1892 and continued to compete, operated another drug store, and served as First Lieutenant and rifle practice inspector in the Seventh Infantry of the California National Guard. The revolver has a full nickel plated finish, pinned blade front sight, target notch rear sight, standard two-line barrel rib marking, 1 7/16 inch long cylinder (2,621 manufactured), the matching single digit serial number on the various components, and a pair of checkered walnut grips. There are some unclear hand scratched markings on the side of the frame below the hammer.
Fine. 40% of the original nickel plating remains. Most is located on the frame and cylinder. There are numerous dings visible on the side plate. The balance is bright or has light patina. There are patches of minor spotting and slight pitting. The front sight is trimmed down slightly. The grips are very good with crisp checkering and a few minor dings. The action functions fine and the markings are crisp.
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