Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3198: Smith & Wesson Model 3 American 1st Model Single Action Revolver

Auction Date: August 28, 2022

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $5,000 - $7,000

Smith & Wesson Model 3 American 1st Model Single Action Revolver

Manufacturer: Smith & Wesson
Model: No. 3
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 44 S&W American
Barrel: 8 inch solid rib
Finish: blue
Grip: walnut
Item Views: 456
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 147
Class: Antique

Manufactured from 1870 to 1872, the First Model American was the first top break, automatic ejecting revolver made in the United States. The American model was introduced 3 years before the Colt Single Action Army revolver and is probably, more than any other model, associated with the historic American West. As S&W expert Roy Double pointed out over fifty years ago, "This was a work gun; a big, heavy-caliber holster gun worn openly and ready to hand; a timely gun indigenous to America on the move and a part of America's greatest adventures." Difficult to obtain in any condition, this original American Model revolver is indeed a rare and desirable firearm. The barrel rib has the one-line address/patent dates marking. The right grip panel is numbered to the gun. The cylinder, barrel and barrel latch have matching "JO" assembly marks.

Rating Definition:

Fine, retaining 50% original blue finish with holster type wear and some abrasive marks and pitting/spotting on the balance. Nearly all original blue remains on the rear cylinder face and the front of the recoil shield suggesting this revolver saw minimal use in the period. 85% original case colors remain on the hammer. Traces of original case colors remain on the trigger guard. The grips are excellent showing minimal handling evidence. Mechanically excellent.

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