Offered here is one of only 276 .38 Winchester Double Action Revolvers S&W manufactured from 1900 to 1910 and it is an early production example with low two digit serial number (16) and scarce four inch barrel. A derivative of the 44-40 Winchester cartridge, the 38-40 never found the same level of popularity as its parent, resulting in limited production and scarcity on the current market. The accompanying factory letter confirms the revolver was shipped on May 4, 1901 and delivered to Harry L. Hawes of Springfield, Massachusetts. Hawes was the maiden name of Cynthia Wesson (1825-1906), the wife of S&W co-founder D.B. Wesson. Also, there was at least one known Hawes working at the S&W factory at this time. Also, period newspapers list a Harry L. Hawes as a sporting goods retailer in the Springfield, MA area. The revolver has matching serial numbers on the butt, cylinder, barrel, and barrel latch. The barrel rib has the one-line address marking, and the left side of the barrel is stamped "38 WINCHESTER CTG." The revolver is pictured and identified in David Chicoine's "Smith & Wesson Sixguns of the Old West" on pages 158, 161 and 162 and in Supica and Nahas 4th edition of "Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson" on page 123. Provenance: The Supica Collection
Fine, retaining 60% plus bright original polish blue finish with thinning to brown on the balance. 90% original case colors remain on the hammer and trigger. The grips are also fine with scattered handling marks and overall crisp checkering. Mechanically needs work. A rare four inch barrel S&W .38 Winchester Double Action Revolver serial number 16.
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