Offered here is a New Model No. 3 Revolver purchased by the Japanese Navy. These Japanese contract guns were exported to Japan via distributors Ahrens and Takata & Co. starting in 1879 and are today rarely found in the U.S. The Takata guns were standardized with a 6 1/2 inch barrel as seen on this example. The accompanying factory letter confirms the revolver was shipped on October 4, 1890 to Takata & Co. located in New York City and Yokohama, Japan. An included handwritten note of provenance from Sioux City, Iowa, antique firearms dealer David C. Fry states the revolver was confiscated in 1949 by a South Sioux City, Nebraska, Police Chief from a "bum" who acquired it in Japan as a World War II bring back. Per our consignor this was his first S&W New Model No. 3 he owned and the revolver was loaned to S&W Performance Center as the model gun to design a reproduction circa 2002-2004, but the project was canceled after S&W discontinued their Schofield reproduction. The S&W return of loan memo for this revolver is also included. The revolver has mismatched parts, which is common with Japanese contract New Model No. 3s. The butt has a Japanese anchor (lacks wavy lines) believed to be the marking of the Toyokawa Naval Base. The revolver's serial number is pictured in Supica and Nahas "Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, 4th Edition" on page 117 as well as in the 1st edition on page 67. Provenance: The Supica Collection
Fine, retaining 70% of the arsenal refurbished blue finish with thinning to brown on the balance. The replacement grips are also fine with some minor handling marks and overall crisp checkering. Mechanically excellent. A rare Japanese Navy S&W New Model No. 3 Revolver with a very interesting back story.
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