The accompanying factory letter confirms the scarce 5 inch barrel (standard barrel length for this model was 6 1/2 inches) and blue finish. The letter also states the revolver was shipped on July 20th, 1891, to famed sight designer W.F. Sheard (address not available, but presumably Montana). The underside of the frame is marked "FROM W.F. SHEARD/LIVINGSTON MONT." This marking matches others found on other arms sold by William F. Sheard who lived in Livingston, Montana, in 1884-1895 before moving on to Tacoma, Washington. He is remembered by American arms collectors for his patented front and rear rifle sights which were later produced by Marble, but he was also a key firearms dealer in Montana in the late 19th century where this No. 3 was retailed. In the factory letter S&W historian Roy Jinks notes, "Sheard was a good customer of Smith & Wesson, a very skilled target shooter and inventor of the Sheard sight." The front sight on this revolver has been reshaped to the general Sheard configuration, probably by his own hand. Other features of the revolver include the two-line S&W address/patent dates legend on the barrel rib and matching serial numbers on the butt, right grip panel, cylinder, barrel, and barrel latch. The back of the right grip panel is marked "GW BARRY." Provenance: The Supica Collection
Very good as exhibiting honest wear and frontier use with 20% original blue finish remaining in and around the sheltered areas. The grips show similar frontier type character from years spent in the hand. Mechanically excellent. Don't miss your opportunity to acquire a documented William F. Sheard shipped and retailer marked S&W New Model No. 3 Revolver with a front sight possibly reshaped by Sheard himself! This is a great opportunity for the S&W or western frontier collector looking for an authentic piece of pioneer memorabilia.
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