SOLD FOR: $6275
Make: Smith & Wesson
Model: Schofield 1st Model
Serial Number: 550
Year of Manufacture: 1875
Caliber: .45 S&W (Schofield), Black Powder Only
Action Type: 6-Shot, Single Action, Top-Break, Self-Ejecting Revolver
Markings: The left side of the ejector shroud is marked “SMITH & WESSON SPRINGFIELD MASS. U.S.A. PAT. JAN. 17TH / & 24TH 65. JULY 11TH 65. AUG. 24TH 69. JULY 25TH 71”, the right is marked “SCHOFIELD’S PAT. APR. 22D 1873”, the underside is marked “L / P” and with what appears to be a backward “R”. The frame under the cylinder is marked “L”. The rear face of the cylinder is marked with the serial number “550” and “L P”. The butt of the grip frame is marked with the serial number “550”. The interior of the right grip panel is stamped with the serial number “550”.
Barrel Length: 7″
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a half-round blade pinned to the rib. The rear sight is a square notch in the barrel latch. The rib has a “V” groove that runs the length of the rib and top strap.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are smooth walnut panels. The left panel has three notches. The inside of the left grip panel has a crack. The exterior of both panels have scattered nicks, scuffs, compressions, and some areas of discoloration. There are some little chip losses on the bottom edges. The grips rate in about Very Good overall condition as antique.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is gray. The rifling is mostly sharp. There are scattered spots of erosion and patches of pitting. There is a gauge on one of the lands.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 25% of its metal finish. Bluing is still visible on the frame and in recessed areas. There are some scratches from abrasive cleaning, the most noticeable are on the sideplate. There are scattered areas of patina, dark discoloration from previous oxidation, finsih loss, oxidation, and erosion. There is a turn line on the cylinder. The screwheads are lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this handgun rates in about Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. There is some side to side movement on the cylinder. The ejector still functions properly and the hammer has a strong mainspring. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: Included is a leather holster.
Our Assessment: This revolver comes to us from 1875 as a 1st Model Schofield in .45 S&W, with inspector marks, but surprisingly no “US” marking on the toe and all serialized parts match, which is amazing for a revolver of its age and viable role in military history. The U.S. Army adopted the .44 S&W American caliber Smith & Wesson Model 3 revolver in 1870, making the Model 3 revolver the first standard-issue cartridge-firing revolver in US service. Most military pistols until that point were black powder cap and ball revolvers, which were (by comparison) slow, complicated, and susceptible to the effects of wet weather. In 1875 the US Ordnance Board granted Smith & Wesson a contract to outfit the military with Model 3 revolvers incorporating the design improvements of Major George W. Schofield (known as the “Schofield revolver”), providing that they could make the revolvers fire the .45 Colt (AKA “.45 Long Colt”) ammunition already in use by the US military. Smith & Wesson instead developed their own, slightly shorter .45 caliber round, the .45 Schofield, otherwise known as the .45 S&W. This item still has some of its bluing left, the bore is mostly semi-bright with highly defined rifling. If you are a collector of Smith & Wesson or martially marked firearms, your collection is not complete without a US Schofield, especially one that has survived this nicely. Please see our pictures and good luck!