SOLD FOR: $1850
Make: Smith & Wesson
Model: First Model Russian, (Old Model Russian or Model No. Three Russian 1st Model)
Serial Number: 1867
Year of Manufacture: 1874
Caliber: .44 S&W Russian
Action Type: Top Break Single Action Revolver with Auto Ejector
Markings: The barrel’s top rib is marked “SMITH & WESSON SPRINGFIELD MASS. U.S.A. PAT. JAN. 17 & 24.65 JULY 11, 65. AUG. 24. 69. JAN. 19. 1875 REISSUE JULY 25. 1871”. The topstrap is marked “O R”. The butt of the grip frame is marked with the serial number, “P”, and “1874” in a box. The rear face of the barrel is marked “1867” and the bottom of the latch is marked “1867”. The rear face of the cylinder is marked “1867”. The interior of the right grip panel is stamped “1867”. The backstrap is marked “WELLS FARGO & CO”.
Barrel Length: 6 ½”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a custom aftermarket blade that is set in a slotted base that is integral to the barrel rib. The rear sight is a “U”-notch integral to the barrel latch assembly.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece smooth walnut. There are some areas of discoloration from oil. There are some scattered little nicks and dings, the most noticeable are on the bottom faces. There is a small chip on the right panel at the corner where the frontstrap widens into the frame. Overall, the grips are in about Very Good-plus condition as Antique.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is gray with sharp rifling where not interrupted by erosion. There is scattered erosion and pitting in the bore.
Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 35% of its metal finish. The front sight is custom. There is mottled finish loss, the most noticeable is on the barrel and cylinder. The strongest remaining bluing is on the frame. There are scattered spots of discoloration from previous oxidation, light scabs, and areas of erosion. There are some scattered nicks, dings, and scratches. There are areas of patina, frost, and light oxidation, some of the most noticeable is on the frame. There is finish wear on the edges. There are scattered light handling marks. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in about Good condition as Antique (mechanics).
Mechanics: The action DOES NOT function correctly. The hammer will not cock unless the trigger is pushed forwards. The cylinder locks up with little play and the trigger pull is crisp. We did not fire this revolver. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be required to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: When Smith & Wesson began making centerfire top break revolvers in 1870, they named the large framed .44 Model “No. 3”. This was followed by the .38 Model No. 2 in 1876 and the .32 Model No. 1 ½ 1878, based on frame sizes, not date of manufacture. All were made first in single action, and later double action models were added. The single-action versions of the Model 3 were made in four distinct groups: Americans, Russians, Schofields and New Models. The Russian models are distinguished by having a round butt grip frame with extreme knuckle, a barrel latch mounted on the top strap vs. on the frame, and were in .44 caliber with 6 ½ or 7” barrels. The Russian Empire didn’t follow through with payments, nearly bankrupting Smith & Wesson, and would then reverse-engineer the revolver’s design. This one has matching numbers and will be a great addition to your antique collection. Please see our photos and good luck!