Sold for $2025
Make: Smith & Wesson
Model: .44 Double Action First Model
Serial Number: 23219
Year of Manufacture: 1881-1913, All frames made prior to 1899.
Caliber: .44 Russian
Action Type: Top Break, Double Action / Single Action, 6-Shot Revolver
Markings: The top of the rib is marked “SMITH & WESSON SPRINGFIELD MASS. U.S.A. PAT’D JAN 17 & 24 .65 / JUL.11.65, AUG. 24.69 JULY 25.71 DEC.2.79 MAY 11&25 1880”. The butt of the grip frame, barrel latch, rear of the cylinder, and rear of the top strap are marked with the serial number. The interior of the right grip panel is hand inscribed with the serial number.
Barrel Length: 4”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a round blade pinned to the top of the rib. The rear sight is a U-notch in a rise in the barrel latch.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered black hard rubber with smooth borders and S&W logos at the tops. There is a large chip loss repair on the bottom of the right panel. There is a crack on the right panel at the rear of the S&W logo. There are some scattered little nicks, scuffs, and light scratches. The grips have discolored and have a brownish hue. The checkering is strong but has some rub wear. Overall, the grips rate in about Good condition.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright and the rifling is mostly sharp where not interrupted by erosion. There is some erosion and pitting.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 50% of its metal finish. There are areas of finish loss and thinning. There are areas that have drifted to patina. There are areas of erosion, minor scabbing, scratches, oxidation, nicks, and scratches. The heaviest erosion is on the backstrap and right side of the frame. There is finish wear on the edges. The screw heads are tool marked with serviceable slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this handgun rates in about Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder locks up with very minor side-to-side play. 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: None.
Our Assessment: This is a historically important Smith and Wesson, the first model of the .44 Double Action revolver, and the last of the big top breaks. When Smith & Wesson began making centerfire top break revolvers in 1870, they named the large framed .44Model “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. This is a Smith & Wesson .44 Double Action 1st Model, also known as the New Model Navy No. 3. This model was available with 4, 5, 6, or 6 1/2 inch barrels and could be had in either a blued or nickel finish. This is a blued 4″ model with service sights. This is very nice find for the collectors of Smith & Wesson and other early American revolvers. The top break revolvers were made in so many models, sub-models and variants, it is almost impossible for a collector to acquire one of each, making all of the models collectible. The infamous outlaw John Wesley Hardin used one, and one was shipped to General Leonard Wood of the Rough Riders. This is a “must” for the Smith and Wesson or American Frontier collector. This example is in about Good condition with a patina and surprisingly good lockup. Please see our photos and good luck!