Make: Smith and Wesson
Model: .44 Double Action 1st Model
Serial Number: 10494
Year of Manufacture: 1884, per the Smith & Wesson factory letter.
Caliber: .44 S&W Russian
Action Type: 6-Shot, Single Action or Double Action Revolver with Top Break Barrel
Markings: The rear face of the cylinder, the right rear face of the top strap and the bottom of the grip frame are marked with the serial number. The top of the barrel is marked “SMITH & WESSON SPRINGFIELD MASS. U.S.A. PAT’D JAN. 17 & 24. 65 / JULY 11. 65. AUG. 24. 69. JULY 25.71. DEC.2.79. MAY 11 & 25 1880”. The underside of the ejector star and rear of the cylinder, covered by the star are marked “S” and a diamond. The right side of the trigger guard is marked with an inverted “3”. The right side of the frame has S&W’s monogram logo. The left side of the grip frame is marked “3 / 1 65” and “S” over diamond (factory refinish date of April, 1965, as reflected on the factory letter).
Barrel Length: The barrel has a full-length top rib and is 6” in length.
Sights / Optics: The front sight a thin half-round blade pinned to the rib. The rear sight is a “U” notch in the barrel latch.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered black hard rubber with an S&W logo at the tops and smooth diamonds around the grip screws. The grips have turned a dark brown with age and show scuffs and compression marks in portions of the smooth surfaces, with some compression marks in the checkers, please see our pictures; there are no cracks or major damages. The grips are in about Fine overall condition.
Type of Finish: The revolver is blued with a case colored hammer and trigger.
Finish Originality: Factory Refinished
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There no erosion.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 87% of its original metal finish. The barrel shows some spots of extremely shallow surface etching and a few instances of shallow pin prick erosion. The hammer and trigger show some spots of patina and the coloring on the trigger is muted, the coloring on the hammer is still vivid. The straps of the grip frame have handling wear which is developing brown patina. The surfaces under the current finish show spots of cleaned erosion and a few polishing marks from the factory during restoration. There is a small scratch on the rear top of the barrel by the latch. The screw head slots are sharp. The markings are clear but for the S&W monogram which has faded slightly. Overall, this handgun rates in about Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The barrel lockup is SOLID and the cylinder lockup shows a nominal amount of play. The trigger pulls are crisp. We did not fire this handgun. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: Included is a Smith & Wesson factory letter that states “We have researched your Smith & Wesson .44 Double Action First Model, caliber .44 Smith & Wesson (.44 S&W Russian), revolver in company records which indicate that your handgun with serial number 10494 was shipped from our factory on April 7, 1884 and delivered to M.W. Robinson co., New York City, NY. The records indicate that this revolver was shipped with a 6 in barrel, blue finish and checkered black hard rubber grips. The invoice indicates that this shipment included 10 units of this model with the 6 inch barrel in a blue finish and they were billed at $14.50 each. The markings listed in the letter from American Gun Works indicate that this revolver was factory refinished in April of 1965. The factory does not have these refinish records available to verify this work.” The letter is in Fine condition with light wrinkling that should even out over time.
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. This is a Smith & Wesson .44 Double Action 1st Model. It is chambered in .44 S&W Russian, and was made in 1884 and was factory refinished in 1965; the bore is bright with sharp rifling and no erosion and about 87% of the finish remains; all of the parts are correctly serialized and the action functions correctly. The factory letter which reflects the shipment date, serial number, caliber, finish, barrel length and refinish date is included in Excellent condition. If you are a Smith & Wesson collector, you have found a rare opportunity to own a classic, if you are interested in the days of the Wild West, this one should be just as interesting. Please see our pictures and good luck.