Sold For: $3,586.23
Make: Smith & Wesson
Model: Schofield 1st Model
Serial Number: 2903
Year of Manufacture: c.1875
Caliber: .45 S&W (Schofield): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.45_Schofield)
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 PAT. APR. 22D 1873”, the underside is marked with the correct “L/P” inspector marks, the “L” is very faded, there is a crisp “C” stamped after the “L” and what appears to be a faded “8”. The left of the barrel, under the latch, rear of the cylinder (Also marked LP), and under the butt’s grip strap are marked with serial number “2903”. The butt of the grip frame’s toe is correctly marked “US”. The inspector mark “L” is found on top of the lower strap of the frame and left side of the grip frame. The left grip does not have a visible cartouche.
Barrel Length: The barrel currently measures 5 1/4″, U.S. issued pistols were 7″, we are unsure when the barrel was shortened, the job was done with expertise and quite some time ago, as the patina matches the other surfaces and the barrel/rib have crisp line definition. please see our pictures.
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a rounded blade, pinned fore to aft onto the fluted rib of the barrel, which has a “U” channel on top. The rear sight is a “V” notch in the barrel latch.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are smooth walnut panels, the inside of the left grip panel has large cracks from the escutcheon and on the upper forward portion, two hairline cracks translated onto the front. The exterior of both panels have heavy scrapes, edge chip losses and the toe of the left panel has a larger chip loss. The grips rate in about Good overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Factory Original
Bore Condition: The bore is surprisingly bright on most surfaces, with a few deep spots of pitting, bordered by pin prick erosion.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 51% of its metal finish. Bluing is still visible on the barrel’s latch portion, in the flutes of the barrel, on the plate and frame. The edges are still highly defined, a natural cocoa patina and dusting of light erosion is present, giving testament to is age. Handling rub wear on the barrel and grip straps give the pistol lots of character, the metal to metal fit remains flush. There are dings at the front of the barrel’s rib, a the other surfaces will show occasional dings but nothing major. The two top latch screw slots are marred, the balance are strait with mild tooling at worst. Overall, this handgun rates in about Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly and the internals still function like clockwork. The cylinder produces about 1/16″ side to side play without notable back play. 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: None.
Our Assessment: This revolver comes to us from 1875 as a 1st Model Schofield in .45 S&W, with the proper US marking on the toe of the grip frame, correct inspector marks, and all serialized parts match, which is amazing for a revolver of its age and viable role in military history. This item still has about half 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 well. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smith_%26_Wesson_Model_3 “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.” Please see our pictures and good luck.