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Old 08-26-2017, 08:58 AM
Jedirick Jedirick is offline
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Default S&W Model 3 First Edition .44 S&W american

Hi,
I need some help properly identifying my Model 3 that I acquired recently. Like the title says, I know the Model and edition, but I'd like to narrow down where it went after it was shippe to the armory and possibly what Unit it saw use in. I have a letter from Roy Jinks and that's about it.
If there any info that could be provided I'd be very thankful.
I added as many pictures as allowed, if more needed I'll add another post.
Maybe someone could assist me in setting a bracket for the price range.
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S&W Model 3 First Edition .44 S&W american-img_4625-jpg   S&W Model 3 First Edition .44 S&W american-img_4623-jpg   S&W Model 3 First Edition .44 S&W american-img_4624-jpg   S&W Model 3 First Edition .44 S&W american-img_4626-jpg   S&W Model 3 First Edition .44 S&W american-img_4640-jpg  

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Old 08-26-2017, 09:09 AM
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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! Looking at the Standard Catalog of S&W, 4th Ed. page 105, it appears that your gun was one of 1000 US Army order, 800 blue and 200 nickel in the SN range of 125 to 2199. It must be validated against a list of known SN's in Parson's S&W Revolvers or the reprint of Charles Pate's article in the 20th Anniversary of the S&WCA Journal. Double civilian model values.

Someone who has those references should be along shortly. IMO, the condition is Fair to Good. SCSW says $1250 to $2500.
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Last edited by Wiregrassguy; 08-26-2017 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 08-26-2017, 02:24 PM
opoefc opoefc is offline
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Check the Springfield Research Service's books listing the Army units that had American models in their inventories. When an Army unit changes command the incoming CO signs off on all small arms in the unit's possession, by model & serial number. Those inventories are in the National Archives. Also see Charlie Pate's book on the American model. From your photos, I would estimate the value around $2000, give or take a couple hundred, assuming it's mechanically OK and all the assembly codes & serial numbers match. Ed.

Last edited by opoefc; 08-26-2017 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 08-26-2017, 03:03 PM
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Wow !! What a heck of a good Forum we have here.

A newcomer ask a question about a very old revolver at 8:58 AM and has an answer in eleven minutes. My old Windows 95 computer isn't that fast for gosh sake.
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Old 08-26-2017, 04:13 PM
Jedirick Jedirick is offline
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Thank you very much so far!
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Old 08-27-2017, 09:02 AM
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Just a quick note on model name. These guns normally called Model 3, 1st Model, Single Action revolvers, or simply First Model American. First name is more appropriate since this model was available in both 44 American (44-100) or 44 Rimfire (Henry) calibers. Very unusual to run across a US Army order example.
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Old 08-27-2017, 09:13 AM
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My grail gun will be anything I can post on here and get the description of " very unusual" from any of the SWCA membership .

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Old 08-28-2017, 08:34 PM
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I truly cannot evaluate without a touch and a feel. Yes, I am an antique S&W gun toucher (don't tell anyone). Some super good, excellently focused and lighted close up photos could help. Close up of all stamps, etc. Barrel scroll (at a glance) looks strong ...
"and that's all I got to say about that" (Forrest Gump style).

Do the SN on the reverse side of the stocks match the SN of the gun. Do all the assembly marks (frame, barrel, latch and cylinder) match ? Assembly marks on this model are usually one letter followed by one number. e.g. X1 etc. On some later models either position might be a " . " (dot or period) or a 3 spaced mark but not in the US Cavalry range serial numbers.

I've seen this gun before I just cannot recall where at this time. Crystal ball is telling me ... perhaps on GB for a long time, previously sold by RIA, a few years back. You should report it's finding to Col. Charles Pate, USAF (ret). Col. Pate is "the" foremost living authority on these. If you don't have, then GET, his Smith & Wesson AMERICAN book. Col Pate can tell you the exact history of the serial number and what he knows. He's been tracking these US serial numbers for near 60 years. I've been reporting these SNs to Col.Pate for 30+ years.

Ed Cornett (opoefc) has been reporting these numbers for the past 90 years. Whatever Ed says, take it as a "fact". He was around when these were almost new.
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Last edited by model3sw; 08-28-2017 at 09:03 PM. Reason: homage to Dad / Uncle Ed Cornett
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Old 08-28-2017, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glowe View Post
Just a quick note on model name. These guns normally called Model 3, 1st Model, Single Action revolvers, or simply First Model American. First name is more appropriate since this model was available in both 44 American (44-100) or 44 Rimfire (Henry) calibers. Very unusual to run across a US Army order example.
Gary, is .44 American 44-100 ? I just purchased part of Hartley and Graham ARMY / NAVY catalog from May 1889 showing an engraving of a New Model 3 available in 44-100 caliber "for Army, Navy or Pocket" use. By that time the .44 was predominantly .44 S&W Russian.
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Last edited by model3sw; 08-28-2017 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 08-28-2017, 09:20 PM
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Default NM3 Target, 22 LR conversion ...

repost from old / lose thread.

Either a .32-44 or .38-44 Target converted to .22 LR. with an homage to George Raft (as Rinaldo in the original "Scarface")
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S&W Model 3 First Edition .44 S&W american-img_6527-jpg   S&W Model 3 First Edition .44 S&W american-img_6532-jpg   S&W Model 3 First Edition .44 S&W american-img_6534-jpg   S&W Model 3 First Edition .44 S&W american-img_6535-jpg   S&W Model 3 First Edition .44 S&W american-cap4905le-jpg  

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Last edited by model3sw; 08-28-2017 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 08-29-2017, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by model3sw View Post
Gary, is .44 American 44-100 ? I just purchased part of Hartley and Graham ARMY / NAVY catalog from May 1889 showing an engraving of a New Model 3 available in 44-100 caliber "for Army, Navy or Pocket" use. By that time the .44 was predominantly .44 S&W Russian.
The "100" in this case did not mean powder charge, but rather signifying 44 "one-hundredth" inch measurement. I have seen references to both the American and the Russian cartridges in different eras as 44-100. This was a common way to identify cartridges in the early days of self-contained ammunition. I have also seen ammo boxes in 44 Henry, 44 Remington & Colt listed as 44-100. In the US Cartridge Catalog from 1881, you will find cartridges listed only by a single number. There were five different center-fire calibers listed simply as No. 44, with a detailed list of all revolvers that each listing fits. I do not know when the gun manufacturers and ammo companies got together to standardize caliber names, but apparently no earlier than the mid-1880s??
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Old 08-29-2017, 01:50 PM
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Trivia, Many moons ago, I was doing some research at Hartford on early Colt SAAs and found an entry in the Colt records of a shipment to England of some Colts in caliber .42 Smith & Wesson. ???? Digging further I discovered the caliber was actually .44 American but since the land diameter of the barrel rifling was .42/100th, Colt called the caliber .42 S&W. Go figure! Ed. ( I'm recalling this off the top of my head, if you want more details, I wrote an article for an early S&WCA Journal about the ".42 S&W" that gives the full story)

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