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Old 09-23-2017, 06:46 PM
tdennis tdennis is offline
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Hello from central VA. I am new to this forum and also new to antique S&W's. Over the years I have owned several S&W's and always liked them but right now my interest is in early western revolvers and you can guess what I started with, no need to go into that on this forum.

I have been looking for Smith & Wesson No. 3 in 44-40 single action for a while but I now nothing of the values other than they are pretty pricey. I found what I found one made in 1885, well used but not abused. It supposedly has all matching numbers and is mechanically sound. Pretty much all gray without pits. The bore is fair. It has a 3 digit serial number. My question is what would the going prices be for one as described?

I understand no one can give a firm price but I would like to have an idea if its normally a $1,000, $2,000, $3000 or ? priced gun.

Thanks for any help you might give,
tdennis
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Old 09-23-2017, 07:24 PM
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Welcome to the forum from North Dakota. Experts familiar with these models will be along to help you-they'll want photos
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Old 09-23-2017, 07:30 PM
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Welcome to the S&W Forum. You picked a rather rare and higher priced item to begin your collecting with, but you could be rewarded with much interest, history, and value growth. This isn't my area of expertise, so I will just quote a few prices from the Standard Catalog of S&W #4, it is referred to as our "bible".

First Model American #3 1st Model SA. Excellent+ $25,000; Exc $10,000; Fine $6000; VG $3750; Fair $1250; Poor $900.

Model # 3, 2nd Model: Excellent+ $20,000; Excellent $8,000; Fine $5,000; VG $3,000; Good $1800; Fair $1200; Poor $800.

Then there are the Russian Models, and the Schofield's, and the New Model #3's. These are kind of in the same area of pricing. The New Model #3's do start to get in only the mid to upper 4 digit price range.

I would highly recommend getting a copy of the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson by Jim Supica and Richard Nahas, there is a wealth of information. It is currently in it's 4th edition just released 2016 and on the market early this year. It is available on Amazon as well as numerous other book stores.
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Old 09-23-2017, 08:31 PM
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Old 09-23-2017, 08:38 PM
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Old 09-24-2017, 09:30 AM
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Welcome from Salem. If you need a single action, you are looking at fairly big money. SCSW4 lists the NM#3 Frontier .44-40 at $1300 good and $2000 in VG condition. I think these values are low, as they are not that different from the prices listed for the more common .44 Russian. If you want the caliber, the slightly later .44 double action frontier model can be found for considerably less.

Bob
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Old 09-24-2017, 09:45 AM
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Old 09-24-2017, 09:53 AM
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Welcome from Pennsylvania!
Best of luck in your search. You are at the right place to learn prior to reaching for your wallet!
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Old 09-24-2017, 10:06 AM
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Welcome. The only Model 3 Single Action model offered in 44-40 was the New Model 3 Frontier made from 1885 to 1908. There were only 2072 made, so that is why you are seeing those high prices. My guess is that you will have a hard time finding a well worn example for $2000 today and you hardly ever see one for sale.

A couple of alternatives might be worth checking out. Unless you plan on shooting a 44-40 S&W at SASS events, you should consider a 44 Double Action Frontier. Cost of a good shooter grade is just under $1000 and they offer a good value for the money today. The last shooter I got was $600 at an auction, so there is the chance you can find another for a good price. There were about 15,000 made in the same time-frame as their single-action model and were definitely a part of the Old West. Another alternative if you only want to shoot 44-40 in an old revolver is to look for a European copy of a S&W. Most were made in double Action and are of slightly lesser quality, but they are cheap and shoot traditional black powder cartridges just fine. Good luck on your hunt.

Pictures are of the latest shooter Belgium made copy and my current 44 DA shooter, both in 44-40. You will notice that the label on the barrel says SCHOFIELD 44 S&W CTGE. Interesting that the Schofield was 45 and the 44 S&W was actually 44 American, so one has to check the chambers to determine actual caliber of these copies.
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Old 09-24-2017, 10:07 AM
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Welcome to the forum.

It is difficult to value any firearm without seeing the gun in person. One man's 90% could be another man's 95%. A 5% difference in condition could reflect 100's or even 1,000's of dollars in value.

All that said, I would think that if the gun is in reasonable condition you are looking at more like $3,000 to $5,000 as opposed to 1 or 2.

If you look at the prices quoted from the SC of S&W 4th edition, the difference between fair and good for an American is $2,500 so quite a difference.

Photos would help a lot.
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Old 09-24-2017, 10:26 AM
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Old 09-24-2017, 04:13 PM
tdennis tdennis is offline
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Thanks so much for the warm welcome and the possible price ranges of these old S&W's. I feel more comfortable with the asking price now. Now to determine how "original" this particular gun is.
Thanks again for the help,
tdennis
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Old 09-25-2017, 06:34 PM
tdennis tdennis is offline
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Am I correct, based on information that I have heard, that the New Model #3 Single Action 44/40 would be a rarer more expensive piece than the double action 44/40.

tdennis

Last edited by handejector; 09-26-2017 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 09-25-2017, 07:09 PM
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There were 15,340 44-40 DA revolvers made, so would not be considered rare or even scarce. The 44-40 SA revolver is scarce and would certainly be much more valuable than the 44-40 DA.
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Last edited by handejector; 09-26-2017 at 12:01 PM. Reason: correction
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Old 09-27-2017, 05:48 AM
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