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Friday, 5 August 2016

S&W Model 3 Revolvers:

Smith & Wesson introduced the Model 3 'Top-Break' Single-Action revolver in 1869.


Now this is the model that includes the Russian Model, the Schofield Models, and The Australian Model among its seven? iterations and various calibres.

The Russian Model dates from 1871 & was a version with 131,000 supplied to Imperial Russia in the improved .44" Russian cartridge - rather than the original .45" S&W (a heeled bullet) chambering.
.44" Russian Cartridge (photo from Avinacco)

The Russian Model almost caused S&W to become bankrupt ..(SNAFU?). The masters of the Imperial Russian Empire lost faith with S&W and had their revolver "reverse-engineered" - then contracted some German and European makers - and their own plant at Tula to make them Russian style (more cheaply).

These 'copies' were of excellent high quality - and this lead to S&W being faced with cancelled orders - dead stock - and short payment. - Only some twenty-four years later the Russians adopted the Nagant 7.62 revolvers to replace the S&W Model 3s.

Russian Model.

The first model Schofield arrived in 1875 with improvements developed by Major Schofield - but there followed almost immediate confusion resulting from its chambering by S&W in a short .45" Schofield cartridge - known variously as the .45" Schofield, or the .45"S&W - which clashed with the original and incompatible chambering of the .45 Colt (.45" long Colt).
I think that this cartridge 'cock-up' might be claimed as the origin of the military phrase 'SNAFU' .. 'Situation Normal All Fucked Up'.

Wells Fargo and Company famously adopted the Schofield in a shortened five inch barrel version - so popular with modern day collectors that there are many more fakes around than originals.

Wells Fargo Model - Claimed to be Genuine.

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And our "local" Australian Model - that was supplied with a shoulder stock and delivered into the port at Adelaide in 1882.
Aussie Troopers used these 'revolver carbines' while policing vast areas of the outback for some thirty years. - Very wisely, their Police Commissioner Peterswald had specified the purchase of more than 250 guns in 44 Russian calibre with seven inch barrels.
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- Have you ever wondered why S&W Holdings firearms have an identification stamping "MARCA REGISTRADA" alongside their tardy (another SNAFU ) Spanish patent date?  .. this stems from patent 'infringements' (- but it wasn't patented!) by a Spanish company Orbea Hermanos from 1884-1920(ish).. so they make sure that they then patented all subsequent models in Spanish - in between more recent collapses such as 2001 following their 'Clinton Deal NRA Boycott' .. SNAFU.

Bankruptcy again? SNAFU. What's a name worth? - Ahh - a "BRAND" is what 'marketers' sell to the gullible (easily fooled or cheated).

- As explained to me by a professional 'marketer' - "We are not lying to consumers - We are offering them a choice."

Marty K.