c1896 Lettered JAPAN SHIPPED SMITH & WESSON No. 3 .44 RUSSIAN Antique
RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR SIDEARM!
Here we present an antique Factory Lettered Japan Shipped Smith & Wesson New Model No. 3 Frontier Single Action Revolver manufactured in 1896 in Springfield, Massachusetts. This model, designed to fire the .44-40 WCF cartridge, was introduced in 1885 and manufactured until 1908 with a total production of 2,072 revolvers. Out of those 2,072 revolvers, 786 were converted to the .44 Russian caliber for export to Japan. The New Model No. 3 Frontier was serial numbered in its own serial number range and was numbered from 1 to 2072.
As indicated in the Factory Letter, this S&W New Model No. 3 Frontier was one of the 786 revolvers converted to .44 Russian. It also indicates that this handgun, serial #1826, was shipped from the factory on January 16, 1896, and delivered to Takata & Co. in Yokohama, Japan. Records indicate that this revolver was part of a large shipment for the Japanese Government and that it was shipped with a 6.5 inch barrel and was one of the converted to fire the .44 S&W Russian caliber. For the New Model No. 3 revolvers exported to Japan, the conversion was necessary because the Japanese government had already purchased substantial quantities of various S&W model revolvers chambered in .44 S&W Russian, which is what Russia had adopted, Japan’s primary rival in that part of the world at the time. It would go on to see the Russo-Japanese War (February 1904-September 1905) as well as the Great War and even World War II.
The overall condition is fine. Original blue finish. The action is excellent. The bore is shiny bright with sharp rifling; fine. The numbers match. The grips are solid and in very good condition. This is a fantastic No. 3 shipped to Japan on the eve of great conflict!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 6-1/2 inches.
Caliber: .44 Russian
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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