This New Model Number Three Single Action Target Revolver is in caliber 38-44. Features a 6-1/2" barrel, target sights, and checkered hard rubber grips. It comes with its original leather holster and cartridge belt which are quite worn and in need of some repair. There is even a bit of a story to this one. The owner contacted us some time back and had some old guns he wished to sell as he was nearing retirement and nobody in his family seemed to want them. He stated this S&W was passed down through his wife's side of the family. It had belonged to his wife's great-grandfather who was the mayor of a small town in Nebraska back around the turn of the century.
S&W only produced about 4,300 of these Target Models in calibers 32-44 and 38-44 with only about 1,400 produced in the latter. These were numbered apart from the standard NM No. 3 in their own serial range from 1-4,300. This one is in the 1,500 range with all matching numbers. Patent dates on barrel run from 1865-1871. The Target Model was developed mainly for shooters who wanted accuracy coupled with low recoil. According to Jim Supica's Smith and Wesson book, the New Model No. 3 dominated target shooting at the famous Bisley range until the advent of smokeless powder. He also states that Annie Oakley ordered one in the 3,000 range.
Overall, NRA Antique Very Good Condition with metal turned to a smooth silvery overall with excellent markings, sharp edges, and strong original blue in protected areas. While not Excellent, guns in this range of condition display very well and for more selfish reasons, they are much easier to photograph. Hard rubber grips show light wear but have perfect fit with no damage, chips, cracks, or repairs. Barrel latches tightly to the frame with no wobble. Action works nicely with an Excellent bore.