This is a nice example of a Smith and Wesson Double Action Frontier Revolver in Caliber 44-40 with blued finish, checkered hard rubber grips, and the highly desirable 6 1/2" barrel. Left side of barrel marked "44 WINCHESTER CTG". In addition to the great configuration, it comes with a S&W Factory Letter signed by Roy Jinks indicating this Revolver was shipped to Philip Bekeart & Co. in San Francisco and verifies that it was in fact shipped with a 6.5" barrel, blue finish, and checkered hard rubber grips. The serial number is in the 12,000 range and was shipped to San Fancisco 1902. Who knows, there gun very well could have survived the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906 just one hundred years ago.
Even though the DA Frontiers were offered by S&W from 1886 to 1912 and this wasn't shipped until 1902....all frames and parts on this model were manufactured before 1899. Thus, 100% of production are listed as Pre-1898 Antiques under Federal law. (Note: See Smith and Wesson book by Supica/Nahas or Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms. Page 203.) Over the years, we've handled quite a number of antique S&W's with factory letters and found nearly every gun shipped to Robinson or Storrs both of New York. This is the only example we've ever encountered that letters with a shipment to the American West.
Overall condition is NRA Antique Fine with all matching numbers. The frame has 75% original blue. Straps have 40% thinning original blue. The cylinder shows 35% dull blue mostly in the flutes and protected areas with the balance turned to a soft grey patina. The barrel has 50-60% thinning original blue with most of the wear confined along the sides of the round barrel due holster wear....bottom, top rib, and along the ribs are solid blued finish. Strong traces of case colors on hammer and trigger. Sharp edges and excellent markings throughout. Very Good screws and pins overall. Black hard rubber grips are Excellent with sharp checkering and no chips, cracks, or repairs. Action works nicely in both Double and Single Action modes. Auto-ejector works fine. Barrel to Frame lock-up is tight. Bore is Very Good with strong rifling, mostly bright with some very light pinpricks here and there...but still a very good strong bore! You won't find a S&W Double Action Frontier with a Factory letter much better than this one!