When we think of the Old West and the guns used during that time in history, we always seem to think of the iconic Colt Peacemaker. While Colonel Colt and his gun were no doubt a significant part of American history, there were other guns out there that were just as popular as the Peacemaker. But thanks to Hollywood, all we seem to see in almost every single cowboy movie , or television show, is the Peacemaker.
What gun am I talking about then….why the Smith & Wesson American Revolver of course. While Colt’s Single Action Army is widely known today as the “Gun that Won the West”, Smith and Wesson’s American was its closet rival for that title. The Smith & Wesson American Revolver came in many different variations and calibers.
The “American” eventually became the Model 3 revolver, or Smith & Wesson Model 3 and was used by many famous figures in the Old West, also by the US Army. It was also considered to be an “international” gun, because it was used by several different countries, like Japan and Russia.
According to Wikipedia:
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“The Smith & Wesson Model 3 was a single-action, cartridge-firing, top-break revolver produced by Smith & Wesson from circa 1870 to 1915, and was recently again offered as a reproduction by Smith & Wesson and Uberti. It was produced in several variations and sub-variations, including both the “Russian Model”, so named because it was supplied to the military of the Russian Empire (41,000 No. 3’s were ordered in .44 caliber by the Imperial Russian Army in 1871), and the “Schofield” model, named after Major George W. Schofield, who made his own modifications to the Model 3 to meet his perceptions of the Cavalry’s needs. Smith & Wesson incorporated these modifications into an 1875 design they named after the Major, planning to obtain significant military contracts for the new revolver. The S&W Model 3 was originally chambered for the .44 S&W American.”
H/T – Wikipedia