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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  Frontier Iron (Moderator: St. George)  |  Topic: Wow! new to me original N0. 3 S&W .44 Russian contract revolver. 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Wow! new to me original N0. 3 S&W .44 Russian contract revolver.  (Read 1657 times)
Tuolumne Lawman
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« on: May 29, 2017, 03:01:51 pm »


Well, I was browsing the few vendors we had at the annual High Sierra Shoot Out (Railroad Flat), when I was talking to long time  SASS Pard, Fiddletown Flash.  He the says, "Tuolumne, I have got something you will love.." and hands me a Smith & Wesson No. 3 top Break, .44 Russian contract revolver!  While it has Cyrillic writing on the top of the barrel, it is all S&W.  It has no finish left and does have some minor pitting.  But... I believe it was "carried much, but shot little."  

The bore has some frost, but very strong rifling.  The pistol is the tightest frame and lock up on a No. 3 that I have ever seen. It is at least as tight if, not more so, than a newly manufacture Uberti copy!  All springs good, timing perfect and cylinder locks up tight as a drum in battery!  The lanyard ring is intact, as is the bottom spur on the trigger guard.  Grips are original and intact with a few dings, but no cracks.

We arrived at a bargain, with my Trapdoor Springfield at the heart of my end, and the No/ 3 and some brass at his end.  I could have wet myself like a happy puppy.  In the past I have had a couple No. 3s, but they were well worn, loose, and shot a lot.  This baby is cool.

While it will not be a regular main match gun for me ( I have a pair of .45 Open Tops and a pair of Uberti SAA 1873 .44-40s), I will stoke up some loads and shoot her at matches occasionally for giggles...

Pictures to come...
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TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
CO. F, 12th Illinois Cavalry  SASS # 6127 Life * Spencer Shooting Society #43 * Motherlode Shootist Society #1 * River City Regulators
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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2017, 03:31:31 pm »

 I typed into google translate "Smith and Wesson United Sates of America" and it pretty much matches the writing on the top of the barrel except a couple extra Russian words, and one missing word.  

This matched, and the ? marks are the other words.
"Смит и Вессонa  HuhHuh фабрика СHPиHTфHдbAb Америкa"
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TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2017, 04:02:17 pm »

Also has a large stamping on the right side of the frame, under the cylinder "P.O.15.32."  I am guessing some unit or rack marking. "P" in Cyrillic is  like our "R"
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TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2017, 05:11:11 pm »

Very cool!
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2017, 05:58:25 pm »

Pics.  Even a macro of the Cyrillic, if we have a Russian speaker, though it is archaic Russian, I am sure.  I played with it, and it is "Smith and Wesson" and "United States of America" and some other stuff.  

This was carried a lot, but seldom shot.  The bore is sharp and crisp, with just a hint of some frost.  NO visible throat or muzzle erosion, either. The action, as I said, it tight as a drum, and lock up perfect.  

It seems to like 13.3 grns Volume Triple 7 FFG, with the 246 grain bullet just touching the powder. Volumetrically it is about 75% of the compressed BP load, and should be the power /pressure equivalent of the same 19 grains volume compressed black powder.  I used FFG to keep the pressure down.

Definitely not as powerful as the 19-20 grains of compressed FFFG black I shot in the Uberti No. 3 Russian I did an article on 10 years ago.   those loads were stout!  Besides, most large bore BP pistol cartridges I have dissected appear to be FFG.  Shoots a little high, as most do.





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TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
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« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2017, 08:24:09 pm »

That is a pretty cool pistol. You will need a Winchester musket and a cossack outfit now to complete the look, comrad.
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Tuolumne Lawman
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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2017, 08:52:31 pm »

Another score:  Went into the local gunshop to get another pound of Triple 7 (need to do some 44-40s, too), and he had 500 rounds of new Starline .44 Russian brass he took in a trade: $30!  That's 6 cents apiece!  I now have 725 rounds of 44 Russian brass, instead of the 225 rounds I had this morning!  I guess I need to get a second .44 Russian.
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TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
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« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2017, 09:16:24 am »

TL. nice second model. The next one is always the hardest one to find tho'. Grin
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Tuolumne Lawman
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« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2017, 09:11:48 am »

Haha!  Yep, though I think I may just get an Open Top or Richards in .44 Russian to go with it!  SInce I have a pair of 44-4= pistols already, I am definitely going to let the two 45 Open Tops go.  I don't need three pairs of pistols.
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TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
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« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2017, 11:46:33 am »

ONLY THREE PAIR!!?? Crap. I may have overdone it slightly. I've got three pair of just 45 Colt SAA's. Not counting the pair of 32-20's, or the pair of 44-40's, or the pair of 38-40's that also each have a matching 41 Colt cylinder. Don't have a match for the Buntline tho. Course I've also got six kids to split them all up to when I go. Only 1 American/Russian, but have both an original and replica Schofield.
The wife will kill me if I aren't already dead when she figures out just what I've squirreled away over the last 40 years or so. Grin
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Baltimore Ed
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« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2017, 07:08:08 pm »

Just money in the bank except it's in the gunsafe. And you get to take it out to the range and play with it. Her shoes, purses and clothes only devalue whereas our firearms at least keep up with inflation and if we were lucky enough to buy low and used our crystal ball to see what the next 'big' gunsport will be in 2025 she's set.
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Tuolumne Lawman
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« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2017, 07:29:23 pm »

Well, I'm going to use the Russian for a couple stages at a local match tomorrow, just because I can!  I am pairing it with my shooting pard's 1872 Open Top in .44 Colt/Russian.  Since my main match pistols have shifted to 44-40s, I am hoping to make a deal with my pard for the .44 Open Top and sell the two .45 Colt open Tops.  He is kinda interested in them, though the 44 Open Top is Charcoal Fire Blue, and is worth a bit more....

I doubt if I will shoot the Russian very often at matches, but I will use it enough to have fun with it.  I'd love to get an Uberti Russian, but $1,000+ is a bit rich for my blood!
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TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
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« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2017, 05:15:12 am »

The thing is though.... the pride of having one will not wear off,  but the minor sting of the paying retail will....

answer....try not to pay retail  Wink  then you'll have a harmonious out come .

  
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Tuolumne Lawman
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« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2017, 10:20:15 am »

The thing is though.... the pride of having one will not wear of but the minor sting of the paying retail will....

answer....try not to pay retail  Wink  then you'll have a harmonious out come .

 

Dang you, Roger! LOL.  If'in I were to sell my Open Tops to fund another top break, would it be a #3 Russian in .44, a New Model #3 in 44 or 44-40, or a Schofield in 44-40!  I had a 44-40 Schofield for years (about 1996 to 2005?) and wish I never sold it.  It really went with the 44-40 Henry.  Problem is, I really love Conversions/Open Tops!  Wish they were in 44-40!
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TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  Frontier Iron (Moderator: St. George)  |  Topic: Wow! new to me original N0. 3 S&W .44 Russian contract revolver. « previous next »
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