View Full Version : S&W model 3 frontier *info*

04-19-2010, 9:11 PM
Looking for info and confirmation on a SW model 3 frontier. Anyone have a value? Does not have caliber stamp on barrel but I believe its a russian 44-40 cal. Any info will help. serial # 84XX Thanks Larry




04-19-2010, 10:24 PM
can you post the writing on the top of the barrel and a partial serial number such as 75XX

44-40 Winchester and .44 Russian are different cartridges.

04-20-2010, 8:10 AM
^what he said; the patent dates from the barrel rib will be very helpful.

04-20-2010, 11:36 AM
Only a few were made in 44-40 because the cylinder needed to be made 1/8" longer because of the difference in cartridge length.Too many changes, so only a few made ,allmost all are .44 russian.Funny, they made the same mistake with .45 cal single actions , couldn't be made 45 colt, either.

04-21-2010, 3:18 PM
Pic and serial # added.

04-21-2010, 3:52 PM
Well, if it is a 44-40 then it would be the .44 Double Action Frontier first model but the serial number puts it in the 2nd model American block. Either way, 1872-1873 would be a good guestimate for manufacture date. Maybe this one would be worth getting a factory letter for. If you measure the cylinder length, it should be 1.5625" if its not maybe you have another variation of a .44 S&W Russian

Value is going to be difficult to pinpoint since you don't see them for sale very often. Maybe check out gunbroker for complete and active auctions to see what they have brought in the past.

04-21-2010, 4:18 PM
Are you sure that you are not in possession of a S&W Double Action First Model (aka New Model Navy or Double Action Frontier)? I think that is what we are looking at. Flayderman 5G-142 for reference. In the condition shown, I'd estimate $600.-700. Take care, Geologyjohn. PS, as a side note, it is reported that the outlaw Belle Starr cared one of these. Also, the gunfighter John Wesley Hardin was carrying one of these when he was shot down. Nice historic American handgun.

Mike A
04-21-2010, 4:26 PM
You could just try a .44-40 (.44 WCF) in this gun. If it doesn't chamber and the barrel is .44, you have a .44 Russian. If it doesn't chamber and the bore is clearly smaller than .44, you probably have one of the few DA Frontiers chambered in .38-40 (.38 WCF).

But I believe all the Frontiers were marked either .44 WCF or .38 WCF. (In those days only Marlin marked Winchester-chambered arms "44-40" or ".38-40").

04-21-2010, 5:07 PM
thanks guys for the info. Im more confused now than when I started but great info. ill do some research.

04-21-2010, 5:28 PM
Measure the length of the cylinder, that should tell you what it is.

04-21-2010, 7:16 PM
Measures 1 9/16".

04-21-2010, 8:20 PM
Measures 1 9/16".

And that would confirm it as being the Frontier model, the only other S&W of that era that had the cylinder length would have been the .38 Winchester Double Action.

04-22-2010, 8:38 AM
Thank you

Flintlock Tom
04-22-2010, 10:47 AM
I would recommend getting a factory letter. It only costs $30 and will tell you exactly what it is and when and to whom it was sold.
I have a 3rd model in .38 S&W and the letter was very informative.

04-22-2010, 2:21 PM
How would I go about getting a letter? Thanks Larry