Smith & Wesson Model 3 Schofield First Model with Rare Kelton Safety

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Smith & Wesson Model 3 Schofield First Model with Rare Kelton Safety
S/N 2240, .45 Schofield caliber, 7 inch round ribbed barrel, Model 3 Schofield First Model Single Action. Blue finish, 2-piece walnut grips with faint cartouche on left grip, original sights, all-matching numbers including grips. A rare and collectible U.S. Government issue firearm. Condition: bore is bright, barrel retains 75% blue thinning and turning brown, frame has 90% blue, cylinder has original blue in flutes with browning patina over the remaining surface, grip straps show 70% blue with most wear on back strap, trigger guard is flaked to gray, excellent grips, excellent marks, excellent mechanically.

In 1887 Springfield Armory fitted 25 Schofield revolvers with the experimental Kelton safety. A hole was drilled in the right side of the frame behind the recoil shield. A lever with a large thumb piece was mounted on the frame. The internal mechanism of the safety did not permit the hammer to drop until the thumb piece was depressed.

Includes original signed and embossed Smith & Wesson factory letter listing all of the correct features, except the safety, of course, as it was installed at the U.S. Armory at Springfield, Massachusetts. Shipped to the Armory July 12, 1875. Also includes photocopy of U.S. Patent Office specifications by John C. Kelton for a “Safety-stop for Fire-arms.”

Lot 202, Brian Lebel's Cody Old West Auction - June 22, 2019. Santa Fe, NM.
Estimate $12,000-15,000.