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VERY RARE S&W REVOLVER, MODEL OF 1891 (.38 SINGLE ACTION 3RD MODEL), #5XXX, MADE 1891-1911
AN EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO FIND S&W REVOLVER IS THIS MODEL OF 1891 (.38 SINGLE ACTION 3RD MODEL), #5XXX, MADE 1891-1911. One of the most attractive revolvers in the S&W line at the time, these Model 1891s look like a scaled down New Model No. 3. They seem to almost never show up for sale and one can go to gun shows for years and not see one except in S&W displays. According to THE STANDARD CATALOG OF SMITH & WESSON, 4TH EDITION BY SUPICA AND NAHAS: This is a very attractive gun, looking like a 2/3 scale New Model Number 3, and is highly sought after. However, unfortunately, there has always seemed to be a discrepancy between the number of guns supposedly manufactured and the availability of this model on the collectors market. By manufacturing records, this model should be about as common as the Baby Russian .38 SA, and maybe twenty times more common than the Model of 1891 Single Shot, (approx. 1250 1891 Single Shots were made) with which it shares a common frame. However, our subjective impression is that one sees ten .38 SA 1sts for every .38 SA 3rd, and that the Model of 1891 Revolver is, if anything, scarcer than the Model of 1891 Single Shot. Of course, there is more info on this rare model in the book, but that sums up the scarcity of this model pretty well. This nickel plated example has the standard 4" barrel and is fitted with the rare and desirable mottled red and black gutta percha grips that are in excellent condition showing no chips or cracks and displaying a perfect fit. It has matching serial numbers on the barrel, latch, frame and cylinder. The barrel has the correct "MODEL OF '91" marking along with the usual patent dates etc. There is fine nickel on the barrel with just some peeling at the muzzle on the right side and some peeling along the left outside edge. The grip straps show some small evidence of wiped off rust which left some small areas of light dark gray/brown pitting. There is good nickel in the cylinder flutes with some peeling on the outside. The barrel latch shows fine blue, screws are excellent, action is tight and the bore is bright. This is a really fine early antique example with only light blemishes to the nickel that are fairly minor and great mottled red grips. Many S&W collectors have never seen one of these!
Handgun Caliber: .38 S&W (.38 Colt New Police, .38 Super Police)
Manufacturer: SMITH & WESSON
Model: 1891 REVOLVER
Serial Number: 5XXX
Barrel Length: 4