When we think of frontier revolvers, we tend to think Colt Single-Actions or maybe the Remington, like the one famously wielded by American scout Frederick Russell Burnham. But there was another revolver on the scene, a very good one indeed: The Smith & Wesson Model 3 Russian Contract Revolver, aka the Russian .44, produced starting in 1872. Louis L’Amour liked to give his heroes a .44 Russian or two. After all, they were great shooters. In their day, they were quite innovative, a good piece for a Frontier Partisan who wanted to arm up on the cutting edge of technology and quality.
American Handgunner reports:
In its first 30 years of existence the .44 Russian cartridge gained a superb reputation for accuracy, of course as fired in the several versions of Smith & Wesson top break revolvers. It’s recorded some notable handgun target shots were able to keep five .44 Russian bullets inside a 3″ circle at 50 yards. That’s probably true, and it should be emphasized not many handguns made today will do that even with smokeless propellants.
The Cap & Ball channel does a good job with firearms history. They’ve just released a video on the S&W Model 3 Russian.
Corb Lund, who knows his history and his firearms, featured the .44 Russian in a tale of tragic mishap. Love this song. It showcases Corb’s wordsmithery. And yodeling.