Founded more than 162 years ago, Smith & Wesson is an American firearm and ammunition manufacturer that provides its customers with a variety of weapons. Ranging from small caliber pistols to high caliber assault rifles, the options at Smith & Wesson are virtually limitless but one thing that sets apart Smith & Wesson from other firearm manufacturers are its classic Wild West Revolvers.
The model 1 was the first-ever Smith & Wesson firearm produced from 1857 through 1882. Back then, shooting a firearm was a complicated drill that included black powder and muskets. A revolver that shot cartridges was a big leap forward. When militaries and individuals started ordering the Smith & Wesson revolvers in bulk, the company eventually had to relocate to bigger premises to meet the demand. Similarly, the demand for the Smith & Wesson revolvers peaked during the American Civil War.
The use of cartridges by Smith & Wesson in their classic Wild West Revolvers was an revolutionary step. The race amongst the firearm manufacturers to produce efficient and effective sidearms was retarded by design ingenuity since the cartridge was patented by Smith & Wesson. This resulted in a number of manufacturers being sued until the end of the war when the government decided to intervene and administer the cartridge shooting firearms to promote firearm development in the USA.
Now with more manufacturers putting out the same designed sidearms, Smith & Wesson shifted its focus towards developing a heavier revolver to be used on the front lines, so came the model 3 which was the first cartridge shooting weapon commissioned by the US military.
The most popular revolver that shot Smith & Wesson into stardom was the classic Model 3. Mass-produced between the 1870 and 1913, just 18 years after the company was founded in 1852 by Horace Smith and Daniel B Wesson. Weighing just shy short of one and a half kilograms, the model 3 was by no means a light sidearm to operate but its durability and damage made it a lethal weapon of choice.
The model 3 was a single-action revolver that was originally designed and produced to shoot .44 cartridges, but the popular demand of the model 3 forced Smith & Wesson to improvise and make changes such as making available different caliber cartridges for model 3. These included small calibers such as .38 and.32, as well as larger caliber such as .45 Schofield which was named after a Russian Soldier who introduced changes to the Model 3 to suit the Russian military’s requirements.
Model 3 wasn’t the only classic Wild West Revolver that established Smith & Wesson into the huge name in the firearm industry it is today. It is fair to say that the model 1 and the design of cartridge shooting firearms have the lion’s share in Smith & Wesson’s popularity.