Models

The first Smith & Wesson .44 Americans purchased by the Russians are known as the 1st Model and basically are the same configuration as the original. With the 2nd Model we see the arrival of the spurred trigger guard and the hump-backed, round-butted grip frame. By the time the 3rd Model arrived it was known as the Model #3 Russian and was standardized at a 6-1/2" barrel length.

Original Model #3 Russians were produced from 1874 to 1878 and may be tough to find in good shooting shape without commanding high collector dollars. However, Navy Arms offered an excellent shooting replica of the New Model Russian. The Navy Arms New Model Russian or Model #3 Russian is a faithful copy complete with very small sights of the original and is finished overall in a deep blue-black finish set off with a case colored hammer, trigger guard and locking latch. Stocks are smooth walnut as found on the originals.

The Model #3 Russian is also offered by Uberti. Both versions come with factory stocks of smooth European walnut, however my personal Navy Arms New Model Russian has been fitted with Ultra Ivory grips from Eagle Grips. Ultra Ivory, while a synthetic material, is very close to real ivory, with milky white color and ivory type grain and they also provide a good contrast to the dark blue finish of the New Model Russian.