The Price of Freedom: Americans at War Home Collection Search

Object Record

    New Search

Smith & Wesson Schoefield Revolver
Armed Forces History, Division of History of Technology, National Museum of American History

Smith & Wesson Schoefield Revolver

Catalog #: 1788    Accession #: 17418
Credit: Division of Military History & Diplomacy, National Museum of American History


Smith & Wesson (Manufacturer)

Smith & Wesson was founded in 1852 by Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson. They shared a dream of developing a new type of firearm. Their vision was to produce a gun that was capable of being fired repeatedly without the annoyance of having to reload with loose powder, ball, and primer. Their ideas moved firearms manufacturing out of the muzzle loading era that had dominated the industry since the invention of the hand cannon in the 14th century.

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 6" H x 12.75" W x 2" D

Physical Description

Smith & Wesson First Model Schoefield revolver, .45 caliber.

Specific History

This Smith & Wesson was found loaded at the Little Big Horn Battlefield in 1883.

General History

The Smith & Wesson Schofield revolver, .45-caliber was manufactured from 1875-1878 with just under 9,000 of them manufactured. The vast majority of them went to the US Army. Many of these saw service in the Indian Wars, though they were reported in use as late as the Spanish American War and Philippine Insurrection. The First Model Schofield has a latch configuration that is rather pointed at the top and has a circle around the screw head at the bottom. Serial number range also will give you an indication of whether it is First or Second Model, with the numberís changing from the First Model to the Second Model at a little over 3,000.


Country: United States
State: Montana
Wars: Battle of Little Bighorn, Spanish American War, Philippine Insurrection
Service: Army
Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Behring Center Printable ScriptVisit the MuseumEducationCredits