An Outlaws Gun | Frank James' 1875 Smith & Wesson 2nd Model Schofield revolver #5476

31/10/2023 | Matthew Tredwen

An Outlaws Gun | Frank James' 1875 Smith & Wesson 2nd Model Schofield revolver #5476


Technical Evaluation

Smith & Wesson #5476 was manufactured to the order of the US Government to the improved design of Colonel Schofield based on the 3rd Model Smith & Wesson American. Manufactured in calibre .45 Schofield, it was serial numbered specifically for Government orders with the components of the revolver being matched to the serial number, this would include frame, barrel, cylinder and one grip. In addition, it would carry US Government inspection stamps and a cartouche confirming the date of issue.

Commercial models were not marked with the same number through but with a production number stamped on the barrel, chamber, with the gun number stamped on the heel of the butt. In addition the position of the US stamp to the butt and the serial number was reversed between models as follows; First Model US Marking at front of the toe of the butt. Second Model US marking at the rear of the toe of the butt. First model serial number reads toward the US stamp left to right. Second Model serial number reads away from the US stamp reads left to right. 


Interior of grip frame showing serial #5476


On examination the following marks are displayed

1. Butt US stamp at the end of the butt, with the serial number 5476 stamped away from the stamp.

2. The rear right hand grip is stamped 5476.

3. The left hand grip has the US Inspectors cartouche and the date 1876.

3. The cylinder is stamped 5476.

4. The barrel carries the one line patent address in use prior to July 1876.

5. The underside of the barrel is stamped with inspection marks E P.


Additional markings

1. The butt has the initials FJ faintly scratched on the left grip.

2. The right hand side of the frame to the rear of the cylinder has two small handling marks, these are found in the same place as in the photograph taken at the Stagecoach Museum.




Schofield #5476 has all of the original factory markings and inspection marks, and serial numbers as found on a Second Model Schofield fulfilled by the order of 3000 revolvers signed on March 1875 and delivered to the US Army by September 1876 with a final contract end date of October 1876. As confirmed by Colonel Charles Pate in the attached report, deliveries began in July 1876, with the contract being finally signed off in October 1876. This correctly correlates with Smith & Wesson dating letter for an October 1876 delivery as the revolvers in the contract were not deemed to be delivered until the last revolver had been delivered.

5476 was one of the first revolvers to be delivered, as it does not carry the two line patent address specified for alteration by Colonel Schofield on August 2nd 1876.

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