The Smith & Wesson Schofield

by
posted on August 5, 2009
200985155546-schofield1_f.jpg

While Colt and Remington six-shooters seem to populate almost every Western film, Smith & Wesson's large-frame, top-break single-action revolver, dubbed the "Schofield" after the efforts of Col. George Schofield to improve earlier Smith & Wessons for military use, was seen on the silver screen in the film Unforgiven. The Schofield was only manufactured from 1875 to 1877. About 8,000 of these S&W revolvers were ordered by the U.S. Army, and they served right alongside Colt's Single Action Army briefly. One important difference between the two single-action handguns was that the Schofield was chambered for a shorter .45-caliber cartridge.

While a limited number of Schofields were produced for the civilian market, the majority of the military order wound up being sold as surplus to dealers who refinished these revolvers, cut down the 7-inch barrel to shorter lengths and marketed them to express agencies such as Wells Fargo & Company. This Schofield .45 bears serial No. 1 and was a revolver that witnessed both military and civilian service. After its short military issue, it was purchased by Wells Fargo.

This single-digit Schofield is just one of dozens of historic arms represented in the National Firearms Museum's newest temporary exhibit, "Guns West!," where visitors can view more than 2,200 firearms in galleries spanning six centuries of arms technology.

Latest

Walther Ronin Dyal
Walther Ronin Dyal

Arming My Daughter Part II: Sampling Mid-Size Nines

As I went through all of the data for the previous article, now Part I, I saw how my daughter Laney struggled with micro 9s, so a natural question jumped out: How would she do with a larger 9 mm handgun?

Hornady Inducted To Nebraska Business Hall Of Fame, Announces Park Management

Industry legend Hornady is already experiencing a big year. On Feb. 1, for example, the Hornady family was inducted into the Nebraska Business Hall of Fame at the annual NE Chamber Hall of Fame Banquet held in Lincoln, Neb.

I Have This Old Gun: Burnside Carbine

In the American Civil War, there was an incredible variety of small arms used, particularly within cavalry units. One of the most popular cavalry carbines used throughout the war was the Burnside carbine.

New For 2024: Mossberg Patriot 400 Legend

Mossberg expanded its Patriot bolt-action rifle line to encompass one of the newest straight-wall hunting cartridges on the market: 400 Legend.

I Have This Old Gun: Norinco 84S

The Norinco 84S presents the same general appearance as the Chinese-made 56S because it has the same overall length, is built around a stamped sheet-steel receiver and uses the same hooded front sight base, the same 45-degree gas block, the same fire-control components, the same wood furniture and the same high-polish blued finish.

Rifleman Q&A: Boattail Bullets And Barrel Erosion

In the recent spate of “long-range” boattail bullets presented to the market, I’ve observed the boattail’s degree of departure from the bullet’s cylindrical axis varies substantially from one design to another.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.