S&W’s Pistol-Carbine for the South Australian Police

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In 1880, the South Australian Police service was introduced to the Smith & Wesson No3 New Model revolver at the Melbourne Exhibition. They took a liking to the design, and promptly ordered 250 of them, nickel plated with 7” barrels and detachable shoulder stocks (as well as 30 more with 6.5” barrels and no stocks). These would be issued to mounted officers of the police, for whom they would be a sort of universal weapon – a pistol for close range use, and the stock to allow accurate shooting at longer ranges when called for. An interesting set of holsters was issued with the guns, intended to be carried on the saddle. One is made specifically to carry the shoulder stock, and the other to carry the pistol – but with a pair of flaps such that the gun can be secured in the holster with he shoulder stock still attached.

These revolvers remained in South Australian inventory until 1953, when the were sold as surplus to an American firm, who subsequently sold them to the collector market.

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