The Smith & Wesson No. 3 revolver hadn’t been out a year yet and already Maj. George Schofield was designing improvements for it. The result in 1875 was a revolver that was easier to use for cavalry troops, reloaded quickly, that was carried by some of the biggest names in the Old West. Schofield’s improved locking mechanism for the Smith & Wesson No. 3 revolver made it stronger, more durable, and simpler to operate with one hand.
Unfortunately, the well-made revolvers had their shortcomings, primarily the logistical problem related to their proprietary ammunition. However, even after their service life for the U.S. Military, Schofield revolvers enjoyed a robust presence in the commercial market through various surplus retailers of the period.