Theodore Roosevelt’s Smith & Wesson Goes Up for Auction in December

Theodore Roosevelt’s Smith & Wesson New Model No. 3 revolver is a national treasure and one of few presidential firearms in private hands.

Learn more about Theodore Roosevelt’s Smith & Wesson New Model No. 3 revolver here

ROCK ISLAND, Ill., Nov. 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Rock Island Auction Company (RIAC), the world’s No. 1 firearms auction house, will offer former President Theodore Roosevelt’s Smith & Wesson New Model No. 3 Single Action Revolver during its Premier Firearms Auction, December 9 – 11. Documentation shows the revolver was shipped to Lt. Colonel Theodore Roosevelt on May 12, 1898, the same day he departed for San Antonio to train the famed Rough Riders. The New Model No. 3 revolver comes with a factory letter and carries a pre-auction estimate of $800,000$1,400,000.

Theodore Roosevelt was one of the most beloved and influential men in American history, and having documentation of the shipment makes this gun something incredibly extraordinary and valuable,” said Kevin Hogan, President of Rock Island Auction Company. “This is a crown jewel in fine arms collecting. Not only is it a rare chance to own a presidential firearm, but of a president who embodied the spirit of a nation. You don’t need to look further than Mt. Rushmore to understand his significance.”

The Smith & Wesson New Model No. 3 revolver is chambered in a .38 Long Colt, the U.S. service cartridge at the time, but scarcely seen in this particular model. Roosevelt’s revolver also has distinct combat target rear sights – both features indicating that this revolver was intended to be carried into the war against Spain. Roosevelt instead famously carried a Colt double action revolver that had been salvaged from the wreckage of the USS Maine battleship, allowing this revolver to remain in excellent condition.

Documentation shows that the revolver was purchased from the descendants of James E. Amos, the bodyguard and valet of President Theodore Roosevelt. Amos was very close to Roosevelt and was by his bedside shortly before he died. He received the revolver as a present from Roosevelt’s wife Edith, after the former president’s death. According to Amos, “…while president, he often went armed. I have in my home now a large revolver that Mr. Roosevelt placed at the side of his bed every night while in the White House. It was given to me by Mrs. Roosevelt after his death.”

The pristine condition of Roosevelt’s Smith & Wesson New Model No. 3 revolver reflects the statement that the firearm served as a “nightstand gun.” The revolver would not have been used or exposed to natural elements, preserving its condition.

Also offered in the auction are former President Abraham Lincoln’s presentation Burnside breech loading percussion carbine, a Winchester 1895 presented by Buffalo Bill, and a revolver attributed to outlaw Jesse James. The December Premier Firearms Auction is Rock Island Auction Company’s winter flagship event in fine arms collecting, featuring hundreds of the most historical firearms from around the world. 

About Rock Island Auction Company                            

Rock Island Auction Company is the world’s #1 auction company for firearms, bladed weapons and militaria. Founded in 1993 by its current CEO Patrick Hogan, RIAC continues to lead the industry with record sales numbers and extensive and beautiful marketing efforts. Their 150,000-square-foot campus consists of two buildings and hosts around 18+ auctions each year. They actively seek consignments, be it a single weapon or a collection of hundreds, a thousand-dollar item or $1 million item. For more information, please visit or call 1-800-238-8022.

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SOURCE Rock Island Auction Company