The Wells Fargo Schofield revolvers became so popular with collectors from the 1970s onwards that the unique Wells Fargo markings were being "counterfeited" or "faked" by unscrupulous sellers to enhance the value of other similar versions that had not been genuinely owned by Wells Fargo & Co.
3's were ordered in .44 caliber by the Imperial Russian Army in 1871), and the "Schofield" model, named after Major George W.
Schofield, who made his own modifications to the Model 3 to meet his perceptions of the Cavalry's needs.
Of the most notable purchasers of these reconditioned model 3 Schofield revolvers was Wells Fargo and Company, who purchased the revolvers for use by Wells Fargo Road Agents and had the barrels shortened to a more concealable 5 inches length.
These revolvers were then inspected by the Wells Fargo armorer and uniquely stamped "W. & Co" or "Wells Fargo & Co", along with the original Smith & Wesson serial number re-stamped alongside the Wells Fargo stamping on the flat part of the barrel just forward of the barrel pivot as well as re-stamping any part of each revolver which had not originally been stamped or stamped in a location that would be difficult to view the serial number, when needed.
Major Schofield had patented his locking system and earned a payment on each gun that Smith & Wesson sold, and at the time his older brother, John M.
Schofield, was the head of the Army Ordnance Board and the political situation may have been the main issue for the early end of army sales.The Smith & Wesson Model 3 was a single-action, cartridge-firing, top-break revolver produced by Smith & Wesson from circa 1870 to 1915, and was recently again offered as a reproduction by Smith & Wesson and Uberti.It was produced in several variations and sub-variations, including both the "Russian Model", so named because it was supplied to the military of the Russian Empire (41,000 No.Schofield (known as the "Schofield revolver"), providing that they could make the revolvers fire the .45 Colt (AKA ".45 Long Colt") ammunition already in use by the US military.Smith & Wesson instead developed their own, slightly shorter .45 caliber round, the .45 Schofield, otherwise known as the .45 S&W.This led to the Imperial government cancelling the order for significant quantities of Smith & Wesson–made revolvers (which Smith & Wesson had already produced), and delaying (or refusing) payment for the handguns that had already been delivered. Most military pistols until that point were black powder cap and ball revolvers, which were (by comparison) slow, complicated, and susceptible to the effects of wet weather.