Complete Guide To The Schofield Revolver

Key Point: The Schofield Revolver is a top-break .45 caliber single-action firearm from the late 19th century.

This article will cover everything you need to know about the Schofield revolver. You will see where the Schofield revolver originates, how it was used, and why it stopped being produced so quickly.

Now, before we continue it’s essential for you to know the Schofield revolver. So, let’s answer this question first: What is the Schofield revolver?

The Schofield revolver is a type of revolver that was designed in the late 1800s. The Schofield revolver was known for its unique break-action design, which allowed for faster reloading than other revolvers of the time. It was used by the US Army during the Indian Wars and the Spanish-American War before being replaced by other firearms towards the end of the 19th century.

That was the short summary, you should keep in mind. Now, let’s continue with a deep dive into the Schofield revolver, starting with its history.

The History Of The Schofield Revolver

The Schofield revolver was designed by Major George W. Schofield in the late 1860s. He was an ordnance officer in the United States Army, and he designed it as an improvement upon the standard issue Colt 1860 Army revolver.

The Schofield revolver was manufactured by Smith & Wesson. They purchased the rights to the design from Schofield in 1870. The revolver became popular with soldiers during the Indian Wars, particularly with cavalry units. Due to this particular advantage … A fast reloading time.

The Schofield revolver was known for its fast reloading time, thanks to its break-action design. The revolver could be opened and reloaded quickly. This was a significant advantage over other revolvers of the time. And as you can imagine in the heat of battle reloading your weapon quickly was the difference between surviving and not.

However, firearm technology evolved quickly in the 19th century. So the Schofield revolver got replaced by the Colt Single Action Army revolver in 1892. The Schofield revolver did still stay in use years after being officially replaced but the Colt eventually displaced it. You will see why a little later on.

So, that was the short introduction to its history. Now, let’s proceed to the workings of this revolver.

The Schofield Revolver – How It Worked

You can see how the Schofield revolver worked in this short 2:21 video below.

How The Schofield Revolver Works

The Schofield revolver was a break-action revolver that used a unique loading system. Unlike other revolvers of its time, which used a cylinder that rotated to load cartridges, the Schofield revolver used a break-action design that allowed the barrel and cylinder to pivot downwards. This made it easier and faster to load cartridges, as the user could simply break open the revolver and load each chamber individually.

And as I mentioned before, faster reloading time is everything. But there was more.

The Advantages Of The Schofield

Another advantage (aside from the faster reloading time) was its accuracy. The revolver was designed with a longer barrel than other revolvers of its time, which allowed for greater accuracy at longer ranges. The revolver also had a top strap that covered the back of the cylinder, which helped to prevent dirt and debris from getting into the firing mechanism.

Overall, the Schofield revolver was a significant improvement over its predecessor, the Colt 1860 Army revolver. Its fast reloading time made it a popular choice among soldiers, and its accuracy made it an effective weapon on the battlefield.

Why Was The Schofield Revolver Replaced?

With all these benefits Schofield brought to the table, why was it replaced so quickly? Well, the short answer is cost. A more detailed answer is …

One of the main reasons for this change was that the Schofield revolver was chambered in .45 Schofield, a proprietary cartridge that was not as widely available as the .45 Colt cartridge used by the Colt Single Action Army revolver.

Another reason for the Schofield revolver’s replacement was that the Colt Single Action Army revolver was a more versatile weapon. It had a larger cylinder capacity. This allowed for more rounds to be fired before reloading, and it was available in a variety of calibers, including .45 Colt, .44-40 Winchester, and .38-40 Winchester. This made the Colt Single Action Army revolver a more flexible weapon that could be used in a wider range of situations.

Additionally, the Schofield revolver was relatively expensive to produce, which made it less cost-effective than other firearms of its time. The United States Army was looking for a more affordable sidearm that could be produced in larger quantities, and the Colt Single Action Army revolver fit this bill.

So, Is The Schofield Revolver Still Used Today?

The Schofield revolver is not in production anymore but a lot of firearm enthusiasts have it as a piece of historical memorabilia. But its large-scale production and use stopped at the turn of the 20th century.

Now, to wrap things up, let’s take a look at a few commonly asked questions of people that are researching the Schofield Revolver.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you can see rapid-fire answers to commonly asked questions when researching the Schofield.

Q: Does Smith & Wesson still make a Schofield Revolver?

A: No, Smith & Wesson does not currently manufacture the Schofield Revolver.

Q: Was the Schofield a good revolver?

A: Yes, the Schofield Revolver was highly regarded as a reliable and well-designed firearm.

Q: Did Cowboys use Schofield revolvers?

A: Yes, the Schofield Revolver was popular among cowboys and saw use during the Old West era.

Q: What’s the difference between 45 Colt and 45 Schofield?

A: The main difference between .45 Colt and .45 Schofield is the length of the cartridge. The .45 Schofield cartridge is shorter than the .45 Colt cartridge, allowing it to be used in revolvers chambered for the Schofield design.

In Conclusion

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope you learned a thing or two. if you wish to continue learning I suggest taking a look at my article on another revolver from history the LeMat Revolver by clicking here. You can also continue learning by checking out one of the first semi-automatic pistols the Borchardt pistol here.

Take care!