As for the Smith&Wesson Model 3's that were produced in large numbers for the Russian Empire by special order. The first was the 1st Model Russian which was really no different than the Model 3 American. Because Russian Ordnance Inspectors demanded a number of improvements to the design, the 2nd Model Russian came about.
|S&W Model 3 Russian|
This act of product piracy led to the Russian Imperial government not needing Smith&Wesson and subsequently cancelling the order of the revolvers which Smith&Wesson had already produced. Then to add insult to injury, the Russians refused to pay for the revolvers that they already received.
But wait, I'm sure someone is going to write me to inform me that Colt's first metallic-cartridge revolver was produced in 1871 as an open-top revolver. They will probably inform me that that was a completely new design for Colt as the parts would not interchange with the older percussion pistols.
The caliber was .44 rimfire and it was submitted to the U.S. Army for testing in 1872. Actually, the U.S. Army rejected the Colt pistol. And yes, the Army did in fact ask Colt to come back with a more powerful caliber with a stronger frame if they wanted a contract. All which they did.
You would think that re-chambering their pistol's design to accommodate the longer .45 cartridge would not be that hard to do. All that Smith&Wesson had to do was to just re-chamber its design, then sell them by the thousands!
But no, instead of doing so, Smith&Wesson decided to develop their own slightly shorter .45 caliber round - it was called the ".45 Schofield." Later it would be called the ".45 S&W." And yes, it was less potent than the .45 Colt.
Imagine that! Having your brother on the Board that may approve the purchase of thousands of guns with your patented locking system might be seen as being inappropriate? Some might see it as an "unfair edge" to have your brother on the board approving the purchase of the equipment that you're selling?
While that maybe the case, it's a safe bet to say that's not what really killed the Model 3 Schofield for the Army.
So between the Soldiers not wanting the Schofields because of the lack of stopping power, and of course the potential scandal regarding the conduct of the Army Ordnance Board, though they did load easier, the U.S. Army ended their purchases of arms from Smith&Wesson.