1860s ENGRAVED, PLATED SMITH & WESSON No. 1 7-Shot .22 S&W REVOLVER Antique
S&W’s Flagship Revolver Design!
Here we present an Engraved Smith & Wesson Model No. 1, Second Issue Revolver, manufactured circa 1860 to 1868 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Smith & Wesson manufactured approximately 115,000 of these revolvers between 1860 and 1868. Serial numbers started around 11000 where the 1st Issue left off and continued to 126400. The No. 1 was Smith & Wesson’s first metallic cartridge firearm. It utilized the idea of the “bored through cylinder”, which was patented by Rollin White and subsequently exclusively licensed by Smith & Wesson. This concept has forever changed revolving firearms design, and is the same idea used in revolvers today. S&W, via Rollin White himself, aggressively sued any patent infringers and were able to hold their monopoly on the American market for cartridge revolvers from about 1857 to 1870, whereupon their patent expired. The results were a very profitable business, a broke Rollin White, and a grudging U.S. Chief of Ordnance Alexander Dyer, who was still angry in 1870 about not being able to use the technology during the Civil War. The U.S. government ended up giving Colt their contracts since they valued the larger .44 caliber in the Colt 1860 Armies over the .32 caliber full sized No. 2 Armies.
This small revolver is a 7-shot .22 rimfire. It was specifically designed to be a pocket gun, being very small and light. The No. 1 was the precursor to larger firearms that were simply scaled up to be more suitable for use as martial weapons.
This one features period engraving that we believe is not factory commissioned. Three main monster heads appear on each side of the frame and on the right side of the barrel, surrounded by Germanic scroll engraving with a punch-dot background. Nickel plated over all.
The overall condition is near fine. Bright nickel finish. The action is strong. The bore is in good shape. Both rosewood grips are in very nice shape with minimal wear. This is a very handsome piece of history from Smith & Wesson!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 3-3/16 inches.
Caliber: .22 Rimfire (short, black powder)
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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