Antique CIVIL WAR SMITH & WESSON No. 1 Second Issue Spur Trigger REVOLVER
S&W ROLLIN WHITE “Bored Through Cylinder” Patent
Here we present an antique Smith & Wesson Model No. 1, Second Issue Revolver, manufactured circa 1860 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. Though not a primary military arm during the American Civil War, handguns were commonly privately purchased by soldiers for use on the battlefield. Whether legend or fact, it is interesting to note something commonly read about pocket revolvers of the day: that while they could be used for self-defense against the enemy, many soldiers kept them on their person to defend themselves against an unwanted amputation in the primitive field hospitals that were notorious, even in their day.
The overall condition is good. The bore is in good shape for its age. Original silver finish on the frame has been preserved. Clear markings. The hammer cocks and drops but the cylinder does not lock up. The cylinder arbor pin has broken.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 3-3/16 inches.
Caliber: .22 Short Rimfire
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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