ENGRAVED, PEARL Gripped Antique SMITH & WESSON No. 1 ½ .32 Rimfire REVOLVER
“WILD WEST” Revolver with MOTHER OF PEARL GRIPS
Here we present an antique Factory Engraved Smith & Wesson Model Number 1-1/2 .32 Rimfire Revolver, made circa 1865-68 in Springfield, Massachusetts. 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.
The S&W Model No. 1-1/2 Revolver is simply a scaled-up version of the No. 1, down to the aesthetics. The .32 continued to evolve just as the .22 version, both in features and aesthetics. It was also a commercial success and was well-received by the buying public seeing 26,300 of the First Issue produced and over 100,000 of the updated Second Issue.
The overall condition is good. The action (hammer/trigger) remains strong. The cylinder indexes well but does not lockup due to the weak bolt spring. The bore is in good shape. All of the tight floral engravings remain sharp throughout, even on the cylinder! Both pearl grips are firm in very good shape! This example is tight at the hinge and opens easily. This is an old Smith & Wesson revolver that is easy on the eyes.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 3-1/2 inches.
Caliber: .32 Rimfire
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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