ENGRAVED, Silver Plated, INSCRIBED Antique S&W No. 1 ½ .32 REVOLVER
INSCRIBED with “Halifax” & the Initials “ZBD”
Here we present an antique Engraved, Silver Finished Smith & Wesson Model Number 1-1/2 .32 Rimfire 2nd Issue Revolver, made circa 1868-1875 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 second issue of the Model 1 1⁄2 can be identified by its fluted barrel and the rounded shape of the grip butt. Like the 1st Issue, it was also produced in blued steel and nickel-plated varieties, with most models having a 3 1⁄2-inch barrel. 2nd Issue guns were serial numbered consecutively after the 1st Issue, with numbers ranging from approximately 26,300 through 127,000.
The overall condition is very good. Lovely engraving with virtually complete silver plate finish and vibrant case colors. The action (hammer/trigger) functions, although the cylinder freewheels and does not index properly due to a weak bolt spring. The bore is semi-bright and in good shape. This example showcases near full coverage sharp scroll engravings. “Z.D.B.” is inscribed on the left of barrel and “HALIFAX” on the right. The meaning of the Halifax reference and the initials may yet be discovered!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 3-1/2 inches.
Caliber: .32 Long Rimfire
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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