NICKEL & IVORY Antique SMITH & WESSON No. 1 ½ .32 SINGLE ACTION REVOLVER SW
Handsome Little Hideout Revolver!
Here we present an antique Smith & Wesson .32 Single Action Revolver, also referred to as the “1-1/2 Frame Centerfire Revolver”, manufactured circa 1885 with a production run of 1878 through 1892 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Smith & Wesson manufactured approximately 97,599 of these revolvers during its 14-year production run. This model represented the first .32 S&W centerfire caliber top-break revolver that automatically ejected spent cartridges upon opening. Similar in appearance to the Model 1-1/2 2nd Issue, this model came with a 5-shot fluted cylinder and bird’s-head grip of either wood or checkered hard rubber. It was offered with barrel lengths of 3, 3.5″, 6″, 8″ and 10″. The 8″ and 10″ barrel are rare and were not offered until 1887. This model pivots downward on opening and features a rebounding hammer that made the weapon much safer to fully load.
This revolver 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 overall condition is very good. Original nickel finish. Strong action. Good bore with nice rifling. The antique ivory grips are seated firmly and remain in good shape.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 3-1/2 inches.
Caliber: .32 S&W
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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