RARE ENGRAVED, SHORT BARRELED SMITH & WESSON Number 1, 3rd Revolver Antique
GOLD & IVORY with 2-11/16” BARREL
Here we present an antique Engraved, Short-Barreled Smith & Wesson Number 1, Third Issue Revolver in .22, made circa 1868-81. 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 Third Issue was S&W’s final improved version of this model. The rounded birds head grips, fluted cylinder and round barrel made this an even sleeker variant of the revolver that started it all. This small revolver is a 7-shot .22 rimfire. It was specifically designed to be a pocket gun, being very small and light. For those not wanting or needing a full-sized gun or for those who wanted a backup this revolver was the ideal firearm for the turbulent 19th century.
This one features the rarer 2-11/16 inch barrel as well as gorgeous scroll engraving. The engraving is attributed to Gustav Young, originally of Colt’s fame. The finish is nickel and gold with ivory grips. The barrel address is on the left side of the barrel rather than on top due to the shorter length of the barrel.
The overall condition is fine. Bright nickel & gold finish has been applied. Deep floral engravings throughout. The action is strong. Fine ivory grips. The bore is in good condition. A delightful and desirable addition to the collection: a functional piece of art!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 2-11/6 inches.
Caliber: .22 Rimfire (short; black powder)
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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