WILD WEST Antique SMITH & WESSON No. 2 OLD ARMY .32 RF Hayes Hickok McCall
Made After the Civil War Era Circa 1868-69
Here we present an antique Smith & Wesson Model No. 2 “Old Army” Revolver, made circa the late 1860s in Springfield, Massachusetts. Smith & Wesson purchased the rights to the Rollin White patent for the bored through cylinder, which would forever change the development of revolving firearms. Beginning in 1857 they produced the Number 1, a 7-shot .22 rimfire pocket pistol, which was quite successful. This was fine for the commercial market, but S&W knew they could scale up their design for a pistol that could be worn on the belt in a holster. They began shipping their Number 2 “Army” Revolver, a 6-shot .32 caliber, just 2 months after the beginning of the American Civil War. Smith & Wesson continued to leverage their patent well beyond the war and they remained very popular with the public and on the frontiers. There was a total of 77,200 of these revolvers made during their production run from 1861 through 1874. Revolvers with serial numbers under 35,731 are considered to be civil war guns since they were manufactured before May 1, 1865.
Though it never received any large federal contracts, it was adopted at the state, unit and individual levels. Per Charles Pate, Kentucky ordered 731 Number 2 “Armies” from Kittredge & Co. late in 1862, and even more in 1863. He says that “Most, if not all, of the revolvers used to fill the Kentucky order were almost certainly under 10,000 in serial number.” He also lists individuals and units that used these revolvers, per records and personal correspondence. The 7th Kentucky Cavalry appears to be the only unit officially issued this handgun during the war. Among the most famous of users was future U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes, who began his part in the war as Lieutenant Colonel and ended it with Brevet Brigadier General. Ulysses S. Grant wrote about him “his conduct on the field was marked by conspicuous gallantry as well as the display of qualities of a higher order than that of mere personal daring.” Another name and legend from the Civil War who used the Number 2 was General George Armstrong Custer, who owned a pair of them. “Wild Bill” Hickok wore this gun the night he was assassinated while playing cards, his last hand now called the “Dead Man’s Hand” of Black Aces and 8s.
The overall condition is fine. Original polished blue finish. The action is excellent with solid cylinder lockup and barrel to frame fit. The bore is bright with sharp rifling. The rosewood grips are solid. Numbers match. A sharp S&W Old Army!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 5 inches.
Caliber: .32 Rimfire
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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