For auction in this lot is an extremely low serial number, very early Smith & Wesson .32 Caliber Model 1 ½ single action revolver. This revolver with 3 ½” octagon barrel is numbered 948, indicating a first year/end of Civil War production. According to S&W historian, Roy Jinks, “This model was introduced in April, 1865 and was designed as a medium caliber pocket revolver. It was manufactured in blue or nickel finish and with 3 ½” or 4” barrel lengths. The Model 1 ½ First Issue was a popular pocket revolver of travelers, gamblers and many individuals as a house gun. It was replaced in 1868 by the Model 1 ½ Second Issue…” The total production for the Model 1 ½ First Issue was 26,300 revolvers.” The bright blue on the frame shows no signs of being polished and much remains in a beautiful state of uncleaned preservation. The blue cylinder and barrel, as is typical of 153 year old blue finish, has aged to a pleasing and attractive uncleaned aged blue patina. The Smith & Wesson Springfield Mass. address and patent dates are clearly stamped on the barrel top with the correct early style marking showing the last patent date of 1859 (later production showed a patent date of 1865). The barrel retains the original silver front sight and the original excellent condition rosewood grips have the matching serial number stamped on the inside and show most of the original varnish. All mechanics are excellent, tight and fully functioning with even the hinge tight (these usually loose). Additionally, the rifled bore is in fine condition. This interesting and early S&W was made with the cartridge ejector permanently fixed below the barrel. To reload the weapon, the barrel was tipped up, the cylinder was pulled forward and out of the frame and then the empty shell casings could be poked out by use of the ejector rod under the barrel. It was a simple and sturdy design that worked well. This was one of the very first successful cartridge revolvers to be made in the U.S. in a caliber larger than .22 The fine overall condition of this example combined with extremely low serial number and a very limited production number for this particular model revolver make it an outstanding collectable handgun by one of America’s oldest and most trusted gun makers. The revolver qualifies as an Antique Hand Gun, and does NOT require FFL Transfer or NICS Background Check. Serial Number: 948.
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Smith & Wesson Mod 1 1/2 .32 Cal Revolver 1st Year