Original U.S. Antique Smith & Wesson Model 1 1/2 2nd Issue Revolver in .32 Rimfire - Matching Serial 73520

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is an American classic, first introduced in 1865 and produced continuously until 1892. The Smith & Wesson Model 1 1/2 was Smith & Wesson's second .32 caliber revolver, intended to combine the small size and convenience of the .22 caliber Model 1 with the larger caliber of the 6-shot "belt sized" Model 2, which was introduced in 1860. Chambered in .32 cal, its cylinder held 5 shots. It was produced in three varieties, termed "issues" by S&W, with total production exceeding 223,000.

The First Issue Model 1 1/2 had an non-fluted cylinder and a flat bottomed "square" grip, and was chambered for .32 rimfire ammunition, and approximately 26,000 were produced.

The second issue of the Model 1 1/2 can be identified by its fluted barrel & cylinder, as well as the rounded "birds head" 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. It is estimated that less than a thousand models were produced with a 2 1/2-inch barrel; these can be positively identified by the barrel markings located on the side of the barrel, as opposed to the markings on the top strap that were applied to 3 1/2-inch barrels.

This is an excellent example of the Model 1 1/2, 2nd Issue Revolver with 3 1/2" barrel. Standard blued finish with rosewood grips. Produced by Smith and Wesson from 1868-1875, this was the firm's final improvement of the .32 rimfire tip-up with the more stylish stream-lined barrel, fluted cylinder, and birds head grips. The original Smith & Wesson address and patent dates are still easily readable on the top strap:


2nd Issue guns were serial numbered consecutively after the 1st Issue, with numbers ranging from approximately 26,300 through 127,000. Serial number on this example is 73520 placing it mid-production around 1871-72. This number is found on the bottom of the grip, as well as on the inside of the right grip scale. There is also assembly number 2 E on the grip frame, barrel, and cylinder. That makes this a very desirable "ALL MATCHING" example, with no major parts swapped out over the years!

Overall condition is really very good, and honestly one of the the best that we have seen. It must have spent a good time of its life in a desk drawer, unused for over 100 years. The barrel and frame have the bluing retained at 80%+, with less on the cylinder due to wear and powder burn at the front. Most 1 1/2's lack much original blue across the barrel and cylinders. This is either due to heat expansion from firing which caused the blue to flake or uncleaned fingerprints from the owner grabbing hold of the barrel to tip-up and reload the cylinder. Either way, very few have survived with this much original finish still intact.

The hammer, ejector pin, and trigger show a nice gray patina, with some of the original case hardening visible, especially on the hammer. The rosewood grips are beautiful, retaining almost all of the original "piano varnish" finish, with just a bit lost on the sides and bottom. Very good screws and pins throughout. Barrel is nice and tight to the frame. Action functions flawlessly. The bore is very good, with a mostly bright finish, clear lands and grooves, and some light oxidation on the bottom.

A great example of a classic revolver!


Years of Manufacture: circa 1871-72
Caliber: .32cal
Ammunition Type: Rimfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 3 1/2 inches
Overall Length: 7 1/2 inches
Action: Single
Feed System: 5 Shot Revolver

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