Original U.S. Antique Smith & Wesson Model 1 2nd Issue Nickel Plated Revolver in .22 Short - Serial 73781

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The Smith & Wesson Model 1 was the first firearm manufactured by Smith & Wesson, with production spanning the years 1857 through 1882. It was the first commercially successful revolver to use rimfire cartridges instead of loose powder, musket ball, and percussion caps. It is a single-action, tip-up revolver holding seven .22 Short black powder cartridges. During the production run it was issued 3 times, with significant changes to each revision.

The 2nd Issue of the Model 1 looked similar to the 1st Issue, with several notable differences. The side plate on the 2nd Issue was much larger and irregularly shaped. The profile of the frame was flatter (a likely concession for manufacturing efficiency), and the hammer was now made in one piece. Model 1 2nd Issues still had the flared, square cornered shaped grip and the octagonal tip-up style frame, and at first glance the two issues are easy to confuse.

There are several variations of the 2nd Issue guns. Variants between serial numbers 12,000 through to about 20,000 involve the shape of the side plate ("straight" or "round"), the design of the trigger spring (flat spring, V spring or coil spring), and the number of patent dates on the cylinder (two or three). There was also a decrease in the size of the barrel roll stamps at around serial number 95,000. There were approximately 110,000 2nd Issues produced from 1860 through 1868, with serial numbers ranging from approximately 12,000 (following the 1st Issue) through to approximately 120,000

This example has a nickel-plated brass frame with a blued steel barrel and cylinder. It is marked with serial number 73781 on the bottom of the grip. The model 1 is loaded by actually unhooking the bottom of the barrel so it could swivel upwards, allowing the entire cylinder to be removed in order to reload. Fitted with spur trigger, these were an extremely convenient little multi shot revolver ideal for a lady or gambler. Fully marked along the top of the barrel:-


On the 2nd Issue, the patent information is stamped onto the side of the smooth cylinder, which reads:

PATENTED APRIL 3.1855, JULY 5.1859 & DEC. 18.1860

The  grips are in very good shape, with a lovely color and the expected patina of age. The grain pattern suggests that these may actually be rosewood, a very desirable hardwood.  These have a good amount of the original varnish present. The revolver is tight with firm lock-up and the action functions correctly, with a very light trigger pull required. The nickel plating does have some wear, but is still over 60%, while the blued components have faired a bit better.

Full working order and condition, an antique ready to display.


Years of Manufacture: 1860 - 1868
Caliber: .22 Short Blackpowder
Ammunition Type: Rimfire Blackpowder Cartridge
Barrel Length: 3 1/8 inches
Overall Length: 7 inches
Action: Single Action
Feed System: 7 Shot Revolver

  • This product is not available for shipping in US state(s)
    New Jersey

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