Original U.S. Civil War Smith & Wesson Model 2 Army .32cal Revolver with 6" Barrel - Serial No. 26297

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice early Civil War example of a Smith & Wesson .32-caliber rimfire Model 2 Army Revolver, with a 6 inch unshortened barrel. These were very popular as backup weapons for Union officers, used after their percussion revolver's cylinder was spent.

The serial number is 26297, dating the year of production to be approximately late 1864, about a 80% of the way through wartime production. We had a previous revolver, serial number 27627, which shipped from the S&W warehouse October 1864, so we are fairly certain with this assessment. With three pins on the top of the frame and a large serial number, some consider this to be a Model 2, type 4. The hardwood grips are original and have a matching serial number on the inside of the right scale, still both bearing almost all of the original finish on the exterior. The revolver has a lovely aged dark gray patina overall, with some areas of the original blued finish still present, giving it a great look.

It still has the original Smith & Wesson address marking nicely marked on top of the barrel rib:


The Patent information on the cylinder is still present, but very faint and requires a magnifying glass and sharp eyes to read:

PATENTED APRIL 3. 1855. JULY 5.1859 & DEC 18 1860.

Also, assembly number A L can be seen on the grip frame under the grips, and on the back of the barrel assembly. The front of the cylinder unfortunately has suffered oxidation due to powder burn, so the assembly number cannot be read. The bottom of one grip scale has JWWJ written on it, probably an owners initials.

The revolver cycles well, with good indexing and and a crisp dry fire. There is however some slop in the action due to wear, and the cylinder lock is worn, so the cylinder can be turned at full cock with only light force. The bore is in good condition, with clear lands and grooves, but also showing past pitting an oxidation.

Revolvers with serial numbers under 35,731 are considered to be civil war guns since they were manufactured before May 1st, 1865. All are 32-caliber rimfire with a six shot non-fluted cylinder. All were manufactured with rosewood grips and blue or nickel-plated finishes. The barrels are marked on top with the manufacturer and patent dates are stamped on the cylinder. Most were made with 6 or 5 inch barrels, with 4 available as a special order.

According to published sources, 77,155 Model 2 Army revolvers were made. To date, the serial numbers on observed specimens have not substantiated this figure, 76,642 being the highest number noted. Unfortunately, the Smith & Wesson factory records for this period are incomplete and do not give a comprehensive picture of production.

This is a rare chance to own a historically significant gun in very good display condition!


Year of Manufacture: late 
Caliber: .32cal
Ammunition Type: Rimfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 6 inches
Overall Length: 11 inches
Action: Single Action 
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver

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