This is an early tip-up frame Smith and Wesson Number Two Army Revolver in .32 Rimfire with blued finish and 6" octagonal barrel. These were built from 1861-1874 with a total production of 77,000. These were very popular with soldiers during the Civil War who carried them as back-up weapons (see photo). The state of Kentucky also purchased 2600 for their troops from B. Kittredge of Cincinnati. The vast majority of of S&W's however were sold to two dealers in NY, Storrs and Robinson. Several colorful characters of the Civil War and later the American West were known to have owned this model including General Custer and Wild Bill Hickok who was carrying his No. 2 the night he was killed playing poker in August, 1874.
This one has a Low serial number is in the 13,000 range which dates its production well within the Civil War (1861-65). No. 2's with serial numbers under 35731 are generally accepted as guns that were made during the Civil War and could have seen actual usage. Most early No. 2's we find are typically in quite rough shape showing extensive use. For an early Civil War era gun, this one is exceptionally nice with quite a bit of original finish remaining. Overall condition is NRA Antique Fine with 75% blue on the frame. The barrel has mostly flaked and turned to a light brown patina with some faded blue and stronger blue mostly along the barrel rib. The top of the barrel is marked "SMITH AND WESSON SPRINGFIELD MASS." The cylinder still has speckled original blue remaining overall that is turning to a patina with nice crisp 1855, 1859, and 1860 patent dates. Hammer shows 60% fading case colors. Original rosewood grips are near perfect still retaining 98% strong original dark piano varnish. One minute chip along the back edge of the right grip..hardly noticeable. No cracks or repairs. Nice action. The barrel has some wiggle up to the frame...which is fairly common for a 140+ year tip-up design. Nice action. Good bore with strong rifling and some typical scattered pits. All matching numbers on parts including grips. Very good screws. A very good representative Civil War productionearly large frame S&W.