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Smith and Wesson Model 1 1/2, First Issue

A really sharp little S&W No. 1 1/2, 1st Issue Pocket Revolver in .32 rimfire with early style saw handle rosewood grips, non-fluted cylinder, and octagonal barrel.  Serial number is in the 15,000 range.   Made from 1865-1868.   For an antique Smith and Wesson, this is one that really jumps out at you when you see it on a multitude of different levels...some great and some not so great.   In terms of original overall finish, this Model 1 1/2 is one of the very best we've ever seen...the blue is so strong and deep, it looks almost like "wet ink" that goes even a step beyond what we typically term as "bright blue".   It's almost as though this was shot one time and never used again as it shows nearly zero degradation from actual usage...just neglect.   In contrast to that finish are some rather aggressive patches of closet rust from either poor storage, or could it possibly be something a little more corrosive like blood that caused this?  Within the small spots of rust, the metal shows some light pitting with a few moderate pits...but nothing heavy.   If desired, some of these spots will clean up considerably well but not all of it.   If you subtracted out the corrosion, this would easily grade to around 99%+++ overal finish, but with it, its probably around 80-85% strong original blue.   The rosewood grips have 98% original piano varnish and haven't even turned dark.   Note the left grip displays some really nice burl on the upper half of the panel.   Mechanically, the action functions like a watch...very crisp with tight barrel to frame lockup.   The front and back faces of the cylinder retain nearly all their original blue...also indicative of very little usage.   The bore is bright and shiny with strong rifling but similar to the outside of the gun...towards the cylinder, there is a light haze or frostiness like it was fired once and never cleaned.   A very interesting little S&W and one that leaves us very curious about its past.   Without the rust, this would easily be a $2,000 S&W, but as it is, we're pricing it well below that.   As such, this would make a good opportunity for a S&W collector, and constrained by a limited budget, to acquire a real diamond that still shines through the rough.

Item# 9209




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