This is an early tip-up First Model, 3rd Issue revolver with blued finish. These are tough to find in Excellent condition. Typically, the blue holds up fairly well on the frame but not so well on the barrels and cylinders. Occasionally, I'll come across one that's two out of three but it has been quite some time since we've turned one up that was strong in all three areas and remained affordable. In contrast, the nickel plated ones hold up pretty well.
Produced from 1868 to 1881, the 3rd Issue was the final version of S&W's Model One: the world's first cartridge revolver. Compared to the 1st and 2nd Issues, it was more streamlined and rounded in contour than its predecessors. This one is in the 83,000 range which dates it to approximately the mid-1870's. For a blued 3rd Issue, it's pretty strong example...not perfect...but consistent and strong on frame, barrel, and quite decent on the cylinder. About ten years ago I found one in the original factory box that was not a shade better than this one. This is a standard one with 3-3/16" round barrel, seven shot fluted cylinder, .22 caliber, and rosewood birds-head grips.
Overall Condition grades to NRA Antique Excellent with 97% original blue on the frame, 80% on the gripstraps, 85% original blue on the barrel with a few spots of light corrossion. The cylinder shows 60% original blue with the balance toning to a brown patina. The blue is stronger in the flutes while thinner on the outer surface. This makes sense as a revolver resting on its side, the only two contact points are usually the outer edge of the cylinder at the 3 or 9 o'clock position and the base of the left or right grip. Both the hammer and cartridge ejector rod retain most of their original case colors. The original rosewood grips show 98% original piano varnish with perfect wood to metal fit and zero chips or cracks. The action is strong. The Bore is Excellent. Barrel still latches up fairly tightly to the frame. Excellent pins and screws. Nice example of blued 3rd Issue that is well above average.