This is a scarce example of a First Model Double Action Smith and Wesson Pocket Revolver in .38 caliber S&W. Standard 3-1/4" barrel with five shot cylinder, nickel finish, and checkered black hard rubber grips. The First Model, with its distinctive square-shaped sideplate, was produced for only a few months in 1880. Only 4,000 1st Models were produced before S&W changed the design to an oval shaped sideplate...a.k.a. the 2nd Model. The serial number of this particular example is in the proper sub-4,000 range...2,8XX. The patent dates on the barrel only go up to 1875 which is also correct. The numbers are 100% matching which includes the barrel, frame, latch, cylinder, and inside the grips. Note the other early features on this revolver...such as the squared trigger guard, dual cylinder stops, and lack of a full reinforcing web on the back of the trigger.
Overall Condition is NRA Antique Excellent with 94% original nickel plating on the frame and barrel and cylinder. Good case colors on the hammer and trigger The blued trigger guard and barrel catch retain 85% and 75% of their finishes respectively. Checkered hard rubber grips are Excellent with no chips, cracks, or repairs. Upon close inspection, traces of the Jan 29, 1878 patent date running across the bottom edge of the left grip panel are still visible. The action is perfect in both double and single action modes. Bore is in Good condition. A rather scarce and highly collectible early Smith and Wesson. These first Double Actions are getting tougher and tougher to find and would be an important cornerstone for the S&W collection.