This is an early S&W American Single Action Revolver in caliber .44 S&W American. It's very early 2nd Model in the 10,000 serial range (1st Models ran from 1...8,000) and was most likely manufactured in 1872. Standard 8" barrel with blued finish and wood grips. Second Model features include the notched hammer, solid steel front sight, and larger trigger pin. This gun just celebrated its 140th birthday and predates the Colt Single Action. Back when this revolver was new, it was one of the very first dedicated large-frame cartridge revolvers on the American market. It featured a new top break frame design with automatic cartridge ejector which expelled the cartridges/casings from the cylinder when the action was opened and the barrel tipped forward. The "American" Model saw a great deal of use in the American West, Mexico, and beyond. Some notable "American" owners were Wyatt Earp (who used one at the "OK Corral"), Buffalo Bill Cody, and several were carried at the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876 (See Flayderman's, 9th edition, page 233).
Overall Condition grades to NRA Antique Good++ to Very Good Minus with the metal turned overall to a light patina. Traces of original blue are visible in protected areas...i.e. around the back edges of the recoil shield, side plate, and rear portion of the barrel lug. Hammer exhibits faded remnants of original case colors which have faded to silver and are now well-mixed with patina. Barrel address is nice and sharp with 1860, 1865, and 1869 patent dates. The assembly numbers on the barrel, latch, cylinder, and inside of the frame are all matching. The grips are also original and are correctly numbered to the serial number located on the butt of the frame...which is standard for this model. Grips are in Very Good condition and have good wood-to-metal fit with the edges at the bottoms of each panel a little rounded. Action is in Very Good working order with proper indexing and good frame to barrel lock-up. This gun appears to have been carried far more than it was ever used as the bore is EXCELLENT...bright and shiny with brilliant lands and grooves. Best of all, the barrel has never been cut off like so many we find today and is still its factory-original 8" length. A nice solid example of an early and historic S&W 2nd Model American.