This is a nice little 1st Model S&W Double Action Revolver in .38 caliber with the scarce square-shaped sideplate located on the left side of the frame. Smith and Wesson produced over 550,000 .38 DA revolvers with the top-break design from 1880 up to 1911. Only the first 4,000 revolvers made in 1880 came with these square sideplates before S&W changed the design to an oval shaped access plate. The patent dates on the barrel range from only 1865 up to 1875...correct and only found on 1st models. This particular gun is in the 2,700 range which places it right in the middle of the 1st Model range. 100% all matching serial numbers throughout which includes the frame, barrel, cylinder, latch, and hard rubber grips.
Overall condition grades to NRA antique Excellent with 97% bright original nickel plate remaining overall. As to be expected, the majority of the nickel loss is confined to the cylinder which is around 93% along with mechanical wear between the rear set of stop notches. 85% original blue on trigger guard and barrel latch with bright original case colors remaining on the profiles of the trigger and hammer. The checkered hard rubber grips are in excellent condition with sharp checkering, clear S&W monograms, and even much of the tiny patent date at the lower edge of the left grip is still visible. No chips, cracks, or repairs. The action works perfectly in single and double action modes. Ejectors work automatically when barrel is tipped forward. Latch locks barrel positively to the frame with no play or looseness. Bore is Excellent. One of the better 1st Models we've had in a while as these early guns are usually found in well-worn condition. A scarce 1st year production variant of the famous DA pocket model which no S&W collection should be without.