This is a great-looking AND early example of the S&W First Model, 2nd Issue Revolver in .22 caliber. Introduced in 1857, the First Model S&W was America's very first to chamber a self-contained metallic cartridge. It featured a seven shot cylinder with tip-up style octagon barrel. In 1860, at around serial number 11,700, an improved First Model known as the 2nd Issue came on the market which continued the serial range. From 1860-1868, over 100,000 2nd Issue revolvers were produced. They were very popular during the Civil War in which they were privately purchased by soldiers as personal carry weapons. This particular example is in the 18,000 serial range and was made in the first half of the year 1861. An early 2nd Model, it only has the 1855 and 1859 patent dates (no 1860 patent date) on the cylinder...which is correct for 2nd Issues under the 20,000 serial range. The grips are numbered to the gun (see photos). The assembly numeral/numbers "C5" located on the frame, barrel, and cylinder are also ALL matching (See photos).
Overall Condition NRA Antique Excellent with 99% original nickel plating still intact on the brass frame. The barrel retains 60% original blue with some flaking. Ejector rod still shows 95% original blue while the cylinder shows 80% original blue with just a couple small spots of minor corrosion. Hammer retains 75% case colors. Fantastic original rosewood grips are 95% original varnish intact. The action is in nice working order. Barrel still latches tightly to frame with no wobble. Good+ bore. A VERY nice Civil War era example of S&W's first revolver.