This is a super example of an untouched S&W Model One, Second Issue Revolver. Picking up at the end of the First Issue production (1857-1860) at approx. SN# 11,600, the Second Issue production ran from 1860-1868, finishing at approximately 128,000 units for the entire Model One production run. It's estimated that slightly less than half of the 2nd Issue revolvers were made early enough to see use in the Civil War. The Model One was America's first cartridge revolver at a time when everything was a muzzle loader. Their small .22 caliber copper cartridges were waterproof and easy to load, making the S&W very popular for use as personal carry weapons for soldiers heading off to fight in the war. That said, this is not only a strong example, but an early one in the 18,000 serial range which dates this one right at the beginning of the Civil War. Being an early example, it does not have the 1860 patent but only the 1855 "Rollin White" patent and the 1859 patent on the cylinder.
Overall Condition grades to the low end of NRA Antique Excellent. The brass frame retains 99% of its original silver plating which has never been cleaned and has nicely tarnished to a deep blue. The cylinder shows 85% of its bright original nitre blue with nice clear rolled 1855 and 1859 patent dates. The only finish loss on the cylinder are small lines of wear...probably from sliding around in a drawer. The barrel retains its full coverage of original blue showing very little wear but some patina mixing throughout the blue from age. That said, barrel has what I'd describe as 75% end to end with about 25% brown freckles mixed through. Pics don't do it justice. Excellent Smith and Wesson barrel address on the top rib. Even the cartridge ejector rod mounted beneath the barrel retains 85% bright original finish. Excellent condition with just a slight bit of edge wear at the base of the left panel from slide wear. Cylinder stop has 90% original blue. Hammer retains 90% bright original case colors. The rosewood grips are numbered to the gun and retain 98% original piano varnish. Nice crisp action. Bore is bright and shiny overall with strong lands and grooves with some light scattered pits. The cylinder still has original blue on the front and rear face with the chambers still retaining considerable portions of their original blue as well. Barrel still hinges tightly to frame like new. This gun may have only been fired once and then put away in a desk where it was kept away from oxygen and humidity. This little S&W is stronger than many we've seen still in their factory gutta percha cases. Very nice example of a very early Civil War production Model One, Second Issue!