Over the past several years, we've been fortunate to turn up many examples of early antique production Smith and Wesson Revolvers including a substantial number of 1-1/2 1st Issues mf'd. from 1865-68. To date, all have had standard length 3-1/2" barrels. We never knew anything different until this one came to us sporting a rare four Inch barrel. According to the Neal & Jinks book, the 4" barrel option did not become available until April of 1866. Very few were ever made. This particular example is in the 19,000 range and was produced 145 years ago in 1867. Aside from the barrel, it's a standard gun with blued finish, rosewood grips, in caliber .32 Rimfire with a five shot cylinder. Another interesting fact about the 1-1/2, 1st Issue that shows up in the Jinks book as well as Flayderman's Guide, is that the parts for this model were subcontracted to a manufacturer in Connecticut named "King & Smith". The parts were then delivered to S&W in Massachusetts for assembly and finishing. In all, approximately 26,000+ examples were produced before the subsequent version, a.k.a. 1-1/2, 2nd Issue was introduced in 1868.
The barrel marking reads:
SMITH & WESSON SPRINGFIELD MASS.
PAT.D APR. 3. JULY 5. 1859. & NOV. 21. 1865.
Overall, NRA Antique Very Good Plus Condition. The frame has 35% of its original blued finish that's thinning and mixed with a brown patina. Cylinder shows 40% thinning blue while the barrel has just traces of original blue mostly in protected areas. The photos leave much to be desired in terms of reflecting the actual amounts of blued finish...there is still quite a bit of finish hiding in the patina. Grips retain 65-70% of their original varnish. Nice action and a Very Good bore. The grips are numbered to the gun with correct matching assembly numbers located on the barrel, cylinder, and frame. A good solid example of a very rare variant of the Model 1-1/2.