Nice early example of the S&W Model No. 1-1/2 SA pocket revolver in .32 caliber. Complete with original factory box with instructions inside the lid. 3-1/2" barrel. 5-shot cylinder. Nickel finish and hard rubber grips. We find antique S&W DA's in the box from time to time but the SA's and Baby Russian are a bit toughter.
History: Total production on this model was 97,570 from 1877-1892. This one is in the 93,000 range near the end of production. Like its big brothers, the "American Model", "Russian", "Baby Russian", and the Schofield, this new .32 caliber 1-1/2 SA marked a new era for S&W with the "tip-down" barrel design. It departed from their original tip-up barrel/frame design where the cylinder had to be removed for reloading. Instead, Smith and Wesson changed the pivot point for the barrel from the top of the frame to the bottom while relocating the barrel latch to the rear of the frame. The barrel now tipped downwards and carried the cylinder along with it on the axis pin. This made reloading much easier while providing a stronger lock-up. Best of all, S&W harnessed the energy from the downward motion of the barrel by placing concentric star-shaped ejectors inside the cylinder that automatically kicked out the spent shell casings. Modern revolvers with swing-out cylinders can't take advantage of this motion to eject automatically, yet S&W accomplished this back in the 1870's. By the 1880's though, the single action mode was becoming outdated and this model was eventually phased out in favor of the double action pocket revolvers. Note: Given the uncertainty of 1870's era metallurgy and structural design, we do not recommend these ever being fired nor is it designed for modern smokeless ammunition.
The original factory Red Box is pretty scarce in Good+ condition overall. EVERYTHING IS THERE including the original partitions and Instruction on the inside of the lid. Nothing is missing. Box has a bit of wear at the corners along with a small piece of the directions inside the lid missing. A good solid box that needs nothing.
Overall condition of the Revolver is NRA Antique Excellent with 97% original nickel with a couple minor spots of flaking and a little edge wear. Case colors on the hammer mostly faded to gray. Barrel latch still has most of its original blue. Screws and pins are in Excellent condition. Checkered hard rubber grips are Very Good to Fine sharp checkering and the early S&W style logo. Action works nicely including the ejectors. Bore is Minty...very bright with perfect lands and grooves. Just a nice little S&W 1-1/2. Antique S&W's in their original boxes are still affordable and make good investments!