This is an interesting Smith and Wesson Baby Russian that came from the same collection as our other Baby Russian, item #1597. It once had some type of inscription on the backstrap which was ground off a long time ago...just look at the patina. From what I've read, the Baby Russian was issued to the Baltimore Police Department in the 1870's and used by the force until the turn of the 20th century. In the 1880's, they also purchased Smith and Wesson Pocket .38 DA's. Could this be a Baltimore Police gun? It's certainly possible as the serial number in the 4,500 range is in the ballpark of another one we've seen recently. Also, the grips are from a S&W .38 DA which is what the Baltimore Police used as well. BTW, I have one original "left-side" grip for a Baby Russian Revolver in Very Good condition which will be included in the sale.
Overall Condition grades to NRA Antique Good with 10% original nickel on the frame mixed with a silvery gray patina that has a little bit of light pinprick corrosion. Cylinder condition is basically a repeat of the frame only with no nickel remaining. Barrel is in better shape as the front sight and cylinder did a nice job of protecting the nickel from wear with 60% overall. It shows mainly holster wear along the sides of the barrel and lug profiles. The mechanics are in good shape...cylinder indexes properly, locks, and ejectors work. Grips are fair with large chips down at the base. I guess if this was carried by an officer, he must have used it to crack bad guys over the noggins. When you see chunks of hard rubber missing from both sides of the bottom of the handle of a S&W revolver like this, it usually means that the gun has been used to whack something pretty good. Who or what is the question? More interesting, this is on at least its second pair of grips from the 1880's S&W DA (which were also issued to the Baltimore Police). They've been on this gun for well over 100 years. Makes you wonder what the first pair looked like? If it could only talk. As mentioned before, we are including a good original left grip panel for the Baby Russian with the early style S&W logo from the 1870's. Barrel locks up to the frame pretty well with a hint of play. Bore is surprisingly nice. Fine Overall...semi-bright with strong lands and grooves but there is a little frosty with some light pits to keep it from the Excellent range. This also fits the norm for many police-issued weapons we've seen in the past that show quite a bit of carry wear but were rarely fired and if so, usually cleaned. Not bad for an 1870's era early cartridge revolver that used black powder. All in all, I think this little Baby Russian would clean up if desired and would certainly benefit if some research could connect this with the Baltimore Police.