This is a scarce First Model S&W .38 Safety Double Action Revolver with the scarce type "Z-Bar" barrel latch and comes in the original S&W "NEW 38 DEPARTURE" box. The .38 Safety DA was produced from 1887-1940 with over 260,000 produced. That said, less than 2% of total production were in the form of these First Models which was produced for less than a year in 1887. Survival rates are not that great on these early SAFETY models as a great many were shipped to large cities where guns are looked upon more as a potential source of trouble than as collectibles. I would estimate that more than a few of these rare early DA's have been scrapped by police departments over the years. You just don't see these any more. This particular gun came to us from an old S&W collection that spanned over fifty years of searching. Features are 3-1/4" barrel, nickel finish, with checkered hard rubber grips. Caliber is .38 S&W. There are several terms for this revolver such as the factory's term "New Departure 38 Safety", "38 Safety" and the "Safety Hammerless". However, most collectors identify this gun by its well-known nickname or early American street slang where it was simply dubbed "the lemon squeezer" as the safety bar on the back of the handle must be depressed or "squeezed" to operate and fire the weapon. This 1st Model represents the original form of the Safety Hammerless. Only 5,125 1st Models were produced before a new design for the barrel latch was incorporated. This one is in the 1,700 serial range.
Excellent Overall Condition retaining 94% original nickel plating. Trigger Guard and 1st Model latch cover retain 85% original blue. Excellent black hard rubber grips with sharp checkering with no chips, cracks or repairs. Perfect mechanics with an Excellent bore. The original S&W box is in Very Good Condition and clearly marked for "Nickel" finish and a "3-1/4" barrel. A very strong example of the 1st Model S&W "Lemon Squeezer" that remains in fantastic condition for such a scarce and early 1887 production gun. No S&W collection is complete without at least one example of the S&W Lemon Squeezer. Here is the rarest type, in excellent condition, with the original box. Don't less this one get away!