This is a near perfect example of an early Smith & Wesson Model Number Two Army Revolver that I feel certain is still unfired. Serial number is in the 3,400 range...which dates it to around 1861 production. The Number Two Army was very popular with soldiers during the Civil War. Being one of the first revolvers to use self-contained metallic cartridges, it was basically waterproof and the cartridges were much easier to handle than loose powder or unprimed black powder catridges wrapped in nitre soaked paper. For a gun produced at the beginning of the Civil War when arms were being gobbled up by soldiers heading off to War, this one somehow escaped use in the field. From there it went on to survive 150 years, remaining in exceptional condition. This is the BEST example of a number two (and I believe the lowest serial numbered no. 2) we've offered on the website to date. A few years ago, we had one that was approaching the condition of this No. 2 Army. It was also Civil War manufacture in the 12,000 range but comparing the photos, this one still beats it by a mile. See link:
Features: caliber .32 rimfire w/ 6-shot cylinder. 6" octagonal barrel. Cylinder has the 1855, 1859, and 1860 patent dates. 3-pin frame. Blued finish with case hardened hammer and rosewood grips.
S&W's high standards to quality and their watch-maker style approach to gun manufacturing are hard to fully appreciate until you see an example like this one that's almost new. I have to warn you though...seeing a gun like this up close and in person will lead to depression. The reason being that there isn't much out there in the way of modern products that can equal the aesthetic quality of what was being accomplished 150 years ago. Overall, NRA Antique Fine Plus Condition with 98% original blue overall with nice vivid case colors on the hammer. Ejector pin also exhibits good subdued colors...which is how most of these were finished during manufacture. The only notable signs of deterioration on this gun are in the form of very light wear to extreme edges and a few small spots of oxidation mostly confined to the barrel. The blue is mirror bright which made it a challenge to photograph due to its highly reflective surfaces. One of the primary reasons the blue is so bright on this gun is that it has probably never been fired. Even the faces of the cylinder, both front and rear, exhibit all of their original blue...and the muzzle is still bright. Once a gun is fired, it's nearly impossible to keep these surfaces in perfect condition due to the corrosive nature of black powder which wreaks havoc on any blued and nickel finish it comes into contact with. Furthermore, the high temperatures incurred from repeated firing would expand the metal along the barrel and cylinder. We have lost count of nice antique S&W's that will have all their frame blue but barrel and cylinders with significant amounts of flaking. This gun has perfect blue on the frame, barrel, and cylinder. Markings are excellent. Pins and screws are excellent and appear to be unturned. Rosewood grips are excellent. Mechanics are perfect. The barrel-to-frame fit is tight and perfect. In fact, the hinge is so tight that it will stand the barrel stationary at any point in its 90 degree arc of travel. The bore is MINT...bright and shiny as a brand new dime. All in all, an exceptionally strong example of an early No. 2 Army revolver that would be a challenge to improve upon within a Civil War serial range.