This is a nice example of a Smith and Wesson Model Number One, 2nd Issue Pocket revolver. The serial number on this one is in the 57,000 range and would have been made towards the end of the Civil War in late 1864. Standard 3-1/16" octagonal barrel with seven-shot cylinder in caliber .22 short. It features a seven-shot cylinder in .22 caliber short, silver plated frame, blue barrel & cylinder, German silver front sight, with varnished rosewood grips. Cylinder has nice markings with the correct three patents dated 1855, 1859, and 1860...all clear and legible. Top of the barrel reads, "SMITH & WESSON SPRINGFIELD. MASS."
The Model One was S&W's world's successful cartridge gun that was introduced initially in 1857 and reintroduced in 1860 with some improvements. It used a .22 caliber cartridge which is very similar to today's .22 short in appearance. However, .22 rimfire back in the 1860's was loaded with black powder, hardly the potent stuff you can buy down at your local gun shop today. S&W's were very popular with soldiers during the Civil War who privately purchased them and carried them for extra firepower and personal protection. Over the years, we've seen quite a number of these proudly displayed in the hands of their original owners in old ambrotype and tintype photographs.
This S&W is well above average for an early Civil War era revolver. It's in NRA Antique Fine+ Condition with 99% original silver plate remaining with the brass frame peaking through on just a couple of the sharp edges. Even the grip straps retain all of their silver. The assembly numerals "MI" are all matching as found on the barrel, cylinder, and frame while the grips are numbered to the serial number located on the bottom of the grip strap. See photos. 100% correct and 100% original down to the smallest screw and pin. The barrel has 75% original blue that is mixing with patina and beginning to tone slightly brown in the higher wear spots. The cartridge ejector rod beneath the barrel shows 95% original blue with no rub marks. The cylinder shows 70% original blue with a little oxidation off the front edges...again great coverage of blue with specs of natural patina blending, not so much loss due to wear, is why we're grading it at 70%. The three tiny patent dates are the circumference of the cylinder are perfect. Hammer shows good case colors. The rosewood grips are in Excellent condition with 99% original piano varnish and numbered to the gun on the inside panel. Action works nicely and bore is very near Excellent...still bright with deep lands and grooves. Barrel latch is still super tight and locks up to the frame tightly with no wobble or play. A very respectable example of an early S&W pocket from the Civil War in high condition, 100% original, and no problems or issues. Hard to find these as solid as this one.