This is another nice example of an early Model 1 1/2 1st Issue Smith and Wesson Revolver in .32 rimfire we've recently come across. Overall, its in NRA Antique Fine Condition with 75% frame blue, 25% barrel blue/balance flaked to a grey-brown patina, and good traces of case colors remaining on the hammer. Cylinder is a light grey brown patina. The rosewood grips are in nearly Excellent condition with about 90% of the original piano varnish intact. No chips, cracks, or repairs. Good mechanics with a good working cylinder stop. The barrel to frame lock-up is excellent with no play or wiggle at all. Bore has usual scattered pits from black powder usage but good rifling and still somewhat shiny. Excellent barrel markings with 1859 and 1865 patent dates. Serial number in the 22,000 range. Mfd Circa 1868.
P.S. We get a lot of questions from collectors about the difference between the 1st Issue and the 2nd Issues...and confusion about the models. Here's the deal:
Model Number One:
These are always in .22 caliber with 7 shot cylinders and small frames. There are 3 different Issues of the Model One.
1st Issues have 6 different variations...but all have octagon barrels and silver plated brass frames that are rounded behind the recoil shield...they also have pivoting hammers and round sideplates. They have squared off pistol grips You won't see these very often because they only made about 11,000 of them. I'm going to cut corners here and not go into the 6 sub-variants but just so you know...the early ones are quite rare and valuable. Almost always found with blued barrels/cylinders and silver plated frames. S&W's very first revolver...and historically if I'm not mistaken, the first modern American cartridge gun. Made from 1857-1860. Numbered from 1 to 11,671.
2nd Issues look like 1st Issues except they have squared frames and squared pistol grips. The side plates aren't round...but a much improved large oval shape. They still have brass frames with silver plating and the hammers are a solid one piece design. Almost always blued barrels and cylinders with silver plated frames. Made from 1860 to 1868. Numbered from 11672-128000.
3rd Issues look much different from the 1st and 2nd Issues taking on a much sleaker more stream-lined appearance. The barrels are round instead of octagon and the 7 shot cylinders are now fluted. The frames are made of iron and can be blued or nickel plated. The grips are rounded style birdshead grips. Made from 1868-1881. Numbered in their own serial range from 1 to 131163.
Model Number Two:
There is basically one issue for the Model Two...some collectors make a big deal about two pins holding the cylinder stop vs three pins...but they still look nearly identical. They are always in .32 rimfire caliber with 6 shot cylinders. Stylistically, they stayed pretty much the same throughout production having an iron frame, octagon barrel, and square grip handle with rosewood stocks. Usually found in blued finish....although I've seen nickel ones turn up occassionally...and a very few in silver... even a couple that are half silver/half blued (rare). Made from 1861-1874. Numbered 1 to 77,155.
Model 1 1/2's:
These are always .32 rimfire but scaled down from the Model No. 2...about half-way between the size of the Model One and Model Two. They have 5 shot cylinders and the cylinder stops are more advanced...unlike its big brother Model Two, these are located on the bottom of the frame rather than the top.
1st Issue looks just like the Model Two with iron frame, octagon barrel and square grips...only smaller. Almost always found in blued finish. Made from 1865-1868. Numbered 1 to about 26,000
2nd Issue looks more like the Model One 3rd Issue with round barrel, fluted cylinder, and birdshead grips. These also were finished in nickel or blue. Made from 1868-1875. Numbered from 26000 to 100,000.