Model 1 S&W?


December 13, 2010, 01:57 PM
My Uncle has this revolver with no serial number he bought many years ago from a neighbor. He told me about it and sent pictures. He and I think it is a S&W model 1 revolver but aren't sure. Any ideas? Also since there is no serial number I guess it would be hard to find out when it was made?

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December 13, 2010, 02:27 PM
From the pictures, it appears to be a Model Number One, 3rd Issue, but if genuine it should have "Smith and Wesson Springfield Mass" engraved on the top rib, along with some patent dates. Also, a genuine S&W will carry a serial number in the range of 1 - 131163. These guns were widely copied, and without the appropriate markings I'd guess that's what it is.

December 13, 2010, 02:32 PM
Yes it does have Smith & Wesson and the patent dates on it. Sorry forgot to add that to my first post. Where would the serial number be if it has one?

Update: My Uncle found the serial number it is 115255. Can anyone tell me what year it was made? Many thanks!

December 13, 2010, 03:10 PM
Oh - that's great.

This particular gun was manufactured from 1868 to 1881, with the serial number range I listed earlier. Interpolating (assuming they produced the same number each year) would yield an approximate production date of 1879. I understand that S&W Customer Service will give you a manufacturing date over the phone (if they can), so you might want to try calling them.

December 13, 2010, 04:28 PM
Thanks. Too bad todays ammo might be too powerful for it. It would be nice to shoot it a couple of times. Still, a nice piece of history. Now if I could only finagle it away from my Uncle. :D

Black Knight
December 13, 2010, 08:51 PM
If you know someone who reloads (an expert) you may want to try to get them to make you some low power blackpowder rounds for it. That is after you take it to a competant gunsmith to see if it is sound enough to fire.

December 13, 2010, 09:56 PM
Isn't it a .22short?

If it is, .22 short regular velocity ammo could be too powerful, but perhaps .22CB short which is a 29gr LRN bullet doing 710 FPS out of a rifle barrel wouldn't be too much for it, and could be used so you can shoot the old gun.

December 13, 2010, 10:23 PM
Yes it is a 22 short. Or what today we would call a 22 short. I think my Uncle would rather not shoot it to be on the safe side. Me on the other hand :D Of course that would be after a gunsmith checked it out first.

December 14, 2010, 10:37 AM
Modern .22 Short ammo has a SAAMI pressure spec of 21,000 psi, which is a good bit higher than the SAAMI pressure of such cartridges as the .38 Special (even +P) and the .45 Colt. SCSW specifically cautions that modern smokeless-powder ammo should never be fired in revolvers of the Model One type.

I couldn't find a SAAMI spec for .22 CB, and of course there's likely no way of knowing how it would compare to the old black powder .22 Shorts the gun was designed for. You might get away with it, but then again you might not. If it was my gun, there's no way I'd even think about firing it.

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