This fine No. 2, Large Frame, Lever Action Repeating Pistol was manufactured by S&W in Norwich, Connecticut, c. 1854-55 and chambered for the self-contained, 41. caliber Volcanic cartridge. This pistol has the distinctive part-round/part-octagon barrel with 10-shot integral magazine, toggle link lever with finger hole and two-piece rosewood grips with flared heels. This early production pistol has the Type I features which include: (1) un-crowned muzzle, (2) flat magazine locking spring, (3) round, slotted follower, (4) single spring screw on the bottom of the receiver, (5) lever with spur on the finger hole and (5) frame with hump behind the hammer. The pistol has a flattened cone front sight and L-shaped, notched rear sight. The hammer spur has fine knurling. The top and sides of the frame, side plates, back strap and hammer are decorated with the factory open scroll and leaf style engraving usually found on S&W No. 2 pistols. The pistol originally had a blued or brown finish with varnished grips. The top of the barrel is stamped: "SMITH & WESSON/NORWICH CT./CAST STEEL/PATENT" in four lines. The serial number, "164," is stamped on the rear face of the rear sight and on the bottom of the left side of the frame beneath the grip. "164" is lightly penciled on the inside of both grips. All of the visible serial numbers match. Total production of the S&W No. 2 large Frame Lever Action pistols is estimated at under 500 pistols.
Fine. 40% plus of original blue finish remains with the balance having aged to an attractive plum brown, patina on the barrel and magazine with silver high lights on the receiver, lever and hammer. The surfaces of the barrel, receiver and side plates are smooth with no pitting and minimal handling wear. The edges are sharp. The barrel markings are clear. The well-executed scroll engraving remains very sharp. The grips have been re-varnished long ago but remain in very good condition and show minimal handling wear. The S&W No. 2 Lever Action pistol is rare and historically significant. It is a key piece in any advanced Smith & Wesson and Winchester collection, and the few surviving examples are difficult to obtain and highly prized.
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