This Smith & Wesson No. 1 lever action repeating pistol was manufactured in Norwich, Connecticut c. 1854. This pistol has a .31 caliber, four-inch, part-round/part octagon barrel with integral, spring loaded, six-shot magazine, loading lever with finger hole and two-piece bag shaped grips. The barrel/magazine is browned, the receiver was originally blued, the hammer and lever are color casehardened and the rosewood grips have a high polish piano finish. The receiver, back strap and hammer are decorated with the standard Smith & Wesson open scroll and leaf engraving. The serial number "B36" is visible on the left side of the butt beneath the grip and on the inside of both grips. "36" is stamped on the toggle lever. The serial number "B36" indicates this was the 236th No. 1 pistol manufactured by Smith & Wesson. Total production of No.1 pistols by Smith & Wesson was approximately 700 pistols from 1854-55. The Type II barrel has a crowned muzzle, narrow collar and rounded T-bar spring. The magazine has a clam-shell shaped follower. The top barrel flat is stamped: "SMITH & WESSON/NORWICH CT." in two lines. "CAST-STEEL" is stamped on the right flat and "PATENT/FEB. 14. 1854" is stamped on the left flat. The pistol has a pinch-back brass front sight and receiver mounted fixed rear sight. The receiver has a square ejector port. The loading lever lacks the finger spur found on the earliest No. 1 pistols. The hammer has fine, hand-cut, knurling on the spur.
Very fine. This pistol is all original and retains 50% of the browned and blued finish. The brown finish on the barrel has aged to a very attractive plum blue patina. Metal surfaces are smooth, the edges are sharp and the barrel markings are extremely crisp. The blue finish on the receiver has faded to smooth, silver-gray patina. The surfaces of the receiver are generally smooth with sharp edges. There are some light spots of age discoloration on the left side of the receiver and left side plate. The well-executed open scroll factory engraving is crisp. The case colors on the lever and trigger have faded to a silver patina. The hammer retains 90% of the strong case colors. The two-piece grips are in very good condition and retain 80% of the original piano finish. This is a very fine example of a scarce and historically significant Smith & Wesson No. 1 lever action repeating pistol. Provenance: Dr. Gerald Klaz collection.
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