Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1324: Factory Engraved Smith & Wesson Large Frame No. 2 Pistol

Auction Date: December 4, 2021

Scarce Factory Engraved Smith & Wesson Large Frame No. 2 Type I Lever Action Pistol

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $12,000 - $17,000

Scarce Factory Engraved Smith & Wesson Large Frame No. 2 Type I Lever Action Pistol

Manufacturer: Smith & Wesson
Model: Volcanic
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 41 Volcanic
Barrel: 8 inch
Finish: blue
Grip: rosewood
Item Views: 409
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 149
Class: Antique

This Factory engraved, early production, No.2, lever action pistol was manufactured by Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson in Norwich, Connecticut, c. 1854. This large frame pistol has the distinctive Type I features which include: (1) uncrowned muzzle, (2) flat T-bar spring, (3) frame with hump behind the lever, (4) loading lever with finger spur and (5) single screw cartridge carrier spring. The eight-inch, .41 caliber, part-round/part-octagon barrel and integral 10-shot magazine has a brass, pinch-top, front sight blade and round, slotted, magazine follower. The top barrel flat is roll-stamped with the two-line legend: "SMITH &WESSON/NORWICH. CT." with "PATENT" stamped on the muzzle end of the legend and "CAST-STEEL" on the receiver end. The receiver has a screw-fastened, fixed, rear sight, hammer with fine hand-knurling on the spur and two-piece, grips with flared butts. The receiver sides, top, backstrap, sideplates and back of the hammer are decorated with the well-executed, open scroll, factory engraving that was standard on S&W Volcanic pistols. The left side of the receiver beneath the grip and back of the rear sight are stamped with the serial number. The serial number which was typically lightly penciled on the inside of the grips is no longer visible. All of the visible serial numbers match. The barrel and magazine are blued and the trigger and hammer are color casehardened. The rear sight is fire blue. The porous steel did not retain the delicate bluing and few S&W Volcanic pistols have any of the original blue on the receiver. The grips are rosewood with a varnished piano finish. Smith & Wesson manufactured approximately 500 large frame Volcanic pistols from 1854-1855. Surviving examples are scarce and very desirable in any condition. Provenance: The Dr. Gerald Klaz Collection

Rating Definition:

Very good. This pistol retains 30% of the original blue finish on the barrel and magazine with some scattered age discoloration and several small spots of shallow pitting on the upper barrel flats and muzzle, the edges of the barrel and magazine rib show some moderate handling wear. The S&W legend on the top flat is fully legible. The receiver and lever have a very attractive silver-gray patina with some faint pitting on the smooth metal surfaces and perfect side-plate joints. The well-executed factory scroll engraving is crisp and deep. The rear sight retains small amounts of the original fire blue finish. The hammer and trigger have patterns of the original casehardened finish. The lightly sanded, refinished grips are very good with some scattered and insignificant handling marks. This is a fine example of a scarce and historically significant S&W No. 2 Lever Action pistol.

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