Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3095: Engraved Smith & Wesson No. 1 Lever Action Repeating Pistol

Auction Date: December 5, 2021

Scarce Engraved Smith & Wesson No. 1 Lever Action Repeating Pistol

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Estimated Price: $5,000 - $7,000

Scarce Engraved Smith & Wesson No. 1 Lever Action Repeating Pistol

Manufacturer: Smith & Wesson
Model: Volcanic
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 31
Barrel: 4 inch
Finish: blue
Grip: rosewood
Item Views: 189
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 82
Class: Antique

This Smith & Wesson No. 1 Lever Action Repeating pistol was manufactured by Horace Smith & Daniel B. Wesson in Norwich, Connecticut c. 1855 and assembled by the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company. The serial number is stamped on the left side of the butt beneath the grip and on the bottom of the lever spring. "8" is stamped on the inside of both grips. All the visible serial numbers match. The serial number of this pistol indicates that it is one of the No. 1 pistols assembled and sold by the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company after July 1855. This pistol has the Type II features which include: crowned muzzle, rounded T-bar spring and loading lever without finger spur. The part-round/part octagon barrel has a nickel-silver pin front sight and clam-shaped steel magazine follower. The top and side barrel flats are roll-stamped with the legend: "SMITH & WESSON/NORWICH. CT./CAST STEEL/PATENT/FEB. 14, 1854". The receiver has a fixed rear sight, hammer with knurled spur, loading lever with finger hole but no spur and small semi-circular cut-out on the front of the ejection port. The receiver side plates and top, rear and back strap and back of the hammer are engraved with the standard S&W scroll and leaf factory engraving. The pistol originally had a browned barrel and blued receiver. The two-piece, bag-shaped rosewood grips have a varnished piano finish. Total production of the S&W small frame Volcanic pistols is estimated to be less than 1,200 pistols. Some 500 of these pistols, like this example, were assembled by the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company in 1855-1857 using parts acquired from Smith & Wesson. Provenance: The Milan J. Turk Collection

Rating Definition:

About good. This pistol has all the original components and remains fully functional. The barrel and receiver have a dark, gray-brown, patina with scattered surface discoloration and scattered pitting. The barrel legend is light but fully legible. The simple but well-executed factory engraving is distinct. The grips are very good condition and retain 50% of the original varnish finish. There is an old repair on the loading lever at the finger hole. This No. 1 Lever Action repeating pistol is a key and hard-to-obtain piece for any advanced collection of Smith & Wesson or Winchester firearms.

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