Single Action Revolver Six Shot (SandW)

Single Action Revolver Six Shot (SandW)


Weapon- SAR6
ROF- 3
Reload- 1
Short- 0-4
Medium- 4-10
Long- 10-20
Extreme- 20-40
Weapon Speed- Fast



Manufactured by Smith & Wesson, Springfield, Ma. in 1864 – Standard 6-shot single-action revolver with spur trigger. Non-fluted cylinder and octagonal barrel. Bottom break action (tip-up). Nickel plated. Smooth two-piece rosewood grips on a square butt. Round blade front sight. AKA: “Model No. 2 Old Army”. Approximately 77,155 manufactured from 1861 to 1874. Civil War production ran from 1-42,000.

When Colt’s patent for a practical revolver expired in 1857 Smith & Wesson came out with a .22 caliber breech-loading cartridge revolver based on patents of Rolin White. In 1861 the popular .32 caliber pistol was introduced and, while it was not officially adopted by the Army, many officers carried the weapon throughout the war as a personal arm.

Early S&W revolvers were too small in caliber to be considered as candidate martial arms by the U.S. government. But the firm’s .32 caliber #2 Army revolvers were highly favored personal sidearms during the Civil War, due to their convenient and relatively water proof cartridges.

The company began production of the Number 2 in June of 1861 – only two months after the start of the war. The first three pistols were sent to J.W. Storrs, the firm’s general sales agent in New York City, on June 22. These first pistols were probably used for promotion purposes. Serial numbers 5 and 6, which are known to still exist, may have been two of these revolvers. Sales were modest until Cooper & Pond, New York dealers, ordered 2,000 in September. By the following September production was four months behind orders. By April 1863, the factory was a year behind in filling orders. In July 1864, Smith & Wesson had a two-year backlog. This was in spite of the fact that the dealer price of the Number 2 in small lots was $15.50 in May 1865 when the U.S. Army had been buying .44 caliber New Model Remington Army pistols for approximately $12.00. As an indication of its success, even in a period of rapid technological progress, the Number 2 was not dropped until 1872. Total production reached 77,155 revolvers.

The Number 2 is a ‘tip-up,’ spur-trigger, 6-shot revolver. It was made of forged wrought iron and was designed to fire a cartridge known today as the .32 Long rimfire. A notch cut in the rear of the cylinder stop, which is mounted in the top strap, serves as the rear sight. The cylinder stop was held in place by two pins until about serial number 3000, at which point a third pin was added.

This change from two top strap pins to three was the only significant change during its production; however, several more minor and less visible changes were made. In addition to the top strap variations, most collectors look for variations in barrel length and finish.
The Number 2 is most commonly found with a six-inch barrel; the five-inch is much less frequently found. Only a very few four-inch barrels appear to have been made, but the truly rare barrel length variation is the eight-inch of which only one is known with the other rumored.
Finish variations provide an additional challenge to the serious collector. The standard finish was blue, and it is estimated that 80% had this finish. Another 10% were nickel-plated, and somewhat less were in ‘half-plate,’ the frame plated in silver and the cylinder blued and barrel blued. Special orders for gold, silver or any combination were accepted, as were requests for engraving or inlay work. The standard for the grips was smooth rosewood but again, ebony, ivory or pearl could be had plain, checkered, carved or engraved.

Single Action Revolver Six Shot (SandW)

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