SOLD FOR: $1900.01
Make: Smith & Wesson
Model: Single Shot First Model, The Model of 1891
Serial Number: 22889
Year of Manufacture: 1893-1905, The frame was made before 1899.
Caliber: .22 LR
Action Type: Single Shot, Top-Break, Manually-Cocked, Rimfire Pistol
Markings: The barrel rib is marked “SMITH & WESSON / SPRINGFIELD MASS. U.S.A.”, “MODEL OF 91”, “PAT’D APR.20.75. FEB / 20&DEC.18.77. MAY11.80”. The frontstrap and the bottom of the latch are each marked “22889”. The rear of the topstrap is marked “228 / 89B”. The left of the barrel is marked “22 LONG RIFLE CTG”. The right of the frame is marked with an S&W monogram logo. The bottom of the barrel is marked “DEAC AMHERST NJ”.
Barrel Length: 8”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a Lyman beaded round blade with a bead pinned to the rib of the barrel, the bead has broken off. The rear sight is a “V”-notch in a base adjustable for windage and elevation on the rear of the barrel latch.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered walnut extension stocks with S&W logos at their tops and smooth diamonds around the top grip screw escutcheons. There are a couple of little scuffs, most noticeable on the bottom faces. There are a couple light draglines and little tiny compressions. The checkering is strong and well-defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in about Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright and the rifling is sharp where not interrupted by erosion. There are some scattered patches of erosion and light pitting.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 25% of its metal finish. The strongest remaining finish is on the bottom of the barrel assembly above the frame, sides of the barrel assembly at the chamber, and in the recessed portion of the rib. There is some scattered erosion, discoloration from previous oxidation, oxidation, light scabbing, and a few scratches. There is a ring on the muzzle but we do not think it has been cut, the rib markings are nicely centered. The recoil shields have been cut off, this was commonly done by gunsmiths. The pinheads are unmarred. The screw heads are sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear except for the patent mark on the grip. Overall, the pistol is in about Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly including ejector. The barrel has just a little bit of play up and down. We did not fire this pistol. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: Beginning with the Model of 1891, their first single-shot pistol, Smith & Wesson gained a reputation for making one of the finest target pistols available in the world. The first three models bore a resemblance to Smith & Wesson’s revolver offerings, with the 1st Model even retaining the full recoil shield of the .38 Single Action 3rd Model revolver. This example of the Model of 1891 is a 8″ with serial-matching barrel, frame and latch in about Good condition with strong mechanics, about 25% of its original blued finish and a decent bore which has some defects, but with strong rifling. These pistols, with their distinctive looks and limited production, are quite desireable among Smith & Wesson collectors. With only 1251 First Models made, only 862 of those being .22s, this is a rare pistol, indeed and not something that comes up for auction every day. Please see our photos and good luck!