SOLD FOR: $1890
Make: Smith & Wesson
Model: Second Model Single Shot, The Model of 1891
Serial Number: 479
Year of Manufacture: 1905-1909
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.”. The frontstrap is marked “471”. The rear face of the topstrap is marked “3313 / B”. The bottom of the barrel assembly is marked “871”. The underside of the barrel latch is marked “10586”. 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 interior of the right grip panel is marked with a faint number in pencil that does not match the serial number.
Barrel Length: 6”, an 8″ barrel is also included.
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a matte ramp leading up to a Patridge blade and is pinned to the rib. The rear sight is a square 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 smooth diamonds around the top grip screw escutcheons. There are a couple of scattered dings, compressions, and draglines. There is a chip loss on the right panel at the corner where the front strap widens into the frame. The checkering is strong and well-defined. Overall, the grips are in about Very Good condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright and the rifling is shallow but well defined. There are a couple spots of faint pinprick erosion, so shallow they are hardly noticeable.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 92% of its metal finish. The trigger guard has finish loss, dark discoloration from previous oxidation, and some light surface erosion. There are some scattered light handling marks, light scuffs, and some areas of light frost. Some of the most noticeable frost is on the top of the frame behind the hammer. There is some finish loss on the edges, most noticeable on the bottom edges of the frame and at the muzzle. There are some draglines and a few little tiny marks through the finish. 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 Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. 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: Included is an 8″ barrel assembly. The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp, there is no erosion. It has similar wear to the currently installed barrel. The caliber markings and barrel address on the rib are the same as the 6″ barrel.
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 is a Second Model and has a 6″ barrel currently installed and also comes with an 8″ barrel. The pistol retains much of its blued finish and looks impressive for a pistol over a century old. Both bores have great rifling and should be capable of impressive accuracy. These pistols, with their distinctive looks and limited production, are quite desirable among Smith & Wesson collectors. With less than 5,000 Second Models made, this is a rare pistol indeed, and not something that comes up for auction every day. Please see our photos and good luck!