Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > >


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-30-2017, 06:31 PM
Gazz Gazz is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: The North East
Posts: 82
Likes: 0
Liked 21 Times in 5 Posts
Default How Common are the Rollin White Revolvers?

I saw some at a recent auction but do not recall ever seeing one before. Are they on the rare side or just not common?
__________________
Gazz
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-31-2017, 01:31 PM
opoefc opoefc is offline
US Veteran
How Common are  the Rollin White Revolvers? How Common are  the Rollin White Revolvers? How Common are  the Rollin White Revolvers? How Common are  the Rollin White Revolvers? How Common are  the Rollin White Revolvers?  
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Southern California, USA
Posts: 8,590
Likes: 1,529
Liked 3,040 Times in 1,471 Posts
Default

They show up fairly often in auctions and sometimes at the bigger gun shows. I would put them in the uncommon category for most models, however some of his guns were not S&W infringements but products of his imagination. They are the rarer ones, but few collectors I know get excited about that. There are a couple poster here on the Forum that specialize on Rollin White research, perhaps they will chime in. Ed.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-31-2017, 09:22 PM
model3sw's Avatar
model3sw model3sw is offline
Vendor
How Common are  the Rollin White Revolvers? How Common are  the Rollin White Revolvers? How Common are  the Rollin White Revolvers? How Common are  the Rollin White Revolvers? How Common are  the Rollin White Revolvers?  
Join Date: May 2006
Location: South Florida, USA
Posts: 1,698
Likes: 3,084
Liked 1,496 Times in 572 Posts
Default

Only owned one (that i think I still have, somewhere). That was when I had intended to collect one of every type of Rollin White patent infringement revolvers but I gave up on the quest 20 years ago. Still have quite a few patent infringements and / or work-around (made to evade the patent) like the Brooklyn Arms, slocum, pin fire .32, the Moore (later bought by Colt), Manhattan Firearms and a few others.
__________________
Sal "ANTIQUESMITHS"
LM1300
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-21-2017, 08:41 AM
first-model's Avatar
first-model first-model is offline
SWCA Member
How Common are  the Rollin White Revolvers? How Common are  the Rollin White Revolvers? How Common are  the Rollin White Revolvers? How Common are  the Rollin White Revolvers? How Common are  the Rollin White Revolvers?  
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 371
Likes: 225
Liked 174 Times in 71 Posts
Default

I had originally intended to do an exhaustive study of Rollin White and the Rollin White Arms Company guns as a part of my thesis, but I wasn't able to find the critical mass of information that I needed, and that's part of why I shifted over to Smith & Wesson and the Model 1.

That said, the Rollin White guns pop up at auction relatively frequently. The Rollin White Arms Company may not have actually been associated with Rollin White himself, as I was not able to find any empirical evidence directly linking the two. In fact, one newspaper article even called on Rollin White to explain his affiliation with the company. Rollin White never appeared in lists of the company's leadership. "The Lowell Arms Company" was the second name of the company, and there was some speculation that Rollin White forced them to change their name ... but again, I have not been able to find empirical evidence of this.

All of that said, RWAC guns are common enough that you can probably find one at any major auction house, and probably on a few of the online auctions. Prices seem to fluctuate, but you'd be able to find one in the three digit price range easily enough.

I have several variants of the RWAC .22 pistol (including one with paperwork connecting it to a Civil War soldier), and a rarer .32 caliber single shot pistol with a swivel-out breech.

Mike
__________________
SWCA 2721
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-22-2017, 03:46 PM
McShooty McShooty is offline
Member
How Common are  the Rollin White Revolvers? How Common are  the Rollin White Revolvers? How Common are  the Rollin White Revolvers? How Common are  the Rollin White Revolvers? How Common are  the Rollin White Revolvers?  
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Missouri
Posts: 216
Likes: 2
Liked 78 Times in 27 Posts
Default

Here is a comparison photo of a Smith&Wesson Model 1, 2nd issue with a Rollin White-type .22. The RW is marked "Made for Smith & Wesson by Lowell Arms Co." Note that it has a solid frame with a side loading gate and a plunger ejector. Some did not have the loading gate or ejector rod.
How Common are  the Rollin White Revolvers?-smith-rollin-white-jpg
In my gun show experience these are pretty rare. Those with loading gates and ejectors are worth the most. Asking prices I have seen are usually above $500, sometimes considerably above.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-22-2017, 03:54 PM
first-model's Avatar
first-model first-model is offline
SWCA Member
How Common are  the Rollin White Revolvers? How Common are  the Rollin White Revolvers? How Common are  the Rollin White Revolvers? How Common are  the Rollin White Revolvers? How Common are  the Rollin White Revolvers?  
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 371
Likes: 225
Liked 174 Times in 71 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by McShooty View Post
In my gun show experience these are pretty rare. Those with loading gates and ejectors are worth the most. Asking prices I have seen are usually above $500, sometimes considerably above.
If you're seeing them at gun shows, then you're going to better gun shows than I am. Most of what I see at the local gun shows are vendors selling plastic gizmos for ARs.

Yes, the loading gate RWAC guns are more valuable; I suspect they are the rarer variety. If I had to guess, RWAC got tired of making the delicate (expensive) loading gate and extractor mechanism and simply dropped it to keep costs down. It is a more elegant solution than the alternative, but I suspect anyone valuing profit over elegance would have made the same decision.

Somewhere in my notes I have an excellent description of the Rollin White Arms Company factory from 1865. My estimation is that the factory itself was well tooled and staffed, and I suspect their failure came about from being too little, too late. The guns are, in my opinion, as well made as anything that came from Smith & Wesson during the same era.

Mike
__________________
SWCA 2721
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Rollin White first-model S&W Antiques 15 08-07-2015 12:45 AM
Rollin White pistols Aussie Collector S&W Antiques 16 10-07-2013 03:28 PM
A Rollin White Type McShooty S&W Antiques 7 08-05-2013 09:07 AM
Rollin White Patent Questions hpyglf S&W Antiques 3 03-22-2013 09:11 AM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:03 AM.


S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2015
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)