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Old 04-29-2018, 06:35 PM
Greg E Greg E is offline
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Anything you can share about these two pistols would be appreciated. One is 22 short (pearl grips) the other appears to be 32 cal. Thanks for taking your time to help me out. Greg
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Old 04-29-2018, 07:19 PM
Driftwood Johnson Driftwood Johnson is offline
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Howdy

Both of those revolvers are known as Tip Up revolvers, as opposed to the later Top Break revolvers. To load the Tip Ups you released the latch under the barrel and rotated the barrel up, as opposed to a Top Break which you rotated the barrel down to load.

The first one is known as the Model Number Two Old Model, sometimes also called the No. 2 Old Army. #2 refers to the frame size, this was the largest Tip Up revolver S&W manufactured. They were chambered for the 32 Rimfire cartridge. Manufactured from 1861 until 1874, serial numbers ranged from 1 through 77,155. Popular with Union Officers in the Civil War.

This one shipped in 1870. It has the typical 6" barrel. Notice there are three pins in the top strap above the cylinder. The angle of your photo makes it impossible to see how many pins there are. The very early ones had two pins, all the later ones had three pins.








Measure your barrel, from the front face of the cylinder to the muzzle. It appears it may be 4", which is a relatively rare barrel length. Be aware, many of these had their barrels cut down. It is difficult to ascertain from your photo, but it appears this revolver has been refinished. What color is it? Is it blue, or has it been polished smooth down to the bare metal? Also, there should be a roll marked patent legend on the cylinder reading PATENTED APRIL 3.1865, JULY 5 1859 & DEC 18. 1860. This Patent marking is often worn away.

This photo shows the cylinder marking.






This photo illustrates how these revolvers were loaded. The barrel is rotated up, and the cylinder removed. The rod under the barrel was used to poke out fired cartridges. The cylinder was then put back in, and the barrel rotated down and latched.






The smaller revolver is a Model Number One, Third Issue. Identifiable by the bird's head grip. These were made from 1868 until 1881, Serial Numbers ran from 1 through 131,163. There were a lot of these made.

Seven shots, 22 shorts, however do not attempt to fire it with modern ammunition, even a modern 22 short is too powerful for these little guns.

This one shipped in 1870.




Last edited by Driftwood Johnson; 04-29-2018 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 04-29-2018, 07:49 PM
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Is this a 5 shot or 6 shot? I'm thinking if it is is a 5 shot, being a Number 1 1/2 .32 single action, (RF) First Model. That being a 4" barrel makes it a rather rare gun as there were only 200 made in 4", all others were 3 1/2". Is the cylinder stop in the bottom of the frame, or in the top? The 1 1/2 is in the bottom. s/n range 1 to 26300.

The barrel in the picture does not look longer than 4" to me, and if a 6 shot with cylinder stop in the top strap it is a Number two, and some were made in 5". If a #2 5" this clean it has reasonable value.

This is a Model 1 1/2 First Issue with a 4" barrel.
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Old 04-29-2018, 07:55 PM
mmaher94087 mmaher94087 is offline
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Greg E, great information from Driftwood except that the first picture is of a Model 1 1/2, .32 rim fire. These were produced after the introduction of the Model #2 that Driftwood described. It's a Tip up as described but the dates of manufacture and a few other things changed. Welcome to the forum.
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Old 04-29-2018, 09:51 PM
Driftwood Johnson Driftwood Johnson is offline
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Boy Howdy, do I have egg all over my face.

I should have looked closer.

Yes, the 32 is a Model Number 1 1/2 Old Model or Number 1 1/2 First Issue. The one in the middle in this photo. Notice how there are no pins in the top strap. Notice the subtle difference of the shape of the grips at the top. The # 1 1/2 grips have a slight curve, the #2 grips have a straight chamfer. Most important, the #1 1/2 is a five shot revolver, the # 2 is a six shooter.





A thousand pardons, I should have looked closer before posting. My only excuse, and it is a lame one, is the #2 was more common than the #1 1/2, so I just assumed.......

So, Model Number 1 1/2 Old Model. FIVE SHOT. 32 Rimfire. Serial Numbers from 1 through about 26300. Made from 1865 through 1868.

This model is unique in that the bolt (the part that latches the cylinder in place) is under the cylinder. The bolt is over the cylinder in all the other Tip Ups. The rectangular part in the frame window is the bolt.






Roy Jinks told me that they started making them this way, but it proved to be too expensive so S&W went back to placing the bolt at the top for all the rest of the Tip Ups. Like this.






Anyway. This Model Number 1 1/2 Old Model shipped in 1865. It's 3 1/2" barrel is standard.






In an effort to redeem myself, I will tell the story of why it is the #1 1/2. The little #1s came first, starting in 1857. But they were tiny revolvers, only firing a tiny Black Powder 22 cartridge that we would today call the 22 Short. The #1 went through three different iterations, but S&W knew they needed to make something bigger and more powerful. So the 32 rimfire #2 was born in 1861, just in time for the Civil War. Much bigger, with six 32 rounds in the cylinder. Not a magnum by any standards, but a much more reliable man stopper than the tiny 22s.

Because of a patent that S&W controlled, none of the other revolver manufacturers were able to make a revolver that chambered metallic cartridges. So Colt and Remington and all the rest were restricted to making Cap & Ball revolvers all through the Civil War. The big 44 Army and other C&B revolvers were more powerful than the 32, but the 32 was much quicker to reload, hence its popularity. S&W considered making a 44 caliber Tip Up, but the design was not strong enough for such a large caliber.

Anyway, after the Civil War, when the West started to be opened up, some towns started passing local ordinances forbidding the open carry of side arms. The #2, while not a big gun, was a little too big to be concealed in a pocket. So S&W went back to the drawing board and came up with a slightly smaller 32, with only five chambers, that could be more easily concealed. Since the numbers 1 and 2 were already taken, the new revolver was called the 1 1/2, even though it was the newest design.

And there you have it.

Hope I have redeemed myself.

Last edited by Driftwood Johnson; 04-29-2018 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 04-29-2018, 10:16 PM
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I've shot my .22 tipups with .22 CB shorts. This is basically a primer and bullet with very little powder. No worry about damage.
There are companies that make special cartridge cases for the larger rimfires so you can load a round ball, powder and primer. Some use nail driver cartridges.
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Old 04-29-2018, 10:57 PM
mmaher94087 mmaher94087 is offline
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Once again, great information and pictures!! Thank you Driftwood.
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Old 04-30-2018, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Driftwood Johnson View Post
Boy Howdy, do I have egg all over my face.

I should have looked closer.

Yes, the 32 is a Model Number 1 1/2 Old Model or Number 1 1/2 First Issue. The one in the middle in this photo. Notice how there are no pins in the top strap. Notice the subtle difference of the shape of the grips at the top. The # 1 1/2 grips have a slight curve, the #2 grips have a straight chamfer. Most important, the #1 1/2 is a five shot revolver, the # 2 is a six shooter.





A thousand pardons, I should have looked closer before posting. My only excuse, and it is a lame one, is the #2 was more common than the #1 1/2, so I just assumed.......

So, Model Number 1 1/2 Old Model. FIVE SHOT. 32 Rimfire. Serial Numbers from 1 through about 26300. Made from 1865 through 1868.

This model is unique in that the bolt (the part that latches the cylinder in place) is under the cylinder. The bolt is over the cylinder in all the other Tip Ups. The rectangular part in the frame window is the bolt.






Roy Jinks told me that they started making them this way, but it proved to be too expensive so S&W went back to placing the bolt at the top for all the rest of the Tip Ups. Like this.






Anyway. This Model Number 1 1/2 Old Model shipped in 1865. It's 3 1/2" barrel is standard.






In an effort to redeem myself, I will tell the story of why it is the #1 1/2. The little #1s came first, starting in 1857. But they were tiny revolvers, only firing a tiny Black Powder 22 cartridge that we would today call the 22 Short. The #1 went through three different iterations, but S&W knew they needed to make something bigger and more powerful. So the 32 rimfire #2 was born in 1861, just in time for the Civil War. Much bigger, with six 32 rounds in the cylinder. Not a magnum by any standards, but a much more reliable man stopper than the tiny 22s.

Because of a patent that S&W controlled, none of the other revolver manufacturers were able to make a revolver that chambered metallic cartridges. So Colt and Remington and all the rest were restricted to making Cap & Ball revolvers all through the Civil War. The big 44 Army and other C&B revolvers were more powerful than the 32, but the 32 was much quicker to reload, hence its popularity. S&W considered making a 44 caliber Tip Up, but the design was not strong enough for such a large caliber.

Anyway, after the Civil War, when the West started to be opened up, some towns started passing local ordinances forbidding the open carry of side arms. The #2, while not a big gun, was a little too big to be concealed in a pocket. So S&W went back to the drawing board and came up with a slightly smaller 32, with only five chambers, that could be more easily concealed. Since the numbers 1 and 2 were already taken, the new revolver was called the 1 1/2, even though it was the newest design.

And there you have it.

Hope I have redeemed myself.
Wow many times I have wondered why S&W made smaller revolvers ,now we know early gun restrictions ,thanks driftwood for the history lesson .
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Old 04-30-2018, 08:54 AM
Greg E Greg E is offline
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Thank you all for the great information. The .32 has a serial number of 156** and the .22 874** not looking to shoot or sell them but does anyone know what they are worth?
Thanks again!
Greg
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Old 04-30-2018, 10:14 AM
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Greg, I'll defer to others on the value of the 1 1/2 (they're not my area of expertise), but I can comment on the Model 1.

As others have said, you have a Model 1, 3rd Issue in nickel. Value will depend on three things: how tight the top hinge is (does the barrel have any side shake when it's opened?), the condition of the split spring under the top strap (this is the little split spring that the hammer engages as it comes to rest against the frame), and whether the mother of pearl grips letter to the gun.

Best case scenario: I'd guess $600 or so with a factory letter confirming that the MOP grips shipped from the factory, a tight hinge and a fully intact split spring.

If the grips aren't factory, or of the hinge has some wobble, then it's probably closer to $300, give or take.

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Old 04-30-2018, 10:16 AM
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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass!
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Old 04-30-2018, 11:37 AM
Driftwood Johnson Driftwood Johnson is offline
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Quote:
Thank you all for the great information. The .32 has a serial number of 156** and the .22 874** not looking to shoot or sell them but does anyone know what they are worth?
Thanks again!
Greg
Howdy Again

Not having handled your #1 1/2 myself, I cannot comment on its value. I cannot tell from your single photo what the condition of the finish is.

I can tell you what I paid for mine.

This one has about 15% blue remaining on the barrel and about 85% blue left on the frame and cylinder. The bore is in good condition with strong rifling and just a small amount of pitting. Mechanically it functions perfectly, there is very little play at the barrel hinge and it locks up correctly. No, I do not intend to shoot it, even though I do have some original 32 Rimfire ammo. The grips number to the gun with the SN stamped on the underside of one of the grips.






At some, point somebody drove some silver pins into the left grip in the shape of the number 5. This should detract from the value of the gun, but I kind of like it.






Anyway, the estimated price at auction was $700-$900. I thought I did quite well, getting it for $450.


******************************



Regarding gun restrictions in the Old West, the famous shootout at the OK corral in Tombstone, Arizona on October 26, 1881 occurred when City Marshall Virgil Earp along with his brothers Wyatt and Morgan, and Doc Holiday decided to enforce the city ordinance against carrying weapons in town.

Effective April 19, 1881, Tombstone City Ordinance Number 9 states:

To Provide against Carrying of Deadly Weapons

Section 1. It is hereby declared unlawful to carry in the hand or upon the person or otherwise any deadly weapon within the limits of said city of Tombstone, without first obtaining a permit in writing.

Section 2: This prohibition does not extend to persons immediately leaving or entering the city, who, with good faith, and within reasonable time are proceeding to deposit, or take from the place of deposit such deadly weapon.

Section 3: All fire-arms of every description, and bowie knives and dirks, are included within the prohibition of this ordinance.


I don't know if the ordinance was enforced prior to that time, but Earp decided to attempt to disarm some of the 'Cowboys', who had been seen openly carrying revolvers in town. Of course the Cowboys had been making death threats against the Earps for months. Nobody really knows who fired first, shots rang out and three of the cowboys were killed and two of the Earps, and Holiday were wounded.

Last edited by Driftwood Johnson; 04-30-2018 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 04-30-2018, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Driftwood Johnson View Post
Howdy Again

Not having handled your #1 1/2 myself, I cannot comment on its value. I cannot tell from your single photo what the condition of the finish is.

I can tell you what I paid for mine.

This one has about 15% blue remaining on the barrel and about 85% blue left on the frame and cylinder. The bore is in good condition with strong rifling and just a small amount of pitting. Mechanically it functions perfectly, there is very little play at the barrel hinge and it locks up correctly. No, I do not intend to shoot it, even though I do have some original 32 Rimfire ammo. The grips number to the gun with the SN stamped on the underside of one of the grips.






At some, point somebody drove some silver pins into the left grip in the shape of the number 5. This should detract from the value of the gun, but I kind of like it.






Anyway, the estimated price at auction was $700-$900. I thought I did quite well, getting it for $450.


******************************



Regarding gun restrictions in the Old West, the famous shootout at the OK corral in Tombstone, Arizona on October 26, 1881 occurred when City Marshall Virgil Earp along with his brothers Wyatt and Morgan, and Doc Holiday decided to enforce the city ordinance against carrying weapons in town.

Effective April 19, 1881, Tombstone City Ordinance Number 9 states:

To Provide against Carrying of Deadly Weapons

Section 1. It is hereby declared unlawful to carry in the hand or upon the person or otherwise any deadly weapon within the limits of said city of Tombstone, without first obtaining a permit in writing.

Section 2: This prohibition does not extend to persons immediately leaving or entering the city, who, with good faith, and within reasonable time are proceeding to deposit, or take from the place of deposit such deadly weapon.

Section 3: All fire-arms of every description, and bowie knives and dirks, are included within the prohibition of this ordinance.


I don't know if the ordinance was enforced prior to that time, but Earp decided to attempt to disarm some of the 'Cowboys', who had been seen openly carrying revolvers in town. Of course the Cowboys had been making death threats against the Earps for months. Nobody really knows who fired first, shots rang out and three of the cowboys were killed and two of the Earps, and Holiday were wounded.
Interesting, Thank You. Thank you all for sharing.
These were left to me as well as some other collectibles when my dad passed. Not looking to sell actually looking to put them into a shadow box but if they are worth a fortune I would put them in the gun safe versus the wall.
Greg
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Old 04-30-2018, 07:56 PM
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Hello Greg
Your guns both look very fine.
Neither one is worth a boatload of $
Get the shadowbox and enjoy them
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Old 04-30-2018, 09:12 PM
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Heck of an entrance, Greg E. Welcome, and I hope you'll stick around.
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Old 04-30-2018, 09:59 PM
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Welcome to the forum. Neat little guns and it is very easy to get confused with some of these old timers. The naming of the early tip ups reminds me of engineers or state planners that number highway exits in order and then years later decide to build an off ramp between two existing exits.

On the MA turnpike, the construction of route 495 required an exit number of 11A since 11 and 12 had already been assigned.

Similarly as others have stated, S&W built the model 1's and 2's so that when they came out with a smaller .32 than the model 2 they had to call it the model 1 1/2.
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Old 05-01-2018, 06:53 PM
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Thank you, that is exactly the plan. A reminder of dad. Dad was a policeman retiring as a Deputy Chief from east Orange NJ and I a retired Sheriff's Office captain having served 30 years. Now working in the corporate world trying to get my children a college education so that they do not have to live that life. The kindness of everyone's quick response to try to help me out is deeply appreciated.
Many thanks,
Greg
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Old 05-01-2018, 06:54 PM
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I will! I have more questions as I go thru dad's things.
Thank you!
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