Dating the Smith & Wesson Model 1

Without a doubt, this is the most common question that I get asked. A reasonable estimation can be made of a Model 1’s age based on the issue and the gun’s serial number, which is always located on the bottom of the grip.

The following serial number tables can be used to further estimate the gun’s age. Please note that these serial number ranges are just estimates.

For a more accurate date, you’ll need to request a Letter of Authenticity from the Smith & Wesson Historical Foundation

Smith & Wesson Model 1, 1st Issue

All of the Smith & Wesson Model 1, 1st Issue guns were made between 1857 and 1860.

Smith & Wesson Model 1, 2nd Issue

All of the Smith & Wesson Model 1, 2nd Issue guns were made between 1860 and 1868.

Smith & Wesson Model 1, 3rd Issue

All of the Smith & Wesson Model 1, 3rd Issue guns were made between 1868 and 1882.

Please note that the serial numbers began at 1 again for the 3rd Issue guns. This means that it’s imperative to correctly identify your gun’s issue.

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