View Full Version : S&W percussion revolvers

mega twin
February 23, 2012, 08:38 AM
I see a lot of Colt,Remington,and other percussion revolvers,but do not recall ever seeing,or hearing about S&W during that era.
Did they make percussion revolvers,or did they not start til the cartridge era?

Mike Irwin
February 23, 2012, 10:26 AM
Nope, S&W never made percussion revolvers.

Horace Smith & Daniel Wesson partnered in the early 1850s to produce one of the earliest US-made cartridge guns, the lever-action Volcanics.

These used a hollow-base bullet, into which was loaded a powder charge and a primer.

The concept was largely a failure, and the company came under the control of Oliver Winchester, who would take lever-action concept and run with it.

Smith & Wesson a few years later founded their company, and shortly afterwards began producing guns for a cartridge patented by Smith (I think it was Smith), the .22 Short rimfire.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

February 23, 2012, 11:10 AM
S&W acquired the Rollin White patent in 1857 I believe and began producing small bore revolvers in 1858. The patent didn't expire until 1872 is why Colt and Remington took so long to make cartridge guns.

Andy Griffith
February 23, 2012, 11:43 AM
Now, Edwin Wesson (Daniel's older brother) was famous for his percussion target rifles and pistols, and Daniel apprenticed under him when he was young. Edwin was famous for inventing the false muzzle for muzzleloading rifles which aided in helping extreme accuracy.

The book History of S&W (http://www.amazon.com/History-Smith-Wesson-Nothing-Importance/dp/0917714148) written by Roy Jinks gives a complete history. (However, there are much cheaper places to get a copy than amazon- like the S&W website)

I do have one example of an original Wesson target pistol in .31 caliber.

February 23, 2012, 12:03 PM
Andy, According to my sources the False Muzzle was invented by Massachusetts telescope maker Alvan Clark in 1840.

February 23, 2012, 04:34 PM

Andy Griffith
February 23, 2012, 05:40 PM
Andy, According to my sources the False Muzzle was invented by Massachusetts telescope maker Alvan Clark in 1840.

A mind is a terrible thing for (me) to waste. :o

Well shucks...I do know he was famous for putting them on his target rifles though. ;)

February 23, 2012, 11:23 PM
first time i've ever seen a false muzzle ( yes i've led a sheltered life )...

how exactly does it increase accuracy?

February 24, 2012, 05:39 AM
It's used to help start a tight patch/ball combo. It's removed for firing.

mega twin
February 24, 2012, 06:53 AM
Good info.History is facinating for sure.

February 24, 2012, 12:47 PM

thanks Hawg for the info

February 24, 2012, 03:41 PM
kwhi43 - nice lookin' false muzzle. I always wanted a rifle with one of those . . . that way, my barrel would look longer than it actually was . . a "man" thing . . . . :D

My luck though . . . I wouldn't have tied it to the bench and I would have shot it down range . . . I wonder if one would "key hole"? :D:rolleyes::eek: