Rare Smith & Wesson S&W First Model 1891 .22 LR 6” Single Shot Pistol C&R

SOLD FOR: $756.

WOA#: WY240318RU070

Make: Smith & Wesson

Model: First Model Single Shot, The Model of 1891

Serial Number: 14678

Year of Manufacture: 1893-1905

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.”, “MODEL OF 91”, and “PAT APR. 20. 75. FEB. / 20. & DEC. 1877. MAY. 11. 80.”. The front strap is marked “14678”.  The underside of the barrel latch is marked “14678”. The left side of the grip frame is marked “1”, “656”, “B” with a diamond.

Barrel Length: 6”

Sights / Optics:  The front sight is a beaded (Paine Target) blade pinned to the barrel rib.   The rear sight is a square flat top u-notch that is integral to the barrel latch.

Stock Configuration & Condition:  The grips are two piece checkered walnut stocks with smooth borders, two screws extension, S&W Gold Medallions and smooth diamonds around the grip screws. The checkering is crisp with only faintly dulled peaks.  There are a few scattered light marks and compression lines. The bottom of the grips have a few nicks  Overall, the grips are in about Fine condition as C&R. There are no chips or cracks.

Type of Finish: Blued, Case Hardened trigger and hammer.

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition:  The bore is semi-bright and the rifling is sharp.  There is some minor scattered erosion and pitting concentrated at the muzzle.  In this writer’s opinion the bore rates 6/10 for C&R, possibly antique.

Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 93% of its metal finish.  There is light operation wear with some notable marks under the barrel on the edges of the frame.  The edges of the flash shields have some finish loss along with a small of amount on the muzzle. There are minor nicks and scratches throughout. The pinheads are unmarred. The screw heads are sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, the pistol is in about Fine condition as C&R.

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: None.

Our Assessment:  This Smith & Wesson Model 1891 Single Shot, particularly with its elusive 6″ barrel, is a true gem from the late 19th century, marrying Smith & Wesson’s legendary knack for innovation with impeccable craftsmanship. This version was crafted for the sharp-eyed target shooter, thriving in a time when precision shooting was not just sport, but art. Its rarity, especially with the 6″ barrel, elevates its allure, offering a perfect blend of ease and accuracy that’s as prized by today’s collectors as it was by yesteryear’s marksmen. Clad in Smith & Wesson’s signature bright blue finish and adorned with checkered oversized walnut grips, it’s a beauty to behold and a delight to handle. The break-top single-shot mechanism is the cherry on top, making it not just a shooter’s dream but a collector’s treasure. Despite its more compact stature, it doesn’t skimp on the quality and reliability Smith & Wesson is celebrated for, making the 6″ Model 1891 Single Shot a standout piece of firearm history and a testament to the enduring legacy of Smith & Wesson’s precision firearms craftsmanship.

Notably, this firearm was returned to the factory in June of 1956 for a refinishing, a fact confirmed by the “5.56” and “B” stamps on the left grip frame, highlighting its pristine factory finish, impeccable roll-markings, and perfectly domed frame pins. The attention to detail in its restoration is unparalleled, making it a standout piece.  Please see our photos and good luck! – L.S.

Rare Smith & Wesson S&W First Model 1891 .22 LR 6” Single Shot Pistol C&R
Rare Smith & Wesson S&W First Model 1891 .22 LR 6” Single Shot Pistol C&R