The OLDEST S&W Revolver In Existence: Smith & Wesson Founding | No Lowballers Podcast Episode 12

In this week’s No Lowballers Podcast by GoWild presented by, we’re talking with Mike Helms from Smith & Wesson about the history of the company and how it became the company it is today.

We start out talking with Mike on the shadowy history of when Smith & Wesson was originally founded. A few different dates float around, but Mike gives us a good estimate on when he believes the company actually started. 

Next up, Mike dives into the Smith & Wesson Model 1. We talk all about how it jumpstarted the company into loads of success basically unheard of in the time period. Mike shows us an amazing example of an EARLY Model 1…you won’t even believe how low the serial number is on it! 

Related Videos: Smith & Wesson Innovations Through the Years | No Lowballers Podcast Episode 13

We swap over to talk about early top-breaks by Smith & Wesson. Mike brought an awesome .38 single action example, that’s actually the first ever .38 caliber Smith & Wesson ever created. Nicknamed the Baby Russian because of its resemblance to the larger Model 3 Russian, the medium-framed S&W .38’s biggest difference to its big brother is a spur trigger compared to the traditional trigger on the Model 3. The Smith & Wesson .38 came equipped with an automatic extractor, with many arguing that this firearm is some of Smith & Wesson’s finest manufacturing ever. 

After the top-breaks we get into hand-ejectors, which in layman’s terms is a regular revolver. Logan goes over an example of one in the Smith & Wesson Model 1896. This Model 1896 is unique because it doesn’t have a cylinder release button on the side, but instead has a pin you pull on the front of it. Mike goes into how the Model 1896 regressed in a sense, going from an automatic extractor to a hand-ejector. Logan and Allen talk about examples of the 1896 and other Smith & Wesson firearms that are listed on and what you can expect to spend on examples of some of these. 

Closing out, Mike shows us an example of a 2nd Issue Model 1, “The Fancy Gun.” Not sure exactly where this example came from it shipped from the factory either to the mayor of Springfield, Emerson White, as a gift or if it was sold to Emerson White and he gave it to someone else as a gift. Mike also gives us a rundown of joining Smith & Wesson’s Collector Association and how they try to welcome everyone no matter what sort of collecting you’re into!

New episodes launch every Thursday morning. Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts.

Catch up on previous episodes of the No Lowballers Podcast here.

Related Videos: Smith & Wesson Equalizer™ 9mm Pistol

Related Videos: Smith & Wesson M&P 5.7x28mm Semi-Auto Handgun

Related Videos: Smith & Wesson® Model 350 X-Frame Revolver

Hear the truth behind the trigger on this show that highlights the insanity, calamity and oddity of firearm history, collectibles and the crazy valuables. Every week historian Logan Metesh of High Caliber History joins the teams at and GoWild to discuss topics such as mobster favorites, collector pieces, war-time weapons, hunting gun history, competition firearms and more.

Join GunBroker on GoWild