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Smith & Wesson Model 2 Army

Six-Shot Service Revolver (1862)

Infantry Small Arms / The Warfighter

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The Smith and Wesson Model 2 Army proved itself an instant success when introduced in 1861 during the fighting of the American Civil War.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 12/26/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
Colt's major patent on revolvers in the mid-1800s eventually expired and this allowed a plethora of arms-makers to benefit from the development and sale of similar guns heading into the American Civil War (1861-1865). Smith & Wesson jumped at the chance to provide a useful military sidearm and developed a series of relatively small, cartridge-firing guns as a result. This was of particular importance for many sidearms of the period still relied on two-piece "cap-and-ball" ammunition - the Smith & Wesson pistol fired a self-contained, single piece cartridge which protected the ammunitions contents from external influences such as weather and the environment. The gun also utilized a bored-through cylinder which was based on a patent purchased from Rollin White and these qualities immediately set the gun apart from competitors.

The series saw service in the "War Between the States" and proved an immediate success for the Union Army - to the point that Smith & Wesson could not keep up with the wartime demand.

The first offering in the series was named simply the "Model 1" and this version was intended for close-in self-defense. To keep its dimensions manageable (and its weight light), it was chambered for a .22 rimfire cartridge. The follow-up offering, the definitive "Model 2", was appropriately enlarged to fire the more useful .32 rimfire cartridge which promised better man-stopping capabilities in close quarters. Despite its larger size, the Model 2 was still compact enough to conceal-carry for the standard infantryman.

Over 77,000 examples of the gun were manufactured between 1861 and 1864. Barrel lengths of 4", 5" and 6" were eventually offered.


Service Year

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United States


Six-Shot Service Revolver

Smith & Wesson - USA
National flag of the United States United States
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Pistol / Sidearm
Compact design for close-quarters work or general self-defense.


Single-Action (SA)

(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)


.22 Rimfire; .32 Rimfire

Rounds / Feed

6-shot rotating cylinder
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Max Eff.Range
200 ft
(61 m | 67 yd)

Model 1 - Chambered for .22 rimfire cartridge.
Model 2 Army - Subsequent model for military service; fluted cylinder; chambered for .32 rimfire cartridge; dimensionally larger than Model 1 product.

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