Collecting Antique .22 Caliber Revolvers

Smith & Wesson First Model Third Issue Tip-Up Revolver. Photo courtesy of Rock Island Auctions.

Smith & Wesson First Model Third Issue Tip-Up Revolver. Photo courtesy of Rock Island Auction Company.

When you have acquired several specimens, you will begin to appreciate the reasons that led you to select the antique .22 revolver as your specialty. Although somewhat similar in overall appearance, you will discover interesting variations in the cylinder construction, barrels and cylinder pins, and grips and side plate versus solid-frame construction. Like people, each make has its own characteristics.

Storage of these small, compact guns is relatively easy. A tool chest with two shallow drawers is perfect. Line the drawers with a soft-finished, yet firm cloth, and you’ll have storage for a dozen or so guns. The top area is ideal for tools and parts.

As each succeeding gun is located and added to your collection, your knowledge and mechanical abilities will increase. The pride felt in learning these things is hard to explain, but you’ll find that a new facet has been added to your life activities. In time to come, you may even set down to write pieces like this!

Beyond the true joy of watching your collection and knowledge grow is the health-giving therapy of being totally immersed in your hobby, which often shuts out those everyday problems and worries.
As every collector knows, the peak thrill is the excitement of a rare find, at the right price, that fills a void in your collection. I defy you to match the chill that overcomes you as you spot that rare gun.

You may find it hard to convince your wife that these $30 expenditures at various times are worthwhile. If you do, point out to her that antique guns are always a diminishing quantity through destruction by intention or accident. Demand, however, is always increasing as new collectors join the gun field. More demand, less supply means rising prices in years to come.

A representative collection of these small guns provides a historical picture of the 19th century developments leading to our modern-day cartridge handgun. The world of the antique .22-caliber revolver is a great area for a collection specialty. Come join me!

Recommended Resources for Gun Collectors:

Standard-Catalog-20142014 Standard Catalog of Firearms, 24th Edition

Standard Catalog of Military Firearms 7th Edition

Gun Digest 2014, 68th Edition

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