As we look to a new year, it’s always nice to take a look back on the years’ past. Our friend and firearms historian Mike Helms shares some of his firearm facts of yesteryear knowledge.
Partners Smith & Wesson developed the .22 rimfire cartridge and brought the world’s first .22 rimfire firearm to life with the Model 1. First sold in 1857, there were almost 260,000 Model 1's produced over 25 years. Even with this success, the Model 1 was not their original plan for the .22…
The remarkable combination was born out of the failure of the partners' earlier Volcanic magazine pistol. The original .22 rimfire rounds that the company developed were similar in size to a modern .22 Short, and they were charged with black powder—a dirty combination, but one that was easy to shoot and reasonably accurate.
A new Smith & Wesson Model 1 revolver would have cost about $12.50 in 1860; the equivalent of about $365 today.