According to Wikipedia, “the first guns with multi-chambered cylinders that revolved to feed one barrel were made in the late 1500s in Europe”. In 1835, Samuel Colt patented the percussion cap revolver. It was not until 1856 that Smith & Wesson built the first cartridge revolver. By the late 1800s, the modern day revolver was the standard for both military and civilian use.
The design has changed very little since those early days. The metals and alloys are much improved serving to reduce the weight of the gun and increase the strength of both barrel and cylinder. The hammer and firing pin assembly has been slightly redesigned but for the most part, the gun remains the same as it was 150 years ago.
A brilliant design from its birth, the revolver pistol remains one of the most versatile guns ever manufactured. The larger bores, the .500 and .460 are built on a large frame and are quite suitable for hunters, campers and hikers for protection when roaming the wild. The .44 Magnum, although not the largest handgun know to man as Dirty Harry claimed, is a worthy piece and functional for protection and hunting. But the all time favorite, the 38 Special may be the most popular pistol ever manufactured. In the 1920s, 30s and 40s, the 38 was referred to as the Police Special and was the handgun of choice as service pistols for most police departments nation wide. Although most police departments have replaced the revolver with the Glock 9mm or 40mm, the 38 Special shows up in most gun collections and, if truth be told, most modern day policemen will still admit to having a soft spot in their hearts for this classic pistol.
The single most desirable personal defense gun for the ladies is the Smith & Wesson Airweight 38 Special. Available in both hammered and enclosed hammer, the Airweight is light and easily concealed in a lady’s purse. It can be shot limp wristed without jamming. The enclosed hammer avoids conflicts with the contents of the purse and makes the perfect defense gun to just shoot through the purse at the assailant.
At Nashville Gun & Knife, we sell more semi-automatic pistols on any given day. But the collection that receives the most attention is our revolver collection. From the reproduction Uberti and Ruger cowboy classics to the Smith & Wesson classics of the early to mid 1900s, most gun enthusiasts will admire our collection.
Stop by the store located at 5307 Old Harding Pike in Nashville and take a look at history.