Smith and Wesson is widely considered as the best brand in commercial firearms. While most famous for their .44 Magnums, they provide the world with a lot of weapons from handguns to rifles. The story behind Smith and Wesson is an old one since they are one of the first weapon manufacturers. Here’s a brief firearm history for the beloved company.
The story of Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson begins at the National Armory in Springfield, Massachusetts. The pair originally teamed up in 1852 in Norwich, Connecticut and their goal was to create a lever action repeating pistol with a self-contained cartridge. It ended up costing them more money than it was worth and, after just two years, their company was already having financial troubles.
1856 proved to be a better year when they venture away from their previous design to create a Rimfire cartridge firing revolver. Smith and Wesson’s new design proved to be a success, their first of many, and became a very sought after weapon-- they’re business took off from there.
They began patenting and producing other revolvers, such as the famous Model 3 American. Their goal was to stay on top of the weapons manufacturing game, which they succeeded in for a very long time. The US army was the number customer for Smith and Wesson for a number of years, preferring their revolvers over everything else on the market.
Horace Smith retired from Smith and Wesson at age 65 and sold his shares to Wesson. From the late 1800s to the mid-1900s, Smith and Wesson continued to produce top of the line revolvers and hammerless handguns, including the .38 special, .357 magnum (the very first magnum revolver), and the model 60.
Smith and Wesson still leads the industry, especially in revolvers. They have since branched out from handguns and revolvers to rifles. Lately, they’ve been producing pretty popular M&P rifles. But it’s their handguns that still hold up today. Every police station in the US carries Smith and Wessons. The fact that they’re so trustworthy and reliable says a lot about the quality of Smith and Wesson as a whole.