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Sherman’s Smith & Wesson

Museum spread

The larger caliber of the two tip-up revolver models that Smith & Wesson manufactured during the American Civil War, the No. 2 Army was a six-shot, single-action design. slightly fewer than 40,000 No. 2 .32-caliber rimfire revolvers were made before the surrender at Appomattox in 1865, and many Union enlisted men and officers, including future President Rutherford B. Hayes and General George Armstrong Custer, elected to carry the No. 2 Army model for personal protection.

This cased No. 2 Smith & Wesson revolver bears an engraved inscription attributing it as a presentation to General W.T. Sherman in 1869 by members of his personal staff.

The National Firearms Museum at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Va., exhibits thousands of historic firearms in galleries that span the centuries. Visitors can tour a recreated Civil War arms factory, the St. Louis rifle shop of the Hawken family and even World War I and World War II battlefield dioramas. Admission to the museum is free (donations appreciated), and the extensive museum store offers a wide range of fraternal items and reference books for sale. For more information, visit the museum website at, call (703) 267-1600 or e-mail