The Remington Smoot – Concealed Carry History

If I asked you to picture the revolvers from, say, 1850 to 1899, what would you picture? Probably a Colt Single Action Army, maybe a Remington 1858, and if you had an eye on the future, you might picture the S&W Model 1899 Military and Police model. You picture a large revolver carried by lawmen, bandits, and soldiers. I doubt you picture something like the Remington Smoot revolvers or the S&W Model 1.

Western movies depict everyone carrying big revolvers in .45 Colt or .44-40. However, the reality is that smaller guns were the choice of the civilian population. While cowboys on the range and lawmen carried big guns, and some bandits in the Wild West preferred them, the little guns appealed to the common man.

Not everyone carried a Peacemaker (Tombstone)

The average factory worker, shop owner, or carriage operator could afford and buy the smaller guns. These were not gunfighters but everyday people; the smaller revolvers were their weapon of choice. Concealed carry has always been popular, and carrying a big Colt on your hip would get old for the average person. Thus, there was a huge market for small revolvers, and Remington was happy to sell them, making firearms accessible to a wider population.

The Remington Smoot – A Partnership In Small Guns

Remington had been selling pocket revolvers since the 1850s. The Remington Pocket Revolver is a notable example of the earlier compact Remington. The American Civil War helped propel Remington as a company, as did the advent and popularity of metallic cartridge weapons. In a post-Civil War world, there was massive westward expansion, and with it, there was a need for revolvers.

Remington was all in with concealable weapons. They famously produced the double derringer and Zig-Zag pistol, both small and easily carried. While these varied designs were interesting, people liked revolvers, and Remington teamed up with Civil War veteran William Sydney Smoot to produce a new revolver.

International Military Antiques

Mr. Smoot served as an officer with the First Maryland Infantry and later spent the end of the war as an ordnance officer at Springfield Armory. He eventually secured more than a dozen patents for varied firearm designs. After leaving the Army in 1870, he went to Remington in 1871.

By 1873, he secured a patent for the “improvement in Revolver Fire-Arms.” Smoot obtained the patent for producing a weapon where the frame, barrel, and ejector housing were all one piece. This patent was for the gun that would become the Remington Smoot New model series of revolvers.

The New Model Smoot Series

The Remington Smoot New Model series consists of three revolvers. They are not just any revolvers but pocket-sized, single-action revolvers with fixed cylinders and a side loading gate, a unique design that piques the interest of firearm enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

The Remington Smoot New Model No. 1 Revolver is a five-shot handgun that chambers the now-long-forgotten .30 Rimfire cartridge—this anemic little caliber through a 50 to 58-grain projectile at fairly slow speeds.


The benefit is that it offered hardly any recoil for the shooter. The little Remington didn’t offer much room on the grip anyhow. This gun was less than seven inches longer and features a 2.75-inch barrel. These guns were produced from 1875 to 1877.

The New Model No. 2 upped the caliber to .32 Rimfire (but there are .30 Rimfire models as well). The .32 Rimfrie was a much more popular cartridge in this era. The .32 Rimfire cartridge was an 80-grain bullet that moved slowly but faster than the .30 Rimfire.

(Case Antiques)

The velocity of a rifle reached almost a thousand feet per second, but we can expect the velocity from the 2.75-inch barrel. The step-down ejector rod was the big change from the No. 1 to the No. 2, which was produced from 1877 to 1885.

The final Remington Smooth was the No. 3, which was a bit bigger than a firearm. It chambered the .38 Rimfire short. This offered a nice heavy 150-grain bullet, but that round didn’t make it past 1,000 FPS from a rifle, much less a small revolver.


The barrel was 3.75 inches long, and the gun still held five rounds. This was the most popular Remington Smooth, and over 25,000 were made. Remington produced the gun from 1878 to 1888.

The Little Guys

These guns won’t ever get the Colt SAA pop culture recognition. Yet, they were the guns that the average person trusted. They are a bit like the Ruger LCP of their era. They aren’t fancy or worth bragging about, but they function reliably and protect regular people. The Remington Smoot guns are still great collector’s items, although somewhat rare, with their price climbing yearly.

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Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record-setting 11 months at sea. Travis has trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines, and the Afghan National Army.

He serves as an NRA-certified pistol instructor and pursues a variety of firearms-based hobbies.


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