There are many fine products made in the U.S. of A. and the Smith and Wesson .357 Magnum is one of them. The company is based in Springfield, Massachusetts. Pictured is a Series 686 Magnum .357.
Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson came from old New England families. Horace learned the firearms trade while working at the National Armory in Springfield, Massachusetts. Daniel’s experience came from apprenticing with his brother Edwin Wesson, the leading maker of target rifles and pistols in the 1840s.
The two men formed their first partnership in 1852 in Norwich, Connecticut, with the aim of marketing a lever action repeating pistol that could use a fully self-contained cartridge. This first pistol venture was not a financial success, and by 1854 the company was having financial difficulties.
Faced with their financial difficulties, they were forced to sell their company to a shirt manufacturer by the name of Oliver Winchester. In 1866, using the original lever action design created by Smith & Wesson, Winchester’s company emerged as the famous Winchester Repeating Arms Co.
In 1856 Smith & Wesson formed their second partnership to produce a small revolver designed to fire the Rimfire cartridge they patented in August of 1854. This revolver was the first successful fully self-contained cartridge revolver available in the world. Smith & Wesson secured patents for the revolver to prevent other manufacturers from producing a cartridge revolver – giving the young company a very lucrative business.