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.
The partners realized that when their patents expired they would need a new design to maintain their market superiority. The new design was completed in 1869 and the company began marketing it in 1870. The Model 3 American, as it became known in the United States, was the first large caliber cartridge revolver and established Smith & Wesson as a world leader in handgun manufacturing. The two most important customers for the new revolver were the United States Cavalry, which purchased 1,000 units for use on the Western Frontier, and the Russian Imperial Government.
At the age of 65, Horace Smith retired from the company and sold his share of the business to D. B. Wesson, making him the sole owner of the firm. In the late 1800’s the company introduced its line of hammerless revolvers. These are still represented in today’s handgun line.
Smith & Wesson next introduced what is probably the most famous revolver in the world, the .38 Military & Police or, as it is called today, the Model 10. This revolver has been in continual production since that year and has been used by virtually every police agency and military force around the world.
Smith & Wesson’s contribution to the history of handgun and cartridge development continued through the 20th Century. The first Magnum revolver, the .357 Magnum, was introduced by the company in 1935. In 1955 the first American made double action auto-loading pistol, the Model 39, was introduced.
The Model 29 chambered in .44 magnum - the handgun made famous by Clint Eastwood in the movie "Dirty Harry" - was unveiled in 1956. In 1965 S&W began producing the Model 60 - the world’s first stainless steel revolver - launching the era of stainless steel firearms.
The accomplishments of Smith & Wesson are so numerous that it is impossible to understand the history of modern handguns without first understanding the history of Smith & Wesson. Smith & Wesson was an industry leader in 1852 when it was first founded and continues to lead the world today with innovations into the 21st century.
Smith & Wesson and its affiliates consider for employment and hire qualified candidates without regard to race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, gender identity, age, national origin, ancestry, veteran status, military service, application for military service, physical or mental disability, genetic information or any other status protected by applicable law, and as such affirms in policy and practice to support and promote the concept of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action, in accordance with applicable law. Candidates must possess unrestricted authorization to work in the United States, as it is not the practice of Smith & Wesson to sponsor individuals for work visas.
I worked at Smith & Wesson Holding full-time (More than 3 years)
Great company to work for and the benefits are amazing
Lack of proper training some upper levels of management are very disrespectful
Advice to Management
Better positive leadership and training for employees
I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Smith & Wesson Holding (Springfield, MA).
Initial phone interview with HR and Dept manager. On site interview with Dept manager and Director. Process took longer than expected but resulted in a job offer. Pay was above average for the area and benefits are very good. Work environment and morale is lacking significantly.
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