Gun sales have been robust in 2009 as enthusiasts purchase firearms ahead of a rumored White House crackdown. And perhaps no gun maker is benefiting more from the rush to buy than Smith & Wesson, one of the nation’s oldest companies.
Founded in 1852, demand for Smith and Wesson guns exploded after the start of the Civil War. By 1870, the company was the world 's premiere maker of handguns having produced the first large caliber cartridge revolver. Their two most important customers? United States Cavalry and the Russian Imperial Government.
Over the years the company has developed some of the world's most famous guns, but perhaps none is better known than the six-shot, double-action revolver Smith & Wesson made for the movie Dirty Harry.