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Old 07-11-2018, 06:59 AM
Pondoro Pondoro is offline
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Is there a K-22 history thread?  
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Default Is there a K-22 history thread?

Something that details the differences between the Outdoorsman, the Masterpiece, etc. over the years? I searched, but could not find one.
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:57 AM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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The knowledge you seek, Grasshopper, is scattered in the wind... or at least through a large number of threads, with a snippet here and a whisper there. In the ten+ years I've been poring over this forum, I don't recall ever seeing a single, comprehensive thread.

OTOH, if you can get hold of a copy of the Standard Catalog of S&W by Supica and Nahas, they treat it pretty well, especially in the newest (4th) edition.

Briefly, the pre-War version lacked the barrel rib and had the old style, non-micrometer rear sight. Essentially it was a 22 M&P with rudimentary adjustable sights and 6" barrel. After WW II when civilian production resumed, the true target versions of the K-22 and K-38 ("Masterpiece") began to appear rather quickly. Over the years the barrel weight and rib width increased and variations occurred in the action (including wider hammer spurs and trigger shoes) and eventually in grip style.

This is the very condensed, "Reader's Digest" version of the history you seek. Now you can go forth and spend the rest of your life learning more and correcting my mistakes!

Froggie
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:04 AM
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There is at least one thread here that I have seen that discusses the differences in the pre-war K-22. I can't remember who the OP was but he puts up pictures and describes the differences in the rear sights which is the major difference among the 2 versions of Outdoorsmans and the Masterpiece.
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:44 AM
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Also, you can obtain the revised edition of Jinks & Neal book Smith & Wesson 1857 - 1945. It does not cover the post-war Masterpiece line, but details quite well the K22 1st & 2nd Model Outdoorsman's revolver.

Information above is a very good start and my only comment is that the 2nd Model Outdoorsman's 2nd Model did have a micrometer rear sight. It is a very uncommon model made from 1940 to 1942. It also had the first K frame Magna stocks made. I think there were just about 1000 made before production stopped with the advent of WWII. The Masterpiece line replaced the Outdoorsman's after WWII.
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:47 AM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is online now
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I'll add a piece:

In 1940 the 2nd Model, the K22/40 as the factory called it, was introduced but it's named the "K22 Masteriece", a milestone in the K22 story and a rare collectible because the war was its demise after a short production run.

It was the 1st S&W target model to sport the Micro click sight and the first Model to have the short throw hammer action or High Speed Action as the factory advertised it. It did not have a barrel rib but was the first K22 Masterpiece. Collectors call it the K22 2nd Model-1st Model Masterpiece.

The post war re-introduction was the "K22 Masterpiece" or 2nd model Masterpiece to collectors, which had a rib, the new post war sliding bar hammer block safety still used today, and the post war version Micro click sight with grooved tang, no longer flush with the top strap.

K22 Outdoorsman introduced in 1931:



Pre 1935 Outdoorsman pre war sight with only one elevation screw. The K22 Outdoorsman post 1935 has the improved sight with an added elevation lock screw (not shown), 2nd issue or 2nd version is not correct nomenclature because the gun itself was unchanged so don't be confused if you read that:




Pre war K22 Masterpiece 1940:



Sight is unique in that it's milled flush with the top strap like all pre war target sights, but is the very 1st version of the Micro click. This was the first model supplied with the new larger 1st version sight adjustment tool (S.A.T.) that has become so familiar post war:



More threads to read:

Is this a K-22 OD 2nd Model aka K-22/40

A Couple of Pre-War 22-40 Masterpieces

http://smith-wessonforum.com/s-w-han...come-home.html

K-22/40 found with long action, info for database

Hope this helps,
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:21 AM
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An excellent summary, Jim! Well done, as usual.

I have never owned a prewar K-22, but they are sort of on my wish list. Unfortunately, I don't have unlimited funds and the rimfire revolvers are not in the "mainstream" of my collecting goals. So, whether I will ever get one is questionable. But I can dream . . .
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Old 07-11-2018, 02:52 PM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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When I grow up, I want to know stuff like Hondo44. In my next life I want to be able to write as well. As always, when Jim speaks, we all listen in awe and learn much if we are smart enough to pay attention. Thanks for another look at S&W history and I'll look forward to the next time somebody inspires you to write one of your monographs, they are always worth reading and informative... not to mention enjoyable. Thanks, my friend, I'm glad you are here!

Best regards,
Froggie
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:17 PM
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Courtesy of my recent factory letter, let me add a tidbit:

Standard front sight for the first K-22s was the Call gold bead. Starting around September 1931, this was changed to a stainless bead. S&W did ship other front sight variations, mine shipped with a Marble front sight.
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:47 PM
Pondoro Pondoro is offline
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Thanks! Lots to go on here. This could become that grail thread.
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:55 PM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pondoro View Post
Thanks! Lots to go on here. This could become that grail thread.
Or at the very least, a STICKY!
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Old 07-11-2018, 04:51 PM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is online now
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Thank you posters that have offered such kind words.

An interesting anecdote that many of you may know is that back in the heyday preceding WW I, the K frame 22 was conceived. A prototype was built and tested. It failed miserably to be an accurate shooter and was shelved.

A couple of decades later someone again took interest in the project only to discover that the barrel rifling was incorrectly bored for the .22 bullet.

Once corrected, the rest is history.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:49 PM
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Talking about target sights, the 2 screw rear sight would represent a third type of rear sights made for the pre-WWII K22s 1st Models. As Jim states, a second screw was added to help hold the rear sight in place in the mid-1930s. It was thought that the single screw sight height adjustment was subject to movement during prolonged shooting, so a "lock screw" was added to keep the gun on target. That second screw had a slot in the frame in front of the elevation screw that allowed the shooter to tighten the sight against the elevation screw, thereby holding the sight on target and make minute adjustments possible. I recently purchased such an K22 Outdoorsman's revolver that shipped in 1936 and Ralph helped me to understand how the sight worked. How did I do Ralph?
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:02 PM
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"An interesting anecdote that many of you may know is that back in the heyday preceding WW I, the K frame 22 was conceived. A prototype was built and tested. It failed miserably to be an accurate shooter and was shelved. A couple of decades later someone again took interest in the project only to discover that the barrel rifling was incorrectly bored for the .22 bullet."

It's difficult to believe such oversights can occur by a major manufacturer. A similar example involves the German MG42 of WWII. Working from a captured MG42, drawings were made up in the U. S. to build a prototype duplicate of it using the .30-'06 cartridge instead of the 8X57 cartridge used by the Germans for possible use by the U. S. military. It failed its tests miserably and the project was stopped. Only later was it discovered that various drafting errors were made in dimensioning parts properly to accommodate the longer .30-'06 cartridge. I think the MG42 duplication project had been turned over to Savage Arms, another large gun manufacturer. Only long afterward did the use of many the same design features of the MG42 result in the U. S. M60 machine gun.

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Old 07-13-2018, 05:56 PM
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Great thread... thanks Hondo44 for the great gun photos... sadly I don't have a pre-war K22, the closest I can come is a 1969 Model 18-3. Still a joy to own and shoot. Nothing comes close to a vintage Smith & Wesson in my opinion.

As for those manufacturing misfires... often they come about because people tend not to question the efforts of a skilled person -- because it might be interpreted as insulting -- even though we all know that when Murphy's Law kicks in, no one is immune from making a bonehead mistake.

Harold
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