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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos


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Old 05-17-2020, 02:39 AM
Philly5150 Philly5150 is offline
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Default K-22 Masterpiece. Anyone seen this before?

Just brought home my newly acquired K-22 which I bought on consignment for $400.
It came with target stocks which I knew weren't original, but for that price, who could complain. I got it on the work bench to disassemble and clean but what I found under the stocks was that a portion of the frame had been cut. It doesn't affect the functionality at all, but I wanted to put a set of magna stocks on it. Not now.
Has anyone seen this before or know why it may have been done?K-22 Masterpiece. Anyone seen this before?-img_20200516_225359-jpgK-22 Masterpiece. Anyone seen this before?-img_20200516_225348-jpgK-22 Masterpiece. Anyone seen this before?-img_20200516_225242-jpgK-22 Masterpiece. Anyone seen this before?-img_20200516_225332-jpgK-22 Masterpiece. Anyone seen this before?-img_20200516_225313-jpg

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Old 05-17-2020, 02:42 AM
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That is the frame cut to use the Fuzzy Farrant "special" grips stocks).....
JIM....................
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Old 05-17-2020, 02:45 AM
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Magna stocks can be used with a wood filler glued to one stock or the other. If it's a shooter, not a collector piece of course.
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Old 05-17-2020, 02:52 AM
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It's a shooter now, for sure. I tried on the Magna stocks and it looks kinda funny with part of the grip frame missing. LOL. I guess i'll probably keep the target stocks on. They fit better in my hand anyways.
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:38 AM
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When the chunk was sawed off the genius gunsmith removed the serial number's K prefix making it an illegal gun under federal law and probably all the states' laws.

Given the wording of Washington law I would not allow it on my property. In your shoes I'd take it back to the store. Your state laws or willingness to break seldom enforced laws may be different.

Since I will likely be called paranoid of BATFE I'll repeat that Washington's laws are the bigger concern.

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Old 05-17-2020, 03:49 AM
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@ K22fan.

What you wrote is pertinent. But all K frames that were modified for the fuzzy farrant stocks have the butt serial number truncated. The funny thing is most were "cop" guns, and fuzzy was a cop himself.

So I just wonder.
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Old 05-17-2020, 04:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k22fan View Post
When the chunk was sawed off the genius gunsmith removed the serial number's K prefix making it an illegal gun under federal law and probably all the state's laws.

Given the wording of Washington law I would not allow it on my property. In your shoes I'd take it back to the store. I'd also delete everything in your post then since you can not completely delete a first post make the thread about something else. Your state laws or willingness to break seldom enforced laws may be different.

Since I will likely be called paranoid of BATFE I'll repeat that Washington's laws are the bigger concern.
The OP is not in the US of A.
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Old 05-17-2020, 04:47 AM
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The OP is not in the US of A.
California has already seceded the Union? I didn't know that.
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Old 05-17-2020, 06:03 AM
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Not looking to argue the point, but is it not acceptable to just restamp the missing K?
Looks like there's plenty of room, judging by the pictures.

PS: looks like a good deal, if this issue can be sorted out.
(Maybe you can then find a set of "Fuzzy" grips?)

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Old 05-17-2020, 06:12 AM
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It's a pre-1968 gun and probably when the modification was made it didn't matter if part of the Ser# was removed.
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Old 05-17-2020, 06:25 AM
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messing with the serial number is NOT legal regardless of the year made
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Old 05-17-2020, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy52 View Post
It's a pre-1968 gun and probably when the modification was made it didn't matter if part of the Ser# was removed.
I don't think that is correct otherwise you would have all types of pre GCA guns with ground serial numbers. The GCA required that all newly manufactured guns shall have a serial number. Those before the GCA were grandfathered. De-facing serial numbers and importers marks are a no-no.
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Old 05-17-2020, 07:56 AM
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messing with the serial number is NOT legal regardless of the year made
True , but when the messing was a done does effect its legality

Prior to the GCA it was legal to relocate the serial number stamping and for that matter gunsmiths were allowed to do it for sometime after the act. Those guns did not become illegal when the BATF changed their opinion. If it did the BATF would be rounding up thousands of them as it was not uncommon for quite some time.
Hard to prove just when it happened. A 1/8" K stamp doesn't have a date on it.

Besides 99% of the populations, LEOs included, wouldn't know there was supposed to be a K or that it was part of the serial number.

OP lives in Ahahiem, a suburb of anti gun LA California and it went though a FFL there with no problems. Its only a problem if you really really want it to be.

We see something like this on here regularly and its not uncommon on Gunbroker. Have not heard of anyone being arrested, any guns being confiscated or anything of the like.

Your more apt to get in trouble via IRS audit.

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Old 05-17-2020, 08:35 AM
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Not all guns were required to have serials before GCA 68 but it has never been legal to remove or alter one regardless of gun's age. I would go to Harbor Freight and buy a set of stamps and put the K back on.

Yes, that's a mod for Fuzzy Farrant stocks. They were a tapered finger groove style that required cutting the frame like that. I can't believe anyone did it. But I have an older Colt Officers Model Target with such a mod. Factory Targets cover it.
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Old 05-17-2020, 08:48 AM
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Default But the truth is

Post war K frames also have the full serial number in the frame under the yoke. So what is the legal view on this? Since there are 2 identical full serial numbers on the frame.

In my model 14 it is much easier to just open the cylinder to get the serial number then to remove the target stocks to see the number on the grip butt. What say you? Addressed to the legal eagles among us.
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Old 05-17-2020, 09:07 AM
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Nice early K22. Shipped in Feb/Mar 1948 probably.
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Old 05-17-2020, 09:10 AM
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I do not see a problem here, since you got it through an FFL. I would just shoot it. The real lesson here is pictures or pull the grips prior to purchase. I always have that done looking for anything, especially rust or pitting with rubber grips
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Old 05-17-2020, 09:16 AM
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Well, almost all S&Ws have full serial number stamped in several locations, so the addition of a serial number in the yoke is just one more location, although technically the frame.

You raise an interesting question that I believe has never been definitively answered. That is why isn't the serial number, no matter where it is located, suffice for the BATF? My only guess is that there has to be some BATF regulation that a serial number must be supplied on the frame, since all other pieces are removable? I have often read that stamping a serial number under the stocks on the butt-frame is acceptable when modifying the butt-frame of a revolver or pistol.
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Old 05-17-2020, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurusu View Post
Post war K frames also have the full serial number in the frame under the yoke. So what is the legal view on this? Since there are 2 identical full serial numbers on the frame.

In my model 14 it is much easier to just open the cylinder to get the serial number then to remove the target stocks to see the number on the grip butt. What say you? Addressed to the legal eagles among us.
Good point. It shouldn’t be an issue if the full serial number is stamped in the yoke cut.
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Old 05-17-2020, 09:47 AM
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I have stated this in other similar threads before. I have been a gun owner for 50 years and a shooter for about 60. During that time period I have hunted, carried firearms to the range and once and a while carried concealed. In that same time frame, I have NEVER once been stopped by a member of law enforcement, the ATF or even a game warden and asked to see any firearm or had the serial number looked at.

I think that sometimes this issue gets blown way out of proportion by those that have heard of this law and exhibit what I consider the chicken little approach, "the sky is falling".

Most law enforcement folks and even most FFL's have no clue where serial numbers are supposed to be on a firearm let alone whether the set of numbers is supposed to be preceded by a letter. I have seen guns advertised on the various online sources numerous times when an assembly number was stated as the serial number.

So let us take a look at a possible scenario. You are stopped, the officer asks to see your firearm, removes the stocks and runs the serial number (or what's left of it). It comes back with no record because that serial number doesn't really exist anyway. So no harm, no foul.

I understand the desire to obey the BATF rules. I wonder if those that feel this way never drive over 55 mph on the highway??????
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Old 05-17-2020, 09:55 AM
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Seems to me I read something about serial number location once, and the frame is the recognized location area and the least likely to be changed or modified
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:48 AM
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When I registered my K22 at Mt Home AFB in 1970 I (out of ignorance) gave the Security Police the assembly number. They had no issue with that and registered it accordingly.


According to the SCS&W edition 3, page 19:


On hand ejectors through the late 1950's, the serial number is stamped on the frame, barrel flat, cylinder face, yoke(crane), behind the extractor star, and right grip panel, in addition to on the butt.
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Old 05-17-2020, 11:45 AM
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When I registered my K22 at Mt Home AFB in 1970 I (out of ignorance) gave the Security Police the assembly number. They had no issue with that and registered it accordingly.
This actually happens quite frequently. You would think a FFL would know better, but many don't.
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Old 05-17-2020, 11:47 AM
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The Frame was designated as the location that the ser# of the firearm would be located.

In 2002, the BAtf set specs for the ser# impression.
It can be impressed (stamped), engraved, cast into place on the frame.
Letters/Numbers must be at least .003" deep and 1/16" tall.

(ATF orig want the min depth at .005", but so many of the Mfg'rs complained during the public comment period that they'd need to purchase new expensive equipment to comply and some firearms frames would be damaged by such force that they backed off the to .003 figure.)

You can apply for alternative methods of impression. The DotMatrx was one and that was approved. Laser etch probably also.

To the BATF, it's all about Gun Tracing.
That's one of the big things they are involved in.
They run it and are the only one like it.

So anything that extends the reach, gives them more data and control on how ser#s and other mfg markings are applied is right up their alley.
National Tracing Center | Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
It's a 'for L/E use only' operation.
One of the Trace Centers separate divisions is set up specifically for tracing guns with removed or obliterated ser#'s. There's even a Form for that!


I don't personally recall an FFL license granting the holder the right to move a ser# and restamp it in another location on a firearm.
I was a 01FFL since 1971 and just turned it back in.

One thing they did allow you to do was to move the ser#, BUT with the approval of the ATF first.
That approval would come (or not) but first you would request the action and 'why'.
No action by you the FFL till ATF says yes.

It was sometimes done when for instance placing the butt swivel on a S&W. It would go right through the factory ser#. That's a bad thing (obliteration of a mfg factory imprinted ser#).
Request a ser# move for the reason of installing a 'factory style swivel' was common.,,and you used to get a positive response.
Do the work, move the ser# over and remark it.
BATF had their record for the big file cabinet in DC,,you were safe from the law that said you weren't supposed to remove, obliterate the ser#. (A law which went into effect in 1938, The Federal Firearms Act).
You put that BATF OK'd form in with your paperwork.

As time went on, the regs didn't change over this, but ATF seemed to. It got to the point where any request to change ser# loc on a firearm for any reason were not approved. Didn't matter if it was for work like above, cosmetic like engraving, or restoration.
I even had a BATF Compliance check where the Agent told me to halt work on a SxS shotgun frame because I had gold inlaid the ser# on the frame.
His on the spot decision was that I had altered and obliterated the orig ser#.

I talked with him at length about the fact that it was commonly done and has been for a couple centuries or more and that the ser# was still the orig. ( I did not want him to confiscate the frame as I figured I'd never see it again even if the outcome was favorable to be)
Showed him pics in multiple books of the same from many engravers and time periods.
He finally decided not to confiscate the frame ( a customers 5 figure shotgun) but instructed me not work on it and to wait till I heard back from him on this.
A week later I got the go ahead to continue. I was not a felon.
Precious metal inlay or filling of factory markings was OK.
..and the customer still had his shotgun.
Finished up real nice too.

You never know how an individual L/E officer will see a missing or altered number on a firearm.
Some don't even know what they re looking at.
The extreme other end of the spectrum is one who sees the tip of a felony crime syndicate.

But the Fed & State regs are absolutely clear on the matter of what's legal and what's not when it comes to the factory imprinted ser#on a firearm.
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Old 05-17-2020, 12:12 PM
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James, I would think that Law Enforcement on any traffic stop, arrest, search warrant, etc, would run a check serial numbers. That must be a huge amount of checks in any given year across the country, so I would certainly think that law enforcement would have a good idea on where to look for the numbers on most guns? Maybe some LEO will chime in.
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Old 05-17-2020, 12:23 PM
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had my gun looked at numerous times by both Fed. and state wardens..no serial checks that I know about, but no crime either...always 3 shot plug check and sometimes a comment like "thanks" or"nice model12" ect.
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Old 05-17-2020, 12:54 PM
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When you did the paperwork, Dealer's Record Of Sale (DROS) and it was approved by the DOJ, you also registered the firearm in your name. Since it was approved and registered with that serial number, I'd put the target grips back on and shoot it! You have your approval from the DOJ so say no more. The serial number falls in the 1947 range so you have a firearm there that is about 73 years old.
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:15 PM
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James, you're right. You've never had any cop check your gun. I have. If you take a gun to a smith for work the serial is entered into his book. It will also be checked if the gun is involved in anything from a shooting to a traffic stop. If the gun never becomes known to police then no problem. Can't count on that.
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Old 05-17-2020, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Kurusu View Post
Post war K frames also have the full serial number in the frame under the yoke. So what is the legal view on this? Since there are 2 identical full serial numbers on the frame.

In my model 14 it is much easier to just open the cylinder to get the serial number then to remove the target stocks to see the number on the grip butt. What say you? Addressed to the legal eagles among us.
Prior to the stamping of model numbers the stamps on the frame yoke cut out were the assembly number and various fitter's marks. To make room for model numbers approximately 1958 the assembly number was moved to the left side of the grip frame. There was not a second stamping of the serial number on the frame until it was done to models that were standard with Target Stocks or often ordered with Target Stocks. S&W did not consistently stamp the serial number in two places on all revolver frames until much later. That occurred maybe around 1990?

Regarding gun store staff ignorantly using the assembly number, I've had to ask them to correct that error a few times. I've also had to ask clerks to correct the number of zeros in serial numbers and that sort of thing. All except one were glad to get it right.

The exception was when buying a 1970s N frame that had TT, TH & TS. It went as far as me getting the cash out. The clerk insisted on using the serial number on their price tag which matched the serial number in the yoke cut out except it started with an M instead of an N. The serial number in the yoke cut out of course started with an N. We disagreed on whether the prefix in the yoke cut out was and N or M. He refused to let me remove the stocks to look at the larger stamp. His boss came over, mumbled that he was no longer offering it for sale and took it back to his desk. A year or two later I learned that the owners were arrested for knowingly selling stolen guns to innocent buyers. It was too bad that the shop fell into bad hands. For decades under its original owners it had been a good place to hunt for used guns and and get a hair cut. I always double check to see that the correct serial number gets on the paper work.

Getting back to the K-22 that started this thread, if Steelslaver had inherited it in gun friendly Montana then he would have been foolish to do anything other than not post its issue on the internet and enjoy it. However, it was not a bargain at $400 because its issue will plague it forever. In states were politicians who are openly hostile to gun ownership have a stranglehold on governance IMO it is wiser to pay more and get a gun that is unquestionably legal.

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Old 05-17-2020, 04:11 PM
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Wow! You guys are great. Thanks for all the info.


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Old 05-17-2020, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k22fan View Post
Prior to the stamping of model numbers the stamps on the frame yoke cut out were the assembly number and various fitter's marks. To make room for model numbers approximately 1958 the assembly number was moved to the left side of the grip frame. There was not a second stamping of the serial number on the frame until it was done to models that were standard with Target Stocks or often ordered with Target Stocks. S&W did not consistently stamp the serial number in two places on all revolvers until much later. That occurred maybe around 1990?

Regarding gun store staff ignorantly using the assembly number, I've had to ask them to correct that error a few times. I've also had to ask clerks to correct the number of zeros in serial numbers and that sort of thing. All except one were glad to get it right.

The exception was when buying a 1970s N frame that had TT, TH & TS. It went as far as me getting the cash out. The clerk insisted on using the serial number on their price tag which started with a letter other than N. The serial number in the yoke cut out of course started with an N. His boss came over, mumbled that he was no longer offering it for sale and took it back to his desk. A year or two later I learned that the owners were arrested for fencing stolen guns. It was too bad that the shop fell into bad hands. For decades under its original owners it had been a good place to hunt for used guns and and get a hair cut. I always double check to see that the correct serial number gets on the paper work.

Getting back to the K-22 that started this thread, if Steelslaver had inherited it in gun friendly Montana then he would have been foolish to do anything other than not post its issue on the internet and enjoy it. However, it was not a bargain at $400 because its issue will plague it forever. In states were politicians who are openly hostile to gun ownership have a stranglehold on governance IMO it is wiser to pay more and get a gun that is unquestionably legal.
I get it. Both my 1976 made model 28 and model 14 only have the double serial number because they could be ordered with target stocks. Curiously none of them was(the target stocks on the 14 were installed by me, it originally came with magnas). I checked my model 31-1 and indeed it only has the serial number on the butt.

Now my head hurts.

Out of curiosity. Guns are registered here, they even have their "ID" card, when I applyied for the registration of my 28 I wrote the full serial number including the "N" prefix. The police Olympically ignored that and only wrote the "numbers" on the id.
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Old 05-17-2020, 04:28 PM
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What did the grips look like that came on the gun ??
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Old 05-17-2020, 04:51 PM
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It came with diamond target stocks. They're pictured in my op.

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Old 05-17-2020, 04:53 PM
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I take that back... They're NOT diamond target stocks.
Just regular target stocks.

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Old 05-17-2020, 05:32 PM
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Have seen it, but not on a K22!
Usually on a model 10, etc.
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Old 05-17-2020, 06:31 PM
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When I started reading this thread I thought to myself, “Wow, some real serious PPC shooting enthusiast had a K-22 built as an understudy to his K-38. How cool is that?” Then we got into all of this discussion about legality/illegality of the altered frame and I nearly broke into tears. Such a sad state of affairs that rules could be changed in such a way that was is legal and normal one year could change to be illegal the next... by a rule change from a bureaucrat not bound to waiting for a change in the law.

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Old 05-17-2020, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Doc View Post
James, you're right. You've never had any cop check your gun. I have. If you take a gun to a smith for work the serial is entered into his book. It will also be checked if the gun is involved in anything from a shooting to a traffic stop. If the gun never becomes known to police then no problem. Can't count on that.
As a LEO, I checked a number of firearms, over the years. Most came back clean and there was no further action.


"I don't personally recall an FFL license granting the holder the right to move a ser# and restamp it in another location on a firearm.
I was a 01FFL since 1971 and just turned it back in.

One thing they did allow you to do was to move the ser#, BUT with the approval of the ATF first.
That approval would come (or not) but first you would request the action and 'why'.
No action by you the FFL till ATF says yes."


I received a gunsmithing FFL in 1977. The ATF book stated that if a gunsmith needed to relocate a serial number, it had to be re-stamped on the frame BEFORE the original number was removed. There was no mention of contacting the ATF before this action was taken. A few years later, this provision was removed from the ATF rule book.

I surrendered my license when the Clintons decided to notify every level of local government and the cost of maintaining my license went from $30 a year to $300 yearly. Since this was just the means that allowed me to work on guns for my fellow officers, I could no longer afford my "hobby."
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Old 05-18-2020, 09:28 AM
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The other point that I did not offer in my first post was that if "I" was truly concerned about doing a stretch in the grey bar Hilton over a missing letter stamped on my gun' butt, I would get a K stamp and put it back.

But I still think that after all is said and done, there's a lot more said than done. I've probably only got another 20-25 years to go on this ball of mud and then it will be someone else's problem to solve.
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Old 05-18-2020, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philly5150 View Post
Just brought home my newly acquired K-22 which I bought on consignment for $400.
It came with target stocks which I knew weren't original, but for that price, who could complain. I got it on the work bench to disassemble and clean but what I found under the stocks was that a portion of the frame had been cut. It doesn't affect the functionality at all, but I wanted to put a set of magna stocks on it. Not now.
Has anyone seen this before or know why it may have been done?
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Old 05-18-2020, 10:46 PM
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Philly -

The serial number elsewhere on the revolver matches the grip frame number , except for the missing K. If it will make you feel any better , stamp a K on the grip frame , maybe dab a drop of cold blue on it. Then put those good shooting targets back on and shoot the bejeebers out of it.

No way would I turn in a $400 dollar late 40's K22 over a missing K. If the barrel did not match , maybe. If the butt frame serial had been deliberately ground off , sure.

But over a missing K from a Fuzzy mod , when all else is original and matching?

No.
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Old 05-18-2020, 11:11 PM
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I'm not worried at all about the missing K. Big deal. All the other numbers match.
I was more concerned about the frame having been cut. Why would someone do that? Now I know. Still kind of a bummer.
But like you said, Waveski, I'm going to put the target grips back on and shoot the bejeebers out of it.

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Old 05-18-2020, 11:20 PM
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Are we sure the K prefix was removed, the serial number looks quite distance away from the cut. Thanks
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Old 05-19-2020, 12:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troystat View Post
Are we sure the K prefix was removed, the serial number looks quite distance away from the cut. Thanks
Yep, the K is quite a distance from the rest of the #.
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Old 05-19-2020, 12:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philly5150 View Post
But like you said, Waveski, I'm going to put the target grips back on and shoot the bejeebers out of it.
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I shoot a K22 Combat (4") and when I got it I was looking for a pair of diamond target grips for it. Meanwhile my dad gave me a pair that came off a trade gun. The grips had finger grooves cut in them, and the pinky groove on the toe, lower front corner of the grips was cut deep (like Fuzzy Farant's) but it was below the butt of the grip frame. I have never replaced them because they fit and shoot so well.
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philly5150 View Post
I'm not worried at all about the missing K. Big deal. All the other numbers match.
I was more concerned about the frame having been cut. Why would someone do that? Now I know. Still kind of a bummer.
But like you said, Waveski, I'm going to put the target grips back on and shoot the bejeebers out of it.

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Old 05-22-2020, 01:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snake803 View Post
That is the frame cut to use the Fuzzy Farrant "special" grips stocks).....
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Old 05-22-2020, 01:30 AM
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How many FFL transfers have you seen using the assembly number lol?
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Old 05-22-2020, 08:47 AM
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How many FFL transfers have you seen using the assembly number lol?
Several. Auction houses have often used assembly numbers and individuals on GB and other gun auction sites have mis-identified their guns by using assembly numbers. Their FFLs would ship the guns under the assembly numbers. It has happened to me three times and assume to other bigger buyers, more.

I simply enter the actual serial number in my log book and note it was corrected, then submit my pistol sales record to the MI State Police with the correct serial number with no issues.

This way, I can sell the gun with no concerns about my records using the correct serial number.
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Old 05-22-2020, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troystat View Post
Are we sure the K prefix was removed, the serial number looks quite distance away from the cut. Thanks
As Honda44 stated, many times, the K is off to the side quite a ways. In addition, all post WW II K frame target revolvers have a "K" in the serial number, until S&W changed to a alpha numerical SN system in the '80s.
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