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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 04-01-2021, 10:31 AM
Rat Rod Mac Rat Rod Mac is offline
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Was at an auction the other day and one of the guns on the table was a Smith & Wesson K-22 with a 4" barrel. A five screw. I've seen and shot Model 17's with six inch barrels, but I don't seem to see many four inch even the model 17 let alone a five screw. I know the five screw model is very desirable, but I'm curious about the four inch in the five screw. This may have been the first one I have ever seen. When did S&W come out with this model and was the four inch more rare than the six inch? I know they changed to a number system around 1956- 1957. Is the four inch 17 uncommon also? Did they drop the four inch 17 when the 18 came out? Just trying to piece all of this together. Did not have all of these facts at the sale, so was reluctant to bid on it. Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-01-2021, 10:43 AM
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As you note, it wasn't model numbered. No five screw guns were.

What you saw was a .22 Combat Masterpiece, which came standard with the 4" barrel and was introduced in 1949 IIRC. It later became the Model 18.

If the price was reasonable, I'd have bought it in a heartbeat.
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Old 04-01-2021, 11:07 AM
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According to the standard catalog of S&W the Model 17: The K-22 Masterpiece was produced from 1949 to 1989. Model #'s began stamping in 1957. Produced with 6" barrels although a 5" barrel is rare. In 1990 S&W introduced this model as a full-lug barrel variation. It had a full-lug and ribbed barrel of 4", 6" or 8 3/8". This variation was cataloged btw 1990 and 1995.


K-22CM's tend to be more pricey than the K-22's given similar conditions. The same goes for Model 18's vis-a-vis Model 17's. IMHO.


A 1947 K-22



A 1953 K-22CM



I don't own a Model 17
A 1959 Model 18
image ru
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Old 04-01-2021, 12:34 PM
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The K-22 Masterpiece (6" barrel) goes back farther than 1949. The first example was completed on August 19, 1946. Full production started in late December, 1946, and shipments began in earnest the following year. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 units shipped in 1947. The K-22 was the first of the Masterpiece series to be shipped in large numbers. The K-38 and K-32 followed a bit later. The first K-38 Masterpiece wasn't assembled until June, 1947, and the first one to ship left the factory in February, 1948.

The 4" Combat Masterpiece units, both in .22 and .38 caliber, came along in 1949.
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Old 04-01-2021, 03:32 PM
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I thought the first "Masterpiece" was the K-22 2nd---1940. Yes? No?

Ralph Tremaine
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Old 04-01-2021, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rct269 View Post
I thought the first "Masterpiece" was the K-22 2nd---1940. Yes? No?
Yes, of course. I was speaking only of the postwar reintroduction.
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Old 04-01-2021, 09:43 PM
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Confusing I have a 1948 s&w k22 Target masterpiece 6Ē barrel in the gold box with screwdriver. I know thereís a outdoorman k22 but I donít know the difference being new to 22ís. My memory fails me. I see m34ís and m18ís at my dealer but everything looks like the kís?

I run the action on the k22 then run the action on my h&rís night n day difference. The h&r needs cleaning, lubing.
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Old 04-01-2021, 10:04 PM
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The Harrington Richardson revolvers are neat old guns , but all the cleaning and lubing in the world will do little to little to narrow the gap of that "night n day difference".
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Old 04-01-2021, 10:13 PM
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I picked up a few h&r 22 when I seen them. I have some dated late 1800ís. One has the cylinder lock that only comes up to stop the cylinder as itís fired. Itís 1895 dated.
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Old 04-01-2021, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBill View Post
I know thereís a outdoorman k22 but I donít know the difference
The K-22 Outdoorsman's was introduced c. 1931. Major differences from the postwar K-22 Masterpiece include a smaller, more primitive adjustable rear sight and no barrel rib. All the postwar Masterpiece revolvers had a ribbed barrel and the micro-adjustable target rear sight that was pioneered on the K-22/40, just before the war.

Quote:
I see m34ís and m18ís at my dealer but everything looks like the kís?
The Model 34 was an I frame gun; the 34-1 was a J frame. So, they are smaller than the K frames.

The Model 18 is basically the same as a K-22 Masterpiece, but with a 4" barrel.
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Old 04-01-2021, 11:14 PM
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The K-22/40 Masterpiece was the first S&W revolver with the short throw/high speed hammer as well as the micro-click adjustable rear sights.
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Old 04-02-2021, 12:27 AM
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Cool info thanks for clearing that up.

Just browsing prices I was looking at a m18 no dash 4Ē barrel, 1958 for $1,500. I went to GI and most are over $1 k. They seem to be more than the colt police 22ís.

I seen a online price of the k22/40 averaging between $1,500 to $2,500. Thatís what they said.
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Old 04-04-2021, 02:16 PM
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One of my K22 5 screw 4" My birth month September 1950. I also have the shipping carton!
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Old 04-04-2021, 11:43 PM
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I have a K 22 Masterpiece Serial No. K 48471 how do I find date of Manufacture?
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Old 04-05-2021, 12:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T K22 View Post
I have a K 22 Masterpiece Serial No. K 48471 how do I find date of Manufacture?
I believe it was made in 1948. You can look up most (not all) dates up to 1980 in the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, by Jim Supica and Richard Nahas.
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