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Old 07-13-2017, 02:51 PM
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Default S&W .22 Magnum

I recently inherited a .22 magnum and i am trying to find out all the info i can on it. Serial # is K474536 if the photo is not legible enough. Any and all help will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-13-2017, 02:57 PM
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Welcome! You have a model 48 or K-22 Masterpiece (Magnum) from about 1962. It was one of the first revolvers made in this chambering starting in about 1959. They were sometimes produced with an extra cylinder in .22 LR but it this cannot be fired safely in the Magnum cylinder. It appears very nice with correct stocks for the era. Hope this is helpful.

Edit to add: Duh. See post 7 below .
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:01 PM
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What you have is not a .22 MRF, but a .22 Jet (model 53), which is essentially a .357 magnum case necked down to 22 caliber. It is a centerfire cartridge. You also have the inserts for the cylinder to be able to shoot .22 LR.

With the Jet cartridges the chambers have to be meticulously clean and dry. If not you may experience cartridge setback, which will tie up the gun.

These are collectible, but many owners still shoot and enjoy theirs.

Adios,

Pizza Bob
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:40 PM
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Obviously a model 53 Jet and not a model 48 WMR
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:49 PM
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Nice inheritance. Around here the M53's go for +/- $1500, especially with the inserts which yours appears to have.
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Old 07-13-2017, 04:10 PM
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They could also be ordered with a fitted .22LR cylinder. I had one so equipped back in the '70's. despite the 8-3/8" barrel, it was not as accurate as my M 17. Didn't keep it long.
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Old 07-14-2017, 06:31 AM
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Darned little phone photos .

Yes, a model 53, chambered in .22 Jet, one of the centerfire Magnum rounds popular at that time. The "firing pin" (hammer nose) position is switchable between center- and rimfire positions. These came with Jet cylinder inserts for .22 LR, and also with LR and rimfire Magnum cylinders; the latter two are longer than the cylinders for the revolvers built for LR (model 17) and MRF (model 48) and are difficult to find. Enjoy!
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Old 07-14-2017, 06:53 PM
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They came out in 1961 and were discontinued in 1974, if you are going to shoot it you need to reload. Jeff
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:54 PM
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I'm going to guess the OPs is an early one, probably in the first 2 years. Ammo has become more available recently, but its still too expensive to shoot factory ammo. It will become your favorite gun the first time you fire it. Noise is in the ballpark with 44 mags. Lots of flash and earsplitting roar. But about the same recoil as a 22 lr. You can take it with you to the range to drive off others that do stupid stuff. You might like to try ear plugs and muffs for your sanity.
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Old 07-14-2017, 11:42 PM
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Cool M53 'Jet' handgun! One question: how do you switch the hammer from CF to RF on it? Just wondering?
Thanks.
Brittman
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Old 07-15-2017, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murphydog View Post
Darned little phone photos .

Yes, a model 53, chambered in .22 Jet, one of the centerfire Magnum rounds popular at that time. The "firing pin" (hammer nose) position is switchable between center- and rimfire positions. These came with Jet cylinder inserts for .22 LR, and also with LR and rimfire Magnum cylinders; the latter two are longer than the cylinders for the revolvers built for LR (model 17) and MRF (model 48) and are difficult to find. Enjoy!
Don't feel bad, Alan. I thought the same thing -- that it was a Model 48, and a darn fine looking one, too -- when I first saw the photo. The OP's mention of "22 magnum" already had me thinking in that direction too. Did notice the box said 53 though, and then the centerfire hammer, so OK, first impression was wrong for me too.

That's a mighty fine example. With the inserts allowing use of 22LR as well, I'd think this one would be very attractive to anyone looking to buy one of these. As we know, they've been selling quickly and for a good price online and, I believe, here on the Forum as well when they come up.

Frankly, I didn't know before today that 22 Jet was a centerfire cartridge. How 'bout that. So I guess the inserts were designed so that the 22LR rimfire cartridge could still be fired by the centerfire hammer, is that right?
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Old 07-15-2017, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brittman View Post
Cool M53 'Jet' handgun! One question: how do you switch the hammer from CF to RF on it? Just wondering?
Thanks.
Brittman
Right on top of the hammer is a rocker switch that will move the selector from centerfire (forward) to rimfire (rear). If you look at the breechface you will see the two firing pins.

Jet ammo is readily available on line. Reed's Ammo has it as do several other manufacturers. It is best to wear both plugs and headhone type hearing protection as the muzzleblast is not only loud but a very high frequency...

To shoot standard .22 rimfire ammo just put the rounds in the adapters and place them in the chambers. Then switch the selector to rimfire and shoot. Eject the empty adapters and take the empty .22 outs with a fingernail or small piece of coat hanger.

Serial number indicates a 1962 vintage gun...the first year of production guns had a screw in front of the trigger guard...yours should be a 53-2 with no screw...

Not sure what the going price is today but $1000 +- is what most people will pay for a clean one like yours...

Bob
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Old 07-15-2017, 07:11 PM
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I thought there was a size limit on photos so I downsized them first. Silly me. Here are the originals at the correct billboard size.
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:19 PM
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For those Forum members who have not had a chance to examine a Model 53, here are a few photos showing its unique design features
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Old 07-16-2017, 08:55 AM
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That tapered swab is very valuable ..hard to find item...
JIM...............
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Old 07-16-2017, 06:11 PM
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IIRC, the easiest way to tell the difference between an M53 and the M17/18 models using only a photograph is that the M53 has the shrouded barrel that looks like an M19. I believe the only other model that has such a shroud without being a .357 magnum is the M68. It is certainly the method I use, in part because I am not a sophisticated S&W collector type.
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Old 07-16-2017, 07:43 PM
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Hey guys, thanks for the help and photos - very interesting piece there! I did see a couple of boxes of .22 Jet ammo at an auction yesterday, but I don't know what they sold for?
This site is a wealth of information. Thank you!
Brittman
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Old 07-28-2017, 03:47 PM
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Luckily there's ammo available that being PPU. Last weekend compared the current PPU to a cylinder full of 70's vintage Remington's I had saved. Was surprised how much more powerful the old Remington's were verses today's PPU.

Last edited by Jersey Doug; 07-28-2017 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 07-29-2017, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Rego View Post
For those Forum members who have not had a chance to examine a Model 53, here are a few photos showing its unique design features
Thanks for the public service message, Walter, and the fine photos that made me say, "Aha!"

.22 Jet looks like it would be a kick-butt round from a pistol. I'll have to read up on it a bit. Just another good idea that never caught on?
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Old 07-29-2017, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Rego View Post
For those Forum members who have not had a chance to examine a Model 53, here are a few photos showing its unique design features
Thanks Walter, I appreciate the photos. This is the first photo of the hammer I've seen.
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Old 07-29-2017, 08:42 PM
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Hey guys,

What was the ave. velocity of the .22 Jet cartridge in the M53 revolver? Anyone know? (Depends on bbl., I know.)

Just wondering if it was close to the .22WMR cartridge, that's all.

A COOL piece of ammo for sure! Also, great photos... Thanks!

Brittman
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Old 07-29-2017, 09:08 PM
Walter Rego Walter Rego is offline
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I sure would be curious if any Forum members who own a Model 53 and have a chronograph have tested the PPU ammo vs. some vintage Remington or Peters brand ammo. I bought several boxes of the PPU ammo but have not yet fired any. It does have the correct .222" bullets. The Hornady 40 gr. .222" bullets have been out of production for several years now and I have not been able to find the .223" Sierra 40 gr. bullets for a while either. A gun show seller did have some bulk, new PPU brass and I bought a bag of that as well. The bullets are the problem now.
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Old 07-30-2017, 04:32 PM
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Have to look at my records but from a 6" barrel the factory 40 grain SP ran right at 1800 fps. Never had a 8 3/8" or 4" but from a 10" TC Contender barrel I believe they ran 2600 fps... Will check my notes when I get a chance...

If you can find them, Hornady still has the 40 grain flat point Jet bullet that is .222 in diameter. Sierra I believe still has the Hornet bullets for early Hornets that are .223...both will work...

What is a lot of fun I loading just a Magnum small rifle primer and a .22 caliber pellet in the mouth of the case backwards...makes a fun close range plinker...

Bob
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Old 07-30-2017, 06:08 PM
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Gunbroker just finished up an auction running a New Old Stock M-53 that bid up to $3,495 !!!!! The strange part is,, didn't at that price meet his reserve ?????
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