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View Full Version : S&W K22 5 Screw


VegasND
02-03-2012, 7:43 PM
I picked up this K22 today. It's older than any Smith I've owned and I'd like some advice before I decide what to do with it; I haven't cleaned it yet. As you can see, the finish isn't great but there's no pitting and the rust is pretty light. The numbers match (1625XX), including the grips and cylinder. Can anybody tell me for sure when it was made, which model it is, and whether I should clean it and leave it or reblue it?
http://i573.photobucket.com/albums/ss179/rtnpchpic/CandR/K22RightSP-1.jpg
http://i573.photobucket.com/albums/ss179/rtnpchpic/CandR/K22Left-1.jpg

Latigo
02-03-2012, 7:53 PM
Oh man! What a beauty! You'll probably get a lot of advice to the contrary, but if it were mine I'd do a full restoration. Beautiful.

ojisan
02-03-2012, 8:45 PM
Late 50s to early 60s.
Those grips with the diamond are old style most likely matched and numbered to the gun.
Do not loose or damage them.
Look for the matching serial # written inside the grips.
If the serial # does not match, value goes down.

Time for a good cleaning then appraise the finish.
Pics after clean-up, please!

Pfletch83
02-03-2012, 8:51 PM
Damn fine rimfire you have there,if that K-22 could talk.

Asphodel
02-03-2012, 9:25 PM
Hmmmm.........If you would, please, look closely at that serial number.

It really should start with the letter 'K', so it would be K66xxx. If so, it was built in 1948, or possibly 1949, per the Supica/Nahas 'Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson'.

(My own is K33xxx, and yours looks identical in details, except mine has the 6" barrel length.)

Is the letter 'S' stamped across from the serial number, on the bottom of the grip frame?

You have one of the best revolvers ever made......please, please, don't 'restore' or tinker with it........just have it apart, ever so carefully, clean and oil it well, and it will serve you well for many, many years to come. In cleaning it up, use suitably sharpened wooden toothpicks to get the solidified grime out of the little 'nooks and crannies'.

Do not, I say again, not, ever, try to remove the side-plate by prying on an edge. After removing the screws, including the one under the RH grip, hold the revolver upside-down, and tap gently on the frame, adjacent to the side-plate, with a soft hammer or small block of soft wood. The side plate will come away from the frame after a few gentle 'raps'.

Be very careful of the hand spring when removing the trigger. You'll need a special tool to replace the trigger return spring. It looks like a screw driver with a bent and slotted tip, and is available cheaply from Brownells.

If the bluing is 'dull', don't worry, just live with it.....clean the exterior with fine bronze wool (not steel wool) and 'break-free' oil. It will clean to a nice 'patina'. You can clean up the grips by sanding, ever so very lightly, with 400 grit emery paper, and rubbing in some 'tru-oil' or boiled linseed oil.

Remove the 'grime' from the grips with lacquer thinner or acetone on a soft cotton rag, first, using an old toothbrush, gently, on the chequering.

Yours is a pre-model-18, referred to as a 'K-22 Combat Masterpiece' in the old catalogues........its a relatively uncommon revolver, and, being an early post-war 5-screw, was the 'high-water-mark of quality' in Smith & Wesson revolvers.......and, yes, it is rather valuable, if kept in original unaltered condition.

cheers

Carla

kurac
02-03-2012, 9:49 PM
Nice one, they are great shooters. That one should clean up with maybe some bronze wool and CLP

I was luck enough to find these two guys in the last 5 years, they don't turn up very often and move pretty quick when they do.

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b197/KuracBoban/IMAG0026.jpg

ojisan
02-03-2012, 9:51 PM
Hmmm...a six digit number but a 5 screw would be 1955 or so at latest....my bad on the early 1960s.
A letter from Smith would be the only way to know for sure.
Yes, the metal work from back then is awesome. : ))

VegasND
02-03-2012, 9:56 PM
I appreciate the reply and the information.
There is a K on the grip frame but it's not right next to the serial number, there is a space between them. Looks kind'a like: K 162XXX

There is no 'S' on the grip.
Hmmmm.........If you would, please, look closely at that serial number.

It really should start with the letter 'K', so it would be K66xxx. If so, it was built in 1948, or possibly 1949, per the Supica/Nahas 'Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson'.

(My own is K33xxx, and yours looks identical in details, except mine has the 6" barrel length.)

Is the letter 'S' stamped across from the serial number, on the bottom of the grip frame?
I expected to be told not to have it refinished and I respect that. The double action trigger is great and I'm looking forward to shooting it.

I've checked and the numbers all match including the number inside the grips. I guess that means your advice to clean carefully but leave as is makes most sense.
You have one of the best revolvers ever made......please, please, don't 'restore' or tinker with it........just have it apart, ever so carefully, clean and oil it well, and it will serve you well for many, many years to come. In cleaning it up, use suitably sharpened wooden toothpicks to get the solidified grime out of the little 'nooks and crannies'.

Do not, I say again, not, ever, try to remove the side-plate by prying on an edge. After removing the screws, including the one under the RH grip, hold the revolver upside-down, and tap gently on the frame, adjacent to the side-plate, with a soft hammer or small block of soft wood. The side plate will come away from the frame after a few gentle 'raps'.

Be very careful of the hand spring when removing the trigger. You'll need a special tool to replace the trigger return spring. It looks like a screw driver with a bent and slotted tip, and is available cheaply from Brownells.

If the bluing is 'dull', don't worry, just live with it.....clean the exterior with fine bronze wool (not steel wool) and 'break-free' oil. It will clean to a nice 'patina'. You can clean up the grips by sanding, ever so very lightly, with 400 grit emery paper, and rubbing in some 'tru-oil' or boiled linseed oil.

Remove the 'grime' from the grips with lacquer thinner or acetone on a soft cotton rag, first, using an old toothbrush, gently, on the chequering.

Yours is a pre-model-18, referred to as a 'K-22 Combat Masterpiece' in the old catalogues........its a relatively uncommon revolver, and, being an early post-war 5-screw, was the 'high-water-mark of quality' in Smith & Wesson revolvers.......and, yes, it is rather valuable, if kept in original unaltered condition.

cheers

Carla

VegasND
02-03-2012, 9:59 PM
Nice revolvers ojisan and kurac

Thanks to all for the help and compliments.

trashman
02-03-2012, 10:02 PM
They are great guns, well worth every minute you spend shooting them. And they quite simply "don't make them like this anymore".

Don't have it refinished -- especially if the grips number to the gun.

But do shoot it, and enjoy it!

--Neill



http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee126/northslope/reno004.jpg

kurac
02-03-2012, 10:06 PM
Also be extra carefull with the grips, around the time your revolver was made, S&W used grips with plastic medallions for a year or two, if you use the wrong solvent, you can melt them.

VegasND
02-04-2012, 8:30 AM
Grips. The finish is worn off in a couple of spots but they are numbered to the revolver and they are pretty good otherwise.

What should I do to them and which products would be best?

Links to restoring grips would be helpful.

kurac
02-04-2012, 9:08 AM
Grips. The finish is worn off in a couple of spots but they are numbered to the revolver and they are pretty good otherwise.

What should I do to them and which products would be best?

Links to restoring grips would be helpful.

Stay away from anything that has acetone in it. In the past, I have used an old tooth brush and some Scotts liquid wood cleaner and preservative. You can clean up the grips with this method without stripping the finish and it leaves a waxy film that will dry so you can buff it out for a nice shine.