Recently I talked to a friend of mine, Buford, who wanted a K-22 or model 17 for a while. When he finally found one, he got unlucky - Buford was upset that his S&W 17-3 had some function problems. I mentioned to him that IMO the 4 and 5 screw K-22s / early 17s were of a higher quality. I more or less suggested he fix his 17-3, and then sell it (repaired and working) and then look for a nice K-22 / early 17, but more a shooter grade. Hes not the collector type who has to have the right wax paper (lol @ doc540 - although I can appreciate that mindset).
After a little patience, and a little luck I found Buford this K-22. Its a later one, K 326XXX - approx 1958 production. The grips number to the gun and it shoots like a dream. I mentioned to Buford one day that I bought him one, and he figured I wanted compensated for find it, and I said "no bud, only what I paid". He mentioned to me that he has fallen on hard financial times, so I told him I was in no big hurry. After all, only having 4 K-22 / model 17s always bothered me. 5 is a better number.
Here she is. I may be in line for some good gun karma. But I didn't do it for that, I did it to help a guy out. I'm sure we all have done similar things at one time or another.
I suppose if I was a real friend the gun wouldn't have this bit of barrel wear. Its a presentable piece which has just enough wear for guilt free shooting. Perfect in my opinion.
And you know, if ol Buford comes up with the money for this fine piece, I don't think the gun is gonna take too kindly to being separated from its brothers. If Buford passes on her, well hey, one K-22 for each weekday!
Clockwise from upper right, 1951 K-22 with the speed hammer (this was later changed to the hammer type on the 1958 gun), 1953 K-22 which belonged to my paternal grandfather (he outfitted it with a target hammer, target trigger and later target grips - I of course left it that way), K-22 4 screw 1958, 17-3 with full target package, NIB, and last but not least, a scarce k-22/40 aka K-22 2nd model from 1940. Might as well start lookin' for the 6th one