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Old June 21, 2009, 11:15 AM   #1
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Smith & Wesson 22 cal

I have aquired a Smith & Wesson 22lr revolver - serial # 686938. It doesn't have a model number on it anywhere. It's pretty old. Does anyone know what model this is?

Last edited by dindygirl63; June 21, 2009 at 11:27 AM. Reason: want to change title of post
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Old June 21, 2009, 01:00 PM   #2
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A picture is worth a thousand words, so they say. Based on the serial number, if it is not prefixed with a "K", then you have a desireable Pre-War K-22 Masterpiece. Only 1,067 were produced between 1940 and 1941. S&W models did not have a model number until 1957 and later production.

It would be a .22 caliber, six shot revolver built on the "K" Target frame with 5 screws (four sideplate screws - one under the grip - and a screw in front of the triggerguard). These guns were blued, though nickel finishes were a special order option. The 6" pinned barrel is round with no rib on top. Walnut grips with a silver medallion were issued or "diamond" cut Magna grips¹ on the square butt frame. The K-22 features a short cocking action with an anti-backlash trigger, counterbored² fluted six-shot cylinder with a nominal length of 1.6".

A micrometer adjustable rear sight was first introduced on this model. The front sight is a 1/8" or 1/10" plain Patridge sight, Call gold or plain bead.³ A large S&W trademark roll stamping is found on the sideplate (right side).

My S&W standard catalog 3rd ed. values these Pre-War K-22's at $1750 in NRA Very good condition up to $3000 in excellent condition. If you have the original box and/or paperwork, this will add to the value of the gun.

I would also recommend contacting Smith & Wesson for an authentication letter. Having the S&W historian provide a description of the gun along with it's original ship date and destination helps authenticate it and will also add some value.

If you're interested in more history or information, post your questions (and a photo if you can) here or on The latter is devoted to S&W revolvers and many collectors there are a wealth of information.

¹ The "diamond" magna grips have an uncheckered diamond shape around the grip screw. These grips cover the grip frame and extend up to the rear of the grip area of the revolver.
² The chambers in the cylinder are counterbored so the rim of the .22 cartridge fits flush with the rear of the cylinder. This is a safety feature should a cartridge head ever rupture.
³ The Patridge front sight is rounded on the front and cut vertically at the rear for visibility. The addition of a raised gold bead aids in seeing the front sight. The Call gold bead was a flush-mounted gold bead and is not very common.

Last edited by BillCA; June 21, 2009 at 01:17 PM.
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Old June 22, 2009, 09:38 AM   #3
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The high serial number, without a letter prefix, does indicate it was pre war most likely because they were numbered with the 1905 4th series hand ejectors which were nearing the end of their run. Make sure to check the yoke (open the cylinder and look for the flat part ahead of the cylinder) for the model number. If theres not a model number there, IE 17-3, then yours is pre 1957 and most likely pre war. A fantastic 22, S&W, and gun in general.
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