K-22: Good deal?


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ArthurDent
February 4, 2011, 10:10 PM
All,

I have been looking for a S&W K-22 Masterpiece for a while now. I just found one in a local shop.

This OLD revolver is serial # K 124xxx.

The shop wants $600 for it.

Is this a good deal???

I'd want this for a range gun and for accuracy, not necessarily for collecting value.

The gun is beat-up on the outside:

It is blued, and the bluing looks original. The bluing is badly beat-up. There is a drag line that is down to the bare metal. There are lots of scrapes and rubbed places on the outside of the barrel. The extractor rod is VERY scraped up. The bluing is completely worn off around the firing pin, behind where the round that is being fired would sit.

However, It looks like the working parts are in great shape (at least as far as I can tell):

The cylinder locks up tightly on all 6 chambers. As far as I can tell, the chambers line up with the barrel. The crane seems to hold the cylinder fairly firmly (not much wobble).

The inside of the barrel is shiny like a mirror and the lands and grooves look sharp and nice. The chambers in the cylinder all look shiny.

The single-action trigger is VERY light... I'd guess less than 2 pounds.

The grips look original.

The rear sight is adjustable. There is a very slight amount of rust or crud on the adjustment screws. However, otherwise there does not seem to be any rust at all.

Sooo.... is this a good deal???

The museum-quality k-22's I've seen online are going for around $1000. This one has obviously been used a LOT, but it looks to me like there's plenty more life left in her.

Also, does anyone have an idea when she was born? (I've posted in the "DOB thread for S&W Revolvers" thread also.)

Thanks for any input you all provide! :)

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Animal Mother
February 4, 2011, 10:18 PM
I'm looking for a S&W .22 revolver as well, and unless you are looking specifically for a old K-22, I'd pass on it. You can get a new S&W K-frame 617 for $670 shipped from Bud's and that'll come with a lifetime warranty from S&W. If you do buy it, I'd only do it with the option of bringing it back if it doesn't work. It's impossible to tell if its going to function flawlessly without actually taking it out and shooting it and it sounds like its been rode hard and put away wet.

22-rimfire
February 4, 2011, 10:28 PM
I think the price is HIGH considering the condition. I wouldn't buy it at that price. I bought an as-new one two years ago for less than this. Prices couldn't have gone up this much.

Iggy
February 4, 2011, 10:40 PM
http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p246/Iggy25/SW22.jpg?t=1296873526

This K-22 might bring $600.00 I wouldn't sell it for that, but it gives you a reference point.
It looks like the one you are looking at is about 1946 vintage

Shear_stress
February 4, 2011, 10:42 PM
Not even a stone's throw from a good deal. It's your money, but persistent and patient shopping should get you something much nicer for much less.

ArthurDent
February 4, 2011, 10:54 PM
Hmmm...

Iggy, that is beautiful!!!

I wonder why I've been seeing prices that are so high. I just checked Gunbroker now, and they've got a few that seem comparable for around $700. Of course, they don't look as beat-up, but then you can do wonders with photography. ;)

Yes, I've been looking specifically for a K-22. The newer S&W 22 revolvers just don't quite do it for me, and the new reproductions with the lock on them don't move me as much either.

Thanks! I'll keep listening for y'all's fine input, but it sounds like I should either bargain for a lower price or some sort of guarantee.

Minnesota Wild
February 4, 2011, 11:00 PM
I've seen a lot of model 17s in good condition in the $600 range. Unless there's a reason that you must have specifically a K22 you can find a better deal for the same gun. Even a K22 should be findable for that price if you are patient.

Iggy
February 4, 2011, 11:01 PM
K-22s are a hot item right now. Price of ammunition has caused a surge of interest in .22s.

I wouldn't sell mine for $600 nor $700. Keep looking there are still some nice ones floating around. As you can tell by the one you are looking at, they don't wear out. Some just get old sooner than others.

ArthurDent
February 5, 2011, 12:08 AM
I am specifically interested in an original K-22 (Not a new model 17, but I might have to go there).

I'd really like to have a beautiful one, like the one Iggy just showed, but I'm more interested in accuracy and a nice trigger.

What would be a reasonable figure for the gun I've described? (Private sale price, and purchase price from a local shop?)

(Not that they're likely to come off their price, but I can try.)

ArthurDent
February 5, 2011, 12:15 AM
P.S. Thank you, Iggy for the date of birth! :)

SwampWolf
February 6, 2011, 04:42 PM
I agree with others. Given the condition as described you can do better, much better in my estimation. Around these parts, Model 14s/K-38 Masterpieces in 98% condition, with box/papers, can be found for between $500.00 and $600.00 (I just chose between two K-38s from different dealers at an OGCA gun show last month, one made in 1957; the other made in 1955, that fit this description and paid $500.00 for one of them-both dealers were asking $550.00 but only one of them was willing to come down. Guess who got my business?:)). I could be wrong about this (and if I am, I'd like to know the truth) but I think if everything else is equal, K-22s and K-38s fetch roughly the same prices.

Magnumite
February 7, 2011, 02:25 AM
I agree, that is alot for that post war K22. The K prefix with six digit number is late 40's to early 50's. Mine is K67xxx and it is 1948 manufacture.

Pass on it and wait until you find a better one. As Iggy has shown you can get some really good buys for $600.

The K-38's typically bring a little less the 22 Masterpieces. Ammo thing, I believe, plus the desirability of 38 Special in medium and large frame guns are not as desirable any more. Give it time, though, they'll all start bringing in $$$.

earplug
February 7, 2011, 02:33 AM
For two hundred dollars more you can buy a used S&W 41 or a High Standard.
Revolvers are wonderful instruments. But for accuracy a 22 pistol is way better.
You don't have to worry about your brass with a 22.

vanagon40
February 7, 2011, 02:57 PM
In April 2009, I paid $560 (including shipping and the fees charged by the FFL holders) for a 1971 17-3 in very good condition. Has the target trigger and target hammer.

http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb215/vanagon40/k-22.jpg

Paladin7
February 7, 2011, 05:31 PM
The K22 Masterpiece is an excellent revolver. Given the condition you describe, I would not pay $600 for it, but maybe you can bargain it down and have it re-blued. Then it would make sense.

You could also continue looking for one, I'm sure you will find one at a lower price if you give it some time.

The K22 is really worth the wait. I prefer the pre-lock, pre-MIM models myself and waited for a long time to get the Model 18-3 I picked up last year. I'm happy I did.

PzGren
February 8, 2011, 12:39 PM
$600 is quite high for a K-22 in in the described very used but mechanically good condition. However, I do not expect the prices to get any softer. In the given condition I would try and settle for $400 to $450. You will have a great shooter.

If you want more than a shooter, a gun that is more serving as a collectible and investment, get a gun with at least 90% finish and be prepared to pay $600+ for it. Prices on the older K-22s are rising and I would definitely not sell mine for $600 and have enjoyed shooting it close to two decades.

http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z159/Andyd173/DSCI0059.jpg

Average Joe
February 8, 2011, 06:21 PM
That price it too high. Keep looking.

jad0110
February 8, 2011, 06:28 PM
I am specifically interested in an original K-22 (Not a new model 17, but I might have to go there).

Other than the new "Classic" 17s, all Model 17s and 18s retained their K-22 designation.

As others have said, a beater K-22 like you describe in good mechanical condition would sell for around $475 in my parts, perhaps a bit higher ($500) since it is a K Frame transitional model (likely, it has a pre-war long action and a post war hammer block safety).

I bought my 17-0 K-22 (DOB 1959) in 2006 for $430, it's in 99% condition. Today, it is probably worth around $600 in my parts, maybe more (I saw a 17-3 at a Pawn Shop last month for $750), but I wouldn't even consider parting with it for anything under a grand or 2, simply because I really like this one! And they are getting much harder to find.


http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q139/jad0110/Smith%20and%20Wesson%20K22%20Model%2017%2022%20LR/K22_12-1.jpg


Here it is, pictured with my 14-4 (DOB 1980). I paid $350 for the Model 14 at about the same time, now it is probably worth $550 or so.


http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q139/jad0110/Smith%20and%20Wesson%20Model%2014%20and%2017/IMG_1632.jpg

duns
February 9, 2011, 08:05 AM
I bought a brand new M17 K-22 Masterpiece last November from Davidson's for $710 ($780 with fees and taxes). So $600 seems really high for a beat up gun.

PzGren
February 9, 2011, 09:31 AM
I bought a brand new M17 K-22 Masterpiece last November from Davidson's for $710 ($780 with fees and taxes). So $600 seems really high for a beat up gun.

Duns,

there is a difference in between a pre-M17, even in 65% condition, and a new production MIM M-17. I would much rather pay $600 for a beat up old pre-M17 model K22 than the same amount for a brand-spanking-new recent production M17.

Onmilo
February 9, 2011, 01:01 PM
If you think $600 is high for a Model 17/K22, try finding a 6" Model 48 .22 Magnum in any condition for under $1000!

Forget the appearance, that can be upgraded.
Cock and decock the revolver and hold the trigger to the rear, then grasp the cylinder and see if it will rotate off the cylinder bolt.
I have found when revolvers have that light a trigger pull the cylinder bolt doesn't always lock up correctly.

See if the forcing cone looks in good shape, look for erosion and lead shavings impacted between the forcing cone and top of the frame.

Cock the hammer and see if you can push it off the sear with your thumb.

Push the cylinder slowly into the frame until the cylinder catch seems to engage, then snap your wrist to the left and see if the cylinder pops out of the frame or even comes loose at the rear or front, it shouldn't.

The stuff in the sight screws is likely old oil/grease impacted with dirt and powder fouling unless the screw heads themselves are speckled with rust.

Remove the grips and look for marks such as a star, something that looks like a date stamp or the Roman letter R, these indicate the revolver was returned to the factory at some point for repair or refinish, or both.
While the grips are off the gun, see if there is a penciled serial number that matches the guns serial number, there should be and it may be very faint with the passage of time but a bright light shown on the grips will usually bring it out.
Hint, the pencils used were NOT #2 school pencils or any kind of mechanical pencil, the graphite is distinctive and most of the folks numbering the grips had a distinctive old school style of writing numbers.
You can tell originals from renumbered replacements.

Original grips, numbered correctly to the gun, add an automatic $100 to the value as many, many guns have had the original grips changed out over the years.

$600 for a K22 showing its age and in original unaltered condition otherwise is reasonable in my book. HTH

ArthurDent
February 10, 2011, 01:56 AM
Onmilo,

Thanks for the wonderful, detailed list of what to check on the revolver!

I am no expert, but I understand what you are talking about. I don't know if they'd let me take the grips off without putting money down, but I can ask. The grips look like the originals, and I like that.

As far as upgrading the appearance, I've always heard that would lower the value. (I've actually heard horror stories about this!) The logo and other writing on the frame is very sharp and distinct, with raised metal around the letters and numbers. I'm told that this is less sharp if it has been re-finished, so I don't think that has been done.

I've been too busy to go back to the shop and look again since my original post. I'll have a little time Friday and Saturday, so I'll try to make it over and see if they'll let me look again and do those tests, and also if they'll consider negotiating.

Thanks, all, for the outstanding advice and information! You all have lovely toys! :)

Shear_stress
February 10, 2011, 09:10 AM
$600 for a K22 showing its age and in original unaltered condition otherwise is reasonable in my book. HTH

You've given some excellent advice in this thread, but I completely disagree with that last sentence. Through careful, patient shopping I've bought four K-22s (a five screw "pre-model 17", 17 "no dash", 17-2 and an 18-3) in the last four years and never paid a dime over four bills. Two of those were in like new condition and the other two were probably very good to excellent.

These guns are sought after but by no means rare. A trend I see on forums like this one is to discuss every individual gun like it's a unique piece of art worth anything someone else would be willing to pay for it. It's this kind of vicarious justification that pushes prices up.

K22s are obviously near and dear to my heart but, really, S&W made a lot of them. With only a moderate amount of patience you could own a much nicer gun for much less. It all depends on how much your time is worth to you. Unless you absolutely have to have this one right now, I'd pass.

Onmilo
February 10, 2011, 10:23 AM
I'm glad you appreciate my information and I am glad you were astute enough to find several individuals willing to part with their guns for less than the guns are worth.
You wouldn't touch my 1946 K22 for less than $600 and it would actually take more to buy it from me.

Shear_stress
February 10, 2011, 10:36 AM
I'm glad you appreciate my information and I am glad you were astute enough to find several individuals willing to part with their guns for less than the guns are worth.

The guns are worth what someone is willing to pay for them. If I'm buying multiple guns in a certain price range, that range may be closer to what they're "worth".

PzGren
February 10, 2011, 10:57 AM
posted by Onmilo
I'm glad you appreciate my information and I am glad you were astute enough to find several individuals willing to part with their guns for less than the guns are worth.
You wouldn't touch my 1946 K22 for less than $600 and it would actually take more to buy it from me.

You are a much kinder guy than I am. Anyone touching my K22 would pay with his life:).

jkingrph
February 10, 2011, 11:45 AM
I paid $75 for my K-22 used but 99% and 68.50 for a K-38 new, but it's been a few years, 1969 on the 22 and 1968 on the 38.

SwampWolf
February 10, 2011, 05:53 PM
Forget the appearance, that can be upgraded.

Don't kid yourself. "Upgrading" the appearance in the case of the revolver the op is looking at will, at the minimum, require a complete reblue and refinishing. This will add a couple of hundred bucks at a minimum to the already inflated asking price of $600.00. And for that $800.00, you should be able to buy the finest K-22 extant, including box and papers. Appearance counts for a lot when the asking price of a K-22 is $600.00-or anywhere near that price.

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