Best .22 revolver?


el Godfather
October 5, 2013, 07:39 AM
Dear THR:
Which is the best .22 revolver the money can buy. Primary use targets and fun- BUT has to carry collection value to max.

Thank you.

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October 5, 2013, 07:42 AM
Get another Korth??


October 5, 2013, 08:22 AM
Smith and Wesson.

October 5, 2013, 08:53 AM
For my money, and not necessarily the most expensive, it would be a vintage S&W K22 like new in the box.

October 5, 2013, 10:28 AM
Colt Diamondback

Driftwood Johnson
October 5, 2013, 10:35 AM

That's easy. S&W Model 17 (formerly known as the K-22). This one cost $125 when it was brand spanky new in 1975.

If you look hard enough, you can find a nice classic K-22 like this one. I found this one a couple of years ago. Made in 1932. And it did not cost an arm and a leg. It was quite reasonable compared to what new guns are going for.

You can always go with a new 10 shot Stainless 617 like at the bottom of this photo. Frankly, for my money the old blued guns are better made. And I paid less for that classic K-22 than I would have for a brand new 617. I bought this one used. It does not get shot much, the older guns get shot much more often.

October 5, 2013, 10:37 AM
Another vote of the K-22/Model 17 Smith and Wesson.

October 5, 2013, 10:44 AM
I agree it would be the Colt or a Smith with the Rugers being close I personally have a Hard time spending a lot on any .22 cal I've been through several semi autos and recently went through this only deciding to pass on them I would have considered the new SP 101 but I have two already ,It really comes down to what you want to spend on a .22

October 5, 2013, 10:47 AM
I am not sure how to define "best" but Freedom Arms might fit the bill. I have a Single Six 22lr/22wmr and it is best for what I want. The K-22 is a fine revolver and I would but one if I could find one.

October 5, 2013, 11:02 AM
Probably no "best", as it's really what you like, but the S&W 617 is gorgeous. Fit and feel nearly identical to the S&W 686 .357 and holds 10 rounds of .22 . All stainless and just beautiful.

I'm biased, as I'm a 686 owner... :D

October 5, 2013, 11:11 AM
Colt Officers Model Target or Officers Model Match.

October 5, 2013, 01:14 PM
BUT has to carry collection value to max.

Pre-War S&W Kit Gun.

October 5, 2013, 01:20 PM
The "best" quality .22 revolvers made are those by Freedom Arms. With the large frame 252 being the most accurate. Even a pre-war S&W can't compete. I would place the USFA .22's higher up the food chain than any S&W as well.

October 5, 2013, 01:23 PM
Colt Diamondback or S&W K22. Colt would bring collection up more given equal conditions.

Hoppes Love Potion
October 5, 2013, 02:08 PM
A high condition pre-war K-22 with original grips, box, etc will meet your standard. They are $1500+ now and should continue to increase in value.

October 5, 2013, 02:48 PM
What is Colt Diamondback worth nowadays with 6 inch barrel.

Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk 4

October 5, 2013, 03:53 PM
The "best" is relative. For me the best is probably the Colt Officers Model Match, but my favorite is the Colt Diamondback.

S&W M17's and 18's are good too and will maintain value if kept in good condition.

Freedom Arms makes a fine single action 22 revolver and it will likely maintain its value.

Value of a 6" Colt Diamondback... finish? Caliber? Condition? Original Box available?

October 5, 2013, 03:56 PM
I guess I'll be the black sheep here, and say that $170 for a Heritage that has had thousand s of rounds through it, and is rabbit accurate to 30 yards would be my best bang for the buck suggestion.
Sure it isn't a S&W, but I don't know that a S&W would shoot any better. But they would cost a lot more and look better.

October 5, 2013, 03:58 PM
The OP only said "best" and one that will retain its value... He didn't say, cost effective?

el Godfather
October 5, 2013, 03:59 PM
Colt Diamondback
I wish I could find one NEW!

October 5, 2013, 04:09 PM
More money means "best"? Eitherway. Good luck with the $1000 .22 LR revolver.

Steve C
October 5, 2013, 04:40 PM
Go to There are several from around $1,200 and up with a few described as NIB.

October 5, 2013, 04:42 PM
I recently turned down a 98% blue 6", boxless, original gripped Diamondback offered at $1100....Probably shoulda bought it.

October 5, 2013, 04:43 PM
Yeah - the only real indication I see is best at costing the mostest and retaining (or even exceeding) said cost over time.

I would say one of the older Colts in great condition, or else one of the "exotics" that are out of the range of most working-class people.

A K-frame Smith, especially an older thin barreled model in excellent condition, might qualify but the impression I get is that it would be a bit too pedestrian for the OP. I do believe it's safe to say it would increase in value, though.

Driftwood Johnson
October 5, 2013, 05:59 PM
BUT has to carry collection value to max.

Howdy again

If we want to talk collectable, this little 22/32 Heavy Frame target was made in 1923. It is the little gun at the bottom of the photo. It is pictured with my 1932 era K-22. They were called 'Heavy Frame' because prior to the introduction of the K-22, these little 22s were the only 22 target revolvers that S&W made, and they were larger than the tiny Ladysmiths.

October 5, 2013, 06:22 PM
Probably no "best", as it's really what you like, but the S&W 617 is gorgeous. Fit and feel nearly identical to the S&W 686 .357 and holds 10 rounds of .22 . All stainless and just beautiful.

I'm biased, as I'm a 686 owner... :D
I agree with Easygoing, I have a 686 that I think is great so I went out and purchased a 22 caliber 617. The only problem is that I haven't got to shoot it yet!

Hoppes Love Potion
October 5, 2013, 06:59 PM
More money means "best"? Eitherway. Good luck with the $1000 .22 LR revolver.

Without regard for the price, the OP asked for opinions on "best" .22 revolver with "collection value". These are usually very expensive current offerings in the multi-thousands of dollars, or older models that are built to a level of craftsmanship impossible to find today at any price. These are very hard to find in top condition and expensive due to excellence, condition, and rarity.

Incidentally, the cartridge chambered has little to do with the cost of production or the potential collectors value of a weapon.

Pete D.
October 6, 2013, 05:28 AM
Best is a dangerous word.........nonspecific/overly general, etc.
The best .22 revolver that I have any experience with is the K-22. That is the one that I would recommend.

October 6, 2013, 09:01 AM
I have lots of love for Ruger Single Sixes. My personal preference is the Hunter model, but they are all sweet.....

October 12, 2013, 11:20 PM
I suppose if you just wanted to throw money at 'the problem' you could go to one of the top revolver smiths and have them put something together for you. Maybe a custom built on a Freedom Arms frame.

Personally, I'd want, (as mentioned by others) a K-22 Smith.

October 13, 2013, 12:53 PM
I have a s&w 17-8 masterpiece k22 that everyone loves. Wouldn't trade it for any other 22 revolver.

October 13, 2013, 07:06 PM
My 51 in 22 Mag is a sweet one.

October 13, 2013, 10:33 PM
All around? Colt Officers Model Special.

P5 Guy
October 14, 2013, 03:23 PM
S&W Model 17, because that is the one I have.
Mine is a 4 screw with a target hammer and trigger.

October 14, 2013, 04:12 PM
you mentioned "best" and "high collector value"... those two rarely coincide with each other in the real world.

October 14, 2013, 08:57 PM
S&W model 18 combat masterpiece, or a Colt Diamondback. I have both , will never sell either one.

Jim NE
October 15, 2013, 12:01 AM
K-22 Masterpiece or a later model 17. Not willing to pay current prices, though (especially with the .22 ammo situation as it is.)

October 15, 2013, 08:58 AM
The one that comes with a case of ammo.

October 15, 2013, 09:08 AM
I had a k 22 which I bought new and sold for $ 60. It was in like new condition. I am often foolish. Needless to say that I wish that I still had it. Selling guns is a poor idea.

October 24, 2013, 06:25 PM
How bout a Police Positive 22? This one is pretty cool! ;)

October 24, 2013, 09:20 PM
Both Nagant and Webley revolvers can be encountered in .22lr and both are quite valuable. While I like both, I would not call a 22lr Nagant the best revolver.

October 30, 2013, 10:04 PM
My M34 'Kit Gun' is quite nice. It's a 6-shot J-frame with a 4" barrel and adjustable sights. With a Pachmayr grip that gives the feel and pull of a K-frame, it is very versatile. (

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