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Question re Smith&Wesson K-22 5 screw model

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by aka108, Dec 26, 2012.

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  1. aka108

    aka108 Member

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    When I was 14 in 1950 I purchased a new S&W K-22. No one gave any thought about it being a "5 screw" model. That was just the way they were built then. I have never handled a later model K-22 but know that over the years the number of screws decreased 2 or 3 times. I don't know if current models have any screws or not. Now when folks see this handgun or at gun shows there is a wow wee factor for the 5 screws that I don't understand. Yeah, they are older but I doubt they shoot any better than the new ones. Please, if anyone knows why these 5 screw models have become desireable I like to know. Thanks.
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Because they don't make them anymore.

    Anything S&W or Colt has changed since WWII instantly became more desirable then the "new improved" model.

    rc
     
  3. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    Like most every other manufacturer, S&W found that they could do the same job with a little less fitting and parts.

    After S&W changed from using names to using model numbers in 1957, your K-22 became a Model 17. There have been further modifications made since then designated by a "dash number" stamped in the frame and visible when you open the cylinder. Mod 17-4 etc.
    It hasn't effected the function or accuracy, but old timers want old stuff.
    Now if you really want to "wow" the crowd, bring in a pre WWII K-22 first model, or Outdoorsman.:evil:

    Outdoorsman.gif
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    WOw!
    That looks almost like a "Hillery Hole" there under the thumb latch!

    Or maybe its a "Eleanor Hole" on that one! :D

    rc
     
  5. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    Damn Iggy,

    That is a sweet gun. My old girls look like aging street walkers compared to that beauty queen.




    (thou shall not covet...thou shall not covet...thou shall not covet)
     
  6. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    rcmodel.. Would you believe Mae West?

    Guillermo,

    I rest my case about the old timers drawing attention. I think these two OD's are my favorites.

    005.gif
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  7. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    Iggy, you've got some purtyful weapons there son! Whew! Kept some high shine on those dudes.
     
  8. BYJO4

    BYJO4 Member

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    The K22 has always been a top notch 22 revolver. The 5 screw model represents a model that has not been made in years and therefore is harder and harder to find which continues to increase its value. You are fortunate to have one.
     
  9. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Actually, the older 5-screw guns do sometimes shoot better because at the time they were made, labor costs and other overhead expenses were much less, and they could afford to lavish more attention on they're target models then was the case later. For the same reason they tended to be better fitted and finished. Today they are sought after by both shooters and collectors.
     
  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    This one has that funny spot in it too. :)

    [​IMG]
     

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  11. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    I can get rid of it for you, but after that the hammer won't rotate so good... :uhoh:

    Seriously... Back then the hammer and trigger studs (what you see is the hammer stud) were threaded, and could be replaced in the field using a special spanner wrench. Now they save money by press-fitting the studs, and if one is bent or breaks replacing it is a factory job - that can only be done once. After that, if it happens again the whole frame has to be replaced.

    All this to save manufacturing costs… :uhoh:
     
  12. bikemutt
    • Contributing Member

    bikemutt Member

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    Serviceability of any machine is a study in itself. When overlaid with rising labor costs, planned obsolescence, advances in metallurgy, CAD/CAM etc, it gets real hairy. For better or worse, the decision is made leading up to the production, we end up dealing with the end result. In the end though, rest assured, the gun you buy today is perfect ;)
     
  13. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Howdy

    As was mentioned, as time goes by firearms evolve. Cost is often a factor. All Handejectors were 'Five Screws' when they first appeared at the end of the 19th Century/beginning of the 20th Century. Threaded holes cost money to produce. More than machining special features. Around 1955 S&W eliminated the upper side plate screw by machining a lip into the side plate that fit into a slot in the frame. Around 1962 the screw in front of the trigger guard was eliminated. Ever since, all S&W revolvers have been 'Three Screws'. Yes, they are still Three Screws.

    Frankly, one reason (out of many) I like Five Screws so much is it is much easier to remove the cylinder stop on them than with a Three Screw. The screw in front of the trigger guard housed the spring and plunger that operated the cylinder stop. Take out the screw, then the plunger and spring. Much fussier with a Three Screw, trying to futz the spring out from its hollow in the frame.

    In this photo, the Five Screw K22 was made in 1932, a little bit before my time. I bought the Three Screw Model 17-3 brand spanky new in 1975. Bought the Stainless bazillion shooter a few years ago, just on a lark. Not really crazy about modern Smiths. Yes, it is a Three Screw.


    k22m1761701.jpg

    The hole under the cylinder latch is where the hammer stud is pressed into the frame. For a long time, the stud was left sub flush in the hole. Later guns had the stud a little bit longer and it was polished flush with the side of the frame. You have to look carefully, but it is there. Just like the trigger stud on this old M&P. Look carefully, it is there, cut off flush with the side of the frame and polished to be almost invisible.


    MPRoundButt01.jpg

    I just looked at that 'bazillion shooter' 22 and frankly, I can't tell if these studs are present and polished flat, or if the studs are pressed into blind holes. Have not had that one apart yet to see.

    Do I prefer Five Screws to Three Screws? Absolutely! But I always prefer an old gun over a new one.
     
  14. aka108

    aka108 Member

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    Appreciate all the answers and comments. Thanks to all. Hope you had a very nice Christmas and wishing you the best in the New Year. May God blessl our Country, our Military and us.
     
  15. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    Aka108.

    Rest assured your old five screw will shoot with the best of the K-22s.

    I have three 3 screw versions and can find no difference in the accuracy between any of them. That's probably me more than the guns though.

    Right backatcha with the New Years wishes and I second the blessing of the troops and the Country.
     
  16. PabloJ

    PabloJ Member

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    The only thing better in newer ones is they are made from rust resistant steel which makes them much better as "boat anchors". The old ones are much nicer guns.

    If you want to know how .22 revolver should be made look for old S&W I-frame 'Kit Gun'. We are very lucky Ruger stepped up with the SP101 because ole' 'Kit Gun' are very hard to find.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  17. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    PabloJ

    I picked up a LNIB '70's era Model 34 last year for around $400. While not quite up to the higher standard of a vintage 5 screw K22, it does have a nice polished blue finish, a decent DA/SA trigger, and makes for a great gun to teach new shooters with.
     
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