Thursday, July 14, 2005

My Wrists!!! My Wrists!!!

Smith and Wesson model 17

I have been shooting my .357 revolver (Smith and Wesson model 13-2) and .45 semi-auto (Heckler Koch USP .45 Compact) at the range. I use the .38 round in my .357 which provides decent accuracy and little kick - but you are still worn out after a box or two of shooting (there are 50 cartridges in each box). Hey, it's a heavy gun!

My .45 is quite another story. It is a mid-size but I have been shooting some heavy duty ammo (230 grain) at the range. It is a load. Anyway, I have decided to start shooting a 180 grain for now through that beauty.

Another thing I have decided to do is get a revolver of smaller caliber - I now own a Smith and Wesson model 17. It has a target hammer, target trigger, 6" barrel and target grips - it comes in .22LR which kicks not at all and is very cheap to shoot. Due to my time restraints, I have reproduced below a post from Kim du Toit who describes it much better than I ever could. Hope you enjoy.

As an interesting aside, I paid exactly the $495 figure mentioned at the end of the post for mine.

S&W Model 17 K-22 (.22 LR)By: Kim du Toit August 14, 2003

Let’s say that you want to shoot a really accurate .22 revolver, but would prefer not to shoot a modern revolver such as the S&W 617 or any of the Brazilian ones. Oh boy, do I have a good one for you to consider. How about the 617’s grandfather? The Smith & Wesson double-action K-22 (a .22 revolver built on the heavier .38 “K” frame) was first produced in 1930 for competition shooters, but became as scarce as hen’s teeth because of the suspension of production during “ze slight disturbances in ze early nineteen-forties” (as my old German economics lecturer used to call them). To this day, low serial-numbered K-22s command premium prices (I’ve seen them for over $3,500). But fortunately, the War Against Nazi / Jap Bastards came to an end, and S&W resumed production of this excellent gun. In the late 1950s, they renamed it the “Model 17”, and later the “Model 18”.

To all keen revolver shooters it has stayed the “K-22” even when the designation changed to the Models 617 (stainless steel) and 317 (titanium alloy)—it’s still the same old K-22. The first “generation” of K-22s was called the “Outdoorsman”, the second the “Masterpiece” (and much later, the “Combat Masterpiece"). If your First Generation K-22 has a serial number between 632132 - 682419, it was issued to either the police or military and may even be stamped “M&P”. The only changes made were things like a “target” trigger, a rib over the top of the barrel and so on, but the fact remains that almost any K-22 in decent condition is going to be more accurate a gun than its shooter is, and will never disgrace itself in the accuracy department against any other .22 revolver. Incidentally, you may find a suffix (like “-1") appended to the model number.

Here’s a quick rundown on what the various suffixes denote for the Model 17 and Model 18 revolvers:-1 (1959)—Change to LH extractor rod thread -2 (1961)— Cylinder stop changed, hole in front of trigger guard eliminated -3 (1967)—Relocation of rear sight leaf screw -4 (1977)—Changed gas ring from yoke to cylinderNot that any of the above matter, except to the collector.

To a shooter, the K-22 revolvers are treasures. And quite frankly, it’s drop-dead beautiful, with a balance and heft that makes it one of the best I’ve ever fired. So… how much can one expect to pay for this little paragon of excellence? Well, GunsAmerica has one for $395, and another (unfired) one with an 8” barrel for $1,295, which should give you an idea of the spread. The K-22 pictured is a later Model 17 from Collectors Firearms, and sells for $495. Woof woof. On balance, I’d prefer a 6” barrel myself, unless of course you want to do some handgun hunting of the varmint variety, in which case the 8” barrel will give you a tad more accuracy—not that I think the difference will be that noticeable.Anyway, this little old gun is a peach. If you get a chance to acquire one in decent shape, jump at it. You’ll thank me for it later.
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