Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Smith and Wesson K-22 Masterpiece

K-22 Masterpiece dated to 1948 with box
I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to acquire a 1948 manufactured K-22 Masterpiece with its original box for less than the price of a new M-17. Since it was purchased new by the previous owner it has apparently sat in the box, unmoved although the tools were apparently "pilfered" sometime during that period. I haven't shot it much, but it does seem to have potential just as one would expect.

Production of the .22 on the M&P frame began in 1930 right at the beginning of the Great Depression.This would seem to be a bad time to introduce a high-quality handgun with a premium price. Christened the K-22 Outdoorsman in 1931, that revolver is now referred to as the K-22 First Model, and knowledgeable shooters and military and police training programs eagerly bought the revolver.

Original specifications were for a six-shot, K-frame revolver with a 6-inch round barrel, Circassian walnut grips and a Smith & Wesson medallion. Single-action trigger pulls were regulated to be 3 to 4 pounds. The 35-ounce revolver was guaranteed to shoot within 1 1/2 inches at 50 yards. The last of 17,117 K-22 First Models left the factory on 28 December 1939.

The new, improved K-22 Masterpiece replaced the First Model. Improvements included a shorter, faster action, a new micrometer-adjustable rear sight and a built-in, anti-backlash trigger. Despite the price of $40, quite a lot of money at that time, the revolver sold well. Unfortunately war was coming and Smith & Wesson had to redirect its resources and production efforts to supplying the British with M&P revolvers chambered in .38/200. Only 1,067 Second Models (collectors’ nomenclature) were produced in 1940 before all production efforts went to support World War II.

After the war, consumer desire for the K-22 made it clear that there was going to be a long-term demand for a quality rimfire revolver. Carl Hellstrom was first hired by the Wesson family in 1939 as shop superintendent then took over as president of Smith & Wesson in 1946 immediately after which he started implementing some cost-saving practices to the production line, as well as design improvements to individual products. Among those changes were the installation of a ribbed barrel on all K-frame target models—which swelled the weight of the new iteration to 38.5 ounces—with a new micrometer-click adjustable sight that did not have to be polished and was even to the frame, and a new anti-backlash trigger that no longer required the tedious and time-consuming fitting of the first Masterpiece series. The Masterpiece nomenclature was retained, partly because it was popular and partly because Smith & Wesson truly believed that it had produced a masterpiece revolver.

In 1949, a 4-inch barrel version, the K-22 Combat Masterpiece was introduced. Later it was to be called the Model 18. It was a great little trail gun, but sales paled compared to the 6-inch barrel version, and it was discontinued in 1985. My first K-22 was a 4-inch which I still have. I really enjoy squirrel hunting with it as well as range time. It is a great companion gun.
K-22 with Tactical Solutions conversion on Combat Commander frame

Friday, January 24, 2014

Rough week...

It has been a rough week.  We are accustomed to having the day revolve around Bailey's needs to eat, take bathroom breaks outside, etc and since that ended we have moments we are sort of at loose ends.  It has also been really cold for Virginia with temperatures as low as -2, we had some snow, we were putting away the Christmas decorations, taking Bailey's stuff either to put in storage for the "next dog" or to the SPCA to donate. Nana is picking up Bailey's cremains today.  I did work but it simply was not particularly interesting, in part because I miss the dog.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


'There is a bridge connecting Heaven and Earth. It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of its many colors. Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge there is a land of meadows, hills and valleys with lush green grass.

When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place. There is always food and water and warm spring weather. All the animals who have been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. Her bright eyes are intent; her eager body begins to quiver. Suddenly she begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, her legs carrying her faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together, never again to be separated.'

We can only hope. Goodbye Bailey.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


We've been to the vet today.  Bailey has been off her food and lost weight, I had no idea how much.  She's been intermittently throwing up as well.  The vet visit confirmed my fears that Bailey's kidneys are failing (or have failed).  We've given her something to calm her stomach, fed her some special low protein food, administered some antibiotics and felt our own stomachs churn at the news.  Anything we are doing now is merely delaying the inexorable approach of the inevitable.

We are very fortunate to have been retired for almost her entire life meaning that she's been able to be with one or both of us most of most every day.  She has survived bladder stones, one of which was as large as a golf ball.  She has traveled over more than half the country.  She has been a good dog all that time. A patient companion, a hardy traveler, a curious tourist, and an enthusiastic devotee of doggy delicacies. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Notes from the gun shop...

Yes, we've been to the shop.  No, there hasn't been much to report.  The ammo shortage continues.  Sales of what we have continue.  Nothing much of special interest is coming in, in fact, NOTHING of special interest is coming in.  The gunsmith quit.  We will do scope mounting and boresighting while you wait IF we have the mounts.  That's probably the biggest news.  Apparently there aren't any Weaver type rings for 1" scopes available.  Odd, isn't it?  I haven't figured that one out.  Today I'm at the other shop.  Nothing going on there either!  Some of this is rooted in the real economy which has 92 million Americans out of work and out of the work force, permanently.  The real unemployment rate is over 13%.  No money=no sales except for necessities.

Friday, January 03, 2014