(A few minor barrel variations exist.) In 1957, S&W introduced their modern model numbering system. In 1961, screw #4 (front of trigger guard) was eliminated with the introduction of the M17-2. S&W simultaneously switched to the current 3-letter 4-number serial number system.
I'm assuming that it has to do with manufacturing dates. Can you tell me any specific questions to ask of the sellers? One question I'll ask is condition of the cylinder face, looking for evidence of dry firing. Make sure you get the original grips, when you buy one. The year of manufacture is easily determined by the serial number prefix. Pre war K22 Outdoorsmans and post war-Pre 1961 S&W K and N frames (there are other frame sizes but for now that is what I am going to talk about) are known as five screw models.
Do a Google on it, you'll find more than one site that will have a table. They have a screw in front of the triggerguard and four screws holding the side plate on.
The second most popular model, the K2, also sold in large numbers, a total of 63,500, due primarily to the fact that this model was in production until 1976 in all markets except the US and Japan.
I've wanted a Smith & Wesson K 22 Masterpiece for about 40 years, but when I had the money something else always became more important.
If you pull the trigger like you're firing double-action, the cylinder will advance, but the hammer will NOT rise and drop.
If you find one that does this, it's not broken- it's just unusual. They are one of the more sought after S&Ws and one of the best 22 DA target revolvers ever made. I sold one to a friend, and I actually just bought another (its being shipped in).
They're great revolvers, I have two of them and will buy another if the right price comes around, sometimes great deals can be had. In 1957 S&W began stamping model numbers and the K-22 became the model 17. 17-2 started in 1961 with the end of the 4th screw. The bottom rear screw is frequently hidden by the stocks, trust me, it is there.
This is a 1948 five screw K22 Masterpiece with just the "made in USA" roll mark on the frame. Later in 1948 they changed to a four line address and have kept it since then. In 1957 they started using a numbering system and the K22 Masterpiece became the Model 17.
I am preparing to buy one soon and have started looking online. Does it matter if one is pre-war, post-war, seventy's, eighty's? If you post the serial number I can tell you the date it was made.
Can anyone tell me the difference between a '3 screw' and a '5 screw'? I'll be buying on stated condition, probably from Cabela's because of price and I've dealt with them for many years. Jim Generally speaking the earlier a K22 is the more it will be worth.
Around that time, the screw at the top of the side plate was eliminated and they have become known as the four screw model.