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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Grandpa gave me these guns a couple years ago and he just recently pass away. He told me some things that I can't remember and hoped that some of you can help me out. I'm also going to request S&W letters of Authenticity for these guns and needed help with the application questions (I have it printed out). So here goes:

For Me:
#1-What is the "22 Jet"? I know that the 22 Magnum has special inserts for the chamber and i believe it has something to do with the "22 Jet"?
#2-what does the 22 M.R.F CTG stand for?
#3-I know that the 32 S&W Long was hard for him to find to complete the collection any additional info on this? It also has what looks like gold or bronze colored lettering on the barrel?

For the S&W Letter from:
#4-Target (or Special) Trigger, Hammer, Front Sights? What do I put?
#5-Barrel Lenght...I belive all of these are 6" barrels...does that sound right?
#6-Grip shape square or round?

I know there are a lot of questions but I appreciate the help. Also these are not for sale (I plan on keeping them for the next generation) and I do have pictures of each one if you need some better close up shots. Included in this photo are the 22MRF, 22 Long Riffle, 22 Magnum, 32 S&W Long, and the 38 S&W Special.




Thank You,
John
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I saw another post that it helps if you have serial numbers.
Here they are:

22 MRF CTG: 98K1611
22 Long Riffle CTG: K462837
22 Magnum: K462837
32 S&W Long: K256871
38 S&W Special: 5K83038

Any idea on value for insurance purposes?

Thanks again,
John G.
 

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Value is about $150 to $200each depending on the condition and options. There are a lot of these pistols out there and from the pictures I don't see anything special. But ordering a history from S&W might express further value based on options ordered and even more the orginal buyer if that information is provided. I believe S&W charges $50 per firearm and will provide a complete detail of the pistol (when it was manufactured, any options that were added the factory and if your lucky who it was sold to. Most times the sold to information isn't available as it was a stock pistol sent to a seller, if it is a custom order the history will show who placed the order but even then might be a gun shop so you would have to dig deeper to find out who purchased that pistol from that gun shop. So unless you expect these pistols were owned by someone of note it isn't worth the expense. I would expect a fair value for the collection based on the information to be $750 to $1000, double that amount to insure them as you can have family history with the items.
 

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Hello Flyfishinfool
You have a very desirable collectible set there. According to the serial numbers you provided, The shipping dates are shown below. The most valuable one would be the .32 S&W Long revolver which is called a K-32 masterpiece. They only made a little over 3000 of them from 1939 till they ceased making them in 1974. I have an Older one like yours. Mine shipped a little earlier than yours being 1951 and yours is a 1955. Yours is considered a Five Screw Pre-Model gun The Five screw configuration means it has Four screws in it's side-plate and one in front of the trigger Guard. In 1957 S&W started stamping all their revolvers in the crane area with Model numbers. If you swing open the cylinder the number is stamped on the guns main frame with it's model number. All Revolvers Prior to 1957 are called Pre-Numbered revolvers. The last K-32 I saw for sale was on Gunbroker.com at a buy it now price of $4500.00 and it sold within Two days if that tells you what one is worth or just how Rare they are. The Older Pre-Numbered series revolvers are more desirable and carry a Higher value. In 1957 S&W Put out an order to Drop the upper side plate screw as they made the side Plates fit with a Tounge and groove set up in that area deleting the Upper Bug screw as it is called. Revolvers of this nature are called Four screw revolvers. In or around 1961 time Frame they dropped the trigger Guard screw and revolvers shipped after this Era are called Three screw configuration. I would place a value of an average of $4000.00-$5000.00 on your Pre-Number series K-32. The next oldest one you show is your K-22 masterpiece Model 17 in .22 L.R. according to my reference material it shipped sometime in 1961. It may or may not be a Four Screw revolver depending on just what month it shipped. This revolver would easily fetch $450.00-$650.00 in today's world. The .22 W.M.R. is a model 48 which was Born in 1959. Yours is a 1981 and should have a Dash after the 48 number in the crane. The dash's indicate design changes and the newer a revolver is the Higher the dash number will be. Last is your K-38 masterpiece. According to my reference material it shipped in 1974 and should also be one of the later dash series revolvers. It has an average value of $400.00-$495.00 in the condition shown. I noticed you duplicated the serial numbers for the One you call a Magnum .22. That guns model number is a 53 and it was called the .22 Jet. It fires a special made case which starts out as a .357 magnum then is swaged down to a .22 caliber neck. The Jet magnum model 53's are going for well over Grand now in the shape shown. I did notice loking closely at your .22 magnum revolver that it appears to have the trigger Guard screw like your K-32. That tells me it is a very early one which they started making them in 1961 being a Four screw model I suspect it is a first year offering of the Jet which is the Most desirable and collectible. I hope this helps, but to get a Good insurance coverage on your weapons you will have to take them all to a gun shop for proper appraisals. Thanks for sharing them, Hammerdown
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the information and pointing out that I duplicated one of the serial numbers.

It should read like this:
22 Long Riffle CTG: K72492
22 Magnum: K462837

I took off the wooden grips and got all the serial numbers from the butt section of the frame. Nice to know that's it's also on the cyclinder.

I really do appreciate your time and effort for all the information you provided. :)

Here's another picture of the 32 S&W Long.


Have a nice day,
John G.
 

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Re: re: S&W Master Piece Series...all of them

FlyFishnfool said:
Thank you for the information and pointing out that I duplicated one of the serial numbers.

It should read like this:
22 Long Riffle CTG: K72492
22 Magnum: K462837

I took off the wooden grips and got all the serial numbers from the butt section of the frame. Nice to know that's it's also on the cyclinder.

I really do appreciate your time and effort for all the information you provided. :)



Have a nice day,
John G.



Hello John
Your Grandfather had excellent Taste and a Keen eye to find the Complete Masterpiece series. I have the same series and will show them below at the end of this message. It took me almost 20 Years to locate them all like yours and they are not at all easy to find today in nice shape due to their ages. Mine like your's are Not for Sale. I Only collect S&W revolvers and have always collected them since I was Very Young. The K-32 as I said, is the Hardest one to Locate. Actually if one wanted to collect the complete series of all The Masterpiece revolvers it would end up being 23 Revolvers total in this series which all had 6" Barrels. They made all Three Models of the Masterpiece series being the K-22, K-32 & K-38 Before World War II which all are High Polished Bluing and hand fitted. Then after the War, They went to a less Glossy style Bluing that is called Soft glow Bluing or Matte style Bluing. The reason for the bluing change was that the General Public was so Hungry for revolvers after the war that S&W Knew they could increase Production of them by cutting back on the high Polishing Tedious Process before bluing so this sped up the total process since it took far less time to finish the Post-War finish's by cutting back on The final Polishing of them. The Post war Revolvers are what I have being all Pre- Model Stamped Revolver's due to their time line of being made Prior to 1957. All of mine have the Lower gloss finished bluing like many of yours. Mine are all five screw models being made prior to 1955. In 1957 S&W started stamping all revolvers in the crane area with the model numbers of the revolvers. In The masterpiece series it would have been a model 17 for the K-22 in .22 Caliber, A Model 16 for The K-32 in .32 S&W Long Caliber and a model 14 for The K-38 Masterpiece In .38 Special Caliber. By 1961 or so, all masterpiece series revolvers were Three screw models with a High Gloss Bluing finish. S&W returned to their High Polished Bluing finish after many customer complaints of not offering it and many said they could buy Colts with nicer finish's like The Diamond Backs and Python Series. S&W was not foolish and did not want to chance Loosing any Customers so high Polished bluing came back into Play on The Masterpiece series along with most of their other revolvers after that. In The Early 1960's S&W came out with The dash series. This meant a design change had taken place on certain models so this change was shown as stamped in the crane areas after this change we saw 17-1 16-1 and 14-1. Along the way the design changes changed the dash Number's to the dash-3 series and in 1974 S&W stopped making the Model 16-3 which was The last of The K-32 until we saw the More Modern 16-4 which was a recreation of The K-32 But this model was chambered in .32 H&R magnum caliber. That series was availiable with 4", 6" & 8-3/8" Barrels for a Short time span from 1989-1992 with only 8800 Produced in this short run all three barrel lengths combined. Below is my 16-4 In .32 H&R Magnum I bought New In Box a few years ago. The Famous K-22 Masterpiece was made all the way up to a dash-7 series and discontinued in 1996 for the stainless version known now as the model 617. The K-38 was Made up to the dash-7 series as well as the K-22 but it was also discontinued in 1999. If you were Lucky enough to find all of the 6" Masterpiece series I mentioned above, You could start on collecting the Combat series which is the same revolvers except the Combat series has a 4" barrel and Baughman quick draw sight rather than the Patrdige Front Target sight seen on the Target Masterpiece Series. So, I guess you can see why S&W Revolvers are the Only ones I collect since they made so many different ones with all the design changes one could almost never find each and everyone of them. As Mentioned in my previous response your K-22 in .22 L.R. Caliber with serial number K-72492 shipped in 1948 and your model 53 which is Not one of The masterpiece series but a High bred Wildcat cartridge revolver bearing serial number K-462837 shipped in 1961 Being The first Year they Introduced and released the Model 53. It should be a 4 Screw revolver meaning Three screws Holding the guns side-Plate and one in front of the trigger Guard. It will also have the High Polished bluing. The Cartridges for this model commonly called The Jett are taken by using a .357 magnum casing and necking it down to a .22 Caliber Bullet. This Gun came with a special factory cleaning swab that was Wedge shaped in Nature to clean the cylinder that starts out to be .357 Magnum size in the rear and necks down to .22 caliber in the front. These Guns were Known to be Notorious for sticking spent Cartridge Casing's in the cylinder. This was caused by Oil left in the charge holes of the cylinder after cleaning and when the cartridge ignited it would have a Hydraulic effect in the cylinder from the rounds high pressue and with the Oil present it would cause the spent shell to stick hard in the cylinder. I have heard some guys had to drive the spent shells out with a wood dowel and mallet due to them being so stuck in the Cylinder. Most Guys I know that have them, only collect them and very few fire them due to them being so finicky. You also could have ordered one with the auxillary Cylinder in .22 W.M.R Or another cylinder offered came in .22 L.R Caliber. All These cylinders could have been ordered with it when bought new and they had to be factory fitted to the gun, or back in the day S&W would custom fit a cylinder for your model 53 if requested but that has since stopped many Moons ago.Below is my Masterpiece series and the K-38 is a Dash-2 so it does not match my Pre-Dash series revolvers but in time I know I will eventually come across a nice one dated close to my K-22 and K-32. The K-22 shown shipped in 1947. You will Notice it has The Single Line factory address that simply said "Made in U.S.A." and This changed to the newer Four Line address in 1948 like your K-22 that Reads "Smith & Wesson" Springfield Mass. Marcus Registrada U.S.A. . My K-22 shown below also has a Transition Cylinder Extractor with The large style Mushroom looking Head that S&W used to place on all Their Pre-War revolvers in this series. It has The New "Speed Hammer" That appears to be Uswept in design, short cocking action, Micro-Click adjustable sights and Anti-Back lash device directly behind the trigger to keep the trigger from over travel when being fired. The Next revolver is my Pre-16 K-32 Masterpiece chamberd in .32 S&W Long. It too has some Transition Pieces in it. The Narrow Barrel rib was a Pre-War Feature that dissapeared in The Very Early 1950's along with The "Speed Hammer" feature and the Five screw design along with the new then, Short cocking action and Anti-Back lash Trigger Over Travel feature. The Last revolver shown is a K-38 Masterpiece. It is Newer than my Other Materpiece's and is a dash-2 series that shipped in 1964. It has The Wide Barrel Rib & High Polished Bluing. Being it is a 1964 Model, It has it's original Walnut Diamond Lareg target style grips on it. I am the seconf owner of this K-38 and hope to swap it someday for a Pre-Numbered series that Match's my other Masterpieces in the Late 1940-to Early 1950's time frame. I have fired all of The Ones shown and will continue to enjoy them. I hope you find this Information Useful & You have a Very Gorgeous Masterpiece series Collection there. Regards, Hammerdown.








Early Post-War K-22 Circa 1947 Low Four Digit serial Number















Pre-16 K-32 Masterpiece .32 S&W Long Cal. Circa 1951













Mod.14-2 K-38 Target Masterpiece .38 Special Cal.Circa 1964












S&W Model 16-4 K-32 .32 H&R Magnum Circa 1989





 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
WOW! What a wealth of knowledge. Thank You again.

Yes you are right about Grandpa having a keen eye and good taste in the guns he purchased. All of them are very nice and he was real particular about the wood in his stocks (riffels & shotguns a like). Like you it took him a long time to find that K32 Masterpiece. I remember him telling that he looked for years. That was the last one to complete the series. Even had a custom made box wooden & glass top to store them all in.

I really do appreciate you taking all the time to share that information along with your personal collection.

Have a nice day,
John G.
 

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Hamerdown,

I was recently introduced to the K-22, and I am convinced it is the best shooting 22 revolver I ever shot. I can barely wait to start a masterpiece collection. I was wondering if you would share some pointers on what to look for, and which ones are more desireable. A time line of models, and how to identify them would be usefule also.

Thanks,
JAikens
 

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Re: re: S&W Master Piece Series...all of them

jaikens said:
Hamerdown,

I was recently introduced to the K-22, and I am convinced it is the best shooting 22 revolver I ever shot. I can barely wait to start a masterpiece collection. I was wondering if you would share some pointers on what to look for, and which ones are more desireable. A time line of models, and how to identify them would be usefule also.

Thanks,
JAikens


Hello
If you are looking to collect The K-22 Masterpiece series it would take a Large Fortune Today. They started making the K-22 in 1931 and it was called The Outdoorsman. It had a round barrel no rib & tiny adjustable sights. It was last made in 1939 and they are out there. in 1940 S&W renovated the K-22 and added a set of Micro click sights like we see today. It looks a lot like the Outdoorsman other than the addition of the Micro-Groove sights and a Notched hammer. They only made a Couple thousand of them before ceasing all civilian revolver production for the World War II effort, and it was called The K-22 masterpiece and is the hardest to find. They average $3500.00-$4000.00 when you do see them. In 1946 They resumed production of the K-22 and started Placing the K-Prefix before the serial, and also added a barrel rib to make it weigh the same as it counter part cousins the K-32 & K-38 masterpiece. There was less than 600 made that first year. In 1947 They resumed the same line and in 1948 it changed it's One line address that said "Made in the U.S.A. To the new then four line address on the Lower right corner of the main frame we still see today.In 1955 They deleted the upper side plate screw and ones made after that were called a Four screw revolver. In 1960-1961 Time frame they deleted the trigger guard screw located in front of the trigger guard and this made thema Three screw revolver. In or around 1960 they came back with the High Polished bluing and dropped the softer matte style Bluing. In 1957 they started marking all their revolvers in the crane area and the K-22 was given the model number 17. After that they started stamping them with a dash number after 17 as 17-1 and so on until they quit making them in 1999 to start making them out of stainless and those are called the 617. The way I see it , if you collect the complete series, it would involve better than 17 K-22's all with different changes through the years as mentioned above.. Good Luck, Hammerdown
 

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I went to a gun show at the Columbia, SC fairgrounds this weekend, and there were two "K-22's" there. One was a pre-17, and the other was a 17-2. They were asking $700+ for each. I figure the pre-17 was worth it, because it was in very good condition. The 17-2 was a little worse with a few pin head size rust spots. I also saw a K-38 for $675, and it was in good condition. I almost bought it, but I had already bought a Springfield 1911 Loaded. No harm done, because I wanted the 1911, and I really want to start with a .22 instead of a .38 on the S&W's. Besides I haven't had a chance to pick up a Blue Book. Next time I will search out the S&W's before making another purchase.

Also, there is an Outdoorsman on gunbroker.com right now with a buy it now of 1299.00. Item # 118152622. Not sure if you're interested, but that's a lot cheaper than you mentioned.

Thanks, for all the information. I think once I have the blue book I can use it and your information to make an informed purchase on my first "K-22".
 

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Re: re: S&W Master Piece Series...all of them

jaikens said:
. Besides I haven't had a chance to pick up a Blue Book. Next time I will search out the S&W's before making another purchase.

Also, there is an Outdoorsman on gunbroker.com right now with a buy it now of 1299.00. Item # 118152622. Not sure if you're interested, but that's a lot cheaper than you mentioned.

Thanks, for all the information. I think once I have the blue book I can use it and your information to make an informed purchase on my first "K-22".


Hello Jaikens
I checked out the Outdoorsman on Gunbroker.com you Provided a Link to. That revolver Looks Nice, but a refinish even by the factory KILLS The collector Value of it. It is Now Just another refinished gun, and it Makes it worth about Half of what one in original shape would bring. The seller is mistaken in the fact that it was refinished in 1974. The Gun stamps he spoke of tell it was refinished 2 16 4 7 February 16, 1947. The Grips it is wearing are typical Post war issue and it was not Uncommon for S&W to install current grips on Older revolvers they refinished. The box he has is Not the correct Box for that revolver and the date inside of 1974 suggests it is from that time span. It also is a Bangor-Punta Box and they are the company that Bought out S&W In 1965. The Origginal Box for that gun would have been Red in Color with a Picture of the Outdoorsman K-22 on the face of it along with the Name Outdoorsman Printed on it. In my eyes the guy has a $600.00 Gun at best as it's Value has been destroyed by a refinish and they did not Reblue the gun which would have been correct for that Outdoorsman as they didn't make them in Nickel finish But later they would Nickel finish one at the customers request and of course and extra charge. The Blue Book is way off in Current Gun Values of S&W Target Model revolvers of this nature. It is a Great Guide for the Dealer buying as the Prices are Very Low Ball for Pieces of this Magnitude. If you wanty current Prices to go by ask a Sage collector as most dealers that come into a Nice outdoorsman will Often be way Over Priced and fishing for a Buyer. Here is mine that shipped in 1936 with it's original Finish and Grips serial numbered to it. The Only Minus It has which I tried to get the Price down a Little when Purchasing it, is the small Dent on the Left Lower grip Panel. The rest of this Gun Grades an easy 98% for a gun of it's age, and I would Not sell it for any amount of Money as I have never seen one nicer and they do not come along often like this... Hammerdown









 

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Sir FlyFishingFool,
Your Grandpa has left you a great collection,and a great legacy.
Do yourself a favor,register on Auction Arms and Gunbroker,put guns like what you have on your watchlist.You don't have to bid on them,just add them to your watchlist.Remember tio check closed items every day or so,to see what they actually brought.
The guns you have are worth a lot of money!
Jeff
 
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