My grandfather`s S&W

Discussion in '.22-Rimfire Forum' started by Shep, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. Shep

    Shep Member

    Jun 20, 2010
    Found a nice set of original type grips for my grandfather`s S&W model 18-2 on an e-bay auction. It looked good to start with, real pearl grips. But looks even better with diamond service grips like it had originally.

    Interesting story goes with this gun. It was missing from the family for almost 40 years before I ran across it a few years ago.
    My grandfather bought it new when he quit farming. When he passed away in 1967 my dad wanted to buy it from his estate, but no one could find it. Everyone assumed he must have sold it before his death.

    A few years ago I was at a local range and got to talking to a fellow that I knew. He was shooting a nice little S&W with pearl grips on it. Asked where he got it and got a real surprise.
    Gerald said that he had gotten it right after he got out of school back in 1966. That my grandfather had given it to him in exchange for painting his house and garage.
    I tried to buy it, but Gerald had owned the gun for almost 40 years and wasn`t interested in selling it. Turned me down even when I offered quite a bit more than it was worth at the time.
    But I didn`t give up. Eventually we worked out a trade for a really nice 6" model 17 that I had.
    He had replaced the grips many years before and the original grips were long gone. Looked real good with the pearl grips. Didn`t start looking for any other grips till recently.
    Anyway, when I made the trade I offered the gun to my dad, but he said to keep it. He was just glad it made its way back into the family.

    It`s a model 18-2 made in 1962. Has been shot a fair amount, but has been well cared for and is still in nice condition for its age.

    Pics below with both sets of grips and my other Smith 22s.






  2. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2009
    SW Fort Worth
    Great story and wheelie ! Bet that gun stays in the family a long long time now.

  3. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Well-Known Member

    Sep 18, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI
    For a .22 RF of its vintage, it is in excellent condition. So many .22s get shot to pieces.
  4. Shep

    Shep Member

    Jun 20, 2010
    You can bet on that. It will never be sold as long as I`m alive anyway.
  5. todd51

    todd51 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2009
    Central, Ohio
    Nice story and glad it is back home. I agree the wood looks much better than the pearl. Had one just like yours and in a week moment sold it. Still kicking myself.
  6. Shep

    Shep Member

    Jun 20, 2010
    It got a little wear on it that doesn`t show too well in the pics. Nothing much. Finish wear on the sharp edges and tip of the barrel. The normal stuff from being picked up and set down hundreds of times.
    It has been shot a fair bit, but don`t think it was ever carried in a holster and has never been abused. And always well taken care of.

    When I made the swap for it, that must be close to 4 years ago now, Gerald got it out of his gun cabinet. It was wrapped in an oil cloth and zipped up in a nice little padded pouch. I would guess that`s how he had always stored the gun.
    When I got home I looked it over to see if it needed any cleaning. Not a bit of powder fouling or lead build up anywhere except up where the forcing cone is so close to the top of the frame where it`s so hard to keep it clean.
    I would bet this gun has never been put away dirty in its 49 years.
    There was just a touch of surface rust under one of the grip panels, but it came right off.
    The only real indication of how much it has been shot is the wear on the ejector rod and the recoil shield. And I guess if you take into account that it has been used for 49 years, it really has not been used heavily.
    I`ve only put about 2,000 rounds through it in the 4 years since I`ve had it. That`s about 500 rounds a year, and it might not have ever been used much more heavily than that.
    It`s got about the same amount of wear on it as my 17-4 does. And I`d estimate that gun has had about 35,000 to 40,000 rounds through it.
    These little Smith K frames will last just about forever if they are taken care of.
  7. vytoland

    vytoland New Member

    Oct 14, 2008
    those S&W revolvers will last several life times with a little care. very nice that you returned it back to the family.