S&W 22 Revolver Model ???

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by Namttab, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. Namttab

    Namttab New Member

    Feb 22, 2012
    A friend of mine recently was handed down an old 22 S&W six shot revolver. It has been in his family for at least 3 generations and there is little known about it any longer. We have yet to identify the model or frame style. We have searched endlessly on line with no success.

    The firearm is an exact duplicate of the 1899 .38 but is on a scaled down frame. I was able to find that there were smaller frames made than the "J" frame of the .38 but not sure about this one. The "M" frame was, I believe, for the .22 LadySmith which doesn't fit this gun. The only other was the "I" and the improved "I" frames. However, they are always referenced to a .32.

    Any help in identifying this one is greatly appreciated.

  2. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    Sounds like what you might have is a "Kit Gun".

    You're right. They made 22s on the M frame, the I frame was a 32, the K frame a 38 and the N frame the 44.

    But they also took the I frame and put a 22 on it, figgering that the heavier frame would make the gun easier to shoot accurately. It was originally called the 22/32 (that's .22 on a .32 frame) Kit Gun. Later, when they came up with model numbers, it became the model 34, and then when they started making stainless guns it was the model 63.

    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012

  3. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    By the way. The I frame, which was a 6-shot 32, was also made as a 5-shot 38 S&W. Then they decided to make it in 38 Special, but the hole for the cylinder wasn't long enough - the 38 Special being a longer cartridge than either the 32 S&W Long or the 38 S&W. They basically stretched it a tad. Same size top strap to trigger. Same thickness. But the distance from recoil shield to barrel is a little longer. They called the new frame size the J. So the J is a 32 caliber frame. The 38 caliber-size frame was/is the K.

    Just so you know.

    So when they started making the J in 38 Special, they also made all the old I-frame calibers in the new J frame, and discontinued the I frame. Depending on how old your gun is, it could be built on the I frame or on the J frame.
  4. Namttab

    Namttab New Member

    Feb 22, 2012
    Thanks for the info. I'll pass it on.

    The frame is signicantly smaller than the .38 when sat side by side (he has both) so I'd guess that it is an I frame.

    Any idea on value or where to get manufacture date etc?????
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