A Nurse with a Gun

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Holy Grail Guns

Every gunny has a gun they hope to someday find at a price they can afford. For some, it may be a plastic fantastic, for others vintage iron. For me, it was a Whitney Wolverine. I could have found one on Gunbroker, but not at a price I was willing to pay after shipping and fees. Recently, I found that Holy Grail gun, and it was even at an affordable price.

After finding the Wolverine, I had to establish the next Holy Grail for Xavier. That gun will be a K-22. Not just any K-22 though, it must be pinned and recessed. Five screws. The K-22 Outdoorsman will likely be the one. I will require it in a shape that's a bit rough, so I can afford the price on the tag. I'm setting my K22 limit at $350.
There are probably many who say that cannot be done. I disagree. It might not be through normal channels, but I plan to legally acquire a K-22 for under $350.

Some may scoff at my price limitation. That's OK. Hell, any monkey can decide they want a K-22 and go surfing Gunbroker with an unlimited expense account. That's not gun hunting, that's netting fish in a barrel. I liken the entire gun acquisition experience to a fishing trip. Before you leave, you look at the sky, check the barometer, and sniff the air. You try not to carry a bunch of unnecessary crap, but you take what you need. Yes, I believe there is a K-22 out there for under $350, possibly for under $250. I might have to accept a lesser condition, or find a seller who simply no longer wants the gun around. It is out there though. I can feel it.

I will prowl the gunshows and haunt the pawnshops until I find a K-22 for under $350. I will ask people at the barber shop if they have one for sale. I will ask little old ladies at church what they might have on a closet shelf. If you know of such a gun for sale near me, you had better buy it if you want it. It's on my list, and it will be found!

I have one other Holy Grail gun. I'm in the market for an authentic, genuine WWI 1911. Again, I could quickly find a nice one on Gunbroker if I had unlimited funding. The thing is, I want to acquire this 1911 in a certain way. I want to meet and know the man who carried it. Time is running out for this acquisition, obviously. I may have to acquire it from his son or daughter.

For this pistol though, the link to the man who carried it is as important as the gun itself. I do not care if it is weathered and rusted from years of improper storage and a trip overseas for the Big One. I just want it to be a real 1911 (not a 1911A1) and to have a provenance that is known. If possible, I want to know the man who carried it, and then acquired it from the Department of War when he returned home. If not, I want to hear a few stories about him from his children. I have faith that this gun, as well, will appear.



Blogger yukonredneck said...

Love your blog!I will be a frequent

12:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i noticed you have a high standard m101. any comments it? sorry to get off topic.

5:47 AM  
Anonymous Jay G said...

Some of us are lucky enough to inherit our dream pieces:

My WWI 1911

The K22 is a VERY worthy aim. I found a Model 17-4 in extremely good condition for my Buy A Gun Day gun last year.

8:27 AM  
Blogger Sterno said...

Now that's getting specific! I hope that someday my gun collection gets to the point that I have to think abit about which one I want next. I could name at least a dozen.

Good Luck!

8:55 AM  
Blogger Sterno said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Alex N said...


Could you please enlighten me as to what makes the K-22 so special? All I see - in my ignorance, no doubt - is a terribly overpriced .22 revolver.

1:21 PM  
Blogger Tam said...

"All I see - in my ignorance, no doubt - is a terribly overpriced .22 revolver."

If I may be so bold, the 5-screw, pre-'57 K-22 isn't a .22 revolver; it's the .22 revolver. It's built to a level of craftsmanship and painstaking attention to detail that are unavailable to day on any gun that costs less than $1000.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

"the 5-screw, pre-'57 K-22 isn't a .22 revolver; it's the .22 revolver. It's built to a level of craftsmanship and painstaking attention to detail that are unavailable to day on any gun that costs less than $1000"
Tam can be so bold anytime! The only thing that I could add is that it performs like a well built Smith, has the feel of a well built Smith, retains value like a well built Smith, yet affords it's owner very cheap practice. This allows him/her to really build the trigger control that makes for exceptional DA revolver shooting, without the high cost of other calibers. Just because a gun shoots .22 doesn't mean it cannot be extremely accurate, or will be made cheaply. If you want a great .22 revolver a K-22 is worth the money. for me though, the pristine finish is not, thus my price limit.

4:48 PM  
Blogger Firehand said...

While back I bought a Enfield .38S&W revolver from a gentleman who'd been a doctor in the CIB Theatre in WWII. Traded a Brit officer a carton of cigarettes for it!

Got to hear some nice stories from him, and got the pleasure of working up a load. Found a Lyman mold for a 190gr. roundnose bullet and can pretty much duplicate the original military load for it. And it shoots niiiice.

Yeah, there's something about a piece with a history behind it.

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, a K22 is worth it.

6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this piece except, please don't spread this word far and wide. I'm looking for an inexpensive k-22 myself. One I'm not afraid to shoot. I'm saving my other two for my grandsons. Good blog.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just Bought a pristine K-22 built in 1947. Bore is bright and beautiful, and there is no wear on the deep blue finish. Paid $395 to a private owner.

From a rest with target grade ammo (with optical sight due to my 62-year old eyes) I was able to group into .625" at 25 yards and .875" at 50 yards. With the Camp Perry bulls-eye being 3.36" this will be a most competitive handgun.

In my opinion, there is no finer .22 ever made. There are more expensive, but after a certain level of accuracy you are paying only for snob appeal. This gun is fully capable of winning any competition. I, however, am not. but I'll enjoy it anyway.

11:03 PM  
Anonymous Edmund said...

I found your website while looking for info on the S&W "K-22" and companion "K-38" revolvers. I've owned a K-22 since I was a young plinker. I recall that my dad bought it for me from a co-worker, perhaps around the early 1960's. I shot it mostly in those dry periods when I didn't have access to plentiful free ammunition. Nice weapon, but in those days I couldn't hit a bull in the butt if I had him by the tail using double action. But since then I've learned to shoot DA. A year ago I found myself as the middleman in an estate sale of firearms and when my buyer backed out I suddenly became the proud owner of a matching .38 SPL target pistol. Lovely pistol ! The ultra smooth trigger pull reminds me of the Colt Officers' Match Model .38 I was issued (albeit briefly) back in the early 1970's.

So now to my question: can you help me identify the vintage of the two magnificent pistols from the model & serial numbers? The .22 cal is marked


and the .38 special is marked


The .38 has a gorgeous wide hammer & wide trigger. The .22 sadly has neither. Aside from that they are peas in a pod.

Any help I.D.ing them would be greatly appreciated.


6:45 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

MOD-17 1959

MOD-14-4 1972 This one is odd. The dash 4 modificationss came in 1977.

8:53 PM  

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