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Discussion Starter #1
I haven't yet shown these guns here, so I thought I'd put them out for inspection.

One of the scarcer prewar S&W models is the .22/32 Kit Gun. They were in production only from 1936 to 1940, at which time the company suspended commercial production to handle wartime contracts. The total number produced over four years was almost certainly less than 1500, and perhaps no more than 1000-1100. For those who are not familiar with these small I-frame .22s, they are basically the .22/32 Target Revolver (originally known as the Bekeart model at its 1911 introduction), but with round butt stocks and a four inch barrel instead of six. The gun is extremely compact -- barely 8.5 inches stem to stern; they could easily be carried in a jacket pocket or camping kit, from which the model gets its name. You could get Kit Guns with the oversize extension stocks that were standard on the target model, but when sporting all that wood these guns look even more unbalanced and ungainly that the longer barrel versions.

I managed to acquire two of these great little guns earlier this year. I think they are both in about 98% condition. The 1938 gun has a box (pretty battered, I'm afraid); the other not.


530553, shipped March 1938






533556, shipped June 1940






The earlier gun has the USRA "Pocket Revolver" front sight; the 1940 gun has the Patridge front sight. Kit Guns could be had with any of the common front sight options, but the Patridge and Pocket Revolver sights were the most common choices. You can also see that the earlier gun has the small trademark stamp on the left side, while the later gun has the larger trademark on the side plate. That was a production change ordered for all revolver lines by Douglas Wesson during the course of this model's production life.

I have shot the 1938 revolver, which is very accurate. I haven't fired the 1940 gun, which is in slightly better condition. I guess I'm saving it for a special occasion.

I was a little surprised recently when I took stock of my recent revolver acquisitions and found that I had picked up more .22s than anything else. I always thought of myself as a centerfire kind of guy, but I sure have loaded up on I- and K-frame smallbores in the last eight months.

David Wilson

(Edited 11/5/09 to replace photos of the 1940 KG with better ones.)
 
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David,

Some beautiful examples of elegant revolvers. Something is just so graceful in the design of the earlier kit guns. One cannot handle these guns and not be impressed by the functionality and wonderful balance.

giz goodjob01
 

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David,
That's a beautiful presentation of all those interesting guns!
welldone
Don
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This may be of interest. It's the model page from the 1939 catalog.



David
 

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It's a shame they don't make them like that anymore.
Those are beautiful examples of craftsmanship that we will never see in the gun industry again. kfjdrfirii
 

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Wow, how did I miss this thread, those are awesome!!
 

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David has seen this, but some of you may not have--a post-war transitional kit gun from 1953. Note the pre-war barrel and rear sight configuration and the special screwdriver provided.



Tim
 

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Okay Fellas, I'll Play.

I'll try to add something new to this thread, but man, Tim's gun above is a tough act to follow....

Here's 531,33x a Pre-War Kit with the "Extra Cost" Square Butt Stocks.





Pardon the kitchen table photography.

Drew
 

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BlackAgnes said:
Drew-- Any o' that Crown Royal left? Gettin' a powerful thirst...!

Tim
Hey Tim!

I've kinda moved up in the world....

Have you tried this yet? :p



A Great Small Cask Single Malt, but sadly they don't package the bottles in nice little Gun Bags.... :p

Drew
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Drew, nice heater! Or maybe we should call them warmers, given their diminutive status.

Is that a McGivern gold bead sight on yours? First time I've seen one of those on a prewar KG.

David
 

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David,

It is a McGivern, but in Ivory.

I have a bad habit of not lettering my guns, so I have no idea if it was on the gun when it shipped. My guess is that it was.

Drew
SWCA 1802
 

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David,

Thank you for sharing your excellent photos of your beautiful handguns. I have been on the lookout for a Model 35 or better yet, a pre-model 35, but now I'm going to have to expand my search to include the older .22/32 kit guns (pre-34, I believe). The two you have are absolutely stunning.

Best wishes,


David Martin
 
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