Gun Fight Friday: S&W 17 K-22 vs Ruger Single Six

This week we’ve got two .22 revolvers facing off in a double-action vs. single action gun fight. Both guns are … Continued

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This week we’ve got two .22 revolvers facing off in a double-action vs. single action gun fight. Both guns are classics. The S&W Model 17 K-22 was first offered in 1930, much later designated the 617, and is available from S&W again as the Model 17. Popular as a target pistol, original K-22s were guaranteed to shoot 1 ½-inch groups at 50 yards. The Ruger Single Six debuted in 1953 when Bill Ruger brought the “obsolete” single-action revolver back. The Single Six is still popular as it celebrates its 60th birthday.

Scott from Illinois’ S&W 17 K-22

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This is a five-screw K-22 that my brother let me borrow–and is never getting it back! The K-22 is 1950s vintage. I have saved the original trigger, hammer, and stocks and replaced them with their target equivalents. We picked up the gun in a trade my dad made in about 1979 or ’80. My dad was an amateur gunsmith and re-barreled a 788 Remington from .22-250 to 6mm. The K-22 was payment for those services. So my oldest brother paid Dad the price of a Douglas premium barrel at the time. I know it was less than $100. I suspect that the gun was a safe queen until I borrowed it from my brother. I taught my wife to shoot a pistol with this gun, and currently my nephew is learning to shoot with it also. It is not picky about ammunition, but I prefer cleaner burning .22s, as a revolver is a good bit tougher to clean than an automatic. I know that five-screw Model 17s are fairly collectible, but this one will be shot and taken care of well.

Tom Govin’s Ruger Single Six

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My Ruger Single Six lives in the barn, truck, and house. It has accounted for opossum, raccoon, and squirrel (that’s what I got it for, to make things interesting). It’s traveled from Alaska to Maine and shot grouse, ptarmigan, rabbits, and halibut. I’ve had it over 30 years and I think everyone should own one.

Both guns look great for their age, especially Govin’s, which is clearly a working gun as much as a sporting gun. Which would you rather have? Let us know, and keep those gun pictures coming to fsgunnuts@gmail.com. We can’t have Friday Gun Fights without your help.