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
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
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 email@example.com. We can’t have Friday Gun Fights without your help.