In the 1950s these two Gunmakers were at the Top of their Game

Win, Lose, or Draw

Today is Thanksgiving Day 2021. All of the family have just left and I'm settled in at my keyboard in my office, just admiring these two beautiful guns. One is a Colt, the other a Smith & Wesson, each representing the finest factory production target revolvers of their time.

In my right hand, I have a 1950 Colt Officers Model Special .22 target pistol. In my left hand, I'm holding a 1957 Smith & Wesson K-22 Masterpiece. At this point I'm thinking, "eenie meenie minie mo."

Author holding a 1950 Officers Model Special and K-22 Masterpiece
Author Holding a Colt and Smith

This afternoon I'm going to compare and contrast these two guns, then one day very soon, I will take a trip to the shooting range to see how they perform. In my cursory review, I won't try to split hairs. Wait, I might split a hair or two if I can.

As a preface to my comparative analysis, I must admit that I paid considerable attention to the details of each gun during the buying process just days ago. When the guns arrived, as I was able to handle and inspect them, I felt a predisposition to declare the S&W gun the winner. The lesser weight and smaller grip felt better in my hand.

But then, there's this thought in the back of my mind that the larger grip and extra weight of the Colt may translate to better accuracy at the range.

Common Traits

These two have more general characteristics in common than they have differences.

  • Both have 6 shots
  • Both have 6 inch barrels
  • Both have Adjustable Rear Sights
  • Serrated or grooved Backstrap, Trigger and Hammer
  • Both have Recessed Cylinders


These two each. also have different characteristics. The Colt sold for $75 new, the Smith sold for $72 (with Bright Blue Option) new, or 4% less.

  • Front Grip Strap smooth on Colt
  • Grooved or Serrated Front Grip Strap on Smith
  • Colt originally had Plastic Grips (Replaced with real Stag)
  • Smith has very fine, original Circassian Walnut Grips
  • Colt weighs 43 ounces, Smith weighs 38.5 ounces
  • Colt over-all length 11¼", Smith 11⅛"
  • Colt has Ramp Front Sight akin to tail-fins on a '59 Cadillac
  • Smith has Solid Ribbed Barrel

Comparing the prices paid for these two guns won't result in a fair analysis.

The Colt was purchased for $1,230 at open auction on November 14, 2021. The seller charged a 3% credit card fee. The gun did not include the original grips and it had no box or paperwork. But this model was produced in very low numbers and when you see one come available, you take it as it comes.

On the other hand, the Smith was purchased at open auction using a "Buy It Now" option that was available, on November 18, 2021 for $1,023. The seller did not charge a 3% credit card fee. The original grips are numbered to the gun, however the box number is non-matching.

The Colt scores points for rarity, but the Smith scores points for having a Serrated Front Grip, Solid Rib Barrel and the original, very nice Diamond Walnut Grips.

Until I can get them to the range, I'm calling it a Draw.

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