New To Me .22 Revolvers

New To Me .22 Revolvers

This is a discussion on New To Me .22 Revolvers within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Many of you may know that I work at a woman's college. I frequently get requests or questions about showing individuals how to shoot. These ...

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Thread: New To Me .22 Revolvers

  1. #1
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    New To Me .22 Revolvers

    Many of you may know that I work at a woman's college. I frequently get requests or questions about showing individuals how to shoot. These are usually about handguns. I am working with a group locally to equip and insure a range. So I have recently been looking for good, inexpensive double action .22 revolvers with barrels of 4" or longer to use as teaching guns. What I have discovered is that there are three manufacturers who make pretty good, inexpensive .22 revolvers - Taurus, Charter Arms, FireStorm (Bersa) and one that makes good expensive .22 revolvers - Smith & Wesson. So I decided to look for good, inexpensive, used .22 revolvers.

    At Wanenmacher's Tulsa Arms Show last weekend I discovered that GOOD and INEXPENSIVE in .22 revolvers are mutually exclusive. If it is inexpensive it is either a piece of junk to begin with or worn completely out. S&W .22 revolvers in good shape cost $600 and up. Colts are worse. I did manage to find a good, inexpensive .22 at the gun show on Sunday. It is a H&R (Harrington & Richardson) Sportsman that has been cared for very well and not used a lot.






    It is a dream to shoot. It hits at point of aim at 25' and feels great in the hand. The top-break makes it easy to reload. The cylinder comes out easily for cleaning. All around a very good piece for a first time shooter to begin with.

    We went to Tulsa to visit with friends who lived there, but moved to Vancouver, WA about 4 years ago. We visited them in Vancouver in '06 and this year they wanted to visit with friends in Tulsa so they arrived a week before we got there. On Sunday after the gun show we went out to eat with our friends and another couple.

    During the meal the man in the other couple said that he was going to sell his peashooter and get a 9mm. Being a gun enthusiast I asked what his peashooter was. He told me that it was a .22 revolver with a 5.5" barrel. He said that he could not hit anything with it, but had no problems hitting with a 1911. He said that he would take $75 for it. We stopped by his house and he showed me this Iver Johnson Model 55 Target revolver.




    Since it was in very good shape and accuracy was not the main object in my having several .22s I bought the gun. When I had more time to examine it I discovered why he could not hit very well with it. I also discovered one of the oddest target revolvers I have ever heard of. The reason the seller could not shoot the gun very well is that it has no rear sight or at least no usable rear sight.

    This is a photo of the Iver Johnson looking down the barrel as one would to shoot it. Where is the rear sight?

    From this photo you can see that the rear sight on this gun is a gutter type. That's pretty strange for a target gun, but even stranger is the fact that the hammer sticks up above the top of the gutter when it is forward. On this picture the hammer is back and it still conceals part of the gutter. There is no place to even put a rear sight on this firearm unless it goes into the gutter somehow. Below is part of an ad for this model and there is no rear sight shown on it, but the hammer doesn't stick up so high.

    In single action where you can use the gutter to some extent as a rear sight the Iver is pretty accurate. It would be very accurate if it had a real sight on it. I am still looking for more info and the possibility of a rear sight. If any of you are familiar with this firearm please let me know.
    George

    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein


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    Thumbs up H&r Sportsman

    The H&R is a great .22 target revolver.I have one that is very accurate.It shoots every bit as well as my K-22 S&W.Good luck with the Iver Johnson.
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    The hammer sticks up because it doesnt look like it is the correct hammer for that gun.It may have been changed at one time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    The hammer sticks up because it doesnt look like it is the correct hammer for that gun.It may have been changed at one time.
    I thought of that, but you still can't see the gutter if the hammer only comes up as far as the one in the ad.
    George

    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein

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    You're right... a decent quality, inexpensive .22lr in a double action revolver just doesn't exist.

    Ruger makes some very nice quality, fairly inexpensive single action revolvers in .22.

    On the Iver pistol, If it were mine, and I wanted to shoot it, I'd have someone mill a dovetail in the topstrap and mount a low rear notch. You might have to extend the front post a bit, but that's fairly easily done.

    Then again, I have an H&R 922 that I never take out of the safe... I just don't find a gate load .22 with a poor trigger all that much fun to shoot. You might end up spending a hundred bucks or so to improve a gun that you won't like when you're done... and it'll never be worth what you will have put into it.
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    This is a real nice post with great photos. It's always good to see the .22 rimfire guns discussed I've long wanted to try an H&R Sportsman so am glad to read your experiences with it. Looks like a fine addition to a handgun collection to me. I've got a Smith & Wesson Model 17 K-22 yet still would make room for one of those Sportsman revolvers. The .22 is so important to the serious handgunner.

    The Iver Johnson is a curious piece.

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    That H&R is a beaut George
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

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    I found another photo of an Iver, but it is too small to try to post. I got it and enlarged it with my graphics software and I think HotGuns is right. In the little photo it appears that the hammer stops slightly below the top of the frame and the gutter is visible with hammer down. After looking at this photo I looked again at the ad above and it appears that the top of the hammer is even with the lower edge of the bevel on the top strap. That would make it line up with the bottom of the gutter and make the gutter sight usable.

    I have friend who is a machinist and I think that we will disassemble the Iver and let him grind the top of the hammer to the right height. It means taking off just about 1/16" and then doing a little polishing. I would try it myself except I searched the net last night and could find no replacement hammers. Since I know that I would likely damage the hammer beyond use I will not work on it without a replacement. Since the hammer is color case it won't even require any work to restore the color.

    I'll post a photo when it is finished.
    George

    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein

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