That's interesting that it burned your thumb, I wonder if the late models can still do that.
I made the mistake of trying to grip it like a conventional revolver, with my right thumb (shooting hand) held up alongside the recoil shield. The .22 short cylinder let my thumb extend past the front face of the cylinder, hence the burn from the blast. And, yes, the same model, gripped the same way, will scorch your thumb. And I believe I did see the same model on display yesterday.
I said my friend won his in a contest, but thinking back, I believe he got it for either subscribing to, or extending his subscription to, one of the gun magazines, don't remember which. This was around 1974 or so.