Problem with S&W 617 shell extractor


November 14, 2006, 06:00 PM

My new (6 months) S&W 617 has occasionally had a problem ejecting spent .22 shells. Iíd have to push really hard on the ejector rod to get them to come out.
Today, the cylinder started binding after Iíd take a few shots as if the spent shells where rubbing against the frame.

Iím not versed in the part names but I suspect that the ďejector starĒ is somehow misaligned or out of spec. The photo shows how far the shells can go in before they start binding.

Iíll be contacting S&W about a repair but I just wondered if anyone else has experienced this problem. Iím not really sure how to describe it when I talk to them.

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November 14, 2006, 07:00 PM
K22s (Model 17s, 18s, 617s) are known to be found with tight chambers. Just have a gunsmith polish the chambers (which will open them up a bit) and the problem will disappear.

November 14, 2006, 07:08 PM
I noticed from the headstamps that you were usainf what appears to be WW, Rem and CCI hivel ammo. Have you tried the federal copper washed/plated ammo. My K-22 ejects the Federal very swiftly.

November 14, 2006, 07:12 PM
My model 18 will start to do the same thing after it gets dirty which is pretty quick. Try different brands of ammo, this can tweak the shots fire to cleaning required ratio in your favor.

November 14, 2006, 07:39 PM

Did I mention that those shells are really in there tight? I had to use pliers to get the ones in the photograph out. It just seems like something is askew. But unfired ammo goes in fine and isn't tight at all. The gun is clean and the binding started on the first six shots today with a new batch of Remington ammo so I guess that might have something to do with it.

I haven't paid a lot of attention to the brand of ammo. I just use the brand of the month from Big Five. I'll start comparing to see if I notice a difference.

Guess Iíll do some more detective work and look into polishing the chambers before I send the gun in. Thanks for the suggestions!

Master Blaster
November 15, 2006, 08:48 AM
When was the last time you cleaned the cylinder charge holes with a brush???

You need to clean the charge holes really well with a brass brush about every 200 rounds, with some ammo, in my experience, this applies to every .22lr revolver I own including my 1980 single six.

.22lr is a heeled bullet and leaves residue in the chamber with every shot. eventually this will make seating fresh rounds hard, result in misfires as the hammer seats the bullet on the first strike, and it will lead to difficult extraction.

Some ammo is worse than other ammo in this respect.

November 15, 2006, 09:20 AM
OK, I scrubbed the heck out of the cylinders and also scrounged up some Federal ammo that was lying around. Shot six rounds of the Remington and six of the Federal. (Really is nice when you live in a place where you can walk outside and shoot).

The Federal shot well and the spent shells where snug in the cylinder but not stuck. The Remington’s did as described before. Very difficult to extract and they even jammed the cylinder from rotating properly after a couple of shots.

For what it’s worth, I don’t have the details on the Federal but the Remington’s were 525 high velocity Golden Bullet.

High velocity vs sub-sonic? Cheap brass in the Remington's? :confused:

Anyway, thanks for the advice and I'll definately be paying more attention to cleaning the cylinder chambers.

November 15, 2006, 10:26 AM
I would look at getting the cylinders opened up a little by a gunsmith. Take it and see what he says. Not a major operation.

November 15, 2006, 11:26 AM
It's under warranty, for goodness sake!

Call S&W, have them provide a shipping lable, and send it back to them for repair. If you have your local smith work on it, you kiss your warranty goodbye.


November 15, 2006, 12:13 PM
Well, Iíve got a lead on a gunsmith though we donít have as many around here as one would expect. If I were 20, Iíd be looking into going into that line of work.

And the warrantee. Yep, good point. The reason Iíve been looking into other courses of action is due to my inexperience with firearms. I just wasnít sure if this is a minor issue or not. Not a big problem sending it in and considering the paucity of gunsmiths in my area, sending it in is about as much trouble as driving the 40 miles to a gunsmith.

November 15, 2006, 12:17 PM
Double check your headspace. It appears your brass has room to back out a bit and is bulging the case. When the cylinder rotates to the next shot, the bulged section is pressed back into the cylinder(while the brass is still hot/soft), making later extraction very difficult.

I had a similar problem with a model 17. A 0.002" Powers endshake bearing moved the cylinder back just enough to fix the problem.


November 15, 2006, 02:05 PM
My 617 has tight chambers that need a brush pushed through after the first 50 rounds, and about every 5 cylinders afterwards. Polish the chambers a little or cash in on that factory warranty.

November 15, 2006, 07:42 PM

Looking at your photo I see what looks like a relatively large, grey chunk of crud under the casing in the recess at about 1 o'clock - could this be a contributor to your problem?

Also, there is a big smear of metallic colored crud on the side of the casing @ 3 o'clock.


November 15, 2006, 08:19 PM
Hi Ron, the photo is a little deceptive but the crud looking stains werenít causing the problem. But Iíve been listening to the overall consensus about polishing the cylinder chambers. I spent a good deal of time today cleaning the chambers and then fired the gun using the last 12 of my old federal ammunition. All twelve shots went fine with no problem. Again I tried the Remington ammo and it did better than yesterday though still some tightness.

Joe aptly described the situation when he said ďIt appears your brass has room to back out a bit and is bulging the case. When the cylinder rotates to the next shot, the bulged section is pressed back into the cylinderĒ. His description really rang true so Iíll be exploring that.

I dug out my receipts and the gun was purchased in August so I still have a lot of time to look into this. In the meantime Iím going to be playing with different ammo and talking to the owner of the gun shop who sold the gun to see what he suggests. (Heís on vacation now).

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions.

Jim K
November 15, 2006, 09:58 PM
Since I have watched "CSI", I am a fully qualified firearms identification expert, and it seems to me that the CCI case was not even fired in that gun, as the firing pin mark clearly shows. Nor do I see any signs of bulged cases which would indicate headspace problems.

I agree with the above but I think there is something else involved here.


November 16, 2006, 12:12 AM
Wow, Ok, Ok,… :uhoh:

After I had the problem I wasn’t sure what you called the thing that pushes out the shells when you push the ejector rod. Think it may be called the ejector star but not sure about that. So I took the photo to illustrate the problem and help me describe the situation. Grabbed a few of the shells that I had just shot and must have picked up some in the pile that were left over from when I shot my single six, or maybe it was my 10 – 22. That would explain the discrepancy with the different shells in the photo. The Remington shells that where causing the problem where so tight that I used needle nose pliers to get them out..

The problem is as described, the photo was to get people to the site of the problem. Should have mentioned that from the begining & worded the question better. You guys are sharp.


November 16, 2006, 06:52 PM
Charge holes should be kept dry, the casings will back out, and stretch if their
lubed. Also the CRUD will build up quicker. This happen to me with my single six until I spoke with a older gentlmen who KNEW what he was talking about.
Never happened again...... oh and never use anythinbg from remington again:neener:

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