S&w 617


August 6, 2003, 02:14 AM
I tried out a S&W 617 .22 LR, 10 shot revolver today. It had about a 4" barrel. The accuracy and single action trigger were very good, but the DA trigger was heavy and NOT smooth.

Overall, I liked it, but I think the price is kind of steep given its a .22 revolver.

I'm still considering it though, since one can shoot it often and the ammo is cheap. Any complaints or weaknesses I should worry about with the S&W 617?

The frame looks very durable considering its only a .22, but are there any inherent problems with this model?

The one I tried out looked like it was newer--it had the key hole on top of the cylinder release.

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August 6, 2003, 06:07 AM
Had one w/6" barrel.
Didn't like it.
It was a real disappointment.
(mine was probably a lemon)<-vast majority of 617 owners like theirs.

Traded it off and later picked up a pair of older Model 17's.

The pair of 17's will probably stay with me until I pass them on to my grandson.

*Mine had a bore as rough as a cob. I had to scrub it every 50 shots to prevent keyholing. It got better as the bore smoothed out.
Didn't really care for the round butt style - I like the square frame better.
Never did get used to the way 10 shots indexed vs a 6 shot.
Mine only liked American Eagle ammunition- anything else would misfire due to light hammer strikes.
Horrid rough creepy trigger.

August 6, 2003, 12:59 PM
I am considering the 4" 617 also, but I have realized that I could get a Taurus 94SS4 (4" 9 shot) for about $100 less.

The 617 weighs 41 oz while the 94 comes in at 26.5 oz.

I just want a fun plinker that can be used to teach others on.

Hal, is the 10-shot indexing that strange, or is it just different? Seems like it would be like the difference in a single stack/double stack auto? Does the hammer cock strangely or 'quicker' or in a 'shorter' manner? Just curious, thanks.

August 6, 2003, 03:03 PM
I have a six shot 6" 617. I've owned it almost two years. The trigger was very smooth right out of the box and the double action pull was only a little heavy but very useable. Apparently some are better than others out of the box and maybe some will need some smoothing up or breaking in.

In my opinion the 617 is an excellent revolver. Last week I had it at the range plinking at coffee cans at 50 yards. I was using Remington Goldens which don't have a reputation for being the most accurate round but I had no trouble hitting the cans both single action and double action if I did my part.

One of the advantages of the 617 is that it is a good "understudy" gun for the M66 and the M686.


August 6, 2003, 03:11 PM
I own a Taurus mod 94 & have some experiene w/ the 617. I prefer the 617 10 shot. The trigger is nicer, the sights are easier to pick up & general fit & finish is better too. It's worth the difference.

August 6, 2003, 05:58 PM
"Had one w/6" barrel.
Didn't like it.
It was a real disappointment.
(mine was probably a lemon)<-vast majority of 617 owners like theirs."

Maybe you bought my old 617! Did not keep mine long - will do as you did and eventually pick up an older 17 or else find a 617 that I can shoot first before buying. Was the only S&W I ever owned that would not shoot accurately - even after sending it back to S&W.

August 6, 2003, 06:53 PM
that double action trigger will smooth out with shooting. I have heard from the absolute top custom revolversmith that a member of his staff has a 617 that is inaccurate as heck and nobody can figure out why. Most seem to be completely accurate. Mine is a 6 shot, but I've done enough shooting with smiths large capacity revolvers to trust their ability to get them all shooting to the same place

Standing Wolf
August 6, 2003, 08:39 PM
My pre-agreement model 617 has the long tube and ten-shot cylinder, and I've added a red dot sight and a set of Herrett's target-style stocks. It's a pretty good plinker, but not the equal of the K-22 I had years ago. If you want a really good .22 caliber revolver, the simplest method is to find one from yesteryear in tip-top condition.

August 6, 2003, 10:00 PM
My two 617's have quickly become my favorite rimfire handguns of any type ever. I have a four inch...


And a six inch...


If I had to keep only one riimfire handgun it would be a 617. I would miss the M41's and High Standards and Rugers but the 617 functions absolutely reliably with anything put in it and is more accurate than I can possibly shoot it. :)

August 6, 2003, 10:08 PM
I have a six shot, six inch 617 along with two model 17s, one of which my dad owned long before I was born making it over 40 years old.

I consider my 617 to be every bit as good as the older guns. I had it out last night in fact shooting Wal-Mart bulk Federals. I was hitting a soup can at 40 yards on 5 out of 6 shots until I got tried of doing it. Then I started shooting double action at thewhite lids on soda bottles. I probably hit each one in 20 shots, but was coming close every time.

Wonderful gun. Definitely buy one.

"but I think the price is kind of steep given its a .22 revolver"
What would make you think that caliber has any bearing on price ?
If you bought a Model 66 should it be more expensive because it is a bigger caliber on the same frame ?

August 7, 2003, 02:43 AM
I just bought my 617 about a month ago,(used) and I have really taken a liking to it!. Mine is the 4 inch with the rubber grips, and I touched up the front sight with a dab of florescent orange paint. My old eyes don't see plain black sights as well as they used to. I found that this particular revolver is just about as accurate as a rifle for me. I can hit just about anything I care to shoot at right down to left over pieces of broken clay targets. It just incredible!!!! I haven't fired another 22 handgun since I got it!. It was a lot more money that a Ruger(and I'm a big Ruger fan) but I'm glad I spent the extra dough for it. :D

August 7, 2003, 06:29 AM
One of the reasons I wanted a K frame Smith in .22 was like Dot_mdb says, I wanted an understudy for my Smith Model 19.

The 10 shot 617 wasn't it. The indexing of the 10 shot was totally different. It's hard to descibe they way I like to shoot D/A but I'll give it a try.

It's like - jerk the trigger quick to rotate the cylinder, then at the critical point where it starts to just break over, switch to a squeeze as I bring the front sight to bear for the letoff. Unlike most others, I like to know when the trigger is going to break over. Conventional teaching is that the letoff should be a surprise, which I guess assumes a rock steady hold. Usually, as hard as I've tried, it's impossible for me to hold the gun that steady. To compensate, I just accept the fact that the front sight is going to move, then time the letoff accordingly.

Ok, I'll admit,,this sounds corny and hokey - - I use this little mental drill.
One potato, two potato, three potato, f-o-u-r, five potato, six potato get-some-more.
Onepo - ta -t-O = jerk - switch - stage - break and so on.
Get = gun goes down and I operate the cylinder release then move the barrel up as I depress the ejector rod.
Some = reload either in pairs or w/speed loader.
More = complete the closing of the action and bring the gun back up to ready.

It develops a nice steady rythym which I found becomes 100% mechanical, yet it's pleasant and relaxing. Not to sound too Zenlike, but I've found also, I can *dry-fire* each step of the process mentally by envisioning each step.

The 10 shot just broke that D/A rythym because it was so different. I found it was more irritating than relaxing so I traded it off. Like I said though, I'm in the small minority that didn't like the 617 10 shot. Most folks are real happy with 'em. Mine just didn't suit my peculiar style close enough to justify hanging on to a >$400. gun.

August 7, 2003, 11:22 AM
Hal, thanks for the reply. I forsee a 19/66 in the near future so having a close training gun would be nice (like a .22 conv for my 1911). Good explination.

I think I will just have to handle the guns and make my decision. I am all about doing something right the first time. Thanks.

August 7, 2003, 09:15 PM
Have a 617 4" ten shot that I purchased new about six months ago. Have never shot it. The trigger pull was pretty heavy, so I put in a standard power Wolf Power Rib mainspring and a Wolf 12 pound rebound spring. The trigger pull is much better. I am sure that it would get even better if it was fired a few hundred rounds. I bought it because I liked the looks of the gun. As far as how it shoots, I may never know.

February 18, 2007, 07:18 AM
I was searching for the link to a speed-loader I purchased a while ago when I came accross this link.

I like my 617. I use it to compliment my model 41 at pin shoots, and have found it to be fun and accurate.

I bought a speed loader specifically for the gun ( the 10 shot model) from a guy who makes them at home. He calls this variation of his loader "DS-10-SPEED".

I cannot find him on the net, and haven't gotten an answer via e-mail. Anyone have a link for me?

BTW, watching anyone "SPEED-LOAD" a .22 revolver in single digit temps is a hoot :D

February 18, 2007, 07:28 AM
I've owned 617s in all three barrel lengths, including a 4" ten-shot. I also owned
the fulll lug 17 in all three lengths, as well as the standard 17 in all three lengths, and a 4" 18.

I kept the 4" and 6" 617 and sold all the rest. The 6" 617 is certainly as accurate as any of the others and has an excellent trigger. It goes to the range more than any other gun I own. I like the way the full lug steadies my hand.

February 18, 2007, 09:52 AM
The 10 shot just broke that D/A rythym because it was so different.

I always thought the 10 shot would feel quite a bit different, thanks for sharing your experience. The other reason why I personally wouldn't want a 10-shot is because those little 22 charge holes are a pain in the butt to clean, 10 more so than 6.

My 7 shot 686 has a slightly shorter DA pull than my 6 shot K Frames, but not enough to make it unpredictable.

For the record, I prefer my K-22 / M17-0. It's a classic that costs less than the new 617 and not much more than a NIB Taurus 94.

Someone else mentioned the Taurus 94. It is one of the few handguns that I can NOT personally recommend. Quite a few people have reliable, functional examples (10-ring, I know you are one), but a lot of people (including me) seemed to have problems with them.

February 18, 2007, 10:46 AM
I have both six and ten shot versions. I like the action on both models. I have a 13 lb Wolfe rebound spring in my 10 shot. If you shoot a few thousand rounds thru them, they really smooth out. I use mine for bowling pin shoots so I shoot rapid fire most of the time. I think the ten shot is faster for that purpose, (shooting 5 rounds in 2 to 3 seconds). It is also much better to have 5 extra shots instead of one when you miss a pin.

Juggler - if you Google search "ds10speed", you can find my link.
Also: http://groups.msn.com/Speedloader/ds10speed.msnw

Here are my 617's:


February 18, 2007, 11:05 AM

Sweet 617s you have there. Nice grips too.

Cool deal on making your own speedloaders, they look pretty awesome! I imagine there will be a number of people on THR interested in them.

I do have a 6-shot speedloader for my K-22, but it doesn't work very good: it does not hold the rounds firmly. They just kinda let them wobble around, making insertion into the chambers impossible. I don't use it anymore.

February 18, 2007, 12:03 PM
Love my 617-10 6". And yes, they smooth out after a few bricks of ammo.


February 18, 2007, 01:53 PM
I have a S&W 17-8 with a 10 shot aluminum cylinder, it has a matt blue finish and a 6 in. bbl. The triger is a litle on the heavy side, but verry smooth and is verry acurate. I love it. This gun makes every range trip.

February 18, 2007, 03:09 PM
Dave, I googled several ways with no luck. :confused:

Thanks for the links, I have passed along the information.

I, too, really like the feel of the 617. Having the extra shots more than makes up for any extra cleaning.:cool:

Very fun gun and my neices' favorite (next to the 41) She uses it to great effect when pin shooting against the boys:D

February 18, 2007, 06:37 PM
I know I am gonna catch flack but I prefer my all steel 6 inch Ruger model 1 target. $200 and dead on accurate. Dont worry I carry a S&W 10-4 for CCW.

March 2, 2007, 01:02 AM
I'm joining this ancient thread revived from the dead since
I've recently (in the last 10 hours) acquired an interest in a 617.

I just posted that story in another related thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=254444), so won't repeat it here.

Still, reading with interest. Two current thread on 617 tells me there's something of value in that revolver.


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