S&W 17-2 Price Check, Please


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Phydeaux642
July 3, 2008, 05:24 PM
The Smith catalog seems to be going out of date rapidly as prices continue to climb, so, I need some help. I found a 6" 17-2 today, serial #K632xxx, for $499. It has no box or papers. I looks to be in good condition. There is a little muzzle wear, a bit of a turn line and the grips are a little scuffed. It does seem to lock up nice, though. I don't really want a 'collector' gun as I would prefer to shoot it but have no idea what real world price is since I don't see them come through my area with any frequency. Thanks for your input.

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Shade00
July 3, 2008, 05:37 PM
Model 17s are steadily climbing in price. I would expect to find a good shooter in solid shape mechanically and cosmetically (with lesser cosmetic examples at the lower end, and some going even below that) between $400 and $500, depending on where you live. That particular gun was built in 1965, which really doesn't mean much, except that it was built during a time when Smith & Wesson turned out some really nice guns.

That said, I would try to talk them down a little; I certainly wouldn't expect a big concession, though. $499 is, from what the market is telling me, a fair price. Not a great price, but a fair one.

Jim Watson
July 3, 2008, 05:41 PM
Agreed.
Do you want a "great buy" you can brag about or do you want to go shooting?

Iggy
July 3, 2008, 05:54 PM
Make up your mind, it won't be there long.

XavierBreath
July 3, 2008, 06:03 PM
I agree with Iggy.

The gun will sell at $499.

Gun values are relative and variable. There are regional variances across the US that affect S&W prices as well. With the cost of all ammunition on the rise, you can expect the market value of quality 22LR caliber handguns to escalate.

$500 was a fair price last year. $500 is also an emotional hurdle in purchasing, just like $1000. That is the only reason the Model 17 is hovering around at that price. As more and more shooters decide that a quality 22 caliber revolver is worth $500 in regards to the money saved on ammunition, you will see that $500 emotional hurdle disappear. Then they will sell readily at $600-750. The time to buy was really five years ago, but this gun in this condition will not commonly sell for under $500 again.

I will say that I have not regretted purchasing any 22 caliber handgun at a fair price.

welldoya
July 3, 2008, 07:56 PM
I would say it depends on how many Smith 17s you've seen for sale in your area lately. If you pass on this one and don't see another one at a better deal, you will be kicking yourself. Go in there with four 100 dollar bills and two 50s. Pull out the money (so he sees you are serious) and start at $400. One thing is for sure - you can't go wrong with that gun. You will have it for your lifetime and then pass it down.
I bought mine new in 1975 for $145. And I'm still kicking myself over a used one I passed up at $165 several years later.
I just never see them for sale around here.

dispatch
July 4, 2008, 01:28 PM
I've developed a mind set- what will $25, $50, or even $75 spent on a gun that you want matter in 1-2 yrs? Also, the true price is what leaves your wallet. Consider shipping cost and transfer cost and very often a face to face sale is the same deal or better than the actual sales price.
I have been a party to and witnessed transactions fail over $25. If I really want the hardware and the other guy wants to feel good about the deal, I'll let him win to an extent.
So if a good Model 17 was presented at $500 (which $499 really is) and I really wanted the gun, I'd negotiate AND be prepared to pay close to asking price.
And, by the way, I'd give $450.00 in a FTF sale any time.

Iggy
July 4, 2008, 02:18 PM
http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p246/Iggy25/SW22.jpg?t=1215195266

Let's put it this way. I looked for a 17 for 5 years. I found this one and paid $400 for it about a year ago, and was tickled to get it.

I sure wouldn't sell it to you for $499 today, nor would I at $599.

Shade00
July 4, 2008, 02:31 PM
dispatch makes a terrific point. In the long run, if you will be kicking yourself over the gun, then $25, $50, $75 is a pittance. I have done the same thing several times while watching auctions on Gunbroker. It'll reach my max, then I think... wait a minute... what's $20 more? It saves me the time waiting, looking, wishing. Just do it already. :)

Old Fuff
July 4, 2008, 03:28 PM
As Shade00 knows, we have been following a Gunbroker auction for an almost-like-new pre-model 17. This particular piece is good enough to attract both collectors and shooters, and it's a good indicator as to where the market may be going. The simple fact is that no one is making hand ejector .22's of this quality anymore, and it's unlikely they will in the future. Look at the link and see:

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=102882319

El Tejon
July 4, 2008, 04:39 PM
17s are going for $500 now???:what:

How can this be? I paid $200 for my last one, 2 years ago?

What is causing this drive???:confused:

Phydeaux642
July 4, 2008, 04:55 PM
17s are going for $500 now???

How can this be? I paid $200 for my last one, 2 years ago?

What is causing this drive???

I think a lot of it has to do with people realizing that the craftsmanship of these old Smith wheelguns is way above what is commonplace today. The same goes for old Colt revolvers. The fit and finish of these guns plus the fact that they are great shooters make them good values when you compare them against their higher priced counterparts that are manufactured today. I have a couple of new Smiths that I like real well, but there is just something missing.

Hey, look at that, I think I'm talking myself into putting some money down on that 17-2.

Shade00
July 4, 2008, 04:57 PM
The price of brass... and collectors/speculators. Quality firearms will always be worth money, and the 17 is just a pure classic. Worth every penny. If I see one locally, you better believe I'll be buying it.

El Tejon, I would say $200 even two years ago was a steal, though.

Phydeaux, you haven't bought it yet???? You're crazy for waiting. :p Hopefully it'll still be there for you. I kick myself thinking about the S&W Mod. 37 I passed up at $290 and the Ruger Security Six stainless I passed up at $260, all in the past couple of weeks. Don't let that be you!

Phydeaux642
July 4, 2008, 07:39 PM
Phydeaux, you haven't bought it yet???? You're crazy for waiting.

I just saw this yesterday afternoon at the local fun shop, and the store is closed until Monday. The only way it will be gone is if someone picked it up in the two hours they were open after I left which, I guess, is possible. A guy came in and traded this 17-2, a model 14 and a model 29. One of the guns he got in the trade was a Glock 22. I don't know what else he got but I can't imagine trading these guns for tupperware. I've got some tupperware myself that I really enjoy, but come on....

Old Fuff
July 4, 2008, 07:57 PM
The only way it will be gone is if someone picked it up in the two hours they were open after I left which, I guess, is possible.

On more then one occasion I have lost out because I waited for two hours or less. I have learned to know enough so that if I run across something unexpectedly I can act on the spot, and not wait to ask questions. If something is a good (or great) deal someone else will know it too. :(

dispatch
July 4, 2008, 09:01 PM
Yep- I lost a Model 27 in the last year in less than 30 minutes because I was only in the second aisle of the gun show and "needed" to look around. Sometimes things come faster than you expect- if your instincts say do it. Do it.

machinisttx
July 4, 2008, 09:20 PM
I've seen several very nice 17-2s as well as older K22's go for anywhere between $350 and $450 on the various gun forums. I've passed on two rough looking examples locally in the lower end of that price range in the last couple of years. My patience finally paid off today. I paid $350 + tax for the 17-2 in the picture below. I paid less for the 8 3/8" 586 no dash pictured with it. :neener:

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b20/imakechips/smith%20and%20wesson/100_0842.jpg

There is no way I'd pay $500 for a 17 without the original grips, box, and documents--and it would have to be in 98% condition or better at that.

Hawk
July 4, 2008, 09:29 PM
As Shade00 knows, we have been following a Gunbroker auction for an almost-like-new pre-model 17.

There's a regular Model 17 not doing too badly: 606.00 with 5 days left.
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=103249342

This seller seems to not have the listings that go to the end with no bids. There a 58 looking pretty active too. And a .44spcl and...

Phydeaux642
July 7, 2008, 03:24 PM
I went back to the fun shop today and looked at the gun a little closer. It seems like a solid gun functionally. I did notice a couple of spots of corrosion on the right side of the barrel that I didn't see the other day. I guess as a shooter it would be a good choice, but I can't make up my mind if I want to pay $475 for a shooter (he did say he would lower the price to $475 from $499). Decisions, decisions.:banghead:

absolute0
July 7, 2008, 06:26 PM
You've got to go with your gut in these situations. You've seen this gun twice now and still don't own it. If the price is holding you back, make the gentleman an offer and be prepared to walk away. If he doesn't accept, it wasn't meant to be.

Jim Watson
July 7, 2008, 06:27 PM
Don't pass it up and come crying back here next year when they are up to $600.

Iggy
July 7, 2008, 06:36 PM
Have you got a pad on your butt? The kicking yourself will probably begin before very long!!

Hawk
July 7, 2008, 06:53 PM
There still appear to be "bargains" relatively speaking. This guy wound up at 430.00 before shipping, transfer, et al.
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=102993418
Even with more wear than the prom queen pre-17 it still looks pretty good for a 5-screw, not that I've much experience with what 5-screws are supposed to look like.

The one that Fuff posted above went for a somewhat nutzoid price. I'm just learning here but I gather the middle 700s won't be "normal" for some time yet even given the pristine prom queen looks.

Phydeaux642
July 7, 2008, 08:33 PM
Don't pass it up and come crying back here next year when they are up to $600.


Rough crowd. I guess it's better than being on the Kel-tec forum and being called a because I mentioned that the P11 dug into my thumb joint when I fired it.

I guess $475 is still a lot of money. At least it is for me. And, I do want to walk away sometimes with the feeling that I made a great deal. The gun has been there for about a week and hasn't been picked up, so, I figure they are asking top dollar for my area or even a little more.

Old Fuff
July 7, 2008, 08:56 PM
The one that Fuff posted above went for a somewhat nutzoid price. I'm just learning here but I gather the middle 700s won't be "normal" for some time yet even given the pristine prom queen looks.

You never know. It is well said that something is worth what you can get for it, and not one cent more. The market is an average that excludes unusually high and low bids. Then there is the law of supply and demand, and in this case only a certain number of pre-model and model 17's (or whatever) are available. Sometime the market is driven by sellers who can set a price and get it. Other times it's the buyer's turn and the seller has to settle for whatever the buyer will spend. When national economics get choppy many buyers drop out and wait. We may be seeing the beginning of that now. But it has been my experience that the very best examples of high quality classic, cult or antique guns can always find buyers.

And things aren't always predictable. One seller on gunbrokers.com has an exceptional collection for sale, and it will provide a lot of insights. For example, we have a little model 61 .22 pocket automatic. You seldom see them offered; yet this one at $250 has not drawn any bids, at least up to now. On the other hand a .455 Triple Lock in average-plus condition and mis-matched stocks has pulled down a $1,500 bid. I remember in the mid-1950 they were selling for under $20.00.

At the moment I think “market” on decent model 17’s is between $400 to $600, and a bit more for pre-models. Why the difference? Because in this case older is better. More handwork, and fewer cost-cutting changes.

I do find it interesting that those who are always complaining about locks and MIM parts aren't coming out of the woodwork. Most of these guns are being offered for prices that are close to, or below Smith & Wesson's street prices for similar guns. But we shall see. That fat lady hasn't sung yet...

Hawk
July 8, 2008, 07:06 PM
Ok, I give. SCoSW is ordered along with the Jink's history. I'm not waiting for a Supica firearm purchase.

But in the meantime, Fuff...

All unfired.
Model 43 in .22 'J' Frame
Model 34 in .22 'I' Frame
Model 18 in .22 'K' Frame

Ranging in starting price from 450.00 to 550.00. Is the hundred bucks just based on production numbers? Or maybe cult status?

Since the 34 is 'sposed to be an 'I' frame and there were no 'I' frames after 1961, does this mean the 34 is pre-61?

Most mysterious: if they're all unfired in original box, why do they all (for the time being) appear to be less desirable than a 17 of similar unfired-ness and with-box-ness?

I am reminded of the theory of relativity and the famous wisecrack of one Arthur Eddington who when asked if it was true that only three people understood relativity, the witty British astrophysicist paused, then said, "I am trying to think who the third person is".

The understanding of Smith & Wesson model numbers would appear not totally dissimilar.

Brian Dale
July 8, 2008, 07:28 PM
Most mysterious: if they're all unfired in original box, why do they all (for the time being) appear to be less desirable than a 17 of similar unfired-ness and with-box-ness?It could be because the Model 17 is the best known of the four. So many people have heard of the "K-22" and like the long barrel that it's going to have a price premium, as ammo prices convince more and more folks to buy .22s. There's an inclination to look for a "good, old .22 revolver" like the ones they'd seen as kids, or about which they've read glowing reports from others.

XavierBreath
July 8, 2008, 09:05 PM
All unfired.
Model 43 in .22 'J' Frame
Model 34 in .22 'I' Frame
Model 18 in .22 'K' Frame

These are not the same gun. There are differences in frame size (and therefore handling and carrying characteristics) as well as sights.

The Model 17, with an adjustable rear sight, a six inch barrel with a Patridge front sight and a K frame is one of the best target guns out there. The other revolvers have some of these qualities, but not all of them.

Add a humpback hammer, a 5 screw sideplate, and the long throw action, and you will see why a K-22 Outdoorsman is more desirable than a Model 17, boxed or unboxed. It's not the same gun.

FWIW, the first .22/32 Kit guns were built on an I frame in 1935. These would later become the Model 34 in 1957. In 1961 the J frame was adopted for the Model 34-1.

Hawk
July 8, 2008, 09:08 PM
A month ago I hadn't heard of any of the four. If they're all of roughly equal quality I would guess I'd be best off bidding on the one with the lowest starting price? Assuming I wanted a .22 double action and didn't have a big preference on frame size or barrel length?

Is the "I" frame smaller than the "J" or was it just a naming convention?

If one wanted something similar to the 17, it'd be the "K" frame 18? The other two appear to be "carry weapons" as opposed to "plinkers" or "target guns".

Eddington had it right.

Edited to add: Thanks XB, I was typing while you were posting.

machinisttx
July 8, 2008, 09:12 PM
All unfired.
Model 43 in .22 'J' Frame
Model 34 in .22 'I' Frame
Model 18 in .22 'K' Frame

Ranging in starting price from 450.00 to 550.00. Is the hundred bucks just based on production numbers? Or maybe cult status?

Model 18's feature a 4" barrel, and are more representative of the 4" M19/M66 than the longer M17. 4" guns have always been more desirable to the majority of sixgunners. I'm looking for a M18 myself since I have far more 4" K frames than anything else, and I'd like to practice more for less money.

machinisttx
July 8, 2008, 09:14 PM
If one wanted something similar to the 17, it'd be the "K" frame 18? The other two appear to be "carry weapons" as opposed to "plinkers" or "target guns".

The 18 carries a 4" barrel instead of the 6" barrel of the M17. Make no mistake though, the M18 shoots every bit as good as it's longer barreled brother.

Hawk
July 8, 2008, 09:19 PM
I'm looking for a M18 myself since I have far more 4" K frames than anything else, and I'd like to practice more for less money.

Here's one.
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=103324178

Looks like it's picked up a bid since last I looked.

Hawk
July 8, 2008, 09:30 PM
Add a humpback hammer, a 5 screw sideplate, and the long throw action, and you will see why a K-22 Outdoorsman is more desirable than a Model 17, boxed or unboxed. It's not the same gun.

I'm guessing a 5-screw sideplate on a pre-17 doesn't imply the existance of a long action or humpback hammer.(?)

Specifically, this looks like every other S&W hammer I've seen as does the trigger - is there a way of telling "long action" visually?
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=102882319

XavierBreath
July 8, 2008, 10:03 PM
I'm guessing a 5-screw sideplate on a pre-17 doesn't imply the existance of a long action or humpback hammer.(?)Correct.

The long action went away around 1948 or so. The specific time varies among the types of revolvers. It can be recognized in photos by the type of hammer in the gun. The hammer in the gun you referenced appears to be a short or "fast" action hammer. Compare it to a hammer in a Victory model, or the hammer of the first revolver I posted below.

The 5 screw frame disappeared in 1955.

The humpback hammer was a factory option, and a fairly rare one.

The Model 18 had a 4 inch barrel rather than a 6 inch barrel. It also had a Baughman fast draw ramp front sight rather than a Patridge. It was basically a Combat Masterpiece chambered in .22LR rather than .38 special. It's a great carry gun, to take along fishing and hunting. It's made for drawing and shooting. The longer barreled Model 17 with it's Patridge front sight is better suited for target work. The Model 34 (AKA 22/32) is a "kit gun", meaning it is a small framed .22 revolver intended for hiking and such, to be carried in a "kit". The Model 43 is the same 22/32, but with an airweight frame.

The best thing to do is determine which is best for your specific use and purchase that particular gun.

http://www.bayourovers.com/SWMPPreModel10.jpg
Long Action Hammer, half moon front sight (Pre-Model 10 M&P)

http://www.bayourovers.com/Model17ssmall.jpg
Fast Action Hammers, Patridge front sights (Model 17s)

http://www.bayourovers.com/SWCOmbatMASterpieceRIGHT654.jpg
Fast Action Hammer, Baughman "fast draw" front sight (K-38 Combat Masterpiece)

http://www.bayourovers.com/SmithWessonModel34-1LEFT.jpg
For giggles, Model 34-1...Fast Action.

Hawk
July 8, 2008, 10:50 PM
The long action hammer looks to be on a revolver with the heavy front cylinder bevel. Did they typically go together or just coincidence?

That 34 looks nice.

My head hurts.
It's a good hurt but it still hurts.
;)

Phydeaux642
July 8, 2008, 10:57 PM
Maybe a model 18 is what I am after. To tell the truth I really like the 4" wheelguns. I know they made a 4" 17 but it was later and had a full lugged barrel. I am with you Hawk, my head hurts, too.

XavierBreath
July 8, 2008, 11:02 PM
The heavy bevel on the cylinder disappeared around 1950 or so. Again, the time frame varies from model to model. Just another little nice feature of the classic S&W revolver that was abandoned to gain production expediency.

The four inch K frame S&W wheel guns do have the best blend of sight radius and handling characteristics for most people.

machinisttx
July 9, 2008, 01:48 AM
Here's one.
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=103324178

Looks like it's picked up a bid since last I looked.

I appreciate the suggestion, but I view gunbroker as the red headed stepchild of gun trading. It's very doubtful I'll ever buy one of the many overpriced firearms listed there. I know where an 18-3 is with box for $450 + shipping, but IMO, it's overpriced as well.

I've paid significantly less for every firearm I own than what I've seen on gunbroker.

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