Smith and Wesson 617 VS Ruger MK 3


February 26, 2009, 11:55 PM
I was very close to purchasing a Ruger MK 3 and then read about the S & W 617. Aside form about 200 difference in price, why should I go for the Ruger? From what I've read they are a pain :cuss: to clean. Most .22 LR ammo has a reasonable amount of FTF and jams. This is not to say the MK isn't a great gun. I just feel the 617 would be at least equally accurate. It holds 10 rounds. If the bullet doesn't go bang I can just pull the trigger again and cycle past it. Etc. So someone with amazing skills as a salesperson try and bring me back to the MK. Thanks

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February 27, 2009, 12:48 AM
The action on Ruger 22 semi autos is more like a rifle action than a pistol compared to most others. They have a bolty not a slide. Ruger 22s are hard to take apart but they really don't need to be taken down on a regular basis. I found flushing mine out with a solvent then Gunscrubber or Brake Kleen and shoot a few drops of lube in critical places keeps in running. I don't think i ever had a malfunction with a Ruger 22 semi auto that wasn't ammo related as I would have remembered it.

Claude Clay
February 27, 2009, 12:54 AM
FWIW after 10+k rounds i passed my mk11 along to a friend. it is a great shooter and one of the finest learning tools made. my 617 is going up for sale soon. though i am moving away from bullseye shooting, i'll keep my 41 & trailside. GRIZ got it right about the cleaning. besides, if you actually follow the instructions it ain't no problem.
PM me if you are interested in a very low milage 6" 10 shooter.

February 27, 2009, 07:40 AM
aha - trying to sneak this one under wheelgunners' radar by posting in Autoloaders, eh? Well, it just won't work. No siree. Get the 617, I say.

Seriously, both are terrific guns, so IMO, it comes down to the platform you enjoy shooting more, how are you going to be using and shooting it and how much you hate bending over to clean up brass.

How would you shoot the 617 - in single action? If so, is manually cocking the hammer for every single shot gonna be a pain for you? And the rate of fire will be slow, too. Otherwise, you can shoot double action, which can be accurate and fast, but the pull is harder and takes lots of practice. If all this sounds like a hassle, get the MkIII.

Are you thinking of mounting optics? I use the irons on my 617, and off the top of my head, I get the impression it'd be easier to put optics on the Ruger. For one of my next purchases, I'm considering a used MkII, mounting a red dot and dabbling in some bullseye competition, something that'd be more difficult to do with the 617.

February 27, 2009, 10:09 AM
In general I find .22 semi-autos to be more fun to shoot and they are accurate also. Get the Ruger or Browning Buckmark.

February 27, 2009, 10:14 AM
I have a couple of Mark IIs and they are the most ammo-tolerant .22 semiautos I've ever tried or seen.

They shoot about the same with bulk crap as they do with match ammo. FTF and FTE are essentially nonexistent.

With a little $3 magazine loading helper thingie, they're easy and quick to load. If you're shooting with a friend, you can take turns shooting and reloading, and never stop.

The Smith is a neat revolver, though expensive. But the Ruger semiauto is a HELL of a plinker (and with a few tweaks, a match gun also).

Cleaning is not a problem at all. Reassembly is unnerving if you wing it, but not a problem if you RTFM every time you do it.:) There's just a sequence you have to get exactly right, so that all the moving parts are lined up right as the gun goes back together.

February 27, 2009, 02:40 PM
mostly the gun would be for shooting targets and would not include emptying a clip as fast as I can. I'm surprised know one said just get em both :D. So from what I gather, all the jargin I hear about the MK3 being a PITA to clean/reassemble is exageration? If so why do I hear it all the time? I'm leaning toward gettin the 617 first and then the MK3 hunter after. I wish I could just buy every gun I want right now but I guess that's just not in the cards right now:banghead:

February 27, 2009, 02:48 PM
I have three Ruger MK II's but no MK III's. Basically the same gun with the addition of the Loaded Chamber Indicator, 1911 style mag release and mag safety. The mag safety makes you insert the mag a few times in order to dissemble and reasemble but I am sure this is addressed well in the manual. There are also many internet sites and youtube videos showing how to do this. Its not hard, but you do have to follow the procedure.

The Ruger semi-auto .22's would not be as popular as they are if they were really that difficult to maintain.

February 27, 2009, 02:53 PM

It's not an exaggeration. Like I said, it's conditional.

I have been really frustrated with mine, when I thought I remembered the sequence, but when I followed the procedure in the manual, it was easy as pie.

February 27, 2009, 04:20 PM
The more I think about it the more I realize I'm the kind of guy that likes to savor every shot. I finished customizing my 10-22 about a year ago and although it is a very nice shooting and looking gun, I find myself tempted to sell the thing and get a bolt gun. It seems that this attitude carries over to the current handgun tug of war. Would I enjoy shooting the 617 more? Anyone out there have both and enjoy one more than the other for slow fire target shooting? Is one consistently more accurate? Thanks again for the replies.

February 27, 2009, 05:45 PM
I had both a MK2 and a 6" 617. Now I just have the 617. The MK2 was probably a bit more accurate with a wider selection of ammo but the 617 shoots plenty accurate with ammo it likes. The 617 is also easy to scope if that's what you want to do. It comes drilled and tapped. You just have to take the rear sight off.

It sounds like you would enjoy the revolver more. I know I do.

February 27, 2009, 06:26 PM
I bought a Mark III Hunter two days ago and stripped/ cleaned it the same day...this pistol is easy as ****** to service if you read the directions...

February 27, 2009, 07:25 PM
Jackslayer, I used to have a Ruger MKII, 22-45, & single six. I traded all three for a 617 for my father.

I never disassembled the Ruger autos, just cleaning the chambers and extractors with a cotton bud every now and then. I never had a failure with either gun.

The MKII was very accurate but I couldn't hold it steady, the grip angle was too unnatural for me. Check before you buy.

The 22-45 was more comfortable, but there was flex/movement where the receiver joined the grip. The front sight kept working loose as well.

The single six was a dream to shoot, giving tight little groups, perfect balance and a crisp trigger. One of the joys of the single six was that you couldn't shoot it under pressure. The slow load/unload sequence and single action cocking meant that the act of shooting was relaxed and worth savoring. I still miss that gun.

The 617 is very accurate, the six inch barrels balance is wrong for me with the heavy underlug, the trigger is heavy in double action, and fairly crisp in single action, although not as crisp as my old single six. The internal lock has managed to jam twice, requiring a pin be used to wobble it in it's slot to get it to retract properly. I also don't like the rubber grips that come with it. The main plus with the 617 is that the top strap is drilled and tapped for a sight mount and I was able to fit a rail and dot for my dad.

Personally, if looking for another iron sight .22 I would get a single six or an old square butt, timber gripped, skinny barreled model 17.

February 28, 2009, 12:49 AM
It's the same or better in quality. With S&W you are paying for a brandname.

February 28, 2009, 04:40 PM
I like my Ruger. But I would give it up for a 617.....

February 28, 2009, 06:08 PM
My Mk II has not seen the light of day since I picked up my mod 17-2 -- maybe its new gun novelty but this wheelgun is FUN 2 Shoot! :cool:

March 1, 2009, 01:10 PM
If the 617's shoot anything like a K-22 Masterpiece, pick one up. In my experiences with my Buckmark and Mark 2, any ammo will occasionally FTF and FTE. That's not to say they are bad guns, but the K-22 rings the 120yd gong over and over and over without a malfunction.

March 1, 2009, 04:04 PM
I've got both and the Smith wins, IMHO, only because the Ruger is so darn tough to field strip!

March 1, 2009, 05:11 PM
I don't find my MK3 hard to clean, you just have to follow all the steps in order and there are a few steps. Accuracy? I have an aftermarket barrel on mine. Yesterday I came in 3rd in a local turkey shoot with a 3/8" group. The range was 50yrds, I was the only one shooting a pistol. I use the factory iron sights. (I used to shoot small-bore comp as a kid. I practice with TUMS.) I loved the reaction when I stepped to the line with a pistol. I enjoyed even more the reaction afterward. The MK3 is drilled and tapped for a scope mount and comes with the base. The factory barrel is mediocre.


March 1, 2009, 06:33 PM

What aftermarket barrel is on your Ruger? Volquartsen?

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