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S&W 648-2 Range Report

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by farscott, Jan 12, 2003.

  1. farscott

    farscott Active Member

    Yesterday I took possession of and shot my new 648-2. First some appearance and technical stuff. This is a 6" full-lug barrel .22 WMR K-frame revolver. The cylinder has six charge holes and is fluted. The frame is a round-butt, and the revolver wears Michaels of Oregon rubber grips. These grips enclose the back strap and the bottom of the grip frame. The sights are the standard S&W plain black adjustable rear and a front Patridge. The hammer is the wide target version, and the trigger is the smooth target style. The hammer and trigger have a case-colored finish, but I believe they are metal injection molded (MIM) parts.

    The revolver is stainless steel with a brushed finish. The brushed finish is decent; however, it is a bit uneven on the barrel, especially on the radii. I prefer the glass bead-blasted finish (like on the 617), but this finish should be fine for both field and range use. The markings are once again "rolled" onto the barrel as opposed to the laser markings I have seen on most new S&W revolvers. The left side of the barrel is marked "22 M.R.F. CTG." and the right side is marked "SMITH & WESSON". The S&W logo on the left side of the frame is laser-marked, and the company information is "rolled" onto the right side of the frame.

    The rear of the barrel protrudes through the frame, and the bottom part of the protruding part of the barrel has been machined so that it is parallel to the top strap. The barrel/cylinder gap is extremely tight, measuring 0.005" and is consistent from charge hole to charge hole. As on all S&W rimfire revolvers, the charge holes are countersunk (recessed).

    S&W advertises this revolver as having an "enhanced extraction system". My guess is that the relatively high length to diameter ratio of the .22 WMR made extraction sticky on some revolvers. If that is indeed the issue, S&W has solved it. The extractor star is much larger (it covers about 75 percent of the rear of the cylinder face) than on any other S&W revolver I have ever seen. The star protudes well into the area between the charge holes, and the star grabs over half of the circumference of the rim of a case. The star is also chamfered where it contacts the shell rims. Extraction was extremely low effort and both unfired and fired cases were smartly ejected.

    This is my first revolver with the integral lock, so I was curious about it. As others have noted, the lock does not seem to impede normal function. I cannot see how the lock could activate itself, so I am leaving the parts in the revolver.

    The action itself is a joy. This is the best out-of-the-box action I have ever seen on an S&W revolver. Extremely smooth feel in double-action. The single-action has no creep and is very light. I was quite surprised at this action. My four year-old 617 action is not nearly as good as the one on my 648. Truly a great surprise.

    Onto the shooting. I only had one brand of .22 WMR, a Winchester 34-grain hollow point. I used a standard sight-in target with a one-inch grid for all of my shooting. I shot on an indoor fifty-foot range. With the target at fifty-feet and the revolver rested, my first six-shot group went into 0.75" but was two inches left and half an inch high of my aiming point.

    After adjusting the sights, the shooting was almost boring. My best six-shot group (fired single-action) was 0.375", and I am convinced I, not the revolver, was the limiting factor. I only had two hundred rounds of .22 WMR, and they went too fast. I need more practice, but this revolver should be great for small-game hunting.

    The tightness of the revolver was evident during cleaning. The breech face stayed extremely clean and the fouling on the cylinder face was remakably minimal, considering I fired two hundred rounds.

    I am extremely happy with my new 648, and it will see lots of shooting.
  2. sevenshot

    sevenshot New Member

    Great report.

    I've been considering the 647 when it comes out, but the 648 might be a better choice-better ammo selection and availability.
  3. farscott

    farscott Active Member


    Thanks for the kind comments.

    I have also been considering the 647, and I have the same reservations. The .22 WMR has a wider selection of ammo, especially important for a rimfire since reloading is not an option.

    On the other hand, the .17 HMR is an interesting round. It looks like the round will survive, and it has some potential as a small-game round. I will probably end up getting a 647 just to experiment with the .17 HMR.
  4. farscott

    farscott Active Member

    Another thought since the system double posted.

    Would the 647 be suitable for conversion to one of the other .17 rounds? Guess I will be getting a 647 ....
  5. Kahr carrier

    Kahr carrier New Member

    Good range report ,a good read.:)
  6. Kahr carrier

    Kahr carrier New Member

    Good range report ,a good read.:)

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