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K-Frame .22 Shoot-Off, Sort Of

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by wanderinwalker, Jun 18, 2017.

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  1. wanderinwalker

    wanderinwalker Member

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    A while back I posted that I'd picked up a no dash, 6", 4-screw S&W Model 17. And posted pictures of it with my 4" Model 18-4. Another poster mentioned he'd be curious to learn which one I find shoots better or which one I prefer shooting. It's taken a few range trips and a little switching back and forth between the two to come to a conclusion, but I've finally reached it. The answer is...




    I like them both! :evil: Not a terrible surprise to most, I'm sure. What I've been able to determine, with my limited handgunning skills, is they seem to be equally accurate when fed equal ammunition. The 6" gun with the patridge front sight is a little easier to get a consistent sight picture with. The ramped front sight on the 4" gun can sometimes be a little harder to define, depending on the lighting conditions. My hit percentages on a 3" 25-yard plate are higher with the longer gun as well, though I expect the 4" revolver to narrow the gap now that I figured out it was shooting about 6" high at that distance and finally adjusted the sight.

    Here are the revolvers with a couple of targets. Not fired on the same day and I forgot to date the target fired with the 17. By the ruler, these are both just barely under 2" far edge to far edge, 10-shots in each:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As far as any trigger and action difference between the two revolvers due to the 20 year age gap, I can't really say one has a major advantage over the other. I do actually prefer the narrow trigger on the 17 and I feel the heavy target hammer on the 18 makes it more susceptible to variations in grip pressure. The one clear advantage the 17 has is the chambers seem to be a bit smoother. The 18 will inevitably have sticky extraction after only a couple of trips around the cylinder. The 17 will get me through at least a box of 50 CCI Standard Velocity .22s before ejection requires more than a light tap.

    Needless to say, neither of these revolvers will be in need of new homes any time soon. The hardest decision is which one to shoot first when I hit the range. ;)

    And more pictures:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    bannockburn, frogfurr, Gordon and 4 others like this.
  2. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    I like the longer sight radius on my 6" M17.

    Both nice looking revolvers in your photos.
     
  3. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    Those are some beautiful revolvers and you put them to good use. :cool:
     
  4. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    Do you have the S&W grips that came with them?
     
  5. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    I've always liked the 17 and 18. I would really like to pick one up but haven't been able to decide which. I do not care for the feel of the 6" full lug 617 as it feels a little nose heavy to me. But a classic 17 with no underlug looks more appealing.

    I'd buy both, but I don't enjoy 22 enough to spend that kind of money.

    Nice guns man!
     
  6. wanderinwalker

    wanderinwalker Member

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    I do have the numbered Magnas for the 17, safely tucked away with a note of which revolver they go to. While I think they look proper aesthetically, I find them horribly awkward for shooting. Unfortunately, I sold the Magnas that came on the 18 a number of years ago now in a fit of cleaning out the stuff gathering dust.

    Thanks for the kind words all!
    460, you wouldn't believe how many times I've heard "you spent how much on a .22?!" :what: Like it's some kind of blasphemy to spend more than $200 on a nice rimfire pistol, rifle or revolver. My favorite times are afternoons on the range perforating unsuspecting paper targets, or plinking overly aggressive steel plates with a big box of .22LR ammo handy.

    And if you get a 617, definitely get the 4". The 6" guns with round-butt grip frame are very nose heavy IMO. The 4" guns aren't bad though. I'd love to add a 4" 17-6 to the collection as a companion to my 4" 586.

    (Other rimfires on the short list: a Colt Officer's Model Match, an Anschutz 64-sporter, a S&W Model 41, and possibly an 8 3/8" S&W 17.)
     
    Gordon and P5 Guy like this.
  7. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Oh I only meant I wasn't willing to spend the money for a 17 and 18 both.

    I'd happily drop upwards of a grand for a pinned, classic blued 17 OR an 18. Worth it in my opinion.
     
  8. wanderinwalker

    wanderinwalker Member

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    Oh no, I didn't think you meant it wasn't worth spending the money. No worries. ;)

    As for the cost, sometimes "right place, right time" is a factor. I have a grand into both them combined.
     
  9. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    Suggestion;

    2-clicks right with M17
    1-click left with M18
     
  10. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    wanderinwalker

    Two superb looking (and accurate), S&Ws you've got there! Great photos and I love the stocks too!

    Never owned either a Model 17 or a Model 18 but did have a 4" Model 48 in .22 Mag. years ago that was very handy to have while hiking through the backwoods.
     
  11. Buck13

    Buck13 Member

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    What are those grips they're wearing now?
     
  12. wanderinwalker

    wanderinwalker Member

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    The blond stocks are maple, the dark set are cocobolo, both Ahrends Smooth Tactical with polyurethane finish. I've put in orders for a set of Retro Combats and Retro Targets and am now doing "the waiting is the hardest part". There's a good chance I'll post pictures when they arrive and the Ks have new shoes. ;)
     
    Buck13 likes this.
  13. wanderinwalker

    wanderinwalker Member

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    The .22 Magnum models are pretty nice in their own right. I haven't fired a DA .22 Magnum but I did have a Single-Six Convertible for a while. It usually went dog walking with the magnum cylinder in place.

    And now I can add a Model 48 to the want list! Funny thing, I had a pristine 6" M-48 in my hands a couple months ago. Looked beautiful and still had it's box and papers. It went for more money than I was willing to part with at that moment in time.
     
  14. FN in MT

    FN in MT Member

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    I've always had a 4" M-18 hanging around, as they are great for letting a new shooter get accustomed to a handgun. Lighter than the 6", smaller grips easily installed, zero recoil, etc. But I have ALWAYS preferred the 6" K-22. Few things more fun than an afternoon at the quarry with a brick of .22's and my K-22!

    Same with their .38 Special larger brothers. I DO own a 4" M-67 but I have never owned a 4" M-15. Yet I have had probably a dozen various 6" K-38"s. Currently have my old SAO target gun, an early narrow rib gun, a pair of 60's era standard guns and even a 5" gun from the 1950's. One of the over runs from one of the Missouri SP five inch runs.
     
  15. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    wanderinwalker

    I have had that same experience with the last couple of K-22s that I have looked at; nice but for a great deal more than I wanted to spend on one. Maybe some day...
     
  16. ClemY

    ClemY Member

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    I found a 6" Model 17 a few years ago. While I feel the 6" 617 is a bit excessively muzzle heavy and the 4" 617 is pretty good, the 17 is the best for me in balance, sight radius, trigger, everything. It is the best .22 Revo for me.
     
  17. Jonesy814

    Jonesy814 Member

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    Those are an awesome pair of 22 revolvers. I'd love to have one but never have the cash when I run into a nice one. I bought a new 4 inch 617 back in February and it is a really nice shooting gun. It makes me look really good
     
  18. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    This also proves a point many make about 38s being less accurate in a 357 revolver due to bullet jump. If bullet jump was such an accuracy killer a K frame shooting 22 shorts should be the most inaccurate combination going. It isnt.
     
  19. murf

    murf Member

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    the 22 rimfire cartridge has a heeled bullet and, therefore, requires a bored-through chamber. most other calibers have a step in the chamber.

    that means, in the 22 rimfire, it doesn't matter how long, or short, the round is. there is no restriction in the chamber to affect bullet performance.

    murf
     
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