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My New S&W 17-3 and Questions

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Animal Mother, Feb 25, 2011.

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  1. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Member

    Aug 15, 2007
    After having a bad experience with a lemon of a Taurus 96 (beautiful gun, and would have been almost perfect if I could have fixed a misfire condition), I resolved to put the Taurus aggravation behind me and buy a Smith.

    So last weekend I stopped in a gun store to check to see if they had a S&W 617 in stock, because I just wanted to look one over and had not yet settled on a specific model and a lo and behold, they had a really nice 17-3 in the case. After a few minutes of holding and checking the trigger I was sold. They were asking $650, but I talked them down to $525. It was manufactured in 1969, and had the original grips and box. I took it out to shoot the next day and had a blast. I wanted to shoot smaller groups but I think the issue lies with me and not the gun as I didn't have a proper shooting rest and have never done any serious shooting at greater than 10 yards with a handgun (a situation that will be rectified shortly). I also managed to snag some nice walnut grips on eBay that really fit my hands nicely for $15.50, the seller believes they are made by Herrett, but it didn't look like any recent Herrett grips that I've seen, I suppose they could be older. The bluing is very nice on the 17-3 but has a bit of finish wear right at the ends of the barrel. I'm thinking about touching this up with some quality cold blue, but part of me wants to leave it alone if its not going to blend nicely with the original bluing. I'm thinking about scoping it so that I can squeeze all the accuracy potential out of it but I don't want to drill and tap it. I have seen a Weaver mount that uses the existing sight base, does anyone know if that's a good option?

    Revolver with the original set of grips.

    Revolver with my $15.50 set of grips.

    My best group at 10 yards offhand, those squares are 1/2" across. Please excuse the booger hook on the bang switch.

    My most accurate group after adjusting the sights, 10 yards offhand.
  2. crankyoldlady

    crankyoldlady Member

    May 8, 2009
    You have a beautiful firearm at a wonderful price. Just my opinion but at a purist, I would never even consider scoping this fine handgun. Nor would I cold blue the honest wear on it.
  3. Dave B

    Dave B Member

    Jun 26, 2007
    I wouldn't change or modify anything on a classic like that. They are exellent shooters. Try it out at 25 yds, then to 50. Be sure to keep the old grips and box.
  4. BlackSky

    BlackSky Member

    Apr 11, 2010
    Congratulations on joining the S&W revolver family. That holster wear on the muzzle is great. It shows the honest wear and tear from a good long life and, in my opinion, only adds to the value. The rest of the blueing looks to be remarkably strong.

    Also, I think with just a bit of practice you'll find those stock sights plenty for extremely accurate firing and tight groups.
  5. motorcycle-charlie

    motorcycle-charlie Member

    Nov 13, 2010
    beautiful gun. run it as is. looks great. what a classy piece.
  6. forindooruseonly

    forindooruseonly Member

    Oct 3, 2009
    I would not put a scope or cold blue on it. For one thing, I'm kind of a purist. But more practically, it will lower the value of the gun, since your primary market will be collectors looking for honest Smiths.

    Besides, scoping a hangun creates a whole different set of problems for accuracy unless you just want to shoot off a bench. It magnifies the movements of the gun, ect. Stick with the sights it has and practice a bit, you won't be disappointed.
  7. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Home Of The First Capitol Of The Confederate State
    Keep it all original; gorgeous, enjoy~! ;) :D
  8. Liberty1776

    Liberty1776 Member

    Dec 28, 2006
    Everyone has given you the right advice, IMO. Let's put it this way - if you spend half of what a scope would cost you, on top quality ammo for practice, you'll be way ahead on accuracy by the time you get it all shot up...:D
  9. rainbowbob

    rainbowbob Member

    Jan 15, 2008
    Seattle, WA

    I have also recently acquired a M 17-3. I think it is one of the finest production .22 revolvers ever made and LOVE shooting it. Along with the advice already given, I would encourage you to take this (IMHO) ugly aftermarket stocks off and get those beautiful originals back on ASAP. If you require a "fatter" grip, consider adding a Tyler T-Grip.
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