Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by fallout mike, Dec 5, 2017.
A decent Model 17 or a Pre-Model K-22,,,
Are perhaps the all-around finest .22 revolvers ever made.
The 6" barrel gives plenty of sight radius,,,
It's smooth action is beyond compare.
You won't find a better .22 handgun anywhere.
Now having said that,,,
My personal preference is for the slightly shorter (4") Model 18.
Either would be a good choice for a family heirloom gun.
i forget the model number but s&w makes a rarer and pricier all steel version of the 8 shot 317, which doesnt bind.
i haven’t handled one yet but a ruger sp101, 10 shot 22lr would seem to be an heirloom quality double action, rimfire shooter, if a ruger is ok to you.
With reasonable care it would last a few lifetimes. Also available with a 6 inch barrel. superb accuracy
Model 34. I have a 34-1 with a flat latch I bought in a pawn shop about 10+ years ago for $250 OTD. Nice little gun. But I shoot my Ruger Single Six more.
I have shot a Model 17 my whole life. My dad had one. When I moved out of the house, I bought one of my own. Later, Smith came out with the stainless version and I bought one of those too. When my dad died, I got his Model 17 so I now have two blued and one stainless K-Frame .22s. This all happened years before they came with 10 shot cylinders: all mine are six shot cylinders.
The Smith K-Frame is a medium framed gun. The Model 34 (aka Kit Gun) is smaller: it is on a steel Smith J-Frame. It is sort of like a half or three quarter scale Model 17. I have one blued and one nickel. They are very nice guns but take a little more effort to shoot well compared to the K-Framed Model 17. The Smith K-Frame is just about the perfect size frame and feels really good in the hand. The weight is about right.
I bought a 317 a few years ago. It is also a small gun on a J-Frame. The 317 is made largely of alloys and it's claim to fame is that it is VERY lightweight. I mean, so light weight you won't believe it. I have never had any mechanical trouble with mine (binding or whatever). But, I find it hard to shoot well in part because of the small frame and also in part because I hate the sights that come on it. It has a V-notched rear sight (as opposed to square) and a fiber optic front sight. I am a pretty decent pistol shot, but there are times when I am shooting my 317 that I spray bullets all over a target because I can't get a good sight picture. Some day, I will get around to replacing the sights on that gun with a standard front sight and a square notched rear sight.
If you want the best. The most ergonomic. The most accurate and easy to shoot. Something that will become a family heirloom: Get a Model 17.
I do have a Tracker .17 and it is quite good. An old Rossi K clone, six inch, adjustable sight .22 is pretty good. 17s, 617s, 48s, will all be good right out of the box, or vault.
This was under the tree for me in 1974.
I wouldn't begin to guess how many rounds have went through it.
I think it' ready for the next 40 years.
I can vouch for Rugers ruggedness and durability, but that 617 S&W does look good!
old Model 43) and I find that while very light to carry, it does not weigh enough to stabilize my hand if I am getting shakey from a long shooting session.
My choice, then, would be for an ordinary steel Kit Gun. I would yearn to get one in bright nickel, but blue is really a more practical finish, and substantially cheaper. To me, the Kit Gun has always been a beautiful little revolver.
I very much like the old S&W Target style grips on J-frames meant for target shooting. They can often be found on GunBroker and Ebay, although prices vary all over the place.
S&W Model 18's are blued, K-frame guns, most, if not all are 4" barrels. There are only some minor differences between the two models not counting the barrel lengths.
The 22 long rifles made before S&W went to model numbers are called K-22. I think I remember correctly that the 4" version was the Combat Masterpiece and the longer barrel versions were the Masterpiece.
Production of the blued, K frame, 22 long rifle revolvers ended in the 1990s although there may be some made in the current "Classic" series of guns. Many great examples are easy to find.
The Model 617 is the stainless version and is still in production in 4" and 6".
The Model 34 (blued) and Model 63 (stainless) are the main J frame models although there are some other J frame versions. The Model 63 is still available. As noted, the Model 317 is almost all aluminum J frame. Very light, it would be a great kit gun. Mine has never jammed from over heating but I have never fired it extensively at one time to heat it up.
The S&W K frame 22 long rifle revolvers are kind of the gun all other 22 revolvers are judged by.
Reasons: Quality , trigger , accuracy , class , holding value - the 17 leads the pack in all these catagories. Regarding the newer 617 , by all reports a fine shooter , however - I do not favor the 10 round capacity. Just a way to expend ammo at a higher rate , in my book. High capacity is for self defense. Only loading 5 for target work anyway. Give me a six shooter anytime. In addition , I would never own a Smith with "The Hole". That's all I will say about that ; don't wish to revisit that well trodden debate.
I have an "Outdoorsman" which is 85 years old. Trigger , lock up and accuracy are all superb - How's that for an endorsement?
All of the above is based on the premise that you want a da revolver. If you are considering single action , the Ruger Single Six is the best there is. I have one of those too.
Enjoy your quest.
I've also had and enjoyed my share the smaller J framed model 63 and 64's. They are nice but their size makes them harder to shoot accurately.
FWIW, if I could have only one, it would be a 10 shot, 4" 617. I feel it is the most versatile of the S&W rimfire line.
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