Smith 17 vs Sp101 .22 LR

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Quoheleth, Sep 30, 2017.

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  1. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    A local shop has both of these in their used case, both for the same price. The Smith must have spent a year in a farm truck tool box - the exterior is pretty rough - but the action is smooth and the bore looks good. The Ruger is in better physical condition. The previous owner bought it for his wife but it was too heavy. The shop owner is including a set of Wolf springs to play with and an extra Hogue grip that the original owner includes in his trade. The Ruger gives me 4 more shots in a stainless gun; the Smith is...well, its a K22 and that speaks for itself.

    What say ye: Smith 17 or SP101?

    Q
     
  2. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    I had a SP101 in 22. I got rid of it and plan to buy a smith.

    Fit and finish was poor. Trigger sucked. Had to polish the chambers myself. In general it's too small for me too, even with an after market grip.
     
  3. tubeshooter

    tubeshooter Member

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    For the exact same price, that's a tough call.

    My Ruger SP-101 is a good specimen and I like it fine. I could see the trigger being a bit too heavy for some.



    My SP is only an 8-shot, so it's only 2 more than a Smith K frame would have. Are you sure the other gun isn't one of the new GP-100 models in .22lr?
     
  4. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Go with the Smith. It is probably worth it to have it refinished, especially if its a vintage example. As a target pistol, it is a much better choice, and who cares how many rounds a target gun holds?

    The Ruger is really only useful if you want a .22 for defense and can't handle anything more powerful. There are plenty of cheaper alternatives if you just want a tin can shooter....think Heritage Rough Rider.

    If you get the Smith, be prepared for old timers to stop you at the range with, "Nice K, sonny..." :)
     
  5. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    Get the smith. The Ruger will never match it for trigger or accuracy. I've had both, actually I've had several K frame Smith 22s, 17, 617, 18 and so on. All were excellent. My SP101 could not be made nice even after our crack gunsmith worked on it, twice and he made my SP101 .357 into a special friend of mine, almost equal to my M19 and 686.
     
  6. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    I have them both. The Smith is only about 1,000 times better.
     
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  7. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I own S&W revolvers, Ruger revolvers and others. I have nothing against Ruger but IMO the M17 is immensely more desirable over the SP101. The SP101 is one of the few Ruger products I do not like.

    I would buy the M17 before its gone.
     
  8. Mark 40

    Mark 40 Member

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    Gotta agree with you there; even after my gunsmith worked on it, I didn't like it and sold it off; disappointing.
     
  9. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    Assuming the Smith 17 is of sound mechanical condition ...
    Not even close. I'd take the 17 over the SP even if the Ruger is clean and the Smith rough. The Smith will have a fine trigger , and will point like a dream. The SP will have , well , an SP trigger , and will point like a brick.
     
  10. drk1

    drk1 Member

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    The other folks have summed things up pretty good. One other consideration might be the age of the Ruger. If the SP101 is one of the early model 22's, it is considered by many to be collectible. The current version of the SP101 in 22, has a big front sight with a lite tube in it that just looks ugly to lots of folks. The original SP101 in 22 had a low front sight just like all of the other SP101's. So, if the SP101 at the local shop is an early one without that little florescent plastic tube, it "might" have a greater value than a beat-up Smith 17. Of course, you could get both of them! Let us know what you decide and how it turns out.
     
  11. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Well, I would have to ask what are your plans for the gun. For a kit gun, the SP101 is probably a better choice due to its smaller size and stainless contruction.

    For a plinker for Sunday afternoons and forays out to dispatch squirrels in the back yard, the Model 17 is a better choice.

    But, if the Model 17 had been rode hard and put up wet, that can play in the decision.

    In good condition, both will serve you well.

    Hope this helps.

    P.S. I have a Model 17 and a S&W Model 317. The latter is probably similar to the SP101 in 22 LR configuration although the Model 317 is all aluminum construction with stainless sleeves, AirLite in S&W terms if I remember correctly. My Model 317 is a handy kit gun for trips out in the rough on my property or as a tractor gun while bush hogging. Light and handy.

    I do have an SP101 in 327 Fed Magnum that is fun to shoot but I know that is an apples to oranges comparison with 22 lR.
     
  12. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    The S17 has a smoother action to be sure...
     
  13. ClemY

    ClemY Member

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    I have both; the M17 was made in 1958. It had cylinder alignment problems that required a new cylinder, which the factory fitted for me. The accuracy is superb. The SP101 .22 needed internal smoothing and the special Wolff spring kit. With that it is a pretty nice gun, but the M17 is better, if bulkier. I would probably go with the M17. You can always get the SP101 later.
     
  14. ericuda

    ericuda Member

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    I would keep looking. I dont like rough. You sure it us an sp101 mine is 8 shot.
     
  15. sean m

    sean m Member

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    I had an original 6 shot Sp101 in 22lr and now have one of the 8 shot versions. Definitely prefer the 8 shot, sights are better and the re-contoured barrel makes it point easier.
     
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  16. If1HitU

    If1HitU Member

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    I don't own a 22,I have seen a few,the S&W 17,and it's a beautiful revolver. I'm not into 22's right now.If I bought a 22 it would be Mark III or IV,not there yet.:)
     
  17. oldfortyfiveauto

    oldfortyfiveauto Member

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    I have both and like both. Both usually need trigger work. I've found that I like the Ruger double action better.
     
  18. Tacoma

    Tacoma Member

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    I've owned several of both. I really wanted to love teh SP101 but couldn't. The Sp101's I bought would never shoot even close to the accuracy as any of my 17/617's. Their actions and triggers (on the rimfire versions especially) are awful. Better but still just "OK" after work. The smaller size and limited grip choices for the ruger make it even more difficult to shoot. In contrast, while some of my 17/ 617s wer better than others, all were a joy to own and shoot. In my experience, there is no comparison.
     
  19. Wireman

    Wireman Member

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    No mention if the model 17 is one of the originals. I'll assume it is a recent "copy". I wouldn't care if the model 17 "copy" were untouched; I would not pay anything for any S&W revolver these days. All the revolver smiths retired. The revolvers are assembled, but not adjusted. They are sent out of the factory with no q.c., thus usually with a number of problems. I've seen quite a few of the recently made products from S&W and they are a poor excuse for a firearm. Ruger is the remaining revolver manufacturer that produces a satisfactory product, and still has an acceptable customer service department. There are always a few lucky individuals who receive a working gun from S&W. The rest spend their time at the UPS store shipping them back.
    -WM
     
  20. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    I'd grab the Smith and run!

    DM
     
  21. S.Clay

    S.Clay Member

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    I just scored an SP101 .22LR yesterday; the 10 days wait has begun. I have over a dozen pistols and revolvers, but this ten day wait will enable me to "cool down" in case I bought the little 22 in anger. I'm very impressed with the fit, finish, workmanship, and trigger of this little revolver and cannot wait to get it to the range to try it out. 8 days to go!
     
  22. oldfortyfiveauto

    oldfortyfiveauto Member

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    I have 3 SP101's and still want another....don't have one in 357.
     
  23. Seven High

    Seven High Member

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    If you decide on the SP101 plan on changing out the trigger return spring. It makes a big difference. Also get some oversize grips for it. Also a big improvement.
     
  24. oldfortyfiveauto

    oldfortyfiveauto Member

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    I pretty much don't bring any gun home until my gunsmith has worked his magic on it.
     
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