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Smith & Wesson 17 - Barrel Lengths ?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Waveski, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    I have been shopping around for a S&W model 17 .22. I own a nice old Outdoorsman with a 6" barrel , so I am familiar with the handling characteristics of that barrel length. What about the 8 3/8" barrel? I have seen a few for sale , and it seems like an interesting option , but I know nothing of the handling/shooting characteristics of that barrel length in a K frame. And , am I correct in thinking that the model 17 barrel is heavier than the tapered barrel of my early Outdoorsman?

    Any comments on the comparative virtues of the longer 8 3/8" barrel vs the (more or less) standard 6" would be welcome.
     
  2. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Howdy

    The K-22 1st Model (K-22 Outdoorsman), made from 1931 until 1940, featured a tapered barrel and no barrel rib.

    This one is from 1935. It weighs 2 pounds 5 ounces.

    [​IMG]



    The relatively rare K-22 2nd Model (K-22 Masterpiece), made from 1940 to 1941, was basically the same except it featured the short action hammer and the modern click adjustable rear sight. Sorry, I do not have one to show you.


    The K-22 Masterpiece (Postwar 3rd Model) started out with a slightly tapered barrel, not as radically tapered as the 1st Model, and a narrow rib on top of the barrel. At some point the barrel was changed to a heavy barrel with no taper with a wide rib on top.

    This one was made in 1950 and it has the slightly tapered barrel with the narrow rib. It weighs 2 pounds 10 ounces.

    [​IMG]




    This Model 17-3 was made in 1975. It has the straight heavy barrel with no taper and a wide rib on top of the barrel. It weighs 2 pounds 11 ounces.

    [​IMG]


    Sorry. I do not have one with the 8 3/8" barrel, but it is a safe bet it will be the straight heavy barrel with the wide rib and it will weigh more than my 17-3 from 1975.


    As far as the more modern ones with the ugly full lug under the barrel, I have no idea how much they weigh.
     
    Reloadron likes this.
  3. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Member

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    Driftwood, that is a very nice summation. I have a 17-3 with the 8 3/8 inch barrel and love it. Don't find it muzzle heavy. I have K-frames with 4 and 6 inch barrels. The longer barrel has the same nice balance as the others in my hands. Mind you, it's a range gun, not a carry piece for me.

    Jeff
     
  4. loose noose

    loose noose Member

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    I have a model 17 S&W with the 4" barrel that has a fantastic trigger pull in double action, bought it so I could practice with it with my model 19 S&W in the 4" barrel very similar in handling techniques. Note that was the firearm (Model 19) we used when I was a rookie police officer in Southern California.
     
  5. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    Decisions , decisions. Thanks for the feedback.
     
  6. TUBBY1

    TUBBY1 Member

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    I have a 17-8 k22 six inch as 8 3/8inch wasn't offered in that model. My favorite 22. First ten shot 22 . Would love to own an 8 3/8 barrel after my experience with it.
     
  7. Pat Riot

    Pat Riot Member

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    My Dad had a 17 with a 8 3/8" barrel and it was a dream to shoot. I have a 6" barreled one and I like it very much. The 8 3/8" barrel didn't seem "heavy" to me at the time but it was a little precarious to pull from a holster. My 6" rides nicely and pulls nicely from a Hunter holster. I will say that I was a better shooter with the longer barrel but I do well with the 6". I would say if you were going to holster it a 6" or a 4" would be better. I have not shot a 4" so I can't really comment on that one.

    I am sure that whatever you decide on you will love it.
     
  8. eastbank

    eastbank Member

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    i thought the 4" S&W K frame .22 was called the model 18 combat masterpiece. my K-22 made in 1950 and it is a joy to shoot. Picture 6132.jpg
     
  9. p95

    p95 Member

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    my 17-8 is made in 1988 . It has 4 inch barrel. Looks like the model 18 that it replaced ---but it is a model 17 and is so marked.
     
  10. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    I've long wanted 8 3/8" K-frames in every chambering. So far, just 4" and 6" models in .22LR and .38Spl.
     

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