Smith & Wesson Model 617 Revolver Review
If you can afford a Smith & Wesson 617 Revolver get one.
Its solid, high quality, stainless steel, shoots 10 rounds of 22LR
is made by Smith & Wesson. This gun should last a lifetime.
I have had my Smith & Wesson Model 617 Revolver for a
little over two years and have put over 17,000 round thought it with no real
problems (except once as noted below). This gun will shoot practically any
brand of 22lr ammunition and will shoot it all day long without problems.
The revolver is extremely accurate and the grip feels good in your hand.
For A 22 Caliber Handgun, It's A Beast
For a small caliber handgun, the Model 617 is a heavy
chunk of iron. It has a weight of 44.2 ounces and is made of stainless
For Self Defense
The bad thing about using a Smith & Wesson Model 617
Revolver for self defense is that it shoots 22LR ammunition which is touted
a being too small and too weak to be used in defensive situations. The good
about this gun is that it holds ten rounds that will shoot quickly and
accurately and is heavy enough to steady shaky hands in a self defense
Model 617 For Little Old Ladies
One day I was shooting at the range when a guy shooting
next to me comes over to my booth and asks me what I was shooting. I showed
him my Smith & Wesson Model 617 10 shot revolver. From the looks of it he
said he thought it was a
magnum and was surprised the it held 10 rounds. He called his mother
over to look at it. His mother appeared to be a frail women in her sixties
or seventies. She was looking to buy and gun and came to the range to try
different guns to see which was best for her. I let her try both of my
Walther P22 semi-automatic pistol and my Smith & Wesson Model 617 revolver.
She liked the Smith & Wesson Model 617 revolver best and asked me how much
it cost and where I bought it. I was a little surprised that she chose the
revolver because it was so heavy and had a heavy trigger pull but I guess
she liked it anyway. I told her it was fairly expensive and I purchased it
online. I got the impression that she would have loved to take it home with
It's Not A Carry Gun
This revolver is not designed to
be used a concealed carry gun. It is too big and too
heavy and shoots only .22 caliber ammunition (not suitable for self
defense). You would get tired real quickly carrying this big hunk of steel
around all day long.
Smith & Wesson Model 617 Revolver Problems
Occasionally after shooting about 500 rounds through it the trigger
may start to feel gritty and need to be sprayed with a
Only once in the over 17,000 rounds that I shot through it did I have
a FTF (fail to fire) problem. Simple tightening of the screw on the
bottom of the grip solved the problem.
After several hundred rounds the cylinder chambers may become dirty
and the spent
casings may become hard to eject.
The sights on my gun are black and hard to see with my poor eyesight.
Since I am mostly a point shooter this is not a problem for me, but if I
used my sights I would probably replace them with sights most suitable
to my vision.
The trigger action when used in
single action shooting requires only a light touch. When shooting
double action the trigger is not as smooth as other guns that I have
The Smith & Wesson Model 617 Revolver is not the quickest gun to
clean. Because it has 10 cylinders and one barrel the gun takes a while
to clean. That's just a fact of life with all ten shot revolvers.
Smith & Wesson Model 617 Revolver
The medium frame Smith & Wesson Model 617, chambered for
.22 LR, is perfect for target competition and combines a stainless steel
frame with a full lug barrel to deliver the best featured revolver in
Action Single / Double
Caliber: 22 LR
Barrel Length: 6 "
Capacity: 10 rd
Safety: No Manual
Sights: Partridge (Front); Adj.
Weight: 44.2 oz
Finish: Satin Stainless
Other Smith & Wesson Model 617 Revolver Reviews
Some of the reviewers at Budsgunshop
"Cheap way to get a lot of shooting in!"
"Without a doubt it is quality. Extremely accurate. Very smooth.
Love the grip, very comfortable, I would recommend this .22 revolver to
anyone looking for some shooting fun."
"With out a doubt the best 22lr revolver you can buy. It doesn't
matter what ammo you put through this thing, it will eat it all."
"It is not cheap - you can get a good semi-automatic for about
half the price, but if you enjoy wheelguns, this firearm is worth every
penny. And since the frame is built to handle .357 magnums, it will last
Smith & Wesson 617 Revolver
Message - April 8, 2012
I enjoyed your review & have some questions. Firstly, I am in my late 50's &
have been shooting all of my life and also have a 686 amongst other items. I
have an opportunity to purchase a brand NIB 617 6", although no longer
produced, 6 shot. How accurate (with your favorite load) have you found your
10 shot to be shooting paper at 10 yards and 25 yards using a rest? Also,
what have you found to be your favorite loads? I have owned 5 model 41' s,
having to sell 3 in 1996 because I was seriously ill & had to move to New
York City where is I was too sick to go through the process of ownership.
They were great & later I was able to move back out of state. I purchased 1
41 which I had serious problems with even though brand new & sold it as S&W
couldn't fix it after 2 tries! The same thing happened a second time & I
swore I would never buy another as they didn't compare to my first 3.
Although I don't expect the same accuracy how accurate is the 6" 617 ( I
also prefer the 6 shot version which is not made any longer). Thanks in
advance for your advice. Sincerely, John
Response - John
I can't tell you how accurate the gun is using a rest because I never use a
rest and the limit of the indoor range that I go to is 50 feet.
I'm also not a good one to give advice about accuracy because I don't have
the steadiest of hands and my vision isn't the greatest. That's why I mostly
When I loan my gun to better "aimers" they all tell me it is very accurate.
As far as favorite loads go, I usually go for the cheapest (especially in a
revolver). For 22LR, I mostly buy bulk Federal ammo and I try to stay away
from Winchester brand (for 22's only).
Sorry I couldn't give you better answers to your questions.
Dear Tanner, Sorry I didn't respond sooner. I just wanted to thank you for
your response to my query. The information you provided was helpful &
greatly appreciated. I have already put a hold on it and will be picking it
up next week. Thanks again.
Buying A Used S&W Model 617 10 Shot Revolver
Message - November 23, 2011
Looking to get a used 617 revolver for target practice. I found 2- 6 inch
for $525. each stainless steel pre-lock. Would these be a good buy? Is there
a big difference in the 4 inch verses the 6 inch regarding accuracy. I am
leaning towards the 6 inch because I have a 6 inch stainless steel Security
six and would be less expensive to shoot. I love the 6 inch Ruger for
accuracy and the looks of it. Looking forward to hearing back. Where is the
best place to locate a used one. I also have read lots of negative about the
new 10 shot being fussy with the shells the shoot and getting stuck. Thanks
Response - Don,
I couldn't tell you if they would be a good buy. That would depend on their
age and condition. You would have to comparison shop to see if that's a good
price. I have never bought or researched used 617s before so I can't tell
you where a good place to buy them is.
Longer barrels tend to be more accurate. I doubt that there would be a big
difference though. I own a 4" and it's very accurate. I am perfectly happy
with it although I wouldn't mind a 6 inch.
If you don't want stuck shells in you chamber you will have to keep it clean
no matter which model you get. My 617 is about three years old and has the
stuck shell problem only when it gets dirty. No problem when it's clean.
Good luck, Tanner
Is your 617 a 6 shot? May I ask why did you do a 4 inch instead of a 6 inch.
Stupid question perhaps but curious only. Happy thanksgiving.
Response - Don,
My 617 is a 10 shot. I donâ€™t remember why I chose the 4 inch instead of the
6 inch barrel. Maybe I just liked the looks a little bit better or it may
have been a little cheaper. A good thing about the 617s is that they seem to
hold their value. I just saw one that sold at Buds Online Gun Shop that sold
for $589 (6 inch). Tanner
Smith & Wesson 617 Revolver Problem?
Message - November 7, 2011
Always thought S&W was the BEST in handguns. BUT, I couldn't be more
DISSAPOINTED in my 10-shot model 617!! Bought at gun show--appeared to be in
"like new" condition and confirmed with my gunsmith. First time at range
began "flinging" bullets, resulting in keyholing on target. Returned to S&W
with note that barrel appeard to have rough area inside--i.e. a "bad
casting". Got back from Smith with note that Forcing Cone was polished.
After 5o or 60 rounds at the range--same story--began to keyhole. Again sent
to S&W, repeating suspicion that barrel was bad. Actually had a service
technician say there was a period of time/sequence of serial number
production guns that DID have "bad barrels". Also it was suggested to avoid
Rem Thunderbolts because they were "too soft". Received gun from Smith--this
time with note that BOTH the barrel and cylinder were replaced. Thinking
this was the best possible news, recently went back to the range--this time
with Winchester 22's. After about 60 rounds--same damn thing!! Has anyone
else experienced this problem? Does anyone have an idea about what's causing
this falure?? It's as if the barrel gradually becomes obstructed to a point
of deforming the bullet, causing it to tumble in flight. Is that possible?
Response - Gary
I have never had any problems with my Smith & Wesson 617 nor had I heard of
anyone else having similar problems.
From what you say it can't be the barrel of the gun since you now have a new
barrel and cylinder.
These are the suggestions that I can think of. Sorry, if some seem too
1. Find another S&M 617 and do a one-to-one shooting comparison with it or
rent one at the range, if available.
2. Change your target type. Maybe the target that you use (paper, paper
plate, cardboard?) leaves an "undefined" hole that gives the appearance of
keyholing. Try different target materials (possible a more dense cardboard)
to see if there is a difference.
3. Let someone else shoot it and see if they have the same results.
4. Let other experienced shooters shoot the gun and evaluate it for
5. Clean and lubricate your gun with a different lubricant.
6. Try more and different ammunition types. Try some of the more expensive
stuff to see if they perform the same.
Also, at the end of your comment you say "gradually becomes obstructed".
Does this mean that with a clean gun it shoots OK? If that's the case then I
would look more towards the ammo and the cleaning methods used instead of
the mechanical soundness of the gun. Good luck.
Smith & Wesson 617 Revolver Cylinder Jams When Dirty
Message - September 2, 2011
Just bought a S@W model 617 22lr 10 shot w/4inch barrel for my wife. Shot
about 500 rds through it and the spent shells started to jam in the
cylinder. Is it the type of ammo or is it just dirty? James
Response - James,
The same thing happens to me all the time. It's just dirty.
I start off shooting with a clean gun. All spent cases eject fine at first
with very little effort.
After a few hundred rounds, ejecting the cases gets progressively harder to
the point to where I have to use a cloth between my thumb and the ejector to
make pushing on the ejector easier. Sometimes it gets pretty tough.
When it gets too hard I run a
bore snake through each of the cylinders. That helps me get through the
shooting session until I can do a good job and clean the gun at home.
I have tried different types of ammo through the 617 and they all do the
same thing when it comes to "dirtying up" the chambers, but I buy the
cheapest ammo I can get in bulk. I don't know if the expensive stuff will
make any difference and keep the chambers cleaner, longer.
If you don't already have one I would recommend getting a bore snake. They
are not a cure, but they do help.
Follow-Up - I do have a bore snake and I will try that.
What do you think about shooting CCI 22lr Stingers through the model 617? Do
you think they would be better?
Response - James
I don't know if the Stingers will shoot any cleaner. If
I had to guess, I would say yes. They are sure more expensive than the 22lr
rounds that I normally buy (Federal, Remington and Winchester) and may burn
The few Stingers that I do have I save for my semi-automatic pistols (better
If you can afford to shoot lots of those each session, it may be worth a
The last box of Remington that I shot through my 617 was so dirty that often
when I ejected the spent cases I would see the residue of unburned gunpowder
or crud come out with the cases. It was plainly visible on the side and grip
of the gun.
Another thought would be to do a quick run through with a bore brush when it
gets dirty. It might be faster and easier than the bore snake.
Follow-Up - Went to the Range this
morning, shot 200rds of CCI 22lr Stingers with no ejection problem at all.
Yes they are more expensive, but they work great. Checked on prices, WALMART
has the best prices, but you have to buy them in bulk. OH WELL, thanks for
listening to me and for your advice.
Smith & Wesson 617 Revolver Won't Shoot All Ammo
Message - July 27, 2011
I do agree that the 617 is a terrific gun, and have personally put 10's of
thousands of rounds through mine. With the
Speed Beez reloading blocks
, I can actually shoot 400 rnds in about 20 minutes. There was one comment
above that I *must* disagree with:
"It doesn't matter what ammo you put through this thing, it will eat it
This is just not true! It seems to really prefer plated ammo. For example,
after about 90-125 rounds of the Remington bulk gold painted ammo, the gun
just freezes up, the cylinder won't spin b/c it's just soooo dirty (where as
on my Ruger Mark 2's and 3's, that ammo is fine). Note: I've also seen this
complaint on lots of other forums as well.
22 Caliber Revolver Bridge Sights
January 27, 2012
Do you have any 22 revolver bridge sights?
Response - Wayne,
Sorry, I don't sell items on my website.
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