Anyone use a S&W 63 or S&W 617 .22lr Revolver?

This is a discussion on Anyone use a S&W 63 or S&W 617 .22lr Revolver? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Like many of you I enjoy shooting a 22 for practice, especially considering the low cost. I have a Ruger Mark III that I like ...

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Thread: Anyone use a S&W 63 or S&W 617 .22lr Revolver?

  1. #1
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    Question Anyone use a S&W 63 or S&W 617 .22lr Revolver?

    Like many of you I enjoy shooting a 22 for practice, especially considering the low cost. I have a Ruger Mark III that I like a lot, but really want to get a revolver as well. The Taurus 990 looked interesting but comments I find online indicate inconsistent quality. The Smith 63 (3" bbl) or 617 (4" bbl) seem to be my only viable options for more than 6 rounds and DA/SA. Can anyone comment on either of these or others I'm not considering? I'm not really into used firearms and usually buy new but was hoping to spend less than $500, which is what attracted me to the Taurus initially. I know I could probably do a Ruger Single Six but am looking for DA and more than 6 rounds if possible.

    Edit: browsing the Ruger forum I just learned of a possible Ruger DA 22 based on either the SP or GP frame. May be nothing, but some more in the know cryptically confirmed.... I'd still appreciate your S&W feedback though.
    Last edited by fmcgraw; January 16th, 2011 at 03:03 PM.

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    New Member Array mactex's Avatar
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    I've owned the Taurus and the 617. I liked the Taurus except for the really heavy DA trigger pull. The 617 was the cat's meow and was several levels better in feel and construction than the Taurus. The 617 was smooth to operate and had a good trigger pull that was a great compromise between too hard and to light. I considered having the action lightened some, but since I was using it to practice DA trigger pull I choose not to. Ultimately I sold those revolvers and have stuck with a .22 pistol since. I guess I'm just too much of a pistol guy to really enjoy revolvers.

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    I bought a used M63 with 4-in barrel for my lady 3 years ago. I can't be sure of the vintage, but it has a 6-shot cylinder, and overall it's a sweet piece. Although I bought it on-line, the seller (who turned out to be local anyway) posted enough pictures that gave me confidence in its condition, and it's stainless so I wasn't concerned with serious corrosion. It's a Smith & Wesson J frame, so even if it needed repair it wouldn't be like trying to find a watchmaker. The DA trigger is a little heavier than I'd like, but the SA is crisp and maybe about 3 pounds. I got mine for about $400.

    You should also be able to find decent M17s (K-22 Masterpiece) for about the same price, and these are built on the larger K-frame. Still 6 shots, but for training purposes you want to take your time and learn to make your shots count. I've never found 6 rounds to be a major disadvantage in a wheelgun.

    I have 3 Taurus guns and like them, but for overall reliability and value the S&W is a better buy, even used.
    Smitty
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    Ex Member Array Kerby's Avatar
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    Interesting, I too love shooting 22LR, and normally shoot a Rug MK I, LOVE IT it is the most accurate pistol I own bar none (and I own a lot), never had a revolver (in 22LR) so I am picking up some info on your post as well....

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    Had a S&W 317 (I think it was). Piece of junk. Empties would stick in the cylinder. Sometimes cylinder would lock up. I don't care for Taurus, but their older .22 revolvers were made decent. I know you said you don't buy used normally, but you can find some sweet deals buying used. If you don't want to spend over $500 you don't have much options for "new" .22 revolvers. I recently picked up this used H&R 929 for about $235.
    I think it would serve you well to consider used .22 revolvers, especially with your $500 limit. You can find a real nice one for less than that if you go used.

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    I have a Smith 617 4" Pre-lock (older six shot). I love the heck out of it. I shoot it A LOT. I am a firm believer that getting back to basics of pure marksmanship while training are critical to your SD skills toolbox. And as an added bonus....you can shoot the mess out of it for next to nothing!

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    I really like the plain ol' Smith & Wesson Model 17 K-22 Masterpiece. It isn't a stainless steel model but mine has seen very heavy use since I purchased it new in 1980 and it is still hangin' in there on appearance though the photo makes it look better than it looks in person. No rust issues ever though due to care in maintenance. This one has likely had at least 200 cartons of .22 ammunition poured through it in 30 years of extensive shooting. It is my most used firearm and has never given any trouble.

    I wouldn't take for it in the 8 3/8-inch inch barrel length. Shoots like a little rifle. Most folks would consider the long barrel awkward and would be better served with a 6-inch K-22. Smith & Wesson also offered the Model 18 which is nothing more than a 4-inch version of this revolver. Model 17s in 6-inch barrel guise can occasionally be bought off of GunBroker for less than $500 or may be found at shops or shows. The Model 18 is more uncommon and is generally pricier though careful shopping might turn one up for under $500.

    I'd much rather have a used version of a Model 17 or Model 18 than anything Smith & Wesson has produced in the past 10 years or so.

    I love the little J-Frame .22s and once owned a nickel plated 4-inch Model 34 which is the carbon steel version of the Model 63. It was a very handy pocket size but didn't render the accuracy of the Model 17 and was a bit more difficult to properly grip due to grip design. It was still very serviceable and I'd like to have another 4-inch J-Frame Smith & Wessons of classic, traditional design.

    tkruf's H&R is one good lookin' revolver in my view and could give endless fun and training on an afternoon's shooting! One of those could be a great value for the money.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

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    Thanks guys, I'll have to give a little more consideration to used. H & R is a brand I've never heard of and will do some research. I really want this revolver just to have some fun with, as well as get some DA practice a little cheaper than my SP101 38. I have a LGS I really trust, I'll see what they have used.
    Ruger SR9, SR9c, Mark III, SP101 .357, New Vaquero .357, Fusion 1911 Elite .45acp

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    Don't forget the old High Standard Sentinel - 9 shot .22.

    I've got one like this, and it's a great little plinker:

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    - Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar (Mark Twain)

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    So I was at my LGS today and he had a nice used S&W 63-4, 5" barrel for $519. The cylinder rotates freely and the lockup looked good. Other than the cylinder release being a little tight it was in really good shape. I've ordered a replacement HiViz front sight and will clean it up this weekend. I think I got a pretty good deal based on the pricing I see on gunbroker.
    Ruger SR9, SR9c, Mark III, SP101 .357, New Vaquero .357, Fusion 1911 Elite .45acp

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    Distinguished Member Array Ghettokracker71's Avatar
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    My dad has a .22LR S&W revolver, sorry I can't remember the model number. Its pre-lock, not older than 10 years (I was with him when he got it.) and it has a 4" barrel,...and MAN what a shooter that thing is, I really enjoy plinking with it.


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    The S&W 63 is an excellent 22.

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    I have a S&W Model 63 that I purchased back in 1982. It is one of the finest .22 revolvers I've seen.

    Everyone who shoots it when we go to the range love it. I think you can't go wrong with one.
    "A Smith & Wesson always beats 4 aces!"

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    There are a few S&W .22's at my local shop that I am tempted to check out. I just got a 22/45 Ruger so I'm going to have to wait a bit :D
    "It is your evil that will be sought by us. With every breath we will hunt them down. Each day we will spill their blood, until it rains down from the skies. Do not kill. Do not rape. Do not steal. These are principles that every man from every faith can embrace." -McManus twins Boondock Saints

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    jyo
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    I used to have a Model 63 22 lr 4" barrel---small, light, stainless, neat little revolver. I also used to own a Model 17 (K22) 6"---really nice target grade revolver---wish I still had it (stolen from my brother's house). The Model 617 is supposed to be a stainless Model 17 with more rounds in the cylinder---I believe some had aluminum cylinders, I would gratly prefer steel cylinder.

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