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  #1  
Old 11-25-2011, 11:47 PM
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Default May be a silly question...Model 17 versus Model 18

I have to ask...what is the difference between the 17 and 18? Both are K-frame 22s...and am unsure of the difference.
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Old 11-25-2011, 11:53 PM
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Model 17 = Target Masterpiece. Choice of 6" or 8-3/8" barrel. Usually issued with patridge front sight. There are known exceptions, however.

Model 18 = Combat Masterpiece. 4" barrel usually issued with a ramp front sight. There are known exceptions, however.

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Old 11-26-2011, 12:16 AM
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Thanks for the information!!
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:54 AM
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The M17 K-22 is more of a target revolver. It is just like the M16 Target Masterpiece in .32 Caliber and the M14 Target Masterpiece in .38 Spl.
The M18 Combat Masterpiece is the same revolver as the M15 Combat Masterpiece except for caliber. The M15 is a .38 Spl. and the M18 is a .22 LR. The M18 was initially designed as a training gun for Police Officers who carried the M15.
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Old 11-26-2011, 02:19 AM
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I wish they'd offer stainless versions of the 17 and 18. Yes, I know about the 63 & 617 - one's a j-frame, and one is an unnecessarily heavy L frame.
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Titan View Post
I wish they'd offer stainless versions of the 17 and 18. Yes, I know about the 63 & 617 - one's a j-frame, and one is an unnecessarily heavy L frame.
The M617 is a K-Frame. Just a stainless version of the M17 K-22.
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:40 AM
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Titan,

But still your point is well taken; it is a K frame but 617s are too heavy with that lugged barrel. I'm about 'this' close to installing a 17 barrel after having it refinished in one of the plethora of hi tech finishes out there, whichever most closely matches the stainless steel!
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Old 11-26-2011, 04:56 AM
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Quote:
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Titan,

But still your point is well taken; it is a K frame but 617s are too heavy with that lugged barrel. I'm about 'this' close to installing a 17 barrel after having it refinished in one of the plethora of hi tech finishes out there, whichever most closely matches the stainless steel!
Or you can try and find a factory non-lugged 617 from one of the Ashland runs....might be better off searching for a Unicorn though


Someday, when I'm old and retired, I'm going to buy a pre-lock 4" 617 and send it off to have the lug professionally milled off.
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:02 AM
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Or you can try and find a factory non-lugged 617 from one of the Ashland runs....might be better off searching for a Unicorn though

Someday, when I'm old and retired, I'm going to buy a pre-lock 4" 617 and send it off to have the lug professionally milled off.
Ashland model: I didn't even want to go there.

I've had that lug removal in mind as well, but I don't know if someone will taper the barrel as well. I like the sleekness of the early tapered barrels.
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondo44 View Post
Ashland model: I didn't even want to go there.

I've had that lug removal in mind as well, but I don't know if someone will taper the barrel as well. I like the sleekness of the early tapered barrels.
I've thought the exact same thing...it'd probably be tricky for a machinist, even one familiar with revolvers, to taper the barrel. I think I'd live with it though...IIRC, the Ashland guns had heavy barrels and still looked alright. ETA: Your idea of hard chroming a M17 barrel seems like a good fix, but if I was going that route; I'd probably just find a rougher M17 to hardchrome all together.



And, to the OP...sorry for cluttering up your thread; but if you wanna see a cool factory K-frame .22, look up the Ashland 617's.

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Old 11-26-2011, 08:11 AM
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Though I knew the difference , I always wondered WHY the two different model numbers. After all , a Model 19 is a Model 19 (or 27,29,)whether it has a 2 1/2" , 3" , 4" , 6" or 8 3/8" barrel , ramp or patridge front sight.

Also , there have been Mod.18 stamped guns with 6in barrels and Mod.17s with 4in tubes.
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkk41 View Post
Though I knew the difference , I always wondered WHY the two different model numbers. After all , a Model 19 is a Model 19 (or 27,29,)whether it has a 2 1/2" , 3" , 4" , 6" or 8 3/8" barrel , ramp or patridge front sight.

Also , there have been Mod.18 stamped guns with 6in barrels and Mod.17s with 4in tubes.
An 18 with a 6 inch barrel would be a factory error.A 17 with a 4 inch barrel would be a specific model-either with a lugless heavy barrel,or full lug barrel-a different animal than an 18.
Still, I understand your point.

Last edited by Camster; 11-26-2011 at 09:46 AM. Reason: sp
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Old 11-26-2011, 09:35 AM
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My 17-6 has the 4" lugless, heavy barrel, that Camster alluded to. In poor light, its ramped front sight is harder for me to see distinctly, but in good light the 4" tube is extremely accurate.....I remember someone saying in a discussion on this forum that the 17-6 resulted when S&W dropped the M-18 and installed left-over 4" barrels on M-17 frames. Don't know if that is true or not.
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Old 11-26-2011, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunday bill View Post
My 17-6 has the 4" lugless, heavy barrel, that Camster alluded to. In poor light, its ramped front sight is harder for me to see distinctly, but in good light the 4" tube is extremely accurate.....I remember someone saying in a discussion on this forum that the 17-6 resulted when S&W dropped the M-18 and installed left-over 4" barrels on M-17 frames. Don't know if that is true or not.
I have one of the full lugged four inch 17-7s.I was almost disappointed when the clerk first brought it out as NOS,as my mindset was for 6 inchers.I bought it,and in time,realized how nice it was,what a bargain it was too-especially since it came with a beautiful set of combats.

Last edited by Camster; 11-26-2011 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 11-26-2011, 10:06 AM
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When the Model 18 was discontinued in 1985. Any subsequent 4" .22s were called 17s or 617s if stainless with different dash numbers.

17-4 was a 4" heavy barrel with no heavy lug,
17-6 was 4" w/full lug,
617 had the full lug 4"
and there was an "exclusive" 617 made only for Ashland Shooting Supply.

None of these 4" models were made for very long.

Most Models do not have a different model # because of a different barrel length. Another was the Model 34 22/32 Kit Gun in 2" and 4". But in 6" it became the Model 35. Go figure!
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Old 11-26-2011, 10:13 AM
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My 17-6 does not have the full-lug barrel.
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Old 11-26-2011, 11:10 AM
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This topic comes up once in a while,
Here is a link to the last time as it covered alot of the questions at hand.

M-17 4"

( 1985 ) The Model 18 line was dropped with the 18-4 ,(until its recent revival with internal lock).

(1986 to 1989) ...Realizing a 4" K22 was still needed they offered a 4" version of the Model 17-5,
at that time it had a heavier no underlug barrel .

Some transitional late 17-4's , early 17-6s and early stainess 617's ( sometimes marked 17-6)
are found with the heavy no underlug barrel.

Last edited by Engine49guy; 11-26-2011 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 11-26-2011, 11:23 AM
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4" 17 humm...

so just when you think you have it figured out







This was my dads, he got around 1968. I dont know the history other than this is the way he got it.

My guess is it was rebarreled at some point, I dont know for sure or why?
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelgun28 View Post
4" 17 humm...

so just when you think you have it figured out
This was my dads, he got around 1968. I dont know the history other than this is the way he got it.
My guess is it was rebarreled at some point, I dont know for sure or why?
wheelgun,
The only way to tell for sure is to get a letter, but I highly suspect that the factory used a 17-2 frame to use up a 4" barrel in inventory. It's not that uncommon. Sometimes they overstamp the model # with the correct # but I've seen cases where they didn't.
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:53 PM
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Obviously not an overstamp. But it is not all that uncommon to find a wrongly marked model as I understand they make and mark frames prior to them becoming complete revolvers. I guess they sometimes neglect to re-stamp the model number.
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Old 11-26-2011, 11:25 PM
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Wheelgun28 several things occur to me viewing your gun,
First the frame is not mis stamped because it is a 17 frame.

Second its definately an 18 barrel,
Its hard to imagine S&W QC would not to catch a major mistake like that but a letter is the only way to know for sure how it left the factory.

I am guessing the PC Diamond Magnas do not number to the gun?
PC's were usually used on non target frames
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Old 11-27-2011, 01:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Engine49guy View Post
Wheelgun28 several things occur to me viewing your gun,
First the frame is not mis stamped because it is a 17 frame.

Second its definately an 18 barrel,
Its hard to imagine S&W QC would not to catch a major mistake like that but a letter is the only way to know for sure how it left the factory.

I am guessing the PC Diamond Magnas do not number to the gun?
PC's were usually used on non target frames
Well your right of course, the frame was meant to be made up into a Model 17. Lee has stepped in to 'referee' several of these kinds of threads. If original from the factory (and that's a big if) in it's present Model 18 configuration IIRC he contends that it was assembled as a Model 18, therefore is a Mod 18 and has a mismarked frame because it wasn't overstamped Mod 18.

But counter intuitive as it may seem, they have and do leave the factory this way on occasion. And right, it begs to be lettered.
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Old 11-27-2011, 08:17 AM
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I bought a real nice slightly used 18-3 back in '89 from an FFL friend when I lived in NJ. The receipt shows it's an 18-3.
I always figured that they need to make up some 18's and used available 17 frames.
Here is a photo of the over stamp model #. Maybe 15 years ago I called S&W to ask about the over stamp and if my gun was an 18 or 17 and any other info. The woman that I spoke with replied, "I couldn't tell you." I asked if it could be determined by the serial #. She wasn't able to check. ?????
I gave up at that point and have always called it an 18-3.



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Old 11-27-2011, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondo44 View Post
.......counter intuitive as it may seem, they have and do leave the factory this way on occasion. And right, it begs to be lettered.

I agree with you Jim,
It is a very interesting piece and while I do not letter most of my guns the previous K22 really needs to be lettered to see if the barrel was installed originally or after it left the factory.

JimC
While anything is possible,
IMO Your K22 was mis stamped as a Mod 17 then overstamped as it is clearly a Model 18 frame and barrel.
If I use my imagination I can come up with several scenarios where they might convert a M17 to a M18 at the factory but it doesnt make sense when you consider the Model 18 was still in production at the time.
Again anything is possible with S&W.


Again all this is just my opinion.
Thanks for sharing it.

Last edited by Engine49guy; 11-27-2011 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 11-27-2011, 04:10 PM
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Well I guess I will letter the gun at some point.

As for the stocks, I put them on they were cheap via internet auction years ago. My dad being shall I say frugal, had the original magnas from his M 28 on it...

I put them back on the 28 and scrounged the ones that are on it. I guess frugality is a family tradition

Also, it would seem my dad bought this gun used. I think the SN is from around 1961 or so and he bought in in 1968 as best I can tell. This is the only gun he bought that I dont have the receipt for. He lived in NY at that time and the SN is on his permit.

Also, I cant ask dad about the gun (passed on) the store where he bought all the other guns closed up around 1980. The only chance for any history is the factory.

Was there a time in the 1960s that M-18s were hard to find, or M-17s hard to sell?
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
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Well I guess I will letter the gun at some point.

Was there a time in the 1960s that M-18s were hard to find, or M-17s hard to sell?
Generally speaking, shooters of that era were beginning to favor the advantages of the shorter barrels on all models. The era of the popularity in formal NRA Bullseye matches was on the wane. Roy Jimks has said many times in so many words, S&W didn't give a wit about collectors. They're goal was to move product out the door and stay profitable and competetive.

So if orders for 18s were coming in that didn't match parts in inventory, they used what they had to fill orders. So I would say yes in answer to your question. I think you hit the nail on the head!
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Old 11-30-2011, 12:57 AM
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Well all I know is the 17 and 18 has got the best double action trigger pull I have ever experienced. Its rare that a person can find a 22 double action revolver with a good double action trigger pull. The 17 and 18 has it.
Howard

Last edited by roaddog28; 11-30-2011 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 11-30-2011, 06:21 PM
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Great thread. I recently picked up a 17-3 and can't find a manual on it anywhere. Is it OK to shoot Stingers and other hyper-velocity ammo in the Model 17?

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Old 11-30-2011, 08:13 PM
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Oh heck yes! It's as strong a .22 revolver as ever made.
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