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Old 02-16-2017, 11:47 AM
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I'm looking for a .22LR revolver, is there any reason not to get a S&W Model 63? The danger I see is it might make me want to trade my SP101 for a Model 60...

Why not get the SP101 in .22, you ask? It just doesn't sing to me, for some reason. The 3" S&W just seems right, and the price is pretty close. I just wish it wasn't so darned expensive - how much sense does it make to spend that much money to shoot "cheap" .22 ammo?
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:57 AM
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Buy the expensive grades of 22 ammo if it makes you feel better.
Personally,I prefer the hammer and design of the earlier 4 inch 63s.however stumbling across one of those in your LGS might not be so easy..
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Old 02-16-2017, 12:12 PM
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Unless it's way over priced-
Or has some serious conditions issues-
Hard to go wrong on a 63!
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Old 02-16-2017, 12:18 PM
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Nothing wrong with current production 63s although I haven't bought one since my 63-4 five inch several years ago. Only issue that you might want to consider is whether a 617 might serve you better. If you want the smaller J frame, no problem. I just find the K frames easier to shoot and for target/plinking and the larger size is a benefit not a hindrance, for me anyway. Either way you'll likely be very happy with either a 63 or 617 whether you find an older one or current production. Good luck.

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Old 02-16-2017, 12:33 PM
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IMHO 63 are for "carrying a lot and shooting a little"........ they are a "Kit Gun" to have handy when you don't expect to need one.......

while ......

617s and 17/18s are for "shooting a lot and carrying a little"!!!!!



The exception is hunting...... "which for me is carrying a lot and shooting a little" ...... then a 6" 17 is hard to beat.


I have Models ;17,18,617,34 and 63.......................

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Old 02-16-2017, 12:51 PM
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The J-22 and K-22 cost about the same, the J frame .22lr is great as a trainer before stepping a novice up to a J frame .38, Other than that I prefer a K-22 for plinking and target shooting any day of the week as it fills the hand and shoots better IMO.
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Old 02-16-2017, 12:56 PM
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To address your first question, I recently purchased a used 2015 63-5 and haven't shot it yet. I will tell you that I tried the SP101 (.22) trigger and truly thought it was so heavy that my youngest kid wouldn't be able to pull it in double action mode. It's THAT heavy. Pretty much night and day difference if that is a concern. A regular sp101 wasn't like the .22lr trigger.
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Old 02-16-2017, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by BAM-BAM View Post
IMHO 63 are for "carrying a lot and shooting a little"........ they are a "Kit Gun" to have handy when you don't expect to need one...
I don't understand. The 11.7 oz aluminum 317 might be "carry a lot and shoot a little," but the all stainless 63 looks like endless range fun.
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Old 02-16-2017, 06:04 PM
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I don't understand. The 11.7 oz aluminum 317 might be "carry a lot and shoot a little," but the all stainless 63 looks like endless range fun.

...... well ya; compared to the 317...... but IMHO a 4" 18 or 6" 17 are way better range/target guns than a 2 or 4 inch 63.

If you have a shot at getting a 63 .... my advice is .... do it....

I have 2 anib 34s...... I wanted a 4"63 for "fun/Kit gun" ..... took me 5/6 years to find one at a LGS!!!!
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Old 02-16-2017, 07:22 PM
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I don't understand. The 11.7 oz aluminum 317 might be "carry a lot and shoot a little," but the all stainless 63 looks like endless range fun.
My wife has a 5" Model 63. It is one of the best handling S&W revolvers that I have ever got ahold of, but it's too small for me to shoot for any length of time. The springs are stiff enough that she can't shoot it DA and has to resort to SA only.
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Old 02-16-2017, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telecaster View Post
I'm looking for a .22LR revolver, is there any reason not to get a S&W Model 63? The danger I see is it might make me want to trade my SP101 for a Model 60...

Why not get the SP101 in .22, you ask? It just doesn't sing to me, for some reason. The 3" S&W just seems right, and the price is pretty close. I just wish it wasn't so darned expensive - how much sense does it make to spend that much money to shoot "cheap" .22 ammo?
I had an SP101 8 shot (at the bottom) but I didn't like the trigger or the small grips, I sold it. My model 63 is just above the Ruger, even with stock grips it fits my hand better than the SP101 did. I now have a set of round to square butt conversion Altamont grips on the 63. They seem to be the perfect fit for me on a J-frame.
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Old 02-16-2017, 07:40 PM
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At a Steel Challenge shooting competition I started off using a model 63. Wasn't very accurate for me. I switched to a model 617 and had a much better match.






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Old 02-16-2017, 07:42 PM
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I had a SP-101 in .22, trigger was awful. Everyone who shot it remarked about the heavy trigger. I like SP-101's, own several, but did not care for the .22 version. Sold the SP, bought a Model 18 No Dash and a Model 63-3 2". A friend has a 317, also a nice gun.
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Old 02-16-2017, 07:54 PM
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I have a 63-5 that I bought after selling my Ruger Mark3 and I love it.
It is nice to go to the range and not have to deal with jams.
The 63 is reasonably accurate and helps me to practice for my model 36 -1 Chiefs Special.
Great little gun, you can't go wrong, you can always buy more.

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Old 02-16-2017, 08:59 PM
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The 63 is a wonderful shooter. Had mine since new (mid-70s handgun). Needed a little work from a gunsmith (mostly had to smooth out the chambers to prevent/stop stuck spent shells from ejecting without use of a mallet!). My little revolver has Fuzzy Farrant grips on it (double palm swell, no checkering).

One little "trick" for all rimfire revolvers; I keep Q-tips in my shooting kit as well as a small bottle of Hoppe's 9. Every X-number of rounds (depends on the brand) I run a solvent soaked Q-tip through each chamber. Makes life so much easier. :-)

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Old 02-17-2017, 01:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telecaster View Post
I don't understand. The 11.7 oz aluminum 317 might be "carry a lot and shoot a little," but the all stainless 63 looks like endless range fun.
Perhaps,if you have small hands and you're just interested in casual plinking..When cocked,the reach is pretty short on J frames. A K frame just has a nicer action(leaf main spring vs the coil of the J frame) and many more grip options.For a nice all purpose/all shooter gun,one that isn't too big or heavy,it's hard to beat the Model 18.
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Old 02-17-2017, 06:14 AM
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The Pachmayr grips turned my J-frame 22 (4" barrel) into a very comfortable handgun...but I have small hands. Guess my kids do too, because they argue over who will inherit it! Had it for close to 40 years now. The same grips make my Model 60 an OK 357 magnum, too.
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Old 02-17-2017, 06:49 AM
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Get the 63 and ream the cylinder,change the grips if you want and be happy Also toss the lock..
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:39 AM
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Old 02-17-2017, 01:29 PM
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A Model 63 (or the Blued variant Mod 34) is one of the most versatile handguns S&W ever made. It is the perfect size handgun to introduce youths and most women to shooting. It isn't so large or so heavy for them to handle. It is the perfect size to carry as a woods walking gun. When you do your part, it is as accurate as any Mod 17/18 K Frame. Either the 63 or 34 will last more than your lifetime if properly cared for, regardless how many rounds you put through them.

Yes, I have a 17 and a Pre 18 as well as a 63 & 34, and the Mod 63 gets more range time than any of them.

Just ask my Granddaughter. I think she has the 34 here and the 63 is on the table).



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Old 02-17-2017, 01:53 PM
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Well I thought that I really liked shooting my 63s.
Most all revolvers need a grip change.
The factory grips are usually not the best choice for most folks.
And trial and error is recommended.
Try as many brands, styles, and shapes as you can.
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Old 02-17-2017, 07:24 PM
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Love my 63 4" pinned barrel (1981). I have had it for about 5 years. Found some NOS square butt J frame target grips on E-Bay. (See H Richard Post above). Fun to shoot and always goes to the range with the bigger boys.

The few I have seen at gun shows in our area are priced around $900. Glad I got mine when I did. If you find one at a good price - jump on it.
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Old 02-17-2017, 07:47 PM
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Hay, I always wanted one, found a nice one last year!
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:27 PM
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I finally got to handle an older 4" Model 63 at a gun show and was impressed by the quality and the compact size. It's really pretty svelte. I would love to have the 2".

As for the current 3" 63-5, it seems a little chunkier with the IL style frame, but I love the 8-shot cylinder the 3" barrel and the excellent balance. It has performed flawlessly, with clean ejection and no sticky chambers. I think I'm a little disappointed because I have only shot it at indoor ranges and I can't shoot it as well as my 6" Model 17. My wife loves it and it's a good size for her. i think I'll appreciate it more once I get it in the field, but definitely a keeper.
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Old 02-19-2017, 10:49 PM
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Just to share: The model 63 is the Last Gun I would sell. This "COULD" also apply to model 34's, 43's, etc.........because in my hand, this is the perfect "woods gun," plinker, fishing carry gun, etc. that I can actually hit something with. With 6 model 63's, 2 model 43's, 6 model 34's, and 2 model 317's in the stable, it would take a while to whittle down to "just one," and that would be a 4" model 63 because of the stainless finish. These are words from a "Kit Gun" freak. There are plenty of model 17's, 18's, and 617's in the stable. Those models get more target time. The 63 gets more holster time and doubles to shoot marshmellows and punch holes in paper at 25 yards.

There are a lot of Smith wheelguns in the stash, but the 63 could dispatch a nasty coppernoggin, provide food if in a survival situation, yet take the center out of a target at 20 yards.

Further, I just invested in a pair of Ruger SP-101's: a .22 and a .357. Yes, they are tough as a tank, but comparing the .22 SP-101 with a Smith 63.......... no comparison!! The Ruger trigger is terrible. The Ruger sights wiggle and wobble and won't hold firm. Even the hammer does not have the same feel and my thumb will not grip it was well as a 63. The Ruger just does not have the feel of the Smith.....................

As for a model 63 with 4-inch barrel............ how much does an extra inch matter when the piece is still small enough to tuck in a waist band and can actually hit something when used in a steady hand? Get the older 63. I have one in each of two vehicles (along with bigger medicine if needed) and carry one on the hip in the National Forests. First two rounds are "rat shot" and the next four are hollow points. A speed loader can get one back into shooting quickly if you don't like the newer and not as aesthetically pleasing 8-shot versions.

2 Cents............. Get an older 63, 4-inch, 6-shot. Yes, they are hovering around $900 but I just found another one for $775, 98%, and in the box. This used 63 was $200 more than the "new" SP-101 I just bought and, to me, worth every penny.

Y'all be good, Bo

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Old 03-02-2017, 05:48 PM
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I went shopping today, looked at a 617, a 63, and the all aluminum 317, and a GP100 .22LR. Here are my impressions:

Model 63: Very nice for a kit gun or practice for shooting your J-frame. Solid, well balanced, and feels great in my hand.

Model 317: It weighs nothing! As some have said, it may be pretty tricky to hold your aim with it so light. I'm sure it has a purpose in life, not quite sure what it is.

Model 617 - the Beast: Clearly of impeccable quality, this was the 6" and that massive fully shrouded barrel certainly makes it muzzle-heavy.

GP100, .22LR: Excellent quality, much better balance than the 617. I like being able to stage the trigger in double action, so this is probably the one I'm going to end up with.

They didn't have an SP101 in .22, but I've handled that one before. It's not bad, but not fabulous either. They did have a 4.2" in .357 that felt kind of loose, not as well put together as my 2 1/4" SP101.

Originally I was looking for a .22 to practice with, to save money on ammo. But that's evolved into wanting a nice .22 for precision shooting. I know you can't beat a 617, but the GP100 isn't far behind.

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Old 03-02-2017, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
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I went shopping today, looked at a 617, a 63, and the all aluminum 317, and a GP100 .22LR. Here are my impressions:


Originally I was looking for a .22 to practice with, to save money on ammo. But that's evolved into wanting a nice .22 for precision shooting.
One that you've missed.... and given how you've "evolved".............................. a used 6 inch ......Model 17
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Old 03-02-2017, 07:07 PM
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One guy offered to sell me his used 617 for the same price as a new one. I politely declined. Isn't the 17 a 6-round? Not sure I want that.

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Old 03-02-2017, 08:14 PM
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The 63s, like all J-frame guns are surprisingly accurate but far more difficult to shoot well than a larger revolver, the main reason many claim poor accuracy. A shooter's lack of skill becomes quite obvious with the small revolvers, whereas a K-frame is more forgiving of various deficiencies.
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Old 03-02-2017, 08:37 PM
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I have both 6" 617 and GP100 22.While I like the trigger better on the Smith, I also like the balance of the Ruger

Either one is a great choice. If you prefer the GP100 I would go for it.
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Old 03-03-2017, 11:22 AM
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If the OP is looking at new model 63s he's looking at the 3" barrel guns.

My 3" 63-5 is awesome!
Much fun at the range.

Not sure if it will appreciate like the 2" guns but a 2" model 63 will cost you around $1500 on Gunbroker right now. !!!

Not sure if the Rugers will hold value like that.
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Old 03-03-2017, 01:06 PM
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The 4" 617 might be the sweet spot. You get the larger frame, 10-shot cylinder and smoother trigger, yet the 4" should be easier to carry and not so muzzle-heavy as the 6". It may balance better than the GP100.
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Old 03-03-2017, 05:20 PM
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Mine is an older one but, it will be with me till I'm no more. Has been the revolver of choise for serveral grandkids and great grandkids to begin with for many years now.

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