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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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  #1  
Old 03-22-2012, 08:27 PM
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Default Yea or nay: S&W model 617

I'm getting close to pulling the trigger on a 4" model.
Most likely it will be a new one with the IL.
To current or past owners, I'm looking for your feelings about the gun, both good or bad.
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Florida Guy View Post
I'm getting close to pulling the trigger on a 4" model.
Most likely it will be a new one with the IL.
To current or past owners, I'm looking for your feelings about the gun, both good or bad.
After lookin' unsuccessfully for a clean used 4 inch W/O the IL for quite some time, I purchased a brand new one. I replaced the IL with "THE PLUG" from our esteemed fellow forum member, Bullseye Smith. I also replaced the front sight with a Red Ramp and the rear sight with one with a wider notch by Jack Weigard (aids me in gettin' a proper sight picture with my compromised vision.) A set of Ahrends conversion grips round out the package. I am shootin' the snot outta the revolver, and lovin' every minute of it. It is very well made, and the fit and finish of mine is perfect. It is very accurate and reliable, and the 4 inch length balances well. I think you'll like the 617, IMHO it's a GREAT revolver......
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:27 PM
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The 4" is probably the best version to own. Of my two I prefer it over the 6" for balance and looks.







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Old 03-22-2012, 10:33 PM
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Bought my 4" 10 shot several years ago. Has been flawless. Only gripe is I wish it had a square butt frame.
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:08 PM
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I have been looking for one for years.
I picked up a like new in the box with papers 617-1 6" 6 shot at the gun show in Jacksonville last weekend for $525.00 cash.
I haven't had a chance to take it to the range yet.
Like the post above mine, I wish it was a square butt too.
We are both in Broward. I am going to be working the gun show this weekend in Fort Lauderdale.
If you are going to attend, PM me and let me know.
I will bring it to show it to you.

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Old 03-22-2012, 11:41 PM
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I say get one,
They are awesome,
BTW, If you really want a pre lock Midway sells 4" barrels for about $125.
Stu125 if you really want a SB,
There will be a 4" SB no dash at the Ft Lauderdale show this weekend for sale.
The seller is a dealer from Naples and has carried it to all the shows and had it on GB for over a year now.
The price was $1800...yes $1800 I have tried to explain that they are way overpriced and perhaps its sinking in as I think they recently dropped it to $1000 ...
Perhaps they just enjoy watching us drool.
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:52 PM
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When I take several .22s to the range, shoot them and then shoot my 617 there is a moment when I wonder why I even bothered to shoot the others. It just feels great and makes me feel like I can shoot better than I do. Mine is a 6" with a red dot. It has had a little trigger work too. It is accurate and smooth whether DA or SA. It was my first S&W and was followed by a M14 - another great shooter, both bought used.
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:40 AM
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The Square Butt issue can be easily resolved, IF you are willing to go to an aftermarket grip.. Kim Ahrends makes grips that convert Round Butt frames to Square Butt grips. Fit, finish and workmanship is superb--price is modest. It's what I use on all of my RB Smiths. Here's a link Ahrends Grips : Home Below are some pics. The revolver @ the extreme left in the pic on the left, of 4 revolvers, is my 617. The other 3 are Mountain Guns. The single revolver in the pic on the right is a 625 Mountain Gun in .45 Colt.
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:29 AM
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Quote:
Only gripe is I wish it had a square butt frame
This is a baffling statement, and I see it time and time again. I also like the square butts, but the advantage of the round is that you can get conversion grips of any size, shape, style, etc. About the only advantage you get with a square butt is that it looks really cool with magnas/old service grips. Civil1977s excellent photos clearly illustrate how good you can make a round butt look (I'm guessing those are Ahrend's, my personal favorite ). One eye joe gave the point, and I 100% concur with his comments on them.

I've got future plans for a new 617, wouldn't hesitate to get one, especially with a 4" barrel. Don't worry about the lock, it's a non-issue, contrary to some opinions. I guess if you don't like the look of it, you can get the "plug", but I can't understand why someone would throw away money to do that. I certainly wouldn't let it influence you buying a new 617.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Engine49guy View Post
I say get one,
They are awesome,
BTW, If you really want a pre lock Midway sells 4" barrels for about $125.
Stu125 if you really want a SB,
There will be a 4" SB no dash at the Ft Lauderdale show this weekend for sale.
The seller is a dealer from Naples and has carried it to all the shows and had it on GB for over a year now.
The price was $1800...yes $1800 I have tried to explain that they are way overpriced and perhaps its sinking in as I think they recently dropped it to $1000 ...
Perhaps they just enjoy watching us drool.
Nope, I know that dealer . The price is now $1295.00 .
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:22 AM
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The 617 is a great revolver in whatever flavor you buy and I have a 6 inch and a 4 inch no dash and my 4 inch out shoots the 6 inch in the accuracy department.
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:33 AM
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Definitely get one!

I've got a six shot, no lock, 617 with a 6" barrel and it's probably the best gun purchase I've made. It comes with me on every range trip. It groups remarcably well even with some of the cheapest .22 ammo available.

It's helped me improve my DA shooting (I never shoot SA) as well as my long distance skills (still non-existant but getting better!). It's also a fantastic platform to get new shooters started.





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Old 03-23-2012, 07:41 AM
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You simply can't go wrong with getting one.
I have one just like the above photo-also have a later 10 shot four incher.
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:43 AM
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A few years ago I almost made a big mistake and sold my 617. I hadn't shot it in years and another club member wanted it. Fortunately by the next match he changed his mind.

We started shooting Steel Challenge Matches and I brought out my 617. It was great. Lots of shooting and no reloading. That 10 shot was enough for any stage without reloading on a stage.

Now it's my favorite go to gun when I shoot Steel.

Get some DS-10 Speedloaders for it and you're all set to go. All you need to add is a loading block.

Good luck with your 617.
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:07 AM
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I have the 4" 10 shot. Nice gun but I bought mine new and paid way too much. I think my 17 and 18 are better guns, and cost less.
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:38 AM
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I consider finding a 4-inch NL to compliment my 6-inch NL...the Holy Grail. One of these days I will find it, but until I do....it gives me something to wish for and dream about. BUT...I ain't going to pay $1800 for it. I would trade and even give some boot, but I am not going into outer-space for it. The 8-inch barrels seem to be out of favor in my neck-of-the-woods. We've had a ND on the table at the past 4-5 shows for $850 OTD and nobody seems the slightest bit interested.
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:11 AM
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Only load every other charge hole. Alternate charge holes each shooting session. It mekes for easier clean up and extends the life of the gun.
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:22 AM
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I've had mine for about a year and am still looking forward to range time every time I open the case. Excellent fit and finish. I recommend it. Ksan
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:52 AM
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YEA!

Just don't 'pull the trigger' without snap caps - or, if you are at the range - and the range is 'hot' - some ammo in the chambers!



One major fault I found with mine... I waited way too long to buy mine! Get one sooner rather than later - you'll thank me for that advice. As you can see above, Ahrends retro target grips will turn a RB grip frame into a square butt grip! The HiViz #SW617 and DS-10 speedloader & baseplate wereextra, too.

In case you didn't notice... and mine is 'current production'... I voted:

YEA!

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Old 03-24-2012, 09:49 AM
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I've got a 617-1. Currently it is serving duty as warm up practice for my 629. I hunt deer with the scoped 629 and with the 617 scoped I get tons of inexpensive practice. Every range session I fire 5-6 cylinders full of 22 before I bring out the big stick. The older I get more often I forget to take the 44 to the range. These are my favorite two revolvers....period and if I had to pick just one it would be the 617. Killing deer isn't as important anymore. I hate paper!!!

So that makes for a YEA!!!!

Last edited by mchech; 03-27-2012 at 11:43 AM. Reason: forgot to vote.....I am old and weak minded
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike, SC Hunter View Post
Bought my 4" 10 shot several years ago. Has been flawless. Only gripe is I wish it had a square butt frame.
I see the new ones come with SB, so I'm happy.
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:24 AM
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A friend had a 617 with a 6 inch barrel. I found that gun with it's heavy underlug barrel to be too heavy up front. I opted for the 4 inch 617 and have no regrets. The trigger has really smoothed out after a case or so of ammo.
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick B View Post
Nope, I know that dealer . The price is now $1295.00 .
Looks like they opened it at $995 and removed the reserve,

It is wearing wrong grips but at least they are K diamond targets (worth abut $100) ,
Unfortunately Correct FG Combats will probably cost about that if not more.

BTW, Of course any RB can be converted to SB with RB to SB conversion grips but for the person that has a 6" 617 or 17-6
and yearns for it to be a 4" Midway sells 4" barrels in blue and SS.
Barrel Costs about $120 , I think S&W will do the swap for $70....Food for thought.

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Old 03-24-2012, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Florida Guy View Post
I see the new ones come with SB, so I'm happy.
Nope, the new ones are round butt. However, you use conversion grips as shown in my post above. The 617 has been round butt since the 617-2 was introduced in 1996.

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Old 03-24-2012, 03:28 PM
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Nope, the new ones are round butt. However, you use conversion grips as shown in my post above. The 617 has been round butt since the 617-2 was introduced in 1996.
Bud's, among other dealers on GB have them listed as SB.
Sure looks like a SB.

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Old 03-24-2012, 04:54 PM
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Florida Guy, without X-Ray vision I don't think that you can conclude that this revolver "sure looks like a SB". By looking at the picture of my 625 Mountain Gun below, it is impossible to tell (from that same point of view as your pic) that it's a RB, as it's wearing SB conversion grips by Ahrends. S&W deleted the SB revolvers from their standard line in 1996 according to The Standard Catalog. Some SBs may appear in the Classic line, of that I am uncertain. As you piqued my interest, I scrutinized both GB and Bud's sites. NOWHERE could I find an ad selling a current 617 with a square butt. Perhaps you might post it ? ? ?
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Old 03-24-2012, 07:23 PM
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All I did to mine is put a set of Target K frame grips. Works for me.

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Old 03-24-2012, 08:37 PM
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That 617 is definately a round butt gun with Rb to SB Conversion grips,
If you look close you can see where the backstrap turns in,

Even though a RB can be converted to a SB with grips but not visa versa,
I still prefer a SB in a 4" gun and a RB in a 3" or less snub.

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Old 03-24-2012, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by one eye joe View Post
Florida Guy, without X-Ray vision I don't think that you can conclude that this revolver "sure looks like a SB". By looking at the picture of my 625 Mountain Gun below, it is impossible to tell (from that same point of view as your pic) that it's a RB, as it's wearing SB conversion grips by Ahrends. S&W deleted the SB revolvers from their standard line in 1996 according to The Standard Catalog. Some SBs may appear in the Classic line, of that I am uncertain. As you piqued my interest, I scrutinized both GB and Bud's sites. NOWHERE could I find an ad selling a current 617 with a square butt. Perhaps you might post it ? ? ?
Sent PM with info.
I have sent you two active GB auctions with both dealers describing this gun as a SB.

Last edited by Florida Guy; 03-24-2012 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
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Sent PM with info.
I have sent you two active GB auctions with both dealers describing this gun as a SB.
As others have said, those are round to square butt conversion grips on a round butt frame. My two 617-4s pictured above shipped with similar rubber conversion grips which I have replaced with the Ahrends shown.
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:39 PM
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I agree, they are probably RB guns, but all I'm saying is that there are at least 2 dealers with auctions on GB describing the guns as SB.
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:45 PM
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Sent PM with info.
I have sent you two active GB auctions with both dealers describing this gun as a SB.
Florida Guy, I rec'd your PM's and you are correct--they DO list both revolvers as Square Butts. I Googled the Product Code and came up with this revolver which is CLEARLY described as a Square Butt. At this point, I don't know what to think or say. This flies in the face of info in the Standard Catalog, and the mainstream of forum opinion......Smith & Wesson 617 K-22 Masterpiece Revolver .22 LR 4in 10rd Stainless for sale - 160584 - Tombstone Tactical
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:35 PM
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They must be confused by the conversion grips,
The Model 17 (IL) "Classics" are SB guns but the 617 has RB frame with SB grips.
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:58 AM
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They must be confused by the conversion grips,
The Model 17 (IL) "Classics" are SB guns but the 617 has RB frame with SB grips.
That's what I'm thinkin', Engine49guy, BUT there ain't no disputing what the ads state. Can these 3 different gun dealers all be so confused or ill-informed ? ? ?
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:34 AM
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I just purchased a SW 617-6 with 4" barrel. I ordered it through Scheels and it cost me $850.00. Only paid $698.00 for my matching 686P with 4" barrel. I shot about 80 rounds of various brands of ammo, 10 rounds of Federal, 10 rounds of Remington Golden bullets, but the majority was Blazer. I have extreme leading in the first inch of the barrel. It is so bad I can't get a jag through that part of the barrel. It looks like a cave in there with stalactites and stalagmites. What do you fellow 617 owners use to clean the lead from your revolvers?

I called SW Customer Service and it was suggested that I didn't clean the barrel well before shooting. He also cautioned against shooting copper coated ammo after shooting lead. He said it is OK to shoot lead after copper but not copper after lead.

I like that the 617 looks just like my 686. It is just like shooting the .357 686 just not as loud, not so much recoil, and much cheaper to shoot.

When you get your new 617 make sure to clean the barrel very well to get all the preservative lube out of it.
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:28 AM
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I have shot copper washed ammo for years, AFTER LEAD in both handguns and rifles W/O a problem. Clean the weapon thoroughly, and shoot a coupla boxes of CCI Standard Velocity .22LR ONLY. Check the barrel. If it's leaded up, DON'T CLEAN IT. Call S&W and ask for a shipping label. CCI SV ammo is clean and shoots very well in all of my weapons. IF your barrel leads up, there is an issue with your revolver....
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:41 PM
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Had mine for years, excellent gun. I want a 4" too. Grips were added this year.
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by one eye joe View Post
Clean the weapon thoroughly, and shoot a coupla boxes ... If it's leaded up, DON'T CLEAN IT. Call S&W and ask for a shipping label. ... IF your barrel leads up, there is an issue with your revolver....
This^.

I have a hard time imagining a proper 617 leading regardless.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:14 AM
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Only load every other charge hole. Alternate charge holes each shooting session. It mekes for easier clean up and extends the life of the gun.
Sorry, but that sure sounds like a broken firing pin or a ding waiting to happen It also sounds lazy; no offense, but it does.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:33 AM
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Get one, you will love it. Just experiment with different ammo, like all, .22s individual guns seem to prefer one brand or type of ammo over another. Mine likes CCI SV and the Federal bulk, it doesn't like CCI MiniMags.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:01 AM
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A question for owners of new production 617s- do the barrels use the EDM rifling seen on current centerfire revolvers or conventional style rifling?

I have a 617 "no-dash" 6" that I purchased new in 1993. Still an excellent shooter. If one comes my way I wouldn't hesitate to pick up a 4" version.
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:18 AM
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Feelings? 617 with lock? Since you asked... No. No. No. Find one without. Or buy it and tell S&W that it's ok to have it on there. I've had a couple pre locks and they are exceptional.
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  #43  
Old 01-13-2013, 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by cebur19 View Post
I just purchased a SW 617-6 with 4" barrel. I ordered it through Scheels and it cost me $850.00. Only paid $698.00 for my matching 686P with 4" barrel. I shot about 80 rounds of various brands of ammo, 10 rounds of Federal, 10 rounds of Remington Golden bullets, but the majority was Blazer. I have extreme leading in the first inch of the barrel. It is so bad I can't get a jag through that part of the barrel. It looks like a cave in there with stalactites and stalagmites. What do you fellow 617 owners use to clean the lead from your revolvers?

I called SW Customer Service and it was suggested that I didn't clean the barrel well before shooting. He also cautioned against shooting copper coated ammo after shooting lead. He said it is OK to shoot lead after copper but not copper after lead.

I like that the 617 looks just like my 686. It is just like shooting the .357 686 just not as loud, not so much recoil, and much cheaper to shoot.

When you get your new 617 make sure to clean the barrel very well to get all the preservative lube out of it.
Interesting on the S&W comments.

As for cleaning, there are some lead cleaning products out there.

Montana Extreme makes a lead cleaning liquid solution. I cant say for sure, but I think it is called Cowboy Blend.

The old standby for cleaning lead from barrels is the Lewis Lead Remover Tool. It works.

Another good way is to wrap some copper Chore Boy around a somewhat worn cleaning brush and run it through.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:06 AM
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I did experience some leading at forcing cone when new. Cleaned up easily with Hoppe's and cotton patch. Soon settled down and no more lead. Guess it was a "break in" issue.
Fine piece and never leave home without it. By the way, it is 4 in. current production with the silly lock.........
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:52 AM
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The only problem I have with my 617 is I can't put it down at the range. I'm always mumbling, one more cylinder, one more cylinder, one more cylinder.

Enjoy!
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:34 AM
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The internal lock should not be an issue/concern unless you plan on using it as a carry gun and concerend about the lock locking itself, but with the mild recoil of the .22 it's should not be an issue.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:32 PM
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The 617 is next on my list to buy. I've been leaning towards new because I generally hate taking on someone's problem. I suppose if I could get a good enough deal I could go with a used one.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:51 PM
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I'll probably end up buying a new one as well. Older ones, in excellent condition, are going to be just as expensive and a rare find. I don't foresee any issues with the internal lock since it will be strictly for range use anyway.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:08 PM
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All I wanted for last birthday was a six inch 617. Didn't get it then, but spouse surprised me with one for valentines. I always shoot this revolver first at the range because it is fun, has little recoil, has an easy pull in DA [straight out of the box], and makes my targets look like I'm a marksman. I occasionally let my spouse use it. I introduced my friend to shooting; she thought I was nuts when I brought it out [she is only about 4'10"] but she, too, found the revolver smooth and easy to use. And, oh, yes, she took up target shooting, too.

I'd love to have another, older 6 barrel model just cause I like the 617.

I think you'll be pleased whether you get a 4" or 6".
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:31 PM
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I've got a 6 inch. Very pleased with it. It does put a fair amount of lead on the top strap, but that cleans off easily enough. It balances a little muzzle heavy. The 4 inch would probably have been a better choice, but 6 is what was on the shelf when I arrived with money in my pocket.

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