Hickok45 takes a look at Smith & Wesson’s “high capacity” revolver, the model 617.
This .22 lr revolver is the stainless steel version of the Model 17, but unlike some of its blue brothers each 617 has a full Under Lug barrel. The 617 model comes in the same barrel lengths as the Model 17 and can be found with either six or ten shot cylinders.
Built on Smith & Wesson’s medium-sized K-frame, the 617 is a great pistol for target shooting. The model 17 has been around since 1947, but the blued versions were discontinued in 1998. The 6 in 617 designates a stainless finish, which is still in production to this day.
In 1996, this revolver was manufactured with an aluminum cylinder but it didn’t sell well. Just a year later, Smith & Wesson was forced to go back to the classic steel. Probably, in these years, but presumably even today, shooters were suspicious about any material used for gun production other than proven and reliable steel and even the micro-fusions (MIM acronym of Metal Injection Molded) that were introduced a few years later, were not well accepted.
The most prominent feature of the Smith & Wesson 617 is the capacity of the cylinder. Thanks to a cylinder that can take up to 10 .22 LR rounds, this revolver exceeds the firepower of some semi-automatic handguns.
The little .22 Long Rifle cartridge, used in the 617 Smith&Wesson revolver, is the most popular rim fire cartridge used today.