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Old 05-13-2009, 10:18 AM
Bayview
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S&W 617 vs model 41



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I'm considering buying one of these for reasonably accurate fun at the range. Can the 617 shoot as accurately as the 41? Or are we just satisfying an individuals preference for either revolver or pistol?
Thanks-Bayview
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Old 05-13-2009, 10:53 AM
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You will probably not find a 617 anywhere near as accurate as a 41. Don't count on it, at any rate.

How accurate does "reasonably accurate" have to be to satisfy you? The answer to that question will tell you which you want to buy.
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:13 PM
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Think about it, the 617 10 shot has 10 different chambers that rotate and have to line up, and a semi auto only 1 chamber that is fixed.

My 617 is very accurate but my Ruger MKII is more accurate.

That said the 617 is a great gun.
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Old 05-13-2009, 02:43 PM
huntndog
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Like most things, it's all about it's intended purpose. For yours, both would suffice nicely. But try to expand on your intended usage...
For example, if you:

- Intend it to be a 'range-only' gun, are easy on your equipment and love to shoot teeny-weeny groups on paper: 41.
- Have, or plan to get a 1911 and want a similar feel: 41.

- Want to occasionally toss it in a holster, and take it afield for some hunting or plinking fun and not stress about scratches and holster wear: 617
- Have, or plan to get a centerfire revolver (e.g. 686) and want a similar feel: 617.

Consider the maintenance and durability of both. SS is much easier to maintain than blued steel. Yes, SS will eventually rust, but it's far more
resistant than blued steel. Scratches? Buff them out with SS. Blued steel? Don't scratch it, or learn to get over it. If you're the type that's hard
on your equipment, yet lose sleep about keeping it in pristine condition (like me), go SS.

Example: I like to shoot small groups too. I happen to prefer the look of a blued steel revolver, so I searched for and found a mint, Model 17 K-22 Masterpiece.
I have fun shooting it at the range, but I can also get bored pretty quick there, depending on the crowd, or when the guy next to me is shooting a .44 magnum,
or when the range officer is incessantly barking out orders over the loudspeaker. I shoot for relaxation, as well as fun, and I've learned I much prefer the solitude
of backwoods hiking & plinking. Problem was, I stressed about 'holster wear' on my beloved blued steel (even though I know there's no shame in honest wear...).
So I picked up a 617 and it meets all my needs with aplomb. I still want a 41, but when I get serious, I'll search for a used one that already has some wear on it...
That way I can have my fun and still sleep like a baby all night long!

Good Luck!

Last edited by huntndog; 05-13-2009 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 05-13-2009, 04:33 PM
zoned
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recumbent View Post
... the 617 10 shot has 10 different chambers that rotate and have to line up, and a semi auto only 1 chamber that is fixed....

That is the primary reason why semi-autos tend to be more accurate. I've owned revolvers which consistently shot two or three distinct groups with each loading because the chamber diameters varied. But, I've never owned a Smith with that problem. Even their hand-fit, pre-CNC revolvers are excellent.

If you shoot offhand, the 41 will feel comfortable and have a very natural hold. The 617 [any revolver] will take longer to get used to because of the ergonomic compromises necessary between grip and hammer. Revolvers also have a slower lock time, so your hold requires more attention.

If you shoot from a rest, the 41 will likely produce tighter groups. If offhand, well, few shooters practice enough to see a difference in group size between a semi-auto and revolver. If you don't strive to be a competitive shooter, then choose the firearm design that flips your switch. There is a special tactile feedback you can only get with the loading and firing of a revolver. Autos can become rather boring after the newness wears off.
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:51 PM
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Good advice here, zoned.
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:10 PM
Clem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoned View Post
That is the primary reason why semi-autos tend to be more accurate. I've owned revolvers which consistently shot two or three distinct groups with each loading because the chamber diameters varied. But, I've never owned a Smith with that problem. Even their hand-fit, pre-CNC revolvers are excellent.

If you shoot offhand, the 41 will feel comfortable and have a very natural hold. The 617 [any revolver] will take longer to get used to because of the ergonomic compromises necessary between grip and hammer. Revolvers also have a slower lock time, so your hold requires more attention.

If you shoot from a rest, the 41 will likely produce tighter groups. If offhand, well, few shooters practice enough to see a difference in group size between a semi-auto and revolver. If you don't strive to be a competitive shooter, then choose the firearm design that flips your switch. There is a special tactile feedback you can only get with the loading and firing of a revolver. Autos can become rather boring after the newness wears off.
Gil Hebard did a test many years ago with contemporary .22 auto target pistols, as well as the Model 17. The best autos, like the High Standard models, custom Rugers and S&W Model 41, were all more accurate than the Model 17. While the 41 is more accurate with the best target ammo, the 17 was still very good. It will also handle a wider range of ammo successfully than the 41.

I waited to get a 10 shot 617 until S&W had completed their transition to CNC machinery. CNC is capable of producing “perfect” cylinders all day long.

While I love the rich look of blued guns, like my Model 17, 27-2, 41, et.al., I consider the blued finish more delicate than my stainless guns. I tend to only shoot my blued guns occasionally, while I shoot my stainless guns constantly.
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Old 05-13-2009, 10:02 PM
white house
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Whether you shoot paper, plink, or hunt the 41 will be more satisfying in accuracy.
The auto action and trigger allow you a more precise first, second, third shot without moving your shooting hand to either cock the trigger or DA fire.
Sure the 41 is a target handgun but it is also very fabulous in the field as well. It is also VERY EASY to disassemble and clean in seconds.
Not so the revolver.
Up to around 25 yards the SA action in the 17 or 617 is very comparable to the accuracy of a 41. Beyond 30 or so yards the 41 will edge out the revolver.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:31 PM
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It all depends on what you want to use them for. For all around shooting get the 617. For target work get the 41.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:33 PM
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Consider double action too

Another thing to consider is shooting a revolver in double action. Shooting it in single action is very similar to shooting an auto (once cocked).

Shooting in double action is a whole different game. I prefer to shoot my revolvers in DA because its more of a challenge, and to me, more fun.

I don't have a 41 (another member here recently edged me out on one at our local store ) but will some day. I have a 617 and an original 17, and both are superb guns.
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:59 AM
Stainz
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I'll second Zoned's remark re semi-auto's and the newness wearing off. I owned an accurate/decent triggered Ruger KMK-678GC Govt Comp MKII for ten years. My interest peaked when it was new, when I put a scope on it, when I replaced the scope with HiViz sights, etc. Most of the time, it stayed home when I went to the range. Everone liked it at the range, however. Great 'on paper' - horrid plinker - too much trouble. My last evil-bottom-feeder.

I am a revolver guy... and loved shooting the 'old' 17's that friends had - K-22's, too. Fun six shooters. I love SS - blued guns get scratched from my stare... and they start out corroded. A 617 was just too much money - for 'just' a .22. Heck, my new 6" 629 from a couple of summers previous was a lot cheaper than the 4" 617 I bought new last autumn. It sealed the fate of my MKII - it was sold and gone in days. The 4" 617 is the rimfire handgun for me. A plinker... a plinker that shoots anything and everything - and, if you do your part, both in holding/shooting and springing for decent ammo, it will group well enough for me. I have already shot my 617 more than I did that MKII in it's last nine years - soon to pass it's lifetime here!

A ten shot 4" 617 is perfection in a hand held rimfire - to me.

Stainz
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:00 PM
Bayview
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Thanks

I appreciate all your good comments on the 41 VS the 617. Comes down to how you intend to use it. So I'm pretty much decided on the 41. Now the big question is ... looking for a 41, am I better buying a new with guarantees (and no wear) or shopping for a used gun. There doesn't seem to be much price differential. But where can you get "the best gun"?
Thanks from a future 41 ower.
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:06 PM
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I own 2 mod 41's and 6 S&W .22lr K-frames and the mod 41's out shoot them all.
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Old 05-14-2009, 09:00 PM
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model 41

I found a LNIB model 41 shot very little manufactured in 1997. Shot it for the first time a few weeks ago and what a difference it is over any other gun I have shot. Oh and the price $640. This has been my lucky month as I also found a Ruger MKII slab side gov't competition target LNIB for $400. I love shooting .22's.
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:04 PM
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617 vs. 41

Ditto on what Microgunner said. I've got a bunch of S&W .22 revolvers including a 617 but in my opinion the Colt revolvers are smoother and more accurate. However, I have 3 Model 41 S&W. Nuff said. For a good price look at www.ktp.com. I got two of mine from him.

Wayne38
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