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I'm going to say questionable quality. I purchased a new 6" 617 early this year. My wife and I put around 500 rounds through it. I thought it was shooting well. Seemed accurate to me (but that is based on my limited skill sets). I decided to have a fiber optic front sight installed to be able to see it better. The shop I bought it from has an in house gunsmith. They had the gun a couple of days and the gunsmith called saying the cylinder was off axis. Gently asked me if I slammed the cylinder shut or mishandled the gun. Told him no, that was careful when closing it. He said he had seen several of the newer Smiths with problems. They sent the gun back to S&W under warranty. It came back last week, but they still have it at the shop for the front sight install. So I don't know if it shoots better. Obviously, I did not notice any problems with the gun. The last time I shot it was with CCI SV so just lead projectiles and there was leading around the forcing cone. Never had any misfires. Trigger is smooth. Gunsmith even commented that the trigger was nice and no need to do any tuning. So, if you do look at one, make sure there is no wobble in the cylinder. I don't know at this point if the crane was slight off or if the stack up tolerances of the cylinder, shaft, etc just hit the sweet spot of being at the worst end on every part so it allowed wobble. Just thankful for a good gunsmith and LGS.
 

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My 617 and 648 are fine, but they were purchased a few years back. However, I recently bought a 686 and a 629 and both have had to go back. The 629 had a burr on the hammer large enough that the sear would catch it and then randomly slip past it and the sear without pulling the trigger when cocked single action. Very dangerous. It came back with a very nice trigger pull. The repair notes say they replaced the hammer and lightened the trigger pull. The 686 cylinder gap measured 0.004" on one side and 0.008" on the other. I suspect as was the case with your revolver that the cylinder is off axis. It is still at the mothership. I'm sure it will be just fine when it comes back, but quality sure seems to be slipping in Springfield.
 

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I’ve had two 617s. Both did have a little light strike problem. Upon inspecting running gears they were bone dry. Lubed with Break Free and that took care of light strikes as major problem. I’m big on S&W m17s. I’m not a stainless fan. The old blue guns seem much slicker.
I had a M63 that was NIB. I shot it one summer as creek carry, maybe 500rds most. Had no problems with it, very accurate and smooth operating. I traded it to a guy who couldn’t say enough about what a fantastic shooter it was. About 18months later he was causing me all kinds of grief. Accusing me of giving him a junk gun. He wanted me to pay a bill at gunsmith for $200+. He claimed smith told him it was out of speck. Finally got shut of that jerk. I found out why gun was having problems. S&Ws have tight chambers. They are known to be sticky on extraction when dirty, in rim fire models. This goober was smacking the extractor rod down on edge of bench. This bent or warped yoke. Some have their cylinders reamed for easier extraction. I would rather just keep mine clean. If target shooting running a brush through isnt much bother to overcome hard extraction.
 

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I’ve had two 617s. Both did have a little light strike problem. Upon inspecting running gears they were bone dry. Lubed with Break Free and that took care of light strikes as major problem. I’m big on S&W m17s. I’m not a stainless fan. The old blue guns seem much slicker.
I had a M63 that was NIB. I shot it one summer as creek carry, maybe 500rds most. Had no problems with it, very accurate and smooth operating. I traded it to a guy who couldn’t say enough about what a fantastic shooter it was. About 18months later he was causing me all kinds of grief. Accusing me of giving him a junk gun. He wanted me to pay a bill at gunsmith for $200+. He claimed smith told him it was out of speck. Finally got shut of that jerk. I found out why gun was having problems. S&Ws have tight chambers. They are known to be sticky on extraction when dirty, in rim fire models. This goober was smacking the extractor rod down on edge of bench. This bent or warped yoke. Some have their cylinders reamed for easier extraction. I would rather just keep mine clean. If target shooting running a brush through isnt much bother to overcome hard extraction.
A year and a half later, as if it was up to you to guarantee it? You did the right thing to shut him down. The guy was probably using cheap waxy ammo or using shorts without cleaning it for future use of long rifles...perhaps never cleaning it.
Most rimfire guns have an ammo preference.
 

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My 617 4" was a scattergun from the start, terrible accuracy and spitting. The culprit was a poorly done forcing cone. Instead of handing it over to S&W I opted to fix it myself, having found a used Brownell's forcing cone cutter kit on our Trading Post. It turned out well and now it's a tack driver and no spitting whatsoever. A few pics of before and after below.
Before:
Automotive tire Rim Automotive wheel system Gas Font

It's was actually worse than it looks, owing to all the lead buildup shown in the pic.
And after:
Bicycle part Rim Automotive exterior Gas Bumper
 

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I looked at several examples before buying my 617-6 with a 6” barrel. Forcing cone was ok, timing perfect, chambers good, cylinder throats good, bore good. I’ve never had a misfire with any ammo, everything I’ve put through it went bang on the first try. The barrel is clocked correctly, single action trigger is good, crisp about 3 lbs.

My biggest issue is the overall weight, 44 ounces is way too much for me and of course very muzzle heavy. It is very accurate. It has a lot of appeal but I would prefer the no lug barrel configuration.
 

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S&W quality has been spotty at best lately other than the plastic ones. Last couple months have had to send back a 340PD, 686 plus, and a Model 41 from the shop I work at. The 41 is on its second time back and got a notification from S&W it is being destroyed and a different one being sent to replace it. Not just S&W though. QC issues with Ruger and Colt (when we still got Colt handguns regularly)
 

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Keep looking for a 617-6 in the 6” barrel. When you find a good one you’ll be very pleased with it. I have no regrets, its a great range and would be an equally good small game revolver. The guys at the local range always walk over to see what’s putting those small groups in the target. The 6” sight radius is a lot easier for me to shoot accurately.
 

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I picked this 4 inch 617-6 up a few months ago and was very pleased with the way it shoots. No problems to talk about and it fired CCI Mini Mags without skipping a beat.

Extraction problems happen with some ammo so I started testing a few brands and found that Remington Bucket Of Bullets and Federal BYOBs work best. They drop out after firing with very little effort. Mini Mags shoot great but after 5 reloads I have to clean the cylinders. Normal Tac 22s also group well but need cleaning after 5 cylinders full.
 

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View attachment 345155

I picked this 4 inch 617-6 up a few months ago and was very pleased with the way it shoots. No problems to talk about and it fired CCI Mini Mags without skipping a beat.

Extraction problems happen with some ammo so I started testing a few brands and found that Remington Bucket Of Bullets and Federal BYOBs work best. They drop out after firing with very little effort. Mini Mags shoot great but after 5 reloads I have to clean the cylinders. Normal Tac 22s also group well but need cleaning after 5 cylinders full.
I haven’t seen a 4“ in stock locally for a couple of years. My 6” hasn’t had a single misfire with any ammo from the bulk stuff to the higher end, I haven‘t noticed any extraction issues, the forcing cone could be smoother.

As nice as it is, I’m having a hard time getting accustomed to the Colt, the S&W just feels better. I really wanted to like it….

I guess that’s a result of 52 years of S&W revolvers :cool:
 
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