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#17748392 10/29/22
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Does anyone use one of these? Is it a good field 22lr revolver with respect to asking price and maybe compared to the LCRX?

I'm just looking for a 22lr field revolver. I have an old H&R 929 in excellent condition, an old HI Standard Sentinel snubby revolver, and some others I plan on selling off and going to an better 22lr revolver. Is the s&w 317 the way to go?

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I just purchased one. Have a love/hate relationship with this model and owned 2 in the past. I love how light and small they are but hate I cannot shoot them well beyond 15 yards away. The lightweight and small size make it difficult for me to shoot as well as a 63 or 617.
But the 3 inch barrel, 12 ounce weight, and 8 shot capacity win out. Don't plan on selling this one as the main reason I purchased it was to carry in my jacket pocket for dog protection. Wife likes it because it is simple to operate and easy to carry.


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I bought one thinking it was the holy grail of grouse gun to take while elk hunting. It's super lightweight. And...well that's it. The sights suck. Why why why someone at SW thought a V-notch rear sight and fiber optic front sight were a good idea on a kit gun like this is beyond me. It's almost impossible to get a precision hold given the weird mating of sights. Worse, is the accuracy. At best, and I've tried at least 18 different types of .22 ammo, I'll get a golf ball size group at 9 yards. Most of the time it's a golf ball sized group and 2 fliers that bring it to 3". Groups are ALWAYS high, about 2" at 10 yards and almost 6" at 20 yards. There's no more room to adjust the sights down. Based on internet postings, it's a very common problem. The forcing cone looks really rough to me, and might be a contributing factor to the lack of accuracy. In concept, it's a great gun, in execution there is a lot to be desired.

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Originally Posted by Mountain10mm
I bought one thinking it was the holy grail of grouse gun to take while elk hunting. It's super lightweight. And...well that's it. The sights suck. Why why why someone at SW thought a V-notch rear sight and fiber optic front sight were a good idea on a kit gun like this is beyond me. It's almost impossible to get a precision hold given the weird mating of sights. Worse, is the accuracy. At best, and I've tried at least 18 different types of .22 ammo, I'll get a golf ball size group at 9 yards. Most of the time it's a golf ball sized group and 2 fliers that bring it to 3". Groups are ALWAYS high, about 2" at 10 yards and almost 6" at 20 yards. There's no more room to adjust the sights down. Based on internet postings, it's a very common problem. The forcing cone looks really rough to me, and might be a contributing factor to the lack of accuracy. In concept, it's a great gun, in execution there is a lot to be desired.

The early one I owned had a black ramp front and square rear notch. No lock. The cylinder face on mine scraped the barrel, sent it back and they must have polished the chambers too since it was much easier to eject all 8 empties. I couldn’t shoot it very well at all. I had a early 70’s Model 43 that was much easier to shoot. As much as I love j frame rimfires, I can’t shoot them as well as a K frame.

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Originally Posted by Mountain10mm
I bought one thinking it was the holy grail of grouse gun to take while elk hunting. It's super lightweight. And...well that's it. The sights suck. Why why why someone at SW thought a V-notch rear sight and fiber optic front sight were a good idea on a kit gun like this is beyond me. It's almost impossible to get a precision hold given the weird mating of sights. Worse, is the accuracy. At best, and I've tried at least 18 different types of .22 ammo, I'll get a golf ball size group at 9 yards. Most of the time it's a golf ball sized group and 2 fliers that bring it to 3". Groups are ALWAYS high, about 2" at 10 yards and almost 6" at 20 yards. There's no more room to adjust the sights down. Based on internet postings, it's a very common problem. The forcing cone looks really rough to me, and might be a contributing factor to the lack of accuracy. In concept, it's a great gun, in execution there is a lot to be desired.
I got one for my wife on the trapline, it's certainly not a grouse pooper for an animal in a trapper it's ok. I carry a 617 for the pot!


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I had one and wanted to like it, but it is just too light for me to shoot well.

The .22 and .22 MAG revolvers that I carry afield more often than any others are the stainless Rossi 518 and 515. If I'm going to carry a .22 afield, I'm much more likely to carry a S&W 2206 with a 4.5" barrel than any make/model of revolver. I've come to prefer the all-stainless 2206 to its alloy frame cousins, the 422 and 622, because I shoot the heavier 2206 better than the alloy frame guns.

I bought a 6" 6-shot 617 back in 2001, but have never cared for it, so it staying on a shelf gathering dust.

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Originally Posted by Mountain10mm
I bought one thinking it was the holy grail of grouse gun to take while elk hunting. It's super lightweight. And...well that's it. The sights suck. Why why why someone at SW thought a V-notch rear sight and fiber optic front sight were a good idea on a kit gun like this is beyond me. It's almost impossible to get a precision hold given the weird mating of sights. Worse, is the accuracy. At best, and I've tried at least 18 different types of .22 ammo, I'll get a golf ball size group at 9 yards. Most of the time it's a golf ball sized group and 2 fliers that bring it to 3". Groups are ALWAYS high, about 2" at 10 yards and almost 6" at 20 yards. There's no more room to adjust the sights down. Based on internet postings, it's a very common problem. The forcing cone looks really rough to me, and might be a contributing factor to the lack of accuracy. In concept, it's a great gun, in execution there is a lot to be desired.

I bought one several years ago and my experience was exactly the same. Those sights you mentioned REALLY sucked !!! Absolutely hated them. Whoever’s idea it was at S&W to put those sights on them needs their ass kicked.
And like you mentioned, none of the ammo I tried was accurate in mine.


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I have one that I got when they were first on the market. It’s got the “good” sights. I can agree with almost everything said above. I have a theory that the extremely light weight is a big factor in apparent lack of accuracy. When a bullet hits the rifling there’s very little mass to resist the torquing effect so the gun moves a lot, relative to others. I’ve found the best accuracy with the hyper velocity stuff: Stingers and Velocitors. Counterintuitive, I know, but that’s my experience.

I think I have related on here before the story of killing the world’s unluckiest turkey with mine. Short story shorter: 317/176 yards/ dead turkey



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I guess an alternative would be rather ugly Ruger LCRx .22lr. 🙈 I suppose you will have to roll the dice becoming Ruger's QC person? Do not worry, Ruger fans say the company has very good service department.👍

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I was hoping there was an decent 22lr revolver but I may have to just hang out with my old s&w 422 auto loader. The 617 looks nice but to heavy as is the sp101 22lr.

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From higher quality shelf pretty much all are heavy with steel frames: Colt, Ruger, S&W, Alfa Proj (sold by RIA), Taurus. Taurus used to make .22lr on UL frame, but I am not sure if they still do so?

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317 Airlite and Taurus 17C Ultra-lite 17 hmr .

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What kind of velocity do you get out of a snub nose 17 HMR?

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Looks like the s&w 63, ruger sp101, and the new colt 22lr are maybe the too choices.

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What sort of attributes are you looking for in a light .22 handgun that your S&W 422 doesn't already feature?

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Originally Posted by 260Remguy
What kind of velocity do you get out of a snub nose 17 HMR?


And what kind of noise?



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The early 3" 317 had conventional sights & is easier to shoot well over the V notch stuff IMO. Top left.

Reluctantly, I finally installed larger grips on my 63. They made the gun seem so much bigger, bulkier, but helped it shoot better...like a bigger gun, bottom left. Maybe bigger grips on the 317 might help.

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Originally Posted by 260Remguy
What sort of attributes are you looking for in a light .22 handgun that your S&W 422 doesn't already feature?
Good question. Maybe just something lighter and an revolver format instead of auto loader. To be quite truthful it may be fruitless and an wastebof money.

I am getting set up with with an Ruger 22lr LCR for carry. I will have an Sig P229, 22 LCR, and 357 revolver as my carry stuff the rest of the things are for grouse hunting and pure recreation.

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I used to carry a S&W 18, bought it in 1983, but switched to a 422 in 1986 or 1987 and then a 2206 in 2009. The 422 and 2206 carry flatter/closer than the 18. The only thing that I don't like about the 422 family is the location of the cocking indicator pin, as I have dented a couple of walnut stocks on those pins when I carried the pistol in a belt holster.

Good luck finding the .22 handgun that works well for you.

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I've carried a 317 for a few years now. I've owned an original Ruger Standard Auto w/ fixed sights, shot an older model Colt Woodsman, owned and used a new Woodsman Colt, and owned and hunted a 6 inch K-22, and a 5.5 inch Convertible Stainless Ruger.
The K-22 was the best field pistol. At 25 yds., it would put all six into 1.5 inches from a rest. Weight, trigger, and sight radius were probably why. And, of course, a very well made gun. The 317 will do the same groups with WW Power Points at 12 yds..... But it is so light, you can forget it's there. Mine shot high as well. The factory fixed it. E


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