S&W model 617

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Been reading up on the 617. Mostly older posts. Did Smith & Wesson ever work out the bugs with the cylinder or trigger locking up?


Senior Member
Sold my 617 6" still NIB unfired over 10 years ago. Now I have a 6" Model 17 blued gun.

Buddy has a 617 10 shot and loves it; they make 10 shot speedloaders for them now and I have to assume that they are mechanically solid.

I suspect some of the early 10 shot versions may have needed some timing TLC but once they got the tuning down later 'dash' versions should be fine.

I think a lot of the 'lockup in DA' issues are actually binding due to powder residue getting trapped under the star extractor during ejection. This can occur on any DA revolver but the rimfire ammo is so much worse in terms of unburned powder / residue etc. And of course a 10 shot dumps 67% more out each time vs a 6 shot so it builds up quick.

When you eject your empties give a quick blow across the top of the extended star extractor; keep a small toothbrush or ladies' makeup brush handy to clean off this surface periodically. Don't forget to clean the bottom recess of the cylinder while the extractor is extended, residue will stick to any oil in there as well.

I shoot revolvers in PPC and the very light target loads leave a lot of empty case capacity which worsens complete powder burn, this symptom is common. I switched from 231 to WST powders for a cleaner burn and no more binding. If you doubt this just try sprinkling a few grains of powder on top of the star extractor, see how it binds right up.