The 617 is in a different league than the SP-101.
It's a descendant of one of the finest target revolvers of all time, the model K-22 (later called the model 17).
In S&W speak 6 indicates stainless steel...
The 617 I used to own was one of the most accurate guns I've ever owned.
They are available in 6 and 10 shot configurations.
They are a good bit more expensive than either of the Rugers.
The basic ergonomics of the 617 are very good being that it's a mid size frame.
The K and L frame S&W's seem to fit most peoples hands very well.
The only drawback IMO, is that they used to (may still, but probably not) ship with those Houge rubber grips that may or may not fit your hand. There are a ton of aftermarket and stock S&W grips available to correct this.
The rubbers that the newer S&W's have been shipping are with a big improvement IMO.
SUPERB .22 double action.
EDIT TO ADD: looks like the new ones ARE shipping with the much improved (IMO) S&W rubber grips.
Figure on $750+ for a new one. Possibly a more for a used pre-lock version.
Last edited by savit260; January 26, 2013 at 04:48 PM.