View Full Version : More on S&W Model 17

September 25, 2000, 06:58 PM
I have a Model 17 made in 1960 that I picked up at a pawn shop. Looked to me like it had never been fired! If it had, only a few rounds were shot. Took it to the range and put 300+ rounds of PMC and Winchester .22 LR through it. During the shoot, I noticed the expended brass became harder and harder to extract indicating an expansion factor that was mostly an annoyance. After about the first 50 rounds, each cylinder load of expended brass had to be extracted by lightly tapping the extractor rod with the handled end of a screw driver whereupon the brass broke free and the extraction proceeded easily. Then it became apparent that the round seating in the recessed cylinder required a thumbnail "push" to clear the recoil plate when replacing the cylinder into the action.

After thorough cleaning upon my return home, I tried loading exercises and noticed the cylinder chambers were still quite tight fitting around the loaded ammo. Is there a problem with the cylinder or is modern .22 LR higher pressure or dimensionally fatter than the stuff made in 1960? My Marlin 39A from 1959 digests modern .22 LR ammo without a hitch. Any ideas? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Safe shooting - PKAY

September 25, 2000, 11:02 PM
The dirty shooting 22 is the problem. Clean the charge holes in the cylinder and you should notice a marked improvement. It may take some real scrubbing with a good brush but it is well worth it. The carbon building up is causing the shell to bind on insertion and extraction. Its not a real problem but it takes some effort to correct it.

Robert Foote
September 26, 2000, 12:05 AM
I have a M18 which is the same basic gun. I do not have much of a problem ejecting T22 ammo but it normally takes more effort than case ejection from the same gun in .38.357. My take on this is that it would be a function of how dirty the ammo is, how much case expansion it gives, and how rough the chambers might be. Normally this is not a problem with S&W but I had a M63 once that had very rough chambers and very difficult extraction. I got rid of it asap.

If you open the cylinder, transfer the gun to your left hand; hold the circumference of the cylinder with that same hand, keeping the muzzle vertical, and strike the ejector rod smartly with the palm of your right hand, you should have no problem with ejection. As long as you support the cylinder when you hit the rod you will not hurt the gun. Use only as much force as required and you will not hurt your palm either. Quickest and most positive way to clear any DA revolver, never fails.


September 26, 2000, 10:32 AM
Texaken and Robert - Thanks for the info. Even though I cleaned the cylinder charge holes, I probably didn't clean them well enough. After some good bore brushing and another cleaning, I'll report back. Thanks again for responding.

Safe shooting - PKAY

James K
September 26, 2000, 02:55 PM
Striking the new style S&W ejector rod with the palm of the hand can lead to partial stigmata if the cases are really stuck. Tapping on the edge of the bench is much less painful.


September 26, 2000, 04:36 PM
Interesting and helpful info. I also noticed this with the gun that I just bought. Now I feel better knowing that it is not a major problem.

October 9, 2000, 02:31 PM
Well, my son and daughter and I went to the range yesterday and fired the newly cleaned S&W Model 17. What a difference! Loading and extraction were flawless. Only after about 250 rounds or so did it begin to tighten up on extraction, but not so much that it couldn't be accomplished without help. Accuracy was excellent as well.

As recommended here, I thoroughly cleaned the charging holes in the cylinder with a bore brush and Hoppes No. 9 followed by a lot of patch work. I know one needs to take great care here, but the brushing was done by mounting it in a drill press on a very slow speed and running it through each charge hole of a hand held disassembled cylinder assembly 3-4 times; first from the cylinder face, then from the rear. At each change of charge hole, the brush was immersed in Hoppes. I don't think I'll have to go that far in this and upcoming cleanings.

Thanks for your replies and help.

Safe shooting - PKAY

4V50 Gary
October 9, 2000, 05:08 PM
The problem described above occurs with virtually any revolver when shot with ammo which burns dirty (please tell me which cheap ammo burns clean). Happily, the solution is simple enough. Bring a brush and run it through every now and then.

October 10, 2000, 02:09 PM
I picked up a 10 shot 617 a few months ago and ran into the same problem. I ended up keeping a nylon .22 cal brush handy and would run it throught the chambers when things started to get sticky. It works well and keeps you shooting.