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Old June 19, 2017, 02:35 AM   #1
AzShooter
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Finding the right ammo for my 617

Well, it looks like I'm going to be without my Ruger Mark IV for a little bit because of the recall. My gun doesn't show the effect of not putting on the safety all the way. I guess people that don't understand simple safety rules and need lawyers to make their guns function correctly.



In the interim I'll be shooting my S&W 617 for Steel Challenge Matches. I've had a lot of work done to it, tuning and setting it up with an Apex Hammer for a lighter trigger pull. It now sits at just over 7 lbs. I also had the chambers reamed so that ammo doesn't get stuck when reloading. When Apex starts accepting revolver work I'll send it to them for their magic. Glad that they are now only a few miles away.



My trigger is smooth but I've had a difficult time finding ammo that would be 100% reliable. Things that work perfect in my Mark IV only give me about 90 % reliability in the 617 so the hunt of testing ammo went on.



Fortunately I've now found two brands of ammo that work. They have 100 % ignition and are clean enough that I don't have to scrub the cylinders between each stage. Federal Gold Match HV and Federal AutoMatch fit the bill. I have lots of CCI Mini Mags that are great in the Ruger but don't all fire in the Smith. Wish they would have forked out. I have a case of them.
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Old June 19, 2017, 06:42 AM   #2
NoSecondBest
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You'll have better success with ignition using any ammo that's lubed like Eley, RWS, Wolf, Norma, etc. A big part of the ignition problem is the thicker/heavier lube used on most rimfire ammo. The cooler it gets the worse it is also. Even in warm weather it leaves a thicker residue in the chambers and that causes ignition problems along with the fact that some of it simply isn't truly seated all the way when first put in. If you don't believe this (I speak from a lot of experience) just get some and try it. FWIW, I recently started shooting some of the Norma-Tac std vel stuff just to try it out and it's amazingly accurate. It's been shooting better than my Eley out of my handguns and my CZ. I was pleasantly surprised by this and being on sale at Cabela's at forty bucks a brick instead of seventy bucks a brick didn't hurt either.
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Old June 19, 2017, 07:18 AM   #3
g.willikers
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Gotta' ask:
Why did you bother to send in (and do without) your most favorite steel challenge pistol if it didn't have the recall problem?
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Old June 19, 2017, 02:44 PM   #4
bassJAM1
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So it sounds like your 617 is having light primer strikes? Otherwise, I don't think I've ever had a CCI round not go off when I pull the trigger, even in my 10/22's which seem to have lighter firing pin strikes compared to my other rimfires.
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Old June 19, 2017, 03:56 PM   #5
AzShooter
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I sent it in just in case in the future I decide to give it to my son or granddaughter or sell it.
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Old June 19, 2017, 04:40 PM   #6
reddog81
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I like CCI Standard Velocity. If you're getting 10% failure rate with most brands of ammo I'd assume it is a gun problem. It might be as simple as a through cleaning or maybe a new mainspring or maybe your mainspring screw needs to be tightened down.
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Old June 19, 2017, 06:22 PM   #7
MrBorland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoSecondBest
You'll have better success with ignition using any ammo that's lubed like Eley, RWS, Wolf, Norma, etc. A big part of the ignition problem is the thicker/heavier lube used on most rimfire ammo. The cooler it gets the worse it is also. Even in warm weather it leaves a thicker residue in the chambers and that causes ignition problems along with the fact that some of it simply isn't truly seated all the way when first put in.
Very interesting. So, the thicker/heavier lube keeps the rounds from fully seating? Would a "check spin" of the loaded cylinder help ignition? I routinely check spin my 617's cylinder before shooting to prevent unseated rounds from affecting the action, but I'm wondering if this would help ignition reliability if it's needed.

In the FWIW category, a few years ago I used my bone-stock 617 in the East Coast Rimfire Steel Championship, and did very well with it, largely because its 100% dead-nuts reliability gave me a competitive advantage over the tricked out MkII/IIIs that kept puking and jamming throughout the match.
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Old June 19, 2017, 06:35 PM   #8
Buzzcook
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My 617 has about a 12pd pull. There are still plenty of times I have to give ammo a second chance. It happens about 3 or 4 times out of 100 and the second chance has always fired the round.

Most of the ammo I buy is bulk, whatever is on sale or in a coffee tin at a yard sale. When I do buy up scale ammo I use Federal just as you do and I can't remember a FTF.
So it looks like you've answered your own question.
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Old June 19, 2017, 06:58 PM   #9
DaleA
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Color me envious of your S&W 617. I've got a 10-shot model on my bucket list. IMhO it is one of those really fine guns you get and keep for a life time.

I'm pleased and a little surprised to hear the Federal ammo is working out for you. Federal is located in Anoka, MN not to far from where I live.

Folklore is the Federal Folk (many years ago) were upset that American Olympic shooters all used European .22 ammo and set to work to produce target .22 ammo as good as any in the world. The results were that some American Olympic shooters did switch and did win some medals. They don't dominate the field by any means, but they are competitive.

Good luck.
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Old June 19, 2017, 07:25 PM   #10
Jim Watson
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I'm surprised a 7 lb DA .22 will pop any brand reliably. Stock up.
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Old June 20, 2017, 11:58 AM   #11
Reloadron
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While I do not have a Model 617 I do have a few Model 17s. They not only shoot anything and everything but those two revolvers likely have the hardest primer strikes of any of my guns. Ammunition where I have light strikes like a Ruger 10-22 shoots fine in the Model 17s. Looking at spent cases there is no doubt they were hit and hit hard. You may want to mention it to S&W. For the most part they shoot well with the CCI Standard Velocity stuff but seem to ingest anything. You may want to have S&W give the revolver a looking at.

Ron
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Old June 20, 2017, 12:14 PM   #12
T. O'Heir
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7 pounds is too heavy, but changing the hammer will not fix the trigger pull. 617's have a reputation of not having ammo issues though.
http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/201...odel-617-22lr/
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Old June 20, 2017, 12:30 PM   #13
AzShooter
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Yes, just changing the hammer doesn't change the trigger pull it took a lot of stoning and different springs to get it that far.

I understand that with a gun tuned this way there would be some ammo that would not work.

The joy of having a competition gun is to make it fit your needs and then make it work 100 % which I did.

I'm just reporting on how lucky I am to have a winning 617.
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