Revolver Review: The Smith & Wesson Model 17 Masterpiece
The S&W Model 17 is a classic gun with a long history of legendary performance. The gun has gone by many names; the Outdoorsman, K-22, and Masterpiece (with Target, Combat and other variations), always delivering spot-on performance no matter the variation or the name. Originally introduced as the K-22 Outdoorsman in 1931 as a top-end rimfire handgun, the gun was quickly recognized as a superb specimen of its type.
After an approximately ten-year hiatus in production, S&W has now brought back the traditional six-shot, bright-blue, non-lug-barreled Model 17 as a part of the Classics line. In short, anyone with a taste for classic looks and spot-on performance will fall in love instantly with this revolver.
The Model 17 is based on Smith & Wesson’s iconic K-frame, weighing in at 40 ounces and sporting a 6-inch barrel. It’s a sturdy double-action revolver with classic Smith features that are represented with a deep blue finish. It looks at home next to larger caliber revolvers, making no compromise on features, function, build quality or aesthetics.
In terms of functionality, it’s a typical modern Smith & Wesson wheelgun fare. A release on the frame pushes forward to swing out the six-chambered cylinder. The barrel is free from an underlug, fluting or ejector rod housing, which cuts down weight.
The Model 17 is outfitted with a case-hardened steel trigger and hammer. The hammer is broad enough for your thumb and utilizes tactile checkering, making it easy to pull back with a single thumb. To top it all off, the Model 17 sports traditional adjustable sights, with a rear leaf sight.
The Model 17 is clearly a target revolver. For that purpose, it needs to be mechanically sound but problems in the inherent design are rarely found in modern S&W firearms, so their isn't anything to criticize.
Getting into the DA/SA aspects of the trigger, the DA trigger is heavy. It breaks at around ten pounds. While this may sound outrageous, DA rimfire revolvers often have heavy triggers. A lighter trigger on a rimfire gun is prone to failing to ignite the cartridge. For a double-action .22 LR revolver, a heavy trigger is a fact of life. Although the DA trigger is heavy, it pulls back stack-free and breaks crisply.
We do offer an action job for revolvers that may reduce this trigger heavy pull by as much as half while keeping the performance consistent.
Overall, the Model 17 presents the total package of a mechanically sound, visually attractive, high-performance revolver. Without a doubt, this model is our number one .22 LR revolver recommendation.
At Somarriba, Inc. we house an extensive collection of Smith & Wesson handguns including the famed Model 17!