6 Most Common Problems with Smith and Wesson 617

The .22 LR-chambered Smith & Wesson 617 revolver is an upgraded version of the discontinued model 17. It is based on the K-frame and is available in both 4-inch and 6-inch variants.

Failure to fire, timing problems, jammed hammer, jammed trigger and cylinder, canted barrel, and broken frame are among the most prevalent issues with the Smith & Wesson 617.

This article contains the answers to these issues. Additionally, the current user experiences with this revolver have been shared. In addition, the best alternatives to this revolver are covered in the article. Read the complete article to learn about the Smith & Wesson 617 problems and their solutions.

Features & Specifications of Smith and Wesson 617:

  • Grip                                : Synthetic
  • Product weight              : 39 ounces
  • Product length               : 9.13 inches
  • Capacity                         : 10 rounds
  • Cylinder Material           : Stainless Steel                 
  • Barrel length                  : 4 and 6inches                  
  • Barrel Material               : Stainless Steel
Common Smith and Wesson 617 Problems and Solutions
Smith and Wesson 617

Common Smith and Wesson 617 Problems and Solutions

Failure to FireChange the ammo. Replace the leaf spring.
Timing ProblemCall Smith& Wesson.
Locked Hammer ProblemChange the ammo. Call Smith& Wesson.
Locked Trigger and Cylinder ProblemTroubleshoot.
Canted BarrelCall Smith& Wesson.
Broken FrameCall Smith& Wesson.

1. Failure to Fire

The Smith & Wesson 617 revolver has an issue with failure to fire about three or four times per cylinder on average (out of ten rounds). It is a widespread issue with this revolver.

Possible causes include the use of ammunition that is incompatible with the revolver. The other possibility may be that the revolver’s firing pin is malfunctioning.

The Fix:

To fix the problem, change the ammunition you are using. In particular, people have complained about this problem while using the Remington Golden Bullet.

Federal and Winchester are the best ammunition options for preventing failure to fire.

If the problem persists after changing the ammunition, you should replace the leaf spring. By replacing the leaf spring, the power and force of the spring will increase, allowing the hammer to strike with greater force.

Check the revolver’s leaf spring strain screw. If the strain screw is loosened, the firing pin may strike lightly as a result.

2. Timing Problem

Many users of the S&W 617 revolver have encountered timing problems. It is another common problem with the revolver that many people have complained about.

You can check the timing problem by checking the lead build-up in the forcing cone.

Also, if you slowly pull the hammer back, the cylinder latch locks it into place before the hammer is completely back. You can check in this way.

The Fix: 

To fix the problem, call Smith & Wesson. They will troubleshoot the problem.

3. Locked Hammer Problem

The S&W 617 revolver has a common problem with the hammer becoming jammed. There have been numerous complaints about the issue.

In particular, when using certain ammo, such as Remington and CCI ammo, the revolver’s hammer locks.

It may be due to the bulging of the ammunition after it has been fired. The bulging of the ammunition locks the cylinder closed immediately.

The Fix:

To fix the problem, change your ammunition. If the problem still continues, call Smith & Wesson. They will troubleshoot the problem.

4. Locked Trigger and Cylinder Problem

Many users have encountered trigger problems with these 617 revolvers by Smith & Wesson.

The revolver works perfectly in single-action mode, but in double-action mode, it frequently locks up, rendering the trigger useless.

When using rapid fire, the situation gets worse. The cylinder does not move in such a way that the trigger appears to be jammed.

The possible reason may be that dirt may accumulate rapidly under a .22 extractor. If there is dirt underneath that, the cylinder will hang.

The Fix:

To resolve the problem, check the ejector rod’s tightness.

Then, using a toothbrush, remove the dirt from under the extractor at the rear of the cylinder.

Note: Since oil accumulates dirt, you should not put any oil on a.22 LR revolver, with the possible exception of one drop down the face of the hammer.

5. Canted Barrel

Many users have complained about the canted barrel on their S&W 617 revolver. This indicates that the barrel of their 617 revolvers is slightly over-torqued on one side.

Though this canted barrel is a minor issue, it is undoubtedly the result of quality control issues from Smith & Wesson.

The Fix:

The only possible solution to the problem is to contact Smith & Wesson directly. They will troubleshoot the problem.

6. Broken Frame

Many users have encountered a broken frame issue with the S&W 617 revolver. It results in a lead or burnt powder build-up in the forcing cone.

This may result from the misalignment of the barrel of the revolver. Also, it may occur due to the timing problem of the revolver.

The Fix: 

To resolve the issue, call Smith & Wesson. They will replace the damaged frame of your revolver if it is possible to replace it.

User Feedback on Smith and Wesson 617

As with many great revolvers, the 617 is capable of much more than a single action. Smith & Wesson’s K-frame triggers are also renowned for their flawless double actions, and the 617 is no exception.

However, some customers have had negative experiences with this weapon. Failure to fire (click but no bang), bullet fragments ejecting from the revolver’s sides, and heavy leading every 20 shots are frequent issues with 617.

The cylinder is extremely difficult to open and seal, and numerous customers have encountered trigger-related issues. The trigger frequently “locks up” and is difficult to pull.

It is somewhat pricey for most individuals, but reportedly a worthwhile purchase, according to customer reviews.

Although the 617 revolvers have flaws, they are generally reliable and easy to use, with specific ammunition, and have a solid warranty.

Top 3 Alternative Revolvers of Smith and Wesson 617

Few other revolvers on the market are as good as the Smith & Wesson 617. These are the three best alternatives to the Smith & Wesson 617:

Ruger GP100 Revolver 22LR

The Ruger GP100 is a 357 MAG, 5.5-inch stainless revolver with five to ten rounds. The Ruger GP100 revolver is easy to handle and comfortable to use. 

The 617 had a hefty, gritty trigger, but Ruger has better customer service and is more well regarded than S&W.

S&W 17-3

The six-round, double-action Smith & Wesson Model 17 revolver is chambered for.22 LR ammunition. It is based on the medium-sized Smith & Wesson K-frame.

Both the S&W 17 and the S&W 617 are based on the Smith & Wesson K-frame medium-sized revolver. Moreover, both revolvers use 22 LR ammo. The S&W 17 revolver is an excellent alternative to the S&W 617 revolver.


Rock Island Armory (RIA) has a stellar reputation for producing reliable, time-honored revolvers.

Compared to the S&W 617, the RIA AL22 is more affordable and thus more desirable. When comparing these two models, the S&W’s older design and distinct grip make it the less preferable option.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much is a Smith & Wesson 617 revolver?

A Smith & Wesson 617 revolver is $879.99.

Which model does the Smith & Wesson Model 617 revolver resemble?

The Smith & Wesson model 617 revolver in.22 LR caliber is based on the no longer manufactured model 17.

How much ammunition can Smith & Wesson 617 revolver hold?

A Smith & Wesson model 617 revolver cylinder can store ten bullets.

What is Smith and Wesson’s most popular revolver?

The Smith & Wesson 686 .357 Magnum is regarded as one of the finest examples of the “L frame” style of revolver.


The learning outcome of the article is to find out the causes of the Smith & Wesson 617 problems. Additionally, you will be able to resolve the problem with the 617 revolvers.

To sum it up, the 617 revolvers can fire in both double and single action. The 617 continues to do an outstanding job for its customers, although this revolver has a few flaws in its functionality. This revolver is worth considering if you need a.22 LR revolver.

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