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Old v. New S&W Revolvers

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Post by sjs Sat 8 May - 16:00

I am looking for either a S&W 14 or 17 for bullseye shooting.  In Smith and Wesson circles there is a general belief that the older models are better built than the more recent or current models, with pinned barrels being one of the sought after features.  But those folks are speaking about a host of characteristics, not just accuracy.

I know every firearm is a law unto itself and general rules don't always apply.  However, does anyone have a general belief that my chances of finding an accurate specimen might be better with an older version of either model; say a dash 4 or earlier?

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Post by james r chapman Sat 8 May - 16:28

14-7 or earlier.

Choices of full underlug, frame mounted firing pin.
Most shoot excellently
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Post by LenV Sat 8 May - 19:46

My 14-8 won the accuracy  lottery. lost in trigger category. The new ones  are luck of the draw .
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Post by mustachio Sun 9 May - 7:48

I shoot my 586 for bullseye and it has served me well.  It is 36 years old and looks brand new.

Here it is with the original Coke grips and then with finger grips from the Philippines, $28.00 delivered.
The trigger breaks at a clean and crisp 2# and the double action is smooth. I have a set of Herrett's target grips but today, I shoot bullseye with it mostly in DA with the finger groove grips. Sorry, can't cock it as quickly as I did 36 years ago. 

Old v. New S&W Revolvers In40Pci
Old v. New S&W Revolvers 4bdVFPz


Last edited by mustachio on Sun 9 May - 7:53; edited 1 time in total
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Post by James Hensler Sun 9 May - 7:51

Old v. New S&W Revolvers 31926c10Model 14-5 for me!
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Post by james r chapman Sun 9 May - 8:03

Old v. New S&W Revolvers Ba064e10

Unfortunately not DR legal. (Ft sight/rear sight)
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Post by sjs Sun 9 May - 8:19

I am starting to see a slight preference for the full underlug.

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Post by Mike_Anderson Sun 9 May - 9:35

First of all shooting bullseye with a revolver is really fun. You will enjoy it.
Our club branched out into a revolver league about 15 years ago. Since I already collected Smith & Wessons, I started looking for a couple to use for bullseye shooting. Any model 14 I tried of any dash variation shot very well with the right handloaded ammunition. I settled on a 14-2 that I really like.
Model 17s were a different story. I found they were VERY picky on ammo with some of my different dash variations not shooting well at all. I'm talking bench rest, with a dot scope, at 50 feet. I finally ended up with a model 617 that shot Eley and RWS inside the 10 ring all day long but it would shoot Wolf (SK Jag) out into the 8 ring. I use that very same Wolf in my Hamerlli 208 and it shoots almost same hole...go figure! Maybe it was the lot number of CCI that I had but it didn't shoot well in any revolver I tried.
A model 14 full lug would be a very good choice but they are hard to find and VERY expensive when you do find one.
A really accurate model 17 will be hard to find unless you can test every one out with a variety of ammo.
Just my 2 cents worth.
Good luck and good shooting;
Mike

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Post by Rick H. Sun 9 May - 9:40

Just because you may see a "preference" appear on the horizon doesn't necessarily mean it should be the chosen one for you.  You need to look at what works for you and NOT someone else.  Many commercial ranges have pistols you can rent and shoot.  Try revolvers with and without a full underlug and see which one you like best.  Some like the additional weight of an underlug and some do not.  At one time I preferred a full lug 586, but now I like lighter revolvers without anything but a shroud around the ejector rod, but that's me.  You may like the added weight of a full lug.  And never take what is said on the internet as gospel.  Your own experience is what counts.

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Post by oldsalt444 Sun 9 May - 12:49

I'm a believer in the older S&W models - anything pre 1980s.  Excellent triggers and dead nuts accurate.  My revolvers are from the 1950s, (K22 & K38 target and M25 no dash).  For me, full under-lugs add too much weight.  As said previously, new models tend to have not so great triggers and will need work.  Why not spend the same money on an early model and you're one and done?
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Post by James Hensler Sun 9 May - 14:04

I am going to play with a model 16 sometime when I get everything done to it. Having a 327, 38 Spl cylinders made for it
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Post by messenger Sun 9 May - 16:37

Mike_Anderson wrote:
Model 17s were a different story. I found they were VERY picky on ammo with some of my different dash variations not shooting well at all. I'm talking bench rest, with a dot scope, at 50 feet. I finally ended up with a model 617 that shot Eley and RWS inside the 10 ring all day long but it would shoot Wolf (SK Jag) out into the 8 ring. I use that very same Wolf in my Hamerlli 208 and it shoots almost same hole...go figure! Maybe it was the lot number of CCI that I had but it didn't shoot well in any revolver I tried.

A really accurate model 17 will be hard to find unless you can test every one out with a variety of ammo.

Mike

That's good to know. I bought a full underlug 17 a few years ago and was real disappointed in the accuracy. I think I shot CCI in it. I figured it was a bad one. Been sitting in the safe for years. I will experiment with different ammo.

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Post by james r chapman Sun 9 May - 17:08

Also check the gap all around. Had one had to be moved back a turn.
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Post by Jack H Sun 9 May - 21:33

Here's old. Almost 100.   Silky smooth trigger
38S&W Regulation Police

Old v. New S&W Revolvers IMG-0459

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Post by orpheoet Mon 10 May - 13:06

14-1
Old v. New S&W Revolvers 658bea10
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Post by sjs Mon 10 May - 13:19

That is a good looking revolver.

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Post by James Hensler Mon 10 May - 16:37

David I had a nice 14-1 but like a dumbass I sold it a couple of years ago
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Post by Jack H Mon 10 May - 19:14

Real nice 14-1 and 14-2.  14-1 scored in the 280s one time.  It was feeling good that day.
Old v. New S&W Revolvers SW-38-REV-2
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Post by troystaten Wed 12 May - 2:42

I have a 17-4 that has had a trigger and action job done on it over 30 years ago and have put around 10k rounds through it and it is still an X ring gun at 25 yards.  I don't shoot it that well anymore but a nicely tuned 17 is a nice revolver.

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