Just for fun...317 in 3" or 2.5" model 642 [Archive] - Glock Talk

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seamaster
08-28-2010, 19:43
Once again I reached the point were I'm bored with the guns I have so it's time to get a new one! My purpose is mostly for fun on the range but like every gun it's there for SD in case it's needed.

So, I owned a 642 but sold it about a year ago when someone made me an offer I couldn't refuse...Yes I regret it!

Now I'm thinking of getting another light weight J-frame but I'm open to the 22 lr model 317 in either snub nose or the 3" kit gun version and I also think the new 2.5" 642 is interesting.

Who has shot the 317 in different barrel lengths and has anyone shot the new 2.5" model 642? I could use your advice & wisdom to help me choose.

Thanks,
Seamaster

DJ Niner
08-28-2010, 21:41
I have no experience with the 642, but I have owned and shot both the 2" and 3" S&W 317s. The 2" is a better choice for the person who owns a similar .38 for defensive purposes and wants a sub-caliber trainer or practice gun; with its short sight radius, fixed sights, and light-colored front/rear sights, consistent accuracy on anything but large targets is difficult to achieve. After I shot my 2" 317 a bit and discovered it wouldn't shoot exactly to point-of-aim at 10 yards with any .22 ammo I could find, I sold it. It simply could not fill the role of pocket plinker/hiking weapon that I was looking for.

I found a lightly used 3" 317 a short time later, and the difference was night and day. Nice crisp black sights, adjustable to get any ammo right on the point-of-aim, and a bit longer sight radius without making the gun too unwieldy. The lack of weight of either model makes shooting them really well a challenge (these aren't target guns), but for informal plinking, close range varminting or small game hunting, and trail-gun use, the 3" is head and shoulders a better choice. I still have my 3" 317, and although I don't use it very much, the niche it fills is unique and I simply can't part with it.

It's also cool to hand it to someone just to watch the expression on their face. "It's so LIGHT!" "Is this a real gun?", etc. :supergrin:

http://img208.imageshack.us/img208/3310/sw317webcq8.jpg

http://img709.imageshack.us/img709/8994/sw317wcciammo.jpg

http://img409.imageshack.us/img409/3433/317loadertm9.jpg

seamaster
08-28-2010, 21:58
Thanks for sharing your experiences with both guns. That narrows it down to the 3" model 317 and 2.5" model 642.

The shooting I normally do is more like plinking. The 317 is tempting because 22 lr is so much cheaper than 38 sp but the difference in the price of the guns is something to think about.

More help needed!

Thanks,
Seamaster

Berto
08-29-2010, 13:46
DJ's 3" 317 would be my choice for an all around shooter. I've always had reservations about the alum cylinder, but I guess they work fine in the rimfire.
The new 2.5" J frames intrigue me as well, but for range/plinkers, they aren't especially fun to shoot.

seamaster
08-29-2010, 16:14
DJ's 3" 317 would be my choice for an all around shooter. I've always had reservations about the alum cylinder, but I guess they work fine in the rimfire.
The new 2.5" J frames intrigue me as well, but for range/plinkers, they aren't especially fun to shoot.

I think the 317 kit gun would be perfect but I'm uneasy about the negative comments I'm finding on various forums. I've read reports about binding cylinders and timing being off, even after repeated trips to S&W repair dept. That would really piss me off considering it's a relatively expensive little gun.

Anybody have problems with the 317 kit guns?

Thanks,
Seamaster

DJ Niner
08-29-2010, 22:01
Never had any problems with the timing on mine, but the first one didn't really get shot all that much before it went down the road. I do know some really high-volume rimfire shooters, and I suppose if you pounded a bunch of ammo through one on a regular basis it might well get out of time; most revolvers do, eventually, in any caliber. The 3" seen above has probably fired between 3000 and 4000 rounds now, and is showing no signs of timing issues of any type. Much of that is double-action, as I normally shot DA revolvers in that mode.

The cylinder binding complaints could easily be caused by unburned powder granules or other crud getting caught under the extractor star, which prevents it from seating back into the cylinder recess fully, making the cylinder "too long" to close and/or rotate normally. Sometimes the cylinder will bind completely as soon as it is closed; other times, it will bind only on one side, as the fouled part of the star comes around during rotation. This used to be a well-understood potential problem with ANY revolver back in the good old days, and folks just watched out for it and ran a toothbrush/rag under the star every now and then, or whenever the problem cropped up. Nowadays, I think most newer shooters are started out with .22 autoloaders (first rifles, then handguns), and the old "common revolver knowledge" is getting less common. This could explain why S&W returned some guns as serviceable, but the owners suffered a return of the problem when they tried to shoot them again.

Maybe we need some revolver public service announcements from us old PPC shooters every now and then? :supergrin:

Berto
08-29-2010, 23:15
Lol, true.
S&W and Ruger generally don't see much issue with timing unless really high mileage is involved or heavy DA use with some guns (like the .357 N frames).
Binding can be an issue with any revolver as Niner covered, perhaps a little more so with rimfires as they can trap crud in the diminutive recessed chambers and under the star as was mentioned.
Both my J frame Kit Gun and the Taurus 94 will show some stickiness with ejection/chambering around 100 rounds, aside from that, they run like butta.