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September 13th, 2021

Smith & Wesson Model 648 — Impressive .22 WMR Wheelgun

smith wesson S&W model 648 revolver wheelgun .22 WMR Winchester magnum rimfire 6

We love Smith & Wesson rimfire revolvers. We have put thousands of rounds through S&W Model 617 revolvers, with 4″ and 6″ barrels. These stainless .22 LR handguns are accurate, superbly reliable, and they hold their value. In general we’ve found that Smith & Wesson rimfire revolvers may be less fussy with ammo, and more trouble-free than typical semi-auto rimfires. Bottom line, we feel that everyone should have an S&W rimfire wheelgun in their collection.

Along with its .22 LR wheelguns, S&W now offers another very impressive Rimfire Revolver option — the “revived” Model 648 in .22 WMR (Winchester Magnum Rimfire). This stainless Model 648 brings a more powerful cartridge to S&W rimfire revolver fans.

smith wesson S&W model 648 revolver wheelgun .22 WMR Winchester magnum rimfire 6Built on S&W’s medium K-frame, the 8-round Model 648 is designed for small game hunting and target shooting. The .22 WMR is definitely a much more potent varmint cartridge than the .22 LR. You have more downrange energy plus a flatter trajectory. While the 648 does not come with an integral scope rail, it is not difficult to mount red dot or optical sights to this wheelgun.

The Model 648 revolver is built on a stainless steel medium K-frame and includes black synthetic finger groove grips, a black patridge front sight, and adjustable rear sight. This impressive revolver features a full underlug six-inch barrel, eight-round capacity, and is available with an MSRP of $749.

Model 648 History and Features

According to Guns.com: “The K-frame .22 WMR-caliber Model 648 first appeared in Big Blue’s lineup in 1989 sporting a full-lug barrel and stainless steel construction. Retired since 2005, the newest generation of the Model still brings a 6-inch barrel to the party, which translates to a very commanding 11.1-inch overall length. Weight is 46.2-ounces in the eight-shot .22 Mag, making the gun attractive for both those looking to fill pots and smoke targets.” Shown below is a vintage Model 648.

smith wesson S&W model 648 revolver wheelgun .22 WMR Winchester magnum rimfire 6

Jan Mladek, General Manager of Smith & Wesson General Manager Jan Mladek reports: “The Model 648 is back in production to satisfy the needs of handgun owners who are looking to achieve greater distance while hunting or target shooting. With a full underlug, six-inch barrel and a patridge front sight, the Model 648 has been designed … to boost accuracy at longer distances. While we currently offer .22 Magnum revolvers in both our J-frame and Classics line, we are excited to add this new .22 Magnum revolver to the modern K-frame lineup.”

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May 23rd, 2021

Buying Your First Handgun — The Rimfire Revolver Rationale

Smith Wesson 22 .22 LR Revolver model 63 17 617 wheelgun revolver cylinder
S&W Model 617 now has a 10-round cylinder, but early models were six-shooters.

Over the past year and a half, the ranks of first-time gun buyers have grown dramatically. Millions of Americans have purchased their first-ever handgun. With so many handgun options (from derringers to Desert Eagles) many first-time buyers have trouble making a choice. What should those millions of new gun buyers have acquired first? Perhaps it should have been a rimfire revolver. Here is why…

The Argument for a Rimfire Revolver
Some years back, a close relative contacted this Editor. Wanting to get started in handgunning, he sought my advice on purchasing his very first handgun. “Should I get a Glock?”, he asked. “No” was my response. “Well how about an M&P?” he inquired. “Better ergos” I said, “but ‘No’ is still my reply.” “OK, how about a KelTec, they’re cheap…” “Absolutely not”, I replied.

I could tell he was getting annoyed, when he said “OK, Mr. know-it-all, so what handgun should I get?” Calmly, I replied: “Get a .22-caliber rimfire revolver. You will never out-grow it. You will learn sight alignment and trigger control. You can practice with inexpensive ammunition. A good .22 revolver will be considerably more accurate than 90% of the self-loading pistols you could buy. If you get a Smith & Wesson, you will keep the gun for the rest of your life and pass it on to your kids. If you or your heirs ever wear out the barrel or cylinder, Smith & Wesson will replace the parts for free, forever.”

Smith Wesson 22 .22 LR Revolver model 63 17 617 wheelgun revolver cylinder

First Handgun Choice — Consider a .22 LR Wheelgun

A very good choice for a first handgun is a Smith & Wesson .22 LR revolver, such as the S&W Model 617. The model 617 is extremely accurate, with a crisp trigger and good sights. Choose either a 4″ or 6″ barrel. The current model has a handy, 10-round cylinder.

S&W model 617 smith

This Editor’s first really accurate handgun was a .22 LR Smith & Wesson Model 617 that could easily stack ten shots in a dime at 10 yards. It remains my favorite and most-used handgun. What can we say about the Model 617? The single-action trigger pull is superb, and the accuracy surpasses most any semi-auto rimfire pistol, except for a few, very expensive target pistols. We like the 6″ version for the longer sight radius, but the 4″-barrel 617 is also very accurate, and it balances better.

Hickok 45 Demos a 4″ Model 617. See also Hickok 45 m617 Part 2:

You can learn all the fundamentals with this ultra-reliable handgun, shooting inexpensive .22 LR ammo. The model 617 is rugged, durable, and can give you a lifetime of shooting fun. Once you have mastered the basics of shooting with a .22 LR, you can move on to larger caliber handguns suitable for self-defense. Below is a slide-show illustrating a S&W model 617 ten-shot, with 6″ barrel. S&W also makes a 4″-barrel version of this revolver. (See: Shooting Demo Video with 4″ model 617.)

Another .22 Revolver Option, the Smith & Wesson Model 63

Smith Wesson 22 .22 LR Revolver model 63 17 617 wheelgun revolver cylinder

The current S&W Model 63 is a J-Frame .22 LR with 3″ barrel and fiber optic front sight. The Model 63 is compact enough for comfortable carry and well-balanced. The older Model 63, aka the “Kit Gun”, is an appreciating classic.

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January 10th, 2021

Ruger’s GP100 .22 LR Ten-Shot DA/SA Revolver

We really like rimfire revolvers here at AccurateShooter.com. A good .22 LR wheelgun will be fun, accurate, reliable, and inexpensive to shoot. Rimfire revolvers also offer much less recoil and noise than a centerfire pistol. Your Editor has owned a Smith & Wesson Model 617 for over 15 years. That old S&W has probably fired more rounds than all the other handguns I own, combined — yet it still runs flawlessly and still delivers excellent accuracy.

Ruger offers a big stainless .22 LR wheelgun to compete with the S&W Model 617. This rimfire wheelgun is based on Ruger’s trusted GP100 platform. The Ruger GP100® chambered in .22 LR looks to be a good firearm — strong, versatile, and intelligently engineered. In the video above, the late Jeff Quinn of Gunblast.com tests the Ruger revolver and gives it high marks: “It’s a good hefty gun [42.6 oz.], but not overly large or heavy for a good trail gun. It’s just a really nice, well-made revolver from Sturm Ruger.” The gun Jeff tested had a 3.7-lb SA trigger pull and a 9.8-lb DA pull.

Ruger GP 100 .22 LR wheelgun revolver rimfire 10-shot

The .22 LR GP100 features a windage and elevation adjustable rear sight with a white outline, a light-gathering fiber optic front sight and the original full-size GP100 rubber grips with hardwood inserts. With all stainless-steel construction, the rimfire GP100 is easy to maintain. Just keep the cylinder chambers and barrel clean and this gun should run forever.

This Review of the .22 LR GP100 by Hickok45 has over 6.6 Million Views:

The 10-shot Ruger GP100 in .22 LR is a durable, well-engineered wheelgun. Ruger’s engineers optimized the GP100’s innards to deliver a smooth double-action pull: “The new GP100 has an improved fire-control system that uses a lighter mainspring than previous Ruger double-action .22 LR revolvers. A number of changes have been made to the GP100 to handle .22. One of which is we’ve done a lot of development on the firing pin location and geometries so that we’re able to put a lighter trigger pull in this gun than you would find in other .22 LR [handguns]. We’ve got a half-underlug barrel, and it’s a smaller diameter so the gun balances real well. We’ve added a narrow-spur hammer and a smooth trigger for comfortable shooting. This is a really comfortable gun to shoot”.

This video from Ruger explains the basic features of the .22 LR GP 100:

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August 2nd, 2020

Sunday GunBlast Gunday: Tribute to Jeff Quinn, Gunblast Founder

Sunday Gunday Jeff Quinn Gunblast gunblast.com lever gun pistol youtube

Jeff Quinn, founder of GunBlast.com, was a good-hearted, southern country boy who loved firearms. Sadly he passed away on July 27, 2020. He will be missed. His reviews were always honest and thoughtful. Notably, Jeff was a true internet pioneer. With help from his brother Boge Quinn, Jeff created Gunblast.com back in 2000. He was one of the first independent writers publishing gun reviews on the internet. And he also was one of the very first to release gun test videos on YouTube. Over the past two decades the GunBlast YouTube channel has racked up over 64 million views. Jeff Quinn led the way for popular YouTube video hosts such as 22Plinkster and Hickok 45.

Sunday Gunday Jeff Quinn Gunblast gunblast.com lever gun pistol youtube

This Sunday Gunday, to mark Jeff’s passing and recognize his influence in the world of firearms videos, we are reprising six of his videos from the past decade. There are a wide selection here — both rifles and pistols, rimfire and centerfire. We’ve even included a special video where Jeff tests a pre-WWI era Maxim machine gun.

The Patriot — Accurate .22-250 AI Benchrest Rifle

While Jeff Quinn focused on factory handguns, hunting rifles, and defensive shotguns, he did occasionally sample accurate custom rifles. Here he tested a unique “Patriot” .22-250 AI rig built on a sleeved Remington 700 action. This handsome rifle boasts a custom-painted, thumbhole benchrest stock with a stars-and-stripes motif. One side says “In God We Trust”, while the other side carries the message “The Right to Keep and Bear Arms”. This “Patriot” rifle delivered three-shot ragged-hole groups at 100 yards.

Sunday Gunday Jeff Quinn Gunblast gunblast.com lever gun pistol youtube

Tales from the Vault — Winchester 1895 Lever Gun

Along with his regular field tests, Jeff hosted videos that focused on the historical heritage of some of his favorite firearms. In the “Tales from the Vault” episode, Jeff showcases a prized example from his personal gun collection. This is an original Winchester Model 1895 lever-action rifle chambered in 30 Army, also known as 30-40 Krag.

Sunday Gunday Jeff Quinn Gunblast gunblast.com lever gun pistol youtube

Smith & Wesson Performance Center M629 .44 Magnum

Smith & Wesson builds some of the best wheelguns on the planet, and Performance Center models are the top of the S&W lineup. This Editor owns two S&W Performance Center revolvers, and they are both outstanding, with great triggers and accuracy that puts most semi-auto handguns to shame. In this video, Jeff Quinn tests a Performance Center six-shot Model 629 Hunter Revolver with a 8 3/8″ fluted barrel. S&W includes a Weaver-type optics rail with this capable wheelgun.

Shooting the Savage A17 in 17 HMR

The Savage model A17 delayed-blowback semi-auto in .17 HMR is one of our favorite budget varmint rifles. It is affordable, reliable, and surprisingly accurate with good .17 HMR ammo. Here Jeff Quinn tests the basic A17. We like the upgraded version with a laminated thumbhole stock, shown below. But both versions utilize the same well-designed action. This is a good choice for small varmints, such as ground squirrels, out to 200 yards.

Sunday Gunday Jeff Quinn Gunblast gunblast.com lever gun pistol youtube

Ruger GP100 .22 LR 10-Shot Revolver

We believe every gun enthusiast should have a good rimfire revolver, and Jeff Quinn would concur. The small size of the .22 LR cartridge allows modern wheelguns to have 10-round cylinder capacity. That’s great for target shooting, fun plinking, and gun games. Here Jeff reviews the sturdy .22 LR GP100 from Ruger. Jeff says this pistol offers “a good tight barrel/cylinder gap” and “positive ejection that kicks spent cases out really well.” He noted that this pistol was “amazingly accurate”. He tested 9 different ammo types and got 1.5″ average TEN-shot groups at 25 yards. (See video at 2:40 for targets.)

BONUS Video — Maxim Machine Gun (1914 Vintage)

The Maxim machine gun was one of the earliest successful fully-automatic weapons. Many of its revolutionary design features are still used in modern machine guns. Here Jeff Quinn tests a belt-fed, wheeled-carriage Maxim with Joe Meaux of Aklys Defense from Aklys Defense.

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August 14th, 2019

Smith & Wesson Revives Model 648 .22 WMR Revolver

smith wesson S&W model 648 revolver wheelgun .22 WMR Winchester magnum rimfire 6

We love Smith & Wesson rimfire revolvers. We have put thousands of rounds through S&W Model 617 revolvers, with 4″ and 6″ barrels. These stainless .22 LR handguns are accurate, superbly reliable, and they hold their value. In general we’ve found that Smith & Wesson rimfire revolvers may be less fussy with ammo, and more trouble-free than typical semi-auto rimfires. Bottom line, we feel that everyone should have an S&W rimfire wheelgun in their collection.

And now there’s a great additional Rimfire Revolver option from Smith & Wesson — the “revived” Model 648 in .22 WMR. This stainless Model 648 brings a more powerful cartridge to S&W rimfire revolver fans.

smith wesson S&W model 648 revolver wheelgun .22 WMR Winchester magnum rimfire 6Built on S&W’s medium K-frame, the 8-round Model 648 is designed for small game hunting and target shooting. The .22 WMR is definitely a much more potent varmint cartridge than the .22 LR. You have more downrange energy plus a flatter trajectory. While the 648 does not come with an integral scope rail, it is not difficult to mount red dot or optical sights to this wheelgun.

The Model 648 revolver is built on a stainless steel medium K-frame and includes black synthetic finger groove grips, a black patridge front sight, and adjustable rear sight. This impressive revolver features a full underlug six-inch barrel, eight-round capacity, and is available with an MSRP of $749.

Model 648 History and Features

According to Guns.com: “The K-frame .22 WMR-caliber Model 648 first appeared in Big Blue’s lineup in 1989 sporting a full-lug barrel and stainless steel construction. Retired since 2005, the newest generation of the Model still brings a 6-inch barrel to the party, which translates to a very commanding 11.1-inch overall length. Weight is 46.2-ounces in the eight-shot .22 Mag, making the gun attractive for both those looking to fill pots and smoke targets.” Shown below is a vintage Model 648.

smith wesson S&W model 648 revolver wheelgun .22 WMR Winchester magnum rimfire 6

Jan Mladek, General Manager of Smith & Wesson General Manager Jan Mladek reports: “The Model 648 is back in production to satisfy the needs of handgun owners who are looking to achieve greater distance while hunting or target shooting. With a full underlug, six-inch barrel and a patridge front sight, the Model 648 has been designed … to boost accuracy at longer distances. While we currently offer .22 Magnum revolvers in both our J-frame and Classics line, we are excited to add this new .22 Magnum revolver to the modern K-frame lineup.”

Permalink Handguns, Hunting/Varminting, New Product, News 5 Comments »
October 24th, 2014

Buying a First Handgun — The Rational Wheelgun Option

Smith Wesson 22 .22 LR Revolver model 63 17 617 wheelgun revolver cylinder

In recent years, the ranks of first-time handgun buyers have grown dramatically. Thousands upon thousands of Americans are purchasing their first-ever pistol. With so many handgun options available these days (from derringers to Desert Eagles) many first-time buyers have trouble making a choice.

A close relative recently contacted this Editor. Wanting to get started in handgunning, he sought my advice on purchasing his first handgun. “Should I get a Glock?”, he asked. “No” was my response. “Well how about an M&P?” he inquired. “Better ergos” I said, “but ‘No’ is still my reply.” “OK, how about a KelTec, they’re cheap…” “Absolutely not”, I replied.

I could tell he was getting annoyed, when he said “OK, Mr. know-it-all, so what handgun should I get?” Calmly, I replied: “Get a .22-caliber rimfire revolver. You will never out-grow it. You will learn sight alignment and trigger control. You can practice with inexpensive ammunition. A good .22 revolver will be considerably more accurate than 90% of the self-loading pistols you could buy. If you get a Smith & Wesson, you will keep the gun for the rest of your life and pass it on to your kids. If you or your heirs ever wear out the barrel or cylinder, Smith & Wesson will replace the parts for free, forever.”

Smith Wesson 22 .22 LR Revolver model 63 17 617 wheelgun revolver cylinder

Smith Wesson 22 .22 LR Revolver model 63 17 617 wheelgun revolver cylinder

Smith Wesson model 617 4 inchFirst Handgun Choice — A very good choice for a first handgun is a Smith & Wesson .22 LR revolver, such as the S&W model 617. The model 617 is extremely accurate, with a very crisp trigger (in single-action mode), and good sights.

You can learn all the fundamentals with this ultra-reliable handgun, shooting inexpensive .22 LR ammo. The model 617 is rugged, durable, and can give you a lifetime of shooting fun. Once you have mastered the basics of shooting with a .22 LR, you can move on to larger caliber handguns suitable for self-defense. Below is a slide-show illustrating a S&W model 617 ten-shot, with 6″ barrel. S&W also makes a 4″-barrel version of this revolver. (See: Shooting Demo Video with 4″ model 617.)

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