Graybeard Outdoors banner

S&W 617 for squirrel hunting?

7731 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Old Griz

Anyone use a S&W 617 for squirrel hunting? Any suggestions about preferred barrel lenght, I'm thinking 6". Scoped or iron sights? If scoped, I was thinking Leupolds handgun 2X scope.

1 - 13 of 13 Posts
I've used an 8-3/8" Model 17 many times over the years both with iron sights and scoped. I have an old Tasco World Class 1.25-4x28mm that works great as a squirrel hunting scope on rimfires.

The 6" is OK but it does limit the placement options of the scope to keep the objective behind the muzzle more than a longer barrel does.

617 for squirrels

Yes, I've used a Smith of that nature for squirrels for several decades. Current one is a 617 with a 6" tube. In the past I've used 17's 18's. The one I'm using now started out as a full underluged barrel, then we went down to the basement and use a hacksaw, files, and emory paper to put it like the older Smiths, I don't consider the underlug a favorable option. Too heavy for a gun to carry with you all the time, and I like to carry a handgun with me every time out. Admittedly, I carry more than I shoot. I have used scopes on them in the past, but now like to use the iron sights(more portable).
In S&W's, I shoot an Outdoorsman, this is a pre war K22. It has a 6" barrel. I don't have a 'scope mounted and don't want one. Heck, using iron sights, this revolver and its' newer cousins will almost all hold 1½-2" with selected budget priced ammunition @ 25 yards, and most will do better (sometimes considerably better) with at least one of the pricier loads.

For me, not wanting a 'scope is not really a function of portability, but of general handiness. I don't like to be unduly burdened in the woods.


Are there after-market target sights for the S&W 617?

I'm thinking that my T/C contender with .22lr match chamer 10" barrel might be a better squirrel rig.

So I might use the S&W 617 as a trail gun. Is the S&W 617 a better revolver than Ruger's Bearcat?

See less See more
target sights

617's come with some of the best factory sights available. I got into a argument once before on this forum about Rugers. Rugers are investment cast guns, for what it's worth. Bill Ruger is one of the manufacturers that sided with the gun lobbyist and the government at the time of Clintons attack on gun specifications, hence you can't buy a rifle with a bayonet lug. Most congressmen can't even identify a bayonet lug, but voted to ban them, go figure. By the way, Smith & Wesson also agreed with the government at that time, they are now, once again, owned by American interests, not the over seas investment company that cut their own throat. Too bad that American firms don't look at the reality of today. For instance the success of Harley Davidson. Maybe most of the people that brag of a diversified portfolio, ride Honda or Suzuki's. For me, I was born in America, live in America, and work in America and buy American goods( as much as possible).
Rambling mode off!
See less See more

Thank you all for the replies. I think I'll go with S&W 617 6" six shot as my trail gun. Does anyone make a left hand holster for this revolver?


I've been trying to find a holster for my 6" Kframed Smith also. Would be nice if some independent holster maker would start making leather single looped holsters again. Something like Lawrance Holsters used to make. I'm not real fond of syntheric stuff either. Would really like to have one with a supported trigger guard. Since IPSC ( and I do compete in these matches) has happened, everything seems to be "self defense" oriented. Oh for the days of a holster, made for your pistol, with butter soft suede lineing, and made to protect your gun and be functional and practical for the outdoorsman.
I believe both Safariland and Bianchi make nice leather holsters specifically to fit the K-frame S&Ws. I have them for 4", 6" and 8-3/8" revolvers. Not sure if all of mine are same brand or not as I'm not gonna go hunting them all up to compare. Check those two companies to see what they have you might be happy with. I've been using them for at least 35 years for my S&Ws.


John Bianchi has sold out years ago and I'm not sure if Safariland is still in business. If they are I dought they make leather holsters anymore. Everything seems to be nylon or made for self defense. I'm looking for holsters made for the outdoorsman.

I think I've found a lined leather holster from Galco. It looks like it's even available to southpaws! Sucker is a little on the expensive side.

Also got a Bianchi catalog. Looks like they also have a lined leather holster but not sure if it's available in southpaw configuration.


Galco does make a great leather sportsmans holster called the dual position phoenix. It is set up to be worn strong side or for cross draw. I have one for my 6" 617 and love it. I just ordered another for my 4" 586. I found the best price to be $71 through The only problem is that i am still waiting (backordered :cry: )
If you want a scoped holster try the bandido rig through they also make a great holster. I hope this helps
I have used my scoped 6" 617 exclusively for squirrels the last two years. Wish all my guns were this accurate. Hunter makes a fine scoped handgun holster that you can carry over the shoulder or on the belt.
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.