S&W M17-8 and DS-10 Kit Equals Pure Range Fun

| February 5, 2011 | 2 Comments

The S&W Model 17’s are very well known by revolver enthusiast around the world. When most think of the S&W Model 17 most are often thinking of “The K-22 Masterpiece” 22 Caliber post war circa made from 1946 to 1989. Though these are highly sought after and are being chased by many collectors the S&W Model 17-8 are often overlooked. The S&W Model 17-8 is what I will be reviewing today along with a reloading block kit I came across on the internet which eases reloading and just adds pure joy and excitement to your range trip. S&W should give serious thought to producing a special run of M17/617 with this reloading block kit.



Before proceeding on with the review. I want to thank Darrell a long time friend whom I often refer to as DM in my articles for first trusting me and purchasing the reloading block kits I found but then offering up his M17-8 for review.

The S&W Model 17-8 I will be reviewing today is a 10 shot 22 caliber made in 1996. This is the year in which S&W introduced the 10 shot alloy cylinder. This revolver is a double action revolver built on the round butt K target frame, it carries a 6inch full lug barrel, target hammer, target trigger is drill and tapped and finished with a blue glass bead finish which is unlike the highly polished blued finish most are accustomed to seeing. At first sight of this revolver you know right away you are looking at something different and special. Upon unlatching the alloy cylinder, the lite feel of the alloy along with the sight of 10, 22 caliber chambers it becomes obvious very quickly that this is not just another model 17. If this wasn’t enough excitement DM hands me a 525 round value bulk box of Federal 36grain ammunition along with a few strange items which looked very familiar.

As he hands them to me I recognize them as the DS-10 speed loader and loading block setup which I had sent him via email suggesting this might be a nice purchase to go along with his 10 shot M17 and 617.

This product is produced by a nice gentlemen by the name of Dave Skrzela hence the name of the product the DS-10. David produces a very solid and over built product in his loading blocks and speed loaders. The speed loaders remind me of how Ruger builds it’s revolvers very stout and will most likely last you a lifetime. Those like myself who has yet to acquire a 10 shot 22 don’t feel left out just yet, Dave also produces a 6 shot version. As you can see by the pictures DM purchased the basic colors of Red and Black. Dave’s catalog also includes yellow, light blue, green, white or brown and for a small fee you can get the optional handle to replace the small acorn nut (example wearing gloves). Dave also produces inserts which allow DS-10-SPEED’s to be held in your Safariland 333-2 K-Frame belt holder (333-2 not sold by Dave).

The loading blocks are made of solid black HDPE plastic which equates to very sturdy.

Here we have a demonstration of the DS-10Speed along with a 40round K10 Loading block. Those wanting additional capacity Dave has you covered, he also produces a 60, 80, 100 and a whopping 120 round K10 loading block for tons of fun and quick reloading on the range. This product set is a must have, if shooting for fun on the range it makes it easy and fun to burn through ammo. If shooting competition this product is surely to increase your speed of reloading and hopefully increase your scores while ringing steel. Dave has very good customer service and upon ordering will send your order priority mail which is usually 2 to 3 days within the US. He will also be more than happy to answer any of your questions via email at ds-10-speed@hotmail.com or through his website at http://ds10speed.wordpress.com/ Since these are custom made Dave is always looking for ways to improve his product so be sure to contact him to inquire about special orders and stock availability.

Now on with S&W Model 17-8 Review
Rating Scale Poor, Good, Great, Excellent
Ammunition Used Federal 525 Round Value Pack 36 grain

Fit&Finish Grade=Great
Smith and Wesson has become very well known for it’s fit and finish of it’s revolvers. The 6inch barrel with full lug for some often creates a muzzle heavy experience. The S&W engineers knew what they were doing when they introduced the alloy cylinder. This wasn’t just a new fad the lite weight cylinder reduces weight and helps prevent the muzzle heavy weight forward experience giving you a more center balanced revolver. The cylinder lockup is very tight and the cylinder gap measured .002 while forcing and holding the cylinder to the rear. The Hogue Rubber grips does expose the 10 grove serrated back strap which gives a nice medium reach and feel to the trigger. This setup will easily accommodate all hand sizes small to very large like mine. The bead blast blue finish is very unique and very durable, normal gun cleaners Hoppe’s 9, CLP will not hurt this finish.

Trigger Grade=Good
Most revolvers produced by Smith and Wesson would usually have excellent triggers. It is my opinion S&W produces the best trigger directly off the manufacturing line. This category rated by the next enthusiast could possibly be rated as excellent depending upon the use of the revolver. It seems S&W produced this revolver to be used in competition for speed as there is a noticeable stage right before the hammer falls. For range and target use which is the stage for reviewing this revolver I prefer and nice smooth trigger all the way through the entire pull. Again in speed based competition I would probably rate this trigger an excellent rating as you can pull the trigger very fast up to the stage ensure sight alignment and sight picture are perfect then squeeze of the round. The M17-8 trigger weighed in at 8 1/2 pounds double action and 3 1/2 pounds single action on my RCBS trigger guage. Other than the noticeable trigger stage I was amazed to find no over travel at all. When shooting a lot of 22 in a revolver you most often will find a few rounds which will not ignite. To my surprise there were no lite strikes during this range session which is unusual for bulk box ammo. I am not sure who deserves the credit here S&W for its trigger consistency or Federal for producing quality bulk buy 22 ammunition.

Sights Grade=Excellent
The S&W Model 17-8 comes from the factory with a pinned 1/8th patridge front sight and micrometer click rear sight. With perfect sight picture and sight alignment there is very little light on the sides of the front sight. The 6 inch barrel provides for what I consider to be the perfect sight radius for hunting, target shooting or just plain old fun plinking. With the 22 caliber the front sight barely moved when fired and quickly aligns for follow up shots.

Reliability&Accuracy Grade Excellent
Those familiar with shooting lots of 22 caliber rimfire knows it is inevitable that at some point with cheap 22 bulk box ammo you will experience rounds which fail to ignite. Even knowing this 22 rimfire still provides cheap hours of fun on the range and many have started to use platforms like the 17-8 as a practice platform for similar center fire platforms like the 686. To my surprise on this range trip all of the Federal 22 rimfire bulk box ignited and proved to be very accurate. The S&W model 17 provided excellent hit primer strikes causing each round to go off.

After loading up 40 rounds in the K10 block I snapped the ds-10 speedloaders over the top of them and with ease they picked right up. The ds-10-speed is a perfect fit for the S&W 17-8 and was very easy to load.

I then used some of my favorite targets for testing 22 rimfire platforms, 2inch Shoot-N-C’s and fired 10 shots at 7 yards.

At 7 yards all 10 shots tightly group on the target and can be easily seen at 7 yards due to the impact shoot-N-c targets

With such great success I ran the target out to 15 yards. I loaded up the K10 block until it was full of 40 rounds of 22 rimfire and decided to try my skills at speed loading and firing at a 2inch Shoot-N-C.

Next up is the 25 yard challenge. Shooting at a 5.5inch Caldwell orange peel target. Two hand unassisted hold.

Overall Impression
The Smith and Wesson Model 17-8 with it’s bead blast blue finish and alloy cylinder is a very unigue piece of american made craftsmanship and deserves and overall rating of Great. The S&W Model 17-8 paired with the DS-10-Speed and K10 speed blocks will provide for many years of fun range plinking and competition shooting. Along with the reliability of the Federal 22 Rimfire bulk ammunition which can be purchased from the friendly folks at GunsForSale.com this total package is a must have for exciting fun “Days at the Range”

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2 Comments on "S&W M17-8 and DS-10 Kit Equals Pure Range Fun"

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  1. Robert Corl, Jr. says:

    Nice review. I have some DS loaders on the way. I recently bought the 4″ 617. I put a set of Wolff springs, full power main and 14 pound rebound, in mine. Did a bit of stone and polish and have an amazing trigger.

  2. Oscar Cannington says:

    Great review. Here’s a small nit-pick. The front sight on the S&W target revolvers is called a “Patridge” sight. It is not spelled or pronounced like the bird. It’s a common mistake.

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