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ultralight revolver
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bryan ennis
(neeonbrowwn) - F
ultralight revolver on 09/20/2011 17:45:51 MDT Print View

has anyone had any experience with this gun?

S&W 317 Airlight

12.3 oz in .22 cal

as a disclaimer: after looking up other posts on firearms on BPL, the discussions tend to get hijacked into vitriolic non-topic rants. can we please just leave it to the gear..

i understand that hiking with firearms is not for everyone/is not legal everywhere, but my question is made under the assumption that one chooses to carry and has made up his/her mind about the choices utility.

thanks in advance

jim draucker
(mtnjim) - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah Valley VA
SW 317 on 09/20/2011 17:56:50 MDT Print View


For what it is worth. One of my favorite revolvers. Lost mine white water canoeing:(


bryan ennis
(neeonbrowwn) - F
trigger pull on 09/20/2011 18:06:17 MDT Print View

if read that the trigger pull is hefty, around 12-13 lbs.

did this affecting accuracy, or did it just take some acclimatization?

Matthew Black
(mtblack) - F
Re: ultralight revolver on 09/20/2011 18:25:01 MDT Print View

Not sure what your intended purpose is but the Ruger identified in the .380 thread weighs close to that and might serve.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
ultralight revolver on 09/20/2011 19:00:40 MDT Print View

There is a very simple reason for the "vitriolic" comments on gun threads posted here.
That is because it has nothing to do with backpacking.
Try Chaff , Philosophy and Technique or Other Activities.

Ken K
(TheFatBoy) - F

Locale: St. Louis
Re: ultralight revolver on 09/20/2011 19:51:01 MDT Print View

>> There is a very simple reason for the "vitriolic" comments on gun threads posted here. That is because it has nothing to do with backpacking.

He's asking about gear that I presume he'd like to take backpacking. No different than asking about bear spray, or a cell phone. If, for whatever reason, it makes his backpacking trip more enjoyable, then it qualifies.

As for that model, sorry, I have no experience with it. I don't "pack" while I pack, but that's mostly because the Peoples Republic of Illinois can make life hell for anyone caught doing it.

I don't imagine the heavy trigger pull would be that big a deal unless you're hunting with it. If you're looking for protection and general peace of mind, my guess is you wouldn't be firing at small or distant targets.

Kevin Harper
(kevinharper2) - F

Locale: Southwest
Re: ultralight revolver on 09/20/2011 20:02:23 MDT Print View

If I carry mine with me then I consider it gear, your off base Franco. I carry a Taurus 605 27oz loaded.

bryan ennis
(neeonbrowwn) - F
Re: ul revolver on 09/20/2011 20:07:02 MDT Print View

The main use would be for the opportunistic taking of small game, so I was thinking it could effect accuracy..

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
kit gun on 09/20/2011 20:19:30 MDT Print View

the 317 kit gun is nice little revolver, the double action is decent, not great (a good gunsmith could probably smooth the action out w/o too much work)- the hi vis sight is OK, little gimmicky imo

w/ practice it makes for a nice mountain grouse gun (talking the not so smart mountain grouse :))

I like the plain 317 even more, 2" barrel- so takes even more practice (but .22 ammo is cheap :))- it's lighter yet and so small it's easily carried just about anywhere

while a .22 doesn't make the greatest defensive piece, I'm confident that with 8 rounds of .22 LR I could make someone very unhappy- there is also a .22 Mag version of this revolver as well

what I don't like is the terribly high price they are commanding, $600-ish for a small .22 seems awfully excessive too me, but evidently the market obviously bears that price

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: ultralight revolver on 09/20/2011 20:30:37 MDT Print View

See the 22 cal revolver weighing 4 oz.

Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
ultralight revolver on 09/20/2011 21:37:56 MDT Print View

Yeah, they are great for shooting out your out of control cooking fire... ;-)

OK, that was uncalled for. I don't know about that model but my step-mom (and ex) have the Lady Smith which is heavier. (And mom does not hike with hers, but the ex bought hers just for the AT.)

While I don't carry normally (but have when conditions rarely warranted) I won't question it if you feel you need it, but a .22? What will that protect you from, cans? That ain't for hunting, good luck hitting anything past 25 ft. Or stopping anything at all.

jennifer ross
(jenhifive) - F

Locale: Norcal
Parks don't allow guns on 09/20/2011 22:03:16 MDT Print View

for a reason....

Now when I pass someone on the trail I'll wonder if they're "packing".
Is it really common for backpackers to bring guns because I'll start bringing an orange vest.. but how much is that going to weigh me down? I don't want to get shot off the trail while digging my cathole.

Edited by jenhifive on 09/20/2011 22:20:39 MDT.

David T
(DaveT) - F
"gear"? on 09/20/2011 22:11:59 MDT Print View

"as a disclaimer: after looking up other posts on firearms on BPL, the discussions tend to get hijacked into vitriolic non-topic rants. can we please just leave it to the gear.."

Yes, that's because it's Backpackinglight, not Backpackingwitheverythingyoumightneedforallpossiblecontingencies.

So when you carry something relatively heavy based on some statistically insignificant "problem" it might solve, you will be questioned to the relevance of it. It's why I don't take my chainsaw in case there is deadfall on the trail. Or my mountaineering tent for my day hike in the foothills. If I did, and asked about it on GEAR (not chaff or on whiteblaze or sumthin'), I'd expect BPLers to ask questions, tell me it's not relevant, clown and ridicule me, etc.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Parks don't allow guns on 09/20/2011 22:24:21 MDT Print View

If someone meant you harm you, I doubt a "law" would stop them from carrying. Weapon "free" zones are a fallacy in a country with laws against unreasonable search and seizure.

A .22 revolver just seems silly for any kind of self defense. If I had to go with .22, I would rather have a semi automatic that I could follow up with more shots very quickly. Better than nothing, but I would reconsider that caliber. In my experience, even double action revolvers are hard to use for unloading at a target.
That is a really light pistol though. I have been looking for something similar. If you wanted to just shoot around or go after some rabbits or squirrels, that might be an awesome choice. Just realize it's limitations. A longer barrel might be better for hunting.

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Parks don't allow guns on 09/20/2011 22:25:54 MDT Print View

Which parks specifically Jennifer? Because if you've got the misconception that guns aren't allowed in all national/state parks, you're grossly misinformed.

This has been covered before, but there's a lot of misinformation about where guns, concealed or otherwise are or are not allowed.

In most (if not all?) cases, firearms are allowed in national parks, as long as the carriers comply with local laws concerning such transportation. In most places in the country, open carry of firearms is completely legal, regardless of how rarely it's practiced. Generally, concealed carry however is restricted by permit.

For instance, in North Carolina where I live, not only is open carry unrestricted (however rare), you're even completely within your rights to carry a loaded handgun into a bank, so long as you aren't brandishing it, or attempting to commit a crime. The act of carrying the gun, isn't however a crime, so long as it's a legally owned firearm. Is it wise? No, only due to the inherent risk to yourself. It is however, an exercise of your constitutional rights.

I run into people open carrying pretty regularly on NC and GA trails. They've always been quite amiable.

There are even laws allow non-permit concealed carry in campsites, which are considered temporary residence.

If you've been passing hikers all this time without worrying, why start now?

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: ultralight revolver on 09/20/2011 22:32:19 MDT Print View

As to the OP, the specified caliber is generally considered useless for self defense.

If you're looking for something to take small game like squirrels, rabbits, etc.. I'd check this:

Personally, even though I'm a concealed carry permit holder, and exercise my rights to open carry whenever I feel like dealing with all the BS. I leave my firearms at home on the trail. It's not worth the weight. I am however confident in my ability to defend myself in hand to hand encounters, and usually carry a medium or large fixed blade knife for camp chores/bushcrafting, etc, and I imagine it would be a good deterrent. Believe me, only complete psychopath would mess with a guy carrying an 18" khukri, or even an 8" fixed blade.

jennifer ross
(jenhifive) - F

Locale: Norcal
Every entrance sign to every trail on 09/20/2011 23:11:59 MDT Print View

No firearms. And usually no dogs or fires.

This is not fear that someone is going to purposely shoot me or try to harm me so I'm not planning on learning hand to hand combat or carrying a large blade, this is fear of accidentally being shot while I'm going 100 yards to drop my bear can, "use my trowel" or if i'm in one of the special trails I do bring my dogs they'll get shot. I'm going to guess though that guns on trails is more common outside of california.

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Every entrance sign to every trail on 09/20/2011 23:26:14 MDT Print View

I don't think you see those signs on trail in National Forests ,even in California.

David A
(DavidAdair) - M

Locale: West Dakota
Re: kit gun on 09/20/2011 23:29:52 MDT Print View

There seems to be a shortage of decent light kit guns out there. The 317 has hi-vis sights which are fine for self defense but not accurate enough for small game. For that you need to replace the rear sight with a notched blade and the front with something like a gold target bead. Then it would be perfect... if only it had a 4 inch barrel. But it doesn't has a 3 inch barrel.. which is a bit tricky to shoot well. The SA trigger is ok but really could use some gunsmith work to clean it up some.

Unfortunately the S&W 317 comes up short in too many places for me to recommend it as a kit gun. Might be an ok self defense gun for your dear old grand mother though.

Keep looking young man.
Some of the vintage kit guns are heavy but at least you could hit something with them.

The tigoat 22 would be a much better choice as a light weight meat getter IMO.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Every entrance sign to every trail on 09/20/2011 23:36:16 MDT Print View

Discharging a firearm is illegal in a national park. Same with hunting. So I don't think you need to be worried about someone target shooting without knowing what's behind their target and hitting you or someone mistaking you for a deer and shooting you before they have a clear view. Those are the two main reasons that you would accidentally be shot. Either way, despite the huge number of people who go out hunting each year, accidental shootings during hunting season are still ridiculously low (relative to how many people are out there).
Maybe you are worried about someone mistaking you for a bear while you are coming back to the trail and firing at you. If you can show me one instance of someone shooting a person thinking they were a bear, I would be very surprised. That's just a silly and unlikely scenario. Maybe someone would grip their holstered weapon to and wait to see what you were. Either way, someone is going to wait to shoot at something until they have reason to believe it is threatening their life.
That is even assuming they have a gun in a California national park. National Parks work like any public place. In California, you would have to be open carrying unloaded or concealed carrying with a license (those are really hard if not impossible to get in most counties). It doesn't work like a national forest where you can freely carry. I don't know about all the signs, I have seen a couple, but they are likely old (firearms legalization was only in 2009) or just left there to discourage people from hunting or shooting around. In many places all over the country, firearms are illegal in state parks regardless of what's legal in public. Depends on the park and state though. In California it's illegal in state parks.
I understand that you have a fear of accidentally getting shot, but imo it's an irrational fear in a park. It would be a very real concern if you were hiking in a popular hunting area in the height of deer season.
Nobody is going to shoot your dog unless they try attack them. Put a bright collar on them so people will know they aren't strays. A lot of aggressive dogs have been unnecessarily killed, but it's within the persons right to use some level of prejudice in defending themselves or their family. Still, unless your dogs are rabid, I wouldn't worry about it.

Edited by justin_baker on 09/20/2011 23:41:37 MDT.