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S & W "Go To" Guy?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by WS-1, Mar 2, 2013.

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  1. WS-1

    WS-1 Banned User Banned

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    I need to get so information on a S&W Model 53. There are some really knowledgable S&W guys here and I could use your help.

    Thanks!

    Kit
     
  2. k1200ltc509

    k1200ltc509 Member

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    S & W

    Kit, I would go to Brian in Oregon. He is a wealth of knowledge on S&W's. Rick Gibbs
     
  3. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    S & W

    The Model 53 .22 Jet is chambered for the Remington .22 Jet cartridge. It is a .357 Magnum necked down to .222 caliber.

    The reason it is not necked down to .224 or even .223 is because it is designed to also shoot .22 LR, either through the use of six chamber inserts (originally issued with each gun) or with an optional .22 LR cylinder (rare). The hammer has a lever that flips to chose centerfire or rimfire firing pins. Ideally you should use .222 40 gr bullets made specifically for the Jet. Many use .223 bullets intended for the early Hornets. The later .224 bullets should be avoided.

    The cartridge has a long taper to the case, and this is a major flaw with the Jet. The case can set back during firing hard enough to tie up the cylinder, making the gun an annoying single shot. It helps to totally degrease the chambers prior to use, but that's only a temporary solution. Some past owners mirror polished the recoil shield, which helps, but destroys all collector value. Ditto for rechambering to the Ackley Improved version, which renders the chamber inserts useless. Be sure to check any Jet you're interested in to make sure it has not been reamed to AI (unless you actually want that).

    I've owned several Jets, and all have been a disappointment for reliability with the exception of the one with a mirror finished recoil shield.

    On the other hand, they were amazingly accurate. Especially with good .22 LR ammo. In fact, one of my Jets was the most accurate .22 LR revolver I ever owned. We measured standard deviation for velocity, and this Jet with chamber inserts had the lowest SD I've ever seen. The jet cartridge was accurate and flat shooting.

    Ammo cost was ridiculous even in those days. 20 years ago a box of Jet ammo was fetching $35 and up. I don't even know if it's made any more. You can neck down non-plated .357 cases, but it takes work as that's a lot of necking.

    Sadly, Jets are mainly collector pieces today. I should have kept one, but it was just too much hassle to shoot it much.

    Despite the lower velocity and less accuracy, the S&W Model 48 is a vastly more reliable gun, and frankly, if I wanted an off the shelf rimfire with more oomph than the .22 lR I'd be looking for one with at least a 6" barrel or one of the rare 8-3/8" barrels.

    The gun that really put the nail in the coffin of my Jets was an old k-22 converted in the 1958 to .224 Harvey Kay-Chuck. This is a .22 Hornet that has been shorted and given the Ackley Improved treatment. Velocities are close to the Jet and it never suffers from lockup.

    Jets came in 4", 6" and 8-3/8". The 6" is the most common. I've only seen one 4" and one 8-3/8", but dozens of 6". Most were blued. A rare few were nickeled.
     
  4. WS-1

    WS-1 Banned User Banned

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    Brian,

    Thank you very much for the comprehensive reply. I've got a full afternoon today but I'll send you a PM tonight with more specific questions.

    Best regards,

    Kit
     
  5. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    S & W

    Jim R. is a hard core S&W guy too.

    -Gary
     
  6. JACK

    JACK Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    S & W

    Skybuster is another expert.
     
  7. Jim R

    Jim R Ljutic Nut TS Supporters

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    S & W

    Brian in Oregon is right. They are a pain in the butt. There were 3 of us that bought them years ago. None of us were thinking collector value back then and we all ended up selling them. The Model 48 is a much better choice.


    Another S&W idea that didn’t work out real well was the 647 as it was chambered in 17 HMR. You have to clean each cylinder between shots or you end up having to drive out the spent case. I hear the later versions work better but mine has not been out of the safe in 2 years.


    Jim R
     
  8. Rebel Sympathy

    Rebel Sympathy Well-Known Member

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    S & W

    Brian In Oregon sums it up very well. Mike
     
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