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S&W Model 53

This is a discussion on S&W Model 53 within the Gun Talk forums, part of the Gunner Forum category; I ran across mention of this, and had never heard of it. The Model 53 was based on the Model 17 .22. The 53 was ...


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Old 12-15-2018, 08:31 AM   #1
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S&W Model 53

I ran across mention of this, and had never heard of it.

The Model 53 was based on the Model 17 .22. The 53 was chambered for the .centerfire 22 Remington Jet, and had chamber inserts for .22 rimfire. It had a two position firing pin. Cartridge case was .357 caliber at base, and tapered down to the .222 40 grain bullet. I read that it shot soft, but very loud, and barrel erosion was a problem. If I understand correctly, you could get it with an auxiliary .22 LR cylinder and not need the inserts. Maybe the oddest idea S&W ever had, but it stayed in production from 1960 to 1974. It's covered in this article on the Model 17.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smith_%26_Wesson_Model_17




.22 Remington Jet (center) with .22 Hornet (left) and .223 Rem (right).

Last edited by bearcatter; 12-15-2018 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 12-15-2018, 08:48 AM   #2
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There's one that's been here in my favorite LGS since I moved here, for $ 1200. It has it's big fans. Supposedly super, super loud. I've been tempted, but for $ 1200, there are guns much higher on my list, and if you want factory ammo, PPU is the only thing available, I believe. I don't want to buy a gun based on the idea that I'll still be able to get one brand of ammo down the road.

Last edited by Shakyshoot; 12-15-2018 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 12-15-2018, 09:11 AM   #3
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If it has the extra cylinder, that's a good price for someone that wants it. The cylinder was specific to the 53, .22 Mag length and chambered for .22 LR. Not a standard S&W part.
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Old 12-15-2018, 10:07 AM   #4
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It has the inserts, but I don't believe it has the other cylinder. Not sure but I think they quit with the 2nd cylinder after a while and just sold it with the inserts. At any rate, examples with the inserts are much more common than examples with 2 cylinders.

Last edited by Shakyshoot; 12-15-2018 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 12-15-2018, 10:32 AM   #5
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They all had the Jet cylinder with inserts. Maybe they would have done better to have a Jet only cylinder, and included a .22 cylinder. I found a 1971 ad, showed the .22 cylinder option was $ 33. The gun was $ 144. Same ad showed a K-22 was $ 107.....Oh, the good old days...

I can't believed I've actually researched a Smith & Wesson....

Last edited by bearcatter; 12-15-2018 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 12-15-2018, 02:41 PM   #6
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Good link and article. Thanks.

Yeah, there was a big push for handgun hunting, in general, back in the 60s and into the 70s. That's how I started shooting so much handgun, in fact. There were several attempts to make a revolver for varmint hunting, the Smith 53 being one and the Ruger Hawkeye single shot revolver, for another, but they never really worked out. The revolver platform and hyper velocity small bullet cartridges aren't the best matchup. Mostly, though, once specialty pistols like the XP-100 and the TC Contender hit the market in the 60s - guns that could easily shoot rifle varmint cartridges - everyone pretty much forgot about the varmint revolver idea.

All three of those cartridges, by the way - the Jet, the Hornet and the 223 - got chambered in the Contender. The Hornet and the 223 have been some of the most popular and accurate cartridges in the Contender. I shoot both, in fact. The Jet, though, pretty much fizzled out in popularity, though you can still find some old Contender barrels for them.
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Old 12-15-2018, 04:13 PM   #7
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I had a Contender in 22 Hornet with iron sights I use to shoot ground squirrel in about 1973 . When to range to test new loads I made and they had a turkey shoot and had the range closed . They said it was ok to shoot in there match. I won 12 Turkey that day . I gave away every turkey I won to the lowest score on my squad , They ask me not to return with that gun .

Last edited by tx gun runner; 12-16-2018 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 12-16-2018, 10:17 AM   #8
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Love your stories tx.
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Old 12-17-2018, 04:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tx gun runner View Post
They ask me not to return with that gun .
Sounds like they were the turkeys.
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Old 12-17-2018, 01:41 PM   #10
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TGR, I would have loved to see you in action, back in the day. Amazing.
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