Wheelgun Wednesday: Highly Customized Smith & Wesson 617 in France

Doug E
by Doug E
lightened pistol for competition

Welcome to TFB’s Wheelgun Wednesday, where we explore the world of revolvers, past, present, and occasionally of the future. This week, we’ll take a look at an expertly customized Smith & Wesson 617, by a French gunsmith, Cédric, also known as cedric_armurier on Instagram. All of Cédric’s posts have been a joy to see, and I’m grateful he’s permitted me to share this project with you. He works on many types of guns, 1911s, CZs, and S&W Victory pistols, to name a few, but I’ve particularly enjoyed his work on S&W wheelguns. Let’s take a look at his work on the Smith & Wesson 617 chambered in .22LR.

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Cédric seems to be a man of few words, or at least online, so I’ll let his photos do most of the talking. However, he at least shared the base purpose for this reworked Smith & Wesson 617 as you can read below:

New RIMFIRE project on this 4 inch 617-6 with weight reducing for fast steel shooting barrel cuts reduced cylinder diameter glass bead finish hammer and trigger polishing LPA sights NILL grip trigger job and……voilà.

The S&W 617 is a K Frame, 10-shot revolver, that comes in either a four or six-inch barrel configuration. The U.S. MSRP is listed as $893 on Smith-Wesson.com, however, the same model in France is listed for around €1,500. The base model can be seen below for comparison to Cédric’s work that follows it.

Image credit: Smith & Wesson

Once the S&W 617 was stripped down to all its individual parts, Cédric went to work with his tools. Part of this job was to lighten the revolver to make it a little quicker to aim and manipulate. The bottom of the barrel lug and the right side of the lug, just behind the ejector rod had material removed. Next, a judicious amount of material was removed from the front two-thirds of the cylinder, removing any hint that the cylinder had been fluted.

custom revolvers
lightening cuts to reduce weight
non-fluted revolver cylinder

Next up were the sights. He leveled the front and rear sight bases, then replaced the stock sights. The new front sight now sports a red fiber optic, while the rear LPA Sight is drastically more robust and adjustable compared to the stock sights. You can see some detailed polishing on the hammer and trigger in some of the photos as well.

Image credit: LPA Sights
leveling pistol sights
trigger job on a revolver
Nill grips for Smith & Wesson revolvers

And finally, the finished product. Much of Cédric’s custom revolver work I’ve seen on Instagram has involved adding Nill-Griffe wood grips, which look amazing, and someday I’m going to outfit one of my guns with a set myself.

Custom Smith & Wesson 617, 22lr
lightened pistol for competition
Cedric_Armurier on Instagram

If you’re on Instagram, I highly recommend following cedric_armurier to see his wonderful work, and he’s regularly active with projects. If you take a look at his page, let us know which project of his you like best.

What do you think of Cédric’s custom work on this S&W 617? Would you like to do something similar with one of your own revolvers, or have you already had similar work done? Feel free to also let us know of any of the experiences you’ve had with Nill Grips or LPA Sights in the comment section.

Doug E
Doug E

Doug has been a firearms enthusiast since age 16 after getting to shoot with a friend. Since then he's taken many others out to the range for their first time. He is a husband, father, grandfather, police officer, outdoorsman, artist and a student of history. Doug has been a TFB reader from the start and is happy to be a contributor of content. Doug can be reached at battleshipgrey61 AT gmail.com, or battleshipgrey61 on Instagram.

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2 of 13 comments
  • Gary Paul Johnston Gary Paul Johnston on Jun 16, 2022

    He should have cut new "short" flutes. As small as they would be, flutes were originally designed to control the cylinder while reloading, and these would also have style. A Python style vet rib would also top it off.

  • BeoBear BeoBear on Jun 23, 2022

    I can appreciate the skill of the gunsmith, the benefits of the lower weight, better sights and grips but from an aesthetic standpoint, I just don't like it. It doesn't look right to me.