Rifleman Review: Smith & Wesson Model 648-2 Revolver

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posted on June 1, 2022

Smith & Wesson is no stranger to the concept of rimfire revolvers, and the company has a long history of producing such pistols. In recent years, the company decided to take a new approach on the design of the classic rimfire revolver with the Model 648-2. American Rifleman staff had an opportunity to tested the Model 648-2 revolver back in 2020.

Smith & Wesson Model 648-2 revolver .22 WMR stainless black grip left side.
A left-side view of the Smith & Wesson Model 648-2 revolver.

Chambered in .22 WMR, the Smith & Wesson Model 648-2 is a K-frame, or full-size, revolver with a 6" full-lugged barrel. With its metal components largely being made of stainless steel, it is a bit hefty for a rimfire revolver at 46 ozs., unloaded. The cylinder has a capacity of eight rounds and can also chamber .22 LR cartridges, though it is specifically optic sized for .22 WMR.

Smith & Wesson Model 648-2 revolver .22 WMR stainless black grip right side.
A right-side view of the Model 648-2 revolver.

Due to the nature of ignition with rimfire cartridges, revolvers chambered for such over centerfire require more mass in the hammer or greater spring tension for more reliable strikes. Its trigger has a double-action pull weight of 9 lbs., 2 ozs., and a single-action trigger pull of 5 lbs., 5 ozs. The trigger shoe itself is widened and color-case hardened, along with the enlarged spurred hammer that is a feature typically found on Smith & Wesson's match-style guns. Other controls include a traditional thumb-latch tab on the left side of the frame and an ejector rod housed by the cylinder and barrel lug.

Smith & Wesson Model 648-2 revolver .22 WMR stainless black grip reloading.
The cylinder of the Model 648-2 opened and the spent cartridges visible.

On top of the frame and barrel, the Model 648-2 comes with a Patridge-style front sight along with a rear that is fully adjustable for elevation and windage. The top portion of the barrel running behind the front sight is also ribbed to reduce glare. At the bottom of the frame is a full-sized, although slimmed down, synthetic grip. The over-molded grip has partial finger groves in the front strap and its smaller size makes it easier to user for those with smaller hands.

Smith & Wesson Model 648-2 revolver .22 WMR k-frame.
Testing out the Model 648-2 on the range.

Being a modern production Smith & Wesson revolver, the Model 648-2 also feature an action lock as an additional safety, which can be activated by inserting a key into a hole on the left side of the frame, just behind the cylinder's thumb latch. For more information on the Model 648-2, along with Smith & Wesson's other current-production revolver lines, visit smith-wesson.com.

To watch complete segments of past episodes of American Rifleman TV, go to americanrifleman.org/artv. For all-new episodes of ARTV, tune in Wednesday nights to Outdoor Channel 8:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. EST.

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