Ammo suggestions for my S&W 66 3inch


November 27, 2004, 08:17 PM
What do you suggest for self-defense ammo in my 3in. 66?
.38+P or .357?
What brand, etc?

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November 27, 2004, 10:52 PM
.38+p for bedside/inside/vehicle. .357 blast indoors from 3" barrel not a fun experience for your senses. Others will disagree, but you will not be temporarily blinded and deafened as much by the .38+p and will have a much better chance of getting a 2nd shot off to POA. There are some excellent .38+p SD loads available now that are very adequate for SD. You could also set up the first couple of rounds for .38+P and the remaining 4 for .357 should you still need them. Some folks don't like to mix calibers, but it is another option. :eek:

November 27, 2004, 11:28 PM
In my 3" S&W 13 and 65, I carry the Winchester Silvertip 145gr. JHP. It gives adequate velocity and is very accurate, and has a lot less flash and blast than the superhot 125gr. loads. If I want to download to .38 Special +P, I go with Speer Gold Dot 135gr. JHP.

November 28, 2004, 02:37 PM
I carry 125 grain JHP magnums in my 640-1, but of late I have been thinking something like the Silvertip might be a tad more controllable and maybe (any firearm indoors is painfully lound) a little easier on the senses.

November 28, 2004, 10:15 PM
use sjhp's in .357 . you want maximum knockdown power. do not fear recoil. I have an sp101 in 2 inch and Ill shoot any hot loaded .357 out of it. :evil:

November 29, 2004, 02:12 AM
My favorite .357 magnum load is the Winchester Silvertip 145 gr. JHP. I like the .38 special +P 158 gr. lead hollowpoint by Federal, Remington, or Winchester. I think a good compromise is the .357 magnum Winchester 110 gr. JHP. When I had a 2 1/2" model 66 it was loaded with this 110 gr. load.

November 29, 2004, 09:13 PM
I like the 38+P LSWC-HP because the rapid follow-up shots and proven record. My most likely gun-use scenario will either be in a car or an indoor office/home. I don't want excessive penetration and mega flash.

November 30, 2004, 06:05 AM
I keep 145-grain Silvertips in my three-inch M65LS. After of bunch research, a bunch of shooting and bunch of just playing around, I wouldn't have anything else. It's probably the best all-around general purpose commercial .357 Magnum load--at it's relatively inexpensive and easy to find.

December 1, 2004, 06:45 AM
I'll echo exactly what Preacherman said!

Winchester 145 gr. Silvertip .357 or, if you desire a lighter load, Speer's new 135 gr. GoldDot JHP in .38 spl +P. This 135 gr. load is designed specifically to perform quite effectively at the low velocities typical of 2" snubbies (860 fps to 1060 fps). If you're shooting a 4" or longer barrel, then other loads would probably be better as the 135 gr. at higher speeds will tend to want to blow off it's petals. With a 3" or longer, I prefer a 140 gr. JHP (Speer and others are good) travelling at about 1150 fps. Enough weight for good penetration, enough speed for good expansion, slightly less recoil and blast than you get from full bore 125 gr. JHPs, therefore your recovery time should be a tad better between shots.

While the various 125 gr. JHP's will do an excellent job, they are more damaging to the gun if used extensively over a period of time and they are quite "hot".

More important than ammo type is hitting well during rapid DA firing... which requires a LOT of double action practice with whatever load you decide on! Hitting well and quickly with a DA revolver is not easy to master!

BTW, congrats on the 3" 66... they're not very common and are as good as a fighting wheelgun gets.

December 1, 2004, 05:01 PM
I use 125 grain Golden Sabre .357's in my 3" 66.


December 2, 2004, 12:41 AM
I'd use Gold Dot.357's. I too use to shoot hot loads out of a 2 1/2" Mod 66.

As far as .38+P vs. .357...

I would gladly trade a little ringing in my ears and having to say" What did you say?" for 5 minutes for making sure that the bad guy never said anything ever again.

December 2, 2004, 10:30 AM
In .357 mag, I go with either Black Talons or Hydrashoks...for self defense. Just use regular fodder for punchin paper... :evil:

December 2, 2004, 10:44 PM
I was going to ask the same question for a load for my 65 3". Lots of good info here.

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