S&W model 66 3" barrel


Thaddeus Jones
March 3, 2007, 10:40 PM
I've been reading on the gun forums about this revolver. Anyone have one of these? Over on the S&W forum, they love this revolver. Some of the fellas say that it's the best revolver for carrying ever made. Is it that much better than the 4" or 2 1/2" ?

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March 3, 2007, 10:52 PM
I don't have one yet....been looking for a long time. There's not much difference in performance between the 3" and the 2 1/2", but the 3" just looks so much better...more balanced somehow. Also, most 4" 66s have square butts and the 3" have round butts, so that's a big difference there.


March 3, 2007, 10:54 PM
They are wonderful guns, but the Ruger Security-Six is the same weight and size, plus it will shoot a Smith & Wesson under the table. It's much more robust than the 66.

That said, the mid-size .357 was the greatest thing since Tater Tots. It was light, had a great trigger and was a pleasure to shoot.

Either gun is great.


The 2.75-inch Security-Six is, ounce for ounce, the toughest
.357 on the market. It weighs as much as a Smith 66, but can
eat full magnum loads all day long, something you can't do with
the 66.

March 3, 2007, 10:55 PM
It's a Performance Center F-Comp model 66. Really nice. Took me two years of just missing the right deal, and then I got this one. Wouldn't part with it for anything, and I'm your basic impulse-buyer who sells things within weeks. I bought this one to keep for a lifetime.

March 3, 2007, 11:23 PM
Tradeoffs all around, but a 3" .357 just looks, feels, and shoots right. Mine is a Model 60, though.

March 3, 2007, 11:28 PM
the advantage of the 3" over the 2.5" is the the longer ejector rod allows full lenght ejection ot .357mag casings

March 4, 2007, 12:59 AM
The rare 3" Model 66 really just might be the ultimate carry revolver.

The longer ejector rod give full extraction which the 2 1/2" barreled version lacks, the round butt conceals nicely, and the extra length of barrel makes it balance better, and provides just a little extra velocity and lighter recoil and muzzle blast.

Somehow, it just looks "right". As a gun writer once said, "The short Model 66 has a distinctly bellicose appearance".

It carries very well in a good holster, is powerful, accurate, totally reliable, "feels right", has the typically great S&W "K" frame trigger action, has great sights, and bad guys will know they're going to get more than just hurt.

I have a pair, one 2 1/2" and one of the rare 1980's limited production 3".

I've modified both front sights by installing a black insert.
I put a shallow oval-shaped hole in the insert, and filled it with Gloss White paint.
From the rear, this looks like a round White dot.
Someday, I intend to put a white vertical bar below the rear sight notch, but the White dot works so well, I just haven't gotten around to it.

March 4, 2007, 01:10 AM
very nice pair

the 3incher really does seem to balance better

Nomad, 2nd
March 4, 2007, 01:39 AM
I didn't like revolvers till I stumbled upon a 3" 66. (Balances JUUUST right)
2.5's don't feel the same.

I am always on the lookout for more.

Ala Dan
March 4, 2007, 01:54 AM
Handsome devils there dfariswheel my friend-

I have a 2-1/2" S&W model 66-4, with a set of the original walnut RB
grips with the S&W logo. It backs up my Springfield Armory 4" XD-45
ACP as a home D' handgun~! :cool: ;) :D

March 4, 2007, 12:50 PM
I have to agree the Ruger Security/Speed/Service-Six revolvers are probably the ultimate carry .357 Magnum but the S&W 3" M66 isn't far behind. I'm glad I found a 2.75" Service-Six and bought it. I should have bought the 2.75" Security-Six that was in the shop too!! The old saying "The Trigger Is Smooth As Glass" was created for this gun.


March 4, 2007, 01:14 PM
My parents own the S&W model 66 with 3" barrel, hogue grips and hi-viz front sight. It was a special run that S&W put out several years ago, and they're pretty rare from what I understand. They bought it not knowing how rare it was and the price they paid was much less than what it's worth now, so I'm hoping they might pass it on to me one day. ;)

March 4, 2007, 01:40 PM
i'd forgotten how much sleeker the service/speed-sixes look than the adjustable sighted security-six...very nice indeed.

the ruger originally seemed odd with it's 2.75" barrel until you realize that it is [I]just[I] long enough for a full lenght ejector rod

March 4, 2007, 08:29 PM
I love mine. I bought it new in 1986 and sent it out to Andy Cannon for an action job. Its got the best action of any revolver I've ever used. I've been looking for another one ever since.

Marko Kloos
March 5, 2007, 11:00 PM
Three-inch K-frames are indeed the berries for CCW, but I prefer the simplicity and no-snag factor of the fixed-sight models. (That said, I'd love to get my hands on a 3" M66.)

Here are a M10, M13, and M65, all with three-inch tubes. A 3" fixed-sight K is a no-frills, all-business sort of tool.


March 5, 2007, 11:51 PM

March 6, 2007, 12:29 AM
Awful, awful guns. If you should run across one, just email me with the seller's phone number so I can call them up and give them a piece of my mind.;)


May 17, 2007, 02:14 PM

Can you tell me where you got the black front sight insert, I'd like to replace
my red one also.


May 17, 2007, 03:09 PM
I manufactured it.

I removed the original red insert and made a new black insert...... from a screwdriver handle.
The plastic used on good screwdriver handles is solvent proof and very tough.

After making and epoxying the black insert in, I used a Dremel carbide cutter to make a very shallow, oval shaped hole, which I filled with Gloss White paint.

From the rear the oval shaped hole looks like a round dot.

You can also make a new insert by the epoxy casting method.
To do this, remove the original insert. On many older guns there are two holes in the bottom of the sight insert dovetail. These are so the epoxy will fill the holes and form a lock so the insert won't come out.
Clean these out with a needle.

Get two small plastic or metal blocks and attach them on either side of the front sight, so they form a "dam" around the insert dovetail.
Use a small pair of Vise-Grips to lock the blocks on the sight.
Apply a coat of wax to prevent the epoxy from sticking to the blocks.

Mix up some 2 hour epoxy. Add a TINY drop of model airplane paint in your choice of color.
Experiment to get the epoxy-paint mixture right. You want to use as little paint as possible.

Once the epoxy-paint is well mixed, put a drop into the sight dovetail, and brace the gun so the actual front sight is level. This will prevent the epoxy from running out and will insure a level insert.
Make sure you fill the holes in the dovetail if your gun has them.
If not, you can use a tiny drill to drill one or two shallow holes.

When the left over epoxy has cured to a hard rubber-like consistency, remove the blocks from the sight, and use a brass "knife" to remove any excess.
Allow to cure for 24 hours and you're in business.

May 17, 2007, 04:16 PM
Youd be shocked how much more velocity 3 inch barrels give over 2.5 inch barrels in 357 mag.

Because of the pressure curve, most of the velocity with 357's is developed in the first few inches and normally going from 2.5 to 3 inches will generate a good 100 fps more speed.

May 17, 2007, 06:30 PM
I have a 3" 66 and it's my favorite carry piece. I did not plan on buying it since I had 4" 686 and 3" 60 J-frame and 2" 340 but when I saw it, I could not resist.

It's a bit thinner than an L-frame (6 vs 7-rd cylinder) and when I carry it underarm (under a dress shirt), the 3-inch barrel does not press into my belt (especially when I sit) the way 4" barrel of 686 does. Same goes for IWB carry.

If you ever see one on sale, grab it - I think it's a pretty rare model.


May 17, 2007, 06:40 PM
We got one in January at a local gun show. I absolutely LOVE shooting that thing. It's heavy, of course, and bigger than my Kimber Ultra Carry, so I do not carry it concealed. But oh, my, it is a fine gun.


beaucoup ammo
May 18, 2007, 09:02 AM
Nice taste in guns. My wife learned to shoot with my .357 S&W / 3 inch / Model 65-3 "K" frame. It is the "bees knees" for carry, IMO. As is, of course, the 66.

These models should be in the dictionary under Wheelguns!

May 18, 2007, 09:16 AM

Excellent work dfarriswheel!

May 18, 2007, 12:42 PM
I have a 3" 66 that I purchased 8 or so years ago. It's a transition gun with a frame mounted firing pin. I think it was a Lew Horton run. Have never shot it.

Like Marko, I prefer 13/65. My current carry 65 has been converted to a short hammer throw DAO by Tim Bacus. Carries comfortably and is a joy to shoot. It does shares CCW duty with a Garrett tuned SP 101 though!

May 18, 2007, 11:05 PM
I have a 3" 66-2.


I prefer my 3" GP100. Just sits in my hands more naturally.


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