S&W Model 66-2?


April 16, 2011, 10:01 PM
Hey All,

So, I've been thinking lately about trying to find a Model 60 3". The primary purpose would be nightstand, then plinking/range, then ccw. However, a semi-local gentleman offered me a pretty nice looking Model 66-2 with a 2.5" barrel. My concern is the slightly shorter barrel going to make the 66 any less shootable than the 60 I was looking at before? They both have adjustable rear sights which is a plus to me. Finally, he is asking $450 for the gun with two sets of grips, a owb holster, and some ammo. Fair deal?

Thanks for your help!

(This would be my first revolver too)

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April 16, 2011, 11:05 PM
I seldom comment on value that is across the nation as prices are very regional. However I can comment on the gun itself.

The K-frame M-66 is much more shootable than the J-frame M-60. Besides the obvious size difference (fit to hand size), the action of the K-frame will be smoother and is much more tunable (leaf spring vs. coil spring) as the action geometry is just more advantages in the larger frame.

The action and size far outweigh any shootability advantage the extra .5" barrel would offer. Unless your primary need was for a gun you could carry in your pocket, the M-66 is the far superor weapon

April 16, 2011, 11:07 PM

That's an excellent price. I am a sucker for almost any 3" barreled gun, but as a nightstand gun, it's immaterial.
The 66 also holds 6 rounds, vice 5 for the 60, FWIW.


April 16, 2011, 11:12 PM
Ive got a 4 inch 66-2 and its a beast!

I love it. Super smooth,.

April 16, 2011, 11:15 PM
grab it and don't let it go.they were the backbone of law enforcement for years

7.62 Nato
April 16, 2011, 11:15 PM
I recently picked up a model 60 .357 for a carry gun. If not for the size difference, I would have bought a 2 1/2 " model 66 that I was offered for a nice deal. I already have a 4" model 66. If you don't plan to carry it, I say get the 66. Both are excellent guns and the model 66 does have one more round.

Colt Smith
April 17, 2011, 12:35 AM
These days that is a fair price on a superior weapon.

April 17, 2011, 12:41 AM
Thanks everyone for your input. I sent the seller a few more questions in regards to the condition etc. Here's a picture of the firearm in question. Looks to be in good shape.


April 17, 2011, 01:04 AM
In today's market that is a fair deal. The accessories and ammo push it over the top into "good" deal. 2.5" Model 66s are fetching well north of $500 these days.

The M66 is a far superior revolver in comparison to the M60 (if they are both in .357). Better action, trigger, strength, capacity, recoil management, and looks.


April 17, 2011, 08:56 AM
I own a 66-5 in 2.5" barrel, it is my favorite. When I bought it I was concerned about the barrel being to short. Once at the range those fears vanished quickly.

My favorite of all the S&W's is the K frame. They do not make a gun that fits my hand as well as the K frame. Once you pick it up and hold it I bet you agree.

They aren't making these anymore and prices are going up.

April 17, 2011, 09:01 AM
Thanks Chindo and joed. I'm trying to iron out the details with the seller now.

April 17, 2011, 09:50 AM
So here's the total deal from the seller: 66-2, Desantis high ride owb, hogue grips pictured, wood grips (unknown brand), and 20rds Hornady 38sp, 6 rds 357. He said the price with ammo would be $475. Not sure if the $25 bump is worth it for so little ammo? Also, I'm driving about an hour to him for the sale. Maybe ask if he will cover the transfer fee if I buy it at his asking, otherwise I'll take it at the $450? Thought?

April 17, 2011, 10:01 AM
Hey All,

So, I've been thinking lately about trying to find a Model 60 3". The primary purpose would be nightstand, then plinking/range, then ccw. However, a semi-local gentleman offered me a pretty nice looking Model 66-2 with a 2.5" barrel. My concern is the slightly shorter barrel going to make the 66 any less shootable than the 60 I was looking at before? They both have adjustable rear sights which is a plus to me. Finally, he is asking $450 for the gun with two sets of grips, a owb holster, and some ammo. Fair deal?

Thanks for your help!

(This would be my first revolver too)

If the weapon is tight and in as good condition as it appears to be I think $450 is a more than a fair price for weapon, 2 sets of grips, holster and ammo.

April 17, 2011, 11:35 AM
I have a M67-no dash that was made in 1970. Super nice trigger. Hardly any rounds through it when I bought it 3 yrs ago. The only thing I don't like about it are the stainless front and rear sights.

April 17, 2011, 02:40 PM

In reality, most accessories specific to a handgun are not worth spit. Nice to include in the package, but most sellers overvalue the "extras" when formulating a package sales price. Sellers invariably calculate about an 85% value on their "stuff included". In reality, the accessories are rarely worth more than half their retail value.

Let me explain.

The seller is getting rid of a handgun. He purchased several items for use with that handgun (grips, holsters, cleaning equipment, ammo, etc.). He thinks he is entitled to recoup close to full value for the accessories.

In reality, he has several items of no further use once the gun is sold. If he had any use for the holster or spare grips (perhaps for fitting to another weapon), he'd not be offering them as part of the sales package. This often applies to the ammo as well, especially if he owns no other weapon using that caliber.

Years ago, ammo was a freebie usually thrown in to the deal. At today's ammo prices, it isn't unreasonable to bump up a few dollars for 1) a lot of ammo or 2) expensive premium ammo. The 26 rounds he's including had better be some high end stuff...otherwise, take a pass on the ammo.

The holster may be the nicest condition name-maker rig for a S&W M66, but it's USED. In this particular case, the holster fits a uniquely short barrel length and he will never utilize it for any other weapon. Newish expensive holsters eventually become dusty Old holsters and wind up in discount boxes near the cash register of gunshops, and surplus stores...or turn into cheap buys at yard sales. Unless it's a handcrafted work of art or a product from a backlogged and in-demand maker (like El Paso Saddlery)...it's just a used piece of leather or kydex. Worth (at most 50%) of retail cost...probably closer to 25%.

In your case, a comparable new Desantis rig is about a $70 holster. $40 dollars used value tops. On the other hand...not too many holster makers carry new boned leather that will fit a 2.5 barreled and discontinued M66-2. If you intend to carry the Smith, a nice fitted holster available right now is a plus... and easier than searching on-line vendors looking for that rare holster configuration. That same rarity might make the holster offered of a bit more value to YOU.

Another caveat concerns the extra grips. IF they are factory original to the Smith 66 (e.g., checkered wood roundbutt service stocks in good shape), the value of the grips alone would push the deal well into your favor. Factory wood grips fetch anywhere from $80 - $150 these days depending upon style, frame size, and condition. The rubber grips...not so much...maybe $5 - $10. If the spare wood grips aren't factory, but are a product of some quality grip maker (like Hogue), they are (again) not worth close to retail. An $85 set of Hogues are worth only $25 - $35 to me, unless they have a really attractive color/grain that I just happen to like a whole lot. If they are no-name wood knock-offs...they are worth the same as the rubber grips. If they are after-market French Walnut Presentation Keith Brown Ropers...jackpot...they are worth almost the price of the revolver.

I mentally total up the value of everything offered with a gun and knock off 40% value from the get go. Then I start to look hard at the condition of the accessories and refine their actual value a bit.

All that said...

$450 (or even $475) is actually a good price for what's being offered. I'd buy at that price without blinking, although I'd offer less initially and see what haggling brings.

Smith & Wesson 2.5 inch Model 66s are becoming highly desirable revolvers. They represent a quality of design not currently offered by Smith (they don't make 'em anymore) and their values have climbed over the last five years and will continue to do so. Next time you see one...the seller will be asking $600...without accessories.

Buy it.

Hope this helped...

April 17, 2011, 03:16 PM
Thanks Chindo! I spoke with him and he's leaving out the ammo (by my request) and including holster and grips for the $450. I'll cover the transfer fee. Should be bringing it home on Wednesday barring any issues with the gun when I check it out. Speaking of which. Are there any specific things I should look for when I see it in person?

Thanks again everyone for all your help!

Hondo 60
April 17, 2011, 03:32 PM
You've made a very wise choice.

The difference between shooting a 60 & a 66 is like night & day.
The 66 is MUCH, MUCH, MUCH, MUCH better. :)

Imagine the beer commercial where the guy is getting caned for not pouring down the middle. That's like shooting 357s out of a J-frame.

Now image the guy standing in a bar pouring the beer down the middle of the glass - no pain - that's like shooting 357s out of a model 66.

Now it'll still have some kick, but nowhere near like the J-frame

April 17, 2011, 03:36 PM
Lol. Awesome! I bet shooting 38s out of it will feel like a 22. :D

Ala Dan
April 17, 2011, 05:17 PM
I have a S&W model 66-4 .357 magnum, that I bought used a few year's back
for $225. Its one of my favorites, as well~! :cool: ;)

April 17, 2011, 09:15 PM
ninemm: Jim March's excellent sticky (posted at the top of this Revolver Forum) is the bible... http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=1430

Rather than go over all the ground he already expertly covers, I'll simply mention that you need to look for the obvious and (at a minimum) briefly hit the following:

1. Is it relatively clean and rust free? Carbon residue from firing doesn't mean a thing, but you'd be rightly concerned if the piece is coated in rust or 20 years worth of dust, dirt, and lint. Judging from the photo, I'd say you will have zero issues.

2. Cycle the action and ensure that it does cock, lock, and drop the hammer without any hangups, excessively gritty feel or unusual mechanical noises. Do this for all six cylinders. Thumb cock the weapon (after clearing it!), pull the trigger, and gently thumb lower the hammer each time. Bad form to repetitiously and rapidly dry fire someone else's weapon.

3. Does the cylinder lock up tightly when the weapon is cocked? It should.

4. Are the grips or sideplate missing any screws? Are they buggered up (possibly indicating someone having done an bubba "action job")?

5. Are there any obvious major damages (dings, marring, or bending) to the crane, front / rear sights, ejector rod, grips, or muzzle crown? In other words, does the weapon look like it got dribbled across a concrete parking lot or was it possibly used as a hammer or impact weapon at some time during its life?

6. When you look at the weapon, be sure and inspect it visually from both sides, from the muzzle, from the rear, from the top, and from the bottom. You can do all this in about 20 seconds. Just look for anything that appears to be out of kilter or damaged. Honest wear on a pistol (especially an easily polished stainless gun) is perfectly normal. It is used. There will be some fine wear or light scratches to the finish. Don't worry about it.

7. Naturally, look down the muzzle for major pitting or rust. Carbon, leading, or copper appearing buildup (from semi-jacket bullets) is no cause for concern. A simple cleaning will take care of most cosmetic issues. If you have a small bore light, key chain light, or mini-flashlight it can assist in visual inspection, but don't get carried away. You are buying a revolver for a couple hundred bucks...not a collectible Ferrari. If you have no light handy, simply open the cylinder, and use ambient light reflected off a thumbnail to illuminate the bore and cylinders when you eyeball them from the other (muzzle) end.

Evaluating a used handgun is not rocket science and considerably easier than inspecting a used car (or even a used lawnmower or bicycle). If it feels or looks like something is mechanically broken...it probably is. If it doesn't...then everything is probably just fine.

Congrats on finding a very nice revolver!

April 18, 2011, 12:42 AM
I have a 66-2 and a 66-5 and have put thousands of hot hand loaded jacketed rounds though both, even though that's probably not a nice way to treat a decent piece. They are as sweet and tight as can be in my opinion. And they are deffinitely a better design than the model 60, in my opinion. Nothing wrong with the M-60 in general, it's just not as smooth action, as strong, or as precision operating as the 66-2 is. Also, if you ever want to tweak the 66-2, it's a bit more worthy piece to have worked on.

April 18, 2011, 03:46 PM
And I start scheming on how to get it...
Check the following --> timing, lock up, push off, flame cutting, leading in barrel, and general overall condition.

evan price
April 19, 2011, 02:56 AM
I've got a 66 no-dash 2.5" and it is by far my favorite S&W 357. It's about the perfect size for utility, concealment and carry. Shoots as well (accuracy wise) as the 4" 66 no-dash I also have, just much more handy. In a money pinch I'd sell the 4" 66 and keep my 2.5" 66!

April 19, 2011, 06:32 AM
I paid $400 for my 66-5 about 8 years ago, it was just slightly used. The price on these is going to keep going up. They are a very nice revolver in my opinion.

I believe you got a deal.

April 20, 2011, 12:45 PM
Picked the gun up today! Looks really nice. Everything I checked on it seemed good (timing, bore, gap, lockup, etc). There is a tiniest smidge of side to side wiggle in the cylinder when locked up, but no front to back. I didn't have a gauge for the cylinder gap, but a piece of paper just fits through. Seems like maybe .003 to me. Certainly not credit card thick. The SA trigger is a dream. The DA is good, but feels a bit "stagey" if that makes sense.

He did end up including 22rds of Winchester/Hornady 38 special jhps. The Herret's grips have seen better days though. The seller said that between him and the original owner he thinks the gun has only seen about two boxes of ammo. If that's truly the case then this baby has a lot more life in her. Overall I'm pretty pleased. The gun feels great in hand. Can't wait to go shoot it!


Cop Bob
April 20, 2011, 01:37 PM
You got a good deal, I was a bit confused when you mentioned a3" in a K frame. It appears though that yours is the 2 1/2", I have never seen a 3" offered my smith in a K frame, however they did offer a J frame .38 in 3" heavy for awhile....


April 20, 2011, 01:50 PM
Hey Bob. Thanks for the compliment! The 3" I was originally wanting to buy was a J frame M60. This guy is the 2.5" M66, you're correct. Sorry for the confusion! :)

(PS - new pics and thoughts on the gun are in my last post on pg1 for those that skipped right to pg2)

April 20, 2011, 02:12 PM
I have never seen a 3" offered my smith in a K frame
I've seen several of the 3" M66s..usually at gun shows

They were first made as a special run for the USPS Postal Inspectors

April 20, 2011, 03:03 PM
Outstanding! Very nice deal. Beautiful revolver in excellent condition, quality holster, two sets of quality grips...and ammo the old owner wasn't going to need after he sold it to you ;).

I'd say you did real good.

Black Butte
April 20, 2011, 04:42 PM
Here are two GunBroker listings for Mod. 66 K-frame 3" barrels:


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