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S&w 66-1

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by tote4570, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. tote4570

    tote4570 Well-Known Member

    I just received a S&W 66-1 .357. I have heard advice against shooting full power .357 loads too often. Does this mean SD rounds or just hot reloads? Also, the barrel has a little play in it if you twist on it. I am having this fixed soon, but I was wondering if it is safe to shoot it now?
    The gun was a gift and as far as I know the previous owner shot it this way.
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    There should be absolutely NO play in a pinned barrel S&W DA revolver.

    You have big problems, and it is not in shooting condition now in it's present state.

    I'd send it back to S&W repair center.
    They will either be able to fix it correctly, or pass judgment on fixing it at all.

    But in it's present condition, you have a real nice paper-weight.

  3. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Well-Known Member

    rcmodel nailed it.

    And yeah, when/if it does get fixed, avoid a steady diet of full power .357 mag loads.
  4. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member


    10059 HWY 1476
    COMANCHE, TX 76442
    Phone: (325) 885-2700
    Email: franks@hughes.net smith repair
  5. BYJO4

    BYJO4 Well-Known Member

    As RC stated, you need the barrel repaired before doing anything. Avoid shooting large amounts of 125 gr mag ammo as this is supposedly what caused wear in the model 66. The 158 gr mag ammo is fine.
  6. BCRider

    BCRider Well-Known Member

    Well, the issue, as I understand it, isn't wear. It's a case of avoiding cracking the forcing cone at the thin spot next to the cylinder arbor/ejector assembly. But I also understand that this was only an issue on the blued K frames and that cracking a forcing cone on a stainless model is rare.

    Still, the standard phrasing for K frame guns is "practice with .38's and carry .357's for serious use".

    Another option if you reload is to tone the .357's down slightly. I enjoy shooting the Magnums now and then but I found that the full 158gn bullets thrown by 14gns of 2400 was a trifle hard on my hands out of the lighter K frame. So I built some 14 grain loads up for my N frame Model 27 and some 12gn loads up for my K frame guns. The result is still within the loading data for .357Mag but it's more of a mid powered load within the lower and upper limits.
  7. tote4570

    tote4570 Well-Known Member

    Gun is fixed. Gave it a good cleaning last night and got a box of 158gr. FMJ flat points from magtech.
    I will take to range when I can and post results.
    I also changed the grips to a hogue mono grip after pics were taken.
  8. rswartsell

    rswartsell Well-Known Member

    How did it get fixed that fast? Don't get me wrong, I'm glad for you, just at a complete loss of how this particular defect could be addressed that quickly.

    If it was with drprice38444's 'smith recommendation you just might have uncovered a gem.
  9. housecat

    housecat Well-Known Member

    It may be rare, but it happened with my 66. The thin area was less than one half the thickness of the rest of the forcing cone. That gun never saw more than a couple of hundred full powered 357s. I did shoot a serious amount of (160 gr cast) 38 specials, and some (160 gr cast) 357s that really were really more like +P 38 specials. It was very accurate with both. I babied the gun because it was not fun with full loads, to me, and I had a Model 28 and a Python that really were fun with any load.

    As an aside, there was one other curious thing about that 66. There was a 148 gr. HBWC load that was more innately accurate than my offhand shooting abilities in my 60, 67, 28, and Python. The 66 would not shoot them into a six inch group at 25 yards from a dead rest. Any of my other guns would routinely shoot two inch, or better if I did my part, 25 yd groups from a dead rest. I could never come up with a rational explanation for that.
  10. tote4570

    tote4570 Well-Known Member

    I took it to a local gunsmith. hope to shoot it this weekend.
    When you say full power loads is this reloads on the upper end of specs or is it factory loads?
  11. Confederate

    Confederate Well-Known Member

    Back in the 70s, the two guns featured most often as great outdoor guns were the S&W 66 and the Ruger Security-Six. Both were super for camping, hiking and hunting. Still, the 66 had to have reduced diets of full magnum power cartridges.

    You can still do pretty much anything you want to do except fire a steady load of magnum rounds. If you want a GREAT .357 that will take an unlimited number of full throttle rounds, I recommend you find a good, used Ruger Security-Six. Its solid frame and modular design makes it one of the finest .357s ever made. The GP-100s and Smith 686s are too heavy for extended carry in my view, and too many corners were cut on the Ruger. The full length underlugs on both guns make them a pain to carry and difficult to pick up moving targets.


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