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S&W 66-5 with possible fractured cylinder

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by gamestalker, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Hello there all,
    I have a stainless 66-5 that has ingesting a steady diet of H110/296 loads, probably over 5K at least. I have a 66-2 I bought new back in the mid 1980s that has had far more of these type rounds put through it and the only issue I've ever had with it was a worn firing pin. The peice is nice and tight and shoots quite well. But there is one suspicous spot I haven't notice before on the heaviest portion of the cylinder. It's only on the outside too. What I'm wondering is, where is the most likely area to develope a catastrophic failure from high pressure loads. I'm not going to under rate my style of hand loading, simply put I shoot maximum performance loads. Nothing that has ever blown a primer or caused a case failure, never. This revolver and my other one's live on full house magnum jacketed only loads, and none in the near 30 years of loading like this have ever broke, or had a catastrophic failure as of yet, I hope. All the brass is normal looking, the firearm is super tight and accurate, and all of the cylinder's are in perfect round .357 diameter at the exit. The forcing cone is in perfect looking condition also. I take extremely good care of my firearms to the extent that I keep the front of the cylinder polished and looking new without the use of abbrasive cleaning methods. My purpose in keeping it so clean is so I will see any developing problems much sooner being that I load hot and shoot an average of 200 rounds per session. No signs of wear there either. Am I possibly just being anal or paranoid maybe? Or is it likely to experience a failure on the outside of the heaviest portion of the cylinder, before developing from the inside first?
    Thanks for you ear's of expertise gentlemen.
  2. pikid89

    pikid89 Well-Known Member

    i cant offer much help other than your gonna have to put up pictures if you want anything besides speculation
  3. rjrivero

    rjrivero Well-Known Member

    K Frames have a history of cracking the forcing cone when fed a steady diet of .357. They are nice guns, and fit the hand well. However, if you insist on full power .357, I would argue that you're better served with an L frame. It's just more robust.

    Without seeing the cylinder, I couldn't offer any descent advice.
  4. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    It's in fact far to slight to be visible with in a picture. The forcing cone does is in fact have a history with the K frames with full .357's, however the forcing cone is in absolute perfect condition. That is why I was asking if that heaviest portion of the cylinder is an area of common failure. I''m hoping I'm just being anal, which is probably more likely the case.
    I'll take it into my smith and have him carefully inspect it. He is an older fellow who has that certain respect for S&W's and other fine wheel guns. Years back I picked a smith randomly who didn't even know how to take the side plate off, and more importantly put it back on. This guy managed to warp the side plate on a really nice model 10, and scratch it, all in a bout 10 minutes.
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    When a cylinder fails, it fails at the thinest sections, right over one or more the chambers. Usually the top three at once, which also takes the top strap off with it.

    Or they fail at the even thinner sections where the bolt cuts are located in the already thin chamber walls. In which case, you have a deep dent inside the chamber right over the bolt cut notch.
    Which is easily seen, and felt when trying to eject fired cases that don't want to come out anymore.

    To have one fail at one of the thick center sections between chambers would be almost unheard of, and very very unlikely.

    Your Model 66 is stainless steel, and stainless steel scratches if you look at it with your mouth held wrong!

    I think you are just looking at a tiny scratch on the surface.


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