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S&w 66-4

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by dondavis3, Feb 22, 2010.

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  1. dondavis3

    dondavis3 Member

    Oct 28, 2009
    Dallas / Forth Worth Area
    Hi all,

    I have recently acquired a Stainless S&W Model 66-4 with a 4” barrel.


    Anybody know how to find its birth date?

    The serial number is CAE 1XXX.

    Is it safe to shoot 125 grain .357’s through it?

    As I researched the gun, I ran across several warnings about shooting 125 grain .357’s through Model 19’s.

    I don’t know if it applies to model 66-4 or not.

    Thank you in advance for your help.


    GUNKWAZY Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Same warning applies to both the 19's & 66's.
    The forcing cone has been known to crack with too much use of hot loaded lightweight 357 magnums.
    The 66 is no longer around, but was made for decades. It's no slouch of a gun, they are in fact fantastic revolvers.
    Just don't feed it thousands of rounds of hot lightweight 357 magnums is all.
    As far as finding out it's birth date, have you asked to see it's drivers license ? Just jokin', I would guess it was mfg in the mid 90's. 1995 or 1996

    Jeff (GUNKWAZY)
  3. Confederate

    Confederate Member

    Feb 19, 2005
    Arlington, VA
    Stainless steel resists gas cutting and erosion, but the 66 still should be thought of as a GREAT .38 Spc that has been reenforced to take .357s.

    If you want to fire a lot of .357s, find a good Ruger Security-Six and invest in that -- but don't bail out of your 66, or you'll regret it. And don't be too hesitant to fire .357s from your 66. Just don't go crazy! Also, inspect your forcing cone carefully, especially at the six o'clock position.
  4. Steve C

    Steve C Member

    Jan 5, 2006
    This GunBlast article on the use of magnum ammunition in Model 19's is applicable to the Model 66 that is the stainless version.

    The following was shamelessly copied from a post in this this firing line thread; http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=327032 and will give you an idea of the time it was built.

    Introduced in 1970
    1974 introduced 2 1/2" round butt

    66-1 1977 changed gas ring from yoke to cyclinder
    1978 introduced 6 " barrel

    66-2 1982 ( see note above )
    1985 special production of 3" barrel for Ashland Arms, 5000 made

    66-3 1986

    66-4 1994 changed rear sight, went to Hogue grips
    1995 - 1996 deleted sq butt
    1997 changed to MIM trigger

    66-5 1998 change to MIM hammer with floating pin, internal frame locks
  5. bflobill_69

    bflobill_69 Member

    May 30, 2008
    Northcentral, AZ
    That is a beauty...
  6. roaddog28

    roaddog28 Member

    Oct 5, 2009
    Escondido, CA
    I have a 66-4 4 inch and I love the revolver. I agree with others to limit the about of 357s and go with the 158gr rounds. The 19/66 is the best handling revolver I have ever used. I also agree with Confederate that if you want to shoot heavier amounts of 357s then a good used Ruger Security/Service/Speed Six would be a good option. The Security Six handles almost as well as the 19/66 but is much stronger and can take 357s. Anyway good luck with your 66-4. I am sure you will like as well as I like mine.

    Good luck,
    My 66-4 4 inch
    My Ruger Police Service Six 4 inch. Heavier built for shooting 357s.
  7. Maj Dad

    Maj Dad Member

    Dec 1, 2005
    Carolina Low Country
    Check Out The L

    If you like your M19, you'd get dreamy-eyed over a nice 4" 686... :p I've owned 'em all, and my 686 no dash is my favorite. Not too big, not too small, not too cold, not too hot - it's JUUSSST right... Seriously, the L is my favorite, and I prefer the older Smiths over the other (admittedly perfectly good) brands. Try it, you'll like it... :cool:
  8. Oro

    Oro Member

    Sep 22, 2007
    WA state
    Yes, just don't load them over SAAMI spec.

    The GunBlast article above is a nice summation of all the internet myths on this subject, but is a little short on facts. For example, the "bearing surface theory" repetition is tedious - a little time with a micrometer and understanding of revolver function makes that one moot. Modern 125gr or similar loads won't harm the gun more than others.

    The -4 is a good built, with improved construction methods over the prior generations. Enjoy it.

    I have to agree with this. If you want to shoot a lot of .357's - this is the machine. I like to carry a 2.5" 19 or 66, and I'll never get rid of the 27's, but I really like to shoot the 4" 686.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2010
  9. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

    Jan 29, 2005
    Ava, Missouri
    Hummm...Here we go again. Nice Mod 66 by the way. I have a Mod 19-5 that I bought new in 1986. It has seen only magnum ammunition. Nary a .38 Special has ever been fired in it. I use it for general target practice and both open carry and concealed. However I do not use 125 grain loads. 140 grain bullets and heavier. It has thousands of round fired down range. The forcing cone shows minor amount of erosion and the top strap shows very little flame cutting. I bet I will wear out before it does.
  10. Thaddeus Jones

    Thaddeus Jones Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    My 3" 66 is a 66-4. fine revolver and very durable. Enjoy yours! TJ
  11. OldCavSoldier

    OldCavSoldier Member

    May 22, 2009
    I bought my 6-inch M66 in 1979 from the Fulda (Germany) Rod & Gun Club. Have shot boocoo rounds through it. Mostly 125 grain .38 Special loads, some 158 grain +P loads, and some .357 158 grain loads. The pistol handles them all just fine!! Extremely nice trigger, pinned and recessed, looks like a dream and shoots like a wet one!!!

    I agree with Maj Dad in his assessment of the L-frame Smiths. I own a 3-incher and bought a 4-incher for my son's 21st. They both shoot extremely well, and I think my 3-incher is the closest to the "perfect revolver" that I have ever shot or owned.

    Enjoy your M66. I sure have and still do!!!
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