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S&W M66 4" with Two Piece Barrel

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by ColtBRH, Oct 20, 2005.

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  1. ColtBRH

    ColtBRH Member

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    I seen one of these at a recent gun show for $389, new. The dealer told me Smith did a special last run of the M66 with the new two piece barrel (like the new 619 and 620 has). Does anyone have more information about these? Thanks.
     
  2. Shear_stress

    Shear_stress Member

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    Could have future collector value as a "transitional" piece.
     
  3. Majic

    Majic Member

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    Not transitional but final piece. Those are the very last M66s as the K-frame magnums died.
     
  4. Shear_stress

    Shear_stress Member

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    True, but the two-piece barrel M66 mark the transition between the k-magnum and the two-piece barrel, half-lugged L-frames that would replace them.
     
  5. Majic

    Majic Member

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    You can't transition to another frame. You only transition between complete changes in the same frame.
     
  6. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

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    Transitional S&W revolvers seem to only interest collectors if they remain unfired.

    But Majic is correct. This will not be considered a transition model.
     
  7. Shear_stress

    Shear_stress Member

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    I stand corrected, though I am not sure there is a radical difference between the final K-magnum frame and the L-frame, apart from some slight reinforcement around the yoke and forcing cone. Sometimes Smith and Wesson changes the frame design and keeps the model number. In that case, would a J-frame 640 that included one or two J-magnum-frame 640-1 parts not be considered a "transitional" model? The 640-1 is on a dimensionally different frame. Just curious.

    Still, I wonder why Smith and Wesson would make the last batch of M66s with the new barrel design. Why introduce a new feature on a model that was going away? Why create new tooling for a model that only had a year to live. I guess it wouldn't be the first time they've done that.
     
  8. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    It s not a transition model????

    Then its a rare M66 with a two piece half lug barrel and sure to become a collectors item if only a few were made.

    Call S&W and ask them how many they made and then you will know how rare it is.:)
     
  9. dhoomonyou

    dhoomonyou Member

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    I have one in the 2.5 inch barrel

    last year I bought a 66-6, had some problems with it and S&W replaced the barrel with the "upgraded" 2 piece barrel, change the frame number to a 66-7.
     
  10. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

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    There is a big difference in a subtle change in frame length such as occured with the J-frame to the J-Magnum frame (the same thing happend with its predecessor the I-frame and the Improved-I frame) and an entirely new size frame.

    The L-frame is a different sized frame, when compared to a K-frame and was introduced back in 1981.
    The frame is larger. The cylinder is larger.
    Holsters are different, speedloaders are different.
    They are different guns.

    Apple & Oranges
     
  11. Shear_stress

    Shear_stress Member

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    Apples and oranges? I respectfully disagree. The number of Smith and Wesson models, changes to those models, and the often arbitrary way the numbering scheme documents those changes defy either/or attempts to catagorize these guns.

    As I was saying, the k-magnum and L-frame are dimensionally different, yet no more so than the J and J-magnum. To find out, I grabbed some guns and some calipers. I have one L-frame, a 686 and one k-frame, a K22. Note that the K22 is not even on a k-magnum frame, so any differences between it and the 686 would be all the more glaring. At any rate, the only major dimensional difference I could find is in the height of the cylinder window and a requisite increase in frame height: the 686 was 0.12" greater. A big difference, right?

    Well, I grabbed my regular J-frame M63 and compared it to the dimensions for the J-magnum that I cribbed from the Standard Catalog. Lo and behold, the cylinder window of the J-magnum is nominally 0.1" longer, with a similar increase in frame length. Like the L- and K-, The J-magnum has a longer cylinder than the J-. However, they are both still considered J-frames.

    But why is it that the dimensional differences between the k-magnum (which itself is a little beefier than the K-frame I measured) and the L-frame are significant, while the differences between the J and J-magnum are, as you say, "subtle"? Something major must happen in those twenty thousanths.

    The fact that an L-frame gun won't fit some K-frame holsters is neither here nor there. Most L-frame guns came with a thick, full lug barrel, while the vast majority of K-frames did not (again you can't even make a blanket statement there). Hell, a full-lug, 3" M60s probably won't fit some Chief's Special holsters, but that doesn't mean they aren't on the same frame. Besides, the L- and K-frames share exactly the same grip frame dimensions and thus grips, so you can't deduce models or frames based on what accessories fit what.

    It's funny that you mention the Improved I-frame because I own a no-dash flat-latch M34. This gun is on an improved I-frame, as were all M34s for three years. However, in 1960, they switch to a different frame altogether, the J-frame, but kept the same model number. The gun just became the 34-1. The irony is that the K- and L-frames can share grips and some lockwork, but the I- and J- can't to the best of my knowledge.

    My point is that sometimes S&W can make dimensional differences to a frame and call it a "improved frame", "magnum frame" or declare it a different frame altogether. They make the things, so they can name them whatever they want. If they called the J-magnum the "Improved Z-frame" or something, hardliners would be saying there was no way you could have a transition between the 640 and its "Z-frame" replacement (i.e. the 640-1). Likewise, if instead of calling it the 620, they just named it the 66-8, future S&W geeks would probably see the situation as no different than the M34's move from the I- to J-frame and move on.
     
  12. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

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    When the Model 34 changed from the Improved I frame to the J frame in 1960 it was because ALL production of I frames ceased.

    Remember that a small increase in diameter of a cylinder causes a much more noticable change in it's circumfrence.

    A K-frame Barrel will not fit into a L-frame. The shank is too small.

    The L frame is a different animal. There is no transition. In fact "Transition" is a term used by S&W collectors to describe a certain "transition" from one phase to the next within a single model. So when you used the term transition you used it incorrectly.

    Saying that a two piece barrel in a K-frame (by the way there is no K-magnum frame :rolleyes: your K-frame 22 uses the same frame as a K-frame .357) is a transition to the L-frame is like saying a S&W Model 459 is the transition from a 1911 to a Glock.

    BEcause all S&W revolver barrel production changed over to two piece construction. They stopped making barrel the old way. A better question would be what S&W asked themselves, why should they continue to use a vastly different, more expensive, process to make barrels for a model that was going away.
    The first was the X-frame 500. So by your logic, and use of the term, the two piece barrel Model 66 K-frame was the transition between the Model 500 X-frame and the L-frame 620. :scrutiny:

    Scrounge up all of the self-justification you want. The fact of the matter is you used the term (when applied to S&W revolvers) incorrectly.
     
  13. Shear_stress

    Shear_stress Member

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    Hi again,

    First, there is a K-magnum, whether or not anyone calls it that. From Supica, SCSW, page 137: "The Model 19 is built on a frame that is slightly larger than the K frame in the yoke area."

    Second, you implied that the L- and K- frame are somehow radically different, when the differences don't seem any more radical than those within the J-frame. The fact that L-frame barrels don't fit K frames doesn't really change that. I think I established that whether certain dimensional changes constitute a new frame is entirely up to the whim of Smith and Wesson.

    Third, you may have your own definition of "transition", but others may not share it. Supica doesn't. From SCSW again, this time the glossary (page 317): "...there is often not a clean break between model variations, and there are sometimes guns produced with some features of both old and new models. These are called Transitionals . . ." Notice that, at least as he defines it, a transitional doesn't have to span one frame or even one model. Hey, the final M66 has "features of both old and new models"!

    Fourth:
    According to the S&W's website and their 2005 catalog, this hasn't actually happened yet. Most of the all-steel wheelguns (617, 686, 67, etc.) in S&W 2005 lineup still have barrels of traditional, one-piece construction.

    Fifth:
    So, I was saying that a model that combines features of old and new models is somehow halfway in between two new models that are on radically different frames and full of "new features"? Better reread my post.

    and:

    Wha? Since when did S&W make Glocks?


    I may be "scrounging up all the self-justification" I want, but at least I'm using facts, rather than declarative statements.
     
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