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Smith and Wesson model 66 (pictures!)

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Caedo, Oct 16, 2011.

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  1. Caedo

    Caedo Member

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    So, I recently came into possession of my very first handgun. I've shot plenty of handguns in my short life (I'm turning just 19 in December), but this is the first that I can say is mine.

    My grandfather had a S&W Model 66 after he retired from police work, which found its way to my father, when it then went to my father's brother and eventually landed in my hands just a few days ago.

    I have no idea of the vintage. When I picked it up from my uncle, it was in an old Smith and Wesson box, but the box said that it was from 1955, and as I understand, the Model 66 didn't come around until 1970. My grandfather isn't around anymore to tell me the story behind that, unfortunately, so who knows. This thread isn't about what year the gun was manufactured, but some enlightenment on the matter never hurt :)

    Stainless finish, black rubber Pachmayr grips. Rear sight is adjustable for windage and elevation. I think the barrel is 4 inches. It's pinned and recessed, and has the firing pin mounted on the hammer. No key lock.

    [​IMG]

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    I took it to the range today and fired both .357 and .38 in it. The .357s really got some attention from the noise and muzzle energy. It has the best trigger I've ever squeezed. Right now I'm getting to work on contacting Smith and Wesson about a factory refinish, but my instincts tell me that stainless can't be refinished. But I have no idea. :D I can post more pictures if desired! I also forgot to mention above, but this is a no dash model.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  2. Black Knight

    Black Knight Member

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    You are correct about the finish. It can't be refinished since the finish is actually the steel the gun is made of. What can be done is it can be brightly polished to resemble a nickle finish. The 66 was designed as a working gun and the satin (dull) finish was normal. From the pictures you have a fine looking revolver there and I wouldn't waste the money of the polishing unless you are going to do it yourself. As long as it is functionally sound I would not concern myself with the difference between bright and satin finish. Many law enforcement officers carried the 66 and a good many changed the grips. If you prefer the factory grips they should be easy to find considering the K-frame was extremely popular with law enforcement and non law enforcement alike. Good luck, enjoy the 66 and stay safe.
     
  3. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Member

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    Those are great. If you like the gun, it doesn't need anything but ammo and a holster.
     
  4. highpower

    highpower Member

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    Congratulations, you have a nice piece there. Model 66 no dash's are fast becoming very collectable. You have a early (and even more desirable) gun with the stainless rear sight. There is a sticky at the top of the page where you can go to research the DOB.

    The model 66 is the stainless version of the model 19, probably one of the best all around revolvers ever made.

    My advise is to resist the urge to bubba your inheritance and leave it alone. ANYTHING you do to it besides clean it after shooting will only decrease the value. I notice that it doesn't have the original stocks on it in the pictures, are they available? If so be sure and keep them with the gun.

    I know that it is hard not to tinker with a new toy, but trust me, in the years to come you will be very glad you left the finish alone.

    Gratuitous pictures of my 66 no dash with the later blued sights:
    IMG0448-XL.jpg
    IMG0308-XL.jpg
     
  5. pendennis

    pendennis Member

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    There are several things you can do before contacting S&W.

    As a stainless steel revolver, you can use Flitz or Mothers Mag Polishes to clean up the revolver. Stainless will oxidize just like any other steel; it just takes longer. You liklely have some mild surface oxidation. Take a clean rag, rub the cleaner in, but don't get frisky. You can end up with a too shiny revolver. Then polish with a clean, soft cloth.

    Second, if you can provide the serial number, someone here can tell you the year it was made. The serial number will be on the frame under the model number (66, 66-1, etc.). The serial number will also be on the base of the frame beneath the grips. It will probably start with one or two numbers, then the letter "K", and then followed by one to five numbers. This number will tell us when the revolver was shipped, not necessarily when the frame was seriialized.

    The Model 66 was first manufactured in 1970, but not shipped until July 1971. The first serial numbers started with K949100. After the numbers got to K999999, they restarted with 1K1, and went up from there. The -1, etc., after the model number indicate the engineering change of that particular model.

    Stainless is very user-friendly with maintenance. Not much to do except clean and wipe down, for the most part.

    You've got a very fine revolver there, and with reasonable care, you can pass it on to your children and grandchildren.
     
  6. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    The 66 was the basic cop gun in the late 1970's and early 80's. They don't hold up well to a steady diet of 125 grain loads but will do just fine with heavier 158 grain bullets or
    .38 Specials for practice. Use hearing protection and enjoy!
     
  7. Fishslayer

    Fishslayer Member

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    It appears that you have the stainless rear sight and plain front sight. If original to the gun that would put it in the very early "no dash" model run, somewhat rare & somewhat sought after. To my knowlege there is no real cutoff date on the stainless rear sight. They were replaced with blackened stainless rear and red ramp (RR) front sight when it was found that the stainless sights were hard to pick up.

    My stainless sight no dash is '72 vintage.

    M66nodash5.gif
     
  8. oldfool

    oldfool Member

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    very very nice !

    the 66 is one of extreme few I own two of (three if you count the near-clone Taurus blued 66), just because I like 'em so much :)
     
  9. Caedo

    Caedo Member

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    You've all supplied some great information! :) I did a serial number look up; it's from 1971-1972ish, as I understand. I don't have the original grips but I'm not going to switch out the ones I have now; they feel great as they are. I am definitely going to look into those polishes and see if I can't get some of the surface rust off. But if I don't, it's all good. The bore is still shiny :D I also discovered that the box that I got it in is original to the gun; the 1955 stamp I saw was a S&W warranty mark that was unrelated to the gun. I will post pics asap :)
     
  10. Thaddeus Jones

    Thaddeus Jones Member

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    Congrats! Beautiful 66 you have there.

    I carried a 4" 66 for many years on duty. Off duty was a 2.5" 66. Wonderful revolvers we will not see the likes of again.

    My IDPA revolver is a 4" 66-2. After many thousands of rounds it still groups under 3" at 25 yards. I love the model 66! :)
     
  11. Fishslayer

    Fishslayer Member

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    It's great to see a "Look at my heirloom revolver!" thread instead of the usual "How many video games can I get for my inherited revolver?"

    However... do not lose the box! The original box makes your revolver even more rare and will garner much envy with S&W guys! Especially if it still has the tools & paperwork. :D

    Make sure and post a range report. I believe you will fall in love. I know I did. ;)
     
  12. roaddog28

    roaddog28 Member

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    Congrats on a great revolver. One of the best that S&W ever made. I have a 66-4 4 inch and love it. Yours is the earlier series and are more collectable. Have fun shooting you revolver.
    Regards,
    Howard
     
  13. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    A pinned & recessed (P&R) 66 is a collector's dream gun.
    You certainly have a treasure there.

    And you're correct about the model's beginnings.
    It was first made in 1971.

    To get a manufacture date of your gun, post the first 4 or 5 characters of the serial number, like ABC12XXX.
    Then those of us with a Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson can help date it for you.
     
  14. TGReaper

    TGReaper Member

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    These revolvers are a hard act to follow,and yours is better than most due to its age. You should use it and enjoy it.
    I have a 66-1 recessed and pinned, great gun. Shown with its baby sister (mod 34)

    3466.jpg

    TGR
     
  15. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    You might want to get a set of new springs for your revolver, check out Wolff Springs, might not hurt to get a set for it., then will be like brand new.
     
  16. evan price

    evan price Member

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    If there's nothing wrong with your revolver, the springs don't need swapped. As long as you are not getting light strikes on the primers it's fine. I almost never see S&W leaf springs go bad ever. Some people mess with the rebound springs and stuff but it doesn't do as much as you might think.
     
  17. Caedo

    Caedo Member

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    So, here is the box! Unfortunately, the original paperwork and tools didn't come with it, but that's fine. The box is in great shape; there are no rips or tears in the cardboard.

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    And some more shots of the piece :D

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    [​IMG]

    Sorry if the pictures aren't the greatest; my "high end camera" is my HTC Sensation.

    I also used some "high end editing" (Microsoft Paint) to cover up part of the serial number, but the thing about the box that struck me as interesting was actually the color. As I understand, the box for the Model 66 was silver, not blue. But I'm not too sure about that.
     
  18. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Member

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    Evidently, the box for this one is blue. :D
     
  19. Fishslayer

    Fishslayer Member

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    The pictures are just fine, and beautiful revolver.

    It's pretty cool to see a revolver go to it's third generation in the same family. It looks like it's been well cared for. You should have no problem handing it down to your kid & beyond.;)
     
  20. pikid89

    pikid89 Member

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    As I understand it, the stainless rear sight was discontinued because it was overly difficult to machine the stainless parts that small, and led to too many broken parts during manufacturing
     
  21. Caedo

    Caedo Member

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    Well said :) my grandfather used to have a Model 10, which he carried for quite a while before he switched to the Model 66. My father, who was also a police officer, used to have a Model 15 which he eventually switched for a Model 686. (he was too manly to carry a "wimpy" .38) The Model 66 is the only one that survived, though. The others got traded away or sold at one point or another before I came around. I intend to keep this one in the family!
     
  22. Fishslayer

    Fishslayer Member

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    There are later versions that are actually blackened stainless. They have an S stamped on the underside of the sight leaf.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
  23. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator

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    1972 for that serial number, assuming you blocked out two digits.
     
  24. Racinbob

    Racinbob Member

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    My late father bought this one new in 1982. I've got a lot of fond memories shooting in the back yard with him. About a year ago my brother found a box with some gun stuff. He called me and ask if I wanted him to send it down (from Indiana). Of course! To my surprise, the original grips, in perfect condition, were in it. Dad, in his typical manner, had even written his name on the inside of one of the panels. Priceless to me. The grips in the pic aren't the originals that I now have on it.
     

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  25. Stainz

    Stainz Member

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    Here is my only 66 - a 6" 66-6, made 12/2002. It even has the IL! I added the HiViz and Ahrends grips when I bought it from a TX-based closeout dealer new for $349 - 9/03 - a bargain.

    IMG_3460.jpg

    Mine wasn't the last engineering variant - they made a batch of 4" 66-7's - with a two piece barrel/liner! But - that was it for the beloved 66. A 4" 66 just has a magical feeling of balance in the hand. The 6"-er aint bad!

    To the OP - keep that heritage alive! Just say no to any .357 Magnums 125gr and lighter!

    Stainz
     
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