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Speed Six or S&W 66

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by 357smallbore, Jan 18, 2021.

  1. 357smallbore

    357smallbore Member

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    If ya had a choice, what would ya choose? A Ruger Speed Six 2 3/4 barrel 357mag or a S&W 66 with a 3in barrel? I have the Ruger. But I am eyeing a 66 for sale.
     
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  2. George P

    George P Member

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    66 with a rare 3"? Not even close to a contest; all day long. The 66 also has adjustable sights versus fixed for the Speed Six. There's a mint 3' 66 in my LGS on consignment; owner will not consider a penny under $1725...............
     
  3. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    66 3”. I prefer an N frame because I have large hands. But I can deal with a K frame.

    Nothing wrong with the Speed 6. Just a shorter barrel than I prefer.
     
  4. Pat Riot
    • Contributing Member

    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    Both :thumbup:

    I think a 66 with a 3” barrel would be a nice find. Especially an older model.
     
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  5. Grizzly2

    Grizzly2 Member

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    66 for sure. That would be ideal but I'd be happy with a speed six, just not nearly as happy.
     
  6. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    Both although my 66 is actually a nickel M19
     
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  7. gnappi

    gnappi Member

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    The Ruger speed and security sixes are fine guns, and the last decent DA/SA Ruger made. But he 66 is in a class by itself.

    Long ago an old timer (which I guess I am one now) once told me... "No major revolver match has been won by anything but a Smith, gotta be a reason"
     
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  8. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    Maybe I am going against the grain here, since I prefer fixed sights on short barrel revolvers.

    I had a 2.5" Model 19, and I have a 2 3/4" Speed-Six. The 19 is long gone, the Speed-Six is still here.

    If it was a choice between a 3" Model 65 or the Speed-Six, it might be a different story.
     
  9. Jonesy814

    Jonesy814 Member

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    I'd go with the model 66 in either a 3 inch or 2.5" barrel length
     
  10. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    These are so close, that it would depend upon the fit and action smoothness of the individual sample, and the presence or absence of specific features, such as grooved or smooth trigger faces, and the S&W keyhole. (Grooves and keyholes are negatives, for me.)

    The rarity of the 3” 66 is not worth paying a premium, over a 2.5” 66, or the Speed Six, for me, personally. Really, I would rather an S&W 66 just have a 4” barrel. I owned a 2.5” 66, in 1984/1985, and remember wishing that it had a 4” barrel. I later bought an early-Nineties 4” 66, and liked it much better. (And, wish I had not let that 4” 66 get away from me!)

    The S&W hammer spur is more likely to snag on my clothing, than a Speed Six hammer, assuming that each is unmodified. The S&W adjustable sight is a potential snag point, though not as likely to be a problem, as the hammer spur. The leather tab that is present on a Milt Sparks 200AW holster nicely covers the rear sight and the hammer spur, while the weapon is holstered.

    Of the two, I happen to have a Speed Six, in the described barrel length, and also one with a 4” barrel. To a degree, this has been due to luck, in what I have found available locally. I don’t, as a rule, buy DA revolvers sight unseen, anymore, since my negative experience with ordering a 686 in 1984. Speed Sixes are usually less-expensive, which has been a factor, too, as I am more likely to have enough discretionary spending cash to cover the cost of a decent Speed Six.
     
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  11. bangswitch

    bangswitch Member

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    I like pre-'82 S&W's, so it's the 2-1/2" M66-1 for me. I have a M19 with a 4" barrel, and the RB snub is the perfect concealment piece. I prefer Ruger for their semiauto's. They make a very solid revolver, but aren't as aesthetically pleasing to me. DSC01899.JPG
     
  12. Wildbillz

    Wildbillz Member

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    M66 all day long and twice on Sundays.

    WB
     
  13. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    Ditto. Ditto.
     
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  14. scaatylobo

    scaatylobo Member

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    If you want / need a better trigger that will NOT last as long with magnums ,then go with the S&W 66.
    If you are happy with less than a slicked out trigger,BUT want a pistol that will last & last & last with magnums = go with the Speed 6.
    Rugers are BUILT and can be used to take a wall apart ----- and still shoot [ ok,kidding a bit ].
     
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  15. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    I, in fact, made this very choice letting the Ruger go with little if any regret. Really like the Ruger but face-to-face, no choice really for me.

    Todd.
     
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  16. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    At the same price, I'd opt for the S&W.
     
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  17. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    I worked with colleagues who bought early no-dash Model 66 revolvers, to use as duty handguns, and experienced the cylinder binding, when the guns were fired rapidly. I reckon that it gets a bit warmer, down here in Texas, than in Springfield, Mass. S&W still had some learnin’ to do, about stainless steel, in the early Seventies. The 66-1 was the eventual cure, in the late Seventies.

    I attended a police academy, in 1983 and 1984, during which time I ordered a 2.5” 66-2 and a 4” 686, through an LE distributor, for delivery to the academy. (We had to buy our own duty handguns, within guidelines, as Houston PD did not, and probably still does not, issue duty handguns.) Neither had an action worth writing home about. A Model 60 I bought at an LGS, was horribly fitted, and seemed to have gravel in the action, while a blued Model 581, bought at the same LGS, had a quite nice action. (I didn’t know any better, until I bought that 581.) Finally, I found a stainless S&W with a smooth action, a then-current Model 629-1, which made sense, as gun magazine articles were indicating that S&W had recently paid extra attention to some internal upgrades in the 629 line. These were all acquired new, in 1983 and 1984, which was still during the Bangor Punta era, not the happiest time for S&W products.

    In the early Nineties, I rebelled against being a Colt/S&W purist, and embraced the Ruger GP100 and SP101. I started buying carefully-selected Ruger Security and Speed Sixes, too. I also bought several post-Bangor Punta S&W handguns, including a 4” 66-4. It became apparent that one could hand-select new Ruger revolvers, for smoothness. This was during a time when gun stores actually stocked plenty of handguns, and if they knew that one was a serious buyer, were happy to bring several samples to the counter.

    So, in my mind, there is nothing particularly holy-grail-ish about S&W revolvers. Some are really nice, and some are not. Same as the Rugers I have bought, new, in the Nineties, and since then. (I have only bought one keyhole S&W.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2021
  18. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I have a 3” Model 13. With the snag free upper parts, it is easier to draw from concealment than my 2.5” model 19 with the adjustable rear sight and taller Baughman front. The adjustable sights will snag pretty easily depending on the cover garment used.

    If I was looking for a primary ccw revolver, of these two the speed six would be my choice.

    If I was looking for a gun to put away because it’s a rare 3” variant that will command a premium at resale, or a gun to (very) occasionally carry and shoot, the 66.

    Stay safe.
     
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  19. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    I would take the 66 over the speed 6 any day of the week. I have a 2.5" 66-2 and it is a fantastic revolver. I would love a 3". How much does the seller want for it?
     
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  20. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    As others have said, it depends on how nice the individual triggers are.

    Really, I'd much prefer to have both. :)
     
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  21. golden

    golden Member

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    Smallbore,


    I would go with the SPEED SIX, in my opinion, it is a much better gun. I really like the S&W K-frame revolvers to shoot .38 Special, but I do not have a lot of confidence in them for shooting .357 magnums. Since they are so close in size (I use the same holsters for both)
    I have a RUGER Speed Six with the 2 3/4 inch barrel and had a customized S&W model 19 with a 4 inch barrel and custom wood grips. Both had great double action triggers and I could have kept both, if I wanted.
    The model 19 shot great with .38 Special and +P ammo, as well as my S&W model 15's. However, the gun would not function reliably with .357 ammo. I prefer 4 inch barrels over 2 /34 and 3 inch, but I prefer reliability over just about anything else, so I kept the SPEED SIX and sold the model 19.
    I have found the RUGER Six model revolvers to be very well made and easy to shoot with triggers that can be made as smooth as a S&W.

    Jim
     
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  22. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    What he said
     
  23. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    This really gets blown out of proportion, the problem with the K frame 357s has to do with throat erosion and cracking the forcing cone. It's really only a problem with 125gr and lighter bullets. A K will last a long time shooting 158s @ 1200.
    Also shoot enough super hot 125s thru a Ruger and the forcing cone wont survive this was a GP100 IIRC he shot 100s of 125gr with max charge of 296. IMG_20130618_122030.JPG
     
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  24. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I'm a ruger fan that hasn't owned a speed six, or even shot one.
    I do have a s&w 66. It is my favorite revolver and shoots like a laser. THE S&W is more svelte than any ruger i ever handled. Everything about it is ....'just right.
    I highly recommend it.
    20200905_152354.jpg 20200216_162905.jpg 20200216_163120.jpg 20200202_160025.jpg
     
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  25. stonebuster

    stonebuster Member

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    The Speed Six were also made in 3" for the USPS. They can be found if you're patient.
     
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