Uncommon S&W Model 66

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Dave T, Oct 23, 2003.

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  1. Dave T

    Dave T Member

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    Found an unusual Model 66 yesterday and had to put it on layaway. It is a 3", round butt with RR front and plain black rear sights.

    I had never seen a 3" 66, or Model 19 for that matter, although the book on S&Ws I have lists both as having been produced in limited quantities. Of course 3" Model 13s and 65s are quite common but I had never seen a 3" 66.

    I've always thought the combination of 3" barrel, with the corresponding full length ejector rod, and a round butt grip configuration was about the best choice for a concealed carry revolver. The barrel is long enough to actually get some magnum performance out of all the blast and recoil, yet this is so much more controllable than the J-frame 357s that a comparison isn't really fair.

    Although I am essentially a 1911 person, I now have a revolver that is suited to my idea of a concealed carry wheel gun. Smiley face goes here!!!
     
  2. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    I think that most of those were made as a special-order item for RSR Distributors. In any case I agree with your observations concerning the 3 inch barrel. On a K frame it's much better then the usual 2 1/2 inch length.
     
  3. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    Back in the mid to late 80's, S&W made a VERY few limited runs of the 3" 66 revolver.

    Mine was one of a 2500 gun run sold through Ashland Shooter's Supply in Ohio.

    These rare guns just MAY be the ultimate carry revolver.
    Like the 3" Models 64 and 65, the round butt conceals like the other "K" frames, and you get the full length ejection of the longer 3" barrel, along with better balance and reduced blast.

    The adjustable sights offer a better sight picture, and few people feel underarmed with the Magnum round.

    Although the standard 2 1/2" Model 66 is probably THE classic Magnum snubby, that extra 1/2" of the 3" 66 makes a great gun even better.

    So you get a mid-frame Magnum that conceals much better than the 4", but has all the benefits of a longer than 2 1/2" barrel gun.

    All in all, after owning about every carry revolver around, I settled on my 3" 66 as my personal gun.

    If you come across one of these, grab it. If you don't intend to use it yourself, resale value and interest is VERY high.
     
  4. Clemson

    Clemson Member

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    I have two of these guns myself. One has a frame-mounted firing pin and the other is a hammer-nose pin. I shoot nearly as well with the 3" guns as I can with my 4" pieces. I could never shoot my K-comp or 2 1/2" model 66 as well as the 3" guns. The extra half inch of barrel is significant in sight radius. Whenever my clothes are heavy enough to conceal one, the 3" 66 is my personal concealed weapon of choice. I load it with 125 grain Golden Sabres.

    Clemson
     
  5. Bulldozer

    Bulldozer Member

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    The only gun I own, after having liquidated a sizeable collection to take a promotion to New York is a 3-inch SW 66-2 pinned and recessed. The best single gun you can own.

    Now I'm just waiting for the NYS CCW to clear the hurdles and I get the joy of it residing at my hip day in and out.
     
  6. Brian D.

    Brian D. Member

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    I've got one too!

    Impulsively traded off my first one just a year or so after purchase, and occasionally kicked myself 'til I found another some years later. Since nobody above said this yet, my favorite feature is the full-length extractor rod, which that extra 1/2" of barrel allows for....helps more than a bit with magnum empties.
     
  7. Dave T

    Dave T Member

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    I said in my original post:

    Brian D said:

    Not offended, just clarifing a point (smiley face goes here).
     
  8. M58

    M58 Member

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    Good deal!
    3" is about perfect in my book.
     
  9. Brian D.

    Brian D. Member

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    Sorry Dave T...

    My reading comprehension level is usually a little better than that!:) On the extractor rod subject, my experience has shown that having the full-length variant is a really good thing, especially when using some of the hotter magnum fodder--they can really get recalcitrant about leaving the chambers when you're trying to restoke the gun in a hurry. On the subject of 3" Model 66s, is that what the "A.J. Simon" character (Jameson Parker) carried for a few seasons on Simon & Simon?
     
  10. Dave T

    Dave T Member

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    Brian,

    Never watched Simon & Simon but I couldn't agree with you more about the full length ejector rod.

    My department used to issue the 2.5" Model 66 to detectives. We also trained and carried real (full length) Magnum ammunition - the Remington 125g JHP to be exact. When I was the department's firearms instructor I have seen countless instances of deputies trying to eject six rounds of 357 Mag brass, only to have one or two hang up because of the short stroke of the 2.5" barreled 66. It made me a believer.
     
  11. Zebulon

    Zebulon Member

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    Dave...You guys will love this story....I've had 2 of said 3 inch 66's....One I traded off several years ago, and a second one that I sold 3 years ago to an elderly (now decesased) friend of the family. Turns out that his widow discovered that her husband "hid" all of his firearms around the house and she can't find any of them including a second NIB revolver that I sold to him...a NYPD limited run 2"Smith model 64. She is older too and can't be convinced that I could find his guns for her..(even if I had to level the house to do it!)....and so goes the story.....Chances are, the people who buy the house after her passing will probably inherit these 2 unfired S&W beauties and I will be forced to go through life a beaten man because I always thought thses guns would be available sometime in the future because I knew what they were and where they were. I AM an idiot! Go ahead and laugh....I'm down and easy......Zebulon....P.S. If I thought I could bear the humiliation, I'd post this for the guys on the S&W Forum, but they'd probably hunt me down just to wag their fingers at me!
     
  12. Dave T

    Dave T Member

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    Update:

    Picked it up yesterday. Had to go shoot it so I grabbed a box of handloads for my 3.5" Model 27 - 158g JHP over a dose of 2400.

    What a hoot! I guess the childish kick I get out of shooting these loads is kind of like a kid playing with firecrackers. A loud noise and a big flash. I get the added benifit of hitting something I shoot at.

    The 3" Model 66 performed pretty good. Had to crank up the rear sight a bit - think I may have Smith's taller rear sight blade installed. Other than that it worked about like I expected it to.

    If I ever get the urge to not carry one of the 45 ACP 1911s, this would be the gun to go to. Not too big, but big enough to control while delivering a serious punch down range.
     
  13. FPrice

    FPrice Member

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    Dave T....

    "Found an unusual Model 66 yesterday and had to put it on layaway. It is a 3", round butt with RR front and plain black rear sights."

    I have three Model 66's, 4", 3", and a 2.5". I pulled the grips off my three inch last night and found that it is a RB also. Pretty much like yours, RR front sight and plain rear sight. It has a very sweet trigger pull. I have to agree with your assessment of the 3" k-frame as a carry gun.
     
  14. ElToro

    ElToro Member

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    i think the best variation is the fixed sight, full underlug 3 inch 65 ladysmith.. round butt. i know there a guy around who made a mansmith and rubbed off the "ladysmith" etching on the sideplate.

    if only S&W would make it in a blued model 13 version....

    i would settle for the adjustable sighted 66 though
     
  15. Clemson

    Clemson Member

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    I like the sight picture through S&W's adjustable sights better than that through their fixed sights. The Model 66 is much better for my eyes than the model 65.

    Opinions make the world go 'round.

    Clemson
     
  16. Archie

    Archie Member

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    Always makes me wonder.....

    I've seen a number (had a couple) of various K frame Smiths that were converted to "just in front of the extractor housing" length revolvers. Both fixed and adjustable sight guns were done this way. Then usually the frame was round butted; hammer spurs removed or bobbed; and adjustable sight blades were rounded.

    Smith & Wesson finally caught on in the '70s and started making three inch guns. But they were always sort of an afterthought.

    I guess life is like that, huh?

    Shortish barrel, full extractor throw. What is so hard about the concept?
     
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