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Model 66 options

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by OrangeCat, Nov 21, 2019.

  1. OrangeCat

    OrangeCat Member

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    Hey guys for the last few months I have been looking for a 4 inch model 686. Without much luck, but this week I came across a 4 inch model 66 sitting in the academy display with a bright yellow clearance sticker for $650.
    A four inch gp100 runs 750 and a six inch 686+ is about 770 or so.

    I'm just looking for a little feedback on what you guys think about the options here.

    There is a gun show this weekend at Lawton Ok but Everytime I think about going to a gun show I spend my weekend in communion with the Gremlins in my car. And Lawton is one of my least favorite drives in this whole state. I would hate to go all that way and not have it pay off, I think that gun show does make it's way back to Tulsa in a couple of weeks and that's a better drive for me.

    So any thoughts is the model 66 a good deal, or will I have to worry that it won't be robust enough for magnum loads, should I just suck it up and get the longer 686+. Anyone have any experience with the Lawton gunshow.

    I haven't really bought any guns on line and I really like having the opportunity to handle it before I decide to make a purchase like that.
     
  2. MidRoad
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    MidRoad Contributing Member

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    The new model 66's with the shrouded barrel have a ball detent lockup on the crane vs using the ejector rod. They also have a beefier forcing cone than the the old ones without the flat spot on the bottom. They should hold up just fine to magnums, especially if you shoot the heavier 158 gr ones. The 686 will be more comfortable to shoot magnums because the weight but the 66 will carry nicer. If you're going to carry it more and mostly shoot 38's for comfort I'd go with the 66.
     
  3. alfsauve

    alfsauve Member

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    Model 66 is just a tad lighter than the 686. Every so slightly small frame. But a fine gun in it's own right. The very first run of them had stainless rear as well as front sights. Personally, I want my revolvers to have easily replaceable front sights. That might be a factor you should look at as earlier models had non-replaceable ones. As far as 686s you might want to familarize yourself with the dash numbers and what changes were effective with each engineering change. Pre-internal locks bring a premium.

    I just saw a 4" 686-6 on Gunbroker with free shipping not get any bids for $625 and the seller has lower the price to $600 now. I'd think if you keep looking you could find a 686 for that price or under. My LGS has their range rental on sale for $425. I doubt it got worn out, I think they just cycle the guns every year or so. Haunt the pawn shops if you don't like on-line. Or does your area have a local gun forum that allows ads? Find it on-line but consummate the purchase, after inspection, in person.
     
  4. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    I have a 66-6 (SOOOO sinister!) which remains after I realized we simply had too many .357s that I neither shot nor carried.

    I let a bevy of varying Ruger and Colt's revolvers go but the 66, having no collectibility nor any real cache, remained. The weight, handiness, reliability, looks and ergonomics made it a *never sell* of both my wife and I while other, more highly lauded revolvers hit the table at a gun show and gladly.

    Now, mine is 3 1/4 inch vs your looked at, 4.25 inch or the other one offered these days at 2 3/4 in as the *Combat Magnum*.

    Hottest I've shot is Federal Hydra-Shocks which I like as a standard load so I can't speak to items like Buffalo Bore though I do have several boxes of it.


    Todd. IMG_1088.JPG
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
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  5. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    I wanted to buy a Combat Magnum new years ago, but there were none to be had, Seems the contract for Combat Masterpiece revolvers for the SAC AP was tying up production.

    Based on what I know now, I would have preferred the .38 version.

    I ended up buying a Colt Officer's Model Match revolver. I sold it later because I needed the $150.

    I never liked the 686--until I actually handled one. I had been surprised to read inn a book by Massad Ayoob that the frame size was very close to that of the Colt Python, Trooper, Officer's Model. and the infamous Model 1889 in .38 Long Colt.

    I now have a stainless seven shot 686 with a tapered barrel underlug and a five inch barrel.

    I like it.

    I have some .357 cartridges, but I have had no reason to shoot any of them.
     
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  6. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    As much as I like magnum K frames...
    [​IMG]

    My favorite shooter is a 686...
    [​IMG]
     
  7. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    "They're moving in herds. They do move in herds.":)


    Todd.
     
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  8. OrangeCat

    OrangeCat Member

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    The dash is under the crane right.

    I never remember to check until it's too late but this one I believe had an adjustable rear sight and an orange front.

    Looked really nice in a noir detective kinda way. I didn't notice too much a different hand feel but the 686 was definitely beefier.
     
  9. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I personally choose a 66/19 for carry and a 686 for extended shooting sessions.
     
  10. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    My friend has an older 4" Model 66 that he got from his dad. The trigger is excellent and it's more accurate than either of us.

    He treats it like I treat my older 357 revolvers. He mostly shoots 38's from it to save wear and tear on a nice old revolver that's seen a lot of use. He will shoot a cylinder or two of 357 every once in a while just for the heck of it, and keeps 357's in it when it's loaded for SD.
     
  11. OrangeCat

    OrangeCat Member

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    Looking around on line it looks like it was probably a -8 from what I remember about it.

    Always a chancy proposition to go on my memory but it looks like a good match. It'll probably mostly eat .38's especially at first but it looks like it should hang with the big kids so long as I don't feel the need to get ridiculous.

    It probably is actually a 4.25 but it's pretty svelte........
    I might have to make a return trip this weekend and hopefully no one else has come to the same conclusion as me in the meantime.

    It doesn't look like a blazing good deal but decent enough to get a little extra ammunition.:)
     
  12. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I bought a 4” 66-1 for $500 in July. The cylinder release was a bit wonky so I sent it back to S&W. A few months and 125.00 later I have a fantastic shooter that looks great.

    It shot just as well as my 4” 686+, with the + a bit lighter in recoil due to the extra weight.

    As .38 Special wrote, the 66 will carry a bit lighter and the 686 will shoot a bit tamer with magnum loads.

    Hopefully the gun you want will be there!

    Stay safe.
     
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  13. Pat Riot
    • Contributing Member

    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    If you’re like me and have my kind of luck, you wait and go to the gun show only to waste time and money and walk away with nothing.

    If I go to a gun show planning to buy a (fill in the blank) I usually do not find any (fill in the blank) at all. OR if I do it’s overpriced and I am not into haggling.

    Smith & Wesson 66-8 Combat Magnum. Ya gotta love that name. :thumbup::cool:
     
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  14. OrangeCat

    OrangeCat Member

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    Nobody beat me to it.

    :thumbup:

    It was the display so there is a turn ring and a mark from the extractor on the shield as well as some display case schmutz. But everything feels nice and tight it's a little tricky opening the crane mostly because I keep forgetting that I don't need to put it on half cock :confused:.

    It is a dash eight. I've got a box of 130 grain .38 specials a box of hand cowboy action 158 grain magnums and a box of snap caps. I'll get a picture when I get home.
     
  15. OrangeCat

    OrangeCat Member

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    It's a little bit swampy to get down to the old dam and shoot mostly because I'd rather not slip and slide down said dam with a new revolver.

    But we did sit in the back yard and load it up with snap caps and mess around with the trigger a bit. It feels really nice single action to me is surprisingly light. (See also used to surplus rifles) and the double action is just a bit of tension and then straight back to break. I pull it a little but that is a know issue I have with handguns in general and we're working on it.

    Here's a few pictures of it. I think that the turning line is a bit more noticeable because of the beadblasted/matte finish on the cylinder.

    The button for the cylinder latch is a little bit wobbly and I am playing with the idea of tightening the screw and maybe giving it a little dab of locktight but it's only noticable if you are playing with it and it doesn't seem to affect anything fictionally.

    And I need to shoot it first but the bottom finger groove is a little large and low for my tastes so I may look for a new set of grips before too long
     

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    Last edited: Nov 24, 2019
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  16. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    Don't the -8s have a shrouded barrel? Some folks feel the required tensioning adds to accuracy as in a Dan Wesson though, I don't actually know how the Smith is assembled.

    Can you show us a picture of the muzzle?


    Todd.
     
  17. OrangeCat

    OrangeCat Member

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    Sure can, it's almost certainly a shrouded barrel.

    It fits in my jeans pocket with the grip sticking out so with a good holster it should carry nicely, it's weighty enough you know it's there but not terribly heavy.
     

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  18. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    Thanks, it sure is. I would love to know how they assembled those without having exposed hardware. Good for them.

    Todd.
     
  19. desmobob

    desmobob Member

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    Congratulations. I think a 4" Model 66 is the perfect .357. I have an older one (dash 2) and would like to pick up a new one to keep it company. ;)
     
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  20. sgt127

    sgt127 Member

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    As I understand it, there’s a wrench that fits in the rifling they use to torque the barrel down. The end of the barrel flange has a little spring to it that keeps everything under tension.
     
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  21. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    The redesigned Model 66 should be more capable of handling full power 357 Magnum loads than the earlier models of the Model 19 and Model 66.

    Back in the early 1980's, I cracked the forcing cone on my 1980 vintage Model 19 with a steady diet of full power 357 Magnum loads with 158 grain JHP bullets. Fortunately, S&W replaced the barrel on their dime but do not expect that service these days on the older models.

    The K-frame Model 19's and 66's are a bit trimmer than the L-frame Model 586/686 revolvers.
     
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  22. OrangeCat

    OrangeCat Member

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    That sounds pretty interesting I'll have to check YouTube and see if I can find an videos for that later.

    It looks like it should I got some lead cowboys loads from hsm to get started it looks like they used starline brass so it should be a good base if I can convince anyone I've been good this year and should have a shiny new die set.

    Any point in saving the 38 casings?
     
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  23. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    38 Special ammunition will shoot just fine in a 357 Magnum revolver like the S&W Model 66.

    For many years, I'd shoot light loads in 38 Special cases in my Model 19 and saved the 357 Magnum cases for the hot loads. Among other things, it was easy to keep them separate.

    I've never experienced this, but with lots of shooting 38 Special ammunition in a 357 Magnum chamber, a carbon ring can build up in the chamber in front of the 38 Special case mouth that may make chambering a 357 Magnum round difficult. Cleaning the chamber will fix the problem if it happens.

    Since I purchased a couple 38 Special revolvers, I save the 38 Special cases for them and save the 357 Magnum cases for the s357 Magnum revolvers.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
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  24. desmobob

    desmobob Member

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    As the owner of a Model 66-2 who has trouble resisting shooting at least a cylinder full of magnum loads on each range trip, I ask how many rounds would you estimate you fed your Model 66 in that "steady diet"? My Model 66 probably gets to the range a half-dozen times a year at best.
     
  25. OrangeCat

    OrangeCat Member

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    Good point I was thinking I could get a different headstamp but this is probably better. And I can always use them if I decide I want something like a j frame or lcr down the road. But this will be an only child for a while yet.
     
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