Smith and wesson 66

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by johnlives4christ, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    3,828
    Location:
    Kentucky
    i once owned a smith and wesson 66 with a 6 inch barrel. it seemed to be a good gun at the time but, being the young gun trader i was, it didnt last but perhaps 2 years before it was gone.

    i've been thinking about getting another one though with around a 3 inch barrel. i really like the size of the gun.

    but i have concern. i've always heard that k frame sized guns shouldnt be fired much with 357 magnum ammo. i've heard you should shoot 38s for plinking and then shoot only a few 357's before returning to 357 for carry.
    i've heard that the frame will stretch causing excessive cylinder barrel gap.

    while i do have a desire to get an L frame size gun such as a 686 i really dont want to give up on the idea of a k frame gun in 357.

    i enjoy shooting full power 357 magnum and would want to shoot mostly 357 from any gun i get. if i wanted a 38 special i would get one chambered for 38 special.

    what kind of service life should i expect from the 66 and the 686 comparatively?

    i've also considered the ruger sp101 in 357 with a 3" barrel. being a smaller frame then the K frame i would expect that it wouldnt hold up well?

    so what are my options for a 357? should i just give up the idea of a k frame in 357 for a shooter and get an L frame?
  2. RJay

    RJay Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Messages:
    4,194
    Location:
    Goodyear, Arizona
    If you want to shoot .357 on a steady basis, then you should go with the L frame. As noted the K-frame is a great carry gun. used to be a police favorite, but they practiced with .38 Special and carried .357 in the chamber.
  3. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    3,828
    Location:
    Kentucky
    what about the ruger sp101? how do they hold up?
  4. muddober

    muddober Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,447
    John: Model 66 in 3" are very rare, are you sure you are not thinking 2.5" which is much more common? Also 357 loads will not make full pressures in any short barreled gun with standard 357 loads because the bullet is gone before all the powder is burned. A load that drives a 140 grain bullet 1350 from a 6" gun, will go only about 1050 out of my 2.5"

    Ron
  5. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    3,828
    Location:
    Kentucky
    perhaps i am thinking a 2.5" gun. at any rate though it would be a full time shooter, sometimes carry, not the other way around.
  6. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Messages:
    3,743
    Location:
    Imperial, MO
    Typical ruger style. Like a tank. The trigger group is very unique and very well thought out. Personally I don't think you can go wrong with one.
  7. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    3,828
    Location:
    Kentucky
    so you reckon they'd hold up to the kind of shooting i'd be wanting to give it. i know them rascals are hard to come by, people dont wanna turn loose of them
  8. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,383
    for extented shooting of 357 loads go with the ruger or find a smith 686 with a 2.5 inch barrel but your obsevations are right people who have the smiths do not get rid of them. you might want to consider the gp100 they make a 3 inch barreled version thats sweet handles the recoil better than the sp101
  9. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Messages:
    3,743
    Location:
    Imperial, MO
    +1 on what oscarmayer said. He spouted exactly what I would have said. As far as finding a 101 in a 38 or 357, I see them in the shops all the time. Place I work for has 1 of each on the wall not to mention the ones in the vault. Used is a little harder. People buy them not realizing how heavy they are and how heavy the DA is on them. Many older people like them but can't pull the trigger in DA bc of atheritis. Then they get traded but they don't last long. I have never seen one traded bc it didn't do what they wanted it to or it was troublesome. People seem to like them. I've done one trigger job on one. No repairs that I know of going back to Ruger. The 38 I shot was quite accurate for a short barrel.
    Ruger does make a 6 inch version but I have yet to see one.
    GP100 is a great one too.
    The 586/686 is in my book one of the best. Hard to find though, especially the 586 (blued)
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2010
  10. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    3,828
    Location:
    Kentucky
    what about rugers security six? or the service six. i've seen service sixes use
  11. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Messages:
    3,743
    Location:
    Imperial, MO
    I don't see them that often. But the price of them is about equivalent to the 101's. Completely different action than the 101 but built in typical ruger style.
  12. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    3,828
    Location:
    Kentucky
    i've seen used ones in the 250-300 price range depending on condition.
  13. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Messages:
    3,743
    Location:
    Imperial, MO
    Used 101's are about 350-400. Thing is that your now talking two totally different frames. Sounds like you lean toward a larger frame model anyway. I can't personally speak of any problems with the Ruger Security Six or Service Six. I've had S&W's with problems and Colts with problems and Taurus too:cool:. Never had a Ruger with a issue.
  14. roaddog28

    roaddog28 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2009
    Messages:
    54
    Hi John,

    The Ruger Security/Service/Speed Six series in my opinion are the most underrated revolver ever built. I still feel they are the best SA/DA revolver Ruger ever built. I own a Police Service Six 4 inch and love the revolver. Even though I have a GP100 I still prefer shooting the Service Six over the GP.

    I own several Smith K frame magnums. I love them. I still feel they are the best all around 357 magnum Smith made. They are better balanced than the L frame or N frame. The K frame feels the best in my smaller hands. I don't shoot 357s all the time in my K frames. Just once and awhile. The Ruger Service Six has seen a lot more magnums and still locks up like a bank vault.

    You indicated that you enjoy shooting full power 357s a lot. That means the 125gr Federal or Remingtons. Also Buffalo Bore and Black Hills makes the same round. If you intend shooting hundreds and maybe thousands of them I suggest a Smith N frame or a GP100. Even the Ruger Service Six will wear out sooner with alot of full power 357s. Service Six is alot stronger than the K frame but I have heard of Security/Service Sixes wearing barrels out with alot of full power 125 gr magnums. I stay with the 140 to 158 gr rounds.

    The N frame Smith and Ruger GP100 will handle the full power and soak recoil better than any of the small frame revolvers.

    Bottom line. Its your decision of course but I think you would be better going with the bigger revolver.

    Good luck,
    Howard
    My Service Six
    [​IMG]
  15. old semperfi

    old semperfi New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Messages:
    1,514
    Location:
    i live in southern indiana,old country boy at hear
    keep your mind on the l frame,i am on my third 686,i fire 10,000 rounds thru one and retime it and good cleaning then sell it and buy another.they still shoot great but with the amount of shooting i do it keeps me from having to do a complete overhaul.use a feeler gauge and try and keep cylinder gap around three thousands. old semperfi
  16. Rugermanws

    Rugermanws Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    Messages:
    263
    Location:
    White Oak Pa
    I had an air weight .38 spcl from Smith many years ago. But recently I bought a Model 686 6 inch barrel. I now wonder why I waited so long to buy another Smith. Great gun and very happy with the trigger and accuracy. I will say I love Rugers, can you tell?
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers Smith & Wesson SD9VE Mar 29, 2014
Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers Smith and Wesson Bodyguard Mar 26, 2014
Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers Smith & Wesson Airweight Refinished Aug 6, 2013
Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers Smith and Wesson Model 637 package value Sep 20, 2012
Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers .38 smith and wesson Aug 11, 2012