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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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  #1  
Old 09-19-2014, 07:51 PM
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Default New Model 66-8

Well I may get shelled for this one but I decided to grab a new model 66-8 last week. I spruced her up with a set of old combats, I wanted an I don't care what happens shooter and she performed well. I love my older guns but must say the new ball detent lock up is really nice. I slicked the trigger a bit and she is a guaranteed shooter. I know the jury is out this year on them but it is very accurate revolver 4.25 inch barrel and all. My only wish is that is was a square butt.

Enjoy, Pete

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Old 09-19-2014, 08:06 PM
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My only wish is that they would come in a 3 inch version.
And, I prefer the standard satin finish.
I think the 2 piece barrel is a good idea. The sight should not be canted like some one piece barrel models are.

Best,
Rick
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Old 09-20-2014, 11:36 PM
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I've got one. Really like it. Close to 700 rnds thru it. Personally like the round butt -- you can get "round" to "square" grips but not the opposite.

Can't understand why these "new" M66 threads don't get a better response.

Paul
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Old 09-20-2014, 11:45 PM
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The barrel profile is slightly different than the classic 66. I like it.
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Old 09-20-2014, 11:49 PM
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I think it's interesting that they are making them again.

I recently looked at one and noticed the forcing cone looks a bit different than my old 19-4

I wonder if they can handle a steady diet of 125gr magnum loads ?
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derek45auto View Post
...I recently looked at one and noticed the forcing cone looks a bit different than my old 19-4

I wonder if they can handle a steady diet of 125gr magnum loads ?
It's a full profile forcing cone -- like an L or N frame -- rather than snipped at the 6-o'clock like they used to be on the K-frame magnum guns to make room for the yoke.

It's theorized that that snip might have made for the occasional forcing cone problems with the old magnum Ks, and that this new design means Ks will now handle higher numbers of heavy loads like Ls or Ns.

Remains to be seen...
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Old 09-21-2014, 12:10 PM
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I've been considering one of the new model 66's. I've got a 6" m19-2 that is very easy to shoot accurately but the 6" barrel is a little much for woods carry. Plus it just is too nice to beat up in the woods. I've also got a Ruger SP101 with a 4.25" barrel that I got to replace the 3" model 60 I sold to buy the M19. In spite of the fact that it is bigger and heavier than the M60 it's not any more accurate and not nearly as easy to shoot as the M19. I'd really like to see some serious range reports on the new 66-8. As a woods carry gun, accuracy is important to me as is the easy to not worry about stainless finish.
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Old 09-21-2014, 12:20 PM
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Looks fine and I'm sure it shoots as well.
However, if I had one, that black thumbpiece would be immediately swapped for a SS one.
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Old 09-21-2014, 12:34 PM
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How did you "slick up the trigger"?
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Old 09-21-2014, 12:59 PM
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Default New M66

Thanks for sharing your experience and photo--I have been on the fence, but my 686 no dash needs a friend :-)
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  #11  
Old 09-21-2014, 02:51 PM
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I too have bought one, had the smitty smoothed it out for me, and boy, is it a shooter. I had one issue, however. The more I shot it, the less the cylinder wanted to rotate, thus raising the amount of force to shoot it double action. Took it apart, and cleaned and lubed the shaft the cylinder rotates on, and it seems fine. I don't think it's a problem with the dirty ammunition I shoot (the bullet grease makes it look like I'm shooting black powder sometimes) since the ammunition doesn't cause the same issue with other revolvers. It is a very nicely balanced piece, I expect to carry it evenings downtown.

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Old 09-21-2014, 03:06 PM
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I kinda want to get one, and retire my old 19-4






But I really miss the 4" 686+ I sold years ago.
I need another one.

.
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Old 09-21-2014, 07:44 PM
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I stoned the sear a bit and ever so lightly stoned the trigger where it meets the sear. I am not very fond of snipping springs and adding other than factory spring kits. I just wanted to take the grit out of the action a bit. Nothing major as it will slick up after time. Yes I would like to change the controls due to the color but you cannot find these cylinder latches currently anywhere. I shot the gun today at the range and it is growing on me. - also it cleans up real easily due to the finish.

Pete
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  #14  
Old 09-21-2014, 08:16 PM
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Where is the gas ring with respect to the cylinder gap? S&W has taken liberties with this in the past, and hot gases may be forcing their way into the cylinder bearing, making it hard to rotate after sustained firing.

Assuming the gas ring is the same diameter as before, and since this is a K frame, the notorious flat spot in the forcing cone has probably been eliminated by reducing the rest of the barrel to equal the thinnest part. That would certainly simplify manufacture and assembly of the two part barrel.
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:33 PM
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Here's a picture of the front of the cylinder.



Had mine out again today. Blasted thru 56 rounds in short order - wish I had another 100. What a fund gun to shoot. Not running full magnum ammo - just 38-44 stuff (12.5gr A2400, 158gr JSP). It chronos' right at 1,100 fps. A full load of A2400 (15.0gr) under a 158gr Horn XTP chronos right at 1,300 fps form this gun - 5 long paces from muzzle and 40 deg F.

Paul

Last edited by Paul105; 09-21-2014 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:41 PM
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Thanks for sharing your experience. I have one being held at my dealer that I will be picking up early November. That seems way too far away.

Sent from my Galaxy Note II

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Old 09-21-2014, 10:34 PM
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Those grips really set the new 66-8 off, howiema....

My experience with both the new guns pictured below confirms to me they are sure to become true S&W classics. S&W has obviously given much thought to their engineering and development . The result is a home run, IMHO.

It seems the few complaints being offered for the 66-8 are cosmetic and easily remedied....

Get them while you can, people.... We all have learned how quickly the desirable guns like these can disappear from inventories - and disappear for a long time...

JMHO

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Old 11-05-2014, 03:11 AM
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Finally picked up my 66-8 and got a chance to shoot it. Glad I made the purchase.

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Old 11-05-2014, 04:07 AM
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Not for $850.00 ...
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Old 11-05-2014, 09:56 AM
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When they discontinued the 66 in 2005 there was one sitting on the shelf of a LGS, and they reduced the price so I decided to grab it up. Last of the breed, as it were, but I was looking for an IDPA-SSR legal shooter, and the 66-7 looked like a good candidate for that duty. I used it for a number of years and it presently resides in my truck. I put between 3000-5000 (I'm not sure of the number, so the figure is pretty much a guess, but it's no less than 3K and no more than 5!) rounds, mostly 38s, through it over about 7 years. It still looks and shoots like new, and it has never given me a lick of trouble. Kinda ugly, though.....



I'm glad that they brought the 66 out again. I'd buy one tomorrow if I didn't already have the -7, and agree that it makes a great versatile everyday shooter. Not real pretty like the older ones, but gets the job done.
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Old 11-11-2014, 08:24 PM
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I bought a new 66 early this year and really like it a lot . I shot about 500 rounds of my 158gr lead reloads and it shoots very well. I did notice the cylinder would tighten up with certain loads using Speer S W C bullets and 4.5 gr of Bullseye. The first trip to range the cylinder tightened up after only 50 rounds. I cleaned pistol at range and everything was back on track. I have found that my 66 likes 158 gr Lasercast SWC with 4.9 gr of 700 X and for light target loads it really likes 158 gr Missouri .38 Match SWC with brinell of 12 over 4.1 gr of Trail Boss. I can shot over 100 rounds with no cylinder binding from dirt or leading . I also had best luck loading the 158 gr Speer's with 4gr of Trail Boss .
I love the feel and balance of this revolver and I can use the same holster that I carry my 4" 617 with.
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Old 05-21-2015, 02:11 AM
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I am new to the forum and am curious about what has caused pitting under the ejector and along the edge of the cylinder of my model 66-8, i have only used 142 gr Fiocchi, 158 gr RAUG Swiss competition and 158 gr Federal ammunition through it. I've fired about 600 rds/ 357 mag now and noticed pitting while cleaning with CLP. any advise on how to prevent this in the future and if its something wrong with the revolver?

i have not had this problem with my M28 or GP 100 which I've owned for years.

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Old 09-04-2015, 11:03 PM
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I have one and it's turning out to be one of my favorites. It's dead on accurate and the recoil with 38 plus p's is smooth and easy. I love the finish the the way it is. Beautiful gun. Keeper..
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Old 09-05-2015, 01:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hapworth View Post
It's a full profile forcing cone -- like an L or N frame -- rather than snipped at the 6-o'clock like they used to be on the K-frame magnum guns to make room for the yoke.
That's interesting. A model 66 with a fully round forcing cone? How'd they make room for it on the K-frame? Can you post a picture?
I agree with Paul105: if you want that square butt feeling, round-to-square conversion grips will do the trick.

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Old 09-05-2015, 10:02 AM
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Seamaster, another look at the picture in post #15 -- notice how the crane is contoured to fit under the barre shank, not the other way around as on the 19/66.



Here's a picture of the barrel shank itself -- much more metal and no "snip" on the bottom.



Have almost 1,800 rnds thru mine, mostly 158s at 1,100 fps. No problems so far, and am thoroughly enjoying it.

Paul
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Old 09-06-2015, 01:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul105 View Post
notice how the crane is contoured to fit under the barrel shank, not the other way around as on the 19/66.

Here's a picture of the barrel shank itself -- much more metal and no "snip" on the bottom.
Interesting, thanks for posting those photos! I wonder why no one at S&W thought of this in the first place when they redesigned the K-frame for 357 magnum or came up with such a simple fix after cracked forcing cones became an issue with the rising popularity of hot 125 grain loads. It would have been a brilliant upgrade worthy of a new dash number that would have breathed new life into a classic revolver. Maybe they thought it would steal the L-frame's thunder. And surely it would have at least to some extent. But such concerns would have been unjustified IMO. I love my model 66-2, despite it's "Achilles Heel", but greater recoil-absorbing weight, a more robust design, and higher capacity remain the L-frame's unique selling points to this day.
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Old 10-05-2015, 10:49 PM
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I checked out a 66-8 today @ the shop. Nice action, well made; buuuut, the barrel was canted to the left. It was so apparent that the post was clearly listing to port & the serrations on the barrel weren't lining up with frame. What a DEAL BREAKER! I want one but not with that crappy QC!! Must have been made on a Monday.

The other glaringly obvious issue was the ball wasn't sitting in the notch on ejector rod shroud.....because of the cant of the barrel. Grrrrrrgh

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Old 10-07-2015, 10:04 AM
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PR 24 - I've never seen the 66-8 in person, but if the 66-8 design is similar to my Model 69, the barrel shroud has a large notch that is "keyed" into a matching mating piece on the frame. With that design, I wonder how that's possible to ever end up with a canted barrel? Someone must have really had a bad day.

In any event, it appears that the spring-loaded ball detent is not supposed to rest at the bottom its mating groove. By always pushing against the sloped part of the mating groove, the spring-loaded ball bearing applies consistent and continuous pressure forcing the cylinder against the frame. This ensures a tighter lockup of the cylinder when compared to revolvers using the end of the ejector for lockup.
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Old 10-08-2015, 09:57 PM
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Default M66-8 4.25 Price check

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Not for $850.00 ...
.........If you are accustomed to paying MSRP that price is about right. If you don't mind buying on GB you can find one for $700. They are not exactly flying off the shelf but I was just pricing them this morning. kY Guns has them in stock for $685 with free shipping. A lot of deep discounts on this fine looking revolver.
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Old 10-08-2015, 10:15 PM
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Oh my!! Had a 2.5 inch round butt with pinned barrel that I had a four inch barrel fitted to. It was a shooter. Put several thousand rounds down range. Now it is my son's. I may have to splurge.
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Old 10-08-2015, 10:39 PM
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I grabbed an ex-PD trade in 4" M66-7 a couple of years ago. It needed cleaning up but I liked the HB profile of the 2 piece barrel. I paid $399 which I thought was steep at the time but I wanted it for a house gun / loaner. I never liked the backstrap covering Goodyears, it it has factory RB targets on it for now. It's a fine shooter... trigger is as good (or better) than anything coming out of Springfield these days. Probably cycled enough to slick it up.

Not my only K frame magnum...
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Old 10-09-2015, 07:39 AM
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I'm just glad to see that S&W had enough confidence in the revolver market outside of the J-frame concealed carry market, and with not much hope for large law-enforcement purchase, to go ahead and design and start-up a totally new revolver.
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Old 10-11-2015, 06:30 PM
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Wiley Clapp said in an American Rifleman article on the 66 and 69 that the frame of the 66-8 is larger than the old frame height wise so they didn't have to notch the barrel. December 2014 issue I think.

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Old 10-12-2015, 09:38 PM
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I think ol' Wiley is full of Clapp. Sorry, couldn't resist. Look at the picture in post #25.

It regards to the M69 from Biran Pearce's article in Handloader Mag:

"S&W Reengineered yoke to place enough supporting steel surrounding bbl threads to handle Magnum pressures and allow increased barrel shank diameter."



Here are some measurements (New Model 66-8 vs 19-3) – remember these are quick and dirty with dial calipers.

Frame window front to back:
M66 - 1.815”
M19 - 1.805”

Frame window top to bottom:
M66 - 1.475”
M19 - 1.475”

Top strap:
M66 - 0.665”
M19 - 0.655”

Cylinder Diameter:
M66 - 1.450”
M19 - 1.450”

Cylinder Length:
M66 - 1.670”
M19 - 1.675” (Recessed charge holes)

M66 Barrel is larger in diameter than the M19 – I didn’t measure it.

FWIW,

Paul

Last edited by Paul105; 10-12-2015 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 10-13-2015, 09:34 AM
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Paul: Would you measure from the top of the frame in front of the rear sight mount to the bottom of the frame below the crane on both. This is what Wiley said changed.
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Old 10-13-2015, 10:05 AM
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2.375" +- a couple 1000ths on both.

Paul
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Old 10-13-2015, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 686 SSR View Post
PR 24 - I've never seen the 66-8 in person, but if the 66-8 design is similar to my Model 69, the barrel shroud has a large notch that is "keyed" into a matching mating piece on the frame. With that design, I wonder how that's possible to ever end up with a canted barrel? Someone must have really had a bad day.

In any event, it appears that the spring-loaded ball detent is not supposed to rest at the bottom its mating groove. By always pushing against the sloped part of the mating groove, the spring-loaded ball bearing applies consistent and continuous pressure forcing the cylinder against the frame. This ensures a tighter lockup of the cylinder when compared to revolvers using the end of the ejector for lockup.
THIS is how:





Last edited by bigfatty; 10-13-2015 at 10:54 AM.
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  #38  
Old 10-14-2015, 09:29 AM
Paul105 Paul105 is offline
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Joe44va,

Just wanted to make sure you saw the measurements you requested -- post 36 above.

Paul
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  #39  
Old 10-14-2015, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigfatty View Post
THIS is how:




My new 66 was a little off ,I didn't notice when I picked it up from LGS after a few cleanings I noticed the groves in barrel shroud were off.I didn't want to send it back to Smith & Wesson because it shot so well. What I ended up doing was to place pistol barrel first in a padded vice and grabbed frame by grip and rotated clockwise and the shroud moved and the serrations line up. An added plus was opening and closing of cylinder was smoother.

Last edited by BuckeyeS&W; 10-14-2015 at 10:17 AM.
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  #40  
Old 10-14-2015, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckeyeS&W View Post
My new 66 was a little off ,I didn't notice when I picked it up from LGS after a few cleanings I noticed the groves in barrel shroud were off.I didn't want to send it back to Smith & Wesson because it shot so well. What I ended up doing was to place pistol barrel first in a padded vice and grabbed frame by grip and rotated clockwise and the shroud moved and the serrations line up. An added plus was opening and closing of cylinder was smoother.
Mine needs to be turned counterclockwise (when facing the bore), or clockwise if approaching it from the other end. Either way, the direction it needs to be turned in is maxed out. As you can see from the pic, they churned a good chunk of steel out of the barrel shroud's female notch apparently in a futile attempt to get it straight. Didn't stop them from letting it go out.
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  #41  
Old 10-14-2015, 10:46 AM
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I'm waiting for a 3". I hope someone at S&W sees the value in that offering. The action on the new guns has grown on my quite a bit.
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  #42  
Old 10-14-2015, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by SLT223 View Post
I'm waiting for a 3". I hope someone at S&W sees the value in that offering. The action on the new guns has grown on my quite a bit.
Mine is horrible. Heaviest trigger I've ever had, plus it seems to stack a bit before the second click when staging it, as it becomes noticeably harder to pull.
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  #43  
Old 10-14-2015, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howiema View Post
I stoned the sear a bit and ever so lightly stoned the trigger where it meets the sear. I am not very fond of snipping springs and adding other than factory spring kits. I just wanted to take the grit out of the action a bit. Nothing major as it will slick up after time. Yes I would like to change the controls due to the color but you cannot find these cylinder latches currently anywhere. I shot the gun today at the range and it is growing on me. - also it cleans up real easily due to the finish.

Pete
........ Thanks for the input on lightening the trigger action and especially that they are easy to clean up, I was hesitant to buy one as I thought the bead blast might be difficult to maintain. I have no idea why you would worry about getting blasted for buying a new M66, mixing the old with the new is very practical IMO. I own a N/D M66 I was going to complement with possibly the new M66 as you have. My only reluctance is I see them online seldom selling. I saw one on GB just yesterday for $665, these have a MSRP of $840 I believe, so that gives me pause. After reading your thread and many others I am going to go forward and buy one.

Mixing the new with the old is interesting, I just purchased a NIB M63 8 round 3" and a NIB M686 plus 3" , I just cleaned and waxed them so I had the opportunity to get up close and personal to check the fit and finish. As long as you don't expect it to feel or look like your favorite 40 year .357 or .22 L/R you won't be disappointed. As far as the I.L. I don't give it a second thought. Thanks again for the positive input on your new M66-8
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  #44  
Old 10-14-2015, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigfatty View Post
Mine is horrible. Heaviest trigger I've ever had, plus it seems to stack a bit before the second click when staging it, as it becomes noticeably harder to pull.
I have a NM 66 Combat, and completely agree with what you are saying above. I installed a Wilson Combat spring kit in mine (less than $20 including shipping from Midway IIRC), and went with the middle 13# trigger return spring.

It literally transformed the gun. I have yet to have a light primer strike or malfunction of any kind. My younger brother was fortunate enough to luck into a 66-5 police trade-in, and believe it or not, mine now has the better trigger of the two in both SA and DA.
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  #45  
Old 10-14-2015, 01:37 PM
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Thanks Paul
Joe
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  #46  
Old 10-14-2015, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopper View Post
I have a NM 66 Combat, and completely agree with what you are saying above. I installed a Wilson Combat spring kit in mine (less than $20 including shipping from Midway IIRC), and went with the middle 13# trigger return spring.

It literally transformed the gun. I have yet to have a light primer strike or malfunction of any kind. My younger brother was fortunate enough to luck into a 66-5 police trade-in, and believe it or not, mine now has the better trigger of the two in both SA and DA.
Thanks for the tip! Assuming it comes back properly repaired (PLEEEEEEEZ GOD!!!), I'll have my LGS smith install a set, and maybe even a set of Big Dots, unless I decide to plunk another $300 into it and put a Burris FFIII on it. Decisions ...
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  #47  
Old 06-30-2016, 06:22 PM
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Default Trigger and hand changes

A customer brought me a New model 66-8 after he had tried to install a new hammer spring from Wolff. Turns out Smith changed the length of the spring and Wolff did not know. In messing with the gun he removed the hand from the trigger. BAD move. The trigger has been changed in design. The hand is the only pin holding the spring in. I can not re-install this bugger and would like to see a picture of the trigger with hand and spring in place to see which way is up. If anyone has their trigger out, pleas take a picture of it. If anyone has a mind to remove the hand from the trigger,...Don't.
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  #48  
Old 06-30-2016, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choppero View Post
A customer brought me a New model 66-8 after he had tried to install a new hammer spring from Wolff. Turns out Smith changed the length of the spring and Wolff did not know. In messing with the gun he removed the hand from the trigger. BAD move. The trigger has been changed in design. The hand is the only pin holding the spring in. I can not re-install this bugger and would like to see a picture of the trigger with hand and spring in place to see which way is up. If anyone has their trigger out, pleas take a picture of it. If anyone has a mind to remove the hand from the trigger,...Don't.
I have the Wolff main spring installed in my 66-8 no problems,it's the power rib that is standard strength. I did shim with a spent primer at mainspring screw.
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Last edited by BuckeyeS&W; 07-01-2016 at 09:20 PM.
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  #49  
Old 07-01-2016, 06:22 PM
Hapworth Hapworth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choppero View Post
...In messing with the gun he removed the hand from the trigger. BAD move. The trigger has been changed in design. The hand is the only pin holding the spring in. I can not re-install this bugger and would like to see a picture of the trigger with hand and spring in place to see which way is up. If anyone has their trigger out, pleas take a picture of it. If anyone has a mind to remove the hand from the trigger,...Don't.
This comes up a lot.

How does the hand spring fit on 442/642

[640-1] how to install hand torsion spring

http://smith-wessonforum.com/1029061-post8.html
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  #50  
Old 09-13-2020, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckeyeS&W View Post
My new 66 was a little off ,I didn't notice when I picked it up from LGS after a few cleanings I noticed the groves in barrel shroud were off.I didn't want to send it back to Smith & Wesson because it shot so well. What I ended up doing was to place pistol barrel first in a padded vice and grabbed frame by grip and rotated clockwise and the shroud moved and the serrations line up. An added plus was opening and closing of cylinder was smoother.
Thank you so much for this post. I just examined my 66-8 and found the same problem and used your solution---it snapped right into place. I hadn't noticed it before because the misalignment was so slight.
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