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  #51  
Old 06-21-2017, 10:35 AM
southpaw187 southpaw187 is offline
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Issues with my 66-8 2.75" Issues with my 66-8 2.75" Issues with my 66-8 2.75" Issues with my 66-8 2.75" Issues with my 66-8 2.75"  
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Originally Posted by Hopper View Post
C'mon Southpaw, we're all ready for an update! Hope you receive your 66 back on schedule today, and that you get a chance to give it a workout soon. Even if it takes you a day or three to get to the range, hoping you have some positive initial impressions on getting the gun back, and can give a rundown on the fixes they document on the return sheet.

FWIW, I have given mine another good workout, but again with WWB 38 Specials, I ran out of time to get any +P or 357 through it due to sharing it with my younger brother who loved it. Accuracy remains excellent, no binding after roughly 100 rounds on this most recent range trip, and still no concerns or disappointments to report.


Thanks for the update! Im doing my best to make sure i will be present to sign for the package. I am working from home today so i can be around. There will be 1 hr this morning at my house with no one home. Im hoping Murphy and his laws don't rule the day and cause that driver to show up then. Cross your digits!


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  #52  
Old 06-21-2017, 05:46 PM
southpaw187 southpaw187 is offline
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I received the following today:

Got my gun back with some paperwork. Had to stash the gun in the safe without giving it much inspection due to much activity in my house. But the Cylinder is spinning freely and the trigger pull feels right through multiple strokes.

Paperwork is as follows:

A small piece of paper indicating a test was performed for "VENT PARTICLES" with a result of "A" meaning Accept. On the bottom of this sheet is a note saying "DIRTY" with the following codes "02,07,37,52,60". No idea what this part means.

3 pieces of white paper, one marked L, one marked R, one blank. All free of debris. Obviously part of the vent particle test.

A repair order confirmation sheet. Of interest on this sheet is the following: Yoke Bind - Excessive Lead Fouling On. High Screw - Screws Back out. Misfires - Light Strikes, Excessive Blow. So that matches the email I sent in describing my issues. Then it says, Performed Service: Evaluate/Repair, Clean Gun, Cut Forcing Cone, Replace Strain Screws, Replace Thumbpiece Nut, Repair Yoke. Then this paper lists a bunch of part numbers, but I don't think they replaced this long list of parts on my gun. This paperwork is frankly a bit confusing.

A packing slip not relevant to the repair.

As they say the proof is in the pudding so I will get this to the range, probably Friday, and ring her out. Stay tuned.

-Southpaw
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  #53  
Old 06-21-2017, 07:34 PM
Hopper Hopper is online now
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I have no idea what all those codes mean either, but it sounds like they gave it a thorough going-over, which is great. The strain screw backing out would explain light strikes, and that's an easy fix with some blue Loctite. The part I'm most interested in hearing about is how it handles the various 357 grain loads after they did some forcing cone work. Hoping you have good results here without any shavings or blowback. The few times I've used the S&W warranty service were all good experiences, never ever had to send anything back a second time, so I'm optimistic, and hope you have a good report to share soon!

Last edited by Hopper; 06-21-2017 at 07:36 PM.
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  #54  
Old 06-26-2017, 05:14 PM
southpaw187 southpaw187 is offline
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Howdy Fellas, well I have an update for you.

I went to the range Friday, shot a decent variety of ammo and observed the following:

Overall function - Gun worked as it should. Zero blowback. Zero shavings at forcing cone. Zero light strikes. No screws backing out. Cylinder didn't bind. One thing about the cylinder assembly is that it was screwed together very tight by S&W warranty repair; so tight that I can't unscrew it with hand strength. I am going to leave it like this for a while as long as the cylinder keeps spinning freely and correctly.

Accuracy - I have some work to do in order to perfect my double action shooting with the puppy. The DA pull is pretty stiff. But in SA, I was getting nice groups. I even shot a group at 25 yards seated at the bench with my gun resting on my range bag, and I kept all 6 shots within the black circle on my targets, probably 4". And this is not representative of the gun, rather my ability to shoot a group at 25 yards. So I am going to declare that accurately on my sample is a non issue.

Ammo shot:

38sp Federal AE 130gr FMJ 50 rounds - This has been my go to practice load. No issues to report.

38sp Freedom 158gr LSWC 50 rounds - This is the ammo that binded up my cylinder last time. No such problems this time. But I have to say, I am going to stop using this ammo. Extremely smokey and extremely messy. Not worth the neatly punched holes they leave in my opinion. Better choices out there. Just too filthy and smokey for my like.

357 Freedom 125gr FP 50 rounds - I believe these are plated bullets. I had no problem with these. Decently hot 357 loads and flawless function. A nice 357 practice load.

357 Federal 158gr JSP 50 rounds - I got these at Walmart for $25 and they are marked CHAMPION on the packaging but I think these are also offered in the American Eagle line. Guys, HOLY COW. This is some hot factory range ammo. Let's out a boom that everyone on the range can feel and the recoil is STOUT. I am not sure the muzzle velocity out of my gun but I would love to clock these. The only time I felt this level of concussion and recoil was when I was handloading H110 & N110 and filling the powder to the gills. This is one hell of a factory round I must say. KA-BOOM. I would not have made it through this box of 50 without a shooting glove. I bet this rounds would be devastating out of a lever action rifle. Kudos to Federal.

357 Hornady Critical Duty 135gr FlexLock 25 rounds - These are stout rounds in their own right. They definitely feel hotter than the Critical Defense 357's. These will get the job done, that is for sure.

So all in all it was a range day that made me smile. If I can keep getting these results, I am considering having Dave Lauck work on this gun for me (i.e. his sights fitted and tuned to my carry ammo, an action tune and perhaps a hard chrome refinish).

Once I break down the cylinder assembly, I will report back to the thread if there is anything note worthy; especially if there is fouling on the yoke.

Thanks gents,

Southpaw
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  #55  
Old 06-26-2017, 06:49 PM
Kframerbluvr Kframerbluvr is offline
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This is truly sad. Years ago, when K frames were pretty much universal in LE, an academy student could purchase a new S&W revolver for the Basic Jailor firearms training and be assured that it would function for a couple of hundred rounds of low budget .38 lead reloads before needing a good scrubbing. Sounds like too many of the new production K frames aren't built with professional use in mind.
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  #56  
Old 06-26-2017, 08:28 PM
Hopper Hopper is online now
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Originally Posted by southpaw187 View Post
Howdy Fellas, well I have an update for you.
I've been waiting for this, and it sounds like great news all the way around. Glad you finally were able to wring out your 66 and end your range time with a smile. Excellent news, really happy to see you have an outstanding report to share!

Also, I second your opinion on the lead rounds being dirty and smokey. Great fun to shoot, but they are messy.
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  #57  
Old 06-27-2017, 09:54 AM
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So all in all it was a range day that made me smile. If I can keep getting these results, I am considering having Dave Lauck work on this gun for me (i.e. his sights fitted and tuned to my carry ammo, an action tune and perhaps a hard chrome refinish).

Once I break down the cylinder assembly, I will report back to the thread if there is anything note worthy; especially if there is fouling on the yoke.

Thanks gents,

Southpaw
Glad to hear you had a great trip to the range and everything is working as it should!

Headed back to the range over the weekend. I posted earlier about accuracy issues I was having with this particular gun. Well the rear sight blade was loose, moving left right up down. I adjusted it 2 clicks to the right, where it needed to be, and the blade seated tight. Not sure why it was loose when in the other position but I will keep an eye on it. With the sight blade seated, I was hitting baseball to softball size groups at 10 yards, which is more a reflection of my ability with the gun than the actually accuracy of the gun when the sight blade isn't bouncing all over.

Southpaw- Keep us posted on any upgrades you make to the 66!
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  #58  
Old 06-27-2017, 10:00 AM
southpaw187 southpaw187 is offline
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Quote:
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Glad to hear you had a great trip to the range and everything is working as it should!



Headed back to the range over the weekend. I posted earlier about accuracy issues I was having with this particular gun. Well the rear sight blade was loose, moving left right up down. I adjusted it 2 clicks to the right, where it needed to be, and the blade seated tight. Not sure why it was loose when in the other position but I will keep an eye on it. With the sight blade seated, I was hitting baseball to softball size groups at 10 yards, which is more a reflection of my ability with the gun than the actually accuracy of the gun when the sight blade isn't bouncing all over.



Southpaw- Keep us posted on any upgrades you make to the 66!


Sure thing! And im glad to hear you resolved your accuracy issue!!!


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  #59  
Old 07-12-2017, 04:12 AM
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Originally Posted by southpaw187 View Post
Hi folks, I just want to vent a little frustration regarding my 66-8 2.75".

1. Throat Improperly Cut - This issue was discussed in another thread but I will recap it here. I took it to the range after purchasing it and experienced tremendous amount of shrapnel being thrown back in my face, plus copper was being shaved off at the top of the forcing cone and deposited between the top of the cone and the top strap, causing the cylinder bind and lock up the gun. I took this to my gunsmith, the master Frank Glenn, and he identified the problem as a barrel throat that was not properly cut (it was too shallow). He identified this with a plug gauge (a go/no-go gauge) from Brownells. he used a reamer to open up the throat into spec. And this solved the problem as far as I can tell. Although on two instances since then I have taken bits and pieces to the face and arms.
I bought one last weekend. Been "tweeking" a few of my normal things before I head to the range later this week.

Worked on the SA trigger & got it down to 3# by changing to a Wolff 14# & cutting 1/2 a coil off and polishing things up. Also took .015" off the strain screw.

Chamfered the muzzle to rid it of the abrupt opening & it's few burrs.
.

.

I was pretty satisfied with things & then I took a last look at the forcing cone as I was getting ready to put it away. I usually brag on how smooth the two-piece barrel's FC are done. This was no exception but then the shallow/short contour of it made me look closer.

A quick check with a new 158gr JHP bullet got my attention when the base of it wouldn't even start to enter into the FC !!

(Bullet stops before the full diameter of the bullet (at the cannelure) is inserted into the FC.)
.

.

That's not good. Apparently the same trouble others have encountered with this new revolver.

Having already had to deal with rough, ragged, & minimally cut FCs (on one-piece barrels) in the past I had what I needed on-hand to correct the factory's flaw.
.

.

.

.

.

.

Used my Brownells 5 degree cutter as this has worked best in the past on fixing existing FCs (since most factory cut FCs tend to already have a larger diameter opening than is optimal, ~.020" over bullet diameter).
.

.

Used a sized 357 case (.372" OD) as a gage since my plug gages are too long (2") for the frame window.
.

.

Finished up with a light polishing with the lapping tool.

Definitely this was not the best work from the factory, & I can understand other people's frustration with it.

At least this one is sized right now & should shoot fine.
.

.

For comparison, here's a factory FC on a two-piece barrel that was right.
.

.

Now I'm ready for the range.

.
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  #60  
Old 07-12-2017, 07:42 AM
mikethebike67 mikethebike67 is offline
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Sadly mine is at Smith & Wesson now. Crown wasn't finished properly. On two different shooting sessions it made my face bleed from spitting copper jackets. Cylinder was also binding although that was getting better from use and a couple of cleanings. It's been gone almost five weeks now. I hope it comes back the way it should have been in the first place.

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Old 07-12-2017, 08:36 AM
southpaw187 southpaw187 is offline
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southpaw187, what happened with yours?

.

Hi Bluedot, this discussion thread is at least 2 pages long so make sure to read through the whole thing for detailed updates from me and others. But the long story short is, I sent it back to SW for warranty repair and they sent it back with replaced parts and a fixed forcing cone and i have had 100% reliable and expected function since then. Please update this thread with your range report!



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Old 07-12-2017, 09:24 AM
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I am very appreciative of this information. I was planning to buy one of these revolvers, though I wish it were a model 65 as I do not like adjustable sights. I bought a new model 60 and haven't shot it yet, but I am anxious to do so. I may reconsider buying the model 66.
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:25 AM
southpaw187 southpaw187 is offline
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I am very appreciative of this information. I was planning to buy one of these revolvers, though I wish it were a model 65 as I do not like adjustable sights. I bought a new model 60 and haven't shot it yet, but I am anxious to do so. I may reconsider buying the model 66.


We are glad to help, let us know if you grab the 66. Have fun with the 60!


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  #64  
Old 07-12-2017, 12:36 PM
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Surprised with the accuracy reported here.
The sample I have, even with a bad cone, shot at or under 2 inches with 3 of the 5 jacketed test loads at 25 yards.
Denis
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  #65  
Old 07-12-2017, 02:56 PM
mikethebike67 mikethebike67 is offline
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I didn't measure my group's but it seemed to be more accurate than my 8 shot 627 and my Performance Center 625.

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  #66  
Old 07-12-2017, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by southpaw187 View Post
Howdy Fellas, well I have an update for you.

I went to the range Friday, shot a decent variety of ammo and observed the following:

Overall function - Gun worked as it should. Zero blowback. Zero shavings at forcing cone. Zero light strikes. No screws backing out. Cylinder didn't bind. One thing about the cylinder assembly is that it was screwed together very tight by S&W warranty repair; so tight that I can't unscrew it with hand strength. I am going to leave it like this for a while as long as the cylinder keeps spinning freely and correctly.

Accuracy - I have some work to do in order to perfect my double action shooting with the puppy. The DA pull is pretty stiff. But in SA, I was getting nice groups. I even shot a group at 25 yards seated at the bench with my gun resting on my range bag, and I kept all 6 shots within the black circle on my targets, probably 4". And this is not representative of the gun, rather my ability to shoot a group at 25 yards. So I am going to declare that accurately on my sample is a non issue.

Ammo shot:

38sp Federal AE 130gr FMJ 50 rounds - This has been my go to practice load. No issues to report.

38sp Freedom 158gr LSWC 50 rounds - This is the ammo that binded up my cylinder last time. No such problems this time. But I have to say, I am going to stop using this ammo. Extremely smokey and extremely messy. Not worth the neatly punched holes they leave in my opinion. Better choices out there. Just too filthy and smokey for my like.

357 Freedom 125gr FP 50 rounds - I believe these are plated bullets. I had no problem with these. Decently hot 357 loads and flawless function. A nice 357 practice load.

357 Federal 158gr JSP 50 rounds - I got these at Walmart for $25 and they are marked CHAMPION on the packaging but I think these are also offered in the American Eagle line. Guys, HOLY COW. This is some hot factory range ammo. Let's out a boom that everyone on the range can feel and the recoil is STOUT. I am not sure the muzzle velocity out of my gun but I would love to clock these. The only time I felt this level of concussion and recoil was when I was handloading H110 & N110 and filling the powder to the gills. This is one hell of a factory round I must say. KA-BOOM. I would not have made it through this box of 50 without a shooting glove. I bet this rounds would be devastating out of a lever action rifle. Kudos to Federal.

357 Hornady Critical Duty 135gr FlexLock 25 rounds - These are stout rounds in their own right. They definitely feel hotter than the Critical Defense 357's. These will get the job done, that is for sure.

So all in all it was a range day that made me smile. If I can keep getting these results, I am considering having Dave Lauck work on this gun for me (i.e. his sights fitted and tuned to my carry ammo, an action tune and perhaps a hard chrome refinish).

Once I break down the cylinder assembly, I will report back to the thread if there is anything note worthy; especially if there is fouling on the yoke.

Thanks gents,

Southpaw
Groo here
When next you think you need to clean,things get sticky,
Remove grips, open cylinder and drop in some K-1 [clear kerosene from camping store]
Allow to sit for 12 to 24 hrs, then hang to drip dry or use air to blowout and dry.
Then a quick lube ,I like Marvel Mistory oil or some spray lube, [not WD-40} and shoot some more.
WD-40 will help dry the gun when you fall in the river but
will evaporate unlike lube oil.

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Old 07-13-2017, 12:35 AM
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Hi Bluedot, this discussion thread is at least 2 pages long so make sure to read through the whole thing for detailed updates from me and others. But the long story short is, I sent it back to SW for warranty repair and they sent it back with replaced parts and a fixed forcing cone and i have had 100% reliable and expected function since then. Please update this thread with your range report!
Oops, I see it. Don't know how I missed it.

Question: You said you had a gunsmith recut your forcing cone in your first post. S&W didn't have a problem with that & recut it again for you? That was a pleasant surprise. How does it look different from before you sent it?

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Old 07-13-2017, 12:37 AM
southpaw187 southpaw187 is offline
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Oops, I see it. Don't know how I missed it.



Question: You said you had a gunsmith recut your forcing cone in your first post. S&W didn't have a problem with that & recut it again for you? That was a pleasant surprise. How does it look different from before you sent it?



.


I did not disclose to them the smith cut it. And i dont heve the tools to measure the difference in the throat; we're talking thousandths of an inch. Cant be seen with naked eye. But anecdotally it is working as expected, so i am pleased nonetheless.


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Old 07-13-2017, 12:56 AM
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I figured they would have spotted the difference right away. Good to hear they didn't want to play hardball about it.

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Old 07-14-2017, 02:37 AM
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Updated my original post, #59, with pics & notes.

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Old 07-16-2017, 05:13 PM
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Well well, not sure I would have made this purchase if I had found this thread last week. Purchased the 66 combat magnum 2.75" barrel. 40 shots and complete lockup. Shot 38+p, whatever they had on the shelf to test before further testing w/357 (which of course didn't happen).

The shop was kind enough to send it back on my behalf. I have several S&W wheel guns. Never had any issues like this. I left the store bewildered and feeling pretty alone. Wish I was alone on this one actually. Quite an expensive revolver to have out of the box issues.

On another note, being that I see a month going by before testing the gun again, any holster suggestions for cc? The store had nothing at all.
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Old 07-16-2017, 06:05 PM
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Well well, not sure I would have made this purchase if I had found this thread last week. Purchased the 66 combat magnum 2.75" barrel. 40 shots and complete lockup. Shot 38+p, whatever they had on the shelf to test before further testing w/357 (which of course didn't happen).

The shop was kind enough to send it back on my behalf. I have several S&W wheel guns. Never had any issues like this. I left the store bewildered and feeling pretty alone. Wish I was alone on this one actually. Quite an expensive revolver to have out of the box issues.

On another note, being that I see a month going by before testing the gun again, any holster suggestions for cc? The store had nothing at all.
I will start by saying that mine had to go back to the mother ship as well -- something that shouldn't be required at this level of purchase.

BUT the really good news is that you will most likely be very pleased with the results when you get it back.

Mine was having light primer strikes and the ejector rod kept coming unscrewed. It also had a poor trigger, burrs on the muzzle crown and a largeish cylinder gap at 0.011. The gun shot dirty and wasn't terribly accurate.

I got mine back on Friday. While at S&W, they replaced the barrel, trigger, hammer, and ejector rod.

I just got back from the range and it performed flawlessly!
  • No misfires
  • No problems with the ejector
  • It's clearly now more accurate than I am
  • Trigger pull is slightly better and definitely smoother
  • No more muzzle crown burrs
  • MUCH cleaner shooting
  • And the muzzle gap is now at a perfect 0.003"

After confirming function I then installed Wilson Combat main spring and 12# return spring. These helped tremendously with the trigger pull and smoothness and stilled fired perfectly.

I'm VERY pleased with the end result!

For holsters, I'm wearing a Lobo Gun Leather Enhanced Pancake as we speak and it's very comfortable and holds the gun in tight to aid concealment.

I also have on order a JMCK George if you fancy Kydex AIWB holsters. This will be my first Kydex AIWB for a revolver; but I've purchased many of Tony's AIWB rigs for my auto-loaders and I've been extremely pleased with each of them.

I'm sorry for your wait (about 1 month seems to be the norm); but it WILL be worth it.
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  #73  
Old 07-16-2017, 09:59 PM
sailhard sailhard is offline
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Issues with my 66-8 2.75" Issues with my 66-8 2.75" Issues with my 66-8 2.75" Issues with my 66-8 2.75" Issues with my 66-8 2.75"  
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Thank you, dwhite, for the possitive response & the holster feedback. I am learning I am not as patient I thought. While this m66 proved extremely accurate, & no bloody cheeks, it begs the question:

does the reseller, a storefront in this instance, have any obligation to refund on a dead on arrival revolver (or any new firearm for that matter). Or is it like certain electronics, no return policy-send to manufacturer? Naturally, the next question is, Is there a lemon law? I read of people getting fed up and selling their problem firearms to others, hopefully with disclosure.

Saw a video title today, shoot what you got. I found that humorous in light of this m66 combat magnum. I love my main carry, m640, but wanted just one more round lol. Some say the 66 is the perfect revolver (for my intentions), so I saved up like most people.

Last edited by sailhard; 07-16-2017 at 10:09 PM.
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  #74  
Old 07-17-2017, 01:39 PM
sailhard sailhard is offline
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FYI, S&W factory will be closed so any return for repair work will be extended at least a month and a half - just got off the phone with them 30 seconds ago.
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  #75  
Old 07-18-2017, 02:05 AM
riverrat38 riverrat38 is offline
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Took my M66-8 snub to the range today to see how the new, improved forcing cone preformed.
The answer is, quite well. Not sure why they were stingy with the FC, there is plenty of barrel wall thickness, so no need to skimp on the cut.
The new K frame snub did well with plated, jacketed and lead bullets, both factory and reloads.
I am glad I stuck with this revolver, just what I wanted. When they came out with the 4.25 inch version, I said I would buy a snub if they made one. Guess they were listening.

Best,
Rick
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  #76  
Old 07-19-2017, 11:04 PM
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Sol-Invictus Sol-Invictus is offline
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Same issues with the forcing cone and crown. Back to factory. All is well and good now. Funny, I have many Smith revolvers. Have only bought 2 new ones and both had to go back but they made it right both times.
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  #77  
Old 07-21-2017, 02:09 AM
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BLUEDOT37 BLUEDOT37 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLUEDOT37 View Post
Now I'm ready for the range. .
Finally made it to the range. Shot great, no issues. I'm happy!

.

66 Combat Magnum target (-01a)
.


.
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Old 07-22-2017, 08:16 PM
sailhard sailhard is offline
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Update:
S&W sent me a tee, cap, & a nice range bag. Meanwhile, I decided, for me - - not necessarily for anyone else - - that this individual revolver would always trouble me in the back of my mind. And I didn't want it. It could lock up when I actually need it, if ever. Then at that moment the gun shop called and offered to replace the gun. Very nice of them.

As I first stated, I wish I'd found this thread prior to the purchase. I ordered the 686 plus, a 2.5" 7 shot. Just got back from the range and couldn't be more happier. It's not as heavy as the 1911 I used to carry. And it's a 7 shot ! ! !

Thanks for listening everyone.
Thank you Kiffneys in Key Largo!

ps. Thats 2 out of 3 new ones in the past 2 years that were dead on arrival & needed smithing.

Last edited by sailhard; 07-22-2017 at 08:19 PM.
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  #79  
Old Yesterday, 09:52 AM
gnystrom gnystrom is offline
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Glad I have been following this thread. A month ago co-worker showed up with a new 66 2-3/4". I shot two rounds through it in a direct comparison with my 686+ and decided there was not enough difference between the two to warrant another revolver in my safe.
Yesterday. I got to put it through it's paces. Mixed .357's with copper 38's in a dozen cylinders full. Lot's of lead spattering from the .357's so I think I will advise him to call S&W and have the forcing cone looked at closely by S&W.
I appreciate the input from all.

Last edited by gnystrom; Yesterday at 09:58 AM.
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  #80  
Old Yesterday, 10:25 AM
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CAJUNLAWYER CAJUNLAWYER is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kframerbluvr View Post
This is truly sad. Years ago, when K frames were pretty much universal in LE, an academy student could purchase a new S&W revolver for the Basic Jailor firearms training and be assured that it would function for a couple of hundred rounds of low budget .38 lead reloads before needing a good scrubbing. Sounds like too many of the new production K frames aren't built with professional use in mind.
I posit that "years ago, when K frames were pretty much universal in LE..." the same problems occurred with probably the same frequency but there was no internet........
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