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Old 05-13-2017, 08:41 PM
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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Default Issues with my 66-8 2.75"

Hi folks, I just want to vent a little frustration regarding my 66-8 2.75". The short story is I am not overly impressed with this firearm. On paper and in pictures this gun is awesome, but in practice I have been having issues. I have had the following issues with the gun (Note that I bought this gun new from my LGS. And to date I have put at least 600 rounds of 38sp and at least 500 rounds of 357 mag, of different weights and manufacture):

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.

2. Fouling collects on the Yoke causing binding - This is my latest issue that is driving me nuts. On two occasions now I have had this gun collect so much fouling along the yoke where it runs through the cylinder, that the cylinder becomes almost cemented in place. This causes an extremely increased trigger pull weight if the cylinder will spin at all. This is happening with 158gr LSWC 38special ammo. The last time this happened, I cleaned the gun thoroughly. Once clean, the cylinder spun freely. But the next time at the range, after about 60 rounds, there was so much fouling again that the cylinder is jammed up. Before you blame the ammo, note that I have shot large quantities of this ammo through 3 other S&Ws (315NG, K38, and a M28) and NONE of these are having the same problem. So I am blaming the construction of the gun and not the ammo.

3. Screws backing out - This isn't a huge deal but worth mentioning. My strain screw backed out on me during use to where I couldn't pop a primer to save my life. I'm glad I had a screw driver on hand to access the screw. My thumb latch screw backed out and almost fell out. I can accept that this may have occurred due to the recoil of the 357 ammo, but i still think it's lame. But I suppose loctite or vigilance could fix these issues.

4. Light strikes - Even with my strain screw all the way in, I am getting more light strikes than I think I should be experiencing. Not sure if the ammo is to blame or the gun, but with an 11.5lb pull I should be popping these primers.

I do not consider myself picky or a person who likes to complain; in fact I consider myself realistic in my expectations of firearms. But all of these issues together has me losing faith in this gun for EDC and as a consistent range companion. I am going to call smith about the fouling issue; hopefully they can make it right. But if I can't find the confidence in this gun that I am looking for, I will sell it for a song. I just want a S&W carry gun that runs without being squeaky clean and gobbles up ammo without crapping back in my face or light striking (Is a 686 in my future?). I hope that is not too much to ask. I will break down the gun Monday to clean it and take pictures of the fouling on the yoke, etc, and any other pictures folks might want to see. Thanks for listening to a frustrated wheel gunner! Southpaw
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Old 05-13-2017, 09:02 PM
Paul105 Paul105 is offline
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I know it's frustrating, but don't suffer in silence. Email you problems to S&W customer service. They'll email you a shipping label to return the firearm (at their expense) for warranty repair.

I doubt they'll do anything about loosening screws (you just need to check them before/after each shooting session).

I have a 4 1/4" 66-8 that has the same config "gas shield". Maybe S&W has a fix for the debris buildup but I doubt it. I've got over 3,000 rnd thru mine and have never dissasembled the cyl/yoke for cleaning. I just put a drop or two of clp on that area before shooting and if it starts getting a bit balky.

They should be able to fix the other problems.

FWIW,

Paul

Last edited by Paul105; 05-13-2017 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 05-13-2017, 09:05 PM
southpaw187 southpaw187 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul105 View Post
I know it's frustrating, but don't suffer in silence. Email you problems to S&W customer service. They'll email you a shipping label to return the firearm (at their expense) for warranty repair.

I doubt they'll do anything about loosening screws (you just need to check them before/after each shooting session).

I have a 4 1/4" 66-8 that has the same config "gas shield". Maybe S&W can fix the debris buildup but I doubt it. I've got over 3,000 rnd thru mine and have never dissasembled the cyl/yoke for cleaning. I just put a drop or two of clp on that area before shooting and if it starts getting a bit balky.

They should be able to fix the other problems.

FWIW,

Paul


Thanks Paul. Do you shoot lead or just jacketed bullets? If mine only needed a drip or two of oil that would be ideal!


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Old 05-13-2017, 09:05 PM
sdb321 sdb321 is offline
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Southpaw, it seems like if it wasn't for bad luck you wouldn't have any luck at all. I feel for you. It must be very discouraging to buy a new revolver and have all those bad things happen. We can only hope S&W will take care of you. Keep us updated.
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Old 05-13-2017, 09:08 PM
Paul105 Paul105 is offline
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Both. If you are shooting lead, have you tried any of the various "coated" bullets. Quite a bit less smoke and fouling.

Paul
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Old 05-13-2017, 09:37 PM
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Both. If you are shooting lead, have you tried any of the various "coated" bullets. Quite a bit less smoke and fouling.

Paul
That might mitigate OP's problem some, but dammit, S&W revolvers have been shooting lead bullets since before the Civil War. If a design tweak is necessary, they need to keep the ability to shoot lead bullets. I have a 66 2-1/2" that I really like. I may be a customer for one of the new ones some day, but not until this issue goes away.
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Old 05-13-2017, 10:33 PM
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I experienced some painful blowback shooting some 158 grain .357s. I forget the brand. The box is in my car. My left ear and cheek still hurts. I have had no issues with the 110 and 125 grain 357s. No issues with various 38+P in 125, 130, 159. FMJ, LSWC, and SJHP. These are 7 and 10 yards double action groups. I am loving these grips. I use CLP and have had no binding issues.
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Old 05-13-2017, 11:32 PM
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First, lead SWC ammunition today is not at all common, in fact I don't believe I've seen any lead SWC commercial ammunition in at least 15 years. This leads me to believe that you are building your own ammunition. As a reloader I have no problem at all with your doing this but you may be blaming some factors created by your choice of powder and method of priming your cases on your model 66.

Btw I had about 500 rounds of 38 special with poorly seated primers due to my using a hand primer that was basically worn out. So I have first hand experience with what happens with poorly seated primers. Good new is they will go off if you hit them a second time but by golly you will get a real education on whether you are flinching while working through 500 rounds of ammo with poorly seated primers.

Some powders also shoot rather dirty. My experience with CFE223 in my AR's is that it will leave the receiver saturated with a gummy black mess after only 50 or 60 rounds while load built using Varget shoot much cleaner. I suspect the difference is due to whatever chemicals are used to reduce copper fouling so CFE pistol is probably similar in terms of fouling. BTW, that copper fouling eliminator is actually more than ad hype, it actually does reduce copper fouling in a barrel. Point being is that Powder Choice could be a factor in the fouling related issues you are dealing with.

Finally I've been pelted often enough at shorter indoor ranges that I won't shoot 357 Magnums at a range shorter than 75 feet. I had one day when I felt I might have problems with my model 620 until I felt a chink of debris hit me in the knee. Since the lanes at this range feature a bench a bit below chest high the ONLY path for something to hit my knee was from the backstop of the 50 foot range I was shooting at.

Finally, you have a warranty on your new pistol. I would suggest that to take advantage of that and call S&W Customer Service.

Last edited by scooter123; 05-21-2017 at 06:36 AM. Reason: corrected yard to foot
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Old 05-14-2017, 02:10 AM
southpaw187 southpaw187 is offline
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Default Issues with my 66-8 2.75"

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First, lead SWC ammunition today is not at all common, in fact I don't believe I've seen any lead SWC commercial ammunition in at least 15 years. This leads me to believe that you are building your own ammunition. As a reloader I have no problem at all with your doing this but you may be blaming some factors created by your choice of powder and method of priming your cases on your model 66.

Btw I had about 500 rounds of 38 special with poorly seated primers due to my using a hand primer that was basically worn out. So I have first hand experience with what happens with poorly seated primers. Good new is they will go off if you hit them a second time but by golly you will get a real education on whether you are flinching while working through 500 rounds of ammo with poorly seated primers.

Some powders also shoot rather dirty. My experience with CFE223 in my AR's is that it will leave the receiver saturated with a gummy black mess after only 50 or 60 rounds while load built using Varget shoot much cleaner. I suspect the difference is due to whatever chemicals are used to reduce copper fouling so CFE pistol is probably similar in terms of fouling. BTW, that copper fouling eliminator is actually more than ad hype, it actually does reduce copper fouling in a barrel. Point being is that Powder Choice could be a factor in the fouling related issues you are dealing with.

Finally I've been pelted often enough at shorter indoor ranges that I won't shoot 357 Magnums at a range shorter than 75 feet. I had one day when I felt I might have problems with my model 620 until I felt a chink of debris hit me in the knee. Since the lanes at this range feature a bench a bit below chest high the ONLY path for something to hit my knee was from the backstop of the 50 yard range I was shooting at.

Finally, you have a warranty on your new pistol. I would suggest that to take advantage of that and call S&W Customer Service.


Your belief is not correct. I am not loading my own ammo. I bought new factory manufactured ammo from freedom munitions. Here is the link. 38 SPL 158 gr SWC Lead Cast New | Freedom Munitions i am not sure what powder they use but this ammo functioned fine in my other revolvers and did not bind up my cylinder on any of them except on the 66-8. all primers were properly seated and yes some went off on second strike however some were not set off with 4 strikes and by then i gave up. Plus this was not the only brand of ammo i had primer problems with, winchester white box and S&B were problematic as well.

When this cylinder binding due to fouling happened the first time it appeared to be not only powder fouling but lead deposits on the yoke barrel effecting the free movement of my cylinder.

My range is 75 feet and i would be surprised if what i felt was ricochet. The debris flying at me came from the revolver i believe.

And as i said before i will contact s&w for warranty, but that doesn't change my initial impression of, or frustration with, my particular sample.


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Old 05-14-2017, 09:04 AM
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Went out and grabbed my offending ammo. It is .357 150 grain SFHP PMC Gold Starfire.

Southpaw, that does really suck. It is about impossible to find any 357 158 grain self defense ammo around these parts. Tons of 38 special. All I shoot in my other 66s are the +ps.

I suspect the issues are powder, pressure related.
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Old 05-14-2017, 09:25 AM
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Tomorrow mourning get on the phone with a S&W customer rep and spell out your problems. Most likely they're going to tell you we're sending a prepaid shipping label for a trip to the mother ship. It' is Mother's day after all!
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Old 05-14-2017, 11:01 AM
TANK78327Z TANK78327Z is offline
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As to screws backing out, take them out and degrease the screws and holes.
Get a tube of PURPLE loc-tite, this is a LOW strength thread locker, it will not stop easy removal but will control screws backing out under recoil.
I have used it for a long time to prevent this type of problem on various things including firearms, it has never caused any future problems, just help solve them.
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Old 05-14-2017, 11:06 AM
southpaw187 southpaw187 is offline
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As to screws backing out, take them out and degrease the screws and holes.
Get a tube of PURPLE loc-tite, this is a LOW strength thread locker, it will not stop easy removal but will control screws backing out under recoil.
I have used it for a long time to prevent this type of problem on various things including firearms, it has never caused any future problems, just help solve them.


I will follow this recommendation, thank you sir.


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Old 05-14-2017, 11:54 AM
southpaw187 southpaw187 is offline
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Tomorrow mourning get on the phone with a S&W customer rep and spell out your problems. Most likely they're going to tell you we're sending a prepaid shipping label for a trip to the mother ship. It' is Mother's day after all!


I wrote a detailed email to CS today and will report back to the thread as to what happens next


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Old 05-14-2017, 12:15 PM
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Call them tomorrow morning and speak with a live person. They are not always prompt in answering emails.
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Old 05-14-2017, 03:06 PM
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Groo here
You may need an 11 Degree forcing cone cut in your barrel.
This will allow the bullet to go deeper into the barrel before
hitting the resistance of the rifling and causing the bullet to
swell from being compressed at the BC gap.
The Keith type SWC will show this faster due to the forward driving band
not on the CB shaped like factory HP rounds.
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Old 05-14-2017, 05:30 PM
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I'm sorry about the issues with your new 66-8. Hopefully S&W will make it right!
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Old 05-16-2017, 08:37 PM
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In under 48 hours S&W responded to my email with a return shipping label, i will get it out to them tomorrow and keep the thread updated.


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Old 05-20-2017, 10:37 PM
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Quick update with my first experience (FINALLY) to give the new 66 snub a workout. I didn't have long before the rain came through central Indiana today, and was cautious to run any 357 through it until I was satisfied with the results from 38 special. Not a single hiccup to report. The Wilson Combat Spring Kit performed flawlessly, not one light strike in DA to report. The only thing I noticed when I got home to give it the first thorough bath was that the strain screw backed out on me a bit. I was kind of expecting this after doing the spring kit upgrade, but didn't want to Loctite it until I was sure there would be no problems in DA. I put a dab of blue on the threads, so I shouldn't have this problem again based on doing this with previous Smiths. I should have put up some paper targets to check accuracy, but I was hitting small steel plates at around 30 yards in DA with relative ease, so I'm pretty pleased on this front at the moment. Otherwise, no binding, no problems opening up the cylinder for reloads, no excessive fouling with WWB ammo or problems igniting the primers. Just lots of smiles!

I experienced no shavings or blowback with 38 (and don't recall that anyone else has with 38 either), so on the next trip I'll be ready to try some 357. Honestly, so far it's running like a top.
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Old 05-20-2017, 10:40 PM
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Quick update with my first experience (FINALLY) to give the new 66 snub a workout. I didn't have long before the rain came through central Indiana today, and was cautious to run any 357 through it until I was satisfied with the results from 38 special. Not a single hiccup to report. The Wilson Combat Spring Kit performed flawlessly, not one light strike in DA to report. The only thing I noticed when I got home to give it the first thorough bath was that the strain screw backed out on me a bit. I was kind of expecting this after doing the spring kit upgrade, but didn't want to Loctite it until I was sure there would be no problems in DA. I put a dab of blue on the threads, so I shouldn't have this problem again based on doing this with previous Smiths. I should have put up some paper targets to check accuracy, but I was hitting small steel plates at around 30 yards in DA with relative ease, so I'm pretty pleased on this front at the moment. Otherwise, no binding, no problems opening up the cylinder for reloads, no excessive fouling with WWB ammo or problems igniting the primers. Just lots of smiles!

I experienced no shavings or blowback with 38 (and don't recall that anyone else has with 38 either), so on the next trip I'll be ready to try some 357. Honestly, so far it's running like a top.


Sounds like a great day of smiles at the range! Run some boomers through that puppy and let us know if she gobbles 'em up! Sounds like you got yourself a nice one there. Glad to hear it.


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Old 05-20-2017, 11:39 PM
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Sounds like a great day of smiles at the range! Run some boomers through that puppy and let us know if she gobbles 'em up! Sounds like you got yourself a nice one there. Glad to hear it.
I know you've had a heck of a time with yours Southpaw, and you are part of the reason I was hesitant to throw any 357 downrange today. I'll definitely report back once I have a chance to do so, and hope you get yours back soon in perfect working order!
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Old 05-21-2017, 02:16 AM
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Some 242 blue Loc-Tite will cure the loose screw problem.
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Old 05-21-2017, 08:55 AM
southpaw187 southpaw187 is offline
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I know you've had a heck of a time with yours Southpaw, and you are part of the reason I was hesitant to throw any 357 downrange today. I'll definitely report back once I have a chance to do so, and hope you get yours back soon in perfect working order!


Thanks Hopper! If you can, test a few bullet weights and configurations: 120, 125, 158. FMJ, SJSP, SJHP, etc. if it eats it all i bet you're worry free from here on out.


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Old 05-23-2017, 01:06 PM
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Default This is definitely a problem

Picked up a new 66-8 2.75 last week and I'm having the same issues as the OP.

First trip to the range made it through 60 rounds of .38 special 125gr and 158gr FMJ. No problems.

First six rounds of .357 125gr and I felt like I was getting peppered with metal in the face and hands, nothing too extreme but very noticeable. Switched to 135gr .357 for the next six rounds and experienced the same thing. Next I loaded six rounds of 158gr .357, made it through four rounds before the cylinder locked up and would not advance. After 3-4 min of pushing (beating) the cylinder it finally opened and chunks of jacketing and lead fell out. There was also chunks of lead and jacketing wedged between the top of the forcing cone and frame which is what was binding the cylinder.

Called Smith and its on its way back. I own several pre 2000's S&W revolvers and have never had any issues with them. Extremely dissapointed that this "Combat Magnum" couldn't make it past 16 rounds of .357 magnum before being rendered useless.

This seems to definitely be a production or design issue which hopefully can be corrected because this revolver looks and feels great in the hand.

Last edited by CDelta; 05-24-2017 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 05-23-2017, 08:41 PM
southpaw187 southpaw187 is offline
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Picked up a new 66-8 2.75 last week and I'm having the same issues as the OP.

First trip to the range made it through 60 rounds of .38 special 125gr and 158gr FMJ. No problems.

First six rounds of .357 125gr and I felt like I was getting peppered with metal in the face and hands, nothing too extreme but very noticeable. Switched to 135gr .357 for the next six rounds and experienced the same thing. Next I loaded six rounds of 158gr .357, made it through four rounds before the cylinder locked up and would not advance. After 3-4 min of pushing (beating) the cylinder it finally opened and chunks of jacketing and lead fell out. There was also chunks of lead and jacketing wedged between the top of the forcing cone and frame which is what was binding the cylinder.

Called Smith and its on its way back. I own several pre 2000's S&W revolvers and have never had any issues with them. Extremely dissapointed that this "Combat Magnum" couldn't make it past 14 rounds of .357 magnum before being rendered useless.

This seems to definitely be a production or design issue which hopefully can be corrected because this revolver looks and feels great in the hand.
Sorry for your troubles my friend. Maybe the silver lining here is that there is now more than one (that we know of) documented cases of the exact same problems with the "combat magnum". So if the right hand talks to the left in Springfield, maybe we will get more than a half assed attempt from them to fix the issues. I will have several brands of ammo, both 38 and 357 on hand, when the gun gets back so I can run it through it's paces. In the meanwhile, I went and bought a vintage 66-1 4" from a great forum member here, and wouldn't you know, it gobbled up everything I fed it and it begged for more. Fingers crossed for us both!
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Old 05-24-2017, 08:41 AM
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Hopefully these are isolated incidents, I just ordered one of these. I pray that I get a good one.
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Old 05-24-2017, 08:47 AM
southpaw187 southpaw187 is offline
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Got an email today from S&W saying my gun was received and checked in. Will keep everyone updated.


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Old 05-24-2017, 09:34 AM
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Reading about these problems has made me rethink my plans to buy a NEW S&W... Really kind of sad as I was hoping this revolver would launch a renewed interest in this type of handgun.
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Old 05-24-2017, 10:02 AM
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Sorry for your troubles my friend. Maybe the silver lining here is that there is now more than one (that we know of) documented cases of the exact same problems with the "combat magnum". So if the right hand talks to the left in Springfield, maybe we will get more than a half assed attempt from them to fix the issues. I will have several brands of ammo, both 38 and 357 on hand, when the gun gets back so I can run it through it's paces. In the meanwhile, I went and bought a vintage 66-1 4" from a great forum member here, and wouldn't you know, it gobbled up everything I fed it and it begged for more. Fingers crossed for us both!
I agree. Hopefully these problems can be resolved with one trip back to Springfield. When mine gets back I will run various types of ammo through it as well and will keep this forum updated.

Congrats on the 66-1!
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Old 05-24-2017, 10:04 AM
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I agree. Hopefully these problems can be resolved with one trip back to Springfield. When mine gets back I will run various types of ammo through it as well and will keep this forum updated.



Congrats on the 66-1!


Thanks! What a cool gun.


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Old 05-24-2017, 10:23 AM
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Hopefully these are isolated incidents, I just ordered one of these. I pray that I get a good one.
I hope this is the case as well. Besides my personal preference against the black cylinder release and internal lock I really like this new Smith. I put some wood on mine and didn't like it, felt the Hogue Bantams worked better with the black parts and feels great in the hand. Looks more like a Combat Magnum now.

Please let us know when you can throw some .357 magnum down range. Good luck!
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Old 05-24-2017, 12:21 PM
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I have one of these on lay away. I hope there are no problems with it when I actually get to shoot it. If there are it won't be my first S&W revolver to go back. I have a 4" 627 8 shot that had a canted barrel. It is now my favorite gun to shoot.

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Old 05-24-2017, 04:25 PM
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Southpaw187, This might be minor to your problem that you are having but I got a Brand New Model 60. Inspected at the shop it was sent to and noticed the barrel off centered to the left, but I have read some barrels are canted because of screwing in and being torqued to spec. But my sights were off to the left too. But with all the revolvers which most of them are SW revolvers, this was the first in many I saw that was canted and the sight off. So I called SW twice the rep wanted me to shoot it to see if it's shooting center, and I just remember reading your post about getting pelted by shrapnel, so I called SW back and the same guy I talked to Friday emailed me a shipping label, so I sent my revolver back yesterday, with a note of what I have found wrong. Now, knowing my luck they'll send it back saying all things are good, then I'll accept that them sale it. Maybe you will have better luck!
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Old 05-25-2017, 01:42 PM
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Southpaw187, This might be minor to your problem that you are having but I got a Brand New Model 60. Inspected at the shop it was sent to and noticed the barrel off centered to the left, but I have read some barrels are canted because of screwing in and being torqued to spec. But my sights were off to the left too. But with all the revolvers which most of them are SW revolvers, this was the first in many I saw that was canted and the sight off. So I called SW twice the rep wanted me to shoot it to see if it's shooting center, and I just remember reading your post about getting pelted by shrapnel, so I called SW back and the same guy I talked to Friday emailed me a shipping label, so I sent my revolver back yesterday, with a note of what I have found wrong. Now, knowing my luck they'll send it back saying all things are good, then I'll accept that them sale it. Maybe you will have better luck!
I hope this all works out well for you; please let us know how it goes!!
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Old 05-25-2017, 01:57 PM
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I have the tracking # for sending revolver back via FEDEX. It was delivered to SW today at 1018am, so maybe I'll hear from them by Friday or Monday!
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Old 05-25-2017, 02:22 PM
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I have the tracking # for sending revolver back via FEDEX. It was delivered to SW today at 1018am, so maybe I'll hear from them by Friday or Monday!
Hahaha ... or maybe you won't ... then what ...
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Old 05-30-2017, 01:49 PM
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I had similar cylinder binding issues with my 66-8 2.75" at first. No problems with jacketed 158 grain bullets, but significant binding issues with 158 gr. cast bullets after 24 rounds. Not a big deal to resolve by cleaning, but annoying. After 600 or so rounds my binding issues seem to have resolved themselves. Last time out 50 rds. of the load that had given me problems before did fine.
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Old 05-30-2017, 04:24 PM
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First time out with mine a few weeks back I had binding issues with 158 gr semi-jacketed .357 after firing 100 .38Spl FMJ. Cylinder locked up before I was able to finish the third cylinder. Thoroughly cleaned it and haven't had any issues since then regardless of type and weight of ammunition or caliber. Seems like it needed to be loosened up a bit, and a few hundred .38 and .357 did the trick.
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Old 05-30-2017, 05:30 PM
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I've had autos that needed some use to loosen up a bit and run right, but have never experienced a revolver that needed breaking in.
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Old 05-30-2017, 06:00 PM
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Thanks for the feedback fellas. Interested to get mine back in hand sometime hopefully soon.


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Old 05-31-2017, 07:18 PM
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Southpaw, still watching this thread, and hoping you have a good update to share with the group soon. Your issues don't seem to be yours alone, but so far so good with my piece. This video was just posted by iraqveteran8888, and I tend to like his reviews (he's no Hickok, but I like him nonetheless). His fired without a hitch with a variety of ammo, so really hoping some of the problem reports in this forum are truly few and far between. What is it they used to say in the auto world... maybe you got a "Friday" gun?? Anyway, I thought this was overall a pretty nice and favorable review, though they had some crown burrs to work out.


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Old 06-16-2017, 10:48 PM
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Default Combat Magnum back from S&W

Just wanted to give an update on the 66-8 2.75 I sent back to smith a month ago.

First, I received it back yesterday so almost 1 month to the day I shipped it out so roughly 30 days turn around time. Not too bad.

Inside the box was a work order that said "evaluate/repair. Cut forcing cone". So I can only assume that was done. It also came back with three blank sheets of paper with the exception of a R on one and a L on another. On one of these I noticed a very faint speck. this appears to be how they tested for the spitting lead problem after cutting the forcing cone.

So today I hit the range today with 6 different types of .357 and .38 to run it through its paces. Im happy to say it made it past 16 rounds of magnums and the cylinder didn't bind! I had absolutely no problems with blowback or the cylinder locking up from jacketing on the forcing cone. After 200 rounds there were no fragments of bullet lodged anywhere near the forcing cone and was clean with the exception of burnt powder.

I am glad that this gun is finally starting to run like it should and how others have reported theres to be in good working order.

With that said I have only a couple other issues now.

After about 100 rounds I noticed that when I would open the cylinder to reload, when cycling the cylinder by hand it had noticeable drag and would squeak every now and again like the wheel on a old bicycle. I assume its just getting fouled up and needs to be cleaned but I have never experienced that with any of my other revolvers.

Accuracy. Has anyone had any accuracy issues with theirs?
Before anyone starts hitting me with the "operator error" answer, let me say I had 4 other smith revolvers with me today all .38/.357, varying barrel lengths, and a new 442. The 66-8 was first shooting low and right so I adjusted the sights. after adjusting the shots were landing at least in the direction of aim but could not get a group smaller than a basketball at 10 yards. With all other revolvers I was hitting softball sized groups at 10-15 yards and the 442 with the 1.875 inch barrel was landing groups tennis ball size at 10 yards.

I might post this question in another thread , but Ive noticed how the rifling just seems to protrude from the muzzle on these 2 piece barrels leaving what appears to be an unfinished look. Maybe I just got one made on a Friday?

Overall smith fixed the issue I was having so that is a plus. I just really want to like this new 66. Feels great in the hand, has everything I want in a .357. Hopefully another trip to the range and a cleaned up yoke will yield better results or it will get sold off until I can find one that is right like others have mentioned owning.

Southpaw- hopefully you will be getting yours back soon!
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Old 06-16-2017, 11:28 PM
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Hmmm? My new 2.75" 66-8 (shipped 4/13) had none of the problems. In particular, it is accurate, doesn't spit lead and the muzzle looks well finished. The store had two to chose from and both looked fine. I suppose I was either lucky or the employees producing them are getting the hang of the new design and the quirks involved in manufacturing it.
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Old 06-17-2017, 12:37 AM
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Mine was spitting "something" with plated and jacketed bullets (Xtreme and Speer GDSB) and BB lead FBI load. Accuracy was as good as I can shoot, tennis ball at 10 yards, even with the "spitting" bullets.
My 66 was accepted by S&W on June 6, so 2 weeks next Tuesday. Glad to hear I should get mine back in a couple of weeks.
I have long wondered if getting a revolver that needs to go back for warranty work might have any good points. I have this idea, right or wrong, that the gun is being checked out by someone with more experience than the assemblers that screwed them up in the first place. Many of the parts are MIM, and just need to be assembled, but who does the work like cutting the crown and forcing cone, low paid assemblers or real gunsmiths? Not sure I want to know the answer. The say that making laws is like making sausages, something you don't want to see happening, but I would like to think that building guns is not in the same category.

Best,
Rick

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Old 06-19-2017, 02:15 PM
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Southpaw, still watching this thread, and hoping you have a good update to share with the group soon. Your issues don't seem to be yours alone, but so far so good with my piece. This video was just posted by iraqveteran8888, and I tend to like his reviews (he's no Hickok, but I like him nonetheless). His fired without a hitch with a variety of ammo, so really hoping some of the problem reports in this forum are truly few and far between. What is it they used to say in the auto world... maybe you got a "Friday" gun?? Anyway, I thought this was overall a pretty nice and favorable review, though they had some crown burrs to work out.

S&W Model 66 Combat Magnum - YouTube
Howdy Hopper, I will check this video out when I get a chance. I have seen some of his other videos and I am a fan.
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Old 06-19-2017, 02:33 PM
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Just wanted to give an update on the 66-8 2.75 I sent back to smith a month ago.

First, I received it back yesterday so almost 1 month to the day I shipped it out so roughly 30 days turn around time. Not too bad.

Inside the box was a work order that said "evaluate/repair. Cut forcing cone". So I can only assume that was done. It also came back with three blank sheets of paper with the exception of a R on one and a L on another. On one of these I noticed a very faint speck. this appears to be how they tested for the spitting lead problem after cutting the forcing cone.

So today I hit the range today with 6 different types of .357 and .38 to run it through its paces. Im happy to say it made it past 16 rounds of magnums and the cylinder didn't bind! I had absolutely no problems with blowback or the cylinder locking up from jacketing on the forcing cone. After 200 rounds there were no fragments of bullet lodged anywhere near the forcing cone and was clean with the exception of burnt powder.

I am glad that this gun is finally starting to run like it should and how others have reported theres to be in good working order.

With that said I have only a couple other issues now.

After about 100 rounds I noticed that when I would open the cylinder to reload, when cycling the cylinder by hand it had noticeable drag and would squeak every now and again like the wheel on a old bicycle. I assume its just getting fouled up and needs to be cleaned but I have never experienced that with any of my other revolvers.

Accuracy. Has anyone had any accuracy issues with theirs?
Before anyone starts hitting me with the "operator error" answer, let me say I had 4 other smith revolvers with me today all .38/.357, varying barrel lengths, and a new 442. The 66-8 was first shooting low and right so I adjusted the sights. after adjusting the shots were landing at least in the direction of aim but could not get a group smaller than a basketball at 10 yards. With all other revolvers I was hitting softball sized groups at 10-15 yards and the 442 with the 1.875 inch barrel was landing groups tennis ball size at 10 yards.

I might post this question in another thread , but Ive noticed how the rifling just seems to protrude from the muzzle on these 2 piece barrels leaving what appears to be an unfinished look. Maybe I just got one made on a Friday?

Overall smith fixed the issue I was having so that is a plus. I just really want to like this new 66. Feels great in the hand, has everything I want in a .357. Hopefully another trip to the range and a cleaned up yoke will yield better results or it will get sold off until I can find one that is right like others have mentioned owning.

Southpaw- hopefully you will be getting yours back soon!
Howdy CDelta, Yes it sounds like they did cut a throat into the forcing cone if you are no longer experiencing blow back. At least they properly diagnosed that part. And regarding the 3 pieces of paper, one each with L and R and one blank, I believe what that represents is they hold a piece of paper on each side of the cylinder and probably the blank one back by the shooter when firing shots seeking evidence of lead particles, as you suggested. Sounds like a reasonable approach to the repair by them.

Regarding the retardation of cylinder movement after 100 rounds, you should definitely disassemble the cylinder assembly, clean it thoroughly and lubricate it. I am willing to bet your cylinder will spin freely once those tasks are complete. I find it very concerning that these 66-8's experience cylinder drag after a relatively small amount of fouling from normal use. I believe this is due to the unusual gas ring configuration on these guns. On all my other smiths with "normal" gas ring configurations, I do not have this specific problem. In fact, the cylinders on those guns spin like a top after countless rounds. This is an issue I raised with S&W when I sent it in, so I am curious to see if and how they address it. I am what I consider a medium volume shooter, and I don't have the patience to clean my cylinder assembly after every time I go to the range. So I hope this problem on my gun works itself out with use or is solved by S&W.

Regarding accuracy; this is not the most accurate handgun I own, and frankly in my experience with it so far, albeit limited, it is not very easy to shoot it accurately due to trigger pull weight and short sight radius. That being said, my groups at 10 yards are what I would consider softball sized when shooting DA. And if I cock it into SA, I can about squeeze them into maybe a hardball sized group. A basketball sized group would definitely concern me, I mean that is like a 10-12" spread. I am not a gunsmith so I don't want to opine on the condition of the lands and groves, but I do believe that if they are cut properly and consistently across all of them, I don't think it should matter too much if the muzzle isn't recessed crowned. But if there is any damage to the lands and grooves, that certainly can affect accuracy.

Please let us know what results you have at your next trip to the range. I am curious to see if you experience cylinder binding issues again, and if you can tighten up your groups, especially shooting single action.

-Southpaw
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Old 06-19-2017, 02:38 PM
southpaw187 southpaw187 is offline
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Mine was spitting "something" with plated and jacketed bullets (Xtreme and Speer GDSB) and BB lead FBI load. Accuracy was as good as I can shoot, tennis ball at 10 yards, even with the "spitting" bullets.
My 66 was accepted by S&W on June 6, so 2 weeks next Tuesday. Glad to hear I should get mine back in a couple of weeks.
I have long wondered if getting a revolver that needs to go back for warranty work might have any good points. I have this idea, right or wrong, that the gun is being checked out by someone with more experience than the assemblers that screwed them up in the first place. Many of the parts are MIM, and just need to be assembled, but who does the work like cutting the crown and forcing cone, low paid assemblers or real gunsmiths? Not sure I want to know the answer. The say that making laws is like making sausages, something you don't want to see happening, but I would like to think that building guns is not in the same category.

Best,
Rick
Howdy Rick,

I hope your theory about the folks inspecting warranty guns being more qualified is accurate! If there are problems with their items they should be fixed right the first time by a qualified professional. And I am not sure who is in charge of cutting forcing cones and crowning muzzles, etc, on the production line but I would think any competent person with enough training can manage those relatively easy tasks (easy compared to detailed parts fitting anyway). So I would guess they are lower paid assemblers as opposed to certified smiths. That is just my guess. And I am with you on the sausage analysis... just deliver me a delicious sausage I really don't need to know that there are pig ears, eye balls, and lord knows what else inside of it.......
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Old 06-19-2017, 02:41 PM
southpaw187 southpaw187 is offline
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Hello everyone, I received an email today with a FedEx tracking number from Springfield, MA, so it looks like my 66 will be back in hand this Wednesday the 21st. I mailed it off on the 16th or 17th, So essentially it took just over a month to go full circle. I will report back to you guys upon inspection of the gun and explanation of work from S&W. And of course I will also give a range report after I get to shoot it.
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:46 PM
gnystrom gnystrom 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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Good news. I look forward to a report on the work done.
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  #50  
Old 06-21-2017, 10:29 AM
Hopper Hopper 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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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.
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