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Discussion Starter #1
Thinking about another revolver purchase. Anyone have any experience with a S&W 66 combat magnum? I want something with a 2.75" or 3" barrel. Already have a snubbie and a 4" 686. Also thinking about a model 19. I want to stick with a S&W because of familiarity. Thanks
 

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The Model 66 came in 2 3/4 Round butt ,4 and 6 in square but but fours are by far the most common. The Model 19 is the same gun in nickle or blue steel.
I've owned a dozen of them over the years and love 'em.
My favorite K frame is the Model 65 in 3" round butt. That's a SS M-13.
 

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Thinking about another revolver purchase. Anyone have any experience with a S&W 66 combat magnum? I want something with a 2.75" or 3" barrel. Already have a snubbie and a 4" 686. Also thinking about a model 19. I want to stick with a S&W because of familiarity. Thanks
The K Frame Smiths with a short barrel are only a tad larger and heavier than the current J frame models. If you want to shoot it a lot, with full power loads, go with a 686. I had a M19 for many years, and shot it regularly with pretty hot loads, then, one day it stopped working. My gunsmith buddy said, "I told ya that would happen" :( They are very nice revolvers, but they are not L frames. The same can be said for the M60/.357's. They are .357 capable, but not forever.
 

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The 686 plus can be had with the "tweener" 3" barrel you mentioned. After a good bit of thought, the 3" barrel is what I chose for my 686 and from the comments from my buddies who have handled it, they seem to agree with my choice 100%.

Best of luck with whatever you decide on.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
TNhunter, I was just looking at the S&W site again. Yes, the 686 plus has a 3" barrel and is only 3 or 4 ounces heavier than a 66 2 3/4". I don't see where they list the width, though. Is there much difference between a 6 or 7 shot? This is a gun that I will probably carry. The extra shot is nice.
 

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I never saw much difference even with a 4" 38Spcl +P I owned. With a tape, I get right at 1.5" max width. Here's mine.
 

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I’ve got an older model 19 with 4” tube. It’s a 19-4. Pinned and recessed. It probably needs some TLC from a gunsmith. It’s a little loose after all the years. But it’s not shot anymore.

I’ve also got the brand new M66-8 combat magnum. It’s got the sleeved barrel and the ball and detent lockup. 2.75” barrel. It’s every bit as well made as the M19-4. Since it doesn’t use the detent at the front of the ejector rod, the cylinder action is smoother IMO, and it has a full length ejector on the 2.75” barrel.

Works great. I carry it most days in an alien gear cloak tuck IWB holster. Great wheel gun.

It is substantially more compact than the L frame. I’ve got two and owned many L frames. If you’re going to carry it. I’d go with the 66. If it’s just a range toy or something for the truck. The 686+ is a better choice IMO.

I say go for it.


The Kimber Revolver isn’t a bad option either for a small 6 shot .357. They have a new model with an external hammer and 3” tube that I like.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I managed to find both the 66 combat magnum and a model 3.5.7. but in different stores. A side by side would have been nice. I decided to go with the 66 since I will be carrying it. The 357 just felt heavier and larger. I guess there must be a big difference in frames. Don't think it will see a steady diet of 357, though. Right now I'm leaning to 38 spl. +P for carry. I'll be cleaning & oiling before it's first range trip.
 

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Tunnels-- - It's been many years since I've heard "Model 357". I assume that's a Model 27 with the checkered top strap? They're an 'N Frame' and are larger than the 'K Frame' Model 19/66. S&W called it "The Magnum" in 1935.
 

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Tunnels-- - It's been many years since I've heard "Model 357". I assume that's a Model 27 with the checkered top strap? They're an 'N Frame' and are larger than the 'K Frame' Model 19/66. S&W called it "The Magnum" in 1935.
The new “model 3-5-7” from S&W is actually an L frame with a set of dark pepper laminated grips. It comes in either a 3”, 5” or 7” barrel with a 7 shot cylinder. The cylinder is un-fluted.

They are fairly attractive wheel guns.

Model 686 Plus 3-5-7 Magnum® Series | Smith & Wesson

Here is the 7”
 

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I managed to find both the 66 combat magnum and a model 3.5.7. but in different stores. A side by side would have been nice. I decided to go with the 66 since I will be carrying it. The 357 just felt heavier and larger. I guess there must be a big difference in frames. Don't think it will see a steady diet of 357, though. Right now I'm leaning to 38 spl. +P for carry. I'll be cleaning & oiling before it's first range trip.
Glad you like it. If it’s the newer model, it should have a much more robust lockup than the typical S&W. Somewhat similar to a Ruger. Should handle magnums just fine. I believe it’s a similar lock up that smith uses on some of the X frame guns.

The frame is quite a bit slimmer and trimmed as compared to an L frame. I can post pictures of the two side by side of you like!

I very much love the K frame .357 magnum. My favorite wheel gun by far.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Glad you like it. If it’s the newer model, it should have a much more robust lockup than the typical S&W. Somewhat similar to a Ruger. Should handle magnums just fine. I believe it’s a similar lock up that smith uses on some of the X frame guns.

The frame is quite a bit slimmer and trimmed as compared to an L frame. I can post pictures of the two side by side of you like!

I very much love the K frame .357 magnum. My favorite wheel gun by far.

Yes, the lockup on the 66 is really tight, on all cylinders. The 3-5-7 is a good looking gun but I prefer the look of a fluted cylinder. That's probably where some of the extra weight comes from. My only issue, as with most Smiths, are the finger grips. When I try to get a higher grip on the backstrap, the grooves just hit in the wrong spot. I put a set of smooth wood grips from Altamont on my 686 but not sure if that's what I want for carry. I'll have to look around for grip options.
 

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I had a Model 19 "snubbie". Combat grips nice gun but an "in between"=too big to carry and only 6 shots. Also a Model 23 (44 spl)=same issues.
 

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I carried my 2 1/2" S&W 66 ND IWB for years, others carry L's and N frames IWB. A 1911 is bigger than a 2 1/2" or 3" K frame and plenty of those are still carried daily.
 

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I carried my 2 1/2" S&W 66 ND IWB for years, others carry L's and N frames IWB. A 1911 is bigger than a 2 1/2" or 3" K frame and plenty of those are still carried daily.
Agree. From my personal experience.

The 2.5”-3” k frame is about the same size as something like a Glock 19, Sig P229, or a 1911 commander pistol. With the exception that I think the grip on the wheel gun is easier to hide than one on an auto!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Finally was able to shoot today. My LGS has had the range closed because of panic buying and not being able to man both store and range properly. Put 100 rounds of 158 gr. 357 range ammo thru it. I'm really happy with this purchase. It doesn't shoot like a smaller gun at all. Very accurate. Single action is smooth. I need to work on my double action with this gun, though. Self defense accurate at 10 yards but could be better. I think I'll be looking for different grips. My fingers just don't fit where the grooves fall. This would probably help my double action accuracy. Overall a really good feeling gun.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I have now put over 600 rounds thru this revolver. From .38 spl to .38 spl. +P to full load .357 defense ammo(158 gr. Federal Hydra-Shok and Buffalo Bore). It ate everything I fed it. Recoil was very manageable with all ammo which kinda surprised me. Double action has really smoothed out but still heavy. One of the best purchases I've made in many years.
 
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