Thursday, May 27, 2010

Smith and Wesson K-Frame Model 66-7

The Model 66-7 2½-inch
I recently came into possession of this Smith and Wesson Model 66-7 2½-inch.  The Standard Catalog of Smith and Wesson doesn't mention this version and says that the 66 was discontinued in 2005.  This one was originally sold to some Puerto Rican police agency and  was recently traded-in by them to Smith and Wesson as part of a deal for Smith and Wesson M&P pistols.  Refurbished by Smith and Wesson, these were then sold to Lew Horton and then this one made its way to Virginia.

Smith and Wesson apparently worked these over well as they are tight as a tick, timed right and every one of them has the 2 piece barrels.  I thought the counter-bore might have been done to repair muzzle crown damage from cleaning but this is the manufacture method used on the 66-7.   They have the lock (which you could see in my original photo) but did not come with the key nor did any literature accompany them. 

When I got it it had the original Hogue grips.  They are entirely too long but apparently that police agency used the same grips on all their revolvers.  Every one of them I've seen has the grips, 2½ or 4-inch it doesn't matter.  Anyway, I replaced those with a pair of wood stocks that were previously received in trade.  They fit well enough, are more compact, and don't stick to my clothing or make me nauseous.

I had the gun up to Mom's and shot 3 cylinders full of my .38 Special load of the 158 gr. Speer swaged HP over 5 gr. Unique.  Worked a treat.  These tensioned 2-piece barrels apparently have quite a good reputation for accuracy.
The two piece barrel was developed by Herb Belin, S&W Handgun Product Manager for the X-Frame 500 to add strength for the big new cartridge it fires. A conventional S&W barrel is supported only at the barrel/frame interface with a crush fit while the two piece is supported at both ends. Since the interface at the forcing cone is not stressed it is also stronger there. The better accuracy is an additional benefit.

Muzzle View - 2-piece Barrel
I don't know if I'll keep this gun.  It has the lock, the profile isn't the classic 19 and 66 profile and the muzzle has the counter-bored appearance.  That all bugs me a bit, particularly the lock.   What I'd really like to have is the 3" version of this gun, before the lock and MIM parts.


2 comments:

TJ said...

Thanks for the info, I recently purchased the exact same gun but mine was re-sold by an Australian Police Department. I had never seen the barrel like this before, I had an original Model 66 and I wasn't quite sure about the differences.

thebigT said...

If you've still got it I'd be interested in possibly buying it. Curious about the serial number on yours and were there any additional numbers engraved on the butt or crane arm? I purchased mine from an FFL in 02/10 located in VA as well and think it may have been amongst the trade-in batch from San Juan PD as well.