AKA : Snubbie, Snub 66, Combat Magnum,
Caliber : .357 Magnum (can also use .38 special)
|.357 Magnum Defense Ammo|
Length : 7.5in or 190mm
Capacity : 6 Rounds
Action : Double / Single Action
Origin : U.S.A.
The Model 66 first appeared in 1972,
a stainless steel version of the much loved Model 19. In 1974 the 2.5 inch barrel version arrived on the scene, and that is what we will look at here. From the time it was introduced to until the time it was discontinued in 2005, the '66' went through a variety of changes that were common to most Smith and Wesson revolvers in these production years, such as the deletion of pinning the barrel and recessed cylinders.
The '66' 2.5in version was intended as a personal defense revolver or as a back-up gun (BUG) for law enforcement, Strangely though the '66' is in fact quite large, for comparison of size it is longer than a Smith and Wesson 639 Semi-Automatic, and heavier than a Beretta Model 84.
Though chambered in .357 magnum, common practice with this pistol is to use .38 Special rounds for the majority of shooting, as the cylinder walls in this revolver as well as frame (S&W designation 'K' frame) are not strong enough to handle the pressure from constant firing of factory .357 magnum rounds. The extractor on this revolver isn't quite long enough to be able to fully extract empty cases but gives the shooter a good start, and with a healthy smack the cases should fall clear.
Felt recoil in this revolver is higher than its longer barreled counterpart, but is still manageable. The sights supplied with this revolver are of standard Smith and Wesson fashion. The rear sight is adjustable for windage and has matt black base rib along the top of the frame to prevent glare, whilst the front sight has a red/orange insert giving the pistol a nice sight picture especially when compared to other snubbies on the market. This pistol having been made from stainless steel offers great corrosion resistance coupled with Smith and Wesson's world renowned quality, makes this revolver worth consideration for personal or home defense. Like any snub nosed revolver time must be taken to master the increased muzzle climb and blast during firing. The '66' is capable of very good accuracy.
INTERESTING FACT : The heritage and lines of this type of revolver can be traced all the way back to the first S&W Military and Police revolvers of the beginning of the 20th Century
PRO's : Stainless Steel, Good Accuracy, Stylish, Great Pachmayr grips were available
CON's : A little on the large side, A .357 that needs to be fed .38s
COOL FACTOR : 6/10