S&W Model 66 2.75-inch .357 Magnum

S&W Model 66 2.75-inch .357 Magnum
The newest variation of Smith & Wesson's classic .357 Magnum Model 66 has a 2.75-inch-long, two-piece barrel; black synthetic wraparound grips; an adjustable rear sight; a pinned-in red ramp front sight; a restyled cylinder release button; and an internal key locking system with the key slot located just above the cylinder release button.

The S&W Model 66 .357 Magnum K-Frame revolver is now offered with a 2.75-inch barrel. The gun is a stainless-steel, double-action revolver with an adjustable rear sight, synthetic grips, and a six-shot cylinder.

The S&W K-Frame is iconic. The medium-size double-action revolver was first produced in 1896 in .32 S&W Long. Three years later it was chambered for .38 Special. In 1955 a .357 Magnum version was first offered. In 1957 Smith & Wesson gave its handguns a number designation, and the blued-steel medium-frame .357 Magnum model was named the Model 19. The Model 19 was also offered in nickel finish.

In 1970 stainless steel was offered, and in that form it was called the Model 66. Over the years the stainless-steel K-Frame Model 66 has been offered with 2.5-, 3.0-, 4.0-, and 6.0-inch barrels, with weights ranging from 31 to 40 ounces. They were hugely popular with both lawmen and sportsmen.

Model66Specs

In 2014 S&W redesigned the Model 66 to incorporate a two-piece barrel setup. Basically, the barrel is composed of an inner liner and an outer shroud. Both parts are steel. This allows S&W to place the barrel shroud over an index tab on the front of the frame and then insert and thread the barrel tube to the frame and to the shroud at the muzzle end, bringing the shroud against the frame as it torques down rather than the traditional threading and crush fitting of the old-style one-piece barrel that requires forcefully tightening to proper index. The two-piece design supports the inner barrel tube at both ends, and according to some experts, it enhances accuracy.


The rear sight is fully adjustable, and it has a plain black blade. The red ramp Baughman-style front sight is pinned into the barrel shroud. The Model 66 uses the K-/L-/N-Frame rounded grip frame that all S&W revolvers currently use.


The stainless-steel cylinder is fluted and holds six rounds of .357 Magnum or .38 Special ammunition. The cylinder measures 1.45 inches in diameter and 1.67 inches in length. The chambers are not counterbored


The Model 66 utilizes Smith & Wesson's keyed locking system. It's an internal lock that is activated via the key slot that is located just above the cylinder release latch on the left side of the revolver. When engaged, it prevents the hammer from being cocked and the trigger from being squeezed.

The cylinder yoke locks to the frame via a spring-loaded ball-detent system, and the solid, full-length, black ejector rod is unsupported. Gone are the old-style cylinder locking lug that was pinned into the barrel lug and the hollow ejector rod. The new system uses a restyled cylinder release latch, which is blackened.

Model66Accuracy

On our sample the single-action trigger pull averaged a consistent 4.0 pounds, 8.0 ounces with my RCBS trigger pull scale. The SA pull was crisp and clean. The double-action pull was 12.0 pounds. By the way, the black trigger is smooth and measures 0.38 inch wide. The hammerspur is checkered, measures 0.38 inch wide, and is blackened.


The Model 66 weighs 33.5 ounces and is 7.8 inches long and 5.5 inches high. Grips are two-piece textured synthetic wraparound, held in place by a single hex-head screw.

The results of my accuracy shooting session with four factory loads- two in .38 Special and two in .357 Magnum- are listed in the accompanying chart. Note that the results are for firing the revolver mounted in a Ransom Rest. Overall average accuracy of the .38 Specials was 2.50 inches, and overall average accuracy of the .357 Magnums was 3.18 inches.

Like I said earlier, the medium-size S&W K-Frame is iconic, and the new 2.75-inch-barreled .357 Magnum Model 66 is perfect for carrying concealed. It's powerful and superbly accurate. It serves admirably as a personal-protection gun and as a trail gun.


 
 
 

Recommended for You

Gunsmithing

Harvey Donaldson: Pioneer Benchrester

Joel J. Hutchcroft - May 07, 2019

Harvey A. Donaldson may be best known for his .219 Donaldson Wasp wildcat cartridge, but...

Ammo

True Velocity Rifle Ammo

Joel J. Hutchcroft - May 31, 2019

True Velocity is exploring options to make its distinctive ammo available to civilians.

Ammo

Get the Most Out of the .30-06

Joseph von Benedikt - April 01, 2019

Cutting-edge projectiles provide unprecedented performance in the venerable old workhorse, the...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Tactical Solutions Introduces New X-Ring Takedown SBR Rifle

Keith Feeley of Tactical Solutions sat down with Michael Bane at SHOT Show 2018 to talk about the new X-Ring Takedown SBR .22LR rifle.

Skills Drills: 3-Second Headshot

James Tarr runs through the 3-Second Headshot drill.

Springfield Armory Saint Victor

The SAINT' Victor Rifle delivers a lightweight and agile rifle solution while maintaining effectiveness at extended engagement distances.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Handguns

Review: SIG SAUER P320

Joseph Von Benedikt - September 13, 2018

Is SIG's P320 modular pistol the best polymer-framed high-capacity sidearm ever designed?

Reloading

Share the Handloading Experience

Lane Pearce - May 19, 2019

The joys of handloading are many, and one of them is sharing the experience with a novice.

Gunsmithing

Harvey Donaldson: Pioneer Benchrester

Joel J. Hutchcroft - May 07, 2019

Harvey A. Donaldson may be best known for his .219 Donaldson Wasp wildcat cartridge, but...

See More Stories

More Handguns

Handguns

Revolver Safeties You Didn't Know You Had

Allan Jones - February 27, 2019

The revolver you selected to protect you has clever features that add protection should you...

Handguns

The British Webley Double-Action Revolver

Terry Wieland - March 13, 2019

The iconic British Webley Double-Action revolver was the official British military sidearm for...

Handguns

Review: Nighthawk Custom Falcon Double Stack 9mm

Joel J. Hutchcroft - April 25, 2019

The 9mm Falcon Double Stack has a 7075 aluminum frame, a steel slide with a 5.0-inch...

See More Handguns

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×