Gun show fun

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robctwo

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 24, 2009
Messages
29
Went to the local club's gun show today. Got Dad's S&W 10-6 out and decided to reload for it. Thinking about a .357, looking at full size S&W or Ruger. The show was packed. Couldn't hardly get to a table to look. After a couple hours I was looking at a small table run by an elderly couple. They had a pretty nice blue 27-2. Sitting next to that was a stainless 66-2

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Didn't look like it had any wear at all. Fits my smaller hand better than the full sized. $485 OTD. I did have some concern about shooting a bunch of really hot .357 through it. Looks pretty good with the old 10-6

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Had lunch. Talked to some club members. They liked the gun. One guy asked if I liked the Ruger Blackhawk. I said I just got one in 45 Colt/ACP. Went to my dealer's table. Surprise, he had the 6.5" convertible .357/9mm. Longer barrel. I've read here often enough to "get both", so I did.

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He also had the .357 Stainless. Nice gun but broader grip. Thought the almost matching pair was nice.

Got all the makings for rolling my own except the lead. That should be here in a few days.
 

45flattop

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
392
Location
Jackson, MS USA
Very nice Smith 66, the local PD here issued them to all officers once
upon a time and eventually found that they had serious longevity issues
when they were shot with too hot loads, the ratchets and pawls would
get so beat up they'd go out of time quickly, so when the Glocks came
in, they made the transition and sold most of the Model 66s they had
to local dealers who couldn't GIVE them away in that condition. I
would strongly advise a less than full power .357 diet for that gun to
preserve its lifespan. Smith recognized the issues and that's largely
why the L frame 586/686 models were brought out, I also think that
the cylinder locking bolts got pretty beaten up from excess pounding
as well.
 

robctwo

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 24, 2009
Messages
29
Thanks for the advice. I'm planning on 38 or 38P for most of the shooting for the comfort of the gun and my hand. I will run a few full loads to get zeroed in case I want a full mag load.
 

woods-walker

Single-Sixer
Joined
Aug 14, 2008
Messages
254
Location
Kentucky
I would just shoot that Smith and enjoy it. The 66's and 19's are built stout and can take more .357 loads than you can. Frankly there are few men that can say they have worn out a Smith & Wesson Revolver.
 

jpickar

Blackhawk
Joined
May 30, 2008
Messages
732
Location
Montana
I have seen pictures of the forcing cone cracking and have heard of the frame cracking too on the K frame smith's. If you look at the bottom of the forcing cone it has a flat spot milled into it. That is the weak point on the forcing cone. That is where they crack. That flat spot is so the cylinder can go in to place. That is a close fit. This design is 100 years old and they were not intending it to be used for high pressure loads as the 357 gives.

That being said I have some smith K frame 357's and I only shoot 38's in it for any shooting unless I go into the woods then I carry 357 loads in it. Some 357 loads will not hurt the gun at all but a steady diet will stress that gun, even with the new metals they are made of. Some say the 125 grain bullet is the problem load. That is because that is the load the LEO's used. I suspect any hot 357 load will after time will give problems.

That is why Smith made the L frame to handle a steady diet of 357's.

It is a great gun and I would not be afraid to shoot some 357's in it at all but just not all the time.

John
 

robctwo

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 24, 2009
Messages
29
I ordered some 158 gr Montana Bullets and have some 158 gr lead from a local guy on order. I'll work up a good 38+P, a regular 38 load, a mild .357 load and something with some sizzle. I'll reserve those for those trips to the woods and shoot the milder stuff for the 200-300 round range sessions. I do that with my .45s all the time. Thanks for the replies and advice.

The Ruger should take anything I want to shoot for as long as I can stand it. I'll shoot milder stuff in it most of the time for the arthritic hands sake.
 

gifford

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 19, 2009
Messages
31
Location
The Show Me State
Way back when, we could order SW 66s (1976) through the department. I got one and carried that instead of the SW 15. The department issued ammunition was Remington JHP 38 +P. We didn't shoot enough to cause any problems with the Smiths especially since the qualifications were with .38 wadcutter. Oh, have times changed.
 

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