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Old November 22, 2009, 04:54 PM   #1
zinj
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S&W 66 Excessive B/C Gap

A few months ago I impulse purchased a Smith 66 no-dash without giving a full checkout. I now understand why some experts have the opinion that the Bangor Punta era represents a nadir of S&W quality. The gun has a few issues, the most apparent being a crane that is not closely fitted to the frame, and a barrel/cylinder gap of .012. Is this gun worth keeping? I'm sure there is a smith somewhere who can fix the problem, but I don't want to dump hundreds of dollars into this gun. What would the consequences be for shooting it. I have read up a fair amount on the forcing cone issue of the magnum K-Frame, and would primarily be shooting .38s through the gun. Would a large B/C gap result in more forcing cone erosion?

There also is a small flange of metal around some parts of the end of the barrel, it looks like a leftover of the milling process that should have been cleaned up. Is this a cause for concern?

From what I can tell, the gun seems to have been carried a fair amount and shot a bit too, but not with too many hot magnums, seeing as there is very little flamecutting of the topstrap. There was .004 cylinder endshake, which I have fixed with some endshake bushings.
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Old November 22, 2009, 07:57 PM   #2
Dfariswheel
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Guns are not vintages of wine.
There are no "good years or bad years" there are only good or bad individual guns.
Banger Punta made some truly great S&W revolvers and some bad ones, so the only option is to judge each gun on its own merits.

With that said, as long as the gun isn't totally trashed out and damaged so bad as to preclude it, S&W can repair it to perfect working condition.
You'd have to send the gun in for them to evaluate it and issue you an estimate, but they do the best work and do it at very competitive prices.
They guarantee the work, and have all the right tools and parts, something many local gunsmiths don't have.

As for the "flange of metal on the end of the barrel" I assume the rear end.
If so, its common to see a burr of metal around the rear of older stainless S&W revolvers. This is no caused for alarm, and is simply something left when the barrel was fitted to the frame.

You'd be amazed at what S&W can do, and how reasonable the pricing can be for something that looks like a major repair.
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Old November 22, 2009, 08:11 PM   #3
roaddog28
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Join Date: March 15, 2009
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Try to fix the revolver. Smith and Wesson will repair it right. A K frame magnum is just going up in value. They are that popular and command good prices. I bought a second 66 4 inch to go with my first 66 4 inch because I was able to get the revolver for only $300.00. The revolver is in excellent shape. It was a little old ladys home protection gun. No matter, my point is the K frame magnum revolver is worth repairing. In California a working 66 goes for $600 to $650.

Repair it.
Good luck,
roaddog28
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Old November 22, 2009, 08:18 PM   #4
zinj
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I suppose it is worth giving S&W a call. The gun is fine otherwise, it carries up well and the bore is good. I really would like gun devoted to shooting .38s; an understudy to my Model 28, as cleaning out those rings before you can shoot magnums is a pain. You would happen to be able to know the ballpark cost, by chance?

Guns may not be vintages of wine, but the attention to detail seen in my early 60s era 28 isn't so apparent in this early 70s 66. Still, the quality is still greater than a number of makes on the market, if you ignore the gap issue.
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Old November 22, 2009, 08:35 PM   #5
roaddog28
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I have a 28-2 4 inch made in 1967 and a pre-15 combat masterpiece made in 1951. These revolvers have the best action and are the best to shoot. They are like find wine.

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Old November 22, 2009, 08:35 PM   #6
laytonj1
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Quote:
You would happen to be able to know the ballpark cost, by chance?
I had to send a 624 in for excessive yoke/crane play (cylinder would hit the barrel when I would open or close the cylinder) and lock-up was bad. S&W said the frame was worn out of spec where the yoke mounted. They replaced the frame, yoke/crane, and hand assembly and buffed out the whole gun so the finish on all the parts matched. Cost me $214 plus shipping but that was a worst case repair.

Jim
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Old November 22, 2009, 08:38 PM   #7
warnerwh
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With that huge b/c gap be sure everyone around has safety glasses on if you shoot it. I personally would not use it and get another one or have it repaired.
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