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Old October 8, 2012, 08:12 PM   #1
FLChinook
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S&W 66 or 27: You have to choose...

Picture it; you come up to a table at the gun show and see two revolvers. One is a S&W 66-1 SS 4" in really clean and tight condition at $500. The other is a S&W 27-2 3" nicely blued and equally tight at $800. You only have $800 in the world and must choose. Which will it be???
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Old October 8, 2012, 08:15 PM   #2
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The Model 27-2 without any reservation. 2 reasons; you will never wear it out and the 66-1's were known to have somewhat brittle SS.
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Old October 8, 2012, 08:45 PM   #3
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A 3" S&W M-27-definitely! That is a rare beast! (Yes, I know, it should be a 3.5" M-27.)
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Old October 8, 2012, 09:16 PM   #4
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Definitely the 27. Prices are steadily rising on those and they're scarce already.

There are tons of 66's out there, and you can always find another down the line.
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Old October 8, 2012, 09:22 PM   #5
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+1 to what tom said, around here 27's are hard to find and when you find them their usually 800+ or already beaten to crap...as for the 66's i cannot speak for the 66-1 but i own 2 66-2's and they are great, but you can find them without much of a search for around 500, less in most cases
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Old October 8, 2012, 09:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
...the 66-1's were known to have somewhat brittle SS.
Brittle SS? Are you sure you're not talking about the chrome on the hammer and trigger?

The chrome used on the hammers and triggers of early M66's was too soft and tended to gall with use, causing the lockwork to bind, most noticeably when shooting DA. This is a somewhat well-known problem with the early guns.
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Old October 8, 2012, 09:32 PM   #7
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Model 27
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Old October 8, 2012, 10:10 PM   #8
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Problem with chrome? Is nickel the same? If there were 2 27-2's on the table and one was nickel (same price and condition), would you expect the nickel to be snatched up first?
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Old October 8, 2012, 10:40 PM   #9
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Model 27 of course! What kinda question is that?
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Old October 8, 2012, 10:55 PM   #10
JC57
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Model 27. I already have a nice 66-1 4".
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Old October 9, 2012, 07:09 AM   #11
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The 27 is the most desirable. However, if I only had $800, I'd have to talk him down a little. Otherwise, the 66 for $500 leaves money for ammo.
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Old October 9, 2012, 07:22 AM   #12
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The 27.
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Old October 9, 2012, 07:43 AM   #13
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Well, I gotta go against the grain here....

I'm going to say "depends on what purpose" - I think a 3.5 in 27 would be a lot to carry. That said, a 4in 66 isn't that great either, but it is better.

In general, I would buy a 27 in 3.5 in, esp because thats a premium barrel length. If I wanted a gun for even occasional carry or better yet, primary carry, I would pick the 66.

Financially speaking, an $800 OTD 27-2 with 3.5 in barrel is probably a better deal. They are worth at least that much. A 66-1 is much less desireable.

Also, yes IMO a nickel 27-2 3.5 in would be snapped up first and they are normally more money as well.
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Old October 9, 2012, 08:52 AM   #14
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I already made the choice.

First I got the 27-2.



Then I came back later for the 66 (no dash).



But FIRST I got the 27.
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Old October 9, 2012, 08:58 AM   #15
carguychris
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Quote:
Problem with chrome? Is nickel the same?
No, two different processes.

S&W used chrome on the hammers and triggers of some early SS models purely for cosmetic reasons, to better match the stainless finish of the rest of the gun. After experiencing problems with the early guns, S&W changed the chrome plating process, and later stopped using chrome altogether. Recent-production SS Smiths have color case or MIM triggers just like blue or nickel guns.

AFAIK S&W has never used nickel finish on hammers and triggers- in fact, nickel in these areas is widely considered to be the easiest way to spot a refinished nickel S&W.
Quote:
...would you expect the nickel to be snatched up first?
Generally yes, as collector value is typically higher, but it depends a lot on the condition of the individual gun and what the local collectors are looking for.
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Old October 9, 2012, 09:26 AM   #16
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Model 27-2 without any hesitation. I had the nickel plated 27, my son now loves it.
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Old October 9, 2012, 09:32 AM   #17
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For me it would be about hand size,,,

I can not get a comfortable grip on any N-frame revolver,,,
I have K-frame hands so the Model 66 is best for me.

I would love to own a Model 27,,,
But it would be one of those guns I buy,,,
Then after I build a really nice gunbelt/holster for it,,,
The poor thing would live lonely in the dark recesses of my gun safe.

Aarond

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Old October 9, 2012, 09:48 AM   #18
Bob Wright
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I've never been a big fan of the Model 27 (The .357 Magnum). I know, bite my tongue!

I've always thought it oversized for the cartridge. And especially since the introduction of the L-Frame Smith & Wessons, which I consider the perfect DA .357 Magnum.

I'm not detracting from that old revovler by any means, just that it never caught my eye.

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Old October 9, 2012, 09:57 AM   #19
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If you tend (as most of us do) to baby your handguns...cleaning, oiling, and tending to them as trusted friends, then the M27, superbly fitted by S&W with that butter smooth action makes sense...the first scratch on that lovely frame is a cryin' event and no foolin'....

But for day in-day out, night in-night out, canoeing, camping or back up for the big gun while in the high timber after elk, the M66 makes a strong case. Stainless construction with nearly the same action smoothness, lack of a full under barrel rib, grips that fit and reasonable weight make it my first choice .

But two FBI friends, from the old days, still regret the agency's switch to automatics...that 3-1/2" barreled model with the old loads was their favorite.

Best Regards, Rod
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Old October 9, 2012, 01:08 PM   #20
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I've already got a no-dash 66, the one I carried daily for 20 years.

I'd probably buy the Model 27, because I don't have one of those yet. I'd really rather have it in 4" or 6", so I might pass on it based on the barrel length. If I passed on the 27, I'd probably pass on the 66 as well.
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Old October 9, 2012, 05:11 PM   #21
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Quote:
But for day in-day out, night in-night out, canoeing, camping or back up for the big gun while in the high timber after elk, the M66 makes a strong case. Stainless construction with nearly the same action smoothness, lack of a full under barrel rib, grips that fit and reasonable weight make it my first choice .
Very good point rodfac

Owning both the 66 and 27, if I had to choose one for daily carry, it would be the 66. It's what I used to often primarily cc before I went to the J-frame. But in every other aspect, it would be the 27.
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Old October 9, 2012, 05:29 PM   #22
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Ok now to tell terrible secrets. This will probably get me kicked off of TFL but here goes.
In my earlier/stupid/dumb/nitwit/confused/lost/brainless days (26 at the time) I had a 5 inch 27.
A friend had a Luger, I traded for the luger.
The 27 was build in the 60’s and was excellent condition. The luger well to start off the bore was pitted and it got worse from there.
But by god I had to have that luger.
I will regret that day for the remainder of my life, buy the 27 or you will too.
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Old October 9, 2012, 05:32 PM   #23
Dave T
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Quote:
Picture it; you come up to a table at the gun show and see two revolvers. One is a S&W 66-1 SS 4" in really clean and tight condition at $500. The other is a S&W 27-2 3" nicely blued and equally tight at $800. You only have $800 in the world and must choose. Which will it be???
I wouldn't buy either one. If forced to get a K-frame Magnum it would be a M19. There's no way I would pay that much for a cut down M27-2. Why someone would take 1/2" off the barrel is beyond me but I wouldn't be interested in the reduced performance and muzzle flash from that short a magnum. Of course if it was the original 3-1/2" barrel that someone measured incorrectly and labeled wrong the 27-2 would be my choice of the two mentioned. (smile)

Dave

PS: The best choice for a 357 of that general size is the L-frame, of course.
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Old October 9, 2012, 06:13 PM   #24
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There seems to be a lot of confusion about the problems experienced with early M66's. There were, in fact, three primary issues with early M66 revolvers that were not experienced with the M19 or any other carbon-steel S&W revolver. These issues were, however, entirely endemic to the M66 no-dash variant and were resolved with the 66-1 or later no-dash variants depending on the issue.

The first issue that comes to mind is that 66 no-dash revolvers were known to spontaneously seize up after firing several rounds of .357 Magnum ammunition. This is because the stainless steel gas ring would expand more than a carbon steel one when it got hot. This issue was corrected with the introduction of the 66-1 which had its gas ring relocated from the yoke to the cylinder.

The second issue was galling of the lockwork. This arose because S&W attempted to produce an all-stainless revolver and used the same alloys for internal parts like the hammer and trigger as they did for the frame, barrel, and cylinder. This issue was corrected by switching from stainless internals to flash chromed carbon steel internals either in 66-1 or later 66 no-dash revolvers depending on who you ask. As has been noted, later stainless S&W revolvers eliminated the flash chrome and switched to the same carbon steel parts as blue and nickel revolvers most likely as a measure to simplify production and cut costs.

The final issue was that along with internal parts, S&W also made early 66 no-dash revolvers with stainless steel sights which were prone to "wash out" and become difficult to see in bright light. Later 66 no-dash revolvers went back to black sights.

As to the original question, I would buy a 3 1/2" barrel Model 27 before a 4" Model 66. The reason is because I already own both a 4" Model 28-2 and a 2 1/2" Model 66-2 and I've always thought that the 3 1/2" barrel Model 27 was the most beautiful handgun ever produced.
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Old October 9, 2012, 06:25 PM   #25
Deaf Smith
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Well I have a 66-1...



to be exact this one above so I'd the the 27! I presume you mean 3 1/2 barrel 27?

But if it's just a 3 incher I'd take it to.

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