View Full Version : S&W Hammer Block on Model 66

Jeff Thomas
April 13, 1999, 08:55 AM
Saw a Model 66 the other day that seemed to be missing the hammer block. Did earler Model 66's come without this safety feature? For example, I compared it to another that clearly had a hammer block, but that one was marked a Model 66-2.

And, if some Model 66's came this way, can they be modified by a gunsmith to incorporate a hammer block? Is it a good idea, and is it expensive?


George Stringer
April 13, 1999, 09:10 AM
Jeff, for whatever reason the hammer block is just missing from this pistol. S&W never made a 66 without one. You can order a replacement from S&W for around $4. George

James K
April 13, 1999, 10:41 AM
Right, George,

Some people take out the hammer block because they think removing it makes the gun "slicker". Just another example of stupidity by gun tinkerers.

April 13, 1999, 12:24 PM
I saw a Smith without its hammer block once. The person who removed the block offered the same foolish rationale mentioned by Jim. When this person sold the gun, of course he sold it without reinstalling the block. I hope the next owner noticed.

In addition to the significant loss in safety, I can't figure how taking out the block would make any real difference to the lightness and smoothness of the action.

James K
April 13, 1999, 03:41 PM
The hammer block can make a veeerrry little difference in smoothness if it is rough or the v-shaped cut is rough inside, or the slot in the sideplate has burrs. It is one of the areas you stone when working a Smith over, but you don't take the block out.

In a Smith, the rebound slide acts as a safety for most normal cases. But if the gun is dropped on the hammer hard enough, the hammer pin can shear and then the rebound slide can't stop the hammer from going forward.

It happened in WW II when a Naval officer dropped his S&W .38 onto the steel ship deck; it went off and killed him. I don't know if the old type hammer block failed, or the gun didn't have one, but that is when Carl Hellstrom changed to the new style.

Doesn't happen often, but...

Jeff Thomas
April 13, 1999, 10:16 PM
Gentlemen, thank you for your help. At least for beginners like me, it sounds like it is a good idea to have a used gun gone over by a sharp gunsmith.

Thanks again. Regards from AZ.

Walt Welch
April 25, 1999, 06:14 PM
I have a six inch M66 .357 which is wonderfully accurate, and has an excellent trigger pull. I purchased it in 1981.

One thing to beware of. There is a part which attaches to the trigger, and limits overtravel. This is not present on all revolvers. If it is present on yours, make sure that the screw holding it in place on the trigger is treated with Loc-Tite. If the trigger stop comes loose, it SHOULD be pushed out of the way by the trigger. There is a possibility, however, that it could slip the other way, and thus prevent the revolver from firing. I base this possibility solely on the 'If it can happen, it will' principle, but, since Loc-Tite is cheap.... Hope this helps, Walt

James K
April 25, 1999, 07:35 PM
Walt Welch,

Are you sure that screw through the trigger is an S&W factory trigger stop? S&W used two types of trigger stop. The older one was in the frame and could only be adjusted by removing the sideplate or by filing. The other type is also inside; it is a pin inside the trigger return spring in the rebound slide. I didn't think they put one in the trigger since it is so thin at that point. It is a good idea if it works, and you are right, it should be treated with loctite to keep it in place once adjusted.