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Old April 9, 2010, 01:29 AM   #1
Venom1956
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(S&W) What did I buy?!

Hey all. Stopped @ the old gun shop and of course there was something that interested me. After the woman said she liked it was mine.

Its a S&W 66 its a bit beat up it was an old LE gun? It has a pinned barrel and some trigger work done (very nice work) and half of the trigger guard is ground off shop owner said for some sort of holster? Also there is mark where it looks like they took the PDs name of the side I assume. its sporting some nice Hogue grips, also has adjustable sights.

I was curious about info of LE service modifications, age, possible worth? Its really a neat little pistol... Hope it shoots as good as it feels.
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Old April 9, 2010, 04:35 AM   #2
guntotin_fool
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pictures, please, a ground trigger guard is a way out of date kind of thing.
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Old April 9, 2010, 08:02 AM   #3
lee n. field
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Its a S&W 66 its a bit beat up it was an old LE gun? It has a pinned barrel and some trigger work done (very nice work) and half of the trigger guard is ground off shop owner said for some sort of holster?
Ground off, as in the trigger guard forward of the trigger's rest position is completely missing? That was a mod that was done, "back in the day". Supposed to make it faster to bring the gun to bear. I forget what that mod is called, or I could probably find a pic.

Wouldn't buy one like that for use, myself.

Ah, here we go. Like this?

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Old April 9, 2010, 08:17 AM   #4
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I THINK that mod is called a "Fitz Special."
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Old April 9, 2010, 09:01 AM   #5
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No actually its ground off on one side? the entire trigger guard is intact just thinner, But its ground off from one side towards the middle, not centered from each side. So say if the trigger guard was half an inch. The right side is ground off down to the center so its now offset and roughly 1/4 thick. Pics as soon as possible!
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Old April 9, 2010, 09:16 AM   #6
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That sounds more like it's a Bubba with a Grinder special, then.
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Old April 9, 2010, 09:25 AM   #7
Venom1956
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Lol thanks Mike way to cheer me up on my impulse buy! I can't for the life of me understand it. Especially if it was a LE gun, unless it happened after the fact? Argh. Also seems to be ground off quite well. I noticed the grind marks where they took of the PD name, I didn't even notice the trigger guard until it was pointed out to me

I think I repeat myself but I believe he said it was for some sort of locking device in a duty holster? (for the most part him and his 2 smiths are pretty knowledgeable) I'm 23 so as far as I can tell this is older then me so I have no knowledge on the matter what so ever.

I have the serial? 4K63***

Is that any help?

WOW my first S&W and I have an epic fail...
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Old April 9, 2010, 09:50 AM   #8
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I don't seem to remember any kind of holster retention device ever offered that required grinding on the gun, but I do remember people making that modification back before semi-autos were popular for LE use. It was suppose to allow faster access to the trigger. Just clean it up a little with a file and sand paper. It's still a great gun...
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Old April 9, 2010, 10:03 AM   #9
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Thinning the trigger guard is not an unheard of modification. Most people call it a "Half-Fitz" or "Semi-Fitz". The thought is that thinning the front of the trigger guard will allow faster, easier access to the trigger without the obvious safety issues of the full Fitz treatment such as the Colt in lee n. field's picture. Here is a pic and link to an article about a similar modification to a Ruger GP100.



http://www.cylinder-slide.com/gp100.shtml
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Old April 9, 2010, 10:16 AM   #10
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If it was adapted for a holster, perhaps the holster wasn't designed for a K-Frame.
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Old April 9, 2010, 10:27 AM   #11
Venom1956
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Yup Welby that looks about right. except mine goes the entire length of the trigger guard.
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Old April 9, 2010, 10:37 AM   #12
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Quote:
WOW my first S&W and I have an epic fail.
I wouldn't say that, if it's all smoothed, locks up tight, and good timing, the 66 will make a great shooter IMO.
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Old April 9, 2010, 10:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Quote:
WOW my first S&W and I have an epic fail.
I wouldn't say that, if it's all smoothed, locks up tight, and good timing, the 66 will make a great shooter IMO.
I agree, as long as a ridiculous price wasn't paid for the gun it still has value as an excellent shooter.
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Old April 9, 2010, 11:08 AM   #14
lee n. field
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No actually its ground off on one side? the entire trigger guard is intact just thinner,
I recall seeing something like that in Bill Jordan's book No Second Place Winner. With the Fitz Special, if the trigger guard gets bent you could easily have a useless gun. This doesn't have that risk.
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Old April 9, 2010, 11:17 AM   #15
Venom1956
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What would be a ridiculous price? I paid 400?
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Old April 9, 2010, 11:58 AM   #16
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Quote:
I have the serial? 4K63***
1974.

Jim
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Old April 9, 2010, 12:41 PM   #17
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You didn't get a collector piece. You DID however get somebody's hand-tuned carry piece, a gun somebody cared about at one point. It's likely had other gunsmithing inside.

Run "the checkout", see how tight it is, make sure the sear is solid, etc. Odds are you have a superb shooter of a gun.

It's also an early S&W stainless, so it should be shot mostly with either 38Spl, 38+P or very mellow 357s, like Speer's 135gr "short barrel special" 357 load which is really a warm 38+P. That would be a superb carry load in that class and age of gun...that load is very accurate and a supremely reliable expander from a 2" barrel on up.

Pending "the checkout" (stickied post, this forum) it's likely worth EVERY bit of $400 and then some.

I had a chance to examine a friend's 66-3 (a bit later variant) and like your gun, it had been subjected to mild and professionally executed gunsmithing - ordered by an older now-deceased relative as it turns out. Like you he has no idea who the gunsmith was. It has one of the best DA triggers I've ever felt. Other very sanitary mods include a shaved cylinder eject slide button for extra speedloader clearance, done so well I had to confirm with pics of similar that it was modded at all. Rounded and smoothed trigger, general de-horning as well. No "semi-Fitz" job like yours, which sounds like a cool mod.
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Old April 9, 2010, 01:09 PM   #18
Venom1956
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Yeah this gun looked 'well loved' at the shop and it was the ONLY to catch eye when I went to the used case(my first stop on payday!), Thanks for the kind words Jim. Makes me feel abit better then I did usually I know what I am buying

Thanks to all for the info and help, also identifying that trigger guard mod. I will post pics for everyone when I pick it up next week!

I think the only proper thing to do with this beauty is to give it a well earned retirement of TLC and some nice light .38 target loads. I think it might replace my Blackhawk as my pack gun as well, bit smaller and stainless.

Side note I think he holds revolvers until payday and then puts em out cause he knows ill buy one. Awesome yet Evil @ the same time.
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Old April 9, 2010, 05:31 PM   #19
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What would be a ridiculous price? I paid 400?
Given the way K-Frame Magnums have inflated recently, I'd say $400 is a fair price for a nice shooter.
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Old April 9, 2010, 05:47 PM   #20
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That thing was born and THEN modded to be a carry gun. Assuming it passes "the checkout" (and it's very likely it will, with flying colors) it'll make a superb carry piece. It's not a collector item, it's a hot-rodded street creature.

You wanna put it in a safe? It's likely the best CCW piece you'll ever own.
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Old April 10, 2010, 12:56 AM   #21
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That "half-Fitz" was pretty common at one time as a safer alternative to the "full-Fitz" cutaway guard. Remember that was probably a gun carried by someone used to the old days of holsters with fully exposed guards, fast draw where the gun was drawn with finger on trigger, and the hammer half-way back before the gun reached a 45 degree angle on the way up.

Modern, "safety first" range officers would have the blue horrors if they saw anyone handling a gun that way today, but at that time folks like Jordan had the silly idea that one way to keep from getting shot was to shoot the bad guy first. Today, a cop has to allow the BG three or four shots, and talk about whether he was abused as a child before drawing a gun.

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Old April 10, 2010, 11:41 PM   #22
Venom1956
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Can't carry here sir... =( only open and that makes me uncomfortable. I like CC but Open carry just draws WAAAAAY to much attention.
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Old April 10, 2010, 11:54 PM   #23
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Not to throw cold water on things, but if the trigger guard has been slimmed all the way around on one side, you need to be careful to make sure that the trigger doesn't overhang the guard anywhere.

If it does, you will have to be extremely careful holstering it as the edge of the trigger might catch on the holster.

If you look at the way the Fitz Special mod was done or even the modified Fitz on the GP100, you will notice that care was taken to leave the triggerguard full width in the region where the trigger actually travels so that it would prevent something from snagging the edge of the trigger. Slimming all the way around one side could leave some overhang which would allow a snag to pass the guard but catch the edge of the trigger.
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Old April 11, 2010, 12:17 AM   #24
Venom1956
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JohnSka yes, the trigger can be snagged on re-holstering I checked it today. I still unsure if I should get her... Four hundred seems so high... I really dunno enough about Smiths to know if its worth it or not. Is it normal on a smith for the cylinder to bind on the frame and required to be pushed in order to swing out? Not swing out freely?

Secondly when I handled it today I am unsure if it hadn't been completely cocked back or possibly 'slipped' after I cocked it... It seemed to happen twice, but I couldn't be sure.
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Last edited by Venom1956; April 11, 2010 at 12:26 AM.
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Old April 11, 2010, 03:29 AM   #25
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My recommendation would be to pass on this one. $400 is not too much to pay for a Combat Magnum in good shape, but this one is not in normal condition. At $250 it would still need work.:barf:

I feel that others have been too charitable about what the modifications to this gun mean. It has too many issues, and with what you have reported about the yoke sticking and the trigger overhanging the edge of the guard, it's got safety issues. Don't buy somebody else's problem. Look for an unmolested one and even if you pay a bit more, you will still come out ahead.
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