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Early this year I was able to obtained a safe queen in the form of a 3 inch Model 66-3 at a local gun store. This gun came with a pinned front sight while most of the pictures I have seen the front sight is part of the barrel. I was wondering if anyone could tell why the front sight is different on my Model 66-3. My 4 inch and 2 1/2 inch Model 66’s do not have a pinned front sight.

475077
 

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My no dash 686 has the front sight forged as part of the barrel, but my 2 dash 6, 686's have a pinned front sight. Just a change in manufacturing to probably save material and labor. With an integral front sight, the whole piece of steel the barrel is forged from would have to be about a half inch taller to accomodate the sight, and all that excess material on top would get milled away. With a pinned sight, the blank needed is smaller, and less material would need to be removed
 

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475079


Congrats on adding that 66 to your collection. Enjoy it.
 

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My three inch Model 66-5 has a pinned front sight. My 66-1, 2.5 inch and four inch 66-2 do not.

Must have been a change between the dash 2 and 3???

As an aside, my 625-6 Mountain Gun in .45 Colt, my 696, 610, 342ti, and 296 all have pinned barrels. All of them are somewhat newer guns, so it must be a function of when they were made???? Just speculation.
 

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I didnt go look through the entire website, but it seems that pretty much everything with a barrel over 2 inches now has a pinned front sight. The basic aluminum framed J frames are the exception (637,638,642)
 

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Interesting. I haven't seen a pin sticking out like that on a stainless revolver, but instead polished flat with the barrel. Most can't be seen without a very close look. The Standard Catalog of S&W mentions the special run of 3" 66-3s, but nothing about that sight. Should be from 1988. If you're into such things, your product code is 102712 and it looks to be a special order for RSR, a firearms wholesaler. Looks like a really nice one. Congratulations!
Since it's a 3", it should not affect value at all, though... just make folks go "Hmmm...."!
 
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