Smith And Wesson Forums banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
20,134 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know the Model 19 Combat Magnum has had issues with the 125 Gr. bullets causing barrel cracks.
Does the Model 66 have any issues similar to that?
I am getting one soon and would really like to know of any ammo issues before I put some down range.

Can somebody shed some light on the subject?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,210 Posts
The problem is with a vulnerability that comes with the size of the K-Frame itself.

On the underside of the rear barrel extension where the forcing cone is, a relief cut (flat) has to be made in order for the cylinder to swing up and lock.

That reduces the thickness of the forcing cone in that area, and the 125 Gr. bullet loads with the type of powder used to achieve the higher velocities, it really hammers the bullet into the forcing cone with more force than the other loads, and that's what caused the cracking.

The hotter burning powder also contributes to an erosion of the forcing cone surface.

I'don't know if the metallurgy of stainless steel is different enough from carbon steel to not react the same way, hopefully someone that's more in the know with that aspect than I am will comment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,059 Posts
Oh great, I just loaded up some old Sierra 125gr HP's with 5.9gr Unique in some 38 Special +P brass I had laying around.

These will be shot in a 586-4. Any foreseeable issues there?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,677 Posts
I thought the 586 and 686 were totaly different guns and didnt have the problem of the K frame.Besides self defense and target shooting I cant think of a useful purpose for a the 125 grains any way. I just wouldnt shoot them if it was me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,059 Posts
I would imagine that the L frames wouldn't have this problem, but just wanted to make sure.

I'll stop hijacking the thread now. :oops:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,210 Posts
I was going to mention that but forgot to include it in my post... the L frames were spawned from the perception that a K-Frame can't hold up to a constant diet of full house .357 loads.

But I think that was more of a perception than reality, the lighter bullet loads are definitely harder on the gun than the regular 158 gr. loads and probably did more to fuel the belief IMHO. What gets me though is what in the world does S&W do to make a J Frame be able to fire .357 Magnum if the larger K Frame is so "weak" :?: :roll:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,488 Posts
In my experience with many 19's, 66's, 13's and 65's this is complete hokum. Having been the armorer for a smallish PD that fielded 66-2's and -3's for many years I never saw such a failure. Our duty load was the infamous Federal 125 Grn JHP. Just about as high performance .357 magnum load as you could get at the time. Qualifications were held quarterly and many of these guns saw more than 10,000 rounds before being replaced with SIG 226's.

I'm sure that there are indeed barrels out there with cracked breech ends, but I think that this is an individual issue and not a function of a design deficiency.

I think that you have more to worry about from Martian Invasion or Asteroid Collisions than a K-Mag barrel fracture.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
There was a good discussion on the other forum about this. Thread was from 7/2 to 7/5. I've heard of it. On the other forum there's a pic of a 66 with a cracked cone. Gun in my opinion is "well used." I also suspect there's more issues with the gun pictured. In the past year I've sent over 2K 38's down range, and probably 5 to 6 hundred 158 grn mags. in my 1985 66-2. I don't believe the gun was hardly fired the first twelve yuears of it's life. In the past 6 months I've fired a box of 125 grn Fiocchi mags and a box of 110 grn Winchester mag self defense loads, just to keep in practice with those loads, since that's what I keep loaded in it. In the 12 years I've had the gun I'd guess I've fired two thousand rounds of 158 grn mags...and I can't guess how many 38s. Probably one thousand hot loads. I'm not gonna worry about it. I think it's un-common. If it ever happens..then it does. I've heard this issue for years now. Border patrol issue, law enforcement, etc. Gunblast.com has some reading on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,677 Posts
Both guns were used by law enforcement for many years.I would think if there was some significant flaw in them there would have been lawsuits and they would have been rejected by law enforcement. Especialy in the seventies when every one was sue happy for fire arms manufacturers.
There was a thread in here a while back also on the same issue and no one had ever seen a cracked cone on one and many had owned and been around them a lot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,116 Posts
The reason that S&W built the L frame in the first place, was because of this problem happening to some guns. The design of the K frame has a weakness at the bottom, where the forcing cone is cut out. If you remove some material from the forcing cone, of course, you make it weaker!!!! :roll:

It doesn't seem to be a common problem, if you don't use the Gorilla Stopper loads much. :lol: If you only use them on occasion, rather than on a regular basis, you should have no problem. BUT......nothing is garanteed. In the end.....it's your gun......do what you think is right!!!!
;) Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
273 Posts
There is probably some truth to the M 19 125 gr bullet stories if used with a steady diet. 66's are no stronger than 19's. However personally I see no reason to push a K frame with Hot 357's very often. Shoot a few carry them if you want but if heavy shooting is the objective get a L or N frame gun.

M 19 or 66 357's with 158 grs about 1100 fps are formidable and easy shooters. It's almost 25 % faster than a 38 special. I think they are more effective than 125's going faster.

Boats
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
20,134 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I really appreciate all of the input. The answers are consistant so I will heed the call.
I don't normally shoot the 125's but I just wanted to understand the basic risk.
I normally shoot the 158's but now I do feel that the occasional 125 shouldn't be of much concern.
I am getting a used 66 in the next couple of weeks and just wanted to understand the risks. My intent was to shoot out the 275 or so rounds of 125's I have left just to get used to the guns response and then perminently move up to the 158's for the regular diet, for final sighting and field practice.
I think I'll probably shoot out the few 125's I have left in my kit in the 66, and then switch to the 158's.

I figured if the S&W forum couldn't answer a question about this model 66 I would be in a world of hurt and in the wrong forum.

Again you all proved that this is the place to be. I'm betting now that you can handle my Springfield rifle questions too.
ihfnlllllq
Thanks for all the help - gearchecker
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,504 Posts
Very interesting, the gun sribes have for years sort of intimated that Bill Jordan had the K-frame 357 magnum designed for ease of police carry, a gun capable of carrying magnums on duty while using 38 specials for practice. Drew's post buries that.

I heard the Florida Highway Patrol dropped the early model 66, but I think that had something to do with the cylinder binding from heat during rapid fire, S&W fixed that.

We know the New York State Police dropped the model 13 K-frame M&P 357. Then again, they also drpped the N-frame fixed sight model 520. I always wondered why they dropped it, because there wasn't any strength probems with the N-frame 357. The question is why did they drop the K-frame model 13 and order the N-frame?

Personally, the model 13 and 65 have been great guns and both shot to point of aim
using 158 grain JHP's, so that is all I have ever used in these fixed sight 357's.
I was wary of the hot 125 grain loads from what the gun scribes were preaching.
I knew a few officers who carried these loads in their model 19's
and as far as I know, without problems, other than horrendous muzzle blast and recoil.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
273 Posts
I will go with Bob W 158 SWC's at 1100 fps or so. Published ballistics are indications but don't always work like the charts say they do. That long SWC penetrates deep cuts a big hole and at those velocity's is very shootable, letting you put it were it ought to go.

It's the right M 19 load

Boats
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,022 Posts
Hi guys, I've got a 66-6(Yeah I know the damned lock) with a 2-1/2" Bbl. I worried about the same thing. So, I developed a .357 version of the old FBI-Load. once-fired 357 cases, 7 grains of Unique and a Speer 158gr.LSWCHP with CCI standard primers. Does 957fps ave. velocity. Doesn't recoil as badly as 158gr.factory loads. Mushrooms to around .65caliber in water jugs(Penetrates 2-1/2). Hope this helps.
Dave ;)
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top