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Smith & Wesson Model 60 and 66-8 (courtesy

As a former IDF sniper, I’ve always viewed wheel guns as a blast from the past. Firearms best suited to Westerns, gun museums and OFWGs (who don’t know any better). So I wondered why RF handed me two Smith & Wesson revolvers to compare and contrast: a Model 69 Combat Magnum and a Model 66-8 Combat Magnum. “Don’t have too much fun,” he cautioned. 

Both wheelguns boast a stainless steel finish and a 2.75″ barrel. The K-framed Model 66-8 .357 has a six-round cylinder. The Model 69 — Smith’s first .44 on an L-Frame — has a five-round drum. They both come with an adjustable rear sight, a painted red front ramp sight, and the dreaded internal lock.

Smith & Wesson Model 66-8 .357 revolver (courtesy

Pulling the hammer back and pulling the trigger on the .357 Smith & Wesson model 66-8 for the first time felt like shooting a .50-cal. round out of a pistol. That’s not to say it was painful. Quite the opposite.

Smith & Wesson Model 66-8 (courtesy

Even though I mostly shoot 9mm and 5.56 cartridges, I like recoil. It makes me feel like I’m shooting a “real” gun. Good thing. The 66-8 generates a lot of recoil shooting .357. But the heavyweight pistol (33.5 oz) with its Hogue-like rubber grip does an excellent job of soaking up the cartridge’s power. This despite the fact that the Smith’s barrel sits somewhere between a snubbie and a “proper” 4 inches.

Group shot from Smith & Wesson Model 66-8 using Hornady .357 FTX (courtesy

As you’d expect from a modern Smith & Wesson revolver, the Model 66-8’s single action trigger pull was like a piece of freshly toasted pita bread: crisp and light.

What surprised me the most: the pistol’s accuracy. Despite my limited experience shooting revolvers, I shot decent groups — under 4 inches — with Hornady 140 gr FTX and Federal 158 gr JSP at five, ten, and twenty-five yards, shooting from a standing non-supported position.

Bottom line: the .357 magnum model 66-8 was a proverbial and literal blast to shoot. It’s accurate enough — in single-action, in theory — for personal defense. But being the recoil junkie I am, the real fun began with the 69 (the revolver that is).  

Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum Model 69 (courtesy

The 2.75-inch .44 magnum is a hand cannon. Firing it in either single- or double-action, the gun wanted to fly out of my hand. Ditto two of my students, who both yelled profanities after touching off their first round with the wheel gun. But they quickly acclimatized to the revolver’s shove and managed to shoot acceptable groups. 

After sending about 50 rounds down range I felt like I’d finished a good arm day at the gym. Again, I’m not complaining. Even as calluses formed on my strong hand, there was a smile plastered across my face.

I test-fired the Model 69 using Winchester 240 gr JSP and Hornady 300 gr XTP at five, ten, and twenty-five yards. To nobody’s surprise, I wasn’t as accurate with the 69 Combat Magnum as I was with its .357 sibling. 

Group size from Smith & Wesson Model 68-6 (courtesy

We’re talking about a 7-inch group shooting the Winchester ammo freehand at 25 yards. I reckon that was due to the wobble created by the pistol’s greater heft (34.4 oz.) and ammo. Not to mention the increased anticipation of the explosion in my hand. So to speak.

Smith & Wesson Model 69 Combat Magnum sights (courtesy

Despite the not-entirely-useful front sight — especially challenging for anyone who’s red-green colorblind — the Smith & Wesson Model 66-8 Combat Magnum and the Model 69 Combat Magnum are as accurate as a shooter can make them. If you’re Jerry Miculek, that’s all the accuracy you could possibly need. If you’re me, or maybe you facing a lethal threat, not so much. 

Shooting the ammo for which the Smiths were designed, the pistols’ recoil makes them difficult to shoot accurately at self-defense speeds — even if you’ve mastered the art of the fast hammer cock. For most people, shot double action, the wheelguns have limited utility past bad breath distances.

Not to mention reloading and capacity issues, which bedevil Model 66-8 and 69’s defensive capabilities even if you’re shooting lower-powered .38 or .44 Special rounds. Or ammo cost, which can limit mission-critical training time.

Of course, not every firearm in your safe has to have a tactical purpose. And yes I’m aware that many choose large-caliber revolvers for their reliability and second strike capability. Not to mention that wheelguns are excellent tools for hunting or backwoods personal defense. 

For everyday carry, I say stick to a compact modern-day striker-fired semi-automatic pistol. But feel free to ignore my advice — “a” gun is better than no gun. If you do, Smith & Wesson Models 66-8 and 69 are two fine specimens of small-ish, extremely powerful pistols. And RF’s right: shooting them is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.


Smith & Wesson Models 66-8 Combat Magnum and Model 69 Combat Magnum

Caliber: .357 magnum/.38 special +P .44 magnum
Length: 7.8 inches
Barrel Length: 2.75 inches
Weight: 33.5 oz / 34.4 oz
MSRP: $849

RATINGS (out of five stars):

Reliability * * * * *
It’s a revolver. Enough said.

Accuracy * * * * *
I was really surprised how accurate both of theses 2.75-inch revolvers were – the .357 slightly more so.

Aesthetics * * * * *
The stainless steel finish adds a little beauty to these classics.

Ergonomics * * * *
I never felt that comfortable with the grip of the revolver but hey, I haven’t been shooting them long enough.

Overall * * * * *
For someone who almost never shoots revolvers, both were fun to shoot and possibly changed my view on wheel guns.

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  1. Interesting, but for a carry wheelgun in .44 mag, I’m more inclined to stick with the over-built Rugers.

    (And the extra mass from being over-built make them a bit kinder to shoot…)

    • ^ This!

      At close range and with proper ammunition selection, .44 Magnum means never (or at least almost never) having to put a second shot into an attacker’s torso to immediately stop him/her.

      Even with a short 2.75 inch barrel, a 180 grain, 0.43 inch diameter hollowpoint bullet should impact an attacker at close range at 1,400+ fps and expand to well beyond 0.7 inches. That size, weight, and velocity will be DEVASTATING, period.

      • Don’t count on it. I’ve seen plenty of people shot with rifle rounds, including multiple shots to the chest with an AK47, and remain combat effective.

        • Mr. Taylor,

          There are two primary reasons that those men remained combat effective:
          (1) The muzzle velocity of a 125 grain bullet out of an AK-47 is under 2,400 fps and impact velocity could easily have been around 2,000 fps depending on range of course.
          (2) Pointy (Spitzer) full metal jacket .30 caliber bullets poke small holes and do not impart very much trauma, especially with impact velocities of 2,200 fps and lower.

          Notice that I specified a hollowpoint 180 grain bullet (light for caliber although still a heavy-ass bullet) at 1,400+ fps. That bullet will expand to about .65 caliber almost on impact and create MASSIVE trauma in the recipient. This is almost equivalent to a 20 gauge shotgun slug. (Basically the same expanded diameter and nearly the same velocity although about 2/3rd the weight.)

          An exceedingly small number of people will remain combat effective after absorbing that particular .44 Magnum bullet — especially fired out of a slightly longer barrel which would increase muzzle velocity another 100 to 200 fps.

        • I really have hard time believing anyone, even hopped up on meth ecstasy coke and pcp all at once, would shrug off a close range shot from a .44 mag. The amount of energy dumped into the torso is enormous. I’ve never shot anyone close range with a .44 mag, but I’ve seen what it does to animals and other things.

        • ‘I really have hard time believing anyone, even hopped up on meth ecstasy coke and pcp all at once, would shrug off a close ra nge shot from a .44 mag.’

          Let alone 6.

        • Hank,

          Case in point: I shot a small-ish deer at 50 yards with a .44 Magnum rifle and middle-of-the-road velocity 240 grain soft point bullet. That bullet should have been travelling at about 1,500 fps when it hit the deer in the shoulder. It broke the deer’s shoulder. But catch this: the impact was so violent that it spun the deer a quarter turn AND BROKE ITS NECK in the process. I have never seen anything like that on a deer, including deer shot with cheap foster slugs from shotguns. Oh, and that 240 grain bullet passed totally through the deer.

          A 180 grain EXPANDING bullet at 10 feet with an impact velocity of 1,400 fps is going to be utterly DEVASTATING to a human attacker, especially if it does not pass through the attacker. As the saying goes, “There is no replacement for displacement.”

    • I occasionally carry a Rug er Vaquero birdshead in .44mag with 180gr. hollow points. Mostly just for shits and giggles. I carry a speed strip but I’m not really sure why. First the odds of needing more than 6 rou nds of .44 mag are virtually zero and second, it will probably take about 20 minutes to eject the cases one at a time, peel the rou nds off the strip and insert them (again one at a time) through the SAA’s loading gate.

      • Governor,

        I am on the same page: I don’t think you will need to reload quickly unless you managed to miss with all of your shots.

        • ‘…unless you managed to miss with all of your shots.’

          Good luck with the legal system when you shoot your former assailant in the back as he’s running away.

          Probably the biggest disadvantage of the SAA in a defensive role is not that glacial pace of reloads but the trigg er. SA is great for accuracy but if you’re rolling around on the ground with some thug who’s high on bath salts fighting over your weapon, having to thumb back the hamm er could be problematic. But then it’s probably no worse than the safety on a Beretta 92 and considerably better than anything in condition 3.

  2. “The recoil makes the pistols difficult to shoot accurately at self-defense speeds, even if you’ve mastered the art of the fast hammer cock. Shot double action, the wheelguns have limited utility past bad breath distances.”

    Way to perpetuate the myth that a revolver can only be fired accurately in single-action. Sounds like someone needs more training. Once you master double-action revolver shooting I promise that you will never care if your revolver has single-action capability after that.

    • Agreed, there is definitely some technique to a DA revolver trigger. I’m not super badass at it but I can assure you that they can certainly be accurate at a high rate of speed even with some .357 that has “beef.”

      I have a brace of 66es, and would love to have at least one of each barrel length. These I would be hard pressed to buy as a carry revolver just because of the locks.They were nice enough to make some J frames without the hillary holes again, can we get the bigger stuff that way too?

    • A lot of truth in your comment! For years, I’ve shot semi-auto 9mm, .40, and .45s. I shoot decent with them at self-defense ranges. I recently bought a Ruger SP101 with the 3″ barrel, and installed the Hogue Mono-grip. Did quite a bit of dry fire practice with it in DA mode before taking it to the range. Got to where I could put a dime on the end of the barrel and pull-off 10 rounds without throwing the dime. When I took it to the range, I was amazed at how accurate I was shooting it in DA…for me, anyway. At 7yds, I could consistently blowout the 10 ring into one ragged hole. I was always spooked about running in DA, but now I find that DA is all I do with it, and after 200 rounds thus far, I’ll bet I haven’t shot 10 rounds in SA.

      Just seems now that I shoot my DA revolver more accurately than I do my semis. Never woulda figured that!

    • Isn’t that the truth. I shoot pins with a.44, and have no idea what the sa pull is on my gun. Da’s about 8.5. Five shots, 2.7 seconds. I’m good, not great. Sa is for bullseye shooters only.

    • It takes virtually no practice to become proficient enough in DA for self def ense out to 10 or 15 yards, which covers 99% of defensive shootings. But if you need more accuracy it only takes a quarter second to pull back the hamm er.

  3. You haven’t tested a 357 till you’ve burnt through a few boxes of 38. You haven’t felt pain till you’ve put half a case of 38 factory loads through an aluminum snub with exposed backstrap or hard rubber grip in just over an hour. Builds character, though.

  4. Also, if you want to carry these beasts, the 66-8 can load .38 Spcl or .38 Spcl +P. The 69 can run on .44 Spcl.

    All good, effective rounds and much more pleasant to shoot.

    BTW my 686 with 6″ barrel shot a six-round group, single action, in a single hole at 25 yards. Best group I ever managed! S&W revolvers are awesome!

  5. Guess I’ll have to stick with my old old old skool blue model 19 2.5 S&W. NO Hillary hole! Pinned and recessed too.

  6. NICE!

    Terribly envious and desirous of your 3″ 66s.

    I’d offer you an even trade for a pair of my 65s, but they’ve been tuned with awesome trigger jobs by Tom Kilhoffer.

    What the hell is this though? “The recoil makes the pistols difficult to shoot accurately at self-defense speeds, even if you’ve mastered the art of the fast hammer cock. ”

    You need to learn how to fire handguns double action, sir. Google “staging the trigger”. Master the art of fast hammer cock? Hogwash. Where did you read that? I can’t remember the last time I fired one of mine single action, and that’s thousands of rounds ago, at least.


  7. use all 4 calibers, use some stout 240 gr. 44 mag @1800 fps. mastering the wheel gun trigger is another ball game and it is quicker than hand cocking and using SA.
    You should know that in a hostile environment you do not have the luxury of taking your time when up close and personnel! slow is fast Fast is slow.
    The real problem of a wheel gun in a fire fight is reloading unless you are Jerry M

  8. “It’s a revolver. Enough said.”

    I see you’re inexperienced at shooting old or cheap revolvers.

    I have a Colt agent that’s failed me several times. I’ve had my NAA bind up on me also. It’s no tap-rack-and-roll drill to clear it up, either. Sometimes the ejector rod of the Colt starts to unthread and binds against the front of the relief that’s cut into the barrel lug for it. I’m told those rough riders have some serious issues also. I wouldn’t trust my life to an armscor either after having handled one in a store that had such poor mating of the grips with the frame that you could see into the frame handle which houses an important spring. Wouldn’t want pocket sand accumulating in there.

    Semi-autos are definitely worse on the jamming front in general though.

    • I have an old (1937) S&W army revolver than would bind up because the cylinder pin would unscrew when firing. I “fixed” it it with loc-tite but who knows for how long. I now have a new model 69 which locks at the yoke and not at the end of the pin which is stronger and allows for a full length ejector rod with the 2.75″ barrel. The five shot cylinder has the notches between the chambers which is supposed to be stronger than the 6 shot model 29 cylinder. I got mine because it is powerful enough for the woods and compact enough for town. I call it my “town and country” revolver.

  9. My Mother, Wife, and Daughter all prefer revolvers. They are “newer” shooters and are much more accurate / comfortable with revolvers. I believe the key here is comfortable…with many more women joining the shooting ranks revolvers are becoming more popular again. Newer shooters don’t have the multiple malfunctions (feed issues/ stove pipes/ weak wrist grip/etc) to deal with and can work on the fundamentals usually having a much nicer SA trigger. I myself am more experienced and carry semi-auto pistols (Legion 229, CZ P-07 w/CGW trigger). Bottom line I would trust my life or my family’s life with a revolver, especially if they are more comfortable shooting them. I have too many times seen “veterans” give new shooters a light weight (polymer) 9mm sub-compact and expect them to shoot well and not flinch with the recoil…….doesn’t happen. Great Article. I love all my Revolvers S&W 686+, Ruger GP100, and S&W Model 69 Combat 🙂

  10. I have owned a number of Rugers, Colts. etc. Never owned a Smith but have handled and shot them. The Smith is more expensive and more fragile, however the Smith has far better workmanship than almost any production revolver. Single action is almost always easier for most of us to master, however there are those who do extremely well double action. Some of my Rugers have been well tuned

  11. Since everyone is talking revolvers, I have an off the wall question. What is your opinion on using a magazine to reload a revolver. Take a 357 magazine and load with 38 spec. Dump the expended brass and feed the reloads straight from the magazine into the cylinder. This is done by pushing the reload from the magazine as if you were emptying the magazine, the reload goes into the cylinder which is rotated to receive the next reload.

    • Moon clips are the fastest followed by speedloaders, half-moons, speed strips and loose rounds in that order. Your mag idea would probably be slower than all of ’em.

    • Speed strips would probably be faster, since you can load two cylinders at a time from those.

      But if you really want a magazine-fed revolver, there’s always Maurice the FrankenRuger:

  12. Sigh. That’s all I’m going to say: Sigh.

    First, .44 Mag revolvers tend to be accurate. I’ve found the .44 Mag (and Special) in just about any well-made revolver (ie, Colt, S&W, Wesson, Ruger) to be able to lay them into a pretty nice group, regardless whether we’re talking a 29/629/Wesson/Ruger/Colt. The .44’s seem to be in a sweet spot for accuracy, and well-made bullets are highly available. If I’m shooting any S&W .44 with an all-steel frame at 25 yards and getting a group of more than about 2.5″, I know it’s probably me, and not the gun. Maybe I’m flinching due to the noise and pressure of the .44. In the past, with 629DX’s, I’ve been able to lay down 5-round groups of 1.5″ at 25 yards, and about the same with shorter-barreled 29’s. The only beef I have now with a .44Mag is the noise and pressure, and that’s due to my tinnitus, not the gun.

    Second, revolvers can handle being loaded light or heavy, and they’ll continue to cycle reliably, round after round. You can’t do that so easily with a semi-auto of any type. I can load a .357 with 148 wadcutters with just enough powder under them to make them cut nice holes at 25 or 50 yards – and with practically no recoil out of a steel-framed revolver. Same deal for .44’s. Try loading any semi-auto like that, and you’ll have to be cycling the slide by hand for every round. Contra-positively, I can stoke a revolver to much higher limits than I can in most semi-autos, because the case is fully supported in a revolver chamber. Rugers are quite well known for allowing you to load .44’s and .45 Colts to Nearly Stupid Powerful[tm] loads. S&W’s, not as much, because the frame for S&W’s isn’t as heavy as the Rugers are, their steel isn’t heat treated to as high a tensile strength, and you’ll stretch the window of the gun after enough Nearly Stupid Powerful loads – and there’s no way to put the window back to original dimensions.

    Colt’s DA revolver for the .44 Mag (eg, absurdly-late-to-market Anaconda) could handle heavier loads than S&W’s, but I’d keep both the S&W and Colt loads down to more reasonable levels than the Ruger loads. Rugers are just built like brick outhouses, and they can handle some ferocious loads.

    Third, as others have commented, revolvers can be shot pretty darn well in DA mode once you learn how. Hint: A revolver isn’t a semi-auto. A S&W revolver has a 12lb pull in DA mode (by factory spec) and with an action job, you can typically get it into the 8.5 to 9lb range. The SA pull on a S&W is 2.75lbs, from the factory. Darn few semi-auto handguns give you a trigger pull option like a well-tuned revolver.

    Lastly: The grip profile makes a big difference in shooting a revolver. How the grip fills your hand is a Real Thing for revolvers, much more than in semi-autos. For people who are having trouble putting rounds on target with a revolver, I’d recommend going to a revolver gunsmith and asking him to look at how your revolver’s grips are filling your hand. When you have the correct set of grips on a revolver, the revolver “points” naturally, and, like settling into your natural point of aim in rifle shooting, it makes it oh-so-much easier to put rounds on target with a revolver when the gun points where you want it, naturally, than if you’re having to fight the gun onto the target for every shot.

    • I just picked up a New Ruger SuperBlackhawk 3.75” Bisley the other day and the thing is built like a friggin tank. Put some full house 44 mag buff bore through it without hesitation. The Bisley grip makes all the difference for me in being able to keep it under control. Bears beware! Ruger definitely owns the big bore space.

    • ‘…their steel isn’t heat treated to as high a tensile strength…’

      Not even an amateur metallurgist, but it was my understanding that the Rugers needed the heat treatment because they’re cast not forged. That it was the bulk of the steel where it was needed that made the Rugers stronger. Also, stainless steel is purported to have significantly higher tensile strength than carbon steel (although I think carbon steel can be made harder). Just curious if I’ve got my facts straight.

      The fact that you don’t have to feed the ammun ition magazine through the g rip is one of the biggest advantages of revolvers. The Altamont gr ips for the GP100s (rubber with wood side panels) are the most comfortable gr ips for my XXL glove sized hands, yet everyone else seems to love them as well regardless of glove size. I also find that most autos point low on presentation for me and I have to raise the front to find the sig ht. Revolvers tend to point with the front si ght just above the back so you just have to drop it into the notch. Interestingly, the .44 mag birdshead Vaquero I bought a few months ago has a surprisingly comfortable gr ip. You have to shoot it to believe how well a two finger gr ip can control the rec oil of the .44.

      • I think the whole thing about Ruger revolvers “needing” to be thicker/heavier due to being investment cast is just an old fallacy, it’s simply that they were designed from ground up for strength and longevity as opposed to S&W’s incremental improvements to a much older design. Also keep in mind that not all forgings(or investment castings) are created equal. A Smith – especially a recently manufactured one – isn’t a Korth or Manurhin MR73, that’s for damn sure.

        • It was my impression that the difference of the strength of the materials was a wash but that the Ruger was stronger because it had more material in the crucial areas. This is the first I ever heard that the Ruger had steel with a higher tensile strength. Doesn’t surprise me though.

    • As usual D.G is right on the money.
      Regarding accuracy: I notice cartridges with a similar length to diameter tend to be quite accurate. .22LR, .38 SPL, .357 Mag, .44, and .45 Colt. May be the platform, all of my revolvers are capable of excellent groups. Or possibly a coincidence.
      Relative reliability of these 3 brands: each has good elements, proven and refined over many years. Modular lockwork in Ruger DAs is a worthwhile innovation. Coil mainsprings might possibly an improvement over leaf springs. Colt triggers enjoy an excellent reputation, but seriously, I find little to complain about the triggers on my Smiths.
      Frame size/strength, cast vs. machined, heat treat schedules etc to me are of little concern as a practical matter. I have never worn out a revolver and I doubt I ever will.
      More important are design elements that promote better handling. Two of these are the cylinder latch and the grip shape. I prefer the S&W latch over the Colt and the Ruger.
      The classic square butt I find unwieldy, they are largest at the bottom where one’s shortest, weakest finger rides, and smaller behind the trigger guard where grasped by one’s strongest (2nd) finger.
      This obviously will affect presentation of the handgun as well as trigger control.
      Tylers T Grips address this, and for some, a round-butt grip may be of help.
      Revolver owners can easily try grips of different shape, style and composition.

    • That wasn’t a comment but more like a bonus article. I am relatively new to handguns and was given the opportunity to shoot the 686 plus (3″) about a year ago almost to the day. It was love at first bang. (Excuse me) It was available for sale and I (rather impulsively) purchased the firearm with the intention of taking an LTC class. (Which I did in addition to getting a little private instruction) There is a lot of material out there that can tempt one to despair of the practicableness of their consumer choice. Was I beguiled by the revolver, bewitched by her beauty? (After loading her and discharging several times I felt compelled to do the honorable thing.) What you said about grips garnered particular interest. I never liked those finger groves, they dont fit comfortably, its like I’m holding somebody else’s gun. I’ve been anticipating the arrival of boot grips from Mr. Ahrend (no finger grooves) and have hopes that this will help. (Of course, actually practicing might help substantially also) I suppose I could sell it and get a dandy semi-auto with the money but I feel inclined try to find out exactly what kind of commitment is needed to make the marriage work before making any hasty decisions. (Besides, I could always put in some overtime, cancel cable and scale back to two meals per day) Thanks to Mr. Grobman and Dyspeptic Gunsmith for their fine articles. Best Regards.

  13. This isn’t half-bad, but the author should have had this article reviewed by somebody who is knowledgeable about revolvers* Because he isn’t, he made some pretty big mistakes…and readers should not believe them.

    First, he writes that these guns are heavy magnum revolvers. They aren’t. They’re unusually light magnum revolvers, and light ones give the shooter a whole lot more kickback. If he had known that fact, he would have told the readers that other magnum revolvers would have much, much less kickback.

    So would magnum revolvers that have longer barrels.

    Second, he didn’t realize that he was not shooting normal-weight magnum bullets, but very heavy bullets, and heavy bullets give much more recoil. Most of today’s shooters are not hunters, and do not need the three or four feet of penetration that these heavy bullets will yield. They should instead use much lighter magnum bullets.

    I’m a little surprised that he made that particular mistake. I would have thought that an Israeli army sniper would have been required to train with the Desert Eagle handgun, which is twice as heavy as these revolvers, and will only function with hot-load magnum ammo, too. Israelis invented that gun because they’re so likely to be in combat in desert environments that offer very little cover, long sight lines, and longer-distance battles.

    Current Israeli handgun training is outside of my area of knowledge, so maybe someone else can fill us all in. Could be Israel dropped the D.E. when its ownership changed hands to Kahr.

    * He plainly states that he had no real background with revolvers at the beginning of the article. He IS an expert in other firearms, and in shooting those, of course…)

    • Small nuance, but longer barreled magnum revolvers recoil less because of the additional weight. However, that weight is placed out front which makes for less muzzle rise. Good for fast follow up shots but that muzzle flip also absorbs a lot of recoil. The longer barreled magnums tend to send the recoil straight back and can induce more knuckle rapping, so their not necessarily more pleasant to shoot. They do produce significantly higher muzzle velocities though.

  14. Wow. Bad breath distance only. I guess “most people” means Glocktillians who “ride the reset” on a DA revolver instead of stroking it correctly.
    I learned to shoot with SA and DA revolvers and use DA for all fast shooting.
    When i shoot my striker-fired pistols, i dont “ride the reset”.
    I roll through the trigger and let it go for the next shot – Just like i shoot DA revolvers.
    I have no “internal lock” Smith but can easily poke six in boiler room at 25 yards at speed with my older, lighter models.
    Hell – I can put em all on silhouette at 25 yards with 357 LCR.
    Its just a gun, and most are more accurate than the shooter will ever be.

  15. If the picture above showing the gun/sight profile is any indication of how the gun was held during testing, I would say someone needs a lesson in how to get up on the grip of a revolver – or any gun for that matter. Even for a picture, there is no reason to hold a gun like you just grabbed a turd.

    And as John Boch said above (paraphrase), no, you don’t quick cock a DA revolver for defense shooting. It’s dumb, slow and just asking for trouble. With all do respect, you don’t know what you don’t know.

    Eons ago I shot a Ruger Security-Six regularly. Target, PPC, Stress fire, game, you name it. I was fortunate enough to get taught DA methodology and I still shoot every revolver that way. Last season shot a Grouse out of a tree at 25 yards plus, no problem. In my old PPC days I could shoot 12 rounds in 6 seconds into a fist sized hole. Admittedly it was at minute of bad guy distance, but it was effective. And yes I would shoot .38 special most of the time but enough .357 to know how.

    Glad you gained a little experience about revolvers and had some fun. Now go learn some proper usage and report back!

  16. I took my new Model 69 out if the box about 6 months ago and hit the bull’s-eye at 10 yards with my first 4 out of 5 rounds (Magtech 240 Grain JSP). The 5th shot was about 2 in. from the bull’s eye.

    It was the first 44 Magnum revolver that I have used. I have a 686-6 in. and a 649 and a bunch of semi-automatics in 9mm otherwise.

    Very accurate right out of the box but after about 750 rounds, I cleaned it up and put it away to allow my hand to recover. I’ll take it out for another 500 rounds or so next year.

    If you need to shoot something large like a bear or a car, the Model 69 Combat Magnum would be a good choice.

  17. Decent article and glad it opened his eyes a bit, despite the errors pointed out in comments.

    I carry a 4″ 629PD with a Leupold Delta Point whenever I’m hiking, foraging for berries or mushrooms, etc. it’s ultra light, but I can still hit with it, even with 305gr. Bear loads.

  18. Decent article other than the racist comment and a lack of understanding of DA capabilities with some training.

    I have the new 4.25 inch .357 version and the recoil is very manageable. Accuracy is the best I’ve experienced with a handgun, and I’ve shot many. I much prefer it to my HK .40 which was my go-to prior to buying the CM. A couple of speed loaders and I’d take this as a sidearm into ANY situation. I know my shot placement is going to be good, and a second shot is optional with the right ammo. It’s also a great looking revolver and feels absolutely perfect in my hand.

  19. I just bought a new S & W 66-8. I never shot the gun but did a normal cleaning as specified. I lightly cleaned the barrel face with a lead removal cloth to remove the burn ring from being shot at S & W. The mat finish came off. Has anyone had this same problem.

  20. I own the M69 Combat Magnum 4.25″ model and it’s a monster to shoot with full-power ammo! On the other hand, these compact revolvers are meant to be carried a lot and shot when necessary, and generally when someone’s focus is on a threat, the amount of recoil delivered goes without notice.
    I know Ruger’s reputation well…I helped them build it by shooting various Rugers to and beyond the limits of sane loads, but over the last few decades, S&W has come a long way in terms of building revolvers that will stand up to punishment despite not looking like they were sawn out from a brick. I suspect developing the M500 and M460 gave S&W a lot of experience in how to build revolvers that hold up to cartridges producing over 2,500 lb-ft of energy, and one can see the engineering translated to the “new” K-frame 66, and L-frame 69. Like the small-diameter, reshaped firing pin with closely fitted opening and limited protrusion, the ball-dent on the crane that indexes to the barrel shroud, the slightly longer cylinder locking pin, and of course the much superior two-piece barrel system that eliminates torque stress on the frame and forcing cone. Any 37 ounce .44 magnum is going to kick regardless of who built it. That’s just part of the territory. Despite America’s obsession with “bigger” the .357 magnum is a potent choice in it’s own right, and with appropriate loads, more than most will ever “need,” however, there’s no denying that for the dedicated, a 240 grain hard cast from a .44 magnum – even one with a short barrel, is potent enough to end most confrontations between man and beast.

  21. I put wooden checkered service stocks on my model 69 (2.75″ barrel) for cc and shot it with WW 240 grain lead flat point cowboy specials which are a nice low recoil target round at a so claimed 750 fps for 300 foot pounds. I next fired some 200 grain lead flat point HSM cowboy magnums at 975 fps for 422 foot pounds. This was a nice shooting round with not much recoil but a bit more power. I then tried the 240 grain semi wad cutter HSM cowboy magnums at 1150 fps for 705 foot pounds. Ouch! For those I will go back to the original rubber stocks which are much better for full power magnum use and even with those the WW 240 grain jacketed soft points I shot are a handful. I live in rural New England and carry my Model 69 while walking my dogs in fields and woods frequented by coyotes that run about 45 lbs. and sometimes attack dogs and in town where junkies sometimes murder people for their cars. For this I’m using the 200 grain load, for back packing in bear country I’ll switch to the rubber stocks and use the 240 semi wad cutter which is a medium hard cast bullet. I haven’t had had mine long and will try other loads and plan to hand load for it this winter. I like it and could shoot it for hours with light loads just for fun.

  22. What does previously being an IDF “sniper”, have to do with seeing a revolver as-oh, nevermind.

    You just wanted to mention that you were part of the IDF and was apparently a “sniper”.

    Cool story bro. Such a BAMF.


  23. I may be an OFWG, but I can shoot a revolver, 7 inches from the Model 69 at 25? that gun can do that at 100, and in my hands. Autos have their place in fantasy tactical land, but in the field revolvers are accurate powerful and versatile.

  24. Gear up as your favorite Delsin Rowe Vest. Slim Fit Leather Jackets brings this iconic jacket from animation to reality, especially for all the fans of this video game. Delsin Rowe is the main protagonist and playable character, a young Native-American man who later realizes he’s a Conduit with special powers.


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