Reaser Thomas Lemonds writes . . .
My very first handgun was a GLOCK 17 and it was that firearm that ignited my love for shooting. I bought it at the start of the post-Sandy Hook ammunition famine. While my local range usually had ammo, it was expensive and in short supply. Still, I found that I really liked shooting and as my interest deepened, I tried to educate myself through various magazines and web sites (thanks TTAG!).
Eventually, I began to wonder about other handguns, specifically the 1911. There is so much written about that gun along with the passion expressed by their owners.
I saved my pennies until I finally bought my first — and not my last — 1911, a Ruger SR1911.
I remember the first time I shot that gun and was surprised at the difference in how it felt compared to my GLOCK. There was a feeling of substantial power that to this day has been a driving force in my later handgun purchases.
I have always been something of a gearhead, loving my cars and motorcycles because of the mechanical symphonies they represent. Knowing that everything is working together as a result of the human mind’s inventiveness is a source of continuing wonder to me. I just love the sounds and feel of a machine working the way it should.
That first 1911 gave me that feeling as well. When I first completely disassembled it, I marveled at the elegant simplicity of that all-metal machine. While not nearly simple as the GLOCK, it was a well-made machine that worked in harmony with itself.
Before long, I sold the GLOCK and started my collection of all-metal handguns. I also realized that I had conracted a bad case of EGS…Expensive Gun Syndrome.
Lately, revolvers have become the focus of my metal gun obsession. And a result of obtaining several fine 1911’s I’ve become something of a trigger snob. I have a GP100 that I thought had a good trigger until I got a Smith & Wesson 629 Classic. I put a Wilson Combat spring kit in it and then found out what a light trigger is all about. I was hooked.
In the quest for that great trigger, and just because I think they’re cool, I picked up an early 70’s S&W Model 66 no-dash from Gunbroker (photo at top of page). I was able to get this at a very good price. It was less, in fact, than a new GLOCK 19.
When it arrived at my FFL, the old timers all gushed over it and the youngsters looked kind of confused. After checking it out carefully I decided that I got a really good deal. This gun looked as if it had rarely been fired. When I pulled the trigger for the first time, I was expecting a to feel a gun that hadn’t been broken in, despite its age. While I’m fairly certain it doesn’t have a high round count, you would never know it by the trigger.
In double action, it was a smooth 10lb. pull as measured by my trigger gauge. In single action…the clouds parted, the heavens opened, and the angels sang as I experienced what must be what all the fuss is about.
All the adjectives that have been used to describe the old Smith triggers suddenly and truly made sense. This thing needs a just a bit more than a thought to ignite a primer. My gauge show a 2.5lb. pull with no overtravel at all, but it feels lighter to me.
Crisp? Check. Like glass breaking? Oh yeah. Has it made me a better shot? No, but that’s certainly not the gun’s fault.
As I said, I dig a well-made machine and the Model 66 certainly fits the bill. Holding it in my hand, I get the solid certainty that a craftsman made this machine. It’s tight. There’s no sound at all when you shake it. The cylinder fits ever-so-close to the barrel with no play. The seam between the crane and the frame is so close that it’s almost invisible. It all speaks of a level of quality that is hard to find (and harder to afford) these days.
As most of you probably know, the Model 66, as well its brother, the Model 19, were standard issue law enforcement hardware back in the day before the current crop of plastic fantastics became popular. The GLOCK 19 is in wide use now and for good reason. It’s a good, reliable gun with a high capacity.
I recognize and accept that a G19 or similar pistol probably makes much more sense in today’s world than the old revolvers. Heck, even I have a GLOCK 19 now. Still, there’s nothing else that feels as good as a well-made revolver such as my old Model 66. That’s why I call it the anti-GLOCK.