Reviewing the Smith & Wesson Model 66 Combat Magnum | Outdoor Channel
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Reviewing the Smith & Wesson Model 66 Combat Magnum

Need an accurate revolver that eats up ammo, free of malfunctions? The new M66 Combat Magnum from Smith & Wesson might just be for you

The Smith & Wesson Model 66 Combat Magnum (Photo courtesy of Down Range TV) The Smith & Wesson Model 66 Combat Magnum (Photo courtesy of Down Range TV)

By: Ed Head

When I left the Border Patrol academy and reported to my duty station in San Diego, I was packing an issued Colt Border Patrol .357 Magnum revolver. A version of the Colt Lawman Mk. III, my gun had been rebuilt and re-blued by the academy armorers, but even so, it had seen better days. I couldn’t wait to finish my probationary period when I would be allowed to purchase and carry my own revolver. Scraping my pesos together from our pitiful pay, I managed to come up with the tariff for a Smith & Wesson Model 29, a .44 Magnum with a four inch barrel. The day I came off probation, I submitted my memo asking the Chief Patrol Agent to authorize my new purchase and waited expectantly for his blessing. Unfortunately, the day my .44 was approved, the Border Patrol, in its infinite and inscrutable wisdom, decided to rescind authorization for privately owned duty revolvers in anything but .357 Magnum and .38 Special calibers and I was never able to carry that M29 on duty. In due course I came up with the dinero to purchase a Smith & Wesson Model 66 (a stainless-steel four-inch-barreled .357 Magnum) and turned in my old Colt. The M66 was eventually replaced by a Model 686 and along the way I purchased a Model 60 .38 Special 5 shot revolver for plain clothes and off duty use, but eventually replaced it with a 2 ½-inch M66. Until we transitioned to semi-automatic pistols, I was firmly in the Smith & Wesson camp as far as duty revolvers were concerned.

When Smith & Wesson announced two new Combat Magnum short-barreled revolvers, one in .357 Magnum and the other in .44 Magnum, it got my attention. Both have 2.75-inch barrels, are stainless steel in construction and have S&Ws excellent target style combat sights. Made from a rubber-like material, the synthetic stocks are very well designed and help a great deal in making these shorty blasters more comfortable to shoot. Let’s take a look at one of them and we’ll get to the other in my next article.

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