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Beware the bent crane arm.
 

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Quit thinking! Do it!

Here’s the definitive guide:

 

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I’d be looking at one of the new 2.75 inch 66 models.
They have a much stronger lock work and you don’t have to worry about cracked forcing cones, timing issues or clocked barrels.

The old ones are fine if you just want something to collect and look at, but if you are going to shoot it a lot and actually use it, I’d go with a new production model.
 

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hi guys , thinking of buying a S&W model 19 snubby,
what should I look for ??
I have been told to look for throat reoasind, cylinder slop , any thank else , please post , rojo
They are getting harder to find and when available the price is often a bit too high. I'm really sold on my 2.75" Model 66-8. Forcing cones have been strengthened, a ball detent lockup system on the yoke makes for a better lockup and allows for a full length ejector, and I tend to like the shrouded barrel these things have. If you can make peace with the internal lock, (I have), you'll get a fine revolver in the new Model 66. Bring excess cash or plastic to the gun store.
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Be prepared to open your wallet ... take out a loan maybe.
 
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Well I think you should do it.

Outside of all the usual suspects already mentioned in this thread, verify that the forcing cone isn't cracked at 6 o'clock. While I've deliberately searched for a cracked forcing cone on a number of K-Frame Magnum that I've looked at in shops or at gun shows over the years with not one turning up to this point, it is said that excessive use of hot 125 grain .357 Magnum loads can crack a forcing cone on a K-Frame Magnum. This crack normally occurs at 6 o'clock due to the fact that the barrel shank is machined for clearance for the revolver's yoke so is thinnest at that point. This would include the Models 13, 19, 65, and 66 revolvers.

Here's a link to a look up of Google images under the search: "cracked forcing cone model 19." Some relevant photographs may be seen and will serve to help identify what to look for. Strangely enough, I was surprised to see a sprinkling of "built-like-a-tank" Ruger double-action .357 Magnum revolvers with cracked forcing cones scattered throughout the page.

K-Frame Magnum Smith & Wessons live here in the form of Models 13, 19, and 66. I don't have any concerns about babying them or retiring them from use of heavy .357 Magnum ammunition. They see an almost exclusive diet of heavy 158 grain loads though and no 125 grain loads.

Nickel 4-inch Model 19 sooted up from a range trip.



Blue 3-inch Model 13 and stainless steel 2 1/2-inch Model 66


Realistically, I've always shot a gob more .38 Special out of .38 Special chambered revolvers then I've ever shot .357 Magnum ammunition through .357 Magnum revolvers. The .357 Magnum revolvers here only see use with .357 Magnum ammunition even though it's perfectly appropriate to shoot them with .38 Special ammunition, as long as one is attentive to keep the chambers clean. It's a personal quirk, but I treat the two cartridges as entirely different and don't shoot .38 Special in .357 Magnum revolvers.
 

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Now that everyone seems to be into concealed carry, they are all the rage. Back when it wasn't legal yet and we were all into other forms of shooting and carry, I got to shoot my brothers which was his back up/travel gun. Having owned a 4" 19-3, I really wasn't all that fired up over it. Now we balance ease of carry against shootability. For me, its shootability suffered compared to the 4" but that was only a first impression.

I'd love to have one myself, but then I'd love to have a 3" Rossi 720 in .44 special also.
 
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