I don't know why the picture appears twice.
Taurus .357-Magnum Revolvers score well with Gun Tests Magazine.
In the Oct. 2019 issue of Gun Tests Magazine, a S&W 27 “Classic” is tested against a Taurus 66 and a Taurus 608. The S&W was rated third, mostly because a D-9 Caterpillar was required to do the double-action pull. Over 20-lbs, they estimated. Oh, and it came factory equipped with rust in the crane.
The testers also disliked the S&W wood grips used on the square-back frame. Too narrow, they said, and was not as conducive to control as the Taurus.
I’ve thought for some time that S&W should get a license to use Taurus grips on their revolvers. Firing a S&W 29 alongside a Colt Anaconda and a Taurus Raging Bull, the Taurus is the least abusive to my hands because of the grips.
The 27 Classic, like other new versions of S&W revolvers, takes a lot of heat for the shrouded barrel and internal lock. But the Taurus revolvers also have an internal lock, and the testers said none of them were of any issue.
I know there are people who will scream that the S&W locks will spontaneously engage, locking up the revolver at inopportune moments, but in all the new S&W’s I have had and all I have seen in operation, none has ever had a problem. Some people decry the keyhole as ugly, but to me guns are tools. If the handle on my new hammer is not color- coordinated with my designer jeans, eh. Same-o, same-o with the S&W lock. I don’t even carry a key with me any more.
I have a 27-2 and was able to shoot it side-by-side with one of the new Classics, a Performance Center 27-8, eight-shooter. I suppose the Center gets some credit for good work, I can only say the -8 has a trigger as nice as my -2. I don’t have a trigger gauge. They do have a different feel, but I felt no difference in operation.
I put Altamont S&W Combat stocks on the -2 because I don’t like the S&W factory wood ones. The -8? It had the new-style, thinner grips and I really like them. (GT didn’t.) I definitely felt I had better control. Obviously, that is a personal thing.
I didn’t keep any targets from our shoot – it was in 2012. We fired off-hand, two-hands and strong-hand-only, at tombstone targets set at seven yards, ten and 15. In my hands there was no difference in accuracy, slow or fast shooting, between the two guns.
My friend, on the other hand, cut groups nearly half the size of mine, again, with either gun. Young whippersnapper!
One Gun Test shooter reported a glitch with the M66: “The cylinder release had not returned to its original position after the rater hit the release to reload.” He reported he feels he may have mishandled the reload. In any case, it didn’t happen again.
Well, I’ve had a number of disappointing issues with Taurus revolvers, and that is one of them. The guns I experience it in, one a Raging Bull, Model 444, repeated. We found mangled springs, bent internal parts and soft metal that certainly had something to do with it. Four Taurus .22-Magnum revolvers all locked up tight after as few as 18 rounds.
Of the three guns they tested, GT liked the M66 best. They said its lighter weight made it faster from the holster and was not detrimental to personal-defense accuracy. They cited the grips as part of the reason.
*I* noted it was $371 compared to $548 for the 608, and $909 for the S&W. My friend said he paid $850 for the PC-8, second-hand.
Being fair to the Taurus I’ll note I had a S&W 329PD on which the cylinder release jammed, locking the cylinder in place. The yoke broke as we tried to get it apart, so the Taurus comes out on top for that one. After repair, the 329PD has chugged along with no problems, promptly repaired by S&W.
I’d like to hear from people who have put at least 200 magnum rounds through an M66. Accuracy? Reliability? Enquiring minds want to know.
The 27-4 in the pic also belongs to my friend.
I don't know why the picture appears twice.
It's a forum software glitch. Very handsome couple of revolvers! I haven't fired the S&Ws they tested, but high praise for a Model 66 doesn't surprise me at all; excellent .357!
"It is wonderful, in the event of a street fight, how few bullets seem to hit the men they are aimed at." Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail, Theodore Roosevelt, 1888
The 4" model 66 I have shot many times. It is a very accurate revolver!
THE FOLLOWING IS SIMPLY MY OPINION. YMMV:
My takeaway on the Gun Tests article is that the M608 and M66 essentially tie with the S&W coming in at a distant third. The M66 is faster out of the holster but the M608 has less felt recoil and is more accurate. Accuracy is a variable due to the ammo; find the ammo each revolver prefers and the M66 might hold an edge. Even with that, every revolver is different even among the same model. So that leaves draw speed vs. felt recoil. I submit that the ability to get back on target faster is more important than how fast you can draw because draw speed is greatly dependant on the proficiency and strength of the shooter and holster design.
The M608 is a heavy gun. I would not like to try to use one for CCW. That being said, if the M608 is a hunting revolver that can be used for home defense, it should have a 6.5" barrel.
There is one point that, while I have mentioned it on this site, I have never seen mentioned in any review. Gun Tests only comments on it in regards to holster fit. If you are a handloader, the cylinder of the M608 is considerably longer than any other .357 revolver save for the Ruger Redhawk and the new Taurus Raging Hunter. The cylinder will accept ammo loaded for an overall length of 1.725" to give you considerably more power than factory ammo without increasing the pressure.
''The S&W was rated third, mostly because a D-9 Caterpillar was required to do the double-action pull. Over 20-lbs, they estimated. Oh, and it came factory equipped with rust in the crane.''
Visible rust and a 20# trigger, yet they proceeded to test it anyway?
"Anything that can happen with a gun probably will happen, sooner or later." _John M. Browning
I have a Taurus 66 and a S&W 66-1. I am very glad to have both and feel that they are both fine revolvers👍. I will say tho, that the S&W sits in the gun locker and the Taurus is out where it can be used (if necessary). They both shoot well. The fit and finish on both are quite good. The cylinder lockup on the S&W is a bit tighter than on the Taurus but there is a bit more "end shake" on the S&W.
I don't know exactly how the S&W 27 compares to the 66-1 but IMHO, the Taurus 66 and the S&W 66-1 are comparable in most aspects with the exception of cost 😉! I'm not at all surprised with the results of the Gun Test Magazine. The classic Taurus revolvers have stood the test of time and continue to be fine firearms. I applauded Taurus for keeping the 66 model line alive. I'm not so sure that can (or will) be said with some of their "newer" models but I can't base that statement on personal experience (so I guess that's hearsay) 😳. I do have have other Taurus firearms that have "been kicked to the curb" ( a TCP and a PT 740) and I'm not too happy about that. I'm glad (and proud) that Taurus came out on top in the testing of these .357Mag revolvers.
"A man has got to know his limitations." HC