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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some feedback on your experiences with this piece. I got one recently at a gunshow (NIB) for >$300.
All I have done to this revolver, so far, is replace the pitiful rubber grips with hefty laminated wood grips. The weapon out-shoots my best semi-auto's. I am quite satisfied with it's perfomance so far. With that said, I hear mucho/macho negative saber rattling on Taurus revolvers: timing problems, customer service, lock ups, etc. This weapon is primarily a knock about ranch pistol (West Texas) and has performed OK, so far (one dead big copperhead, one dead small rattlesnake and one dead rabid racoon).
What is your experience with this revolver? Good or bad.

LM...Ft. Worth, Tx.
PO1 USN: 1964-1972 Viet Nam Vet
SFC US ARMY (NG): 1982-1996 Desert Storm Vet (ret.)
 

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The Mdl.66 4" Blue was my first Taurus. It shot very well. I was stupid for selling it. I have several Taurus Revolvers to this day, and all have outstanding trigger actions.
 

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Several of the staff will or should be chiming in here shortly on just this subject.

I do have the older 65 and 66 models that are over 20 years old and are still running fine. Good cylinder lockup, no end shake or play, tight tolerances still, and decent accuracy still are the hallmarks. I did a search on the model 66 here and had to stop counting after seeing over 30 threads just on this subject. So there is plenty to read about that is history on this model.

One thing that is interesting are the number of people who buy these as used. Most seem to be fine. However there seems to be a contigent that that is not true for.

The reasons for this for the most part are that the caveat "buyer beware" was not exercised when the purchases were inacted. It had nothing to do with the gun's dureability, but more to do with an " as is" gun purchase and the weapon was not checked over thoroughly by the purchaser or a reliable gunsmith.

One has to scrutinze closely any supposed purchase.

Mas Ayoob has a how to step by step used gun guide in the Gun Digest of Combat Handgunnery, 5th addition. This is from www.krause.com and may be at book stores or gun stores.

So there are sources out there for this. It behooves those new to shooting to get such a reference, if not an education from knowledgeable firearms people.
 

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I bought both of my 66s used and got GREAT bargains! All the Taurus bashing is a good thing for Taurus prices, I guess. I got my 4" nickel 66 used about 6 years ago. It's tight as a drum, perfect timing, no play anywhere. It has a wonderfully smooth action and is the newer transfer bar lockwork. This guns shoots my 148 grain WC handload .38 into 1" for a full cylinder at 25 yards with regularity. I have a Pachmayr Gripper on it, took the woods off. The stocks it came with were not comfortable. Actually, I prefer the Hogue Monogrip, but Padhmayr Grippers are good, too. I carry this gun afield as a hiking/outdoor gun, superb accuracy for small game with .38s and powerful with magnum rounds. I gave $197 and change for this one and the finish only has one little weak spot in it on the cylinder from a holster, hardly can tell, have to look real close.

The 3"er was at a recent gun show last fall. I'd been looking for a 3" Smith K frame, but they're rare and valuable, so figured if I ran across another Taurus or another M971 Rossi 2.5"er, I might leap. Well, this one fellow had a blued 3". Has the hammer block lockwork which isn't quite as smooth in DA as the newer gun. It had some crane play and a timing issue on one cylinder. He wanted 200 for it and I thought I might be able to fix the timing or send it off to Taurus and it didn't look as if it'd was bad enough to affect function anyway, so I showed him this and he took $180. I got the thing home, playing with it, found someone had taken the side plate off and put it back together with the wrong screws in the wrong holes. The front screw is elongated and impinges on the crane to hole it in place, the source of the crane play AND the timing issue. Once I put it back together right, all play was gone, just the slightest hint of a little end shake, about .0015" worth, and timing is perfect. This gun has been fired a lot and has lots of holster wear. I can tell it's been fired a lot because it had an old Pachmayr gripper on it and the molded checkering on the back of the grip was worn smooth from shooting. Yet, it's very tight, probably a 20 year old gun. Don't listen to the taurus bashers, this thing is twice the gun of the M19 Smith I had. For one thing, there's no flat spot on the bottom of the barrel where the Smiths tend to crack. I've seen this happen on a M10. This also indicates to me that there is more room in the frame for the barrel since the flat spot on the Smith is for clearance of the cylinder/crane. IOW, the frame is slightly larger/beefier than a Smith K frame. Yet, this blued 3" is pretty light and easy to carry. I LOVE the 4" gun, like new and fantastic action. The 3" gun is a very good gun, slightly more wear and a little rougher trigger, but the toughness of the gun is evident by this thing. I took that old worn Pachmayr off and installed a Hogue Monogrip on this one and was carrying it a lot IWB until I got a Ruger SP101 a few months ago. The Ruger is a little easier to carry and it's stainless, I like stainless. I'm keeping the old 3" 66, though, quite an accurate gun. It puts those wadcutters into almost as tight as the 4", about an inch and a half off sand bags at 25 yards, and it handles the magnums accurately, too. One thing I like about this one is it shoots the .38s almost to the same POA (slightly lower with the wadcutter, slightly higher with a 158 grain +P SWC) as my .357 loads. I have marks on the elevation screw on my 4" gun for wadcutter and magnum. They're about 6 clicks difference.

 

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I had a 6" model 66 I bought back in the 80s. It was an excellent handling gun, quite acurate and attractive. It had very nicley finished walnut grips reminiscent of the S&W grips on my 4" model 19. Overall fit and finish was perfect. I'm not a 6" barrel fan, however, and sold it quite a while back. This is one of the guns I wish I had never sold.
 

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The model 66 was my first big bore centerfile pistol. I got it almost twenty years ago in the blued 6" version. It is still one of my most sweetest shooters, and I've fired quite a few warp speed homeloads through her. Is it the 6 or 7 cylinder model? Seems like I remember paying $229 NIB way back when.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, guys. I feel vindicated in my choice of the M66. So far, it has been totally reliable, accurate as hell and fun to shoot. I passed up a used S&W Model 64 ($425) for my Taurus. I had forgotten how much fun a revolver is to shoot. I had to qualify with and used to carry a S&W M10 when I was flying as a crewmember (A3B's) in The Navy. ;)

LM...Ft. Worth, Tx.
PO1 USN: 1964-1972 Viet Nam Vet
SFC US ARMY (NG): 1982-1996 Desert Storm Vet (ret.)
 

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Yep, the 66 is a danged good gun, very accurate, reliable, and well fitted.

I have a M10 Smith, too. :D The price of used Smiths down here led me to buy my first 66. I'd already bought the M85 and knew how good it was. I finally came to the opinion Taurus revolvers are as good as anything out there and considering the money, a bargain.

And, thank you for your service to our country! My daughter and wife have gone to Mississippi. Daughter's fiance is shipping out to Iraq for a second tour (army national guard) and had 3 days leave before going, so they're over there to see him off. Makes me kinda nervous he'll be over there, but he really likes the military, got accepted to ranger school, but has to serve his hitch out in the guard. They're offering him a large bonus to re-up in the guard. I told him he'd be nuts not to, but he wants to go regular military. We'll see if he can turn down the money, though. I know I'd stay in the guard, myself. He volunteered for this hitch. Kid never learned about volunteering, I guess.
 

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I bought the model 66 4 in. barrel blue new and maybe the second time I took it out shooting, I had 3 small pieces of lead blow into my left arm (forearm to shoulder). I had to dig them out with a knife and luckily they weren't that deep. Sounds bad but it was not severe. I was shooting CCI blazer hollow points .357's. I stopped shooting after that, so I called Taurus and the person never heard of that happening and reccomened different amo. It has not happened since then but I thought that was a little weird.k I stay away from that amo now. Anyone ever heard of that happening before? If so, do you think it was the amo, or something with the gun?
 

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That folks is called side spitting and is a from the cylinder. Have had that happen every once in a while but not normally and not in a few years. The ammo had problems or the gun hadn't been cleaned well.

Hot gasses are going to come out the side of the cylinder with blowtorch heat. So can bits of bullet and debris. Shouldn't be all that much coming out the side, but this is happens with all revolvers. Especially with high intensity loads such as the .357 magnum.

Could be cylinder lock up is not complete at time of ignition or the cylinder gap is more than industry standards, but if it did not happen again these are probably not the causes.

What ammo were you using?

As high intensity as the full bore .357 mag loads are the 125gr. JHPs usually are the worst offenders.

Breaking the gun in with some .357 loads other than the full bore 125 gr. loads may be in order.After all, the gun needs 200 rounds or slightly more for a break in. Some should probably be .38 Specials. Parts and inner workings need to adjust and get some wear and tear just like new car engines do from just off the lot.


Was the gun cleaned and lubed properly per manual instructions prior to shooting? Dirt and debris collect in revolvers that sit around for any length of time. New or used. Might not seem like much, but even with the torch level heat, incredible pressures exerted on the gun, and little things can seem like lead or shot out the side with vicious results.

I even have been to a gun range where bullet splash back was so bad the chunks of bullet material of all sizes came right back and hit me hard enough to lightly embed themselves just below the skin or break skin and bleed lightly. Not fun and glad the shooting glasses were on. This can happen at even outdoor facilities as well. This bullet debris can imitate as if it were coming out the cylinder side when in acutallity it is coming from range walls or the backstop.

Older ranges that need updating or angle the bullet hits the backstop can have this occur.

The cure was to be sure the backstop was a proper one and that the gun range personnel in question were made aware of the splash back problems. Then it was find a range where this could not occur on regular basis until problems at the old range could be fixed.
Some splash may still be a problem regardless of where you go. Distance from the backstop also plays onto this. The closer, the more likely this is to happen.

Just for gee whiz info, how new are you to shooting? Responses given may play into this as how responders will answer and answer with what knowledge that they possess.
 

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I have owned and used hard revolvers made by Dan Wesson, S&W, Colt, Great Western, Ruger and Taurus for the past 45 years. The last two revolvers I bought were two Tauri 627 Trackers earlier this year. A six inch one and a four inch one. I owned S&W 19s, 27s, 29s 686s and 57s from the early 1960s on. These two Tauri remind me of the earlier 19s I used to own. They are very accurate, very reliable and so far as I can tell have the best timing and fitting I have seen in awhile. I carry the six inch one in the farm truck. The four inch one is my CCW gun and traveling companion on my business trips. I have put more than 500 rounds of 125 grain HP Remingtons through each of them since early March with no problems. The best part of this bargain is they do not cost an arm and a leg. What any ol' Yankee or Confederate wants is something that looks good and is reliable and is a hell of a good buy. It seems to me these little gun fit that description.
 

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Thank for your reply quiks draw. I pretty sure it was 158 gr. which were hollow points. Can't remember if they were JHP's or not. It was the second time I shot and I hadn't cleaned it before then since it was just the second time since I got the gun. I'm not new to shooting in general, but fairly new to shooting handguns.
 

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The only handgun I ever experienced any spitting from the cylinder gap from was a POS RG .22 revolver I mistakenly bought when I was young, dumb, and broke. That thing was total junk. It looked like the little .22 blank gun I used to have except timing and what passed for fit and finish were worse. Cylinder alignment was a joke. I trashed the thing. It was dangerous. Never had a quality revolver do this, though. But, then, I'm a stickler about leaning my weapons.
 

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It is wise to remember that all revolvers do the side spit thing, minor though it may be on most revolvers, but there is enough force to hurt severely anything that is near the front or back of the cylinder. Blowtorch gasses, fragments of bullet material, and burning powder come out with each shot.

Lots of people overlook this. The more intensive the cartridge or high pressure, the more spitting will or can occur.

Silhouette shooters and others are known to wear pieces of leather or other thick padding on certain body areas because of this.

During shooting it is easy under some circumstances to get one's flesh near the cylinder gap. Ouch!!

Older or much used revolvers need the cylinder gap checked for side spitting and cylinder gap. If there is a problem then steps should be taken to correct the problem.
 

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Qwiks draw said:
It is wise to remember that all revolvers do the side spit thing, minor though it may be on most revolvers, but there is enough force to hurt severely anything that is near the front or back of the cylinder. Blowtorch gasses, fragments of bullet material, and burning powder come out with each shot.

Lots of people overlook this. The more intensive the cartridge or high pressure, the more spitting will or can occur.

Silhouette shooters and others are known to wear pieces of leather or other thick padding on certain body areas because of this.

During shooting it is easy under some circumstances to get one's flesh near the cylinder gap. Ouch!!

Older or much used revolvers need the cylinder gap checked for side spitting and cylinder gap. If there is a problem then steps should be taken to correct the problem.
If the revolver is spitting lead as bad as he described it's probably "Out of Time" IMHO.
 

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That would be one thing to check for if this keeps up. Or the cylinder gap can be over spec or out of spec depending on how one looks at it. Miking the gap with a gauge may be needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Something to think about...
Most indoor ranges have walls between lanes. This just might be related to cylider spitting and goes back a long way.
 

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65 fixed sights

66 adjustable sights
 

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Also the current M65's are still 6 shooters while the M66's are 7 shooters.

But the M66 used to be a 6 shooter too so it would depend on the age.

Steelheart
 
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