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Discussion Starter #1
The following are older model taurus revolvers and I'm considering purchasing one of them as target shooting weapons:

1) Taurus model 83 4" barrelled .38 blued
2) Model 66 6" barrelled stainless steel 6-shot .357 magnum
3) Model 669 6" barrelled stainless steel 6-shot .357 magnum

All are NIB and the lockup appears to be tight. What is the experienced quality of the above guns from you guys who have owned them in the past or present? Can I expect at least 10 years of trouble free shooting if I run 450 +P .38 special rounds through each gun EVERY MONTH?

The gun dealer tells me that that were built on machinery acquired from S&W when Taurus was related to the former. He insists that I am buying S&W quality with a Taurus price tag.
 

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All are good picks under most circumstances.

A few things to consider. Are you really going to fire all that +P ammo that much? Not only is it pricey to do so, but could be detrimental to one of the for-mentioned revolver models. Most practice is done with standard pressure loads for practice and then firing a few rounds ( say 10 to 30 per range session) for staying current with the +Ps.Could fire more than that, but there is a diminishing law of returns if too much ammo is fired.

Practice is for accomplishing a set of goals, or a goal, and not about sending as many rounds down range as possible. Any one can shoot many rounds and accomplish little or nothing. On the plus side either .357 magnum revolvers will take as many +P rounds as you want to shoot as a steady diet eith no ill effects.

Cleaning out the carbon residue rings after each practice session is a must. Build up can cause cartridge insertion problems if not taken care of. This can be to the point of no cartridge going onto the chambers if left too long.

A steady diet of +Ps rules out the model 83.Regular loads with a minor diet of +Ps would not get you into trouble,despite the manual claims. Steady diet of +Ps in the 83 could cause accelerated wear on all parts as well as battering and stretching the frame out of spec.

The model 669 and 83 have been out of circulation for a few years. The model 66 is still made, however only in the 7 shot guise. That has been true for a few years. If it is a 6 shooter it is older than one is lead to believe.

If the cylinder alignment is fine, no end shake is apparent, the revolvers lock up tight when cocked or the trigger pulled all the way through, and no abuse is evident then there should be no problem.

A examination by a qualified gunsmith could varify this before plunking good money down. Most of the checks can be done by you, but having a gunsmith look it over can help.

I do have a older model 65 and 66 and have over a decade and a half of sterling service from both. Used mostly standard loads for practice and shot the 10 to 30 rounds a month as posted above per month. Wasn't hurting the wallet and the 158 grain bullets for most of the factory ammo hit to the same point of impact. Even the +Ps. Magnum 158 grainer were the same way at short ranges.

Lighter bullets will hit lower on target.Yours may be slightly different. Each gun has it's own characteristics and this is just info as a gerneral guide. These are just my musings on the subject. Others should be joining in shortly. Taurus' website does have customer section that allows you to put in the serial number to find out when the gun was manufactured. Click on the Customer Help and then click on Find My model. Good luck.
 

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Qwiks Draw:

The problem is that I am not resident in the US but in Asia. In my country, controls on ammo are tight and all that it frequently available for revolver ammo is the made in Italy maroon box Fiocchi 158gr LRN .38 Special or the Fiocchi 158gr TMC .357 magnum. Both these rounds are loaded quite hotly and the .38 special is approaching or at +P velocity. Hence, if I end up buying the model 83 for PPC practice, I will end up shooting about 300 - 450 rounds of these rather warm Fiocchi rounds over 3 practice sessions/month.

Also, since Guns are tightly restricted here, civilian gunsmiths are few and far between. It is hence important to me that any one of these guns that I buy was be mechanically durable and last at least 10 years with routine cleaning and care.
 

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That is a whole different kettle of fish. Do you have access to other makes and models from different companies where you are? Your profile does not say where you are located and I have no access to that info. It is not overly important that I know that, but if access to Smith and Wesson or Ruger revolvers you might want to give both brands in model 619,620,64,66, or 65 in Smith and Wesson and model GP100 for Ruger. These come highly recommended also. These are all stainless steel. If the Taurus models are the main concern, then my personal recommendation is to go with the model 66 first and then the 669. The model 83 might stand up to the Fiocchi diet. Then again it may not. Why take chances? I have owned model 669s in the past and had very good sevice from them. Had two of them to be exact. Upgraded to the nickel version of the model 65 and 66. Fit my needs better and the 65 has fixed sights which I prefer. Just a personal choice. You are quite right. Fiocchi is loaded to higher pressures than others. Now that I know more available info about where you are those are my own recommendations.
 

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Qwiks Draw:

The problem here is that the local gun dealers do not stock ruger revolvers. Also, the S&W model 686 is the only S&W revolver available and it cost 50% more than the Taurus. Hence, I look to Taurus revos as a economical choice. Am quite curious though.....why did you ask me to consider the Taurus model 66 over the 669? Is the 66 more mechanically durable or well made and hence more dependable over the 669?
 

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The 669 is older than the model 66 under most circumstances. So I figured the 669 would have more chance in theory of breaking do to age more than because of use.And as you noted parts would be harder to get. Since the 66 is still in recent production and the 669 has been out of production , parts for the 66 would be easier to obtain or have made if needed. These revolvers may be NIB condition, but Taurus seems to have taken more care in producing the model 66. Both models may serve you well, but stilll the model 66 is normally the younger design and model. We have plenty of 669 owners as well as 66 owners here at this forum. All seem to give good service.It is more a personal choice. Guess what I am saying is it is up to you to decide since I have no way of seeing or trying the revolvers in person. If a reputable gunsmith sanctions both revolvers then there is not enough difference in the pick. Just these observations from afar. Here in the U.S.A. the website www.e-gunparts.com has been a supplier for Taurus revolver parts other than Taurus itself. I would figure that parts for the 66 will be obtainable longer than for the model 669. Other possible source is www.brownells.com. A letter to Taurus International or one by fax could ask about availibility of spare parts that might be closer to you or come directly from them.
 

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Personal experience, the M66 can take any factory .357 or certainly .38 load you can throw in it and my two examples are VERY accurate with .38 loads, which is not always the case with .357 revolvers. I've got a Smith and Wesson M10 that is quite accurate, but bought a M19 (SAME GUN, K frame, but with adjustable sights and in .357 magnum) and the 19 could shoot only about 2 1/4" best groups from a ransom rest at 25 yards. My 4" Ruger Security Six could only do 3" with wadcutters or any other .38 I ever tried in it. My 4" Taurus 66 shoots 1" groups with the same wadcutter loads and my 3" will shoot 'em into 1.5". I had a Rossi M971 that could shoot that same load into 2". So, I don't know if it's a Taurus thing, but I've got two Taurus M66s that are very accurate with .38 loads and I've not seen that with other makes. This is why I've hung on to the M66 and sold the others. I'm picky about accuracy. That 4" gun is just phenomenal. The club lost track of the Ransom rest they had and the 1" groups (for five shots) I've fired from that gun were consistent and fired off sand bags at 25 yards. From bags it out shoots the Smith M19 fired out of a machine rest! The 19 was quite accurate with .357s as was the Ruger, just that they couldn't shoot the shorter loads for squat, well, not well enough to make me a happy camper anyway. I'm much happier with my M66s and they're strong, tight, reliable guns with decent triggers, especially the 4" gun with is the newer transfer bar lockwork and has a better SA and DA than my older 3" gun. It's almost as slick as my old M10 Smith.

I'd recommend the M66, but I haven't fired or have any experience with the 669. I'm sure it's a good revolver, though. I really like medium frame guns and the Taurus is almost identical to my old K frame M19. One good thing about it, there is no flat spot at the bottom of the forcing cone. This area is where cracks tend to occur on M19s that are fired with a lot of heavy loads. I don't expect that the Taurus will have forcing cone problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Native Texan:

Are your revolvers of early 1990s vintage? The examples that my dealer showed me indicated that they were released by Taurus for sale at about 1992.

The BIG fear I have when buying any firearms is that firstly, they cost a ton in the gun restrictive Asian country that I live in. Secondly, there are almost NO skilled CIVILIAN gunsmiths in employ here. Hence, if a gun malfunctions on me and simple sparepart replacement by me does not restore it to functionality, I am left with an extremely expensive paperweight. For these reasons alone, most shooters here buy TOP BRAND NAME (H&K, Glock, S&W...etc) guns in the hopes that the handgun will give them at least 30,000 trouble free rounds of shooting. Standard procedure if the gun breaks AFTER this threshold is to pay good $$$ for a police escort to send it to the steel mill for destruction as per govt regulations. (Our govt stipulates that each gun must have a paid permit and there is no point renewing the permit on a busted gun.)

I am thus extremely WORRIED about getting a lemon if I buy a Taurus. (Nope, I cannot afford a S&W which costs 50% more.)

With this in mind......could you please tell me:

1) How many rounds have your revolvers endured so far since you bought them?
2) ANY mechanical problems encounted so far?
3) How is the quality of the steel?
4) If the lockup is tight, the timing/cylinder alignment is accurate and the bore/cylinders are pristine, can I expect the NIB 6-shot model 66 to survive 35,000 shots of +P 158gr .38 special LRN practice loads?
 

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Something to think about, you can get books and videos on home gunsmithing. Might be something to think about as funds permit after you get the revolver to decide on. There is a thread around here somewhere on AGI Videos that covers some of it. I know that if I couldn't get someone to fix my only gun I'd want the books around to try and fix it myself. Plus I'd think that they would help with normal maintenance due to greater knowledge.

Steelheart
 

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My older gun is mid 80s vintage, I THINK. It's the older lockwork. The newer lockwork came along about early 90s and my 4" gun is the new lockwork and I'd guess it's vintage around mid 90s or so. I do NOT worry about it ever wearing out in my lifetime, put it that way. Both guns are well timed and tight. The newer lockwork (transfer bar like Ruger rather than hammer block like Smith) is definitely desirable, better trigger. My older one, there is no telling how many rounds it's seen, but it's tight and accurate. Frankly, I'd trust a new Taurus 66 just as well as any Smith, though the 686s are stronger frames. Smith dropped the K frames because they didn't handle a steady diet of hot .357 125 grain stuff in police armories, but I've never seen a worn out one, personally. They did have a rep for crackin' the forcing cone, something I don't think the Taurus would be as susceptible of. The only thing I've ever hard breaking on the Taurus by more than one person is the firing pin return spring, which isn't that hard to replace.

Now, if you want a truly strong, strong gun, think Ruger GP100. That thing can handle a diet of .357 handloads that'd blow up a Smith K frame and just keep on tickin', but I have no problems with my Taurus 66s, personally. I mostly shoot hot .38s in 'em, nothing that'd stress 'em, and I have every confidence that they'll last me my lifetime and probably whom ever inherits 'em.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Anyone know how heavy the trigger pull is on a stock 1990s model 66 revolver? Is it heavier or lighter than a Smith model 67 of the same time period?
 

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If you have no access to a gunsmith, I'd buy a S&W M686. It will work out of the box and it's L frame will outlast anyones K frame, be it Taurus or S&W and it will not be unduly heavy.
 

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kannonfyre said:
Anyone know how heavy the trigger pull is on a stock 1990s model 66 revolver? Is it heavier or lighter than a Smith model 67 of the same time period?
I haven't thrown a trigger gauge on it (can't currently find mine), but my 90s M66 feels about the same smooth and effort as my early 60s M10 Smith and Wesson which is the standard of trigger pulls. That was when Smith and Wesson made 'em right. Now days, they don't have the smooth triggers the did then because of less hand polishing and use of MIM parts (which Taurus now uses, too). MIM cannot be hand polished as slick as forged steel and most of the griping about MIM parts from gunsmith concerns this. Taurus switched to MIM, I think, sometime in the late 90s. But, since both manufactures use the process and the process does not reward hand polishing as well as forged even if a company wished to spend the time and attention, the triggers on the Taurus are on par with any modern Smith. Like I say, my new transfer bar lockwork non-MIM M66 is comparable to my early Smith and that old Smith has bike fired a LOT. I inhereted it from my Grandpa who got it from a sheriff who's holster it rode in for five years or so. It's still tight and accurate. I've modified it with a heavy barrel because I like the balance better than the old pencil barrel and thumb nail front sight. But, with wadcutters, my M66 will outshoot it, only by a half inch at 25 yards, but it's a better shooter.

The early model M66s used a Smith and Wesson style hammer block lockwork. I have an example of it and it is not as smooth or light. The single action on it has a little creep in it, too. If you go to buy a M66, look and see how the lockwork is designed. If it has the Ruger style transfer bar system, that's the one you want. I carry my older gun a lot due to the 3" barrel. It works better IWB. I shoot it well, but the trigger doesn't compare to the later Taurus guns or the Smiths.
 

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kannonfyre said:
The following are older model taurus revolvers and I'm considering purchasing one of them as target shooting weapons:

1) Taurus model 83 4" barrelled .38 blued
2) Model 66 6" barrelled stainless steel 6-shot .357 magnum
3) Model 669 6" barrelled stainless steel 6-shot .357 magnum

All are NIB and the lockup appears to be tight. What is the experienced quality of the above guns from you guys who have owned them in the past or present? Can I expect at least 10 years of trouble free shooting if I run 450 +P .38 special rounds through each gun EVERY MONTH?

The gun dealer tells me that that were built on machinery acquired from S&W when Taurus was related to the former. He insists that I am buying S&W quality with a Taurus price tag.
20 years ago I got a Taurus 66 in blue. After nineteen years of very heavy use, the crane screw came loose. A little loctite and it should be good fo another 10. I have only made one alteration on it. I put on a set of Hogue mono grips to help tame the full power .357 loads. But the majority of my shooting has been using 148 grain 38 special dewc's. The gun will put them where I am them. The only change I wish I had made is I wish I would have had a little bit more money to buy the strainless version.
 
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