Most of you folks you who have read my stuff over the years know how much I like the Smith & Wesson Model 19 & 66 revolvers. The original design was suggested by my old friend and mentor Bill Jordan as being the answer to a peace officer’s needs. I’ve owned, and still own, several of the guns in the 2 1/2” and 4” configurations. However, one of my favorites is the same gun with a 3-inch barrel.
I like it because it has a round butt, which fits my hand a bit better. I also like the idea of a 3-inch barrel because it give the pistol a slight muzzle-heavy feel, while still being an inch shorter, overall, for concealment purposes. However, tactically, the greatest improvement is that the 3-inch revolver allows the use of a full-length ejector rod which is a serious aid in quickly dumping the empties from the cylinder.
Smith & Wesson has never seen fit to offer a 3-inch Model 19/66 as a regular catalog item. Back in the 80’s, I found out that the California state narcotics boys had special ordered some of these guns. I was finally able to get in touch with a retired California agent (whose name I no longer remember) who owned several of these interesting revolvers. His Model 19 was not for sale, but he was kind enough to sell me one of the two 3-inch Model 66’s that he had. I still have that slick DA revolver and it is among my most prized possessions.
Of and on, over the years, I’ve tried to research the history of the 3-inch Model 19/66 and have had very little luck. Smith & Wesson history books only give it a passing mention, with very few actual details. This is such a cool variation of this great old sixgun that it really deserves to have its history recorded.
Naturally, there are a bunch of you folks who are extremely savvy about all things that go bang. And I would really appreciate hearing any information that you might have about the 3-inch Smith & Wesson Model 19 & 66 revolvers. So, if you have any info, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org I’d appreciate it.