View Full Version : difference between S&W model 19 (or 66) and 27

07-23-2009, 7:28 AM
I know that the 27 is the "N" frame and the 19 is the "K" frame, but beyond that is the 19 (or 66) as nice a weapon as the 27? Is the internal finish work as immaculate, overall? I'm looking for the finest .357 S&W has made, are they equal but in different sizes?
Thanks for your input and opinions.

07-23-2009, 8:11 AM
If I were to pick the best 357 made by Smith it would be a prewar Registered Magnum, which is basically the 1930's version of the Model 27. I think you can do very well though with the Model 27 made anywhere from the late 50's to the 70's - they all have checkered topstraps, excellent finish and usually target hammer, trigger, sights and stocks. Up to the 27-2 the barrels were pinned and chambers countersunk, nice touch.

I think the 27 is a better gun for the 357 than the K framed 19 or 66 if you are going to often use full bore 357 Magnum loads, it's simply a larger and stronger frame. I have a 66 and a 6" nickel 27 and like them both, the 27 is definitely the nicer of the two. I have a 6" Model 14 - basically the 38 Special version of the 19 - and it's very nice and probably more accurate than the 27 or 19, but obviously doesn't handle the 357.

Internally, I think that's determined by when they were manufactured and not the model. A 1930s Smith is very smooth, the 50 to late 60's are fine also. The 70s - 80s can be very, very rough but can be cleaned up nicely with stones and "wetndry" paper.

Don't forget the L framed Smith 357s. I think a pretty good case can be made that the blued steel L frames are at least as good as the 19/66.

B Strong
07-23-2009, 8:19 AM
Other than the frame size, the 27 has a better finish and a checkered top rib on the barrel and frame top.

The registered magnums and older pre-27 were the slickest imo. The later versions were subject to cost-cutting mosifications like all Smiths.

07-23-2009, 9:16 AM
S&W has made a number of excellent .357 models. I own the 27, 19, 66 and 686, in multiples, and think they are all good, but different. As for which is the "finest", I think that depends on what you plan to do with it.

If you want a heavy, durable shooter to handle hot loads, the 27 is probably best because of its large size and excellent trigger. The L frames like the 686 are close to the 27, but slightly smaller in size and weight. They make good range or field guns, but are rather large for concealed carry.

The K frames like the 19 and 66 are best for carry, but should be protected from firing the hottest loads. I use .38s most of the time in shooting my 19s and 66s.

movie zombie
07-23-2009, 9:44 AM
i have the 19 and 66....the 686 frame is too big for my hand. i wasn't looking for "finest" as much as what i would shoot the most often.


07-23-2009, 1:10 PM
I owned a nickel model 19 (2.5 inch barrel) and found that it could be tough with full magnum loads (125 gr JHP's). I had a 686 also and found that it was much more comfortable with full magnums.