Man, that takes me back !
1980 - young L.E.O. just out of college and first job.
Model 65 /.357 fixed sights, basic police gun.
Was used when I was issued it...but what a sweetheart it was.
Several years later, transferred to larger Dept. and was issued a Model 66 (no dash)
The grand-pappy of all these big boy 6 series guns (IMHO)
Bet I ran over 10k thru that beast in as many years, never let me down.
Wore that 66 many a day in the rain, snow and wrestling on the ground with some misguided individuals.
In the early days the state of NC let us qualify with .38 wad cutters (You know...nice little round holes in the target)
Later they required that you had to qualify with the duty ammo that you agency carried.
For you that have done it, you know why the call them smoke wagons.
Night time qualification was a "Hoot"
Line up 20 shooters and all let go with 3 rounds at 15 feet....at night, now that's a show of flames and smoke.
Was fortunate that when we followed the trend to go to Beretta model 92/9mm, we where allowed to buy our
model 66 for the trade in allowance. Should have bought 5. (but, young and broke with a family, ruled the day).
Never did warm up to the 92f/9mm. Just didn't have the soul that the 66 had.
Later switched to the Glock 9mm and retired with the Glock .40
Glock .40 was and is an outstanding duty weapon and still would stake my bacon on it now.
But nothing compares to "Polished Stainless Steel and Black Patton Leather Holsters"
a double pack of speed loaders and of course those shinny "go to prom shoes".
I still have that Smith and Wesson 66, and like most of us, I own a few "smoke wagons"
but none like that one. By far and wide my favorite pistol, I have a soft spot in my heart for her.
Still bring her out for the occasional trip around town.
I think she enjoys it......I know I do.