A LOOK BACK AT THE K-FRAME REVOLVER
Smith & Wesson introduced the K-frame revolver back in 1899, specifically for its new .38 S&W Special cartridge, more familiar to us today as simply the .38 Special. The company’s Model 10 in that caliber was used widely by police departments for three-quarters of the last century. It seemed to be just the right size for a revolver firing that cartridge.
In the late 1950s, S&W introduced the Model 19, a K-frame revolver in .357 Magnum. To that point, the .357 Magnum had only been offered in the company’s large N-frame revolvers.
The Model 19 was a powerful gun in a handy size. The Model 66 came along in 1970 as a stainless steel version of it. Both the Models 19 and 66 were over-shadowed by the slightly larger L-frame series guns, such as the Model 686 that were in introduced in 1981 and were deemed more durable for service revolvers. With the adoption of semi-auto pistols by many law enforcement agencies in the 1980s and 90s, the popularity of mid-sized revolvers was greatly diminished. Production on the Model 66 came to an end in 2005 until S&W announced its return in 2014 with 4.25-inch version and then more recently with this 2.75-inch version.
The great thing about a K-frame revolver is that there are a lot of good, old holsters floating around. The author found this $10 leather belt holster in a bargain bin at a local gun shop.