New grips and no practice on the High Sheriff's Smith & Wesson Model 66 revolver at the NRA Police Championships
Albuquerque, New Mexico - Before heading off to lunch, we return to the sands and sun of New Mexico for the Guns of the High Sheriff. A continuing series, the Guns of the High Sheriff takes a close up look at the firearms used by Detective Charles "Chase" Blohm of the Shelby County Sheriff's Office in Memphis, Tennessee to win the title of High Sheriff at the 2012 NRA Police Shooting Championships in New Mexico.
Now up — a 4-inch Smith & Wesson Model 66 Revolver.
Fired in Match #7 of NRA National Police Shooting Championships, the Service Revolver Match, Chase managed a score 462-24X (out of a possible 480) with this Model 66.
"I usually shoot a friend's Model 14 4-inch for this match," said Blohm. "But we brought out this one for 2012. We call it the Sheriff's Office gun because a couple of different guys will fire it in the Championships. Myers (John D. Myers) got a 471 with it. Very accurate firearm."
The Smith & Wesson Model 66 is basically the same gun as a Smith & Wesson Model 19. The only real difference? The 66 has a smoother trigger and comes in stainless-steel (nickel or carbon plated on the 19).
A surprising revelation during our sit down with Chase was the amount of practice they put in with this gun — none. That prompted a quick survey of sorts among other competitors. Turns out that a slight majority of those at NPSC do the exact same thing. They practice, but they don't practice with each and every firearm they plan to shoot during the Championships. Apparently, practice with each piece is not required.
"As long as we can sight it in, we don't need to practice with a specific gun," Blohm explained. "The matches are pretty much the same, and sighting it in gets you there. As long as it's sighted, we can do the job."
A .357 magnum, the Smith & Wesson Model 66 started rolling off the conveyor belt up in Massachusetts back in 1970. Since then, we've seen this revolver pop onto the screen in movies like The Saint and Urban Justice as well as my favorite one hour festival known to the rest of the world as Magnum, p.i..
In a departure from the handgun theme that surrounds the National Police Shooting Championships, our next inside look will focus on shotguns. After that, we'll return to the revolvers and semi-automatics that dominate the competition.
Miss the High Sheriff's first two guns? Then go take a peek: