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1. Request an owner's manual from Smith and Wesson.

2. The owners manual no longer contains disassembly instructions, probably because of liability reasons. Nor is a parts list and exploded diagram packed with the weapon as it used to be.

It is interesting that in the past, before 1990, a small screwdriver that fit both the side plate screws and grip screw was packed with most revolvers from Smith and Wesson. These were not just for adjusting sights as they were packed with fixed sight revolvers.

A Smith and Wesson model 66-4 is a .357 magnum 6 shot K frame revolver of stainless steel construction. The -4 means fourth change.

The Smith and Wesson J, K, L and N frame revolvers share the same basic procedure for disassembly and reassembly.

To disassemble the revolver, first remove the grip screw from the left side of the revolver as the revolver barrel faces to the left.

When the grips are removed the side plate will be fully visible.

Remove the screws from the side plate.

To remove the side plate, hold the revolver to the horizontal position with the side plate facing down. Do not pry off the side plate as that will damage the side plate fit.

Sharply rap the now exposed grip frame with a wood or plastic hammer until the side plate loosens. Continue to rap, and the side plate will fall off along with the hammer block, so be sure it falls on a padded surface.

At this point most internal parts will be visible and accessible.

The cylinder can be removed by sliding the cylinder crane to the left and out of the frame, while holding the cylinder in place.

The cylinder will now be free.

Removal of the extractor rod and extractor will not be described here, but the extractor rod is threaded in reverse to prevent loosening while operating. Caution: The extractor rod assembly is very often damaged in attempts to unscrew it. Also, it is necessary to support the extractor while unscrewing the extractor rod.

To reassemble the revolver, do the above in reverse, making sure the hammer block has been replaced and the side plate seats correctly.

You can tap on the side plate with a wood or plastic tool to seat it properly.

Replace the cylinder crane and cylinder. Be sure the correct screw is used to hold the cylinder crane to the frame.

Replace the remaining side plate screws in the correct place along with the grips and grip screw.

Holding back the hammer slightly, or with the hammer cocked, look in the gap between the hammer and frame to be sure the hammer block has been replaced. If not the side plate must be removed again and the hammer block must be added.

A word of caution here: before making alterations or repairs know exactly what you are doing. Revolvers are delicate and expensive machinery.

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Q: How do you disassemble a Smith Wesson model 66-4?
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