Current production has a 4.25 inch barrel and looks to be free of the forcing-cone 'flat' or notch that is said to have caused problems with cracking on the older models.
Sad to say though - it does have the new S&W "Safety Lock" above the cylinder release that many on-line folk say you should remove asap.
The older gun - that was said to be liable to "frame-stretch" if fed a diet of hot .357 Magnum rounds - was a pretty gun and they were well-liked - but retailers here know how popular they are and charge a premium sale price.
Earlier Model 66-1
That is so pretty - you can just make-out the flat on the bottom of the forcing cone.
- So here's the choice here in NZ - buy the good-looking used older model at a premium price if you find one - or try for current production that may be a little tougher but will come with the disliked "safety lock".
Life's never easy eh. - Still most normal folk (with an IQ above 60 anyway!) will know to save powder by shooting .38 ammo on targets (or soft-loaded .357 cases) and won't have issues with stretching the frames at all. - 'Zombie-fighting Boom-freaks' don't need to be worried-about - as they'll blaze away at the dirt and their bulged cracked tools don't count for anything much.