The GP frame is not big enough. Even if they built it it wouldn't be any stronger than the L frame 696. Lay a GP next to a 696 and see how close they are dimensionally. The reason large frame .44 revolvers use a large frame is to end up with enough frame to wrap around that larger barrel shank and to allow a larger (stronger) cylinder to fit into the frame window. The barrel's forcing cone is the weak point on the 696. If you want to shoot real .44 Mag loads you need a large frame. The whole "let's make it as small and light as we can" concept has practical limits no matter how popular they are. We have begun to exceed these limits at this point in time. The first time I heard about an alloy .44 Mag snub I had to laugh. I can still remember when the first S&W N frame .44 mags hit the market. After about six months you could find them used in gunshops all over the country having been fired maybe 12 to 18 rounds (they would throw in the original box of ammo the previous owner couldn't finish off). Light guns are for carrying a lot and shooting a little. Big heavy steel guns are for shooting. You can't have it both ways.
Last edited by drail; December 24, 2012 at 11:17 PM.