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Old December 26, 2012, 10:22 AM   #26
drail
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Join Date: February 2, 2008
Posts: 3,150
They definitely had some problems when they changed the manufacturing process (and still are having problems) but most of the ones I have handled were good. The barrel constriction seemed to range from barely measurable to "you gotta be kidding". If considering a used 696 make certain to look at the bore and the forcing cone VERY carefully. They are without a doubt kind of picky about what type of bullet is used. Most will fire jacketed bullets with no problem. I shoot almost nothing but cast bullets so I guess I got lucky. I do consider the 696 to be one of S&W's better ideas. But by 96 everyone was switching to alloy/polymer 9mm guns.
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