While a .44 cal. cylinder could be fit into the GP frame the barrel is the problem. Sticking a barrel with a bore that big through the GP frame leaves no room for a normal sized forcing cone, which is the weak point on a 696. On an SP frame, forget about it. I don't believe that Ruger will build a big bore revolver with a forcing cone that is that thin and fragile. S&W found out that consumers, for the most part, are not really too intelligent and will try to run extreme loads in their guns. I have seen 696s with cracked and flared forcing cones from owners trying to make a .44 Magnum out of it. Ruger builds guns that have special load data in most manuals. (for Ruger only). If you want to shoot a bullet that large you have to design the frame around it or else you will have to compromise on strength and service life. And the stupid people will return them to your service department after they tear them up. I wouldn't offer any kind of warranty on a proposition like that. Taurus and Rossi built some medium frame .44 Spl. 5 shot revolvers. Look around, they're out there. It is a shame because the .44 Spl. is one of the best self defense rounds we have ever come up with.
Last edited by drail; December 28, 2012 at 12:09 PM.