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Old December 19, 2012, 01:13 PM   #1
smee78
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S&w 696-1 44 spl

Some days you just walk into them,

So I was out running down my "honey do" list and it brought me near a gun store that I stop into from time to time and I thought why not just for a minute, it was busy, busy, busy and there was even a local TV station there doing some filming in the back when I walked in but I made my way along the counter (staying clear of the video guy) and saw a gun sitting in the back of the case I was looking into and could not see the tag well because it was covered by another gun, I saw it was a 44 something and it was pre lock so I asked to see it. Man was I surprised to see it was a 44spl 696-1, it looked like someone carried this one often, not bead up but it has been used, already a long story, I got it on law-a-way (did not plan on getting a gun today) for $625 OTD. I know its not a bad price but how did I do? I will post pics when its out of law-a-way, if you have pics of yours I would love to see them. Also what is your favorite pet load for yours? Thanks everyone.
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Old December 19, 2012, 02:15 PM   #2
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Very nice haul....
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Old December 19, 2012, 02:24 PM   #3
smee78
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Thanks Nanuk,

This was one of my dream Smith's that I thought I would never get.
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Old December 19, 2012, 03:52 PM   #4
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Excellent find. At that price you did VERY well. That is a much sought after gun.
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Old December 19, 2012, 05:15 PM   #5
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Excellent deal, Smee!!! BTW, what did you say the GPS coordinates of your house were? And the combination to that gun safe? Surely you remember that you asked me to drop in on that 696 occasionally, just to make sure it's all right.... LOL As for loads, the wife likes either Silvertips or GDHP's in her Taurus 431's. I never feel unprotected when she's around.
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Old December 19, 2012, 06:00 PM   #6
smee78
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Thanks everyone, I reload so I wont be buying very much factory ammo but may pick up some personal defence ammo. The 696 will be in good company with a S&W 296 & Rossi 720 in the safe with it.
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Old December 19, 2012, 06:49 PM   #7
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696s are sweet you got a great deal. IMHO they're such a awesome gun any reasonable price is a good deal. I love good old unique for my big bores. I load 7.0 under 200gr lead RNFP or 200gr nosler JHPs and have Georgia-arms golddots for carry. I'm looking at either getting a 200gr full wadcutter or a short button 215gr SWC for a general purpose woods target load.
here's my 696
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Old December 19, 2012, 06:56 PM   #8
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Mavracer that looks great, I will also be putting a set of Ahrends on mine.
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Old December 20, 2012, 05:40 AM   #9
oldhunter
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Purchased my 696 close to 15 years ago for $395 in 98% condition. Bought and sold several revolvers & pistols since then but the 696 remains my favorite handgun. Very accurate, comfortable to shoot and I love that big hole at the muzzle. Practice ammo is currently PMC 240 gr LFP but shoot most quality ammo on sale. Carry ammo is Hornady 180 gr JHP XTP and always shoot a couple cylinders of these at practice sessions. Although the 696 is heavier than most carry guns, I still carry this a lot once the weather changes in Western NY and coats are necessary. This will never be sold in my lifetime!

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Old December 20, 2012, 09:07 AM   #10
drail
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Been carrying a 696 daily since they first hit the shelves. Do not subject it to any kind of +P heavy loads and avoid light bullet high velocity loads. The forcing cone is very thin and won't tolerate much high velocity stuff. If you trash the barrel there are no more available and S&W isn't going to make any more. A 200 to 215 gr. bullet moving at 850 to 900 fps is perfect in this gun and easy to achieve in a 3 in. bbl. Almost identical ballistically to the .45 ACP. I use the Speer 200 gr. Gold Dot over 7 to 7.5 gr. Unique. The rifling is a type of polygonal rifling and will be not stabilize some cast bullets. The 215 gr. cast SWC that is offered by a lot of casters works very well if it is sized at .430. It is a great carry gun. You is a lucky man.

Last edited by drail; December 20, 2012 at 09:20 AM.
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Old December 20, 2012, 09:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
...The rifling is a type of polygonal rifling...
Can anyone confirm this?
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Old December 20, 2012, 10:18 AM   #12
Tom Servo
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Quote:
$625 OTD
Holy cow. Those were routinely running ~$1000 for several years.

I had one. It was a great shooter, but it did seem to prefer the lighter (185-200gr) loads.
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Old December 20, 2012, 12:20 PM   #13
drail
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Just look at one. S&W started using this "modified polygonal" rifling about 1996 to 1997. At least in certain models. It's not like the rifling in a Glock barrel but it is not cut rifling in the traditional sense. It looks like it was formed around a mandrel. The walls between the grooves are angled, not perpendicular to the lands. They refer to it as "polygonal". There have been several articles published about how the rifling will not stabilize a cast slug unless it is a fairly tight fit. Mine seems to work well with cast and jacketed slugs.
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Old December 20, 2012, 01:25 PM   #14
Nasty
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My 686 is *not* polygon.

7.2 gr Unique/200 gr SWC hard cast.

*Sweet* shooter and *my* woods gun.
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Old December 22, 2012, 08:11 PM   #15
smee78
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For thoes of you that carry there 696 what holster are you using?
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Old December 23, 2012, 09:38 AM   #16
drail
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Any holster made for a 3 in. 686 .357 will fit a 696 perfectly. They made a lot of holsters for those guns.
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Old December 23, 2012, 09:40 AM   #17
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I have a Blackhawk charles askens leather holster for mine
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Quote:
originally posted my Mike Irwin
My handguns are are for one purpose only, though...
The starter gun on the "Fat man's mad dash tactical retreat."
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Old December 23, 2012, 11:59 AM   #18
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Mavracer that looks great, I will also be putting a set of Ahrends on mine.
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Kim Ahrends makes the best S&W stocks in the world. My favorite is the ones he made for the "Thunder Ranch" S&Ws. Everything you need and nothing you don't.
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Old December 23, 2012, 10:15 PM   #19
mavracer
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Thanks, The great thing about Ahrends is while they look great, they feel even better.
I'd be hard pressed to say that they're any better than Badgers though. I have a couple sets of each and it just depends on the gun.
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rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6
Quote:
originally posted my Mike Irwin
My handguns are are for one purpose only, though...
The starter gun on the "Fat man's mad dash tactical retreat."
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Old December 25, 2012, 07:39 PM   #20
smee78
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I've never used Badgers but I will admit I love the Ahrends, I believe I'm up to 5 sets?
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Old December 25, 2012, 08:00 PM   #21
warningshot
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Oh yaah...well, I...I...I, I found a...a...a, a great deal on...on...a on a wechama-callit. Seriously, I'm happy for you. But maybe just a little bit jealous too.

Any .44 Special Reloader types out 'thar' ever trim a .44 Magnum case down to .44 Special diamentions?
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Old December 25, 2012, 10:42 PM   #22
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Quote:
The rifling is a type of polygonal rifling and will be not stabilize some cast bullets.
I was not aware of this, mine is a 696 ND and has a standard 5 groove rifling.
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Old December 25, 2012, 11:09 PM   #23
drail
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Look very carefully at your bore. Or better yet at a recovered bullet fired from your gun. The rifling used is not standard button cut rifling. I also have a 696 ND and every other one I have seen has this type of rifling. I do not know how many other models they used it on or why. S&W changed a large number of manufacturing operations and bought new CNC mills right before the 696s were introduced. The extractor is completely different also. Every one of these guns I have seen also shows a very slight bore constriction right where the barrel is threaded into the frame which causes bullets to get "sized down" slightly as they pass through. Some owners have complained about accuracy problems with some bullets due to this and sent them back to S&W and had them fixed. Mine shows the constriction but accuracy is fine on mine with my handloads and cast bullets. Both the new rifling process, the new extractor design, and the bore constriction were well documented in the gun mags when the 696 was first introduced. I have trimmed .44 Mag cases down to Spl. length but can see no difference between them and modern made Spl. cases. I think they are the same case except for length.

Last edited by drail; December 25, 2012 at 11:22 PM.
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Old December 26, 2012, 12:15 AM   #24
warningshot
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Darn Drail,

Now that is some good information. Well done.

I was around back then but I missed any and all polygonal rifling issues regarding S&W Revolvers. (Sometimes I read with just one eye open.) Is it the barrel or is it the forcing cone that is polygonal? If true, then first, the shooter will get better performance than from a traditional revolver; and secondly, wouldn't there be some kind of warning or disclamier about using cast bullets with a polygonal design? Something akin to the Glock Factory warnings about not using cast bullets in their barrels.

Did I just use that word in a discussion about Smith & Wesson Revolvers? Shame on me. Shame, shame shame.
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Old December 26, 2012, 07:35 AM   #25
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I got one of the bad 696's when they first came out.

I thought it was a by-product of the chemical rifling process they were trying, or a forcing cone issue - but it was the least accurate Smith and Wesson revolver I've ever owned. And would lead up horribly. It's possible that in reality it was the afore-mentioned barrel constriction. Sent it back to S&W, who re-cut the crown.

Can't remember if it fixed the accuracy or not. I was relieved to get my money back out of it and am now amazed at the current popularity of these things on the Internet.

Smith needs to re-issue this. Fantastic concept that was poorly implemented.
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