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View Poll Results: S&W 69, L frame 5 shoot 44 mag
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Old January 27, 2014, 03:52 PM   #1
Ozzieman
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S&W 69, L frame 5 shot 44 mag

Anyone see the new S&W 69, L frame 5 shot 44 mag at the shot show?
Wish it didn’t have a lock and had a full lug but I will buy one.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gs8wGQ3cnvw
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Old January 27, 2014, 03:53 PM   #2
Noreaster
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Id prefer a 5 inch barrel but I like. In my State, while hunting, we're only allowed to load 5 cylinders.
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Old January 27, 2014, 03:54 PM   #3
Ozzieman
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I would like a 3 inch
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Old January 27, 2014, 04:02 PM   #4
Hal
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Quote:
I would like a 3 inch
+1
or even a 2.5".

I've always wanted a S&W version of the Charter Arms Bulldog.
Having magnum capability is just a plus.
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Old January 27, 2014, 04:59 PM   #5
WESHOOT2
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I predict warranty service backlog

Too much cartridge in too little gun.
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Old January 27, 2014, 06:31 PM   #6
Colt46
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They tried the .44 special in the L-frame

Wasn't a raging success(the few that have them love them) commercially. The forcing cone was a weak point. I hope smith learned from that enterprise and made the critical parts beefier.
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Old January 27, 2014, 08:19 PM   #7
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I'm holding out for a 2-3" snubby but I like the idea. I want one in .45acp too.
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Old January 28, 2014, 02:48 AM   #8
Elerius
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This is actually the only gun I was interested in from the Shot Show. I already have a 5.5" blue Ruger Redhawk in .44 Mag and wanted to balance it with a stainless S&W 44 but the only option was a variation on the M29, until this. I like the barrel length but I wouldn't be carrying it and I think the L-frame will fit the hand better. Haven't seen one in person (don't know if they're even available yet) so I will reserve judgment.

As for the lock, I don't buy Smiths when there are earlier pre-lock versions available just on principle, but in this case where it is brand new and there aren't older versions to be had, I don't think I'll mind since I'm not carrying. I do like the half lug, very M66-ish which I'm partial to
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Old January 28, 2014, 10:43 AM   #9
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Just like my Mountain Lite only in stainless.

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Old January 28, 2014, 12:37 PM   #10
Tom Servo
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We'll see how they hold up. I had a 696, and there were two concerns running hot ammunition through it. The first was the razor-thin forcing cone. The second is the fact that the chambers are bored very close together.
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Old January 28, 2014, 03:19 PM   #11
Bob Wright
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This, in my opinion, is the ultimate .44 Magnum DA revolver:




Five inch, full lug, Model 29, BLUED STEEL.

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Old January 28, 2014, 04:32 PM   #12
Ozzieman
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I totally agree Bob. Never seen one in real life but the full lug makes the gun look smaller but man that is nice looking.
I wish mine were blued instead of shiny.
One comment I will make on the 69. I will NEVER NOT ONCE EVER shoot magnums in the gun.
Now if Ruger would get off their buts and build a 44 special in the SP101,,,,,,,
Attached Images
File Type: jpg I agree Tom.jpg (220.0 KB, 36 views)
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Old January 28, 2014, 04:40 PM   #13
bigghoss
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Quote:
Now if Ruger would get off their buts and build a 44 special in the SP101
Not sure that would work. On the GP100 frame would work.
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Old January 28, 2014, 05:54 PM   #14
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I held one at the shot show and it felt good. I'd rather have one that will last so I got the Ruger Alaskan this week.
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Old January 28, 2014, 10:31 PM   #15
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I became very interested in this gun as soon as I learned of it. While the 29/629 series are excellent guns, (I've owned one of each) the "N" frame grip just doesn't work with my hand size. The "L" frame does. I have already made inquiries at two shops to order one with no success. I foresee loading up 240-250 grain LSWC at 900-1000 FPS as my working load.
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Old January 28, 2014, 11:30 PM   #16
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if you can do THIS

Quote:
240-250 grain LSWC at 900-1000 FPS as my working load

THIS; this will work.

But if your load might make a 29's cylinder rotate backward, then this ain't the right gun
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Old January 29, 2014, 05:18 AM   #17
BOI
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If they make one with a 3 inch barrel and it is mine. I like the idea of a ruger gp100 in 44 mag also. Hope the people at S&W and ruger are listening.
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Old January 29, 2014, 08:16 AM   #18
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an expensive make over of a Charter Arms Bulldog.
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Old January 29, 2014, 05:38 PM   #19
P5 Guy
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How does the forcing cone stand up to Magnum loads?
The last 44 in an 'L' frame had forcing cone concerns.
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Old January 29, 2014, 07:30 PM   #20
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I'm good with the barrel length - 4.25" seems about right. The show-stopper for me is that the barrel isn't fully lugged - like a 686. With 44 Mag, I would like the front weight.

Also, I'm sure this gun isn't meant to be fired extensively with hot rounds - just like the M66 - and for the same reason. I'm okay with that.
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Old January 29, 2014, 07:33 PM   #21
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Bob Wright: Your 44 Mag is a beauty. I'd be proud to have one of those in my arsenal.
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Old January 29, 2014, 08:27 PM   #22
Paul105
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First, this gun is a .44 Magnum (not .44 Special).

I have one. It’s great. Haven’t put a bunch of loads downrange, but have covered the spectrum – 240s at 730 fps and 325grs at 1,182 fps (and several in between) – all manageable but POI may be problematic.

Anyway, here are some photos, dimensions, loads, and personal observations. The long/thin barrel shank/forcing cone of the 696 .44 Special is evident in the picture below. By the way, has anyone ever seen, or have personal knowledge of a barrel shank/forcing cone failure in a 696 or 396 – not being argumentative, just curious?

629 Mtn Gun weighs 39 oz
M69 L Frame weighs 37 oz

Some M69 Dimensions:

OD of barrel shank is right at .620".

Frame window - height: 1.600"
Frame window - width: 1.820"

Cylinder - outside diameter: 1.560"

Cylinder - wall at narrowest: .600" (this was really hard to measure so it is definitely plus/minus)

Cylinder - length: 1.670"

(The cylinder is 1.670 inches and isn't recessed for cartridge rims -- a 1.712" handload fits, but is right at the face of the cylinder. Lymans No 49 edition shows OAL w their 425421 Keith Bullet is 1.710").

A .429 minus plug gauge will enter all throats a .430 plug will not.


HERE ARE SOME PICTURES:
.
M69 Barrel Shank/Forcing Cone area:
.

.
M696 Barrel Shank/Forcing Cone Area:
.

.
629 Mtn Gun Barrel Shank/Forcing Cone area:
.

.
Family Portrait - 629 Mtn Gun, M696, New M69:
.

.
Sorry about the "so-so" pictures -- light wasn't the best and I'm not the best photographer.

What a neat little package.

FIRST RANGE SESSION:

I was in a hurry, hands were cold, light going fast, and the wind was blowing, so I didn't get to do as much testing as I wanted to. Will get to it soon.

The loads were:

240gr SWC Lasercast (.431)seated to 1.500" OAL and crimped lightly over the front drive band. Multi-x Starline cases and Winchester WLP primers.

5.6gr of HP 38 (Vel: 739 fps)
10.6gr of HS6 (Vel: 1,035 fps)
9.4 gr of Longshot (Vel: 1,078 fps)

265gr SWCGC (429244) (.429) seated deep and crimped over the front drive band. Multi-x Starline cases and WLPs.

16.9gr A2400 (Vel: 1,142 fps)

When seated deep (as was done here), this load will run right at 1,200 fps from a 6" barrel.

Federal Factory 240gr JHP (No. 44A) Vel: 1,217 fps
(We chroned this load at 1,375 fps from a 7 1/2" Bisley Hunter.

.

.

.
Couple of observations:

For me, while very comfortable feeling, the grip panels that come with the gun aren't comfortable under heavy recoil (shouldn't be a problem in the field). I'll probably mount some of the S&W 500 Hogues for longer bench sessions to test heavier loads.

Looks like this gun was sighted in at the factory with .44 Special ammo.

The rear sight has some room to move the POI down, but may need a higher front sight.

I was real pleased with the limited test targets.

That Fed Factory load looks to have excellent accuracy potential.

Recoil with the 265gr SWCGC/16.9 A2400 and the 240gr Fed Factory load were the same and would not be abusive with proper fitting (to the individual) grips. We'll see what it's like with some 305s and 325s.


SECOND RANGE SESSION – CHRONOGRAPHING ONLY:

Load Data for REFERENCE ONLY -- NOT A RECOMMENDATION.

Replaced the factory grips with the Hogue 500s (see 629 photo above).

Didn't shoot any groups but ran some loads over the chronograph.

Chrono 5 long paces from muzzle and temp was about 45 deg f., 5 shots except for 240gr Fed Factory, and 325gr WLNGC (both 3 shots):

Bullet make, OAL, cases and primers shown above

240gr, 9.4gr Longshot, ... 1,078 fps avg, 18 fps ES.
240gr, 10.6gr HS6, ....... 1,035 fps avg, 24 fps ES.
265gr, 16.9gr A2400,...... 1,142 fps avg, 37 fps ES.
240gr, Federal Fact, ..... 1,216 fps avg, 12 fps ES


Load Data for REFERENCE ONLY -- NOT A RECOMMENDATION.

300gr WFNPB 1.651" OAL - LBT type - source unknown.
20.0gr H110.
Fed 155 (Mag)
New Top Brass (Scharch.com).
1,102 fps avg, 37 fps ES

310gr RNFPGC DC 1.605" OAL (top crimp grove) - LEE mold.
20.0gr H110.
Fed 155 (Mag)
New Top Brass (Scharch.com).
1,141 fps avg, 23 fps ES

325gr WLNGC 1.711" OAL - Beartooth Bullets.
22.0gr H110.
Fed 155 (Mag)
New Top Brass (Scharch.com).
1,182 fps avg, 13 fps ES (3 shots only)

Load Data for REFERENCE ONLY -- NOT A RECOMMENDATION.


The Hogue 500s worked great making this gun comfortable to shoot with the heavier loads. I have a problem with grips that are hard or narrow at the top (or both) -- recoil just hammers the bone at the base of my thumb -- the Hogue 500s pretty much solve this problem for me.

Didn't shot any targets, so can't comment on POI of the heavier bullets.

The 300s were not bad at all recoil wise -- but was noticeable and the 325gr/1,180fps was a bit more so. Certainly won’t shoot many of these.


THIRD RANGE SESSION – JUST SHOOTING:

Yesterday, I shot 65 rounds of 6.0gr Win Super Target under the 240gr Lasercast (seated to 1.510 OAL) in Starline cases and lit by Win Large Pistol primers. What a pleasant load – probably running 850 fps or a bit more. Didn’t shoot on paper or chronograph – will do that another day.

CONCLUSION:

Fitted with the Hogue 500s, FOR ME, it is comfortable to shoot with any and all loads likely to be used. Again, FOR ME, it is the ideal handgun - reasonable weight, portable size, good balance, good accuracy (so far), and sufficient caliber.

I plan on both shooting and carrying this gun a lot, and won’t baby it. Will find out how well it holds up over time.

Hope this gives a bit better picture of what the new S&W M69 is or might be.

FWIW,

Paul
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Old January 29, 2014, 11:20 PM   #23
Nick_C_S
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Thanks Paul. Lots of effort and information there. We appreciate it.
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Old January 30, 2014, 05:39 PM   #24
aarondhgraham
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Am I the only one who likes half lug frames?

Am I the only one who likes half lug frames?

I think the revolver is very pleasing to the eye just as it is.

Am I going out to buy one?,,,
Nope.

Would I toss it if someone gifted me one?,,,
Oh heck no!

Many people have fired my 629 and wished the frame were a bit smaller,,,
This new offering looks like it will fill that desire very nicely.

But why does the cylinder release look like a Taurus?

Aarond

.
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Old January 31, 2014, 09:41 AM   #25
Hal
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@ Paul - Awesome information!

My pet .44mag load is 17.3gr of A2400 under a Hornady .430" swaged lead SWCHP bullet using a standard LPP.

It shoots mild and I "guestimated" it's velocity at the high end of the 1100 something fps. out of my 4" barreled M29.
That load was actually worked up for my Winchester Trapper.
I'd used a big dose of Unique - but - that was too hot and blew by the base of the bullet and caused a lot of leading & the bullet to tumble.
The 2400 burns slower and cooler and works very, very, very well.



Anyhow - I'm really wanting this gun (M69) now.
I'll have to check out the price for having the barrel cut back and the hammer bobbed.
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