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Old November 21, 2020, 09:24 PM   #1
dahermit
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A not ideal for anything gun

I have a S&W 696 (.44 Special), three-inch barrel that is apparently not ideal for anything. It is too heavy for comfortable concealed carry (unless you want it to pull your pants down) and being an L frame instead of an N frame, it only holds five rounds. The three-inch barrel is too short for hunting (at least 4 inch for hunting, 6 inch being better).

That begs the question: Just why did I buy it then?

I bought it because it is a drop-dead gorgeous fun to have, shoot and own gun. Not all guns need to have any purpose other than to be a fun gun.


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Old November 21, 2020, 09:29 PM   #2
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It has never seen a factory round...just my cast bullet handloads.
Big, heavy RCBS Keith-Type semi-wadcutters, powder coated in Red. Each weighing about 250 grains.
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Old November 21, 2020, 11:25 PM   #3
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Beautiful furniture.
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Old November 21, 2020, 11:48 PM   #4
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Very good looking gun.
Nothing says it has to be 2020 King of 2 Miles or anything else.
Really nice gun.
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Old November 21, 2020, 11:50 PM   #5
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Absolutely!!!

Almost all of the guns I own are for the fun of shooting them. If I only kept my hunting and carry guns I'd have to lose 2/3rds of what I own.

It's a hobby much like any thing else that is a hobby.

And, if you ever go fishing or hiking in the north country . . . you have the perfect gun to bring along.

Life is good.
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Old November 22, 2020, 12:02 AM   #6
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I have a Beretta 92G Elite II that has been customized. It's not really suitable for self-defense since the trigger mod that is designed to optimize the SA pull renders the DA pull unreliable. At the same time, it's not quite a competition gun either.

It's just the way I wanted it to be even if it's not really that useful. It is a lot of fun at the range.

I've posted pictures of it many times here.

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Old November 22, 2020, 12:03 AM   #7
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44 Special is just fine!
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Old November 22, 2020, 09:36 AM   #8
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So, you are wrong-----It is Ideal to have fun with.............I got a bunch like that. Enjoy it..
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Old November 22, 2020, 04:35 PM   #9
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That .44 would make a fine nightstand gun.
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Old November 22, 2020, 06:48 PM   #10
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If it makes you smile, then it's ideal for that purpose and needs no other justification.
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Old November 22, 2020, 06:53 PM   #11
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Nice gun, dahermit. Now, if it only was blued and had a hammer spur.....

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Old November 22, 2020, 07:12 PM   #12
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I have a Lipseys 696 as well. Nice gun, just wish they hadnt Mag Na Ported it.

A cylinder or two of LSWC's and you cant see the front sight. Shoots well when you can see it though.

Figured out plated or jacketed bullets are the better choice, and it takes a lot longer for the front sight to foul.
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Old November 22, 2020, 07:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
That begs the question: Just why did I buy it then?
I bought mine about twenty years ago for mostly the same reason you apparently did, having a "drop dead gorgeous" revolver for self-defense use. But, over time, I began entertaining the same reservations about the gun you expressed when comparing its "practicality" with other options, mainly the Smith Model 686 Plus with a 4" barrel a good friend owned. He lusted after my Model 696 and so, in March of 2002, we traded even up.

Though, sadly, he passed several years ago, my guess is if he still owned it, the Model 696 would be worth considerably more to collectors than the Model 686 does, everything else being equal. Though I believe that both revolvers are equally nice looking (aside from the size of the holes, they pretty much look the same), I also think that the 686 is arguably (and, no, I don't want to argue about it) a better choice for self-defense; for the same size and weight it offers two more shots with a cartridge that takes a back seat to no-one when it comes to "stopping" power.

As much as I'd like to have the Model 696 back to keep my Model 686 company, I'd gladly give them both away and every gun I own to have my friend back.
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Old November 24, 2020, 12:13 PM   #14
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Those grips are a pretty as they are impractical. Nice to look at, but way too slippery to be of use it it were a carry gun (but plenty good enough to be a fun gun).

If I were to carry that gun as my cealed carry gun, I would most certainly replace those slipper grips with with rubber Hogue.
https://www.hogueinc.com/grips/grips...ip-black-black
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Old November 24, 2020, 01:18 PM   #15
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"...why did I buy it..." Big kids don't have to justify buying anything. "I want it." is a reason.
"...4 inch for hunting..." That your rule or some daft unelected civil servants? Difference in velocity between a 3 and 4 inch with a 200 grain bullet is less than 100 FPS. No game would notice. Mind you, an "N" frame is a big fellow.
http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/44special.html
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Old November 24, 2020, 01:42 PM   #16
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The most important purpose is to cause your friends at the range, hiking in the woods or hunting great envy. It should be carried in an attractive holster in a sturdy gun belt outside your pants so that gorgeous grip is displayed. Replacing those grips with black rubber would be like camo dipping a fine English over and under shotgun- heresy.

.44 Special is a cartridge for the connoisseur. Those who understand understand, those that don’t haven’t experienced big bore yet. It roars, not barks.
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Old November 24, 2020, 02:19 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by stinkeypete View Post
The most important purpose is to cause your friends at the range, hiking in the woods or hunting great envy. It should be carried in an attractive holster in a sturdy gun belt outside your pants so that gorgeous grip is displayed. Replacing those grips with black rubber would be like camo dipping a fine English over and under shotgun- heresy.

.44 Special is a cartridge for the connoisseur. Those who understand understand, those that don’t haven’t experienced big bore yet. It roars, not barks.
Back years ago in the late seventies, .44 Specials were very rare. At that time, I had a Smith & Wesson M28 "Highway Patrolman" converted to .44 by Snap's gun Shop in Claire Michigan. It was my favorite woods (Pere Marquette River wooded swamp by Scottville, MI) gun. I think I sold it et. al., to finance grad school and have missed it ever since.

So, I know what you are talking about when you say that ".44 Special is a cartridge for the connoisseur.".
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Old November 24, 2020, 02:22 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by T. O'Heir View Post
"...why did I buy it..." Big kids don't have to justify buying anything. "I want it." is a reason.
"...4 inch for hunting..." That your rule or some daft unelected civil servants? Difference in velocity between a 3 and 4 inch with a 200 grain bullet is less than 100 FPS. No game would notice. Mind you, an "N" frame is a big fellow.
http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/44special.html
I used heavy (240-250 Kieth type) bullets in it. I was not so much concerned about the length of the barrel (3 vs. 4inch), relative to velocity, but for the length of the sighting radius on a hunting gun. Three inch seems appropriate to me for a defense gun, inasmuch as I suspect that if I were to use a gun for self-defence, the perpetrator would likely be very close as opposed to a deer. With deer hunting, I have found that I usually have ample time to align the sights for a shot and want the precision of at least four inch sighting radius, but would prefer six. Three inch seems like an feature relative to ease of carry, and rapidity of presentation during a critical event, not a element of precision shooting as in hunting. But in all, it is my own take on things.

Last edited by dahermit; November 24, 2020 at 02:31 PM.
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Old November 24, 2020, 08:28 PM   #19
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I think it’s a gorgeous piece... short walks, better yet a chest holster for hiking... things come through our life that may not have any apparent value... yet, if it brings a smile to you, it’s justified. Show it some love, take it for a walk... life is too short to carry ugly firearms!
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Old November 24, 2020, 08:55 PM   #20
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Welcome to The Firing Line, Olive. Where is Canton located?
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Old November 25, 2020, 12:08 PM   #21
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dahermit,

Did you bob (DAO) that hammer? Who ever did intended to carry that gun, probably concealed. Also they understood a defensive DA revolver should be thought of and utilized DAO.

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Old November 25, 2020, 06:23 PM   #22
dahermit
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Originally Posted by Dave T View Post
dahermit,

Did you bob (DAO) that hammer? Who ever did intended to carry that gun, probably concealed. Also they understood a defensive DA revolver should be thought of and utilized DAO.

Dave
Along with a double-action trigger job, I bobbed that hammer. When I first bought the gun, I considered it to be a carry gun. However, as an oldster, it became apparent that it was too heavy for me to use it in that fashion. Nevertheless, I rarely (only for sandbag supported testing of loads) shoot single action.
It has been my observation that there are many people who own double-action Smiths who never shoot them enough (practice) in double-action to achieve any meaningful skill in their use...try it a few times then give up on it.
Of the three deer I have taken with revolvers, one killed with a S&W M58 (double action), one killed with a 6" inch S&W M657 (double-action) and one with a Ruger 5" .45 Colt Blackhawk (single action of course).
As for defensive shooting with a double-action revolver, I too believe that single-action has very little utility in a defensive situation...and being as practiced as I am (96 rounds double action every day, seven days a week until the primers ran out last Spring) with double-action, I do not see that need for single action...even in the unlikely scenarios some fantasize about, that they think would require a single action shot.
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Old November 26, 2020, 12:45 PM   #23
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That is a perfect kit gun for dangerous game territory, compact enough to be plopped into a fishing tackle box without getting in the way. So it IS perfect for something, even while it's perfect to just make you smile.
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Old November 26, 2020, 03:38 PM   #24
dahermit
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Originally Posted by armoredman View Post
That is a perfect kit gun for dangerous game territory, compact enough to be plopped into a fishing tackle box without getting in the way. So it IS perfect for something, even while it's perfect to just make you smile.
While it does make me smile, a .44 magnum, not .44 Special, with six shots, not five, would be a "more perfect" gun in dangerous game territory given that the only two "dangerous game" I know of are Brown Bears and Mountain Lions. While .44 Special is likely o.k. for Mountain Lions, six shots would be better.
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Old November 27, 2020, 12:48 PM   #25
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Get yourself a dedicated gun belt and you can solve at least one of your "problems" with that gun.

Otherwise, it's a beautiful gun. Everyone needs a .44 mag. They are a hell of a lot of fun to shoot, at least for a bit.
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