Smith 696

Smith 696

This is a discussion on Smith 696 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've been lusting for a new or used Smith 696, but they seem to be hard to find. Does anyone here have one ? Opinions ...

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Thread: Smith 696

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Geezer's Avatar
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    Smith 696

    I've been lusting for a new or used Smith 696, but they seem to be hard to find. Does anyone here have one ? Opinions ? They are a little bulky for normal carry, but they have that sexy 686 look. Any suggestions ?


  2. #2
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    I have one. I carry an N-Frame also, so the 696 is fine with me size wise. They are hard to find. I know where there is a LNIB one for sale for only $800.

    Maybe a Taurus Model 445XXX could be found cheaper? However they are also discontinued.

    -Scott-

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Oh Geezer we think too much alike brother.

    You don't have a whole lot of options. If you'll expand your net to include a gun chambered in .44 Magnum instead or look into .45 Long Colt as an alternative you'll have more luck.

    I am busy today so I don't have time at the moment to post what I found on the market while I was looking for such a gun, but I'll try to remember to do it later when I get home.

    What I wound up doing was purchasing a nice 629 (.44 Magnum) I found that has the "Classic" configuration, i.e. it has a full underlug bbl and looks like a 686.

    The barrel may be a bit long but I'm going to try it as it is, and there's a local gunsmith who will cut it down for me for about $110, not including any replacement sights.

    No it's not exactly what I was hunting for, but it foots the bill quite nicely anyway. I'll try to remember to post the alternatives I found out about later.

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Okay here we go:

    Essentially you do have some options but each and every one of them is a compromise.

    The closest thing is something like this:

    http://www.thunderranchinc.com/swtrr.htm

    This is an awesome gun. I finally met someone who has one. It's also $750 minimum and they're hard to find. The person I met paid 900 and wanted 1100. I'd take it if you gave it to me but I'd be afraid to carry it because it's something too special and pricey for a carry piece. I have this thing about not wanting to chafe up a nice gun. I'm sorry I just can't bring myself to do it!


    Okay then there's this:

    http://www.firearms.smith-wesson.com...sw_activeTab=1

    I have to admit this is pretty danged cool and it's a lot easier to carry, trust me it weighs NOTHING and feels amazing, but it too costs an arm and a leg, is hard to find, and that light weight makes follow shots more difficult. Still I sorta want one even now but not that badly.

    Okay this is the current production model of the gun I bought:

    http://www.firearms.smith-wesson.com...sw_activeTab=1

    It mimics the 696 in that it mimics the 686 somewhat. The downside is you may have to have the bbl cut down because this is as short as it comes. I personally have a pre lock model that's new to me that I am insanely happy with thus far. Yeah I kind of wish I could have found a dedicated .44 Special, but you know what, .44 Special is not very common. Being able to fire a common catridge has value and light .44 Magnum loads are oodles of fun even if not exactly suited for personal defense. In addition to being easier to shoot accurately than the Thunder Ranch and 396 models, it was also cheaper.

    I do see some 3" bbl model 629s on the site too but no merchant of death I talked to could order one.

    There is this:

    http://www.firearms.smith-wesson.com...sw_activeTab=1

    I've been told not to even think about firing any magnum load out of this puppy but apparently it handles .44 Special just fine. It too costs a war pension.

    Really what you're looking for does not exist in the new market, which is sad. I have another thread dedicated to the prospect the fighting revolver is dying and becoming some kind of niche platform, when it doesn't have to be. I also looked at offerings in .45 Long Colt, and found the new Ruger Alaskan loaded with .45 Long Colts could be an acceptable gun as well. Yeah I want one of those too...

    You're just going to have to look and compromise. I personally looked for such a gun for months and finally found something out of the blue that I think will work as long as I get a good holster for it. To be honest I think it's actually a better gun than what I was searching for.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Smiths site must be down links arent working for me and neither is just trying to goight to smithwesson.com

  6. #6
    Member Array George Hill's Avatar
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    I really enjoyed my 696. But I wanted a .44 Mag more.

  7. #7
    Former Member Array The Tourist's Avatar
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    After owning a dozen .357's and firing both handloads and commercial rounds over a period of about 20 years, I gave up and sold everything.

    If I needed a revolver in that genre' I would try to find the older Model 57 with the short barrel and fixed sights.

    There are many .357 loads that seem to be tailored more for hunting mid-sized game. They 'crack,' twist your wrist like a drill bit caught in a hole and set aflame enough unburned powder to look like a fiery beach ball.

    You might as well glue your own barrel shut with epoxy if you intend to fire swaged bullets.

    For defense, a .38 SPL is just as good (with proper loads) and lighter to carry. If you must make 'big holes' in a more traditional sized revolver, use any of the Smith 29 family. There are of course many other options in .454 and .475 cartridges.

    I still have my old 158 grain casting blocks. I don't see a future where shooting coyote sized game is an issue, but I can cast linotype bullets by the ton.

    Time moves on. The .38 Super was replaced by the .38-44, which in turn was replace by the .357 Magnum. Yeah, it killed big game, but any firearms student could have told you that a stiff amount of blackpowder fired in a Colt Walker was a significantly stronger load.

    A larger meplat actually transfers more energy into the target.

    I'm actually looking forward to Smith slimming down a workable 610; that might be my next revolver.

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Ah come on Tourist.

    Surely you of all people should appreciate what a .44 Magnum chambering means or even the diversity and appeal of .44 Special.

    I can understand from that perspective not liking the .357 caliber as the .44 is more diverse, but the fact is a .357 is a smaller gun that can still do a lot of things.

    I didn't buy the 629 to fire 240 grain magnum loads. I bought it to fire .44 Special.

    But it sure is nice to know I can walk into any place that sells ammunition and buy at least something that I can shoot. It lets you experience a lot of things from just one platform.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Geezer
    I've been lusting for a new or used Smith 696, but they seem to be hard to find. Does anyone here have one ? Opinions ? They are a little bulky for normal carry, but they have that sexy 686 look. Any suggestions ?
    What happened to the Ruger "Alaskan?"
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array KC135's Avatar
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    Have a 696-1 and like it. Also TRS 21, like it. Would not worry about mags out of a 329, mine shoots them fine, as does 629MG.
    Keep the shotgun handy!!

  11. #11
    Former Member Array The Tourist's Avatar
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    Euc,

    The Model 57 I metioned was a 3-inch, fixed sight .41 Magnum. It did not catch on because the loading for the cartridge at that time was not as broad as we produce for calibres now.

    That gun with a 1,000 fps 175 grain Silver Tip or Golden Saber would have gang bangers fleeing to Canada.

    But, as you elude, a properly loaded .44 SPL in a 396 would be a great answer to the problem, as well.

    When you build engines they say, "There's no substitute for cubic inches." I believe in that concept after loading tens (and now hundreds) of thousands of cartridges. You can do a lot of damage with a down loaded .44 Rem Mag, but there is a point of diminishing returns with .355 inch calibres. Even hot ones like the 9x23.

    If I took target grade linotype slugs of .401 on my shelf, and loaded cartridges down by Norma standards, you would have a better more efficient anti-personnel round than all but the .125-grain Federal .357, if it is still in production. My round would be a very close second, but it would have none of the Federal's negative characteristics.

    I always do the "what would you grab for?" debate in times like this. Darth Vader is chasing your puckered butt all over the theatre for you laughing at his asthma condition. You bust into the janitor's closet and find a SW Model 66 with hollow-points, and a Glock 20 loaded with 200 grain lino slugs at 1,200 fps. Since you don't want to drop your slushy cone, you can only pick one.

    "What would you grab for?"

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    With regards to the 329 and Magnum loads

    Well it's not that the gun can't handle the catridge, it's that most shooters seem to report they can't handle the catridge when it's fired in that gun...

    There is a difference. It's the same reason I try not to say a gun is accurate or not. I am the one who is accurate or not. All guns shoot straighter than I do.

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Tourist
    I always do the "what would you grab for?" debate in times like this. Darth Vader is chasing your puckered butt all over the theatre for you laughing at his asthma condition. You bust into the janitor's closet and find a SW Model 66 with hollow-points, and a Glock 20 loaded with 200 grain lino slugs at 1,200 fps. Since you don't want to drop your slushy cone, you can only pick one.

    "What would you grab for?"
    The Model 66, because I can look and see that it is clearly loaded. The Glock 20? Who knows, unless the chamber happened to be open.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array rfurtkamp's Avatar
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    The 329 kicks like a freaking mule with the stock grips and mags. My Taurus 444 Ti with those ugly Taurus grips is perfectly managable as long as I stay in the 240gr range. At 300, it starts getting meaner than hell.

    I didn't want to spend what Smith wanted for the 329, and the Taurus popped up as a curiosity at the right place at the right time.
    Driver carries less than $45 worth of remorse.

  15. #15
    Former Member Array The Tourist's Avatar
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    Euc,

    Ha, ha. There's a small step on the Glock extractor which acts as a loaded chamber indicator.

    Seriously, there are certain calibres that seem to fly flat and smooth and penetrate. You cannot name a bad 7mm cartridge. There's the 7 Benchrest, the 7mm08, the 7mm Mag, the 7 Waters, the 7x57 (Mauser), etc.

    As for pistols, the .401 and the .410 seem to have this same unique sectional density (no, Betty, not 'sexual density,' stop watching the Ciara video). In fact there are loads for the .41 Mag that while they fly flatter, they also deliver more terminal tonnage than the .44 Rem Mag.

    I plink with the .45 ACP. I guard my home with a .40 SW.

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