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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 ? :smile:
 

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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. :eek:

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

-Scott-
 

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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.
 

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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! :tongue:


Okay then there's this:

http://www.firearms.smith-wesson.com/store/index.php3?cat=293608&item=831381&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/store/index.php3?cat=293607&item=831395&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/store/index.php3?cat=293607&item=831456&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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Geezer said:
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 ? :smile:
What happened to the Ruger "Alaskan?"
 

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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.
 

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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?"
 

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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... :biggrin:

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.
 

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The Tourist said:
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.
 

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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.
 

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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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It's all about the load

The Tourist said:
I plink with the .45 ACP. I guard my home with a .40 SW.
I wouldn't plink with either and I guard my home with both. I think at this stage of development, it's no longer about the round or the platform, but rather a matter of bullet configuration and accuracy. A cranio-ocular strike with a substandard round like a 158gr round nose lead in .38sp is going to prove TERMINAL (even though cops call this round the "widowmaker") before a 40 or 45 that hits someplace like a hand or leg. Similarly, a 38 load like the one above where the strike occurs in the chest will be less effective that a 38sp load in the same place where the configuration is a JHP.
 

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ExSoldier,

I agree with most of your assessment--in some circumstances.

Now granted, I try to make those 'circumstances' come to pass in my home. For example, I have good doors and windows to give me time to ensconce myself, wife and pets. I have reloads available. And, like always, I have measured distances around my home to figure out the best corridors of fire--even in places where there is just wall board and a shot can be taken when the BG cannot see me.

But that's if all goes right, and you are at home.

Getting caught on the street is another matter. First, you let down your situational awareness and you're not in 'condition yellow.' The guy(s) are too close. You might not be prepared for a number of BGs. You might not have a reload. There might not have a fire hydrant or a solid engine block to hide behind.

My wife and I always practice backing up and out. We once took a vacation both carrying 5-shoot SW 'hammerless' revolvers with HKS speed loaders filled with the same replacement load. (My ammo fit her gun, etc.)

We were on vacation in historical places in the USA. There is always security in those areas, and the idea was to just get out of the area and let the pros take over.

While Euc and I are friends, I do tease him about his dependence on revolvers. The police force used them successfully for years. They also used horses, perhaps now used only for border patrol. Time moves on. Now revolvers are too weak, or loaded too hot, have limited ammo supply, and not as fast to reload.

I also believe in shot placement, and many professional LEOs have used snubs successfully against great odds. I'm not one of them. I need the advantage of modern ammunition, simpler reloads and (at my age) more well-defined sights. None of the personal defense guns in my home are revolvers, and none of my automatics are chambered for loads in .355 of an inch.

As I stated, I tried lots of reloads and combinations of the .355 bullet over a good span of time. I got rid of the guns as a main-line defense, and scrapped the idea. Even my 'mouse gun' is loaded with Gold Dots and has a spare magazine nearby.

I do not pretend to be the last word. Security is a personal matter. My wife's gun is a .44 SPL Charter Arms Bulldog loaded with Silver Tips. She has confidence in the gun and the load. YMMV.
 

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Wonder if you're interested in this type of handgun 3in round butt fixed sight Smith 629 44 mag Classic Carry.. Might be worth looking into :biggrin:
 

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The Tourist said:
While Euc and I are friends, I do tease him about his dependence on revolvers. The police force used them successfully for years. They also used horses, perhaps now used only for border patrol. Time moves on. Now revolvers are too weak, or loaded too hot, have limited ammo supply, and not as fast to reload.

I also believe in shot placement
I love it when you genuinely contradict yourself Tourist.

You know I was thinking today of what other handguns I may want to get sometime and then call it good. I do fancy something that's between my .38 mousegun and my huge honkin' .44.

I mused over the lovely thought of a Ruger SP101 in .357 Magnum with a 3" barrel. It would be easy to shoot and the perfect size.

But then I corrugated my brow as I considered my ammunition choices.

I can either carry .38 Special, which is fine for my little bitty pocket gun, or .357 Magnum, a great caliber for everyday use but not something I'd want to use for carry ammunition for various reasons.

I reasoned, I need something in between... or something that's just bigger.

Like a 9x19. Or a .45.

But then I realize the importance of shot placement. And it goes back in a circle.

Where is the Gaston Glock of revolvers?
 

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No, Euc, I mean it. I intend to carry enough gun, and I have real concerns about guns in the calibre of .355 of an inch.

Sometimes you cannot carry the gun you want, and you have to carry the gun that fit those concerns. Ask Betty to post pics of my daily planner and my mouse gun. Sometimes a shirt and tie are required.

But let's face it, you have to get really close. I don't want to do that. I take the mouse gun and search for the nearest exit.

I admire Rfurtkamp's commitment to face the action. I fell and broke my wrist. I fell and broke my hand. My mind wandered in traffic for a 1/10th of a second and I broke my neck in five places.

I'm backing up, fast.
 
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