S&W 696s in 44 Spcl...Opinions...?


Gila Jorge
January 10, 2003, 08:47 PM
Am considering getting one before they are discontinued by Smith. Have heard rumors to that effect on Smith board. I want one for CCW usage
and I love 44 Spcls... In fact 44 is my favorite flavor. Did they ever make them with the old style hammer with the pin on the hammer or were they all frame mounted pins,,,? Thanks all in advance.

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Kahr carrier
January 10, 2003, 10:33 PM
They used to make them in Stainless Firing pin in the Hammer I beleive they were the 624.:)

January 10, 2003, 10:38 PM
624 was an N-frame. 696, I believe, is a 5-shot L-frame. I need to get one of these. There don't seem to be many around.

Porter Rockwell
January 11, 2003, 01:00 AM
The gun is stronger than the rag writers would have you believe and very accurate. My partners had to open the throats for much better accuracy with cast bullets. The smith charged him $30.00 as he needed a new reamer. It seems many of the Smiths are a little tight (.428) in both the Specials and the Magnums.

The Mighty Beagle
January 11, 2003, 08:58 AM
I had one but ended up selling it. It was an ok gun, but even though I like the .44 Special I never found anything "special" about my example.

Balance was great, had a nice feel to it, but the gun was quite chunky and heavy for CCW. Yet it didn't seem nearly as heavy as I desired when I shot it, as it definitely had some recoil even with reasonable loads. It wasn't that bad, just more than I wanted for a .44 fun gun. I can remember wishing for a larger, heavier N-frame for .44 Spec. shooting.

Accuracy in my gun was disappointing, even after installing a Patridge front sight and sending it back to Smith for a re-cut forcing cone. It never did get under 2.5" - 3" groups at 20 yds. or so with my best reloading efforts, and after I repeatedly missed a rabid coon at about 20 yds. with it I decided a more accurate gun was needed.

I came away thinking that Smith must be doing something funky with their rifling to have screwed up what should have been a really accurate gun.

One other thing - I bought the gun thinking I had found an intelligent alternative to the .357 3-inchers, with their flash and blast. To my surprise, my 3-inch .44 Spec. was astonishingly loud, to the point of being about as unpleasant as firing a .357 snub.

I finally just got a .357 and now have accuracy, much better ballistics, less recoil, readily-available components, and a similar amount of noise. That being said, I'd like to try another 696 as I really liked the feel and balance.

January 11, 2003, 08:11 PM
They were introduced pre-MIM, with hammer-nose, though they've always been stainless.

January 12, 2003, 11:10 AM
Trying to trade a buddy of mine out of one as we speak. He brought it over yesterday to the Steeler's game, and is bringing it back for the Raider's game today. Hope I can keep it here. Have several L frame guns, from 2 1/2 inch on up. Would love to add this to the stable! :D

January 13, 2003, 09:59 PM
The original 696 had hammer mounted firing pin, the second version (696-1) has frame mounted pin.

Blazer's 200 gn hp is very accurate in these pistols, would not advise reaming the cylinders for lead, but siziing the lead to .429 (or buying .429)for the tighter cylinder throats.

Am happier with the original version.

January 14, 2003, 04:55 PM
I also have a 696. They are good little guns. In fact, I just ordered a OWB pancake holster from FIST for a carry rig.
My 696 has a pretty good double action pull for a later Smith.
It is definitely a keeper.........


January 19, 2003, 12:29 AM
i took one in on a trade for a colt ACP a few of years ago and it was very nice.

i like the fact that it came with the colorcased hammer and trigger, hogue hardwood mono-grips as well as being mag-na-ported. the trigger was clean, but nothing to write home about. the 3" barrel balances nicely while still being compact and retaining the full lenght ejection rod.

i took a out and shot it during qualifications and it was deadly accurate with the blazer 200gr gold dots. recoil was about on par with .38spl ball ammo (158gr lead roundnose)...very controlable during double taps.

it would get more use except for my being too lazy to hunt down accessories for it...selection is a little limited too ;) ...

HKS makes the only speedloaders i could find for it...i now have two
there are no rubber speed strips made for it...i've been told that the stripper clips from an .303 enfield work
a dedicated holster (3" barrel) is pretty much a custom thing...currently using the fobus paddle holster (4") and pondering over a kramer

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