s&w 296 value


April 18, 2009, 03:51 PM
with the craziness thats upon us i'm considering streamlining my arsenal caliber wise
id like to hear opinions on the value of my s&w 296
its a five shot .44spec centenial (no external hammer)
i have the box and all
its seen some carry but probably less than 200rounds fired
this is of course a prelock model
any ideas?

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April 18, 2009, 04:02 PM

April 18, 2009, 05:17 PM

April 18, 2009, 06:45 PM
The 296Ti was produced from 1999 to 2001. I looked up the model 296Ti in the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, 3rd edition, published 2006. It shows a value ANIB = $425 and Exc. = $375. But this is 3 year old data.

My gut feel, without doing a search on Gunbroker for closed auctions (which you should do) is about $500 plus.

April 18, 2009, 07:07 PM
One been sitting with no takers in a local shop for $650, the store gets 25% so the owner is trying to clear $500.
I would NOT sell mine fore $500, even though it is a bear to shoot accurately with compared to a 38 special. Only good hits count, but the .44 has lots of whack for sure.

Big Daddy Grim
April 18, 2009, 07:10 PM
Theres one here for $495 at a shop nice lookin with only a little holster marks but its been sittin there for a year at least so who knows when he bought it or what he paid.

April 18, 2009, 08:33 PM
The problem in trying to sell a .44 special gun like this is the cost and availability of ammo. I am looking at a catalog from Sportsman's Guide that just arrived today, and it shows .44 special target ammo in the $30 (per box of 50) range. And that is assuming that anybody has it in stock. Unfortunately the market for .44 special guns and ammo is a little limited.

April 19, 2009, 06:07 PM

I'll give you a fair FTF deal if your in the Bluff City.

P.M. me if your interested.

I've been lookin' for a .44 for Elvis.


April 19, 2009, 08:00 PM
I bought mine for $349... NIB 6+ yr ago!! I bought a NIB 696 the same day at my pusher's - $439. He gave me another $10 off for buying the pair - still my most expensive S&W purchase in a day. He got another 'closeout' 296 in for $359 - but never got another 696 in - they evaporated rapidly.

Okay - the 296 is a 'necessary evil'. Great stopper - miserable hand-whacker. Sure, the rounded Uncle Mike's Combats liberated from the 696 so it could sport some proper Ahrends wood grips helps the recoil - mainly by covering that backstrap. So fitted, the 296 is a belt holster gun - and mine didn't travel with me often. Along came Robert Mika and his excellent pocket holsters. I ordered one for a 642, as well. I found a 'deal' on a LNIB 642 and between it and the 296 - with it's OEM boots back on - my pocket protection was 24/7.

I used CCI Blazers - over 1k of them, until one split it's case in my 696 - might have been a problem in the Ti cylinder of the 296. I switched to Georgia Arms new Starline brass loaded with the same Speer 4429 200gr low speed Gold Dot in .44 Special - doubles it's cross-sectional area at over 800 fps incident in gelatin. The homebrews I've made, Blazers, and GA Arms loads all chrono-ed 800-805 fps from the 2.5" 296 - 835-840 fps from the 3" 696, etc.

One item to check on any used 296 is the cast-in-place cylinder stop - the protrusion on the frame by the recoil shield on the cylinder release side - it halts the backward movement of the Ti cylinder when the ejector rod is pushed. A good 'Hollywood' rap or two could pare away that lite alloy stop - check it carefully for wear. If releasing the cylinder and pushing the ejector rod puts the cylinder in your hand - or on the deck - big oops.

Check the topstrap above the b/c gap for erosion - they told me it happens with higher speed lead bullets. I tested well crimped 240gr LSWC sub-nuclear level loads - noting the unshot bullets. Two cylinderfulls, same result - the last, ie, fifth round, had pulled it's crimp! Imagine that - had it been a six-shooter, it'd definitely been a 'jam-o-matic'.

If it seems I am negative re the 296, I am not. It is a fine piece of protection. It isn't fun to shoot with the 200gr GDs - but it is accurate - and effective. Now, if you want it more comfortable to shoot, consider the X-frame .460/.500 Magnum grips S&W Accessories sells (~$37) - they fit K/L/N & X-frames! Of course, it looks absurd - and won't be much of a pocket protector!


Mine has a home... as does the 696. I'd be more likely to sell the 696 first - it has a 'cult' following that has really driven the price up. I'd pay $500 in a heartbeat for a good one - the thing sold for $789 MSRP in the last catalog it was listed in. The price didn't help, but the .44 Special chambering killed it... it has never sold well, sad to say.


April 19, 2009, 08:41 PM
I sold a lightly used one with rosewood grips for about $560 a year ago. I don't know if the grips came new with the gun as I bought it used.


April 20, 2009, 12:52 PM
philoe i sent you a pm

Revolver Ocelot
April 20, 2009, 08:51 PM
if you sold it on gunbroker right now you could probablly get up to 700 for it, I've seen them listed for much higher however 700 is the highest I've seen one sell for.

If you put it up for auction I'd start the bidding at around 500 (at minimum) with a buy it now for 700.

just my .02

April 20, 2009, 08:55 PM
that would be fair to me
i want to reduce the number of calibers i use
crazy enough the gun shops around here never ran out of 44spec

Revolver Ocelot
April 20, 2009, 09:03 PM
crazy enough the gun shops around here never ran out of 44spec

If thats the case it might be a sign you should keep it.

If I had the $ on hand I might have bought it but alas....

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