Does anyone own a smith and wesson model 696


September 22, 2011, 10:18 PM
I always liked the looks of the gun it's just a beefed up model 60 basically and I liked the model 60. does anyone own one and if so can you post a picture.

Oh and I have never seen one up close how does it compare in size to a j frame?

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September 22, 2011, 10:41 PM
don't have a pic with a j frame but it's the same size as a 3" 686

September 22, 2011, 11:05 PM
I don't have a picture of my J-frame either, but I consider the 696 more than a beefed up J-frame. Besides the size difference, two steps up, the action is powered by a different style spring which gives it a different feel due also to leverage of the larger action parts. The J-frames action cannot be tuned to the same degree due to the leverage differences of the smaller parts.

Anyway here is a not very good picture of mine when it first got back from having it's action tuned

...and a picture of it's business end, showing the Mag-na-port vent and the 200gr Gold Dots

September 22, 2011, 11:27 PM
I rented a heavily used one at a range. Best revolver I've ever shot! Great accuracy all the way to the back of the range (indoor).

September 22, 2011, 11:29 PM
The 696 is an L-frame and significantly larger than a J-frame. Though it does resemble the 3" model 60 in configuration and appearance.

September 23, 2011, 07:03 AM
Here is my 3" L-frame 696, bought new locally 2/03 for $439 + s/t, with my 3" J-frame 63, bought new locally 11/10 for a lot more!

A better comparison is with the a standard production 4" 629.

The 4" 629 weighs less than 6 oz more and is often cheaper new than a good used 696. It has many benefits over the dimunitive forcing cone-equipped 696, including a sixth round, another inch of barrel, and the ability to handle any .44 Special load - or .44 Magnum. My 4" 629 will be here when my 696 is a memory.


September 23, 2011, 07:39 AM
I have owned and carried one since 96 when they were first introduced. It is considerably larger and heavier than a J frame. A LOT of people feel it's too much for daily carry. I think those people are just spoiled from all of the little plastic and alloy guns we have now and because so many people insist on carrying in a pocket with no belt or holster. I will never sell mine. It can be damaged by handloaders who try to get .44 Mag ballistics from it. With moderate sensible loads it is an extremely potent medium frame revolver. To really benefit you must handload for it. Very fast lightweight bullets will shorten the life of the forcing cone (as some have found out) and S&W have no more barrels for it. The main thing that killed the 696 was the lack of ammo makers producing modern sensible loads for it and the retailers who refused to stock .44 Spl. ammo. I know there are a few custom ammo loaders producing good loads but for a gun to do well in the market customers want to walk in to any gun shop/sporting goods retailer and see ammo on the shelf. People are always comparing the 696 to the 29/629. There is no comparison - the 29/629 guns are N frames - much larger and heavier than an L frame. I have several N frames but if I decide to go out with a carry gun I always reach for the 696.

September 23, 2011, 09:11 AM
The 696 is an L-frame in a 5 shot 44 Special not a J-frame similar to the Model 60. I have shot mine with mild loads of Trail Boss and the 245 gr. LSWC bullets. It is pleasant to shoot.

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