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S&W Model 696 Stainless

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by slimpickens, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. slimpickens

    slimpickens Well-Known Member

    Saw a three inch of the above model in a pawn shop. In very good to excellent shape. Not familiar with this .44 special. Understand that this was a very good gun. Don't know the date of manufacture, but was told the middle 80's. Sound right?
    They have a price hung on it at $900.00 out the door. What is this gun?:confused:
  2. pendennis

    pendennis Well-Known Member

    It's built on the S&W L frame. 5-shot, round butt. It's probably one of the best carry guns around, but only built for a few years. They came with Uncle Mike's combat grips, designed by Kim Ahrends. It's definitely not a lightweight, but is comforting, to say the least. The recoil from .44 Special loads is akin to that of .38 Specials in a K frame.

    They were produced from 1996, until 2003.

    I've been alternating mine with a Model 65 for a couple of years now. I love shooting it. I carry it with Winchester 200gr STHP's.

    The $900 is not really out of line. I paid the same price for mine, and it came with the original grips and the box, etc. Follows is mine, with my other daily carry -

  3. slimpickens

    slimpickens Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the response, Pendennis. This has no box, though that means nothing to me, I like shooters! But I see the mid 80's is not correct. I'm not a reloader, I sold all my stuff years ago, though that was a bad move.
    I'll see if I can get them down to a lower price, starting at 750.00. Then go from there.
  4. Drail

    Drail Well-Known Member

    If the seller is aware of the current market I'd be surprised if he lets it go for $750. I am seeing $850 to $1000 here in the midwest. I have one I bought the first week they were sold. I won't take any amount for it. The 696 was one of the best CCW revolvers S&W ever built.
  5. Stainz

    Stainz Well-Known Member

    Here is my favorite .44 Special... and my 696-1:


    Yep - that's a newer, current model 4" 629-6 SKU #163603 current MSRP $949.00. I bought the 696 new 1/03 ($439 + s/t at LGS) - replaced my 629MG with the 4" 629 4/06. I tried to wear out the 696 with .44 Russians to mild .44 Specials - until the 4" 629 arrived. It has the same sights as the 696 (OR ft, W/O rr), which beats the blk/blk of the MG. It also has another round (6 vs 5), an extra inch of barrel (and sight radius), both a larger hammer and trigger, a real forcing cone (Not the near knife edge of the 696!), and will take 'really warm' .44 Specials (Keith level), if desired - after all, it's a .44 Magnum! New, you should land one new for $750-$800 - with it's lifetime warantee - less for a used one. You'll likely pay more for the 696!

    Don't get me wrong - the 696 is fun - but only with lite loads, if you want longevity (That dimunitive forcing cone!). It's just over an inch shorter in OAL and a tad more narrow - yet weighs less than six ounces less than the 4" 629. I'll have the 4" 629 when my 696 is a memory.


    PS Remember: .44 Special (& .44 Russian) is a reloader's caliber... you'll have to replace your reloading equipment to shoot it much. It is fun... and the .44 Russians are 'cute'!!
  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    If your going to shoot the snot out of it with stout loads, the 629 will definitely outlast a 696, but the size difference is notable.

    They are outstanding guns. Mine is very easy to shoot well DA. I like to shoot the falling plate rack with it for practice. I use tamer loads for range play or practice.

    I was lucky and got a great deal on mine some time back. I am not sure if I would pay the going prices these days. I am very glad I have mine though. Superb gun. While some may go the 696 will be handed down to one of my children.

  7. slimpickens

    slimpickens Well-Known Member

    Got an idea what year of manufacture? Serial #CBT 77XX for the 696.
    Here's my way of thinking__ I can get a S&W 19-3, 2 1/2 inch barrel, for three hundred dollars less, and I have other .357's, and do not reload. So maybe I'd be better off to go that route. .44 specials to buy and shoot would be expensive. But I can mainly shoot .38's, and have a carry gun as well.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2012
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    You could get its little brother, the L Frame 686. Another favorite of mine.

  9. slimpickens

    slimpickens Well-Known Member

    Shoots good, looks good.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  10. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    They really are rather nice...BTW (OP), they only came as a 3" model

    The L-frame is very handy and the K-frame sized grip really opens up you choices of grips available. I got mine in a trade and it came Mag-Na-Ported


    I keep mine by my bedside loaded with Blazer 200gr Gold Dots


    ...but there is a lot to recommend the 2.5" M-66 too

  11. PabloJ

    PabloJ Well-Known Member

    LGS had something like that. It was same as 629 but had short slim barrel and chambered
    for the .44 special cartridge. Unless you want very expensive "boat anchor" I would pass on that. Ok, I apologize 600 series would have smaller frame and proly five shot cylinder so it would be better handling gun.
  12. Rodfac

    Rodfac Well-Known Member

    You guys who own them...what's the actual weight of a 696, the .44 Mag Mountain Gun, and a 4" barreled 629? For carry, I'd opine that the 5-shot cylinder and lighter weight (if that's true) of the 696 would be helpful, but if it's still up around 45 oz. a small savings in weight would be negligible. Best Regards, Rod
  13. mavracer

    mavracer Well-Known Member

    Rod, I'm at work so can't say for sure but just a SWAG my 696 is under 40, I'll weigh it when I get home.
    I can say in terms I know you'll understand the difference is much like the difference between a mid frame 44 sp blackhawk and a SBH. A 696 just balances perfect in your hand. Sure if I was limited to only 1 44 (a horrible thought) it'd be a 4" mag, but I'm not. a 696 is just sweet to have.
    PS welcome to THR what took so long?
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  14. Drail

    Drail Well-Known Member

    It is the same size as an Model 686 (.357). Weight is very close to the same, maybe just a couple of ounces heavier. In a holster on a belt you could not tell the difference. Handle a 3 in. 686 and you will see what you're looking at. If there were more .44 Spl. ammunition available in the stores this gun would have been a huge seller. As it is you either handload for it or use the Speer Gold Dot 200 gr load. The Speer load will give ballistic performance very close to the .45 ACP in a 3 in snub.
  15. ElToro

    ElToro Well-Known Member

    i passed on one several years ago at $600 and havnt seen one for sale in california since.
    a custom gun i would like is a 696 with a 686 4 inch mountain gun barrel rebored to .44
    $950 seems steep but then how many do you see for sale.
  16. PabloJ

    PabloJ Well-Known Member

    Some guns are seldom seen for sale because they are excellent weapons. Just look at S&W Model 12 that was made for many many years yet it's seldom seen on used gun market. The reason one does not see 696s for sale is because hardly anyone bought them. Unlike 6" 10mm 610 I have considered and rejected not long ago the 696 has little true potential.
  17. Drail

    Drail Well-Known Member

    Au contraire. They sold every one they made to people like me who understand what a great caliber the .44 Spl. is. The reason you rarely see them on the market is because the people who have them WILL NOT sell them. The 696 was probably the best idea S&W ever came up with. The problem was that the ammo companies and the ammo sellers would not support the caliber. If you do not handload then the pickin's are pretty slim. Revolver sales (and ammo for them) went down a deep hole around 1985 when every police dept. in the country decided that they NEEDED to switch to high capacity autoloaders when in fact there was nothing wrong with the revolvers they had been carrying for many years. The 696 has been my daily carry gun since 1996 when I bought the first one I could find. I have many revolvers and autoloaders but I haven't found any that can surpass the 696 for ease of carry, simplicity and big bore performance.
  18. Nasty

    Nasty Well-Known Member

    pendennis - I had the same pair (although the 65 was a S&W Cutom job with ported barrel) *until* my wife claimed the 65 as her own.

    We both feel well armed.
  19. PabloJ

    PabloJ Well-Known Member

    Every gun nut knows .44 is about the same as .45ACP which is excellent handgun cartridge. Shooters Bible did comparison between alloy-framed .45 Colt and Charter Arms .44 Special in early 70s? and they came up to a draw. Look, for $500+/-50 he can get S&W 66 excellent weapon in every way w/o that "it's uncommon and they don't make them like that" premium attached.
  20. Lucky Derby

    Lucky Derby Well-Known Member

    I bought mine new in '96 when when they came out. It would take more than $900 to get it away from me.

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