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Gunsmith Saves the day

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Eddietruett, Jan 15, 2020.

  1. Eddietruett

    Eddietruett Member

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    I had been looking for a 3” Mod 696 in 44 spl for a while and found one on GB. Missing the yoke was the only advertised problem. Bought it right and really had my bubble busted when it came in with a ruined cylinder. Hidden from pictures was several cuts in the steel. Looked like saw cuts. Could have lived with that for a shooter but the cylinder had also been dropped or hit and one hole was slightly flattened. Of course seller stated you bought it as is. Filed a complaint with GB which turned out to be a 3 month waste of time. To make matters worse, there is not a 696 cylinder to be found anywhere in the USA. Was about to trash it when I did find a model 69 cylinder at S&W. Same 5 shot and in 44 caliber but being a magnum, it was slightly longer. Bought it on a chance and took it to my friend, Master Gunsmith Jim Kelly. He was able to machine the barrel and forcing cone and fit the Mod 69 cylinder. Looks like it came from the factory. To sweeten things, now I have a 3” 44 Mag. The only negative is the new Mod 69 cylinder had a much heavier glass bead finish than the 696 but a little polishing and I’ve about got them to match. A little more time and it will look great. Sure did pay off having a great gunsmith for a friend that was up for a challenge. Saved the day and I actually got a slightly better gun. AF18681D-8D37-45BF-A078-BB6111399777.jpeg A1D35C6E-BEA3-483F-A21A-38D2DE4182BA.jpeg
     
  2. ontarget

    ontarget Member

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    Like they say it's not always what you know but who you know that matters.
    Turned out well and you got a great revolver after all.
     
  3. CharliesHammer

    CharliesHammer Member

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    Nice gun, glad it worked out. Glad you had a good friend to save the day. The sleazy seller is something else. As my grandfather used to say "not all debts are paid at harvest."
     
  4. Rock185

    Rock185 Member

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    Definitely sleazy seller, and great your gunsmith was able to save the day. I'm curious though. I've read that the thin forcing cone of the 696 sometimes cracked, even though only .44 Spcl. I examined a model 69, and the forcing cone is definitely thicker than that of the 696. I was under the impression S&W had changed the charge hole radius in order to obtain the geometry necessary to have the larger diameter forcing come. I admit I may be misunderstanding it all, and perhaps the charge hole radius was left unchanged? Could you possibly post a photo of the forcing cone are, and perhaps enlighten me on this? Thanks
     
  5. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    A morale of this story : buying a gun with known issues - and a NO RETURN policy - is risky. It does sound as thought the seller was unethical.

    Nice happy ending though , and you have a custom revolver for your trouble.

    Regarding the finish - I have had very good results with a soft cloth wheel in a dremel and Flitz. Some will say NEVER use a dremel. A wheel made of layers of thin cotton is very forgiving. I polished an annoying laser etched logo (LadySmith) off of a stainless S&W , then buffed the rest of the gun to match - turned out great. That was on a like new 60 ; you can have a lot of fun buffing your successful Franken , and you will reap the benefit of bringing it all to together and putting your personal "mark" on it.

    Have fun ; post before and after shots.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
    ApacheCoTodd likes this.
  6. LaneP

    LaneP Member

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    Glad you were able to save it. What a nice looking pistol.
     
  7. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    And this is where you name the seller so we know who to avoid.
     
  8. leather

    leather Member

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    Turned out nice. Something to be proud of.
     
  9. entropy

    entropy Member

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    From lemons, he made a raging snubby for you. Nice work!
     
  10. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    I'll leave it to the Mods to say - either way - but, It'd be nice to know the turd seller's name for our future avoidance.

    Beyond that - how fun is this to contemplate?

    Now, assuming this Smith to have a nice long life as can be expected - and - knowing it will out live you and perhaps one or two descendants..... Isn't it interesting to imagine some fella and his expert friends trying to explain its configuration once its *origin story* is lost to time?

    Todd.
     
    Armored farmer likes this.
  11. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Gun looks great, but this is my initial thought as well. Even with a M69 cylinder, you wouldn't want to shoot 44 magnum rounds out of it without the heavier forcing cone.
     
    .455_Hunter likes this.
  12. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    Light loaded mags would be the ticket. Load a 44 mag case to maximum loads for 44 special (or maybe even less) and let it roll. Beautiful gun.
     
    adcoch1 and 460Shooter like this.
  13. Eddietruett

    Eddietruett Member

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    I can't find the old GB like where I purchased the gun, but they did tell me at GB he was suspended pending outcome of the investigation which I guess is still ongoing. I have heard anything from them in several months.
     
    ApacheCoTodd likes this.
  14. Eddietruett

    Eddietruett Member

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    My gunsmith told me that mags would be fine, but he would do them in moderation. He did do all of his test firing with 44 mags, but I doubt it will ever get another mag shot through it.
    I have a great top end 44 special load that I will use when I carry the gun. It has a 190gr lead bullet with a very wide and deep HP. Pushed at about 1000 fps it would be a great defense load if ever needed.
     
    Shimitup, .455_Hunter and 460Shooter like this.
  15. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    That super cool then. That’s basically what I wish the M69 was.
     
  16. bluejeans

    bluejeans Member

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    Makes me want another l frame... my last 686 turned into a 44 spl. With a 296 titanium cylinder... I like how yours turned out with the m69 magnum cylinder.
    2F5FEDB4-6D54-436E-AEF1-9FB58F8C2696.jpeg
     
    horsemen61 and Armored farmer like this.
  17. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Good outcome and very nice revolver.

    IMO the "buy as is" does not hold water here. The seller chose to share there is damage to the cylinder but leave off the worst of it. That is an intentional act and not covers under "as is sale" claims. It's fraud straight up.

    I hope the buy and shipping costs plus the parts and labor costs are worth it.
     
  18. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    I'm glad it worked out. That's a great looking revolver! :)
     
  19. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    Very nice!

    I agree with your smith. If it were mine, I would treat it like a K frame .357, running .44 special loads for the most part, occasional magnums. An excellent candidate for heavy .44 Spl loads, though.
     
    adcoch1 likes this.
  20. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Eddie

    Nice job (with the help of your talented gunsmith!), of making "lemonade out your lemon"!
     
  21. Eddietruett

    Eddietruett Member

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    I agree 100% and the GB fraud protection should have covered the deal at least up to the $500 that they promise. I'm probably more disappointed in GB than I am the crooked seller.
    Thankfully the initial cost was cheap enough that after all of the parts, shipping and labor, I'm in it for what most Model 696 sell for in good condition. I'm not hurting financially at all and did wind up with as good if not better gun. What I went through was aggravating to say the least and of course it puts a bad taste in your mouth when thinking of buying another gun online. I really didn't keep up with the cost when I found the cylinder and other parts and let him do the work with no clue as to what the cost was going to be for labor. He is not cheap, but his work is always fantastic and if I didn't get it fixed, it was just going to wind up in the parts box. I'm just glad it was able to be saved.
     
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  22. Viper1357

    Viper1357 Member

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    Sorry to hear about the bum deal you got originally, but I can't honestly think of a better happier ending for your new hybrid revolver. Outstanding work from a good gunsmith always beats an iffy used gun, and many times even a factory new one these days. I like the look just how it is, but for removing the bead blasting you could try 000 or 0000 steel wool with or without metal polish. Not on the front of the cylinder of course. Take your time, a little here and there, and eventually they'll be really close. That turned out to be a sweet gun!
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
  23. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    Glad it worked out for you op!
     
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