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Thread: 44 Special Range Day

  1. #21
    Boolit Man
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    It’s the finest 44 revolver ever.

    The Bulldog is a tool.

    The GP100 is a solid tool.

    The 696 is what a Colt Python was to sixgunners in the 1960s… perfection.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master murf205's Avatar
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    Attachment 294412Attachment 294413

    This is as close as I ever got to owning a 696. The mod 24 is one of the last nickel guns to leave the factory and it has a Hillary Hole. It shoots pretty good with Elmers boolit.....but it AINT a 696. The other one is a Hand ejector made in about 1927 and it is the most accurate 44 I ever shot...but it AINT a 696. Those L frame guns are about as perfect size for the 44 Spl as can be found. Why, oh why, didn't I, well, you know the rest of that story.
    IT AINT what ya shoot--its how ya shoot it. NONE of us are as smart as ALL of us!

  3. #23
    Boolit Buddy Dunross's Avatar
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    I have a similar combination. A 3" GP100 and a Bulldog Pug. As they are both short barreled guns I favor 200-215gr full wadcutters in the 700-750fps range. Good defense loads and quite manageable. No need to drive them hard as they don't have to expand and I'm not shooting large game. They let the air out just the same. Been using Unique and Trail Boss.
    Chance favors the prepared mind.

  4. #24
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunross View Post
    I have a similar combination. A 3" GP100 and a Bulldog Pug. As they are both short barreled guns I favor 200-215gr full wadcutters in the 700-750fps range. Good defense loads and quite manageable. No need to drive them hard as they don't have to expand and I'm not shooting large game. They let the air out just the same. Been using Unique and Trail Boss.
    Going to load some 200gr with 7.0gr Unique.

  5. #25
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    W.R.Buchanan;5333012]Pavia: the hot tip with your 696 is to get a set of X frame Grips from S&W They fit right on the frame of the 696 and have about 3/8" of real padding where the Web Area of your Hand interfaces with the grip. That way you can shoot the gun all day with heavier loads like Skeeters.

    All S&W pistols have the same grip profile and they all hit you right in the web of your hand which gets old pretty fast.

    The X Frame grips were a night and day difference."

    My 696 apparently is not the "Holy Grail" model -- mine is the 696-1 -- but I truly adore it!!! (It is in the CEA8,000 s/n range; 5-shot 3" barrel). Interestingly, I load an even Steven six grains of Unique in mine. I splurged for a quite costly holster to complement it, and is MY holy grail revolver.
    Might you kindly post or PM me the "X-frame Grips" (as specific as you can be?) you tout? I'd really be most appreciative!
    Thanks much!
    geo

  6. #26
    Boolit Master AnthonyB's Avatar
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    Question on the 696 - why is it better than the M69? I mean, other than the two piece barrel, EDM rifling, lock, MIM internals, and fit and finish not comparing; isnít the L-frame 69 a possibly available substitute?

    That would have been in purple if I knew how. I have the stainless 3 inch GP100, and it is a typical Ruger tank. I have the trigger down to just over 3 lbs. SA, but the revolver is heavy. I have both of the 5 inch GP100s, and the regular and Bisley FT 4 3/4 blued versions. I am saving pennies and selling blood toward a FA97, but I still want a 696.

    So serious question - should I consider the M69 as a place holder for the eventually found 696?
    Tony

  7. #27
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyB View Post
    Question on the 696 - why is it better than the M69? I mean, other than the two piece barrel, EDM rifling, lock, MIM internals, and fit and finish not comparing; isn’t the L-frame 69 a possibly available substitute?

    That would have been in purple if I knew how. I have the stainless 3 inch GP100, and it is a typical Ruger tank. I have the trigger down to just over 3 lbs. SA, but the revolver is heavy. I have both of the 5 inch GP100s, and the regular and Bisley FT 4 3/4 blued versions. I am saving pennies and selling blood toward a FA97, but I still want a 696.

    So serious question - should I consider the M69 as a place holder for the eventually found 696?
    Tony
    I specifically didn’t buy a new 69 because of the two piece barrel (a cop out for solid revolver manufacturer) and of course the lock. I passed on the 69 because the GP100 was superior. The 696 is course the proper L frame 44. The GP100 is not worse than the 696. It’s just the 696 is rare.

  8. #28
    Boolit Man
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    Elmer Keith would have owned both a 696 and a GP100 in 44 special and also a Bulldog.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
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    Elmer could have owned a Bulldog and I have seen nowhere that he did.
    Rule 303

  10. #30
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    Here's some better pics of the X Frame Grip that works on the N fames and L frames as well.

    You can see how the padding in the upper area of the grip protects the web of your hand from getting pummeled by the gun's recoil.

    The early 696's were almost custom shop guns. The double action Trigger pull on mine is smooth all the way up to the "Wall" then crisp let off. The single action pull is about 2.5 lbs. and has no creep whatsoever. Like a glass rod breaking.

    I would take a GP100/44 over the M69 simply because the idea of firing .44 Magnums in a L frame gun is just too painful to even think about. They have all the bugs worked out of the GP .44's now so any one you'd get would probably be pretty nice. Plus that the finish on the M69's is nothing close to the 696's. The 696's were always Niche guns and the numbers were low and it made me feel alot better about paying $950 for mine when I saw them going for $1800? Looks like a good investment!

    Randy
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    Last edited by W.R.Buchanan; 01-13-2022 at 03:58 PM.
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  11. #31
    Boolit Master
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    Good grief...are 696's really bringing that much? I bought mine the year they came out....and darned if I can remember what I gave for it...but obviously it wasn't that much!!
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

    The common virtue of capitalism is the sharing of equal opportunity. The common vice of socialism is the equal sharing of misery

    NRA Benefactor 2008

  12. #32
    Boolit Master AnthonyB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharps4590 View Post
    Good grief...are 696's really bringing that much? I bought mine the year they came out....and darned if I can remember what I gave for it...but obviously it wasn't that much!!
    Let me be first to offer your money back on it!
    Tony

  13. #33
    Boolit Master AnthonyB's Avatar
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    Randy;
    The M69 would be a 44 Special shooter for me, not an investment. The GP is nice but is overbuilt like all Rugers.
    Tony

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyB View Post
    Randy;
    The M69 would be a 44 Special shooter for me, not an investment. The GP is nice but is overbuilt like all Rugers.
    Tony
    i really don't see why they had to make the M69 a .44 Magnum. They could have just done an upgraded 696 and be done with it. The whole purpose of this new gun was to cure the problem with the 696 and the thin forcing cone. They could have fixed that and been done with it but no,, they had to lengthen the cylinder and make the gun into something it was not meant to be in the first place.

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  15. #35
    Boolit Grand Master


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    You might want to back off on those loads. I don't know who told you the GP100 is overbuilt, but it is not. It was "overbuilt" to handle original 357 magnum, but nothing was done for 44 special except bore the barrel bigger. As far as durability, it is on par with the Bulldog, but not more. On this site alone there are a surprising number of GP100's with cracked forcing cones. For whatever reason Ruger decided to bore out the 357 magnum barrel, instead of the one they used with the 10mm auto. They are left with a paper thin forcing cone, and do not hold up to hotrod loads.

  16. #36
    Boolit Man rkrcpa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharps4590 View Post
    Good grief...are 696's really bringing that much? I bought mine the year they came out....and darned if I can remember what I gave for it...but obviously it wasn't that much!!
    I just looked, I paid $399 for mine in June of 1997.

  17. #37
    Boolit Master murf205's Avatar
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    Question on the 696 - why is it better than the M69? I mean, other than the two piece barrel, EDM rifling, lock, MIM internals, and fit and finish not comparing; isn’t the L-frame 69 a possibly available substitute?

    That might not matter to a lot of people but it does to some , me included. The finish is about as appealing as a Yugo bumper and for what a new S&W revolver cost, it's appearance ought to be appealing. I can live with the MIM parts, EDM barrels, Hillary Hole, slouchy fit but all in the same gun? Nope. Flame me if you want to but Smith and Wesson can do better than this. And this comes from a devoted S&W addict. How about a 44 spl 586 with a 1 pc barrel and better polish blue!
    IT AINT what ya shoot--its how ya shoot it. NONE of us are as smart as ALL of us!

  18. #38
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by W.R.Buchanan View Post
    i really don't see why they had to make the M69 a .44 Magnum. They could have just done an upgraded 696 and be done with it. The whole purpose of this new gun was to cure the problem with the 696 and the thin forcing cone. They could have fixed that and been done with it but no,, they had to lengthen the cylinder and make the gun into something it was not meant to be in the first place.

    Randy
    They probably wanted to sell guns and they have a history of discontinueing .44 Specials ever since they introduced the .44 magnum. It sells better.
    Rule 303

  19. #39
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkrcpa View Post
    I just looked, I paid $399 for mine in June of 1997.
    That sounds about right rk. Is that the year they came out? It has to be close.
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

    The common virtue of capitalism is the sharing of equal opportunity. The common vice of socialism is the equal sharing of misery

    NRA Benefactor 2008

  20. #40
    Boolit Master AnthonyB's Avatar
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    In 97 I was an Army CPT with three kids who had just started graduate school at Vanderbilt. I couldn’t afford the 696, but was young enough to think I could always get one later when I could afford it.
    Like I tell my wife, I was young and stoopid then. I am older now.
    Tony

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check