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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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Old 10-27-2020, 07:12 PM
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Default What's better, a 5 shot

for CC,
M640 357 Magnum or a M696 44 Spl.?
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Old 10-27-2020, 07:15 PM
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For me the 640 would go in my pocket and the 696 would go in and/or on the waist.
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Old 10-27-2020, 07:20 PM
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I would prefer the one with the concealed hammer for concealed carry,
because it would not be so likely to snag on something on the draw. I
also happen to believe that almost all personal defense shootings are very
up close and personal, meaning that double action shooting is all that is
necessary. As far as caliber is concerned, I believe they are more or less
equal for personal defense.
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Old 10-27-2020, 07:22 PM
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Well, for *me*...I'd choose the .357. I expect the gun would be slightly lighter and easier to carry (though, I don't have the numbers in front of me, so I could be wrong), but they're probably fairly close, in any case. But for me, the ability to use .38 Spl., and the availability and cost of .38/.357 as compared with .44 Spl...would be the greatest issue *for me*!

However...if that wasn't an issue, I'd probably rather be carrying the .44, if/when the time came to actually use it. Actually...I'd probably buy a short barreled M.629, to keep the usage of Magnum loads as a possibility. TBH, I don't think you'll go very wrong with either.
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Old 10-27-2020, 07:27 PM
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My EDC is a 640 Pro Series in .357 in an ankle holster.

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Old 10-27-2020, 07:34 PM
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What's better - simple answer is the one that you'll actually carry with you (or on you) for concealed carry.

The finest handgun in the world, irrespective of type (revolver vs. semiautomatic), size (barrel length, overall length of the handgun), action type (single action only, double action only, DA/SA, etc.), caliber, etc. is meaningless if it resides in your gun safe rather than with you or on you for personal defense use.

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Old 10-27-2020, 07:41 PM
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What's better - simple answer is the one that you'll actually carry with you (or on you) for concealed carry.

The finest handgun in the world, irrespective of type (revolver vs. semiautomatic), size (barrel length, overall length of the handgun), action type (single action only, double action only, DA/SA, etc.), caliber, etc. is meaningless if it resides in your gun safe rather than with you or on you for personal defense use.

BTW, my personal EDC is a Model 638-1 and a Model 38-0 both chambered in .38 Special and loaded with standard velocity ammo. Both are fitted with CT LG-405 laser grips. I'm a big fan of the NY Reload, but some time circumstances are such that I cannot carry both handguns at the same time. Fortunately, I can and will carry one of the 2 revolvers - but I do experience some angst at only having 1 handgun with me.

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Regards,

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Old 10-27-2020, 07:55 PM
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It depends on how I feel in the morning. Oh and I don't limit myself to only two choices, HA HA! Some days it's not even a revolver.

Last edited by RalphK22; 10-27-2020 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 10-27-2020, 07:57 PM
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The NY reload & revolver reliability is the reason I carry a J frame as a BUG and have since 1973. My primary has changed over the years. In some cases, because I had no say in the matter.
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Old 10-27-2020, 11:09 PM
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Which one do you shoot better, Chief?

That's the one you should carry.
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Old 10-27-2020, 11:16 PM
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The 44 special gives you much longer useful range. Useful range is the distance you can reliably hit in less than 2 seconds.

The 44 gives you a useful range of 25 yards. The 357 has a useful range of 10 yards.

This has little to do with the cartridge, although the 44 is more pleasant to shoot than the 357, it has everything to do with the platform: the j frame is hard to shoot well.
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Old 10-28-2020, 12:25 AM
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I love the 44 Special and particularly the 696. I unfortunately gave up mine for 2 reasons. The weight of the 696 and the availability/cost of 44 special ammunition. I’d carry my DS or 64 two inch. I find j frames harder(and more painful) to shoot.
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Old 10-28-2020, 01:10 AM
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Well, I carry the 640 more then the 696 because of weight and weather.
But the 696 has a better/smoother DA.
And the 640 with 357 ammo is a hand full!!!!!
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Old 10-28-2020, 04:30 AM
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The only way to decide for sure is to practice extensively with both.
I realize that is not the most economic answer.
I carry a Bulldog being a 44 guy but it is hard to shoot well.
I put a laser grip on it and that helped point shooting a lot.
The 396 is way easier to carry than a 696 but has twice the recoil.
I really think it comes down to your personality and what caliber you are comfortable with.

I personally feel the 44 is the most versatile caliber out there but maybe not the most concealable.
That's the trade off you have to make.
Best of luck to you.
As you well know confidence is more important than the fine technical details.
The gun you like and shoot well is way better than the one everyone else likes.
When not carrying a Bulldog I carry a 396.
The 696-1 is more accurate than the 696 as it has more correct throat and bore dimensions.
I have tried carrying a few 44's and the Bulldog is the most concealable, the 396 the lightest accurate 44,
and the 696-1 the best of the 3" lot.
Hope this late night, across the campfire ramble, has some value for you.

PS.
I am an old Palouse boy myself, having lived in Pullman 1958-1965.
Boy Scout camped in the St. Joe forest.
Hiked and rode the Lolo a couple of times.
Miss the West after Dad got a job here in Badgertown.
I can still smell the pines and firs.
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Old 10-28-2020, 06:50 AM
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Which is better? Whichever one you can best shoot.
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Old 10-28-2020, 07:00 AM
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would you rather bet your life on hitting with a 100 mph "fastball" or a 75 mph "bowling ball"
there's a reason for .44's,,,,,

BUT, you carry what you can be proficient with. Only "hits" under extreme stress will save your life if that situation ever arises. I pray it never does.

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Old 10-28-2020, 07:13 AM
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Only answer.. the finest round every developed for all around performance including self defense. The 357 magnum.
85 year old technology and its still the king!


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Old 10-28-2020, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RGNewell View Post
My EDC is a 640 Pro Series in .357 in an ankle holster.
Living just NW of San Antonio, can't see having to wear trousers in SA summer to cover up an ankle carried gun. Sweat city, shorts only in the summer for casual wear. Don
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Old 10-28-2020, 09:51 AM
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Old 10-28-2020, 10:02 AM
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44 special all day long
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Old 10-28-2020, 10:21 AM
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The J will be handier to carry every day, and has a wide range of commercial ammo (theoretically) available. You can carry FBI loads on the street and Buffalo Bore 357's in the woods.

The 44 is bigger to carry and has more limited commercial ammo choices.

That said, clearly you might shoot the 44 better, or handload, or have a better holster for the 44, or whatever that tips the balance.
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Old 10-28-2020, 10:29 AM
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If you can conceal and shoot the 44 just as well as the small 357, in my opinion, that would be the "best". If the 44 is too large, then go with the 357. I think a 500 S&W would be an better choice, but I don't think most folks could conceal or shoot it as well
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Old 10-28-2020, 10:51 AM
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I am a pandemic borne firearm owner, but if I could just as easily carry either, the 44special hands down wins. For home protection, having a robust 629 available loaded again with 44 special would seem to be the most reasonable

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Old 10-28-2020, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemo288 View Post
The only way to decide for sure is to practice extensively with both.
I can't predict for sure what others will experience, but I am quite sure that I would decide in favor of the 696 long before my practice with the 640 and .357 ammo reached "extensive."
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Old 10-28-2020, 11:01 AM
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IMO, the 2.75" model 69 is the way to go. It is basically a 696 with the option of using magnum ammo. Yes, it has the Hillary Hole, but mine has been a great gun.
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Old 10-28-2020, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
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IMO, the 2.75" model 69 is the way to go. It is basically a 696 with the option of using magnum ammo. Yes, it has the Hillary Hole, but mine has been a great gun.
I agree. That's been my bedside weapon since I was first able to get my hands on one. I keep it loaded with 44 special ammo.
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Old 10-29-2020, 12:50 AM
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Model 642-1.
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Old 10-29-2020, 02:47 AM
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Buy the lightweight version of them & carry both.

Total weight: 39oz unloaded.

.



.
.
.

396NG - 24oz -
.


.
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Old 10-29-2020, 12:02 PM
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The 640 is better for concealed carry, the 696 is better for use from concealment. What will you do carry it or be where you have to use it?
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Old 10-30-2020, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemo288 View Post
... PS. I am an old Palouse boy myself, having lived in Pullman 1958-1965.
Boy Scout camped in the St. Joe forest.
Hiked and rode the Lolo a couple of times.
Miss the West after Dad got a job here in Badgertown.
I can still smell the pines and firs.
Had to chime in. In Oct 2016 I took a bucket list drive from Louisville to Seattle. Got off the 90 into WY and did the Beartooth Pass, then on to Missoula and the Lolo Pass down the valley and then up into the Palouse. Got off 195 to see Pullman, and spent that night in Ritzville. So glad I got to see that whole area of the US.
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Old 10-30-2020, 08:46 PM
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IMO, a 3 mdl 65
the 696 is to big, the 640 to small. only my preference
Oops, not a five shot, but maybe youd like it, oh well

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Old 10-30-2020, 10:27 PM
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EQUAL with a person with calm hands a positive outlook.........That same person could probably beat you at pool with a broomstick.
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