Smith and Wesson 69 Combat Magnum, 44 Magnum

JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior MemberPosts: 6,222 Senior Member
I've had this gun since last Tuesday and I've been holding back a posting until I shot it. And that was today. It's the 4.25" barrel, 5 shot, .44 Magnum. A glamour shot to kick it off:

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This began with my parents saying they wanted to buy me a gun for my upcoming birthday. I've got several wants, one being a wheel gun, but I put it off every time. I decided now's the time.

I was lured to this after my thread a couple weeks ago about revolvers and looking at a 357 Magnum Ruger SP101. I may still buy one in the near future, but as I read the suggestions I begin to understand a greater versatility with the 44 magnum. Looking back on my experience with my father's Charter Arms 44 Special, I solidified that realization. As capable as I believe it is having more power available makes the 44 Magnum that much more versatile.

I bought some Winchester Super-X 240gr Special rated at about 750 fps. A kitten of a load and perfect for practice with a handgun type that I have the least experience with. Since the moment it arrived on Tuesday I have been dry firing in double action almost consistently. I probably have more than 1000 dry fires before I even fired the first live rounds through it. Doing so cast aside a lot of ignorant preconceptions I had about heavy double action trigger pull on revolvers. Here are two groupings, one Special and one Magnum.

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After those groups I experimented with the same ammo doing single action only. I found that my grouping was better by a negligible margin. I now have the utmost confidence in accuracy in double action only use. I've been consulting YouTube and the Internet at large reading articles and watching demonstrations by world renowned revolver shooters and instructors. In mimicking their instruction I am finding double action to be not only as useful as single action but clearly far safer. I do think I would enjoy some trigger work to make the action a little smoother and perhaps shave a pound or two off of the pull weight.

As for performance I believe tighter groups will come both with more practice shooting as well as working to find a load the revolver is particular for. I let a range-goer Who appeared to have quite a bit of experience with revolvers shoot it after he expressed curiosity in this L frame 44. In double action only and using 44 magnum cartridges he put two through virtually the same hole with less than two seconds between gunshots. The gun will clearly shoot with an experienced hand!

I have shot larger frame 44 magnum revolvers and the light 37 ounce weight of this gun does create more felt recoil. However, it is not unmanageable and proper grip technique definitely is a must.

I have little experience with revolver sights but I found the ones on this gun to be more than useful even for relatively quick point and shoot. More use and experience will determine if different sights are appropriate. The rear site is adjustable left and right and it adjusts easily and accurately. I had point of aim and point of impact configured for me very quickly.

Here are a few more photos from today. I will post more about this gun as I use it more and develop a load for each special and a magnum. I'm also looking for holster options if anyone can offer up some.

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“There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
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Replies

  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,669 Senior Member
    Very nice.:up::up::up::up:
    I see they still have the stupid trigger lock.
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Congrats. Nice medium .44 you got there. It will take some testing to find the load it likes the most in both .44 Spl and Mag.

    You can put a Wolff spring kit in yourself fer not much. All you need is a few tools like a gun screwdriver, mallet or wooden handle of a small hammer, some needle nose pliers, nail/punch and that's about it and watch a YouTube of taking off the side plate. Unless the pull is rough you won't need a gunsmiths attention, but an old fashioned trigger job by one is hard to beat.

    It is not unsafe to cock a revolver and fire it SA. You just have to pay attention and don't cock it until you are ready and know you will be firing it. It is for when you want a more precise shot because the trigger pull is so much lighter than DA. Of course, you don't wanna carry a revolver cocked around.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,222 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    Congrats. Nice medium .44 you got there. It will take some testing to find the load it likes the most in both .44 Spl and Mag.

    You can put a Wolff spring kit in yourself fer not much. All you need is a few tools like a gun screwdriver, mallet or wooden handle of a small hammer, some needle nose pliers, nail/punch and that's about it and watch a YouTube of taking off the side plate. Unless the pull is rough you won't need a gunsmiths attention, but an old fashioned trigger job by one is hard to beat.

    It is not unsafe to cock a revolver and fire it SA. You just have to pay attention and don't cock it until you are ready and know you will be firing it. It is for when you want a more precise shot because the trigger pull is so much lighter than DA. Of course, you don't wanna carry a revolver cocked around.

    In a hunting scenario I will use SA confidently. But for fast draw and shoot defensive scenarios it's DA use only for me.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Buford wrote: »
    Very nice.:up::up::up::up:
    I see they still have the stupid trigger lock.

    I thought they dropped those lately?
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,003 Senior Member
    Looks very nice.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,669 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    I thought they dropped those lately?

    It's the hole above the cylinder release just like my .500.
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,222 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    I thought they dropped those lately?

    They become mandatory in states like Massachusetts just like loaded chamber indicators. It's the reason for the little bump on Glock extractors. Rather than tool up for variants, they just put the safety crap on everything.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 20,164 Senior Member
    Since my parents have passed on, can I borrow yours?

    Nice gun - and nice glamour shot too!
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,222 Senior Member
    zorba wrote: »
    Since my parents have passed on, can I borrow yours?

    Nice gun - and nice glamour shot too!


    You're more than welcome to shoot it!

    Here's a stylized glamour shot.

    40ad439aa9279eed4b2de0e358b0c64f.jpg
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Have you noticed most sellers never show that side of a revolver in their pics with the ugly holes?

    Some newer models don't have them I read. I dunno what they will do in the future.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,959 Senior Member
    Very nice. But, you are safe.

    Had as it been the new 2.75" version, you'd have been doomed to a slow death.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,222 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    Very nice. But, you are safe.

    Had as it been the new 2.75" version, you'd have been doomed to a slow death.

    Haha. I considered it.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,222 Senior Member
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    One article I read said the new rifling seemed more prone to leading. Something to keep an eye on.

    Packing reloads for a revolver, should be a bullet profile that won't hang up on the chamber edges.

    Im not a double action shooter, seems like a one shot at a time gun to me but I've been wrong before.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,222 Senior Member
    early wrote: »
    One article I read said the new rifling seemed more prone to leading. Something to keep an eye on.

    Packing reloads for a revolver, should be a bullet profile that won't hang up on the chamber edges.

    Im not a double action shooter, seems like a one shot at a time gun to me but I've been wrong before.

    5 rounds of 44 Special is a breeze to rapid fire in this thing. 44 Magnum I'm sure is doable, but that'll be a ride you won't forget. Jerry Miculek does it. His advice "just don't let it recoil". Haha.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • TugarTugar Senior Member Posts: 1,893 Senior Member
    That is on my short list. Anything between 2 an 6 inches. Not that picky.
    Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
    Winston Churchill
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 3,309 Senior Member
    Very nice, about time someone got one of these:applause: Didn't know they made a 2 3/4" version. Doubly intrigued Now as that should put it very close in size to the 696 I've lusted after forever.

    Sako
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,475 Senior Member
    Nice Grab! You plan on keeping the rubber shoes, or dress the lady up?
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,222 Senior Member
    bobbyrlf3 wrote: »
    Nice Grab! You plan on keeping the rubber shoes, or dress the lady up?

    The grips are a tad small at the top of the backstrap for me. So, I won't be sure until I shoot the 44 Magnum load I settle on loading. A slightly larger grip may be in order
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,959 Senior Member
    sakodude wrote: »
    Very nice, about time someone got one of these:applause: Didn't know they made a 2 3/4" version. Doubly intrigued Now as that should put it very close in size to the 696 I've lusted after forever.

    Sako

    It is my understanding, and how S&W labels them, that the OP does in fact not have a "Combat Magnum" as he has a 4" model. He simply has a Model 69

    https://www.smith-wesson.com/firearms/model-69

    The 2.75" barreled version is labeled the "Combat Magnum".

    https://www.smith-wesson.com/firearms/model-69-combat-magnum
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,222 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    It is my understanding, and how S&W labels them, that the OP does in fact not have a "Combat Magnum" as he has a 4" model. He simply has a Model 69

    https://www.smith-wesson.com/firearms/model-69

    The 2.75" barreled version is labeled the "Combat Magnum".

    https://www.smith-wesson.com/firearms/model-69-combat-magnum


    It's engraved as such.

    22e3654f872973ca3d62eea438abd2c9.jpg
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,959 Senior Member
    Well, there ya go.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    The L framed 586/581/686/681 are/were called the Distinguished Service Magnum and Distinguished Combat Magnum respectively.

    Model 19s and 66s are called Combat Magnums.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    "Distinguished," must have been a bit too much to stamp on the barrel.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • pjames777pjames777 Senior Member Posts: 1,078 Senior Member
    Happy belated birthday and YOU SUCK!
  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Posts: 3,395 Senior Member
    early wrote: »
    "Distinguished," must have been a bit too much to stamp on the barrel.

    "Distinguished" would have been redundant.
    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,475 Senior Member
    JasonMPD wrote: »
    The grips are a tad small at the top of the backstrap for me. So, I won't be sure until I shoot the 44 Magnum load I settle on loading. A slightly larger grip may be in order

    Good luck finding one. I've been looking for over a year, trying to find one for my 629 (larger frame, I know, but the idea is the same). I would imagine it may be more difficult for you if you intend on being able to conceal yours.
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,003 Senior Member
    bobbyrlf3 wrote: »
    Good luck finding one. I've been looking for over a year, trying to find one for my 629 (larger frame, I know, but the idea is the same). I would imagine it may be more difficult for you if you intend on being able to conceal yours.

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/217349/pachmayr-gripper-decelerator-grips-with-finger-grooves-s-and-w-n-frame-square-butt-rubber-black

    They make a L frame one that should fit the S&W 69
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
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