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Bought this Model 69 a couple weeks ago & after the normal 10 day lockup got it to the range. Kinda thought it would be a good platform for 44 Special level loads & so far it appears to be just that. Loads that I have been shooting in a 4''624 very comfortably get your attention. While not really abuse they are easily felt, no doubt due to the lighter weight 69 & the grip which seems to rather hard. Accuracy was about as good as the same loads fired in the 624.
Overall my impression of the Model 69 was finally S&W has made a revolver to meet Wal-Mart standards !

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Size & barrel compared to a 3'' Model 66

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1st target shot after some sight adjustment..

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Thanks for the opinions and mini review. I have been looking at these with a certain amount of want/lust but don't really need one. Please feedback some more shooting impressions as the experiment continues.
Looks like such a cool packing gun.
 

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I haven't had the opportunity to shoot a 69 but did handle one recently. I kinda liked it but, did have some concerns about how brutal it could be. Your experience tells me that it may be a gun for lighter loads and it should be easier to carry than an N-frame. I like my old 29 but, the 69 has my attention. Thanks for posting.
 

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Bought this Model 69...
Overall my impression of the Model 69 was finally S&W has made a revolver to meet Wal-Mart standards !
I am making an assumption here (and we all know what happens when one "assumes") that your impression is that the model 69 is serviceable but cheaply made and lacking the panache of the older S&W revolvers.

Is that a fair assumption? If so, I concur.

Still, I hope you enjoy the revolver in good health.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I am making an assumption here (and we all know what happens when one "assumes") that your impression is that the model 69 is serviceable but cheaply made and lacking the panache of the older S&W revolvers.

Is that a fair assumption? If so, I concur.

Still, I hope you enjoy the revolver in good health.


That pretty much covers what I was thinking. So far it has about as much appeal as having Hitlery running for office.
 

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I'd like it if they woulda just made it with fixed sights. I don't like the sleeved barrel. I'll take my Ruger Redhawk anyday. jmho
 

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The sleeved barrel is the deal killer for me. I think it would look better if the cylinder release, hammer and trigger matched the rest of the gun. However for a knock around, glove box kind of gun in a real serious caliber it's probably perfect.
 

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I've sort of thought about getting one of those, but other things keep getting in the way. I'd probably never shoot anything except 44 Specials in it, and I've already got a Taurus 431, in 44 Special, so it's not a priority.
 

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I have one and have run full magnum loads thru it I didn't think the recoil was all that bad I carry it all the time as a woods gun now if Smith would come out with the same platform in .41 mag
 

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I have one and have run full magnum loads thru it I didn't think the recoil was all that bad I carry it all the time as a woods gun now if Smith would come out with the same platform in .41 mag
I wish S&W would start making the 58 out of Stainless Steel. No sleeved barrel and fixed sights. The people in Hell want Ice water, too!? jmo mytwocents
 

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I wonder why S&W went with a sleeve barrel? I like the gun but i'm not interested in the 44mag anymore. I think they should have made it with fixed sights and in 44 spl.
 

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I think it is a light easy packing 5-shot 44 magnum, that is meant to be carried a lot more than it is shot. I haven't shot one so my only experience shooting a lighter than standard N-frame 44 magnum is the 44 magnum Mountain Gun, which I did notice smacked my hand slightly harder than my model-29. I would expect a bit more noticeable recoil from the model-69.

My model 327 has a barrel liner and this 8-shot 357 magnum, so far, has given no problems.

 

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I don`t care for the sleeved barrel. To me, the sights are OK. Don`t care for the finish the gun comes with. I see it as a woods gun, a tool, not something to cherish.
 

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For the most part the sleeved barrel eliminates the need to properly clock the barrel since the front sight isn't on the barrel any longer. The sleeve also eliminated the extra polishing and detail work on the barrel since it's not seen any longer. A decent bead blasting job can be done by an 8 year old, so the guys running that operation don't need to be very well versed in the fine art of finishing a quality handgun.
The sleeve although not my preference should make the front sight on the sleeve easy to align with the frame, but I've already read quite a few complaints that alignment on many of the barrel sleeves is off. The buyers were told to send it back to S&W's service center and they'd fix it. It seems to me that they know alignment is a problem, and would be cheaper if they would just add that step into the QA check before these guns ever leave the plant.
But then again, These new guns don't appear to have a great deal of QA time spent on them any longer. And that explains the Walmart analogy!

And lastly, I think the lighter weight L- frame isn't going to hold up well over time with this particular pistol and 44 Spl cartridges. Buying a handgun knowing that it isn't designed to hold up well over extended periods of use is counter-intuitive. Who want's to buy a $900 handgun just to be told is isn't built to be shot regularly. If that's the case, get me a model 686 and a case of hot 357 magnum ammo instead.

JMO,

Regards,
Gregory

[additional comments added 9/18/15]
In response to your question. I'll try to put them in some reasonable order. Mostly based on my experience with engineering. And some personal opinions.

First off, this isn't an L-frame model 686, or built to the same specification. The frame is L sized, but theat's where the similarity ends.
The barrel is a smaller outside diameter that's markedly smaller than a standard L-frame 686 .357 barrel.
It has to be to fit within the shroud, plus tolerance to move around within the shroud giving the appearance of a regular barrel and profile.
Sure the 44 SPl is lower pressure, but the thin walled barrel is certainly not designed to withstand anything near the .357 magnum pressures, and more than likely, just barely heavy enough to handle the .44 Special ammo, and certinly not any hot and possible highly charged home loads.
Why buy a gun that's close to the engineering limits of a standard .44 Spl. load, when you can buy an N-frame for nearly the same price that can handle any 44 SPL load made. Lighter weight means lighter loads, and greater wear.
Obviously the 44 bullet is a larger diameter then the .357. That gives the barrel on the model 69 a much thinner wall thickness than a standard 686 .357 barrel.
The thinner and smaller barrel profile is not going to handle the stress as well as the 686 barrel will.
The 686 was built for a specific reason, and that's to take the stresses of the faster and lighter hypersonic 110-125 grain 357 magnum bullets.
The model 69 is a gun that may externally look the same as a 686 L-frame, but that barrel is a completely different design than the original frame and barrel combination.
Lastly the sleeve is a thin sheet of steel that's either coated or bead blasted to give it the looks of a standard stainless barrel, but I guarantee over time it's going to get dinged, banged around, and probably dented from normal, and some abnormal use and wear. Maybe not on your personal M-69, but in the long haul I don't feel it's going to hold up well for most users.

There's more behind my comments, but this just about covers it.
 
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