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Thread: A new pocket gun....

  1. #1
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    Default A new pocket gun....

    I've been looking at the S&W 396 Night Guard revolver. A Scandium frame five shot 44 special with 2 1/2" barrel. I am a fan of the 44 special and it's performance in the short barrels is quite effective with minimal muzzle flash. This number has a set of C&S tritium sights and weighs in at 24 ounces. It is the steel cylinder version, not the titanium cylinder so slightly heavier and possible more durable. I have always liked the 3" s/s 696 five shooter but it is long discontinued, given the lack of popularity of the cartridge, I'd say and I expect this 396 to be a short run because of that. Has anyone seen one of these, got their hands on one? Just wonder what the feel is for this size of gun for social use.
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  2. #2
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    Sounds kind of like a slick Bulldog with nice sights.... Should work!
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I shot one of the scandium 357 mags, all ti, featherweight snubbie. It was the most painful handgun I've ever fired, more painful than monte's 4 5/8" blackhawk firing max 440 gr loads.

    That experience has completely turned off any of the flyweight guns. There is a certain at which I won't give up shootability in the interest of packability. I'd definately have to shot one before considering buying one.

  4. #4
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    Same here.

    Super lightweights, with short barrels are not for me. It hurts too much to shoot'em.

    I have an older S&W lightweight 38 special (Mdl 37) with a 3" barrel that is OK, though.

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  5. #5
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    Default Looked a one in Anchorage

    I looked at one at Northern Security a month or so ago. It was noticeably heavier than the 329 PD. I gave some though to buying it and pulling the cylinder from my 329 PD to see how it would work.

    In the end I ended up buying with the last 359 PD (.41 Mag.) they had - I figured I could get night guard later and the 359 is discountinued so they gave me a pretty good discount on it.

    The night guard has some posibilites but I don't see the slightly shorter barrel as being a big deal for a N frame gun. I'll stick with my lighter 329 or the new 359 PD for carry for now.


    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    I've been looking at the S&W 396 Night Guard revolver. A Scandium frame five shot 44 special with 2 1/2" barrel. I am a fan of the 44 special and it's performance in the short barrels is quite effective with minimal muzzle flash. This number has a set of C&S tritium sights and weighs in at 24 ounces. It is the steel cylinder version, not the titanium cylinder so slightly heavier and possible more durable. I have always liked the 3" s/s 696 five shooter but it is long discontinued, given the lack of popularity of the cartridge, I'd say and I expect this 396 to be a short run because of that. Has anyone seen one of these, got their hands on one? Just wonder what the feel is for this size of gun for social use.
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  6. #6
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    Murphy, I have not shot the specific gun yet. But I have read several reviews and it sounds like a winner. I also shoot alot of 44 specials through my 329 PD and it is a pleasure to shoot. With the nightguard being slightly heavier I think it will be a crack shot with the .44 specials. I think the new nightguards will be a tremendous carry gun if you can afford them.

    BTW does anybody know who carries .44 special for decent prices in anchorage?
    Last edited by AKF; 10-22-2008 at 22:53. Reason: mistake

  7. #7
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    Murphy, we have sold several and I shot my buddies, its nice...if I didnt have a no lock Moon clipped Mountain gun as my 44, I'd get one...very cool

  8. #8
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    Murphy, I have not shot the Night Guard but I own it's predecessor the 696. I love it. It is a little heavier but shooting a 44 Special makes it worth the extra weight. Mine is stainless with a 3 inch barrel. Even with that short of a barrel it is very accurate. My hunting partner, who is a pistolero, put all five into a one inch group at 50 yards off-hand. I, on the other hand group about one foot at that range. I put tritium sights on it too. Good for the night stand. I too have shot the 329 and it can be brutal, but 44 specials are not too uncomfortable in one. Would I buy the Night Guard, you bet, if I couldn't find another 696. Jim

  9. #9

    Default 340pd

    The first time I shot my 357 I was shocked at the recoil. It didn't kick up so much as just hurt my hand. I was even wearing a glove.

    I then shot a whole box of 38s through it and they felt comparatively mild. Then I went down to Chimo's and asked for the most powerful ammo that would fit in the gun. They gave me some pretty heavy stuff and I went out and shot that. After getting used to the gun I now love it and am not afraid to shoot it at all.

    I wanted the most powerful handgun that was light enough for me to comfortably carry. I don't enjoy carrying a heavy gun on my hip, I like a pocket gun. I really like this gun.

    I would say that 396 is probably a great gun. It's not as light as the 340 but the extra oomph would be nice.
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  10. #10

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    boy if you like a fist full of pist you oughta try one of these.....18oz. 45lc+p......total titanium


  11. #11
    Member mmusashi2k's Avatar
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    Default Scandium

    I bought a scandium S&W short barreled 44mag a couple years ago and found it quite unpleasant to shoot bear rounds out of at the range but when I used it to place the coup de gras in a mooses skull this September I don't even remember the recoil. I always carry it as I feel that it would be a lot more effective as a bear deterent than harsh language.

  12. #12
    Member AKRoadkill's Avatar
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    I have a 396 PD (doesn't say Night Guard, though). I think it's a 3" bbl, but might only be 2 1/2...I'll have to dig it out and look. It weighs 18 oz empty. I've only shot factory 200gr hollow points so far and the recoil wasn't bad at all. Now my 11 oz 340PD, on the other hand HURTS to shoot .357 mag...but .38 Spl are quite pleasant.

    I can carry either of 'em in my Carhartt's inside pocket and barely notice.

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