By Lars Dalseide | January 15 2014 14:56

Smith & Wesson's Model 69 Combat Magnum revolver lightens the 5-shot load

Smith & Wesson's new .44 Magnum 5-shot revolver

Boulder City, Nevada - SHOT Show's Media Day was a little different this year. Now before starting with the rumors and speculation just stop. It wasn't all that different for anyone else ... just me. For this year I walked up and down the lanes of the Boulder Rifle & Pistol Club with Glen Hoyer, the director of NRA's Law Enforcement Division.

Glen's background in law enforcement provides a unique take on the guns and gear offered up this year. Questions such as will it work in the field, how many holsters does it fit, is it light enough to work as a backup kept rolling off his tongue. Only a few of those we took out for a test drive met with his rigorous standards. One was Smith & Wesson's new 5-shot .44 Magnum revolver.

Built on stainless steel cylinder with a stainless steel slide and a two piece barrel, the Smith five-Shot revolver can carry everything from the lightest .44 Special loads to the heaviest of the .44 Magnums. Loading Smith & Wesson's L-Frame 5-shot revolverBut what makes it unique, for Smith & Wesson at least, is the L-Frame design.

"It's our first attempt at the l-frame .44 mag," said company rep Jeff Puckett. "Everything turned out better than we had hoped. It is an awesome gun."

Handing his prize to the ever skeptical Hoyer, Puckett stepped back, folded his arms and smiled.

"Don't worry. He's going to smile after this one."

A shot later and Puckett was right.

Taking his time with every round, Hoyer emptied the 69 Combat Magnum once, twice and three times. This was something to put on the wish list.

"The L-frame size was just what I hoped for," Hoyer explained. "They have a relatively compact grip and the recoil is manageable considering it's a .44 magnum.

"I would certainly buy one especially as a backup gun on a hunting trip. If you're packing it on your hip while hunting then the lighter weight is going to be an advantage. Because when you're in the woods, the less weight the better."

Puckett and Hoyer filled the next five minutes going back and forth over the specs and performance of the new found favorite. But a quick review of the line, and the anxious patrons waiting for their turn, signaled it was time to go. Just as well.

With all that SHOT has to offer, you can't afford to get stuck on just one product. What you can do, however, is put it down on the wish list. And that's exactly where the Smith & Wesson 69 Combat revolver currently resides.

Firing Smith & Wesson's new five-Shot .44 Magnum Revolver at SHOT Show's Media Day

For more on NRA's Law Enforcement Division, visit their website at
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