This is getting awkward, so a confession is in order…

A number of commenters in the post below have chided me for not upgrading from the Taurus Tracker I started carrying about three (four?) and a half years ago.

And the truth is – I did. Late last year.


Regular readers might recall that last October I posted an article comparing my Tracker to a neighbor’s new-to-him S&W Model 69. My reaction to that pistol was positively inappropriate – it was like lusting after your neighbor’s wife. You just don’t do that ’cause it’s nothing but trouble, right?

I mean the 69 was exactly like the Tracker in every way – except better in every way. And the Tracker would have been perfect for me – light, easy to carry but good cartridge choice – if it were only … better in every way. It’s basically the difference between a range toy and a serious working gun.

Well – it turns out my neighbor really didn’t like his Model 69. It’s light for a .44 Magnum, he doesn’t reload, and you can only buy magnum ammo locally. You kind of have to be a recoil junky to like it*. And if your neighbor doesn’t really mind you lusting after his new pistol, well … one thing led to another. Trades ensued.

As with the Tracker, it really needed a better grip. Hogue makes two that fit the L-frame; a svelte one and a big ugly one that takes some of the pain out of the recoil. You see the one it has now.

But it did develop a mainspring problem. My theory is that its previous owner swapped in a lighter mainspring for a lighter trigger. Certainly somebody not a gunsmith took the sideplate off at some point because a couple of screws are chingered up slightly. It never was 100% with hard primers, though it worked fine on commercial ammo until this weekend. When I took the grip off I found that the tensioning screw had backed out, and it should be cranked all the way down and Locktited. So I have a heavier ‘duty’ spring coming.

As to why I didn’t mention it on the blog even though I was giddy as a schoolgirl at the time – I dunno. My weapons have been upgraded somewhat over the past few years and some private things should remain private. But not talking about the S&W, which I carry every day, may have been taking that policy to extremes.


* It’s pleasant to shoot with .44 Special. But I can roll my own Specials and need to because they’re not sold locally. My neighbor was stuck with Magnum ammo only.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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8 Responses to This is getting awkward, so a confession is in order…

  1. Dean says:

    Those that have used the 69 extensively report that the x frame grip that comes standard on the big 50 and 460 Magnums tame the recoil of the 69 well. Personally I would treat it as a .44 Special but apparently many have put a steady diet of Magnums and are still chugging along.

  2. Beaner49 says:

    Well that is more like it. Once you undo all the amature gunsmithing ‘improvements’ you should have a 100% reliable EDC.
    I will admit I didn’t like the stock DA pull on my 25-5 and had a actual gunsmith do the work.
    The DA pull was improved a bit but oh lord the single action pull is scary. Somewhere in the area of 2-2.5 lbs.
    Model 69’s are great guns, I am sure you are going to enjoy lusting over its acquisition.

  3. The Neon Madman says:

    Ah, a Smith & Wesson. A proper revolver.

  4. My only objection is gun pr0n in 400×301 pixel format.

    And on that note – why does the cylinder appear tapered at the bottom of the frame window? (more daylight towards the front) Just an effect of the angle?

    Nice to hear of the upgrade – hope you can get it to 100%.

  5. anonymous says:

    Cool beans. As much time as you spend outdoors in the desert, you NEED a reliable gun that travels every where you go. And a holstered handgun is about the best you can do to accomplish that. I hope you get things squared away but it sounds like you are on top of it so …

  6. matismf says:

    Now THIS:
    http://itaintholywater.blogspot.com/2020/05/pure-genius.html

    is what you need before next winter!

  7. TK421a says:

    S&W Model 69? Very nice! I’m sure the Wolff spring will correct the problem you had on the weekend. One thing I know is that S&W make a damn fine wheel gun.

  8. Joel says:

    My only objection is gun pr0n in 400×301 pixel format.

    My bad. I should have thought of that.

To the stake with the heretic!