Why did a magazine that covers the latest and greatest tactical and personal-defense firearms choose a revolver as its handgun of the year? Because revolvers still have an important place in the defensive realm, and the Model 69 takes the platform to an exciting new level. Bringing the power of Elmer Keith’s favorite handgun round to the midsize frame is no small feat, considering the larger N-frame barely withstood the punishment doled out by the mighty magnum. Smith & Wesson was able to design a big-bore twin to the tried-and-true Combat Magnum chambered in .357 Mag. in a masterful piece of engineering. From the ball detent in the cylinder yoke to the beefy forcing cone, Smith & Wesson made sure this new Magnum revolver will wear the S&W logo proudly for many years. This new wheelgun can be found at the corner of power and reliability.
“The magnum’s added power is still manageable through two or three full cylinders and…I would expect it to prove decisive with fewer rounds fired.” —Dick Williams, Handgun Editor.