M96/44 Deluxe prototype

Includes .44 & 10/22 Carbines; Mini-14, 30 & 6.8; Model 96 & 99/44 Deerfields; M77s; PC 4s & 9s; AC-556; MP9; XGI.
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Carbineguy
Posts: 197
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2020 1:28 pm
Location: Glendale, CA

M96/44 Deluxe prototype

Post by Carbineguy »

In transit to me right now is a two-digit 96/44 in a factory checkered Schnabel fore end stock. It is complete with box, rings and papers and has a few handling marks on the stock but is in excellent condition otherwise. The box end is stamped SAVE with a later shipping sticker applied. It may be part of the dump of "archive guns" from warehouse storage a few years ago. I only have this one photo to share at the moment.
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"My greatest fear is that, when I die, my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them." Anonymous Collector

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gunman42782
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Re: M96/44 Deluxe prototype

Post by gunman42782 »

Nice snag!
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Hawkeye28
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Re: M96/44 Deluxe prototype

Post by Hawkeye28 »

Serial number? :?:

Carbineguy
Posts: 197
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Re: M96/44 Deluxe prototype

Post by Carbineguy »

The SN is 640-00032.
The grip has an unusual checkering pattern. Maybe hand done?
"My greatest fear is that, when I die, my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them." Anonymous Collector

chet15
Posts: 395
Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:28 am

Re: M96/44 Deluxe prototype

Post by chet15 »

Awesome gun right there!!
If I remember right, the gun left the factory in one of their warehouse purges of two and three digit guns.
Evidently the gun got caught up in those instead of being held back as a "concept" gun or prototype.
Chet15

Carbineguy
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Location: Glendale, CA

Re: M96/44 Deluxe prototype

Post by Carbineguy »

I think it would be more properly called a Deluxe Sporter concept. I wonder if they started with a standard stock and hand-carve this beauty? The work on the grip is unique - everything is more slim and sophisticated with a sporting comb. The butt is a stippled black recoil pad with a black spacer. It feels just amazing in-hand. Due to our ten-day wait and my FFL's honeymoon closure I won't have it in-hand again until May 31. Bummer!
Here are a few rushed photos at the shop during DROS:
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"My greatest fear is that, when I die, my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them." Anonymous Collector

chet15
Posts: 395
Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:28 am

Re: M96/44 Deluxe prototype

Post by chet15 »

Standard Model 96 stocks were birch.
The bottom of the pistol grip also has a different shape than the standard Model 96 carbine type.
Neat to see a prototype get out as a regular serial number too! Most are usually 880- prefixed.
Chet15

67stingray
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Re: M96/44 Deluxe prototype

Post by 67stingray »

It's a shame they didn't follow that pattern when they decided to make the 96's. I would say you've got a special piece there.
Bennett
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