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M96/44 Deluxe prototype

Posted: Sun May 09, 2021 5:35 pm
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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Re: M96/44 Deluxe prototype

Posted: Mon May 10, 2021 1:57 am
by gunman42782
Nice snag!

Re: M96/44 Deluxe prototype

Posted: Mon May 10, 2021 7:25 am
by Hawkeye28
Serial number? :?:

Re: M96/44 Deluxe prototype

Posted: Mon May 10, 2021 12:08 pm
by Carbineguy
The SN is 640-00032.
The grip has an unusual checkering pattern. Maybe hand done?

Re: M96/44 Deluxe prototype

Posted: Wed May 12, 2021 4:24 pm
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

Re: M96/44 Deluxe prototype

Posted: Sat May 15, 2021 1:40 pm
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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Re: M96/44 Deluxe prototype

Posted: Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:14 pm
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

Re: M96/44 Deluxe prototype

Posted: Sat Jun 12, 2021 8:49 am
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