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Old 04-01-2013, 07:05 PM   #21
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Which manufacturer makes the better revolver S&W or Ruger? I am thinking about getting my first revolver. I have looked at S&W 686 and Ruger GP 100.
If you go with something other than an alloy frame you won't be able to notice much of a strength difference between the two.

If you eventually want to put a spring kit in it, they are available for either gun. Where S&W has the advantage in my opinion is the action. Neither one really impresses me out of the box, but with a little work a Smith seems to come out smoother than the Ruger.

I'm not sure on this one, but there seems to be more people making aftermarket grips for the S&W. I've never done a study to confirm this.

This is solely my opinion. I find the cylinder release on the S&W to be more of a natural motion. That is probably because my first revolver was a S&W 19. My second revolver was a Ruger Security Six, which I still have.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:54 PM   #22
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I like the 686 but i hear the gp100s are tougher but the bottom of the barrel is kinda angled and makes it look ugly the 686 stainless looks alot more sexy though but if it were me id choose function over looks.
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:17 AM   #23
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I would say they are pretty close to even in revolvers. Ruger holds the advantage in most other categories, IMO.
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:19 AM   #24
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I have been VERY happy with my Ruger GP100. I do not own any S&W products.
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:25 AM   #25
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I have been VERY happy with my Ruger GP100. I do not own any S&W products.
If you ever get a chance, try out a S&W 19 or 66. No, I'm not saying you will throw away your Ruger to get one, but they are fun to shoot.
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:47 AM   #26
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If you ever get a chance, try out a S&W 19 or 66. No, I'm not saying you will throw away your Ruger to get one, but they are fun to shoot.
I didn't type that quite right. I have tried a couple different S&W's in the past, but I haven't bought any. I guess they don't suit my taste.

It's not the kind of decision you should take another person's opinion on; it's something tactile that a buyer should compare themselves.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:27 PM   #27
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I like the 686 but i hear the gp100s are tougher but the bottom of the barrel is kinda angled and makes it look ugly the 686 stainless looks alot more sexy though but if it were me id choose function over looks.
The 686 is what's called an L frame which is essentially a slightly beefier K frame. Move up to a Model 27, 28, or 627 and that's what's called an N frame. That's a frame that's tougher than the GP100.

In terms of frame size there is really no apples to apples comparison between Smith and Ruger.
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Old 04-06-2013, 02:28 AM   #28
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I just purchased a 686. I love it. Great shooting gun
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:53 AM   #29
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I own both. It's never occurred to me that one is better than the other.
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:18 AM   #30
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Let's see...I have two Ruger SINGLE actions and five Smith DOUBLE actions, and those are a variety of ages from late 1960's up to mid-2000's and I love my Smiths. As for durability, Smith had an issue with using MIM parts (hammers, etc.) in the late 1990's but when the anti-gun Brits sold them off, a lot of their quality issues went away. As for the locks, I would trust my life to my 625 45 Colt Mountain Gun, and have shown it capable in IDPA, etc. despite being "plagued" by the lock. Its trigger isn't as nice as my 13 or my 686, but it holds its own quite well. As for my 686, it is a rugged, reliable revolver that brings home the bacon and is a dream to shoot.
The Ruger vs. Smith argument is old hat, much like the Ford vs. Chevy, but here is another way to look at it if you're a gear head; forged vs. cast. Smith forges their revolver frames and Ruger casts theirs. This is why Ruger's are bigger and clunky looking, the are overengineered as a CYA in case of a flaw in the casting process. Smith's are forged and machined in house by their own people.
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