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Better revolver S&W or Ruger

6863 Views 58 Replies 45 Participants Last post by  HockaLouis
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.
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Half dozen of another
I'm a S&W fan myself but Ruger makes excellent revolvers----
"Ask yerself one question punk, do you feel lucky?" Dirty Harry Callahan, "Go ahead, make my day!"

I'm prejudiced:


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I personally like Ruger. I also have never shot a S&W
All about personal preference...they both make great revolvers!
for the long haul and general durability no one beats ruger revolvers its not even a contest. ruger simply owns the issue of which revolver is best in current production for general use
I will have to admit, when I recommend S&W's, I do recommend older models.
Collectors, S&W.

Use it, shoot it, drop it, Ruger.

Both are great guns, and one should own both in a rounded collection, as well as a Colt.
Rugers are definitely built tough but S&W often has a better trigger (on some models). Also, S&W has an internal lock which for some is a problem. I've shot and owned both and prefer an older S&W or a Ruger just because I'm hard headed and don't like the S&W lock.

The S&W 460V that I carried in Alaska did have to be sent back for a warranty repair (the cylinder jammed and took quite a bit of work to get unlocked/unloaded - nothing to do with the internal lock as far as I know but I'm no gunsmith).
That's like asking who makes a better 1/2 ton pickup truck, Ford or Chevrolet? They will both get the job done. I like Ford and S&W
There's no doubt that Ruger makes a tough, reliable revolver. But so does Smith. To me, the Smith matches the Ruger in terms of pros, but pulls away with additional pros that Ruger won't have. Particularly the attention to detail in terms of the trigger and also overall design. I kinda think Rugers are ugly.

Both brands will be guns that 99% of owners will never wear out. They'll both be guns that can be handed down for generations. The Smith will be the one that retains its value better in terms of 30 to 40 years from now. It will likely increase in value compared to the Ruger. The Smith will be a great shooter that will eventually become a collector. The Ruger will just always be a great shooter. You don't see many old timers bragging about their collection of Rugers! :)

Not to mention you don't see Jerry Miculek shooting Ruger revolvers in competitions. :) Basically the Smith will match the Ruger pro for pro while adding several significant pros of their own that Ruger simply can't match.
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I have shot and owned many of both(though only older ones of each). The Rugers are likely tougher but for most folks they would see no difference. As far as retained value really no difference either. Rugers made 30-40 years ago are worth a premium(equal to Smith's). So the correct answer is .................your choice.
As far as retained value really no difference either. Rugers made 30-40 years ago are worth a premium(equal to Smith's).
I'll have to strongly disagree with that statement.

Just crack open a Blue Book and start comparing values. That's not even considering real world application. As a Smith collector myself, early no dash models are very easily selling for $200 to $300 more than a comparible model Ruger. And these collector models will continue to increase in value at a much higher rate than a Ruger.
Having shot a lot of both, I think Rugers are more indestructable, Smiths more elegant. Most Smiths I have shot were more accurate out of the box than Rugers, but not greatly so.

So the answer is . . . buy which feels better in your hand.
This is a well worn path. I've got both, I like both enough not to endorse one over the other. Get the one you like best. Either brand will provide reliable service.
My personal preference is ruger built like a brick house and great customer service
It depends on how you intend to use the piece to me,,, for general shooting purposes and recreation, both are great, cor concealed carry, it is hard to beat an Airweght Smith, although Ruger makes a fine DA. For all around hunting, I prefer a Ruger SA. For investment,, get a Smith. Prices have gone crazy high for models made up to the early 70's in these parts and the quality of these pieces as far as smoothness and triggers are excellent. Even the Model 10 's are going for very high prices these days and they made a lot of those, various barrel lengths and bull barrels, etc. An early Model 27 Registered Magnum is a real treasure almost too valuable to shoot. Have fun shopping and trying out different models of both brands but in the end,, get BOTH. Good shooting,

Here is a apples to apples comparison.


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It all depends on what you plan to do with it. I think the Ruger's are a little sturdier and make a better hunting gun. The older S&W's have the better action and would be the better target gun, you can slick them up to an amazingly smooth and light trigger.
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