S&W 686 vs Ruger GP100

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by aandabooks, Aug 23, 2014.

  1. aandabooks

    aandabooks New Member

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    Got out to the range to shoot the new 686. I shot it side by side with a Ruger GP100 6" that I bought last month and hadn't yet fired. I've got a serious addiction to revolvers.

    From my observations there are some real differences between the two brands. I was using the same reloads in both guns and shooting two cylinders in one and the shooting the other. I switched back and forth like this for 100 .38 special loads and then 3 total cylinders of .357 magnum loads. I shot different targets in each gun and shot in both SA and DA.

    Here are my observations on the strengths of each gun:

    S&W is the more accurate gun, better DA trigger, tie on the SA, it has one more round, better front site.
    Ruger is acceptably accurate, stronger gun that sucks up the mag loads better.

    These are just my observations. Others mileage may vary.
     
  2. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    That about Sums up my experience. The Ruger is built like a tank. Not as refined as the S&W. The S&W trigger is one of my favorites, especially in early models. I had a model 29 that was made in the 60s, and haven't found a better DA/SA revolver trigger since.

    Both are very good guns. I'd welcome either to my collection.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014

  3. aandabooks

    aandabooks New Member

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    Both of the triggers on the two guns tested today are stock. I also have a 5" GP100 that I have done some work on. I've got its DA trigger pull down to around 8lbs. I haven't looked inside the S&W yet but the Ruger has a fairly simple trigger mechanism that takes well to a spring change and some stoning.

    One day soon I'll get all 3 of them to the range at the same time.
     
  4. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Active Member

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    If you ever get the chance to shoot a Dan Wesson that's been maintained well do so and you'll want to add one to your collection.
     
  5. ctshooter

    ctshooter New Member

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    The double action trigger on the smith is better due to it being a 7 shot. The cylinder doesn't rotate as far. Just something to keep in mind. I love my 686 plus.
     
  6. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Active Member

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    So a N frame 8 shot would be better yet using your analogy. Smoothness is what counts. DW's have a very short stroke on the hammer to begin with.
     
  7. ctshooter

    ctshooter New Member

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    I was referring to the seven shot having a "shorter rotation" of the cylinder vs. the six shot. Like an action upgrade so to speak.
     
  8. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Active Member

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    Take you trigger pull gauge And "cock the hammer with a cylinder in the frame and then with no cylinder, pull it out of the frame and see the difference as being so little as to not matter. Maybe 2oz. I guess guality of a parts finish ,lube and maintainence over time could play in this a little bit. Doubt it will change much. Atleast thats what I find with a couple DW's and my old Taurus snubby I have. No s&w's or ruger revolvers in the house
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014
  9. Daoust_Nat

    Daoust_Nat Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Great information. I have been looking at both, and also the S&W Model 66. Cannot decide which I want. This will all help.
     
  10. sigman84

    sigman84 New Member

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    I like my GP100!
     
  11. bigguns21

    bigguns21 New Member

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    I shot a 686 and fell in love with the gun but not so much the price so I did some research and bought a gp100 was absolutely not the same. Traded it back to LGS after a couple hundred rounds of both .38+p and .357.
     
  12. bigguns21

    bigguns21 New Member

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    And now in the process if saving for a 686 but shot a 6" Python recently......................:(
     
  13. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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    I really like Ruger and the SP101 and could go either way between an SP101 and S&W 60 etc, but between the GP100 and 686 I would always choose the 686, just seems like a better size and sleekness.
     
  14. Mouser

    Mouser Active Member

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    I might be a minority here...I own a GP100 6" and 3" .38spc as well as a 686-6 and out of the box, there is not much difference but if you pinned me down, I'd choose the GP100 due to a slightly better trigger out of the box for me...the operative concepts are "for me" and "out of the box".
     
  15. kfox75

    kfox75 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Pretty much sums up my take on it. Within my family, there are about a dozen .357s, 2 DWs, 3 686s, 2 Pythons, a Desert Eagle, an SP101, and a trio of GP100s. The last time we all got together, we held a "Can I try a few out of that?" range day, and out of all of them i most liked the 6 inch DW that my uncle owns (He has the full barrel and shroud set, but only brought the one with.) The 686 didn't feel bad to me, it just did n't feel good enough to offset the price difference IMHO. If it came down to the GP100 or the 686 for me, I would go with the GP100.

    This may also be in part because I already own a GP100, that was a gift from my father, but for the money I find it to be a good shooter, robustly built, and more than capable of soaking up heavy recoil. I say that if you can swing it, and you think it's worth the price, pick up the 686 if you feel you must have it. However, the GP100 is still a fine revolver in it's own right, and will do all you ask it to for as long as you own it.

    I do have a question for the 686 owners on here though. How much of a PITA is the 686 to DCOR? The GP{100 is pretty straight forward, but re-inserting the trigger assembly can be a bit of a pain the first couple times you pull it out to clean it.
     
  16. sigman84

    sigman84 New Member

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    Mine shoots just fine to worry about paying the extra for the smith. Not saying the smiths are bad by any means. I just feel I can get plenty of gun from the gp100 for a lot less.
     
  17. DrFootball

    DrFootball disappointed & disgusted, But DETERMINED... Lifetime Supporter

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    We dont( me or the Mz.) have a GP100 yet, but we DO have a 45+ YO Security Six( was my Dad 's) and my Wife's SP101, plus Several old Colts( also inherited from Dad) and Her late Dad 's Nickel Chief. The newer smiths are nice Guns, but I'd rather get an older one. If I'm buying a new 4" or 6" it would be the GP100. I did have a Smith M57 6"
    Long ago, but it went bye bye to fund a Dan Wesson w/4 Barrels in the same 41Mag caliber....


    Sent from my iPhone using Firearms Talk
     
  18. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Active Member

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    DrFootball A 41 mag dan Wesson!! Way to go. I have not even layed eyes on one of those. Wonder if EWKarms will build barrels and shrouds for it.

    KFox75 Have your dad or you contact EWKarms for most anything metal for a DW revolver and lbcustoms for bbq grips.
    http://www.ewkarms.com/zen8/
    http://lbcustomgrips.com/
     
  19. DrFootball

    DrFootball disappointed & disgusted, But DETERMINED... Lifetime Supporter

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    I was inspired to get one after I read a novel in which the Main person carried one as his Primary, With 2 Grips, and 5" & 8" barrels. When I had enough $$ to order one the shortest they had was a 6". All are HB, and Ported. The two longer are Pre-Tapped, and the 12" has the scope mounted ( a Weaver Shotgun scope).


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  20. DrFootball

    DrFootball disappointed & disgusted, But DETERMINED... Lifetime Supporter

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    Thanks for hose links Hardluk !! Those are nice Grips!!


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