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.