Ruger or Taurus?


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H. Faversham
February 16, 2007, 07:40 PM
Since S&W prices are getting too high, I see a lot more people buying Ruger and Taurus these days. Is it possible to say, in general only of course, (1)Ruger makes a better revolver than Taurus or vice versa, or (2) as far as service is concerned, one company is better than the other?

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Jim March
February 16, 2007, 07:42 PM
Ruger. Both ways.

The only thing Ruger lacks is as varied a product line. But if there IS a Ruger that will do, it will do it better than a Taurus.

Stinger1
February 16, 2007, 07:52 PM
2nd that! Ruger for quality and price hands down!

RC

H. Faversham
February 16, 2007, 08:00 PM
That's also my first blush impression, but how does Ruger compete with all the cheap Taurus labor ?

P. Plainsman
February 16, 2007, 08:07 PM
I basically agree. Also, most Ruger revolvers are still internal-lock free.

I'm still glad Taurus is around. Ruger seems to have had a few bouts of bad revolver QC lately. And Taurus offers a far broader product line, especially for CCW -- where Ruger basically offers one choice, the steel framed SP101. It's a superb little .357 Magnum carry gun, but it's a belt gun for most of us. Taurus makes zillions of different featherweight snubbies that are so convenient and popular for pocket carry.

If a Taurus revolver catches your eye, run the THR revolver checkout on it assiduously -- I wouldn't buy a Taurus sight unseen or without being able to handle the specific gun in question.

But if it checks out, you will probably end up with a good revolver at a good price.

dairycreek
February 16, 2007, 08:27 PM
I can only relate to you my personal experience with both Ruger and Taurus. I never had a problem with a Ruger handgun - period:cool: I had lots and lots of trouble with my NIB Taurus revolvers and Customer Service was an absolute joke:cuss:

So much so that I, for one, will never purchase another Taurus product. Life is too short for that kind of hassle.:scrutiny:

461
February 16, 2007, 08:28 PM
Apples and Oranges. The Ruger is the better product on all fronts, quality, performance, and service.

If you have a problem with a Ruger it gets fixed. I have had excellent service from every Ruger I've owned and on the two occasions I've had a problem with something, Ruger has gone out of their way to take care of it.

I've owned revolvers from every company that makes them and I own a lot of Rugers and one Smith.

jad0110
February 16, 2007, 08:29 PM
Both companies make good guns and both make lemons too from time-to-time, just like S&W.

That said, Rugers do hold their resale value better and probably has fewer lemons than Taurus. I've never owned a Ruger (would like to one day), but I've owned a Taurus 66 357 mag (excellent gun) and a Taurus 94 22LR (lemon). My experience with Taurus customer service on the 94 was not pleasant. But like Plainsman said, other than SAA Ruger has a pretty limited (albeit nice) selection of DA revolvers to choose from. Taurus has GOBS of cool stuff.

I second the revolver checkout, it is your best friend, even when buying new.

Don't rule out a used S&W if price is a concern. May I ask what you are looking for? What will it be used for?

benelli12
February 16, 2007, 08:32 PM
another vote for ruger:D

Jim March
February 16, 2007, 08:41 PM
If all that isn't enough...aftermarket parts support for Ruger is now at or maybe even beyond that of even S&W, and worlds ahead of Taurus.

If you're into customizing your goods for your own hand size or sight preference, Ruger is where to start.

On edit: what Ruger doesn't have is any sort of lightweight line...but then again those are the most troublesome Taurii...

1shotonly
February 16, 2007, 08:47 PM
My Brother bought a Ruger stainless DA in .44mag, the cylinder bores where to big or something, the gases would leak back between the case and the bores causing soot to blow back into the action causing the gun to lock up. after a thorough cleaning with an aerosol cleaner it would start working again for a few more loads then lock up again, and it was very inaccurate. He sold it and got a S&W. I've always felt that the smiths just "feel" better.

Jim March
February 16, 2007, 08:52 PM
He should have sent it back to Ruger. They would have fixed it.

The good news: Ruger will fix guns they screwed up even if you're not the original owner. So whoever bought it off your brother wasn't completely hosed.

MCgunner
February 16, 2007, 09:37 PM
I'm still glad Taurus is around. Ruger seems to have had a few bouts of bad revolver QC lately. And Taurus offers a far broader product line, especially for CCW -- where Ruger basically offers one choice, the steel framed SP101. It's a superb little .357 Magnum carry gun, but it's a belt gun for most of us. Taurus makes zillions of different featherweight snubbies that are so convenient and popular for pocket carry.

If a Taurus revolver catches your eye, run the THR revolver checkout on it assiduously -- I wouldn't buy a Taurus sight unseen or without being able to handle the specific gun in question.

I agree. While I love Ruger revolvers, their variety sux. I own THREE great Taurus revolvers. Two were bought used at gun shows for cheap, cheap compared to Smith prices and, frankly, quality is superior to a lot of worn out used Smiths I've seen for a lot more money. I don't even look at new Smiths, ain't rich. Accuracy out of both guns is astounding, and I've owned several Smiths, two K frames and an N frame.


On edit: what Ruger doesn't have is any sort of lightweight line...but then again those are the most troublesome Taurii...


I'm not sure about the Titanium stuff, but I can tell you the M85s and the Ultra Lites are FANTASTIC. The ones I've handled, including my own, had a trigger FAR superior to a Smith and I've heard few gripes. I've heard a lot of gripes about the 9mms and of the .22s, the M94s. But, then, I've heard from happy owners of both. I'd say, though, that the M85 and 85ULs are among the best Tauri offered. My two M66s are pretty tough to beat, though, too.

Yes, at the prices, I've written off buying any Smiths anytime soon including used ones. They're just outrageously high around here. The two Taurus 66s I bought were under 200 bucks, one of 'em like new about 10 years old, the new lock-work, nickel plated. A used M19 Smith equal in condition would be $500 and shoot no better, quite possibly worse considering the accuracy of that particular Taurus. I gave $197 for that one at a gun show.

I've been looking around for a used Security Six. I found one the other day just like the one I traded some time ago, stainless, 4". They had a $400 tag on the thing. :rolleyes: It was at a pawn shop and the pricing on all their stuff was such that they won't sell anything unless it's to a fool. I walked up to the counter and saw it and got a little excited until I saw the price tag, just turned around and walked out. I'd give $250 for one, maybe, but no more considering the price of Taurus used revolvers and they're great shootin' guns.

I own three Ruger single action revolvers that are fantastic. I don't have any DAs, though I'd thought about getting a 3" SP101 for a long time. One shop here had one for $400. I bought a 3" Taurus blued M66 at a gun show not long ago, though, to use in lieu of the SP101. It was 180 bucks. It had a timing problem, but turned out to be a simple problem. It was shootable as was, wasn't going to give any more than that, talked the guy off of $200 for it when I showed him the timing thing. It's very accurate, tight, and now perfectly timed and I've been carrying it IWB. It's only a few ounces more than the SP101 3" which is very porky for a smallish frame 5 shot. The Taurus also has the adjustable sights I wanted and holds an extra shot. So, I think I done good. Ruger needs to broaden their line of small frame guns for CCW, but they over-build everything they make. That turns out to be GREAT in the single action stuff for shooting hot loads outdoors, but it's not good for CCW users and that's a BIG market they're missing out on IMHO. The SP101 is popular, but they sure need some light weight .38 models, maybe a titanium SP101, some pocket auto wouldn't hurt. That's not Ruger, though. So, if I can't find the Ruger I want, Taurus is certainly a great alternative. I don't even look at Smiths anymore, just out of my budget and I just cannot justify what they cost.

Confederate
February 16, 2007, 09:49 PM
Ruger is on a par with Smith & Wesson, not Taurus. As someone asked, "How does Ruger compete with all the cheap Taurus labor?" The answer is through superior engineering. What are Taurus guns except purloined Smith & Wesson designs? Cheap labor gives cheap results, which is why Taurus looks good, but doesn't shoot as well. It's like, why was the Taurus PT-92 not as accurate as the Beretta 92? Same basic design. Beretta tooling. The answer is less of a dedication to specifications.

Ruger is dedicated to specifications. They care about quality control and the customer.

Drop two people into the wilds of Alaska, never to see civilization again. Give one a Ruger and the other a Smith & Wesson. Then give each of them an unlimited supply of ammo. Chances are overwhleming that the gun with the Smith will be using it for a hammer long before the guy with the Ruger. Oversize parts and a modular design will win every time.

MCgunner
February 16, 2007, 09:57 PM
Cheap labor gives cheap results, which is why Taurus looks good, but doesn't shoot as well.

Well, dude, if we could meet at the range, I'd put my M66 against any Ruger Security Six anytime for group size. I've got two that shoot a whole heck of a lot better than my Security Six did with .38 loads. They're about the same with .357. The Security Six was an accurate gun with 140 grain JHP Speer .357 loads. My 66s shoot better with my 158 grain handloads, though.

From the bench, my 4" Taurus will put 6 .38 Wadcutters into a 1" group at 25 yards and that means the gun can outshoot me because that's as good as I can do with iron sights. It'll shoot the 140 grain Speer .357 into 1" and my 158 grain into about 2" My 3" gun is only about a half inch less accurate and that might be sight radius and my old eyes.

I'll also put the out of the box trigger quality of those guns against anything Ruger builds. Have you ever actually FIRED a Taurus revolver? The difference as I see it is in quality control. This is why I agree that if you're going to buy a Taurus, you need to look it over really well using the sticky note revolver check out on this site before you buy. But, get a good Taurus and you have a great gun and great shooter for not a lot of money. Heck, Ruger, Taurus, Smith and Wesson, whatever, I'm going to check out timing, end play, gap, etc, etc before I buy it. I don't order guns sight unseen anymore, especially USED ones.

Confederate
February 16, 2007, 10:04 PM
I've been looking around for a used Security Six. I found one the other day just like the one I traded some time ago, stainless, 4". They had a $400 tag on the thing. It was at a pawn shop and the pricing on all their stuff was such that they won't sell anything unless it's to a fool. I walked up to the counter and saw it and got a little excited until I saw the price tag, just turned around and walked out. I'd give $250 for one, maybe, but no more considering the price of Taurus used revolvers and they're great shootin' guns.
If it's a primo quality Ruger, you'd be a lot better off with it, though $400 is way too stiff. More like $300-$350 depending on how good of condition it's in. You may still find them for $250, but that won't last. Remember that Bill Ruger said he never made a dime off a Security-Six, which means it was always artificially low in price. Demand will determine overall price, however, and the day may not be far distant when a used stainless Security-Six will cost the same as a used Smith 66. The Ruger will always be better than a Taurus because in many ways it's better than the original Smith.

Confederate
February 16, 2007, 10:08 PM
Well, dude, if we could meet at the range, I'd put my M66 against any Ruger Security Six anytime for group size. I've got two that shoot a whole heck of a lot better than my Security Six did with .38 loads.
Well, I wish you'd use the M66 I used to own, then we might be able to make a little wager. The 66 I owned gave me group sizes of about...that-away! I could give you the direction, but not any closer than that.

Taking ten off-the-shelf samples of each, I couldn't even guess nowadays. But the Ruger will still be shooting decades from now. The Taurus longevity is measured in dog years.

Ohen Cepel
February 16, 2007, 10:12 PM
I would go with Ruger everytime if all else is equal.

H. Faversham
February 16, 2007, 10:18 PM
jad0110-
I am not looking for any particular revolver. I asked the thread question because I am an impulse buyer--if it catches my eye I like to buy it, try it and, if it's not what I hoped for, sell it (beats heck out of giving the money to some bartender, and less expensive, too. All the dealers at the shows say "Oh, good! Here he comes). But, I've been a Smith man for over 40 years and have not had a lot of experience with Rugers and Taurus, other than the obligatory and time-tested single six, M85, etc. So, I am finding this Forum to be a gold mine of info, and it's nice to know that others have the same impression of certain guns that I do.

MCgunner
February 16, 2007, 10:24 PM
Better in what way. Both my Taurus guns will out shoot the Security Six I had and have a lot less felt recoil, I might add. That old Security Six was pointing at 12 O'Clock after a shot, hand rode very low on the grip, high bore axis. Rapid follow ups weren't really its thing. The Taurus 66s are both very comfortable to shoot and carry well. They're more accurate, what more could I want? I had a Smith M19 once, too, no better gun than the Taurus or Ruger and similar in accuracy to the Ruger. I own a M10, built in the early 60s, not any better gun, though a very good gun. I inherited it. At the prices those things are getting, I'd pass on buying one now days. I'm not really into investment, more into shooting and a good deal. I can't seen the Taurus I bought for $180, though, depreciating in the future, LOL! And both those 66s will last the rest of my lifetime. I'm not hung up on Taurus as a brand, mind you. I only own three of 'em. I've got more Rugers than Tauri. I have a P85, a P90, a stainless 4 5/8" stainless Blackhawk, a 6 1/2" blued .357 Blackhawk, and a Ruger Old Army cap and ball gun. Then, there's the 10/22. I've owned a Security Six, traded for that sweet shootin' Blackhawk .357, good trade IMHO and I wouldn't take it back, that's for sure. That gun will shoot ammunition I'd NEVER shoot in a Security Six or my Taurus guns. They chamber the big Blackhawk for .44 Magnum, after all. The holes in the cylinder look tiny in that big gun, LOL.

I got absolutely NOTHING against the Security Six, think it was a great design. I LOVE the side plateless strength of the frame and the ease of stripping it, but it ain't God's revolver answer to the 1911, either. There are other guns out there with their strengths and weaknesses. I still would like to have one, but I have my price limit for a used gun that's been out of production for 20 years. I wish they'd start producing them again, but it won't happen.

I'm not going to discount any gun if I think I might like it. I've even liked ROSSI revolvers, still own a couple. No, "Rossi" is not Portuguese for "junk", they're good guns, too. They have their strengths and weaknesses, too. The little Rossi 462, I think it is, is the size of a Colt snub, 6 round cylinder, yet very carriable size. It'd be a nice IWB carry gun in .357. The snobs won't think so, of course. If they built it with a 3" barrel, I'd buy one tomorrow for carry. If I liked it enough, I might sell my 3" Taurus. Well, maybe.....NAH. :D

'Card
February 16, 2007, 10:27 PM
Personally I think the quality of the guns is about the same between the two now. There's no doubt that Taurus made some pretty crappy weapons and earned their spotty reputation, but I think they've imrpoved dramatically in the last 5 years and I feel like they're on par with Ruger at this point. But you know how it often is with gunnies - "I knew a guy who had one that was crap 10 years ago, and therefore I'm sure they have always been and always will be crap."

The only thing we like better than guns we love is gunmakers we hate. :cool:

Ruger does seem to have better aftermarket support and better customer support, but their product line is minimal, and they strike me as slow to innovate and slow to adapt. Taurus on the other hand, has a much broader product line, and they don't seem to mind experimenting with different things and I like their boldness.

So by and large I think it evens out, depending on what you want - but Ruger does have a cooler logo. :cool:

MCgunner
February 16, 2007, 10:40 PM
Yeah, I hope I don't sound like I'm bad mouthing Ruger. I know they're quality guns, I just get a little tired of guys blatantly saying Taurus is junk when I know I've had nothing, but good experience with 'em SO FAR. Yeah, they have improved, but I don't know about 5 years. They improved a LOT in the 90s when they came out with the new lockwork, much smoother action. I have one of each, not a big sample size, I'll admit. My older one is probably a mid to late 80s vintage and my newer one is early- mid 90s from what I can gather. I bought my little 85UL in 96 new production. It does have the lock, but pre-MIM parts. I just ignore the lock.

I remember a Guns and Ammo writer lamenting the poor quality of Smith and Wesson guns and the excellent quality of Taurus guns in an article in the 80s. Well, I don't know if Smith's quality was THAT bad then. Friend of mine bought a 686 and it was a fantastic gun, was about 1988. He still shoots it, ain't likely to sell it. Smiths were still relatively affordable back then. Some of 'em are now. The 642 ain't that high compared to the competition and it's an excellent carry piece.

Jim March
February 16, 2007, 10:40 PM
Impulse buying guns is a bad idea. Sorry, but it had to be said.

You should study the breed you're looking for, know it pretty well and be able to judge a given specimen.

And I think that goes regardless if you're looking for a collector, shooter or defender.

---

The Security/Service guns are odd in terms of pricing. Not enough people know how cool they are, so prices run from $250-$350ish tops. But if a specimen is in good shape, and most are, they're objectively worth at least as much as a used GP100 and those usually *start* at $350.

(All of this with regional variations of course...California is a whole 'nuther world...)

If I was going into a gun shop to get something to defend my life with "right now", and the need was urgent, I would seriously consider one of the older Ruger DAs at $400 in top condition. Short of that, I'd be a fool to do so simply because it would be a bad investment, unless the gun was unusually nice in some fashion...

H. Faversham
February 16, 2007, 11:10 PM
Jim-
I agree, and I certainly do study the "core" guns I buy: the PD, target and hunting guns that are long-time/for ever keepers. But, the fun guns and/or guns that I have always wanted to try to see if they are better core guns, or that are being offered at too-good-to-pass prices are what I mean by "impulse" guns.

Jim March
February 16, 2007, 11:30 PM
Ah.

Wish I had that kind of money :).

(Seriously...)

H. Faversham
February 16, 2007, 11:39 PM
Jim-
I don't have a lot of money (retired civilian Coast Guard), otherwise I'd still be buying only overpriced S&Ws or Freedom Arms stuff:) .

possum
February 16, 2007, 11:42 PM
i prefer ruger revolvers, over taurus, but i prefer taurus auto loaders, for one they have more options, and they all seem to fit me better than any of the ruger line up.

Revolver Ocelot
February 16, 2007, 11:52 PM
how dare you in any way compare ruger to taurus, in all seriousness ruger all the way.

sfhogman
February 17, 2007, 12:06 AM
Grant Cunningham is a revolversmith with a neat blog. Having never owned a Taurus -their new 1911 sure looks neat- I have no dog in this fight. Here's Mr. Cunningham's take on Taurus:
http://www.grantcunningham.com/blog_files/no_taurus_work.html

Jeff

iostorm
February 17, 2007, 01:14 AM
ill take a Taurus any day of the week, great guns!

.41Dave
February 17, 2007, 01:38 AM
If you want a plain chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry revolver, buy the Ruger, no question. But if you want something a little more interesting, like say butter pecan or triple fudge brownie, you will have to buy a Taurus. Sadly, Ruger does not make revolvers in anything but the most common flavors.

Blue .45
February 17, 2007, 01:55 AM
For a new revolver, I would get a GP100. I wouldn't buy a new Smith. However, if I could Find a good pre-lock L frame to replace my M19, I would grab it in a heartbeat. Of course, I wouldn't pass up a good deal on a used GP100 either for that matter. The only Taurus revolver that ever appealed to me was the M431 44 Special. I wanted it to replace my charter arms bulldog. Unfortunately, I never got around to it and now they've been discontinued.

Nortonics
February 17, 2007, 06:47 AM
Buy a Taurus and you'll never recoup your money at resale. Besides, their designs look kinda' crummy/third world. Sorta' like buying a Hyundai vehicle for instance... :rolleyes: :barf:

Bill_G
February 17, 2007, 07:26 AM
ruger....ruger....ruger

greener
February 17, 2007, 07:41 AM
My three "impulse" buys have been a Ruger MKIII Hunter, Ruger Single Six and GP100. Bought the Hunter after firing a GC, stopped on the way home to buy a GC and liked the Hunter better. I bought the single six after briefly reading a couple of forum posts. Fired 24 rounds from a GP100 and had one a week later. Not exactly impulse, but close. Enjoying shooting all three.

The two Ruger revolvers are solid, excellent shooters. Both have left me with a very positive impression about the quality and workmanship of Ruger revolvers. My guess is that Taurus makes pretty good revolvers, but my experience with the two Rugers make me less likely to buy one.

MCgunner
February 17, 2007, 10:12 AM
Really, the only gripe I have with Ruger is their lack of anything desirable to me in a DA gun. Like I said, for a while I wanted an SP101. It wasn't perfect, though, with the fixed sight. I wanted adjustables. They basically only have three DA designs, the Redhawk, the GP100, and the SP101. I don't do huge DAs like the Redhawk (prefer my Blackhawks for outdoor work and hunt with a Contender), I'd as soon carry my .45 Colt Blackhawk as a GP100, just as light and easy to conceal. :rolleyes: And, the SP101 is NO J frame for concealment. So, I get Taurus revolvers as an alternative and have not been unhappy with any of 'em. They are the ONLY revolver producer that rivals S&W's variety of handguns. Ruger simply has nothing I want in a DA gun. Rather than that SP101, I got the 3" M66 and live happy. The perfect gun, I reckon, if I could afford it, is a S&W M60 3" or maybe 4" (not sure the 3" is available, but think it is) with adjustables in .357 Magnum. Some day I may get one of those.

The depreciation of Taurus guns is what makes 'em desirable to me as used guns. I don't buy guns for resale. This resale argument reminds me of HD guys. I buy motorcycles to ride, not to resell and I like to buy used. You might as well buy a new HD as used. For a long time, a used HD cost MORE than a new one because there was not waiting list and they were hot items. So, I bought a 1983 GoldWing and proceeded to explore the entire bottom half of the US on it with no problems. I have a similar approach to firearms, more for less. Buy used guns that depreciate a lot, get a better bargain. It works when you ain't Bill Gates.

The one Taurus I bought new was my M85UL that I paid $285 for. So, maybe it's worth 50 bucks now, I don't know and I don't care. It ain't for sale.

MillCreek
February 17, 2007, 10:50 AM
Hmm, in my safe right now, I have five Ruger revolvers and four Taurus revolvers. My preferred carry revolver at this time is either a Taurus 651 titanium or 650 stainless. I have had no problems with any Ruger or Taurus firearms I have owned.

tbtrout
February 17, 2007, 02:58 PM
Definately the Ruger:)

Cosmoline
February 17, 2007, 03:14 PM
Ruger makes tougher revolvers of higher quality than Taurus. But Ruger's product line is tiny and pretty sedate. Taurus, OTOH, is willing to try almost anything. They've turned out many dozens of different styles and chamberings. They were the first major gunmaker to chamber the .454 Casull and market it under $1,000. The Raging Bull came out years before Ruger's Super Redhawk, and paved the way. Taurus was also the first to market titanium frames, an innovation S&W took up a few years later.

'Card
February 17, 2007, 04:49 PM
Sadly, Ruger does not make revolvers in anything but the most common flavors.
Except the .480 Ruger, which nobody wants. :cool:

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