Highest Quality Revolver for under $500


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JaxNovice
January 15, 2008, 09:18 AM
I am looking to buy a 4" .357 sometime this week. I have a budget of $500 and would like to buy new since I have had a few experiences buying used. I would really like some suggestions from the forum as to what to stay away from and what is regarded as being a good value.

Thanks!

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Lone Star
January 15, 2008, 09:42 AM
You can sometimes find Ruger GP-100's for under $500 at stores that discount new guns. I don't think you can beat that, especially as you seem unfamiliar with how to check out used revolvers.


Lone Star

Neophyte1
January 15, 2008, 09:48 AM
Ruger: GP100

jfh
January 15, 2008, 10:03 AM
I will NOT participate in a "which is better" discussion, but I will say that I think the Smith 686 is a 'better' revolver than a GP100. (I've owned both, and IMO, the superior action of the 686 makes up for the increased beefiness of the Ruger). In light of this, my suggestion is to consider adjusting your MAX dollar to 600.00 and getting a 686.

I bought a 4" 686 last summer as my latest 'full-frame' revolver purchase (I have j-frames and a collectible N frame Highway Patrolman), and I am totally satisfied with it--it does handle better than the GP100.

If you really don't want to spend more than 500.00, then the GP100 will do just fine. I prefer to buy new, too, so I can appreciate the conflict you're dealing with....

Jim H.

wuchak
January 15, 2008, 10:04 AM
Check CDNN http://www.cdnninvestments.com/. You have to use the "Download Newest Catalog" link on their site to see the firearms. They have police trade in S&W Model 65's (stainless, k-frame, .357) with 4" barrels but you have to call for the price which is probably under $350. They also have Ruger SP100's with 4" barrel for $349 for excellent to like new condition and $20 extra for one that was test fired only. Shipping is $9.99 and you'll have an FFL transfer fee of about $25. You can find a transfer FFL in the "For Buyers" section on Gunbroker that will probably do it for less than your local store.

Bud's also has the model 65's for $299 delivered to your FFL, which I think is a screaming deal

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/images/Used%2065%201.jpg

If you are buying used from CDNN or Bud's they will make sure you get a good gun. CDNN grades theirs so if you choose excellent condition you will get a gun that is like new. The good news is the Model 65's don't have the lock that is on the newer S&W. The prelock guns will go up in value faster and the slightly used gun has already depreciated so it should only go up in value after you purchase it.

anti-paladin
January 15, 2008, 10:14 AM
+1 GP-100

The best all around revolver I own.

benatilstate
January 15, 2008, 10:48 AM
a used S&W

22-rimfire
January 15, 2008, 10:59 AM
I would choose a 4" Ruger GP100 for an all around gun within this budget. You'll just barely fit in the budget. Check out Buds online and their prices are about as good as it gets on new guns. This should give you an idea of pricing overall. http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/index.php

I prefer a Smith. But I don't believe any of them will be under $500. If you choose a Smith, go with a steel framed revolver such as the 686 or the larger N-frame.

No comment on Taurus products.

Shawnee
January 15, 2008, 10:59 AM
If you could find a used 686 in good condition (or the 586, same gun but blued instead of stainless steel) for $500 I would definitely say to get it.
But if you can't, or are really wary of buying "used" (and there is nothing wrong with that wariness!), I'll be another vote for the Ruger GP-100.

:cool:

keyboard commando
January 15, 2008, 12:10 PM
A Smith & Wesson Highway Patrolman (Model 28) is a fine revolver.:scrutiny:

03Shadowbob
January 15, 2008, 12:45 PM
I'd buy the GP100 over the 686 any day of the week and twice on Sunday. I have the 4" stainless version and I love it.

mjrodney
January 15, 2008, 04:43 PM
I own both, and side by side, I find them to be very much comparable.

I don't consider one to have an advantage over the other.

For those on a budget, however, the Ruger GP-100 is a win-win situation.

Oro
January 15, 2008, 05:37 PM
Having owned both a GP100, and a 686, I'll say:

1) they are equal in reliability and durability. Quality of construction/finish will go to S&W. But in the areas that TRULY count, they are equal.

2) As to aesthetics, the S&W has more classic lines and is prettier to look at.

3) The early 686 models (1980 to late 80s) had superb actions - some of the best off a line DA revolver anywhere. I have one in my safe, so does my FFL, and a few other folks I know.

4) the Ruger is gone, but the 686 is still in my hands, so that probably says something.

If you are going to ONLY buy new, then get a GP100, or stretch your budget a little. Since colt's out of the revolver game, I wouldn't look at a maker other than S&W or Ruger, as this thread seems to support.

All that said, a S&W 28-2 is also a superb .357, as someone pointed out above. An excellent or near-new model could be had for $500 if you went used. It has a larger frame than either of the other two, thus your felt recoil is less with the big loads, and sometimes you don't even feel the light .38 target loads (just kidding). I may actually be trading my 686 for a 28-2 later this month.

Welcome to the world of one of the most perfect handgun rounds - the .357 magnum/.38 special chambered guns. As long as bears aren't on your list of possible enemies, then it does everything you need. The gun that goes under my shoulder when I carry concealed is a S&W 66 or 19 (I have one of each) in 2.5" and packed with SJHP .357 magnums.

If concealed carry is on your agenda, get one of these babies - Nice used ones are $350 to $450 right now - and I mean nice ones. If new only applies, Bud's has the new model, the 686 2.5" variant, for just under $600 delivered.

bent
January 15, 2008, 06:14 PM
Although I love my pre-lock 686 dearly, if you are going to own ONE revolver, the GP100 is your gun. It defines reliability and robustness in a 357mag. Given the same amount of full house magnum loads, the 686 will have problems before the Ruger will.

Oro
January 15, 2008, 07:07 PM
It's important to denote that because the Ruger frame is larger, that does not make it stronger or more robust. It's larger because it's more cheaply made, not stronger. This is not an opinion, it's a fact. This is the dirty little secret this thread has been too polite to talk about so far, or perhaps folks aren't aware of? But since you've brought the cat out of the bag...

S&W uses forged frames, and Ruger uses investment cast ones. One process is much more expensive, and ounce for ounce and square inch per square inch, yields a stronger finished steel product. Further heat treating and finishing increases the difference. A S&W will be less bulky for the same strength as a Ruger. This is one major reason the K and L frame S&Ws, in my opinion, handle, point, and are generally more controllable than the Rugers. Go to a firing range that rents guns, or a store that has both, and compare the handling and pointing characteristics.

Here's one anecdotal point - for my last-ditch bear gun, I don't carry a 4" Ruger Redhawk - it's big, it's bulky, it's annoying to me to carry (I'm only 5-10 on a good day). It weighs 47 ounces empty with air-weight spongy hogue grips. I carry a S&W 629, with a round butt in 3". It weighs in at 37 ozs empty, with large hardwood (facotry) combat grips. Over a 27% difference in weight, even handicapping the S&W with the wood grips. I can get the 3" S&W to handle the same loads as the ruger - and I occasionally shoot 320gr LFNGC bullets from Double Tap and Grizzly that move at 1200fps. This is not a light load. The density of the steel in the 629 let's me get a more controllable package in a smaller gun of greater strength. The wood grips, with a large and solid contact patch and rigid finger grooves, vs. the spongy ones on the Ruger, contribute to this. Thes are both factory delivered guns, not carrying a single accessory on them. You have to look at more than weight and it takes a good grounding in physics to explain all the implications of angular momentum, density, etc. and how that translates into felt recoil. Or get a couple of boxes of bullets and go shooting, it'll become apparent pretty fast! One of these guns is quite a bit more expensive than the other, but they both do the same basic thing.

Another way to look at this is: why is a S&W always more expensive than a Ruger? They are located nearby in the same geographic and economic region. Raw material costs, labor costs, administrative costs, etc. are going to be identical. Marketing and distribution costs are probably the same, too. It really can only come down to the one variable we can see that is different - construction methods and the labor and equipment involved.

As for Ruger "defining" reliability, the cheaper construction methods generally result in more QC problems in owners' hands than S&Ws from what I have anecdotally collected on this and the Firing Line Forums. Both do offer a life time warranty, so you won't be left out in the cold in either case. I hear of more Rugers making an immediate trip back to the factory than I do S&Ws (it does happen to them, too) - and I also hear it always comes back working correctly.

The L frame S&W revolver was specifically designed to handle ANY .357 round that could be crammed in it. It was a beefed up version of he K- frame, introduced in 1899 long before the .357 came down the pike. A compromise of shoe-horning the .357 into the K-frame in the 1950s created a medium sized gun more powerful than anything else in the world, and later developments of small, even higher velocity bullets (125gr and 110gr rounds in a .357) did result in some failures. Used with 158gr or larger bullets, the K frame 19 and 66 models, or the 65 above, will last a lifetime (note the "K-frame" models are slightly smaller than the 586/686 we are talking about here).

The result, however, was the L frame 586/686, designed to handle the .357 in a reasonable sized package, retain the balance and handling S&Ws are known for, and take any round you could put in it. It does not rely upon cheaper casting and "over sizing" to accomodate for the necessary strength, like the Ruger does.

So, if we want to go by the original poster's "Highest Quality" question, the design parameters and the build methods of the S&W make the Ruger look like an East German Trabant. Well, more like a Mercedes vs. a Volkswagen - both excellent, one just a bit more refined and pleasurable.

I don't want to start a war about Ruger vs. S&W. I think Bill Ruger was a great firearms designer, and did everyone a great service resurrecting the SA via his Blackhawk, and has given experimental shooters great platforms on which to develop new loads. Important stuff.

Each company does things a little differently, and that's good. I won't say "I won't buy a Ruger" - heck I have bought two in the last seven months.

mgregg85
January 15, 2008, 07:22 PM
I've gotta go with the ruger. No matter what anyone says, there revolvers do seem to be stronger. Buffalo Bore even loads hot .45 LC ammo for ruger revolvers only.

Oro
January 15, 2008, 07:26 PM
Yes, they load ammo for Ruger revolvers only - only the ones built the size of a small toaster.

If S&W built a forged frame as big as that, heck, you be able to shoot a .500 magnum out of it! Oh wait, they do and you can...

19-3Ben
January 15, 2008, 07:28 PM
Not questioning you but is it established fact that cast steel can't be as strong? WHo says? why?

03Shadowbob
January 15, 2008, 07:36 PM
Kamerer.
First, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You think the S&W is more beautiful where I think it is one of the least "attractive" guns out there even below Taurus.
Secondly, please answer 19-3Ben's question.
Lastly, can you please tell us exactly how many failures the GP100 has had and exactly how many failures the 686 has had and site your sources.
Thanks.

Iggy
January 15, 2008, 07:51 PM
Fasten your seat belts folks!!

Looks like it gonna get rough!!!:uhoh:

03Shadowbob
January 15, 2008, 07:54 PM
Kamerer,
Also a few facts. The GP100 4" fits into a 686 holster just as easily as the 686. The Smith 686 4" weighs 40 oz where the GP100 weighs in at 39.5 oz. There goes the bulkier / heavier statements.
I believe I have read somewhere something written by Ruger engineers and an independent guy that Ruger barrels are hammer forged and not investment cast, not that it makes a difference in today's world of metallurgy where great advances have taken place. I would post links but you can do your homework. Rugers frame is investment cast I will give you that however what do you have to say about Glocks and their plastic frames? Are the less reliable than a S&W. Nope.

wuchak
January 15, 2008, 10:28 PM
Part of the beauty of the Ruger's DA handguns is the modular design. Unlike the S&W which requires you to get out your gun screw drivers and then try to get the side plate off and then back on, once you undo the screw holding the grip of the Ruger the rest of it pops apart into the main components with no further tools. This makes it incredibly easy to do a thorough cleaning. The solid frame of the Ruger also makes it inherently stronger than the two piece frame of the S&W.

S&W had to come out with the L frame because of problems with 125gr bullets in the K frame. The Ruger Speed, Security, and Service Six (4S) line was the same size as the K frames and had none of the problems. When Smith went to a bigger frame Ruger followed and included some design improvements like the crane latch, stub grip frame, and the off-center ejection rod that resulted from the configuration of the frame being changed to allow more space for steel in the thin space under the barrel. Because the Ruger 4S line and the GP100 were designed to compete with S&W for the service revolver market they were made to fit the same holsters. This meant that departments thinking of switching to Ruger would not have to incur the expense of equipping their staff with all new holsters.

As to forged steel somehow being stronger than cast, that is just not true. A very quick search turned up numerous articles but I think this said it well. It's from a study looking at the advantages of cast vs forged steel in permanent mold tools at http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Permanent+mold+tools:+cast+or+forged%3F+The+metallurgical+and...-a0125714023

The most definitive thermal fatigue laboratory tests simulating permanent mold life cycles have been conducted at Case Western Reserve Univ., Cleveland. Using the lengths of cracks that developed from thermal fatigue, it was demonstrated that the basic method of manufacturing permanent steel molds (cast or forged) has little effect on the life cycle (Fig. 1). Cast steel was found to be equivalent to double-refined forged steel of the same composition and hardness with only a slight perception of difference across the test cycle range. The difference is that double-refined steel is a costly process because it requires the metal to be melted twice. The research also emphasizes the importance of heat treating in obtaining the desired martensitic microstructure and hardness.

TBT
January 15, 2008, 11:00 PM
CDNN grades theirs so if you choose excellent condition you will get a gun that is like new.
This has not been my experience at all. CDNN has some great deals but I really question their grading system at times. I bought an "excellent condition" SIG P226 from them that was scratched up, rusty, and had really bad slide to frame fit. I friend of mine had some issues as well with their grading system.

One thing about CDNN is that they will make it right if you have a complaint from what I understand though. And again, this is just my experience.

txgolfer45
January 16, 2008, 01:04 AM
Get the GP100 4 inch SS! That's what I did. And, yes, it fits in an N frame size holster just fine. I've had it to the range and it is a dream to shoot with both .38 special and .357 magnum loads.

Oro
January 16, 2008, 04:54 AM
Wow, what a funny bunch of responses, mostly inarticulate, without rational explanation or physical grounding. That a Ruger fits in the holster of a S&W molded one - wow! prooves nothing, if not the forged 'Smith is gonna be stronger, should the dimension actually bethe same - as if a flexible leather hole is the determinate of dimensions.

If you guys want to shoot me something semi-articulate, I'll try to respond, when not in stitches. As I said, I'm both a S&W and a Ruger owner/buyer. I don't have an agenda - just trying to point out the differences. I've seen no response above that cant be answered by an intelligent reading of my second, lengthier response. to wit - if you have an investment cast frame that fits in the same holster of a forged frame, It means nothing, check the build qualities and use some calipers.

1) you should doubt the superiority of your decidedly "superior" weapon, since it fits the same deimensions that you choose to use to compare to a better made weapon.

2) even if they fit the same malleable leather, that tells us nothing. Leather stretches, steel doesn't. Measure the yoke , frame, cylinder and barrel in several dimensions with some calipers, then we can compare.

3) come up with something solid or scientific to talk about, instead of silly assertions.

Sorry, it's late and I'm tired. I'm not feeling charitable to random comments that don't take into account the real nature of metallurgy, and the mechanical sciences that build on it.

Rob96
January 16, 2008, 05:43 AM
A 4" GP-100 is the same weight as a 4" 686. Ruger investment cast process produces guns that are at minimum equal to a forged S&W. Funny we get into the argument of which is stronger. Forged Browning HP's in .40 cracked frames, they had to switch to cast frames to beat the problem.
For what it is worth, Corbon uses Rugers for load development becasue of the strength of the guns. Ruger GP's gain their strength by the frame design.

I have owned two GP's and one 686. Never a problem with the GP's the 686's cylinder would bind after a few cylinder fulls.

Rob96
January 16, 2008, 05:46 AM
The solid frame of the Ruger also makes it inherently stronger than the two piece frame of the S&W.


Ding ding ding.

Oro
January 16, 2008, 06:07 AM
OMG, this just gets funnier and funner.

Auto Pistols and revolvers are like talking apples and oranges. Stresses are not the same, and investment casting goes MUCH farther in autos than in revolvers. I hate to bring it up, but I have THREE auto pistols with investment cast frames built by ruger. (Caspian via Ruger). I love them and would trust my life with them - or at least with the Ruger-built parts! It took .001 worth of polishing on one frame to find a void from the casting the size of pinky. Sorry, investment casting isn't as effective as forging. How many of each processes have you actually bought, tested, and driven?

Look, I'm open to debating this, but "well I hear" and "I'm told" doesn't cut it. You need to really have something to add to get in the game here.

I know "well I spent $500 for my Ruger" is a great motivation to contribute, but its' really crap when we are trying to talk about real world comparisons. Please put your dollar-deviated values aside and try to be objective.

Firepower!
January 16, 2008, 06:07 AM
Ruger GP100

03Shadowbob
January 16, 2008, 08:29 AM
Kamerer,
I understand your devotion to S&W as you took the blue pill however you, as easily as I did, can do some research on investment casting before preaching how great forging is over investment casting. We can't do your homework for you.
Also, please tell us where you get your information on Ruger and S&W failures. I have searched everywhere and can't find anything on the net or elsewhere that isn't just someone's opinion, like yours.

txgolfer45
January 16, 2008, 09:28 AM
kamerer,

Seems all the comments I read about the GP100 are contrary to your comments. I guess everyone else is wrong (including experts) and you are right? :confused:

Some of your comments are quite comical. Paraphrasing (I owned both a GP100 and a 686. I still own the 686. That says something). Guess that means you sold the GP100 and maybe the wrong one? :neener:

I'm not an expert on forgings vs. castings. But, the golf industry has debated that same issue for years. The quality of each is dependent upon who is doing the forgings and who is doing the castings.

Trying to diss me because I made a comment that my GP100 fits in an N frame holster is just ridiculous and petty. I was looking for a holster for my GP100 at a gun show. I found one I liked that happened to be labeled as an N frame holster and my GP100 fit in it just fine. You assumed something I didn't say. Lighten up!

wuchak
January 16, 2008, 10:18 AM
kamerer,

I posted an article about lab testing of forged and cast steel tools that found no difference in the strength of them. I would like for you please to provide some links to lab tests showing how inferior cast steel is to forged. Looking at your posts you have not provided anything but your opinion. No links to testing or experts to corroborate what you are saying.

Please also explain which part of the S&W design makes it stronger than the Ruger. The steel they use does not so it must be a design feature that does. Maybe the two piece frame? Could it be that cutting a piece of steel in 1/2 and then screwing it back together makes it stronger? Maybe the use of the ejection rod as a lock-up point? Maybe the way Ruger off-set the ejection rod and added more steel under the barrel made the GP100 weaker? What is it that makes the S&W stronger if it's not the steel?

Why are Ruger's cheaper than S&W? It probably has a lot to due with the fact that the basic S&W DA revolver design was put in place almost a century ago when labor was cheap and before modern manufacturing methods. The first Ruger DA was designed in the early 1970's and then using what they learned they redesigned it to make it stronger and easier to manufacture.

Wuchak

Ash
January 16, 2008, 11:15 AM
And I even like those older Ruger revolvers. I never thought I would like them, but bought one cheap. Now I really like them. I was surprised at how good they are.

I also like Smith & Wesson revolvers, and Colt's. Man, I even owned a Taurus once that was nice.

Ash

kentucky_smith
January 16, 2008, 11:48 AM
I picked up a 29-5 last night for $400, that's hard to beat. Model 10s and 19s around here are still in the $300 range.

Can't find a Python for less than a grand, and somehow every Trooper I've handled doesn't check out well.

Can't imagine what more you could want? :D

Ash
January 16, 2008, 12:00 PM
Hmmm,

I've only found one Trooper with problems. The others have been great.

Ash

19-3Ben
January 16, 2008, 07:13 PM
Kamerer- do us a favor and take the high road like the rest of us would'ja?
All we did was question the validity of your "facts." I re-read your posts and NOWHERE do you ever give an explanation of why forged should be better than cast, so don't get yourself in a hissy-fit pretending that you already answered the questions of we, mere simpletons who just wanted a little education so we asked. M'Kay?

Schmidlin
January 16, 2008, 08:44 PM
has anyone mentioned a Taurus model 65 or 66. Ive read some good things and you can get a 4" stainless steal model for under 350

wuchak
January 16, 2008, 08:44 PM
Both are excellent guns that will serve a normal shooter well for a lifetime of shooting, and probably their children too. It really comes down to which you prefer. Is one more appealing when you look at it? Does one feel better balanced in your hand? Do you like the weight and proportions of one better for your intended method of carry? Personally I like the looks and feel in the hand of the Rugers better than the Smiths, but that's just me. I like the Smiths alot, I just like the Rugers a little more. That the Rugers also happen to cost a little less is a bonus.

wuchak
January 16, 2008, 08:45 PM
duplicate post deleted

Gator
January 16, 2008, 08:53 PM
a used S&W

+1

Phydeaux642
January 16, 2008, 09:13 PM
I will NOT participate in a "which is better" discussion, but I will say that I think the Smith 686 is a 'better' revolver than a GP100.

Now, that's funny.:neener:

___________________

"Phydeaux, bad dog....no biscuit!"

dom1104
January 16, 2008, 09:31 PM
I can only deduce one thing from this thread, if Kamerer is representative of Smith and Wesson owners attitudes....


I will buy a Ruger.

heekma
January 17, 2008, 12:06 PM
A lot of good responses...but I don't know if there's a "best." Depends on what's available in your area--new or used--and the intended purpose.

Will it be pounded on at the range on a regular basis, or will it be used occasionally and spend the rest of it's time in a dresser or a safe?

Will it be used exclusively for home protection, or will it be carried as well?

Without a little more info on what you want out of your purchase, it's hard to come up with any kind of consensus.

If I were walking around a show and someone had a nice S&W model 10, 19, 27, 28, 29/629, 581/681, 586/686 within your budget, would I pass one up? No way.

Same goes for a Ruger Speed/Security Six, Sp101, GP100 or even a Redhawk.

For that matter, even a nice old Colt Official Police at a good price isn't something I'd pass on.

All of these and many more are great firearms, representing an entire range of price and power--and they are ALL fine firearms, which will outlast all but the most dedicated shooters who shoot more in 6 months time than a lot of us will over our lifetimes.

Now, after that long-winded non-answer; here's my recommendation: A good old Ruger Security/Speed Six in .357 magnum. A very sturdy revolver, a size that will fit any hand, more than accurate enough for self-defense or casual target-shooting and cheap. As in $250-350 cheap.

Remember, in the off-chance it's used to protect yourself or loved ones it'll be taken as evidence and treated as such. It'll be handled, tossed around, bagged and treated with little or no respect. Would you want your prize revolver to taken from you and handled in such a way?

The revolver you use for protection should be the one you can afford to lose--and precisely for that reason you'll always have it on hand.

I've got some very, very fine firearms and more than a few custom single actions--I love great firearms. But in my nightstand is a stainless 4 inch Speed Six in .357 magnum. It's the one I use because it's the one I can afford to lose.

Just my $.02.

Best,
Heekma

s4s4u
January 17, 2008, 10:31 PM
Smith guys are Smith guys and that is all you're gonna get from them. I have 5 Rugers and love them all dearly. The GP-100 is the BEST value in a HD revolver PERIOD.

Waywatcher
January 17, 2008, 10:59 PM
It's nice that you can take apart a Ruger GP100 without special tools and without hitting it with a stick. S&W owners will know what I'm talking about.

The push button cylinder release of the GP100 is much better IMO, and its located in a place that never abrades your thumbs while shooting.

If you want to easily install night sights by yourself with no special tools, then get a GP100.
If you don't like internal locks on your guns, get a GP100.
If you don't like MIM parts, get a GP100.
These are just some of the reasons I sold my S&W 686 to get a GP100.

Gator
January 17, 2008, 11:29 PM
Smith guys are Smith guys and that is all you're gonna get from them.

Nonsense. :) Different tools for different uses. I have both Smiths and Rugers, they are all fine guns, but some are better suited for certain kinds of shooting than others.

hoptob
January 18, 2008, 09:16 AM
Smith 686 is a 'better' revolver than a GP100
I'd buy the GP100 over the 686 any day...

+1

MikeR

ImARugerFan
January 18, 2008, 09:48 AM
A taurus... just kidding, buy the gp100.

logical
January 18, 2008, 10:07 AM
No question...this or something like this:

http://gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=89489036

GRIZ22
January 18, 2008, 10:25 AM
Another GP100 vote.

antediluvianist
January 18, 2008, 06:42 PM
Because of rare, but documented and undeniable, problems with BOTH Ruger revolvers and S&W revolvers, a visionary firearms manufacturer decided to create a product that would supersede both. Thus was born the Arminius.

Oktagon
January 18, 2008, 07:20 PM
Well, from my point of view Smith is a better choise then Ruger if you collect firearms and enjoy the fine worksmanship, and the Ruger is a better choice if you are buying a gun as a tool and workhorse.
Smith revolvers are much better made then Rugers. they are more pleasing to the eye. Rugers are made as tools and while they look fine from the outside, the machining of the internal parts and concealed surfaces of theframe is non-existant. Open a cylider on any Ruger and you will see very roug cast surface of the crane. They just feel cheaper when you hold them.
Both are fine guns, and I do own SP101, but it resides mostly in my tackle box. It will not look any worse banged up then it does out of the box. I own over 20 S&W pistols and revolvers (most of them are PC guns) and only one Ruger revolver. Ruger rifles and shotguns are whole different story though. Prized posessions! Especially Gold Label SxS shotguns and engraved No1 rifles :)

shooter429
January 18, 2008, 08:05 PM
Full sized .357= 4" Adj. Sight Blued GP100. Last a lifetime
Compact wheelie .357= Ruger SP101 2 1/2 fixed or
S&W Model 60 3" Asj. sight.
Subcompact .38= S&W 642/442

Shooter429

03Shadowbob
January 18, 2008, 09:38 PM
Well, from my point of view Smith is a better choise then Ruger if you collect firearms and enjoy the fine worksmanship, and the Ruger is a better choice if you are buying a gun as a tool and workhorse.
Smith revolvers are much better made then Rugers. they are more pleasing to the eye. Rugers are made as tools and while they look fine from the outside, the machining of the internal parts and concealed surfaces of theframe is non-existant. Open a cylider on any Ruger and you will see very roug cast surface of the crane. They just feel cheaper when you hold them.

Really, a Smith 686 as a collector's item? seriously Oktagon. My Taurus M85 could be a collector also.
I took apart my GP100 and I couldn't find those rough cast surfaces you speak of. Maybe i got a defect. What concealed parts of the frame do you speak of?
Please tell me how S&W 686s are "much better made than Rugers". Please site your sources or else you may fall into the same category as Kamerer.
There are certain S&Ws that are collector guns and show fine workmanship but the 686 isn't in that category for me. It is a great gun but not the safe queen you make it out to be.
Don't get me wrong, S&W makes an incredible revolver and always has but the 686 is not their cream of the crop in my opinion.
And again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Black Adder LXX
January 19, 2008, 12:02 AM
GP100 -
I got mine at Bass Pro for $500 new about 9 mos ago...

Elvishead
January 19, 2008, 11:14 AM
I guess this dicussion is "off the board"

I recommend a Taurus 608 in 4" (8 shots:eek:) only because I own one and have put well over 3000 round of full factory .357 rounds through it without any problems. "Don't get me started on the new Rossi . 357 I bought"

or a Ruger GP100.

As far as Forged vs. cast?

Well, as a man formally in the moto-X/two stroke industry, the factory used cast (as does most Detroit muscle cars) piston without any or much problems in there engines. And forge is and was available, but most racer choice of the factory cast because of perceived reliability.

TBS, forged pistons (also cranks,cams, rods and others) have been proven more durable, but at a much better tax of capital. Which may or may not justify.

I'm sure both forging and casting (A cast vacuum system first used by Yamaha in it's motorcycle/snowmbile frames "less metel/more strenth"methods) have improved over time.

So,... let's not split hair's!

Both are viable sources of a quality manufactured gun, or any other piece that demands excessive force's.

By the way, you have to account that forge pistons require loser tolerances for heat expansion, FYI. :D

Enough psycho babble

Time for another drink. Thanks for the humorous reading.

PS: I own a Rossi,Taurus, Ruger and a S&W revolver.

19-3Ben
January 19, 2008, 12:44 PM
03ShadowBob- I disagree. To me the 686 is just about the flagship model, partly because of its popularity.
Sure its not a 627, or even 629, or a PC model, but a 686 is undoubtedly a FANTASTIC revolver...and this is from someone who plans on getting a GP-100!

Noxx
January 19, 2008, 12:58 PM
I think they are both fine guns.

I personally own two 686's, and bought each of them lightly used under the OP's target price. I find the crispness of the S&W action very pleasing to shoot, however I would not feel undergunned carrying the Smith, the Ruger, or even a Charter out into the big bad world.

To tell you the truth, for a carry revolver I lean towards anything in .45ACP, just because nothing reloads faster than a moonie, my 2c.

tblt
January 19, 2008, 04:30 PM
ruger GP100

doc2rn
January 19, 2008, 05:04 PM
Ruger in SS
GP100 or SP101

DAVIDSDIVAD
January 19, 2008, 05:37 PM
My brother owns a Taurus .357, and it has been nothing but reliable.

Sure you can listen to the guys who say you should only use S&Ws, and give a stink-face to any other brand of wheelgun, but they're not going to be able to prove anything.

If it works, it works, period

Oktagon
January 19, 2008, 09:10 PM
Really, a Smith 686 as a collector's item? seriously Oktagon. My Taurus M85 could be a collector also.
I took apart my GP100 and I couldn't find those rough cast surfaces you speak of. Maybe i got a defect. What concealed parts of the frame do you speak of?
Please tell me how S&W 686s are "much better made than Rugers". Please site your sources or else you may fall into the same category as Kamerer.
There are certain S&Ws that are collector guns and show fine workmanship but the 686 isn't in that category for me. It is a great gun but not the safe queen you make it out to be.
Don't get me wrong, S&W makes an incredible revolver and always has but the 686 is not their cream of the crop in my opinion.
And again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.



I really have no iterest in engaging in argument with you. I stated the facts based on years of collecting and owning firearms. Rugers are not as well made as S&W revolvers. It is a fact. They cost less and they loose their value quicker. They are fine firearms, but the obvious shortcuts which make them so afordable can readily be seen. If you can see the rough cast surface upon opening the cylinder and looking at the crane, then you are misleading yourself.
I can tell a difference between a well finished firearm and not so well finished, owning firarms which range from as little as 300 bucks all the way to 60,000-dollar shotguns.

Seven For Sure
January 19, 2008, 09:26 PM
I got a new S&W 60 for $500. It was $535 w/tax.

txgolfer45
January 19, 2008, 09:28 PM
Oktagon,

You stated your opinion, not fact. Costing less and losing their value quicker has little, if anything to do with quality. It may have something to do with perceived popularity or name recognition.

A GP100 is built to withstand a steady diet of .357 magnum loads. It is well made, reliable and accurate. Sounds like attributes of quality to me. A S&W 686 is also well made, reliable and accurate. It comes down to personal preference and for some affordability too.

Basically, you can't go wrong with buying either a GP100 or a 686. People wanting to waste time arguing whether one is better over the other have too much time on their hands and maybe feel they have to defend their choice to feel better about their choice.

1858
July 1, 2008, 03:16 PM
OK ... my first post and I have to say that forging IS superior to casting. First off, forging increases dislocation density and dislocations within the steel limit plastic deformation. If you want to have ductility in a part, you anneal it which REDUCES the dislocation density. An example of this is the case neck on a cartridge. The neck needs to be able to deform elastically and plastically whereas the primer pocket and cartridge base needs to be much harder so this isn't annealed after the case is FORGED. Wuchak provided a link to a paper comparing cast and forged molds ... NOT cast or forged parts!!! If you read the paper, the stresses talked about are THERMAL stresses which aren't a primary concern when shooting a revolver. We're concerned with the stresses generated by pressure and recoil on the cylinder and frame respectively. Also, The main benefit with forged steel (or aluminum) parts is that they can be made dimensionally smaller. In order to gain the same mechanical properties in cast parts, you have to make the part significantly bigger. For example, compare the weight and dimensions (and COST) of cast rims for cars versus forged rims. Forged rims are typically 50% lighter and WAY stronger!!! OK ... that's it for now. By the way, I'm a mechanical engineer and I have a Colt Python (.357 Magnum, stainless steel, 4" barrel) and a S&W 629 (.44 Magnum, stainless steel, 4" barrel). I found this thread looking for information on the Ruger New Vaquero. Personally, I have no idea which is the best revolver to buy. We all have different needs and desires. I was all set to buy a Uberti reproduction Remington 1858 but discovered that they're all cast and NOT dimensionally accurate. Authenticity and longevity is important to me so I won't be buying anything from Uberti. I'd rather pay more and get more.

1858
July 1, 2008, 03:25 PM
Thought I should add that. This isn't a revelation in the engineering world ... !!

easyrider6042004@yahoo.ca
July 1, 2008, 04:48 PM
1858, got a question for you.

Could the durability of Rugers have to do with heat treating after casting?

I read many threads about GP100s being more durable longterm, than Smiths.

I've got both Smiths and Rugers (all .357 magnums) and like them equally, the former for their overall quality and classic handsome looks, the latter for their reputation for ruggedness, long term durability with full house magnum loads and lately have preferred the GP100s grip design (rubber and wood insert).

My more "used" 686 has had more than 3,000 full load magnums through it and it does not lock up as tight as when new. In fact, the cylinder has about a millimeter movement, measured on the circumference of the cylinder, at full lock-up. I could see wear in the cylinder notches. End play is nil.

The other 686 which has had only a few hundred full load magnums and a couple thousand 38 specials through it, feels as tight as when new.

I bought the GP100 because of its reputation for being able to digest maximum loads and still beg for more. I cannot say yet, if this is true because it has had only about 200 such rounds through it and of course it is as tight as when new.

BTW, this gun was repaired by Ruger after about 100 rounds and I discovered it would not index properly when held at a 90 degree position (gangsta style). It was returned to me rather quickly and the warranty work was impressive to say the least. Lock-up had that "welded" feel and the trigger was improved.

cpirtle
July 1, 2008, 05:24 PM
Could the durability of Rugers have to do with heat treating after casting?


There's a lot of unkowns in your question that I doubt anyone could fully evaluate without sitting an engineer from Ruger and S&W down and going through the spec's.

It depends on the type of steel used in each gun and what is the optimum HT for each steel.

Your question implies (not intentionally) that the Smith is not Heat Treated or not as hard. This line of thought is misleading because unless you know the steel properties it may be more desireable to have a higher or lower Rockwell hardness.

Hardness is also not the only factor to steel. Too hard and it becomes brittle so you need it to be somewhat ductile as well.

cpirtle
July 1, 2008, 05:25 PM
I found this thread looking for information on the Ruger New Vaquero

The New Vaquero is not quite as robust as the old model, so be careful to note when something was written. It may be referencing the old model which was overbuilt by any standard. (I have 4 of them)

I think Ruger shot themselves in the foot from a marketing perspective by not changing the model name.


Buffalo Bore even loads hot .45 LC ammo for Ruger revolvers only.

These loads were specifically designed for the Old Model Ruger SA's and does not apply to either companies DA models. I doubt it applies to Rugers newest SA's either.






Only recently has casting closed the gap on the majority of forging methods. I have a good bit of experience in the knife industry where forging is king because the strength of the steel will make or break the knife.

Anyone doubting probably should read the Wiki on Forging. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forging)

Matt-J2
July 1, 2008, 05:32 PM
These loads were specifically designed for the Old Model Ruger SA's and does not apply to either companies DA models. I doubt it applies to Rugers newest SA's either.

I'll bet dollars to donuts the Redhawk/Super Redhawk and New Blackhawk/Super Blackhawk can handle them. ;)
We know it does not apply to the New Vaqueros, though.

bestseller92
July 1, 2008, 06:33 PM
I got my Ruger GP100 (new 4" stainless) for $440 on Gunbroker ($476 after all shipping and transfer fees).

Shop around.

1858
July 1, 2008, 07:41 PM
Could the durability of Rugers have to do with heat treating after casting?

I'm sure that Ruger has the heat treatment of their revolvers down to a fine art. There's no doubt that the heat treatment process (typically heating followed by quenching) is critical for the formation of martensite throughout the part (at least 80% throughout for high stress applications). Now I'm wondering if USFA heat treats all of their revolver parts after CNC machining ... I'd think they'd have to.

Hardness is also not the only factor to steel. Too hard and it becomes brittle so you need it to be somewhat ductile as well.

Very true!! Drill bits are good examples. They have to be hard in order to cut metals and alloys, but the hardness comes at the cost of being brittle so you wouldn't use a drill bit as a punch. Punches need to be hard but they can't be so hard that they fracture when hit with a hammer.

hags
July 1, 2008, 09:22 PM
Don't buy into the cast versus forged argument. Both have experienced the same problems in various firearms.
An argument can be made for certain firearms and manufacturers having less issues with cast than forged.

I have owned both the 686 and the GP100. The 686 is gone, I still own the GP100.

I will say the action on my prelock, circa 1995 S&W 686 was better "out of the box". However, if you invest the $10.00 in a spring kit and stone a few trigger components then the GP100 can better the 686 in both single and definitely double action.

Hard to beat the GP100 for the money!

cpirtle
July 1, 2008, 11:09 PM
I'll bet dollars to donuts the Redhawk/Super Redhawk and New Blackhawk/Super Blackhawk can handle them

Agreed, I tend to overlook them because they are larger than life ;)

Our buddy Jeff Quinn agrees too. (http://www.gunblast.com/Ruger-Redhawk45.htm)

Matt-J2
July 1, 2008, 11:18 PM
That they are. And I do so want one of those 4" Redhawks in .45 colt. :)

cpirtle
July 1, 2008, 11:21 PM
Don't buy into the cast versus forged argument.

For the sake of arguing guns I tend to agree with you. Ruger has engineered extremely robust, albeit big revolvers.

I personally see nothing wrong with both methods being used in gun manufacturing.

This logic does not apply to manufacturing in general and tends to get people who know better defensive (I'm not one of them), which is how we end up with threads like this.

Feel free to do some research into knives at any price. Until recently only one custom maker was able to successfully cast knives and that was David Boye. What he created was more of an alloy (440 dendritic) than steel.

Cato the Younger
July 1, 2008, 11:28 PM
Mine cost me $315. It is a wonderful shooter, and a great gun to learn reloading on. I think they are underestimated, as most collectors buy up model 27's instead. The Highway Patrolman has the same guts, but lacks merely the cosmetic finishing touches. You should be able to find some for under $500, for sure if you shop around.

Just my 2 cents.

hags
July 1, 2008, 11:53 PM
For the sake of arguing guns I tend to agree with you. Ruger has engineered extremely robust, albeit big revolvers.

I personally see nothing wrong with both methods being used in gun manufacturing.

This logic does not apply to manufacturing in general and tends to get people who know better defensive (I'm not one of them), which is how we end up with threads like this.

Feel free to do some research into knives at any price. Until recently only one custom maker was able to successfully cast knives and that was David Boye. What he created was more of an alloy (440 dendritic) than steel.

Just to be clear, I'm strictly talking guns here. In particular, slide failures, stress cracks, etc......

When it comes to firearms, it is my opinion, based on experience, warranty info, manufacturers data etc..... that when considering strictly cast versus forged it is a none issue.

Virginian
July 2, 2008, 01:54 AM
In as much as new Colts are not available, you have no doubt noted the discussion has deteriorated into the usual Smith vs Ruger one. Since you did not ask, I will not bore you with engineering credentials, intergranular structural differences, or the superiority of two different mechanisms that accomplish the same goal, or the myariad mythical points of superiority.
Either one of them is a very good firearm and the maker will stand behind it, which is good because occassionally they both churn out a lemon. I have personally seen more from Smith, but heard about more from Ruger. Not aware of a one that either one did not make right.
The two guns have a very different 'feel', and whichever one feels best to you is the way to go.
If you like politically correct visible locks, you will definitely prefer the Smith and Wesson, which is good, because you cannot get a new one without it. As of right now, Rugers don't have one on their DA revolvers that I know of, yet. The ones on the new single actions are about as invisible and unobtrusive as you could get.

Shade00
July 2, 2008, 01:58 AM
My picks:
S&W Mod. 65-4 (police trade-ins available from various places, Centerfire, CDNN)
S&W Mod. 28, if you can find one in your price range
Ruger Security/Service/Speed Six in Stainless - love these, should be able to find one (or maybe even two!) for your price range
Any of the large number of quality Colt Troopers available in your price range

There are plenty of good used guns to be had. Just look around.

BlindJustice
July 2, 2008, 03:11 AM
Before reading this thread
I would say without a doubt

A good quality S&W Model 28 "Highway Patrolman"
in the barrel length you consider to fit your needs,
a nice length to get would be 5".

R- now to go back and read the responses

2ndamd
July 2, 2008, 03:26 AM
A new GP100 4" ss adj sight model.

hags
July 2, 2008, 07:24 AM
I would agree on that, I have a Highway Patrolman 28-2 and it's really, really nice. You should be able to find a really nice used one for under $500.
No lock, no receiver mounted firing pin, etc.......

The new Rugers feel alot closer to a 686 now that they come with the Hogue fingergroove monogrip.

Virginian
July 2, 2008, 08:22 AM
I know I passed reading. It was a long time ago but I do remember that. And the man said new.
I definitely prefer some of the used ones myself, but he said new.

H2O MAN
July 2, 2008, 08:30 AM
I picked up a NIB GP100 for $400 :D

wheelgunslinger
July 2, 2008, 08:41 AM
I would stay away from Charter products.
I would stay away from the EAA windicator.
I would stay away from cheap single actions.

Clearly, there are people who like Smith and Ruger. Both are good weapons.

If you want a quality weapon for under 500 bucks, your choices are few and already outlined here, when it comes to new guns.

Which do I prefer? I don't. I can't find a single 357 NIB that I want that would somehow be better than a nice used weapon made years ago in various attractive permutations.

cpirtle
July 2, 2008, 09:16 AM
because you cannot get a new one without it

Smiths new production lemon squeezer does not have a lock.

Deanimator
July 2, 2008, 09:44 AM
A Smith & Wesson Highway Patrolman (Model 28) is a fine revolver.
Great guns, and the prices haven't yet gone insane on these like they have with other N frame Smiths.

Also, used Dan Wessons are also a great value

skoro
July 2, 2008, 11:16 AM
I am looking to buy a 4" .357 sometime this week. I have a budget of $500 and would like to buy new since I have had a few experiences buying used. I would really like some suggestions from the forum as to what to stay away from and what is regarded as being a good value.

Even though you've stated a reluctance for used, that's going to be your best bet for a solid, high-quality .357 revolver. Used S&W Models 13, 19 or 65 would fit your requirement perfectly. Good ones can be had for less than $500 on gunbroker.com or auctionarms.com so check it out, and good luck!

2ndamd
July 2, 2008, 11:59 AM
Lemon sqeezer does not have the hillary ho' but, it does cost more than $500.

Evyl Robot
July 2, 2008, 12:21 PM
I am looking to buy a 4" .357 sometime this week. I have a budget of $500 and would like to buy new since I have had a few experiences buying used. I would really like some suggestions from the forum as to what to stay away from and what is regarded as being a good value.


JN,

I'm afraid the 686 is going to be out of that price range. I'm a Smith fan, but you don't really care about that. I think the Ruger sounds like a fine choice. See if you can find a range that has prospectives for rental before you purchase. If you start feeling spicier, and want to test the used market waters, check out the revolver checkout in this same forum (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=1430). I've used these methods in buying new and used revolvers, and I believe that everyone should be familiar with them regardless of what they like. I hope this helps.

--Michael

Stainz
July 2, 2008, 05:21 PM
The OP posted this in mid Jan of this year... if he has more moola, I'd consider a S&W - the 620 runs ~$620 - a 4" 686+ is ~$640 locally. The best buy is the 627 Pro, like mine - bought a month back at $719 + s/t. Of course, I financed mine by selling a couple of Rugers - I am much happier.

Now, eat crow time, I did look at the current crop of Hogue-gripped new Ruger GP-100s (4" KGP-141) - at $489 + s/t. No tool marks - comfortable feel/heft/and 'pointability', sad to say for a dyed-in-the-wool S&W guy. Smoothest new Ruger trigger I've felt... could they have finally hired an in-plant QC inspector? I was getting tired of being that guy here in my basement, thus my divesting myself of Ruger roundguns. Serioualy, I think most folks - me included - would be happy with a new GP-100. Gotta wash my mouth!

Stainz

baker437
July 2, 2008, 06:49 PM
GP-100 got my new 5 years ago for $400.00.

Fishman777
July 2, 2008, 09:07 PM
Kramerer slams investment casting. Wuchak comes along and pulls an article that summarizes peer-reviewed scientific/engineering journal articles that demonstrate that forging is not superior to investment casting. Kramerer ignores that reply and goes on about how comical and inarticulate the Ruger fans are. Wuchak not only supplies scientific evidence to support his position, he also discusses some of the design features that confer the Ruger DA revolver's superior strength. Then Kramerer disappears.

Listen, I don't dislike Smith and Wesson revolvers. I like them enough that I almost bought a 686p over my GP100 about a year ago. Smith and Wessons are very good revolvers, and I would not fault anyone for wanting one or owning one.

My own observations have led me to believe that Smith and Wessons generally have pretty nice triggers and finishes out of the box. Smiths are good revolvers, but they *are* weaker than Rugers.

The Rugers are stronger by design. Wuchak already explained some of these Ruger design features, so I won't beat a dead horse. I do find it interesting, however, that Smith and Wesson implemented a variation of Ruger's triple locking cylinder in their model 500. They also implemented a Ruger style ejector rod in their model 500. If these design characteristics make no difference in the strength and reliability of a revolver, why is it that Smith and Wesson copied these features and used them in their most powerful revovler design? Isn't it interesting that Smith and Wesson copies these features for their most powerful revolver, but even the most modest Ruger DA revolvers have these same features (even the .32 magnum models).

GingerGuy
July 2, 2008, 10:27 PM
SP101
http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm157/GingerGuy_photos/Ruger/SP101012.jpg


http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm157/GingerGuy_photos/Ruger/SP101003-1.jpg

Oro
July 2, 2008, 10:48 PM
The silence is stunning...

Yep, you're right. It's just not worth arguing with roaring Luddites. I'd rather walk away and do something more useful. I had hoped 1858's intelligent comments here wouldn't start another degrading circle of silly, factless arguing.

Look, Wuchak brought out completely irrelevant information, well intentioned I'm sure, but it discusses (and from a biased angle, too) that investment casting can equal forging in a non-pressurized, non firearm application. I've actually read that paper in the past it's not news. I was just trying not to inflame what had already degraded into a non-scientific food-fight. I winced when 1858 came along to provided another intelligent analysis from an engineer about whey forging has the qualities it does. But you can still just roar into the wind.

Look, guys, we are talking about INANIMATE objects with known physical properties. This isn't difficult science, if you just look at the science instead of the heresay and testosterone - "This is what I like so it must be better..." mentality.

Frankly, the thread should either address the OP's questions or be closed. Since it's a six month dead thread, that's the best thing. It's not worth having a Ruger v. S&W smackdown with pointless assertions.

Guillermo
July 2, 2008, 11:06 PM
Hi guys

Which is "best" has to do with the job you want it to do.

Are you going to carry it?
A range gun only?
Put a scope on it and hunt with it?

The differing characteristics make one or the other preferable to the other

Here are a few undeniable facts

Rugers are heavy
Rugers triggers need some help

Smiths are lighter
Smiths have better triggers

Rugers cost less than Smiths

New Rugers are not PC
New Smiths have a Hillary Hole

So if you insist on buying new and can't stand Hillary Clinton, buy a Ruger.

If you are okay with Hillary and don't mind spending a few extra bucks, buy a new Smith.

If you are willing to buy used, a Smith 19 is well within your budget, and is a truly great revolver.

Still you would save some money buying a used GP100 that would have the possible advantage of being stainless

jjohnson
July 2, 2008, 11:18 PM
I'm not going to say anything bad about the Ruger. I've never owned a GP100, but that's just a matter of timing. My several other Rugers are liked every bit as much as my several S&Ws.

My 686+ was bought gently used for $400 a few years ago. The guy that sold it to me was switching to autos, and gave it up after shooting maybe a dozen boxes of ammo. I got the box, warranty card, and oh, too bad, no Hillary Hole. I won't buy a new S&W while they insist on putting a LOCK in the design. My old Model 28 and Model 19 still kick hind end, too, and neither one of them were bought new - gently used.

I've been shooting handguns for 45 years now, and there are LOTS of really good used handguns at gun shows. Larger calibers tend to get used less than, say, .38s, because of cost of ammo and blast. Yes, SOME of us send half a ton of lead downrange each year in some of our favorites, but most people don't do that. You can still get a fine slightly used revolver for under $500, just take somebody with you who's good at picking them. You'd do the same if you were buying a used truck, right? If you're really not good at looking a used handgun over, drag a buddy along, no shame in that.

And oh yes - Rugers are even harder to wear out than S&Ws or Colts, so if you find that barely used GP100, snap it up.... ;)

22LongRifle
July 3, 2008, 04:41 AM
+1 on never buying new! If you don't think you can get a good deal on your own, buy a seasoned shooting buddy lunch and have him look at a few for you.

My favorite for home and carry is a 3" GP100 or 2.5" M19 or 3" 65.

I've had 686s that sucked and GPs that were too nose heavy. And then I had others that were perfect.

My current out of state carry weapon is a 3" GP100 with a light barrel. It was a range gun for a local LEO trainer and said he could begin to too me how many rounds were shot through it! Its smooth and sweet.

My wife's van weapon is my S&W M19 with the 2.5" barrel. Its baddly blunished on the left side, due to a ten year sentence in a poor holster in the sock drawer. But its just as sweet, if not more so, as the GP.

And, like stated before, its doubtful that a used wheelgun was shot more than 1000 rounds (unless its a range loaner like mine). Its just hard to wear on out.

And don't forget the Ruger Speed and Security Six series and the great line from S&W with a hard look at the M28.

22lr

Fishman777
July 3, 2008, 01:59 PM
Too funny. You are right, this thread could get out of hand, and I probably didn't help the situation.

Footcheese
July 3, 2008, 02:04 PM
+1 for GP100

I haven't read the entire thread but I do own a Redhawk and Ruger's quality is not an issue. It's got plenty of nice little details I didn't expect after reading Ruger hate posts on the Internet (serrated top of the barrel, rosewood grips with a little inlaid metal redhawk,...). My father owns an old S&W Model 60 and my Redhawk has much friendlier checkering on the hammer than his Model 60 (unless you like having a raw thumb for no reason).

On the first page of this thread there was a guy saying S&W was more reliable because of the whole cast vs forged argument. If you read the Wikipedia article on Investment Casting you'll notice mention of it's use in aerospace and power generation, neither of which are industries with a very high fault tolerance.

Since you most likely want the highest quality revolver for under $500 that YOU'RE GOING TO FIRE, it's Ruger. You can get Hogue Tamer grips for a GP100 too (unlike S&W J frame).

Footcheese
July 3, 2008, 02:30 PM
Now that I read more of the thread I'm almost sorry I posted. Maybe I'll stoke the flame a little more! I was thinking about Kramerer's initial slam on Ruger in saying Ruger and S&W have the same administrative business costs since they're in a similar geographic location. I think that can only be called conjecture unless Kramerer has knowledge of the two's business processes. From my point of view, S&W spends much more effort on marketing to the law enforcement community which could lend itself to the increased cost of operating their business.

Bboomer
July 3, 2008, 02:37 PM
I withdrawl my on-topic comment.

The OP was submitted back in January.........................

MJRW
July 3, 2008, 02:40 PM
If Kamerer endorses the 686, then you can't go wrong with the GP100.

XavierBreath
July 3, 2008, 05:14 PM
This thread is closed.

We do not monitor every thread as we expect the membership to uphold the standards of the forum that they agreed to when they registered.

I fail to see how a member asking a simple legitimate question can result in a flury of insults and personal attacks.

PM's inbound.

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