Are Rugers REALLY stronger than S&W's?


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Carbon_15
July 17, 2008, 07:17 AM
We all repeat the line about Rugers being "built like a tank" as gospel. but is it really true. I was reading some reloading data in G&A magazine that had the disclaimer, "for use in Ruger Redhawk, Blackhawk or T/C only, do not use in S&W 29 or 629. I have a hard time beleaving that a Blackhawk is that much stronger than a 29 or 629...if any. I have always wondered if the Ruger is only bulkier, not stronger. The casting process produces weaker metal with more porosity than forging...I think Ruger has to make up for the weaker metal by using more of it, therefore giving the false impresion that it is more rugged.
You don't hear anyone claiming the same about there overly bulky Semi-autos...or the hi-point for that mater.
Are Ruger revolvers REALLY stronger and why...or just bulkier?

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Lovesbeer99
July 17, 2008, 07:22 AM
I'm not sure if anyone is suggestion that the S&W will blow up, but it will loosen much quicker than the Ruger. The Ruger can take full loads and lots of them. The S&W wasn't designed to do that.

I don't know that anyone has scientific proof, only experiance over time, but I could be wrong. I'll keep an eye on this post to see what anyone else has.

mtngunr
July 17, 2008, 09:34 AM
John Linebaugh has done tests on Ruger and S&W, if you can find his gun-notes on the web somewhere...

http://www.foxwebdesigns.com/Area51/JLSixGun/articles/gunnotes.html

The Ruger cylinder is not cast. General strength observations can be made by measuring cylinder OD, charge hole ID, wall thickness, and especially wall thickness at the locking bolt cuts in the cylinder, the cuts always being where a cylinder fails first.

Total agreement on Rugers ability to handle full-house loads better. A Smith subject to full-house loads will need to be rebuilt five times for every time the Ruger gets rebuilt. And a Redhawk cylinder can handle loads that would scatter a Smith all over the landscape. Check loading manuals. How 'bout a 1900fps 180gr XTP?

If the cast/bulkier frame wasn't stronger, custom builders like Linebaugh and Bowen would have been building 5-shot conversion cannons on Smiths.

Like Taffin says, Smiths are thoroughbreds and Rugers are draft horses.

texagun
July 17, 2008, 09:41 AM
Are Ruger revolvers REALLY stronger

No doubt about it in my mind. S&W's are my all-time favorite revolvers...the older ones are works of art with beautiful actions....but they aren't as rugged as the old Rugers.

A Smith subject to full-house loads will need to be rebuilt five times for every time the Ruger gets rebuilt.

This statement is absolutely correct.

On the other hand, I am no gunsmith, just a guy who has been shooting them for over 50 years. If anyone thinks the S&W's are stronger, I would be glad to hear his opinion and justification.


Like Taffin says, Smiths are thoroughbreds and Rugers are draft horses.

Great quote!

Deer Hunter
July 17, 2008, 09:49 AM
It was true twenty-five years ago, but not today. The amount of full-house loads it would take to bring down a 629 would be fairly close to a blackhawk.

If you have the money and time to shoot either of them to smitherines, good for you. However the 5:1 ratio is a bit much. Again, perhaps with older S&Ws, but not today's.

Vern Humphrey
July 17, 2008, 09:49 AM
for use in Ruger Redhawk, Blackhawk or T/C only, do not use in S&W 29 or 629. I have a hard time beleaving that a Blackhawk is that much stronger than a 29 or 629
Load up a thousand rounds of those "for use in Ruger Redhawk, Blackhawk or T/C only" cartridges and shoot them in your S&W 29 or 629. Come back and tell us how it turned out.;)

Euclidean
July 17, 2008, 09:54 AM
I think we had a thread here not too long ago where someone who knew something about metallurgy pointed out some lab results that basically said the cast frame of the Ruger was in fact not weaker than the forged frame of the Smith and Wesson at all.

The more metal argument doesn't hold up either, if you check the manufacturer's websites the GP100 and 686 in comparable barrel lengths are pretty darn close to each other's weight.

I think the reason has to do with the sideplate-less design of the Ruger; it's one solid piece through and through. Really from a pure design angle I like the Ruger better; the liftout trigger group is nice too.

I think it also depends on the model to model comparison we're talking about too. Smith and Wesson's models have changed over the years and so have Ruger's.

And the thing is, it's not that Smith and Wesson revolvers are "fragile". Far from it, it's that Ruger revolvers are often ridiculously strong.

FWIW I have seen and heard people claim they load their Ruger semi-autos thermonuclear hot too. But bottom feeder vs. round gun is a whole different proposition.

mainmech48
July 17, 2008, 10:00 AM
Ruger has something of a 'tradition' of over-engineering their handguns, especially CF revolvers, somewhat in the interests of durability and longevity with full-power magnum loads.

This started, IMO, with the redesign of the original 'Flat-top' Blackhawks in .44 Mag in response to feedback from consumers. Dubbed the "Super Blackhawk" it incorporated a heavier frame, cylinder and barrel as well as a somewhat larger gripframe.

S&W made several changes in the M-29 in response to feedback from metallic silhouette shooters that their revolvers weren't holding up as well as they'd like to the volume of heavy loads the sport demanded.

They also developed the beefed-up L-frame to address forcing cone and top strap erosion under a steady diet of hot 125 gr. JHPs common to some K-frame models in LEA use. FWIW, the result was quite similar in size to the .41-framed Colt Pythons and Dan Wesson 15-2s and Ruger Security Sixes which were the models' major competition in both the civilian and LEA markets.

If you examine a Ruger GP-100 or SP-101 side-by-side with their major .38 Spl/.357 competitors the heavier construction becomes obvious, as it will between a Redhawk/Super Redhawk and a M-29.

As was said, this proviso in load data is to discourage their use in revolvers with less of a "margin" built into them.

mtngunr
July 17, 2008, 10:03 AM
Yes, but the thread starter was talking .44 mag....the Blackhawk/29 cylinders are the same strength, but the frames/lockwork are not, and the Redhawk is in a class by itself......Smith lockwork is still problematical with heavy loads, "endurance package" or no, as those of us who have seen .500S&W's unlock/counter-rotate under recoil can attest.

Skipper
July 17, 2008, 11:24 AM
While this is not exactly the same as the question at hand, it is very closely related. Hamilton Bowen, speaking of caliber and cylinder conversions in his excellent work,"The Custom Revolver" says, "Lovely as they are, Smith & Wesson N-frame revolvers wouldn't survive one round of high pressure .45 Colt or .500 Magnum ammo that five shot Redhawks can handle with aplomb."

texagun
July 17, 2008, 11:29 AM
I'm a big fan of the S&W 686 (L-Frame) .357 Magnum so I'm always on the lookout for another one (pre-locks only). I have run across several (mostly at gun shows) that showed a lot of wear and use...excessive end-shake, cylinders out of time, and top-straps that were deeply cut from hot loads. I rarely see Rugers in that condition.

Master Blaster
July 17, 2008, 12:04 PM
I'm a big fan of the S&W 686 (L-Frame) .357 Magnum so I'm always on the lookout for another one (pre-locks only). I have run across several (mostly at gun shows) that showed a lot of wear and use...excessive end-shake, cylinders out of time, and top-straps that were deeply cut from hot loads. I rarely see Rugers in that condition.


Ruger top straps flame cut as well when they are shot but like with smiths it is self limiting. I would venture to guess the reason you dont see flame cutting on the rugers and you do on the smiths is that the smiths have been shot alot more by their previous owners. Yesterday I bought a 629 no dash pinned and recessed. It had zero flame cutting on the top strap. The gunshop had a used redhawk in the case that did have flame cutting so would it be valid for me to conclude that the smith is stronger??

Of course not, I can only conclude it was probably shot less.

Master Blaster
July 17, 2008, 12:11 PM
And a Redhawk cylinder can handle loads that would scatter a Smith all over the landscape. Check loading manuals. How 'bout a 1900fps 180gr XTP?
mtngunner,


You may want to read Mr.Linebaugh's page a bit more carefully:

Notes on the Smith & Wesson

The load data printed at the beginning of this article is considered MAXIMUM safe loads with listed bullets for RUGER BLACKHAWKS ONLY - (and, if you must shoot them, Contenders).

The Smith & Wesson Model 25-5 chambered for the .45 Colt is a fine gun and one I pack daily myself. The problem with the Smith &Wesson guns in general is not so much a strength factor but rather a design factor. Before you S&W people beat up on me please listen. It has long been evident that the Model 29 in .44 Magnum very quickly beats itself apart with full-power loads. This is not technically a "strength" problem as much as a design problem and the assemblage of several small parts that are not as rugged as the Single Action design. In the course of time if all the little parts wear a tiny bit this soon adds up to a lot of play in the overall fit and lock-up of the gun. This in turn allows the gun to get a further "run" at itself under discharge and thus hastens the battering process.



He isnt talking about a redhawk here Blackhawks only is what he says.

mtngunr
July 17, 2008, 12:22 PM
I read fine, thank you, and noted above (if you read carefully) that the Blackhawk and Smith cylinders are equivalent strength, adding that REDHAWK cylinders are in a class by themselves....

Virginian
July 17, 2008, 12:22 PM
Casting does not automatically produce a weaker part. Forging does not automatically produce a stronger part. Everything depends on the alloy in question, and the manner and specifics of production.
Oh, and yes, some models of Rugers are stronger than some models of Smith and Wessons.

Hastings
July 17, 2008, 01:03 PM
I have owned Rugers and Smiths, and loved them both. I value different aspects of each. I find it hard to believe that the 29 is as strong, overall, as the Redhawk. I'd rather shoot a 29 (with reasonable loads, of course) but pack a Redhawk when wandering in bear territory. The 29 gets fondled while watching espn, and the Redhawk gets used to drive tent-pegs and pistol-whip moose.

Obviously, these observations are purely subjective. I propose that someone do a side by side range comparison, with maximum loads, until one fails or the tolerances (which should be checked periodically during the test) of either revolver change enough to in;)dicate a clear winner in the overall strength category. This seems like it would be a pretty objective test that would settle this tiresome question once and for all. Just to add extra objectivity to it, each side could choose the factory stock specimen from among the wide array of minor variations and year-of-manufacture choices. When each side is confident that they have the supreme example of their brand's stellar attributes, let the shooting commence, and end when one side is left holding the smoking remains of a shattered cylinder in their powder-burned finger-stubs (or when one of the frames stretches noticably).

Until someone undertakes this comparison, or until I decide to shoot six thousand rounds of mega-numb ammo that has had a pint of powder packed into each shell casing using a wooden dowel and a five pound mallet, I will continue to appreciate both revolvers as wonderfully different examples of engineering and design.

By the way, the bear I shot with the Ruger did seem deader than the one I shot with the Smith. But, my how the bear admired the 29's bluing just before expiring.

Hastings

The Tourist
July 17, 2008, 01:19 PM
At one time, yes, I believe they were--and I'm a Smith guy.

The Classic I have is technically a 629-5. During the period when this revolver was making news in the gun rags, they told folks how it came to be.

The SW engineers gave some prototypes to two metallic silhouette shooters and they fired 10,000 rounds of full-house ammunition. The revolvers were then sent back to R/D and inspected.

The results of these "destruction tests" are my 629-5.

In general, I doubt the average sportsman will fire 5,000 rounds in a lifetime, not enough to override the design parameters of those tests.

The comparison of Smith vs. Ruger is an old debate, much like Ford vs. Chevy. If frames continued to crack or flame cut, and bolt stops began to fail, you'd hear about it rags, or R/D would come out with yet another version.

KBintheSLC
July 17, 2008, 02:08 PM
Casting does not automatically produce a weaker part. Forging does not automatically produce a stronger part.

Yeah... only 99.999% of the time.

Forging makes the molecules form a much tighter pattern. It also eliminates most voids and air pockets that are very common in cast metals. All alloys being equal, forged parts will be significantly stronger than cast parts.

Steve C
July 17, 2008, 02:09 PM
I saw a Ruger GP100 taken apart by a fool who thought that Ruger was so much stronger it could handle his "proof" loads.

As others have said I think the main thing with Rugers is their lock work. Its less delicate than S&W's, uses all coil springs and IMO usually doesn't lock up as tight as a Smith.

Virginian
July 17, 2008, 02:44 PM
Voids and air pockets are not very common in quality investment cast metals. That is one reason why investment casting has been such a boon to manufacturing. And, the point is, all alloys are not equal.

m4coyote
July 17, 2008, 02:47 PM
Back in the mid eighties I purchased a brand new S&W M29 silhouette pistol, and it had the 10 5/8" barrel with the adjustable front sight. At the same time, I owned a 7 1/2 " barreled Redhawk. My normal 44 mag. handload at the time was a 210 gr. XTP over 23.2 grains of 2400. My Redhawk digested many hundreds of these, and without so much as a burp.

Just one of them fired from that M29 was enough to absolutely lock it up. The hammer could not be cocked, the trigger could not be pulled, and the cylinder absolutely would not move. I had to take a rubber mallet and tap the cylinder to free it up. I sold that M29, and purchased a 629 Mountain Gun in the later 90's. My Redhawk still functions fine with this handload, but my "new" Mountain Gun also locks up on them. I don't just "think", I KNOW that the Ruger is the stronger gun.

That being said, the S&W has a quality & finesse that the Redhawk will never have. The S&W has an incredibly smooth action, and a greatly superior single action trigger. I am keeping my Mountain Gun as a woods carry piece, but do not trust it with any truly "stout" loads.

TAB
July 17, 2008, 02:49 PM
Load up a thousand rounds of those "for use in Ruger Redhawk, Blackhawk or T/C only" cartridges and shoot them in your S&W 29 or 629. Come back and tell us how it turned out.


you do realize that is a cylinder length issue and not one of strength right? You know the little details, always the more important.

HOME DEPOT GEORGE
July 17, 2008, 03:05 PM
KBintheSLC- If forging is so much stronger how do you explain the model 29 smith with a 6 1/2 in barrel weighing 40oz and a super blackhawk 7 1/2 in barrel weighing 48oz. The blackhawk is proven to handle loads that would render the smith useless. Tab-I don't see what cylinder length has anything to do with the ruger only loads, I just compared my buffalo bore 45colt with some standard 45's I have and there was no difference. It's always fun to watch these theads develop and the funny thing is that an average shooter will never shoot enough to shoot a gun loose anyway;)

machinisttx
July 17, 2008, 03:19 PM
Tab-I don't see what cylinder length has anything to do with the ruger only loads, I just compared my buffalo bore 45colt with some standard 45's I have and there was no difference. It's always fun to watch these theads develop and the funny thing is that an average shooter will never shoot enough to shoot a gun loose anyway

If you get into the truly heavy loads, the shorter cylinder of the S&W will not allow seating the heavier(and thus longer) bullets to the proper depth. That reduces the powder capacity and one of two things has to happen. Either pressures increase to dangerous levels, or you reduce the powder charge to compensate and get less velocity.

If anyone cares to run my 1400+ fps .45 Colt load through their S&W 625, they're free to do so. I wouldn't expect to have an intact gun after the first round though.

Zoogster
July 17, 2008, 03:24 PM
The rugers are built much more solid. The Smiths are more elegant and ergonomic.

It is like a solid block of metal versus a block of metal thinned and shaped with excess metal removed.
The ruger is more like the solid block, but stronger as a result.

I like some of the Rugers. The nice Smiths often feel better in the hand, have better smooth crisp trigger pulls from the factory etc. They are just more refined.

There is more metal in and around the stress points on many Rugers so they hold up longer and can take more punishment. They are clunkier, heavier and not as refined though.
It can take some personal or gunsmith work to get one to shoot as nicely as a Smith.

I prefer Rugers because durability and longevity are are more important to me. You can work on them to get just as nice of a trigger pull.
However a good number of consumers would like a Smith better. The elegance, lighter weight and better handling of something streamlined with the the excess metal removed (the same excess that adds strength to the Rugers) as well as nicer factory trigger more appealing to them.

It is all a matter of preference. Both are fine designers of good quality revolvers. Ruger, Colt, and Smith&Wesson American revolvers really are the best in the world, all patriotism aside.

Claymore1500
July 17, 2008, 03:48 PM
I read somewhere, a long time ago, that older colt and S&W revolvers were built on "black powder frames" whereas the ruger frames were developed strictly for smokeless, And therefor made stronger.

I would imagine the same does not hold true any longer, but myths and ledgends never die.

Vern Humphrey
July 17, 2008, 03:57 PM
The issue of strength has nothing to do with legends. As I said, load up a thousand "Ruger only" loads, shoot them through your S&W and see what happens.

ZeSpectre
July 17, 2008, 04:03 PM
the Redhawk gets used to drive tent-pegs and pistol-whip moose

bwhahahahahahahahahahah!!!!!
Oh my co-workers are looking at me so oddly right now due to a full fledged guffaw!

ArmedBear
July 17, 2008, 04:04 PM
Note also that people are talking about "Blackhawks" and .44 Magnum. There are relatively few .44 Blackhawks, and no recent ones except for the flattop reissues.

The single action .44's currently for sale are the beefed-up Super Blackhawks, introduced in 1959:
http://www.gunblast.com/images/Hamm_SuperBlackhawk/A1DSC002.jpg

Claymore1500
July 17, 2008, 04:50 PM
Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of "Thermonuclear loads of .357mag, for my blackhawk"Only" I would never use them in my S&W hiway patrolman.

In my mind, the best way to keep your "puppy" in good health is to keep him away from the "BIG DOGS" food.

MCgunner
July 17, 2008, 04:56 PM
I think the reason has to do with the sideplate-less design of the Ruger; it's one solid piece through and through. Really from a pure design angle I like the Ruger better; the liftout trigger group is nice too.

Bingo. I love the way the trigger group pops out of the DA designs, too, much easier cleaning and routine maintenance. The big advantage is that there are TWO SIDES to the gun, not just one side with a cover plate. Two is stronger than one.

Sold my SP101 back to my son-in-law. Might get a 3" sometime. My Blackhawks, though, can handle loads an N frame would shutter from. Don't load up your .45 Colt Mtn gun with my Blackhawk loads. You would regret it. I have probably 1K of those loads through that gun, don't shoot 'em a LOT, but enough for field practice. The gun has shown no ill effects. I'm loading 20.0 gr 2400 behind a 300 grain Hornady XTP. That's a rather warm load with .44 mag ballistics. My normal light load is safe in any .45 Colt, but I wanted the Ruger for that hot load option in the field. If I wanted a mtn gun in a heavy caliber, I'd go with the .44 mag. The N frame can handle the .44 better, smaller, more meat in the cylinder, smaller case head can handle higher pressures. I'd bet, though, that a .45 Colt Blackhawk will outlast a .44 mag mtn gun both firing hot loads.

Kosh75287
July 17, 2008, 05:09 PM
I can speak most authoritatively about my police service six, which is roughly the same size as a S&W K-frame. I've owned it for 26 years and have run some very hot loads through it from time to time. These same loads, while within limits of the reloading texts, loosened more than a couple of S&W Model 19s and 66s, as well as at least one Colt Trooper. I can discern only normal wear on the Police Service Six. I may have bought an exceptional sample of their production, but I doubt it.
The S&W and Colt revolvers seem more amenable to tuning of triggers than the Ruger. I assume that this is because there are more articulating surfaces in the S&W and Colt pieces, while the Rugers appear to be constructed of fewer, heavier, more sturdy parts.
A "torture test" of Ruger's Redhawk vs. a Colt Anaconda or a S&W M29 is a bit beyond my financial means. It ALSO sounds like it would hurt my hands. Nonetheless, I would expect the "Elmer Keith original" .44 magnum loads to loosen the S&W and Colt before the Redhawk, to say nothing of some very sore hands.

Jim K
July 17, 2008, 05:29 PM
"A Ruger will stand up to any load I can put in it, you can't blow them up."

The guy who said that blew up a nice Redhawk a couple of weeks later with a "triplex" load. He now refuses to talk about it.

Jim

MCgunner
July 17, 2008, 05:38 PM
Someone (was it this board?) blew up a Blackhawk, I think. Oh, yeah, you put enough fast powder in a big case, you'll blow any Ruger, just like anything else. For instance, try (no not really, I'm being hypothetical!!!) 20 grains of Bullseye instead of 2400 in a .45 Colt case. If you were half asleep or half sober, you might could pick up the wrong powder container, ya know. :D

Zoogster
July 17, 2008, 06:40 PM
All alloys being equal, forged parts will be significantly stronger than cast parts.
Forged is stronger, in the same thickness, and it is more uniform. Casting can be good or bad, it really depends on the process whether imperfections exist in the finished product that reduce strength.
If the casting is both good, using good steel alloys, and significantly thicker than the forged metal it can still be stronger, which is the case with the Rugers.


I think the reason has to do with the sideplate-less design of the Ruger; it's one solid piece through and through. Really from a pure design angle I like the Ruger better; the liftout trigger group is nice too.

Rugers appear to be constructed of fewer, heavier, more sturdy parts.
Exactly, simple and robust.
Fewer tiny parts to suffer wear, get out of tune etc.
The parts that are there are bigger and stronger.

Both though are fine designs. The Smiths and Colts can be setup to be perfect for most people. While the Rugers are more or less the way they are, and you have to adapt to the Ruger. You can change grips, or improve the trigger, but to retain what makes them great you have to deal with them for what they are. A heavy duty clunker that can digest many heavy rounds with little wear, and withstand abuse without complaint.
It is a mule. It does what it does for generations, and does not change much.

The Smith is more the thoroughbred that can be graceful and an absolute pleasure to use, like an extension of your hand. It however also needs a lot of grooming, the perfect diet, can be finicky, and loses more of what makes it great with age.

JesseL
July 17, 2008, 06:51 PM
Note also that people are talking about "Blackhawks" and .44 Magnum. There are relatively few .44 Blackhawks, and no recent ones except for the flattop reissues.

The single action .44's currently for sale are the beefed-up Super Blackhawks, introduced in 1959:

Weren't all the changes from the Blackhawk to the Super Blackhawk just about ergonomics and weight? AFAIK they used pretty much the same frame, but went to a larger steel grip frame, unfluted cylinder, etc.

ArmedBear
July 17, 2008, 06:52 PM
Flawed casting can be weak.

However...

Ruger's claim to fame is their investment casting, which they do for other companies and other industries also. They've operated a separate casting shop for outside service for 45 years.

This is their casting shop web site: http://www.ruger.com/Casting/index.html

If their castings were weak, we'd know it by now.:)

HOME DEPOT GEORGE
July 17, 2008, 07:34 PM
The issue I have with the (casting has to be bigger to be stronger)thinking is if it's true why does the super blackhawk 7 1/2" barrel weigh 1oz less than the 629 with the 6 1/2" barrel. If casting has to be bigger then shouldn't the blackhawk weigh considerably more?

TAB
July 17, 2008, 07:42 PM
Comparing total wieght to determine frame strenght is like judging a swim suit model based on her bathing suit...

BigBlock
July 17, 2008, 08:03 PM
If my dog ate my Ruger...he'd poop out a S&W. :neener:

gizamo
July 17, 2008, 08:10 PM
Does anyone know the legend behind the testing of the Ruger Old Army...?

If your a reloader, you will fully appreciate this. Bill Ruger had an Old Army loaded up with 40 grains of Bullseye to see if it was strong enough to hold up to a mistaken Smokeless load....

It held up....

Man, I would have paid good money to see that test,,,,,LOL!

Giz

HOME DEPOT GEORGE
July 17, 2008, 08:13 PM
The only reason I compared weight was to show that the rugers arent overbuilt to compensate for the "weaker" casting. Don't get me wrong I have nothing against smiths or any other maker for that matter, in fact I just sent my dan wesson 357 maximum to the factory for a possible bent crane(I think the previous owner did something to it) and if all DW's have a trigger like this one I might be trading in a few of my rugers.

dagger dog
July 17, 2008, 09:02 PM
With new hardening and heat treating processes,and the latest metals, investment castings are size to size just as strong as forgings.The reason the investment casting is used so much it is cheaper than forgings which means more profit for the manufactuer.

unspellable
July 17, 2008, 09:09 PM
First, the Super Blackhawk has the same frame as the Blackhawk. The cylinder is the same diameter as the 44 Blackhawk cylinder but is slightly longer.

There are more ways than one to ruin a revolver. It's not just pressure, but recoil and a few other factors that come into play as well.

As for catastrophic failure, both the S&W M29 and the Super Blackhawk cylinders will fail at the same pressure, around 60,000 cup. This is by actual destructive testing.

In a catastrophic failure due to gross overload cylinders do not typically fail at the bolt notch. They usually fail first at the web between chambers. (After the fact it take a forensic medtalurgy examination of the pieces to determine the failure point.) The primary reason for a the five shot big bore is to get thicker walls between chambers. If it were merely a matter of getting the bolt notch away from the ceneter of the chamber there are other ways to do that, look at a Dan Wesson. There is an exception for a bolt notch that has been cut deeper than spec. In which case the bottom of the notch may bulge or even fail producing a crack in the notch area.

I have seen a S&W M27 test fired with the side of the cylinder ground down to the level of the notch bottom along the entire length of the cylnder with out failure.

All this said, the S&W will go loose quicker than a Blackhawk with heavy loads. One weak point is the method of limiting forward cylinder travel. The yoke tail bears on the bottom of the cylinder well with a very small area. In recent times S&W has taken steps to improve this in the M29 by heat treating the yoke tail and increasing the area. But the real cure would be to locate the cylinder at the neck where much more area is available, as most other revolvers do.

Bottom line, either one will take the same overload to blow, but short of that it's easier to beat the S&W to death.

BTW: My background is reliability engineering.

machinisttx
July 17, 2008, 09:16 PM
I read somewhere, a long time ago, that older colt and S&W revolvers were built on "black powder frames" whereas the ruger frames were developed strictly for smokeless, And therefor made stronger.

I would imagine the same does not hold true any longer, but myths and ledgends never die.

The very first double action revolver was indeed black powder only. It was fragile and broke often. IIRC, Billy the Kid used one, the 1877(?) Colt DA--more commonly recognized by the name "Lightning". Later double actions from Colt, as well as the first from S&W, were all originally designed for, and used with, black powder cartridges. In fact, IIRC, what is now the Model 10 was originally chambered for the .38 Long Colt cartridge. The basic gun dates back to the late 1880's or early 1890's. The first .38 special ammo was also loaded with black powder.

Obviously, since black powder fell out of favor, newer guns are built from better steels and have some improvements---but they're still basically the same as those first DAs intended for BP only.

MCgunner
July 17, 2008, 09:17 PM
The reason the investment casting is used so much it is cheaper than forgings which means more profit for the manufactuer.

And a more reasonable MSRP, which helps sell the gun in the first place. Some think money equals quality. Ruger is a good example of that not being the case. I'll buy a new Ruger. I won't buy a post lock new Smith even at equal price, let alone at twice the price.

gizamo
July 17, 2008, 09:17 PM
I wonder if the argument could not be made about heat treatment of forged frames, and frame stretching under heavy loads. S&W did address that issue.

However, no one seems to be addressing endshake in the S&W's here...What makes S&Ws so sensitive to endshake is their timing and lock-up system is very precision. A few thousandths endshake can make a big difference in carry-up, light primer hits, barrel scraping the cylinder face, and cylinder lock-up. Some get so bad the cylinder will jump out of the clinder stop notch when fired.

S&W uses a very thin yoke tube for a bearing surface in all models. Even the N-frame has the same skinny tube as a smaller 38 K frame. The yoke tube mates with a softer surface inside the cylinder.

Compare that to the size of the Ruger and it is very telling....S&W should address this issue and virtually eliminate end shake from their guns....

I collect and shoot both Rugers and S&W's and enjoy them immensely. I just wish that S&W would belly up to the bar on the yoke tube, and be done with all the peening issues this one part takes....

Giz

mtngunr
July 18, 2008, 12:32 AM
As long as this thread is diverging into cast vs. forged/machined, several things both anecdotal and personal will be mentioned.

Already mentioned and quite true is the fact that cast parts can be stronger in certain applications, particularly shear loads, as castings lack stress risers caused by forging....Ruger bolts in their rifles are much less prone to sheared or cracked lugs for this reason.

Old Army cylinders are cast, and all other Ruger cylinders are not.

An acquaintance who once owned his own ammo company used an Old Model Blackhawk to test .357 loads, lightning-bolt loads, and several hundred thousand rounds later, the Blackhawk still worked just fine.

My personal objection to castings are the inconsistancies of the alloy caused by flow-enhancing additives for mold fill-out.....for instance, I actually rusted a stainless ROA by ignoring it for 2wks after firing Pyrodex, only hosing the gun down weekly with WD40.... in isolated spots, deep pitting fissures attacked weaker areas of the cast steel, whereas a barstock or forged piece would have shown just uniform browning/light pitting....

Both brands and type construction have their ups and downs, and personally I like them both, and own them both.

easyrider6042004@yahoo.ca
July 18, 2008, 03:46 AM
I've got 4 SWs and 2 rugers and love them all. But I'd like to say that all points previously discussed point to the fact that Rugers are better designed overall, to handle long term use and abuse. That means Ruger using a clean sheet of paper from the start, analysed the stresses and strains a gun is put through when fired, used the proper materials, specified the correct dimensions and came up with a better tool for the job of shooting the caliber the gun was specified for.

For me, Rugers are better engineered while Smiths have the better aesthetic design and feel. I think the bone of contention is really that the lockwork of the S&W is not capable of dealing with long term magnum stresses.

Ruger has benefited from the experience of Smith & Wesson. What I don't understand is why SW did not benefit from their more than 100 years experience and did not go back to the drawing board to solve their durability issues once and for all, with a permanent fix. I think all they've done was to tweak their ancient 19th century lockwork design to bring them up to 21st century use and I honestly think that is not good enough.

I have a Smith Wesson 686 and 586 that have loosened with a few thousand full house magnums. I am not going to subject my other newer 686 to the same abuse. It is too pretty for that. That is what the GP100 and Blackhawk are for.

So are Rugers really stronger than S&Ws? Model for model, yes. A 45 oz 6 inch GP100 is way stronger than a 44 oz 6 inch 686, out of proportion to the 1 ounce weight difference.

mjolnir
July 18, 2008, 09:16 AM
The basic design of S&W revolvers dates from pre-1900, way prior to magnum cartridges. The Redhawk, for one ex., was designed in the 1970s, specifically AROUND the .44 Mag cartridge.

Blued Ruger revolvers are almost entirely 4140 chrome-moly (excepting stainless steel lockwork parts). S&W revolvers in the past used softer alloys in the crane to make hand-fitting easier for assemblers.

S&W frames are single-shear with one wall supporting the breech face v. Rugers double-shear walls.

Etc., etc.

S&W did a fine job with the Endurance Package engineering changes to the N-frame...while retaining the characteristics we all love about their revolvers...but it's never going to be as strong as a Redhawk. Is S&W capable of starting today with a clean sheet of paper and creating a strong, modern DA revolver? Of course, but then in one sense it would no longer be a S&W, would it?

mtngunr
July 18, 2008, 09:37 AM
I totally disagree with the comment that cyclinders usually don't fail at the notches.....bulged notches are common in overloaded guns, and the offset notch on 5-shot revolvers and even the Redhawk are part of the reason they are so strong....this is also why you can fire loads in a J-frame that would bulge or blow the notches in a K-frame, even though you might shoot the J-frame loose in short order....this is also why USFA and New Vaqueros are rated to 22,000psi loads compared the the SAA, as the cylinders are slightly larger in diameter while charge holes are cut to tighter spec leading to thicker metal at the notches.....the notches mark the thinnest part of the cylinder wall, and that is naturally where most failures originate.....examination of a statistically meaningful number of cylinders will show this, as will 99% of published photos of failed cylinders....so will being around guns long enough to see lots of failures....

Vern Humphrey
July 18, 2008, 10:11 AM
Depends on the design. When the notch is cut into the thinnest part of the chamber wall, that's where the failure will occur. When the notch is offset, and cut into thicker metal, the failure will generally be at the mouth of the case.

unspellable
July 18, 2008, 10:57 AM
It would be a relatively minor design change to end space the S&W cylinder at the neck. That change alone would do away with half their durability problems. It would greatly reduce the development of end shake. Some of the timing problems are a consequence of excessive end shake.

Another simple fix would be to adjust the end space with shims at orginal assembly. The shims are of harder material than the yoke and cylinder bottom and wear slower.

farscott
July 18, 2008, 12:48 PM
Something that has always amused and stumped me is that S&W offers lightweight guns on all of their revolver frames with the exception of the X-frame while Ruger, a renowned caster of titanium, offers no lightweight frames. Why is that? In this day of lightweight carry guns being the rage, I would think there is a market for, as an example, a Ti-framed SP-101. I am amazed there is a market for an alloy-framed .44 Magnum, but S&W offered one. Is Ruger unable to get the durability they expect out of a Ti-framed gun? Is there a machining issue? Is there a marketing issue?

I do believe the Ruger design is intrinsically stronger than the S&W design. The lack of a side plate on the Ruger and the simpler lock work are the reasons.

unspellable
July 18, 2008, 03:31 PM
A bulged bolt notch is NOT a catastrophic failure. Pictures of a blown cylinder or casual examination do NOT show where it failed. It takes a forensic metallurgy examination to determine the failure point. Such examinations generally show the web between chambers to be the initial failure point. You will note that most blown cylinders have blown the outside wall off three chambers, a bolt notch failure is more likely to open up only one chamber.

As stated above, I've seen a SW test fired with the cylinder outside wall for its entire length ground down to the level of the bolt notch bottom. I did not mention it before, but the next test shot was with a slot cut clean through the cylinder wall for the entire length of the cylinder. It did not blow. A bit hard to believe but that was the end result of a controlled experiment.

As for a J frame taking overloads, so will a K frame or an N frame. The third test shot with the above 357 revolver was with a solid barrel with NO BORE! Again the cylinder held. Gives you some idea of how much pressure a case full of Bullseye really whomps up!

Bolt notches have been known to bulge when abused, but that's not a blow up. And even if the majority of blow ups fail at the between chamber web, that's not saying no cylinder ever failed at the notch.

There is a great deal of discussion on this subject, most of it with no data to back it up. Revolvers (and other things) are not always subject to the stresses you think they are. I see much talk about frame stretching, meaning lengthwise, but the place the frame actually stretches is sideways around the point where the barrel threads in. (Remember those cracked forcing cones?) Also, the revolver does not go loose due to frame stretch, the frame reverts to shape like a spring. If stretched to the yield point where a permanent dimensional changes occurs, it is near the point of catastrophic failure, not going loose. A proof load generally runs around 30% more pressure than a max service load. If any dimensional change occurs the piece has failed proof.

BTW: As for stresses not being where you think they are, observe a double gun or rifle with a well fitted doll's head but no third bite. You see nothing that looks as if the doll's head is holding the action shut because you can so easily open it. But none the less, it does aid in holding the action shut because the stress on firing is not in the same place and direction as when opening the action.

SlamFire1
July 18, 2008, 03:55 PM
As to the cast versus forging argument, this thread had an excellent discussion.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=20673&highlight=forging

I do not remember the thread, but it was on the S&W forum where essentially this was discussed. One gentleman, who really seemed to understand what he was talking about, gave reasons why the S&W N frames, even after the endurance mods, are more likely to shoot loose.

The best reason I can recall was that the N frame Smith is still based on a 1908 vintage design. The endurance mods did improve things, but overall, the improved N frame Smith was not structurally changed all that much.

The Redhawk series of pistols were new designs from the ground up. I had a Redhawk, and it was a tank.

I find full power 44 Magnum loads unpleasant, so I donít shoot them much. I really doubt I will ever spring anything out of alignment on my S&W M629-5. However if my goal in life was to shoot the hottest, heaviest recoiling loads, till my retinas detached and I got carpal tunnel syndrome, I would use a Ruger.

gizamo
July 18, 2008, 06:13 PM
unspellable....

I agree completely with using a shim at the bottom of the cylinder where the yoke tube sits. The factory could simply add a 15 cent shim and seriously effect the gun in a positive way.....

Giz

Daryl Licht
July 18, 2008, 07:33 PM
The assertion about cylinder length being the issue with warmer loads inspired me to drag out some .44's for a firsthand look. It is incorrect.

The cylinder of the 629 and the Super Blackhawk are the same. The Redhawk's is about 1/16" longer.

Brett Byers AKA Slow
July 19, 2008, 12:34 AM
I have a friend who had a 686 S&W pre-lock and S&W's instruction manual clearly stated that limited use of .357 and .38 +P was recommended for longevity of the revolver. He sold it (it was a good shooter) and bought a Ruger GP100.

mtngunr
July 19, 2008, 01:21 AM
Vern, totally agree....I should have been more specific on notch location when talking notch failure...I'd be somewhat shocked if a Redhawk cyclinder failed at the notches, ditto a 5-shot custom big-bore or even J-frame....it also depends on the gun, with .45 SA's and DA's being most prone to notch failure, along with many K-frame sized .38's....Manglem resolvers are often a different ballgame...I know about Ruger testing a GP with a solid barrel....of course, most any person I know who's tried to do machine-work on a Ruger cylinder will tell you they're tough....I'm bowing out on this one as it's getting repetitive.

MCgunner
July 19, 2008, 09:05 AM
I do think it's a little unfair to compare single actions to N frames. They don't have cranes and yokes and articulation of the cylinder to wear, after all. That's one of the things I love about single actions, though, their rugged nature. Better to compare double action to double action, apples and apples.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 19, 2008, 10:57 AM
Yes, they are stronger, on an absolute scale.

Pound for pound, relative scale, no they are not stronger - they are the same. Build a Smith to the same specs and it will perform the same or better. It's just a matter of having thicker steel.

However if my goal in life was to shoot the hottest, heaviest recoiling loads, till my retinas detached and I got carpal tunnel syndrome, I would use a Ruger.

Now why on earth is that NOT your goal? :confused: :p :)

stew38
July 19, 2008, 11:53 AM
Has anyone got the racall box or gun repaired yet.If so does gun work ok now.I had mine since 1-25-08 and not fixed

tblt
July 19, 2008, 02:53 PM
yes they are

ceadermtnboy
July 19, 2008, 04:32 PM
Ruger is stronger, a better designed revolver. HOWEVER, the S&W revolvers are better made. The lockwork on the Smith is much smoother than on the Ruger and the finish, especially on older model smiths are much smoother and refined. The S&W are rounded in the right places and not squared off like the Ruger. I wish Ruger would wake up and put more resourses into the finished look of the GP-100. If they polished the lockwork, and redisigned the Ruger into a sleeker revolver, then I would rate them tops. As they are now, give me the S&W. Now I know that dosent matter to a lot of people, and that it is a rugged dependable revolver, but just imagine a Ruger GP-100 that looks like the S&W mountain gun!

BigBlock
July 19, 2008, 04:55 PM
I wish Ruger would wake up and put more resourses into the finished look of the GP-100.

Then we'd be paying the absurd prices S&W wants for their new revolvers. I think they already "woke up" and realized people like paying fair prices.

seeker_two
July 19, 2008, 05:15 PM
Question: Do you think that the sideplate(S&W) vs. no sideplate (Ruger) construction plays a part in overall strength b/t the two?

easyrider6042004@yahoo.ca
July 19, 2008, 05:58 PM
Question: Do you think that the sideplate(S&W) vs. no sideplate (Ruger) construction plays a part in overall strength b/t the two?

No. I haven't seen or heard of a SW frame twisting or otherwise bent out of shape due to its sideplate construction. However, its lockwork design is, or may be influenced by its sideplate construction. It is the SW lockwork that is weak and causing them to shoot loose.

I would be quite happy with the Ruger lockwork transplanted into a Smith frame, if that is at all possible. Beauty, brains and athletism in one package.

gizamo
July 19, 2008, 06:40 PM
Very interesting thread....some very strong opinions expressed...

So I guess it is time to inject a question not asked....

How many here think that S&W is still superior to Ruger in fitment....?
I am not talking the older classic models. Just the newer ones that have come since the advent of S&W adopting MIM (Metal Injected Molded) parts...

Does everyone realize the change that came about when S&W made the decision to go MIM?

I believe the modern S&W is an inherently poorer design because of those changes...but am willing to listen to anyone with an opposite opinion...

Giz

ceadermtnboy
July 19, 2008, 06:50 PM
I talked to Scott @ SDM fabricating over the phone. He does a lot of S&W custom work as well as offer some great gold bead front sights and cylinder release latches. He was telling me that the new MIM parts were actually made with better tolerances. He said that the new S&W revolvers were much better than the older models. I would think that he knows real deal. The olders however were more finely finished and fitted on the outside. I personlly like the look and parts of the older models. However I own and shoot the older and newer Smiths as welll as Rugers.

Drail
July 19, 2008, 07:09 PM
No comparison. A S&W is a Ferrari. A Ruger is a 1 ton truck.

Virginian
July 19, 2008, 07:38 PM
I haven't see any Ferraris lately with a great big ol' non-matching paint color keyhole in the door.
When I look at S&W's current prices, I find it an affront to my common sense.

gizamo
July 19, 2008, 07:57 PM
Sigh.....

Since MIM....

Inside the sideplate, there used to be a pressed in boss that was precision fitted so there was minimal horizontal trigger or hammer drift. Now, it's very normal to see .010" drift in both.

How about the hammer, trigger, cylinder stop, and rebound slide studs. They used to be screw in and could be replaced easily. Now when they wear out, there is no repair.

The frame lug used to be a replaceable part. It is now part of the frame. If it wears, your frame must be replaced.

The MIM triggers now have a horrible hand spring. They can pop out and are a thrill to put back in. The older ones never popped out and made it easy to remove and replace the hand.

Remember when extractors were round instead of square? The new extractors often hang up and get a case stuck under the star when you try to extract.

How about the general specs? Remember when cylinder endshake was less than .002". Now they leave the factory with as much as .010" and B/C gap is almost as bad.

I do not buy any S&W's beyond the Dash 3 engineering change. I did have a few MIM guns years back, and everyone of these developed issues. The fact that many of the old designs that were hand fitted ~ were repairable ~ is lost on the newer buyers.

I have nothing against the MIM process, but do have many issues with the changes in manufacturing that it heralded at S&W.

Giz

Old Fuff
July 19, 2008, 09:15 PM
How about the hammer, trigger, cylinder stop, and rebound slide studs. They used to be screw in and could be replaced easily. Now when they wear out, there is no repair.

Unless they have changed yet again, the revolver can be sent to the factory where the old studs (pins) will be removed, and new ones installed by press fitting.

Otherwise I agree with you. It is not that the lock and MIM parts are so bad, it's just that they aren't very good from the customer's perspective. By now folks should understand that "cost savings changes" seldom translate into better qaulity. But the alternative is to make products that are so expensive few will buy it.

Rather then worry about all of this I simply spend less money on older but better quality guns.

gizamo
July 19, 2008, 09:35 PM
Old Fuff, well said....

Funny how when Ruger makes a gun safer by making improvements , ie, the safe carry of 6 rounds instead of 5.......

Many (myself included) bemoan the loss of 4 clicks.....Not much different then many of the engineering changes done at S&W....

We gun guys are a fickled bunch! LOL

Giz

2ndamd
July 20, 2008, 01:24 AM
"yes they are"

+1 to this quote.

Old Fuff
July 20, 2008, 01:33 AM
Funny how when Ruger makes a gun safer by making improvements , ie, the safe carry of 6 rounds instead of 5.......

Many (myself included) bemoan the loss of 4 clicks.....Not much different then many of the engineering changes done at S&W....

Of all people, Beretta offers a single action revolver, of the Colt style - that has four clicks, loads with the hammer at half-cock, and can be safely carried fully loaded because it has a transfer bar safety. Not too shabby for someone who wants it all... :cool:

www.cdnnsports.com

Call the company if you want prices.

SnWnMe
July 20, 2008, 02:11 AM
Smiths are stronger. Have you ever seen a 100 year old Ruger?

BigBlock
July 20, 2008, 02:30 AM
Smiths are stronger. Have you ever seen a 100 year old Ruger?

Ruger hasn't been in business for 100 years. :rolleyes:

telecaster1981
July 20, 2008, 02:33 AM
I'd say this whole S&W vs Ruger debate is much akin to the AK vs AR debate. In practical application, there's not really any apprecialble difference. But, if strong/reliable makes you feel warm and fuzzy, get the Ruger. If refined and smooth turns you on, then get the Smith. You can't go wrong with either...

SnWnMe
July 20, 2008, 02:42 AM
Ruger hasn't been in business for 100 years

Woohoo. You get a cookie.

Oro
July 20, 2008, 04:34 AM
This argument is so silly, and causes so many unnecessary wars. It reminds me of religion. Let's lay down a few facts:

1) Rugers are cast, not forged
2) Forged steel, per unit volume, is stronger than cast
3) S&W steel is always forged.
4) Rugers on average are larger than S&W's.
5) No conclusive judgments can arrive from the above facts.

Beyond that, in 100 of these nasty and brawling discussions, no one has proved a point.

A larger Ruger per caliber does not mean it's stronger than a comparative S&W. Conversely, forged doesn't always trump cast if you ignore dimensions.

Can we agree to stop hating? I'm so sick of this, and have made unnecessary enemies trying to explain it.

Basically, if you cast a Ruger into the same dimensions, EXACTLY, as an S&W, then you have a weaker gun. But Ruger casts them slightly larger to make up for the known metallurgical qualities to compensate for that. This induces some, who haven't read something about metallurgy, to presume that Rugers are by default stronger.

I would like anyone who has blown up any frame size, model, or caliber of S&W or Ruger to start posting, as long as they can provide:

1) Make, model, and year of manufacture
2) Round used, manufacturer and bullet type
3) All reloads excluded to control for pressure and consistency

I think if we do this in any analytic way, we wont' find any compelling case either way. But that's my bias, and the raw data can be posted here, so it's not like I can control the data and skew it.

And of course, if you can't document the gun and ammo, it doesn't count. We want 1st hand accounts, not 2nd hand info.

Predictions: No, there is no uniform pattern. Cast is cheaper to do. You compensate by making it a little larger. Forged is expensive and flashy, you make it as efficient as possible.

They will work out as equal once we document the failures per frame, cast vs. forged, between the guns. This is a non-issue, I believe. But let's document it and prove it if any one can do so.

I'll go first:

Rugers and S&W's owned in the same caliber:

1) Ruger: New Model Blackhawk, .357, 6.5".
2) s&W: Various k, L, and N frame, 2.5", 3.5", 4"

Any failures in either with commercial ammo:

None

Degree of micrometrically measured frame wear in either:

None.

Here's my first entry. Looking for failures or similarly documented frame wear and tear.

I am mainly interested in putting this crap to bed since we are arguing about the two finest quality revolvers made. What we should be doing, is arguing that that there are only two "quality" revolver manufacturers in the world. They are 90 or less miles apart in New England, and we should support Both! Taurus, other rip-offs, and late comers to the game are not worth our American buying dollar, and why are we hacking at each other and letting others in? Buy S&W, buy Ruger, I don't care. Buy American, stop buying foreign junk at a lower cost, and support our economy and workers.

Ok, rant mode at the end off, sorry.

Shade00
July 20, 2008, 04:42 AM
I suggest that everyone just buy Rugers and S&Ws and just shoot the heck out of all of them. Can't go wrong either way. And I kinda doubt you'll blow either up anyway...

ceadermtnboy
July 20, 2008, 11:20 AM
I agree that both revolvers are great! We are so luckey to have S&W and Ruger competeing for our business. I would hate it if either one went out of business. Most people own both, and A sturdy Ruger revolver makes a great truck, hunting, night drawer gun and most people would rather carry the lighter better desingned for carry S&W. No matter how you slice it BOTH manufactures revolvers will be there to hand down for several generations.

seeker_two
July 20, 2008, 02:58 PM
As long as we're arguing about cast vs. forged, does anyone want to start a "Taurus vs. Charter 2000" thread?....

I've owned all but the C2....never had any problem with any. But I would buy used before buying new.....b/c any of them would last long and well with proper maintenance.

woodsltc
July 20, 2008, 05:39 PM
I have been reading this thread and at first was of the opinion that I would not enter the fray. But what fun is it to sit on the sidelines. Actually, I like both Rugers and S&W revolvers --- I own more S&W's, but thats because they are (IMO) more fun to shoot (read into that a better trigger).

Are Rugers stronger as the starter of this thread asks?? --Absolutley!!!!!!!! Any engineer (and I'm not an engineer) given the specs on the Rugers and the S&W's could prove to anyone with half a brain that the Ruger is the stronger revolver (read that -- can shoot full power loads over a longer period of time without self-distructing). But----------the S&W's are more fun to shoot. And to me that is the bottom line as to why I own more S&W's.

Now, let me say this, I DO NOT OWN ANY OF THE NEWER S&W's with the "LOCK" ---- I simply refuse to buy a gun with a political solution to a problem that does not exist. I do own a Model 29-6 that has a MIM hammer and trigger --- and it is "sweet", great trigger pull, smooooooth and crisp -- I like it!!!! But , I fully realize that a Redhawk would be able to shoot "hotter loads" without needing a re-build. But, when I'm hunting elk or muley's in Colorado or Montana, where something meaner than a black bear may want to knaw on my leg, I have the S&W with me ---- doesn't matter that the Redhawk is stronger, the S&W is accurate (I shoot it well) and lighter to carry.

I don't handload (I'm too lazy) so the hot loads don't enter into my decision about what to buy or shoot, but I do shoot the guns I enjoy "A LOT". Bottom line both Rugers and S&W's are great guns. You can argue till the cows come home but you won't come to a conclusion that will satisfy everyone!!! ie.... Ford vs. Chevy, Vanilla vs. Chocolate, VOLS vs. BAMA , etc......

Great thread. I enjoyed entering the fray................. gotta go get another beer!!!!!!!!! :D

Master Blaster
July 21, 2008, 09:14 AM
As long as we are comparing apples and pomegranites here. I would like to mention that a Smith X frame is much stronger than any ruger DA revolver. When Ruger chambers their DA's for 500 S&W or 460 S&W let me know.

madcratebuilder
July 22, 2008, 07:57 AM
Buy S&W, buy Ruger, I don't care. Buy American, stop buying foreign junk at a lower cost, and support our economy and workers.


+1 Well said, sir.

Both Ruger and S&W make great firearms. Own many of both, I don't think of one as 'better' than the other, just different.

Clipper
July 22, 2008, 08:42 AM
Years ago, Hornady introduced their 'Frontier' rifle loads for .44mag rifles...On the box was the very specific warning that the Ruger super blackhawk was the ONLY handgun rated to handle those loads...

doc2rn
July 22, 2008, 09:02 AM
Dry fire a Ruger GP100 all day long, no problem. Do the same with the S&W you will be replacing parts sooner rather than later.
GP100 stayed in the tool chest but the 686 paid for the GP and left plenty for ammo.

Matt-J2
July 22, 2008, 10:19 AM
Throw a S&W and a Ruger into the ring and let em fight it out. I bet the Ruger wins. :neener:

Frizzman
July 22, 2008, 02:06 PM
I have had both types and like them both. I don't load so hot it stresses the guns. It seems logical that the Ruger design involves more modern engineering from the ground up. The S&W's evolved from designs that were made way before the very high pressure loads of the last 50 years. My first revolver was a Ruger Security Six and I still have it. It digested a good many very hot .357 loads when I was younger and more reckless. It remains none the worse for wear. If I had fired that many hot magnums with a K-frame, I imagine it would have needed repair. An N-frame or L-frame maybe not. I also have a .45 Colt Blackhawk that has seen some hot loads in the distant past and it is fine.
I have learned not to try to blow them up with too many too hot loads. Its not good for me or the revolvers. I do think the lack of a useless hole in the side of the Rugers makes them appeal to me more. My $.02

MCgunner
July 22, 2008, 02:45 PM
As long as we are comparing apples and pomegranites here. I would like to mention that a Smith X frame is much stronger than any ruger DA revolver. When Ruger chambers their DA's for 500 S&W or 460 S&W let me know.

Yeah, and it weighs more than an M1A. Thanks, but I'll take a rifle.

How about a Linebaugh custom? Probably cost less. Heck of a lot easier to carry. I got absolutely less use for a X frame, than a J frame with a lock. :rolleyes: My TC contender is lighter and easier to carry, even with a 2x scope on it. Hell, my M7 Remington ain't any heavier or harder to carry!

ArmedBear
July 22, 2008, 02:46 PM
Yeah, and it weighs more than an M1A. Thanks, but I'll take a rifle.

LOL

Furthermore, if a handgun has sling swivels, I might as well carry a carbine instead.

KBintheSLC
August 1, 2008, 06:01 PM
Voids and air pockets are not very common in quality investment cast metals. That is one reason why investment casting has been such a boon to manufacturing.

True, but only if they are cast in a centrifuge. You might not be able to see the voids... they are usually microscopic, on the molecular level. Forging is essentially compressing the molecules, so is casting in a centrifuge. However, plain old investment casting using nothing but gravity will never yield the tight molecular pattern of a forged metal.

I know this because I used to work as a metallurgical QC supervisor at a a major steelworks fabrication plant. I have worked with just about every cast and forged steel you can imagine. The fact is simple, only centrifugal casting will produce the same molecular density as forging. All of the other speculative opinions are just that. Don't believe me? Take a cross cut of each to a high powered microscope like an SEM and you will see.

Now I am not saying that Ruger's are weaker than Smith's... that is just not true. However, much of their strength could be attributed to being over-built... not that the metal itself is stronger.

Feanaro
August 1, 2008, 11:24 PM
Dry fire a Ruger GP100 all day long, no problem. Do the same with the S&W you will be replacing parts sooner rather than later.

Someone should tell my 10-9 to quit working, it seems to be under the impression that thousands of dry firings haven't hurt it.

phydaux
August 2, 2008, 09:11 AM
After 33 years of reloading and 30 years casting bullets. After 10,000's of "mild to wild" tests. YES, Rugers are stronger than S&W, Colt, or Taurus! YMMV;)

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