Ruger vs. S&W


Fat Boy
September 17, 2008, 08:20 PM
I will be buying a .357 mag tomorrow, if all goes according to hoyle...I have narrowed my options to two:

s&w model 28 and Ruger Security Six, both blue steel with 6" barrels
I like the Smith because it is heavy, should be accurate, and is a Smith model 28 (read here, coolness factor). I have shot a 28 on prior occasions, and given the weight, recoil is very manageable. I have some concern about the gun loosening up over time, given the inertial wear from the weight of the cylinder as it moves, (heavier cylinder creates some stress on the action as it is cycled) although I am not sure how much this plays into the long term durability of the gun:confused:

I like the Ruger because it is durable, has a neat trigger group removal system, it is durable, should be accurate (did I mention durability)?:D

I really don't know what to do- the Ruger is about $70. cheaper.

Both have a bit of lateral play in the cylinder on lock up. I have read that Smith's may have a bit of lateral play, while the Ruger should be "welded to the frame"....both show blue wear, but I am buying a shooter, and not that concerned about "character"...

I have tried to analyze this from all angles; I would love to hear from anyone with ideas or thoughts I may not have had...


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September 17, 2008, 08:28 PM
Just my opinion...I love Smiths...but I love Rugers too. ;)

I wouldn't be to awful concerned about shooting the Smith loose, but...

I just think that there's something ultra classy about the Ruger "Six" line in general. It was dropped because it cost too much to manufacture, it's got all the right "lines", and feels oh so sweet in the hand. Stout as rocks too.

OK, I made my decision. :D


September 17, 2008, 08:40 PM
In this case I would go with the S&W all things being equal.
The M28 is an N frame and will hold up for more than you will shoot.

September 17, 2008, 08:49 PM
Both will last forever, so the durability issue is nil. For me, it'd definitely come down to which of the two has a better trigger and which felt better in the hand.

Big Daddy Grim
September 17, 2008, 08:55 PM
I love S&W, but Ruger makes a good revolver still I would go with the Smith.

September 17, 2008, 09:11 PM
Toss up. I'd tend toward the N frame. I had a Security Six and there were things I didn't like about it. Good gun, though, and if you're going to actually CARRY it, I might swing to the Security Six. It's a lighter gun, easier to carry.

September 17, 2008, 09:27 PM
I'm a huge Ruger fan, and I would have to say that if that model 28 was in very good condition... I would go for that.

September 17, 2008, 09:31 PM
I tend to agree with MCgunner. I have a 6" 28 and a 2-3/4" Security Six. I love them both, but for different reasons. They both shoot well, but the Security Six is more portable. I won't get rid of either, but if forced to make a choice I'd keep the 28.

September 17, 2008, 09:59 PM
I would go with the six without even thinking about it. I'm sort of wishing now I would have bought a used six instead of my new GP100.

September 17, 2008, 10:10 PM
Here is what I decided to get a while back. I have a Model 19 with 2 1/2" barrel that has a fantastic trigger, so it will never be traded. For me, the Ruger is easier to carry, if I want a "little" more than the Model 19, plus it has been worked over by a Ruger armorer and while not as good as the Model 19, it still has a very nice DA trigger pull.

September 17, 2008, 10:27 PM
Truth be told for me that would be a tough choice. They are both very well made and solid firearms. For me I would probably go with the Ruger, simply because I already have a smith N frame. Either way you wont be disappointed.

September 17, 2008, 10:37 PM
Like Potato Judge said, both will last forever. But, at the end of the day, the Smith will be worth more.

September 17, 2008, 10:50 PM
No contest, the 28.

September 17, 2008, 10:51 PM
Both good. Whichever you like is the right one.

September 17, 2008, 11:07 PM
If the ruger doesn't have adjustable sights, I'd go with the ruger. I hate adjustable sights on a revolver. But that's just me.

Also...on some rugers, the right side of the frame just behind the cylinder...the part of the frame that extends out to the side to cover the backside of the cartridges...some have that part being essentially a quarter of a sphere. But most rugers have that part milled out so that the right side of the frame basically resembles the left side except without the cylinder release button.

If the ruger has the "quarter sphere" shape on the right side, I'd go with the ruger. Just because that is a little bit unusual, and kinda cool, imo.

September 17, 2008, 11:23 PM
Buy both!

September 17, 2008, 11:49 PM
I own several S&W k frames 2 N frames and a Security Six all of which are great guns. Deciding between a 6" ruger and model 28 isn't easy. Both are equally durable even with hot mag loads and both guns have factors in their favor. Accuracy should be about the same but with only $70 difference the Smith has a couple things going for it being a much better DA trigger and being heaver less recoil. Thats where it gets very personal. If you won't be doing much DA shooting or shooting mag loads and will be packing it around the lighter less expensive Ruger is the choice . But if weight is not a factor the Smith is the more flexible of the two.

September 17, 2008, 11:54 PM
Get a Glock.

Someone had to say it.

But seriously, you can't go wrong. At this point, get the one you'd regret not getting.

September 18, 2008, 12:09 AM
September 18, 2008, 01:10 AM
Get the S&W M-28.

Even if you never bought another gun, you'll be glad to know you already have the best. If it means anything to you, the M-28 will probably go up in value.

BTW, before you buy any new or used revolver, run the outstanding Jim March Revolver Checkout procedure sticky, it's at the top of the Revolver sub-forum page.

Fat Boy
September 18, 2008, 07:35 PM
BTW, before you buy any new or used revolver, run the outstanding Jim March Revolver Checkout procedure sticky, it's at the top of the Revolver sub-forum page.

Many thanks for this reminder...I have read that post and checkout procedure several times in the past, and fancied myself pretty good at checking out a used revolver.

So, today I get to the shop and look at the Ruger; ran it through the checklist, including what I had forgotten until re-reading the checkout information last night; trying to (gently) push the hammer off full cock- I was VERY Gentle, and it slipped right off. So, pass on the Ruger. I gave the S&W the treatment, and noticed something I had not observed in my prior look (admittedly a quick look, at the time)...the side-plate screw heads were set to receive an allen key? or some type of hex driver. I didn't think this was a factory set up, and the shop owner said it wasn't, and that discovery opened up all kinds of possibilities in my, unfortunately, pass on the S&W. I know that the Smith might have been ok, or might have been repaired easily enough; I just wasn't interested in paying in excess of $400.00 for the gun, then possibly paying more for repairs...

So, thanks again to everyone for your help!!! The search continues...

September 18, 2008, 08:40 PM
Torx screws? Sounds like it might have been worked over by a Smith. I've felt some N frame triggers that had been worked that had to be tried to be believed. Hard to describe how fine an N frame trigger can be. Hmmm, you might have missed a real keeper there. :D

September 19, 2008, 12:41 AM
Time to start looking for a nice GP100. :D

September 19, 2008, 10:02 AM
Time to sacrifice crates of ammo to the Smith and Wesson gods for sinning against common sense, the natural order of things and the American Way.

I think that's what you really meant to say. ;)

Fat Boy
September 19, 2008, 10:07 AM
Torx screws? Sounds like it might have been worked over by a Smith. I've felt some N frame triggers that had been worked that had to be tried to be believed. Hard to describe how fine an N frame trigger can be. Hmmm, you might have missed a real keeper there.

OK, y'all are going to get sick of me....when I looked at those screws I thought someone must have goofed up the originals and used these as replacements. There were several questions- did s&w ever make screws like this? If not, how difficult would it be to get the torx screws in the correct size, thread, etc, to make them fit so flush with the side-plate, etc? (There was no obvious mis/fitting or dings on the side-plate edges; it fit correctly- Also, I noted that on lock-up the cylinder fit very close to the barrel end...everything else on the gun checked out except a bit of lateral play in the cylinder-

I guess I am looking for any information on the use of these torx screws...was it a common practice among smiths? Why? To make accessing the 'innards of the gun easier?

Thanks again for all the great input!!!

September 19, 2008, 07:40 PM
I think that's what you really meant to say.
No, what I meant to say is a bunch of expletives about S&W and their silly sideplate design and insulting prices but I thought I'd be more polite. ;)

September 19, 2008, 08:09 PM
Get the 28. You can get a Ruger any time.

September 19, 2008, 10:19 PM
I would say the Mod 28 had probably been worked on by a 'smith who knew what he was doing and probably had to fix some screws butchered by someone who didn't know what they were doing. If they were flush with the side plates then they were definitely installed by someone who knew what he was doing.

Torx screws are available in almost any size you want so finding them if you ever needed to replace one would not be much of a problem. Actually for a gunsmith they are much better to use than a slotted screw because you don't run the risk of ruining a screw head or scratching the side plate if the screwdriver should slip.

September 20, 2008, 12:52 PM
Ditto on the torx screws. I'm thinkin' a gunsmith worked this gun over. Torx screws have a big advantage as Archer mentions. Before they came along, allen heads were often an option, but torx screws won't round off as easy as an allen head, especially in such small sizes.

I think, since that gun checked out so well, had I seen THAT, I'd surely paid attention to the DA trigger. You can definitely tell when a good trigger job has been done if you've felt enough N frame triggers. Sounds like a gun I might have jumped on. Hard to say, though. Like Archer says, someone might have just screwed it up and a Smith made it right again. Whatever, if it had all checked out as you say, it was probably not a gun I'd worry too much about working. Even if it needed a little work somehow, it would probably be easily fixed. I'm thinking along the lines of light primer strikes or something, new spring would probably fix it, something simple like that. There ain't much on a Smith the factory can't set right even if it doesn't work, but I think that one was probably a sleeper just going on what's said about it. Might have had some custom work on the trigger and such.

September 20, 2008, 01:01 PM
Torx screws are a better solution than slotted head. You can buy slotted head screws from S&W, so I think someone knew what they were doing when they replaced the screws.

Me, I would go for the M28.

But I already have a M27.

September 20, 2008, 01:07 PM
I have a Ruger P345 and Blackhawk, so I am not putting Ruger down in any way, but if I had the choice between a S&W model 28 and a Ruger Security Six, I would snap the 28 up without hesitation. I learned on my fathers model 28 over 30 years ago and have been shooting that revolver off and on with warm handloads ever since. It has not shot loose at all.

Get the 28 now, the Ruger later.

Fat Boy
September 20, 2008, 03:34 PM
Thanks again for the help! I have the model 28 on lay-away!

September 21, 2008, 02:37 AM
I always buy S&W (well I do have a Mark III) but have fired Rugers many times. They are very good guns IMHO.

I bet you'll love that Model 28! Absolutely nothing wrong with hex screws or screws that need an allen wrench. They can be better than standard screws.

If you don't like them you can buy replacement screws at many places, probably even S&W.
September 21, 2008, 02:57 AM
Thanks again for the help! I have the model 28 on lay-away!

Excellent choice! Congrats

September 21, 2008, 03:32 AM
If the Ruger had a 4 inch barrel then I would have suggested that, but I think you will really like the M28. N-frames and 6 inch barrels just looks right although the 5 inchers feels perfect. :D

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