Why Ruger is better than Smith & Wesson


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BlayGlock
March 24, 2009, 09:03 PM
In my humble opinion
I know sneaky right...
And as it specifically referes to the Smith 686 vs the GP100.

Recently I decided to start shooting IDPA SSR division and I posted a question about which revolver I would be better off with. After all the great answers and much soul searching (and waiting on my pusher..er gun dealer to get a GP100 in) it came down to this: which one feels better in the hand.
There are countless forums comparing these two fine revolvers. The forums I read came down to the consensus that it was really 6 one way 1/2 dozen the other, that they were comparable in accuracy, fit, finish ect.

So I took both of them (NIB) out of the case and held them.

Hands down the Ruger had the better trigger, even the proprietor agreed that this was the case.
It also had a better balance in my hand.
It also has a more solid build to it, not that the 686 wouldn't last you.
It was $250 cheaper. Thatís a lot of clams. Or ammo.

So if you are like me and have been agonizing over this particular decision, go with the GP100, and used the extra on ammo for polishing your skills for IDPA.

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Blue Brick
March 24, 2009, 09:11 PM
1+ Ruger.

jad0110
March 24, 2009, 09:15 PM
I almost went with the GP, but interestingly I found that the 4" 686 balanced better in my hands. To each his own.

As for strength, both are pretty freakin' durable. I've got a feeling that you'd have to abuse the crap out of either of them to get Magnum related breakages. The GP has the edge in sheer beefiness (and a stronger lockup system), while the Smith has slightly superior metalurgy (not that there is anything wrong with the Ruger's - that tidbit came from a metalurgist BTW.)

Enjoy your GP! The fact that the GP and the 686 are such strong rivals seems to enhance the apeal of both.

BlayGlock
March 24, 2009, 09:17 PM
I agree, I honestly beleive that when choosing these two it will come down to what feels the best to you. You cant possibly go wrong with either of them.

Gun 4 Fun
March 24, 2009, 09:27 PM
But, the Smith will always have a higher resale value, and is much nicer looking. The Ruger looks like a mule; strong, but ugly, while the Smith looks like a beautifully groomed Clydesdale; strong and good looking.;)

JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone
March 24, 2009, 09:34 PM
I'll take Mule-Strong over "Pretty" any day. To me the Ruger looks more like the Clydesdale. The Smitty, more like a sure footed Morgan. Kinda like a Chevy pickup that rides like a car.

Built FORD tough! That's a RUGER for ya!

-Steve

wyocarp
March 24, 2009, 09:38 PM
I'll take Mule-Strong over "Pretty" any day.


Okay, as long as we are talking about guns.

Fishman777
March 24, 2009, 10:04 PM
I like Smiths, but I think that Ruger DA revolvers are better designs for a few reasons:

1. Solid frame
2. Modular trigger assembly - easy to work on.
3. Modular grip frame
4. The front sights can be changed in about 5 seconds
5. Triple locking cylinders (this is the feature that I like the most) - Smith's have the ejector rod as the third locking point. Ruger's triple locking cylinder maintains better alignment between the cylinder and the barrel.
6. Ruger DA revolvers with triple locking cylinders almost never go out of time.
7. Ruger ejector rods just eject the spent brass. They also don't unscrew. There was a recent thread about a "Smith" with this problem.
8. No internal lock in Ruger DA revolvers.
9. The cylinder "notches" are offset.

The downside of these guns is that they aren't generally cleaned up very well at the factory. With a little time and effort, these problems are easy to overcome. There is also a lot of information printed on the barrels. This doesn't bother me, much.

Ruger DA revolver designs aren't perfect, but they are close, in my book.

All this being said, I would love to get custom shop Smith and Wesson revolver. Maybe some day.

JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone
March 24, 2009, 10:09 PM
OK, Plus 1 for the Smitty DA revolver for one thing. An active manufacture Custom Shop.

Minus 1 in that regard for Ruger.

-Steve

Gun 4 Fun
March 24, 2009, 10:26 PM
Another plus for Smith- If you do need to have service, they will pay shipping both ways for guns made since 1989, Ruger won't for any gun over 1 year old.:mad:

WardenWolf
March 24, 2009, 10:26 PM
Ruger is probably the current reigning revolver king in terms of quality and affordable mass produced models. They have some of the finest, toughest revolvers currently produced.

BlayGlock
March 24, 2009, 10:43 PM
I know right :what: It is like an entire page out of the manual.

LTR shooter
March 24, 2009, 11:06 PM
I imagine when I am long gone my 686 will still be going strong by who ever comes to own it. Pretty much to me it comes down to hitting what you are aiming at , I do this with better with my 686 than any other 357 revolver I have owned - GP100 included. But the GP is no slouch either. I'm sure there are many folks out there where the GP is the gun that does it for them. That's fine by me too.

I get a lot more satisfaction at the range shooting what ever I happen to bring that day - be it a Ruger or a Smith or both , than bashing someone's choice in a revolver.

BENELLIMONTE
March 24, 2009, 11:30 PM
I own both Ruger and S & W revolvers, pistols and Ruger longarms. Both companies weapons have had issues where I needed to interact with customer service depts. Both companies came through with 100% satisfaction for me. Qualitatively I think the Ruger revolvers are built stouter/stronger than S&W. On the other hand I have been more satisfied overall with the quality of my S&W pistols compared to my Rugers. In the final analysis, both are high class companies that turn out high quality firearms at a price that the "working man" can afford.

Big Daddy Grim
March 24, 2009, 11:32 PM
Have them both, both are great but I know if I ever have to beat some one over the head I'll choose my Ruger heavier and not as pretty.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
March 24, 2009, 11:35 PM
Yep, and Taurus is better than both. :neener:

memphisjim
March 24, 2009, 11:36 PM
in days past i would have argued till i was blue that s&w was better
rugers are good though
the safety lock on the s&w has allowed me to agree with going for the ruger

denfoote
March 24, 2009, 11:38 PM
Yer bleed'in batty!!!! :p


http://usera.ImageCave.com/denfoote/Misc_Pictures/barking_moonbat3.jpg


No Ruger tops this!!! :neener:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v22/denfoote/N-frameSmith.jpg

madcratebuilder
March 25, 2009, 06:43 AM
I own both Ruger and S & W revolvers, pistols and Ruger longarms. Both companies weapons have had issues where I needed to interact with customer service depts. Both companies came through with 100% satisfaction for me. Qualitatively I think the Ruger revolvers are built stouter/stronger than S&W. On the other hand I have been more satisfied overall with the quality of my S&W pistols compared to my Rugers. In the final analysis, both are high class companies that turn out high quality firearms at a price that the "working man" can afford.

I couldn't agree more, but you well never satisfy the Ruger bashers or the Smith bashers. It's that mines better than your mentality, left over from the playground at grade school.

gmh1013
March 25, 2009, 11:19 AM
I think the QC of S&W's has gone waayyy down in the past few years.
I wont be buying anymore new ones.
I did pick up a SP101 at a gun show
new for 425 bucks last year.
Its built like a panzer tank, nothing not to like.

Thaddeus Jones
March 25, 2009, 11:21 AM
If you are comparing new Rugers to new S&W revolvers, than yes I agree.

My preference is still S&W pre lock revolvers.

svtruth
March 25, 2009, 11:33 AM
and love it dearly, but if you ever run across a Model 19, buy it! Shooting it, even just holding it, is an esthetic experience.

PzGren
March 25, 2009, 11:37 AM
When you get Jerry Miculek to agree, you can PM me.

Clarence
March 25, 2009, 11:42 AM
Both are great revolvers, but I prefer S&W's. I have never found a revolver that I like as well as my N-Frame S&W's.

2ndamd
March 25, 2009, 11:42 AM
+1 on the Ruger GP100.
Tricky post title :)

md7
March 25, 2009, 12:10 PM
jad0110 pretty much nailed it on the head. except the GP fits my hands better than the 686. they are both really great revolvers. you could buy one and be just as well off as if you had bought the other.

also, just recently dealt with ruger customer service pertaining to my GP. they were awesome. really great folks and sent my GP back better than new. i'm sure SW is the same.

Benzene
March 25, 2009, 12:37 PM
If both guns are equally well-made (ignoring the lock), accurate, durable, American made, why the HUGE price difference????

Gryffydd
March 25, 2009, 12:41 PM
When you get Jerry Miculek to agree, you can PM me.
As soon as Ruger pays him more than S&W does now, I'm sure he will agree. That's like saying Springfield Armory pistols are better because Rob Leatham likes them.

KINGMAX
March 25, 2009, 01:00 PM
S&W 686-1, Ruger's, P90, Ruger Super RedHawk, Super BlackHawk, Bisley, & P100. I own them all. I can not and will not tell you to go one way or the other here. ALL ARE GREAT WEAPONS (IMOHO)!!

You will have to make that decision on your own.

If I had to make a selection in each category of weapon: Revolver = S&W 686-1, Semi-auto: GLOCK G21, SHTF Assault Rifle: AK47 in 7.62x39, Bolt action rifle: Remington 700 ADL in 270 or 308NATO, Shotgun: Remington 870, Derringer: Bond Arms in 45 colt, Fighting knife: GLOCK Field knife straight edge, folder: Kershaw Ken Onion Blackout w/ straight edge.

These are my choices for my own reasons that serve my purpose at the price I can and are willing to pay. All are quality pieces that I have put together.

Revolver Ocelot
March 25, 2009, 01:10 PM
I need to start reading whats up in the forums before starting threads.....:scrutiny:

Ghost Tracker
March 25, 2009, 01:48 PM
My beautiful, old S&W revolvers have now become valued heirlooms, like a polished, garage-kept, classic car. My (stainless) Rugers are now my working handguns, like my tractor & bush-hog. I've only known a few shooters who've claimed to have "worn-out" a S&W revolver. I've never met (or even heard) of a shooter who's worn-out a Ruger.
When you get Jerry Miculek to agree I've had the pleasure of meeting & chatting with the remarkable Mr. Miculek. He speaks highly of Ruger wheelguns. I know what he shoots when he's wearing his S&W colors...but I'll bet large he's got a Ruger or two tucked away at the house.

ArmedBear
March 25, 2009, 01:58 PM
QC, fit and finish on the two NIB Smiths I've bought have been as good as any I've seen. Not sure what anyone's talking about, there.

I own more Ruger firearms, and I like them.

I don't know which are "better", but I do know that Smith & Wesson .357s are priced a tad too high now. My NIB 629 cost me less than the price on the price of the 686 in the case next to it.

BlayGlock
March 25, 2009, 02:39 PM
The fact that he works for S&W would make that difficult I am sure. I will say that Massad Ayoob has used an out-of-the-box GP100 to win several SSR competitions, but in the same article said that "If I was just starting out, with a full checkbook, my SSR would likely be an L-frame S&W 686 with an action job and a good, fast holster."

GP100man
March 25, 2009, 04:55 PM
i`ve shot revolvers since i was able to & have shot all brands & i save shipping money with rugers.

GP100man

oneounceload
March 25, 2009, 05:11 PM
why the price difference??? Because one is powdered metal and cast, so they make it larger than necessary for a forged gun, versus a gun from forged metal???....A lot of these are the same folks who will DISS Kimber for MIM parts, yet have no problem with cast metal powder....

Is that process cheaper??? Yes, by a long shot - that's the difference.....

YMMV

christcorp
March 26, 2009, 12:55 AM
Simple question: Why Ruger is better than Smith & Wesson

Simple answer: It Isn't

Tamlin
March 26, 2009, 01:11 AM
I have always been a Ruger fan - I have several Rugers, including the GP100. I recently bought a S&W 629 (44 mag) and am equally impressed. I do think Rugers are the heartier brand (meaning, the Ruger will outlive the Smith) - BUT I will not be shooting them for 100 years. Go with what feels better in your hand - and with what you can afford. Neither will lose value.

PzGren
March 26, 2009, 03:32 AM
As soon as Ruger pays him more than S&W does now, I'm sure he will agree. That's like saying Springfield Armory pistols are better because Rob Leatham likes them.

Not exactly, the difference is in the double action trigger pull of revolvers and the 1911 made by SA is basically the same design that other manufacturers are using.

I have four Ruger D/A revolvers and only one of the Six series has D/A characteristics that are comparable to a good S&W.

JWJacobVT
March 26, 2009, 05:18 AM
Sorry I will take my Smiths any day. For several reasons: 1. It feels better in my hand. 2. I can fix it with a rock and a screwdriver. Last resort of course. Easier to work on action. 3. BAD luck with rugers, company I work for got 150 GP100s. I went through 3 before I found one that would fire more then 12 rounds and then I still had to dry fire the day lights out of it. I think of the 150 we sent half back to the factory due to problems. Yes we still had to reorder another 75, and yes half of those were bad. OF course the Ruger is still better then the Tarusus that we used to have. Now those were junk, revolvers that jammed.

Stainz
March 26, 2009, 07:19 AM
I started with Rugers - and now I am S&W-only, most with the 'dreaded' IL. My only older S&W is my only one bought used - from '96 - the rest are '01 or later - and they were bought new. One Ruger was bought 'LNIB', the rest - brand new. All but my .454 SRH were QC nightmares. All needed burrs, etc, cleaned. One - my 5.5" SS RH in .45 Colt - even had rough voids between the cylinder exit bores (It went back for replacement.). Biggest S&W fault: loose ejector rod.

Now, let us look at the '09 Ruger catalog (pg 78) and the S&W 'catalog' (pg31) and compare the GP-100 with the 6-shot 686:

KGP-141 40 oz $680
164222 39.7 oz $909

That's a 0.3 oz difference. It was more - 1.3 oz - the older gripped GP100 did have the SRH-style grip with laminate inset panels, now they are just rubber. The MSRP difference is $209 - which should translate to ~$165 at a decent store offering a fair discount. The S&W costs more because it's construction is more labor/step demanding - hammer forged & heat treated takes longer than casting. Cast steel is less dense - and the large shroud, etc, looks massive compared to the full lugged look.

I prefer partial lugs - the 7-shot 620 is a 4", too - weighs 36.9 oz - and lists for $893. It was my choice for a 4"-er - until I saw the 627 Pro last spring - it was $80 more - and well worth it, but that's another matter.

I was totally turned off by the tool-marks, nicks, etc on the KGP-141s I saw around town - poor QC - until they changed grips a year or so back - it seems the QC inspectors must have gotten new glasses then. I admit to a certain interest in them now... just because they once filled my safe, I suppose. At least I know how to work on them...

There is a place in the market for both. I won't have any more SAs - or as varied a caliber range (My Rugers were .32-.454 while my S&Ws are .38-.45.) - or as many - but mine are S&Ws. It's nice to have choice.

Stainz

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