ruger GP 100- 3"


February 20, 2011, 04:17 AM
any owners of the ruger gp-100 with a 3" barrel? how does it compare with the 686 3"?
looking for a all around 357 revolver for home defense, shooting at the range and if I have to carry in a bug out situation.

If you enjoyed reading about "ruger GP 100- 3"" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
Lucky Derby
February 20, 2011, 04:30 AM
The 3" GP100 has fixed sights, the 686 has adjustable.

Very comparable revolvers. The GP100 MIGHT be slightly stronger, but I wouldn't worry about wearing out a 686.

With the new guns I would go with the GP. If you are looking at used, a pre-lock 686 is an outstanding firearm.

Find a range that rents both and see which one suits you better.

February 20, 2011, 05:27 AM
The Sw lock does concern me. I hear more shooters say rugers are stronger.

February 20, 2011, 01:37 PM
I have a 4" SS GP100 and a 6" half lug blued one. I love the GP100, but I wouldn't want the fixed sights of the 3". The 4" is my home defense gun, with a HiViz front sight.

February 20, 2011, 02:08 PM
I have one. Great. I think it is just as good as the 686, and it was a bunch cheaper. Does have fixed sights- think that is fine on a 3in.

February 20, 2011, 04:36 PM
Can Ruger front sights be changed? I will shoot .38 sp mostly. I know people with smiths not Rugers.

Deaf Smith
February 20, 2011, 06:39 PM
Sad thing is I think my GP100, with 4 inch and I paid $300 flat for it, could have the barrel cut down to 3 inches (nice adjustable sights to) and still cost me less than a new 686.) And no fancy trigger lock either.


February 20, 2011, 07:14 PM
Two largest factors are adjustable sights and budget. Like Deaf said, the Ruger wont have that dumb lock on it either.

I have one 5" 629 and a couple of Ruger Super Blackhawks. They're quite different but all of them shoot very well. For what you pay extra for the Smith you'll get better sights and a crisper single-action pull, that's it.

February 21, 2011, 08:14 AM
I have both the 3" GP100 and 3" 686 plus, which is a 7-shot. The 686 was purchased new (lock and MIM parts), is more accurate from the bench, and has a slightly better trigger. The GP100 was purchased in well-used condition, one of the Canada imports. With full power .357 loads I shoot the GP100 better, the rubber/wood panel small factory grip really helps with the recoil. As I move towards lighter handloads and .38 special, the 686 starts to take over as the better shooter.

February 21, 2011, 12:17 PM
If one really looks, one of the rare 3" adjustable-sight GP100s might be found. I have one; its photo is my avatar at the Defensive Carry forum. Posting pics here eludes my understanding.

As for whether Ruger or S&W is better, I won't go there, as I like both. I have avoided any S&W products with keyholes, thus far.

February 21, 2011, 01:23 PM
Can't say much for the s&w but I love my 3" gp100. The lady shoots it well too when loaded with .38. Great all around revolver but it is a little bulky, for a bug out revolver I would look at the sp101 too.

February 21, 2011, 02:10 PM
The adjustable sighted 3" has the Ruger interchangeable front sight blade which takes only a few seconds to change out. The fixed sighted ones have pinned in sights which can also be changed but not as easily or as quickly. Over at the Ruger Forum a retired gunsmith has come up with instructions to cut down the barrels and retain the interchangeable front sight, in fact, he did one in 2.5" length. There are 3" 686's out there without the lock. I think a bunch were made at one time for Customs.

Commander Crusty
February 22, 2011, 11:34 AM
I've shot both of these and carried a 4" GP100 with bobbed hammer and compact grips for about 5 years. You can't go wrong with either one.

If you love to shoot magnum rounds, and love to shoot a LOT, the Ruger will probably last longer. My dad had his 686 rebuilt at the factory 3 times, but he was a magnumholic and had to have his Ruger Security Six rebuilt twice. Also, if this is a carry gun, I would go with the Ruger because of the overall smoother profile and smaller, rounder grips.

If this will be a house and range gun, the 686 is probably better. Better sights. Plenty rugged. Nicer trigger pull.

I would choose the Ruger.

February 22, 2011, 07:49 PM
I think you will be satisfied with either. The Smith's generally have a better trigger out of the box. The Ruger GP-100 trigger will smooth out with either shooting or dry firing. I have a 3" GP-100 and have been very satisfied with it, but no 686's. I do have a number of Smith revolvers however.

February 22, 2011, 08:39 PM
ruger gp-100 with a 3" barrel? how does it compare with the 686 3"?

At least $200 difference in price if you go with the four-inch.

Even more if you simply must have a 3" 686.

February 22, 2011, 10:09 PM
depending on your expectations, you may not be happy with the sight regulation on the 3" GP100 with its "fixed" sights.

i've owned 2 of the 3" fixed gp's over the years and in both cases, sight regulation was poor by my standards. Both from a solid rest were hitting at around 9 o'clock in the "7" ring of a B-27 target at 25 yards.

Up close and in the expected short distances for a CCW gun, that is "good enough". But i don't CCW a 3" GP and expect the gun to be more flexable and versital than that as my "all-around" 357.

i dearly love ruger products and own several ruger guns....but ruger seems to be lacking when it comes to fixed sight regulation especially compared to "k" frame smiths. I have had excellent luck with fixed sight model 10, 64, and 65's.

now compare a 4" adj sight GP to a current smith 686?..........i'll take the GP.

February 23, 2011, 05:44 AM
I think I'm becoming a Ruger fan.

Deaf Smith
February 23, 2011, 10:40 PM
Well guys I do have a 3 inch 686, and yes it's a CS-1.

But it sleeps in the safe. My 2 3/4 inch Speed Six and 4 inch GP100 are the woods guns.

And while the CS-1 is a nice gun it won't do anything those other two can't do and if I drop 'em in mud the Rugers I can take apart in the field to the bare frame, something I can't do with a Smith.


February 26, 2011, 11:48 PM
Picked a repatriated stainless GP100 3" formely RCMP property a couple of years back. It's a great shooter and a comforting companion in the truck.

If you enjoyed reading about "ruger GP 100- 3"" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!