What's a tough, utilitarian, and durable .357 double action revolver?


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AJMBLAZER
October 1, 2011, 07:00 PM
Starting to look for a .357 revolver.

Needs to be double action and 6 shots, 3-4" barrel, fixed sights, and capable of taking a beating. Truck/glove box, shoot-a-bunch-and-clean-next-week, eat heavy Buffalo Bore and other +P and +P+ rounds all day long all it's life, bang around on my hip in the woods capable and be relied upon to work every time.

Would prefer stainless steel. Fine with buying used (live 15 minutes from Bud's and about 6 other great gun stores with good selections).

S&W? Which model?

Ruger? GP100, Security Six, Service Six?

Older Colt?

I don't baby my firearms and don't generally like things you have to treat nicely to ensure their functioning. I don't mistreat them either but they do get used.

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AEA
October 1, 2011, 07:09 PM
Tough=Ruger

BCCL
October 1, 2011, 07:16 PM
If you can find a nice one in the used market, the Ruger Service Six is perfect for what your describing.

AJMBLAZER
October 1, 2011, 07:21 PM
Any advantages of a Service or Security Six over a GP100?


Kicking myself for not picking up one of the dozens of police trade in GP100's JUST LIKE I WANT that Bud's was selling off 2 years ago. WITH a police issue holster. $325 plus tax.
DOH!

clang
October 1, 2011, 07:36 PM
S&W 681 (fixed site version of the 686)
or
Ruger GP100 (you will have to look for a fixed site version)

I used to own both, I still have the 681.

Got_Lead?
October 1, 2011, 07:47 PM
Any of the Ruger "6" series, GP-100, or Smith 686. Stainless preferred.

click clack
October 1, 2011, 07:57 PM
Smith and Wesson 686

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/26250

I have that one and love it.. It has had no problems and devours everything I have fed it. Great gun, it absorbs alot of the recoil and i love it's grip.. Its been on many a camping trips and sometimes with me in the tree stand and its a hoss to sum it up... i have heard nothing bad about the Rugers though, im sure there great too

Revolver218
October 1, 2011, 07:58 PM
Consider a S&W Model 28. Nothing to look at but built like a tank.

22-rimfire
October 1, 2011, 09:18 PM
Most revolvers are no-frills guns. I would vote for a Ruger GP-100 in a 3 or 4" barrel.

waidmann
October 1, 2011, 09:24 PM
Smith 581/681

Warp
October 1, 2011, 09:31 PM
Ruger GP100

http://www.ruger.com/products/gp100/images/1748.jpg

AJMBLAZER
October 1, 2011, 09:40 PM
Size wise how do these compare to a K frame Smith? Already have two Model 10's.

WNC Seabee
October 1, 2011, 09:46 PM
My LGS has the 3" fixed sight GP100 in stock. It's a heck of a nice piece. I mention it because you said "fixed sight", this is the only configuration of GP100, current production, that you'll find. There are 4" 1/2 lug fixed sight GPs out there. I had one and am kicking myself for ever letting it go.

WNC Seabee
October 1, 2011, 09:48 PM
Size wise how do these compare to a K frame Smith? Already have two Model 10's.
I have K frames: 66, 14 and 17, a GP 100 and an SP 101. The SP is just a tiny bit smaller than a K frame and the GP is a just a tad larger.

AJMBLAZER
October 1, 2011, 09:52 PM
My LGS has the 3" fixed sight GP100 in stock. It's a heck of a nice piece. I mention it because you said "fixed sight", this is the only configuration of GP100, current production, that you'll find. There are 4" 1/2 lug fixed sight GPs out there. I had one and am kicking myself for ever letting it go.


That the Wiley Clapp edition? Saw that on GunBlast a while back and what sorta sent me on this kick lately.

Probably out of my price range right now though.

keyboard commando
October 1, 2011, 09:55 PM
S&W Model 13.

AJMBLAZER
October 1, 2011, 09:59 PM
Don't the .357 K frame Smiths have issues with prolonged .357 use? Heard about flame cutting and stuff. Isn't that why Smith stopped making them and went to the larger frame?

Tony_the_tiger
October 1, 2011, 10:06 PM
The benefit of buying a Gp100 over the six series by Ruger is that the Gp100 is still supported and the six series may not be, depending upon the issue and timing of a need for repair. The "GP" stands for general purpose - sounds like it's just what the doctor ordered for you.

http://i978.photobucket.com/albums/ae269/kiwirat33/DSC02548.jpg

zxcvbob
October 1, 2011, 10:07 PM
Don't the .357 K frame Smiths have issues with prolonged .357 use? Heard about flame cutting and stuff. Isn't that why Smith stopped making them and went to the larger frame?They can with full-tilt 125 grain loads. Use heavier bullets and there's not a problem.

WNC Seabee
October 1, 2011, 10:20 PM
That the Wiley Clapp edition? Saw that on GunBlast a while back and what sorta sent me on this kick lately.

Probably out of my price range right now though.
$539+tax is at the tag said.

Waywatcher
October 1, 2011, 11:09 PM
Let me preface my input by saying that I own several revolvers, including one that have been mentioned above.

But I would pick my Glock for this task, hands down. Sorry. When I want a gun that I am going to beat the tar out of, it's going to be Glock. Click here for why. (http://www.theprepared.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=90)

wperez
October 1, 2011, 11:12 PM
The Ruger Security Six or Service Six, the GP 100, any of the Smiths K or L framed will do it

Balrog
October 1, 2011, 11:13 PM
Rugers are tough, but I also like to hit what I am shooting at, so I prefer pre lock S&W's.

Warp
October 1, 2011, 11:16 PM
Is that Glock a 10mm?

Because if not it doesn't even belong in the discussion since the OP talked about a gun that would be carried in the woods and is looking at .357mag

Hondo 60
October 1, 2011, 11:18 PM
If I were to buy a 357 of current manufacture?
It'd be a Ruger GP100 no question!

If I were looking used?
Then an L frame S&W, or a Ruger Speed Six, or Security Six would be in the decision as well.

But I think the toughest gun made today is the GP100, built like a tank!

Of course it also has the aesthetics of a tank too.
(that's why I added the L frame S&Ws - those have what I consider classic beauty lines)

AJMBLAZER
October 1, 2011, 11:22 PM
Interesting. Got a Glock comment in a revolver thread. Yawn.
If I want a semi-auto I'll use my M1911A1 .45 and know it will work. I'm looking for it's revolver compliment.

Back to the useful info please.

Seems like it's trending towards the Ruger line. Any advantages or disadvantages of the older models vs the GP100?

Waywatcher
October 1, 2011, 11:23 PM
Is that Glock a 10mm?

Because if not it doesn't even belong in the discussion since the OP talked about a gun that would be carried in the woods and is looking at .357mag

Good point. The gun in the link is a Glock 21, which is the .45ACP. The Glock 20, 10mm, is built on the exact same frame, in fact the Glock 21 is descended from the Glock 20. So the link is definitely valid. (The difference between the 20 and 21 boils down to bore size, magazine, and ejector & extractor. Actually it may even share the extractor.) In any case they are extremely close. Almost as close as, say, an L-frame .357 and an L-Frame 10mm

But yes. 10mm is what I would say is a fair comparison.

Warp
October 1, 2011, 11:28 PM
I'd still rather a nice .357 mag wheel gun. Seems the OP is in the same boat.

DeMilled
October 1, 2011, 11:30 PM
GP100 all the way.

If you can only find one locally with the adjustable rear sight then you can swap the stock rear sight out for....drum roll please....the "Rough Country" sights.

http://www.bowenclassicarms.com/parts_store/ruger_rough_country_adjustable_rear_sights.html

How hard core is that?

Yes, they are adjustable but what the instructions say to do is set the sight elevation adjustment screw all that way to the bottom, and lock tight that sucker.

If you need sight adjustment for your load of choice you file down the front sight. Ruger front sights are inexpensive and take about half a minute to change out.

If you shoot different loads, have different front sights marked for the loads. Too easy.

It's a heck of a lot easier to pop out a Ruger front sight then to re-zero your pistol for a different load. Assuming your sights were adjustable to begin with.

The advantage over a non-Ruger pistol with fixed sights is that your pistol can be dead on with any load you like to shoot, just swap out front sights and you're good to go.


I'm sure you've already heard about Ruger revolver strength and the companies excellent customer service.

AJMBLAZER
October 1, 2011, 11:47 PM
They have gotten some enthusiastic comments about durability and strength.

Lord knows the Ruger .22's I own are 30+ years old, cleaned somewhat, and have tens of thousands of rounds through them. Dad's got a LCP and Ruger recalled it, fixed it, and I believe sent it back to him with a new mag.

waidmann
October 1, 2011, 11:58 PM
The 581/681 sidestep the .357 durability question since they are L frame guns. Same grip as your K, a tad heaver. They tend to do okay in K-frame holsters. Some ex-LE guns have turned up recently.

AJMBLAZER
October 2, 2011, 12:00 AM
What do you mean by "sidestep"?

waidmann
October 2, 2011, 12:04 AM
The 581/681 sidestep the .357 durability question since they are L frame guns. Same grip as your K, a tad heaver. They tend to do okay in K-frame holsters.

BCCL
October 2, 2011, 12:06 AM
"Sidestep" means to avoid, as in you can avoid (the largely overblown) concerns about the Smith & Wesson "K" frame revolvers and full house 357 magnum loads, but getting an "L" frame Smith & Wesson.

You asked me about the preference over a Ruger Service Six as to a GP-100, there's not a lot, the Service Six will be a little lighter to carry.

DeMilled
October 2, 2011, 12:06 AM
Here's a story about Ruger's customer service.

I set about doing a trigger job on my GP100. I slicked everything up nice and smooth and when I went to put everything back together for the last time the cylinder locked up and would not budge.

I tried everything I could think of and it was just plain stuck.

I had to pay for FedExing it to Ruger (that was painful) and Ruger fixed my revolver for free. I had taken a smidge too much off one of the internal parts.
My highly polished part was in a baggie and the new part in my pistol, when Ruger sent it back to me.

All I paid was shipping to get it to Ruger and they took care of me.

Actions speak very loud words in the gun service world.

RNB65
October 2, 2011, 12:09 AM
The GP100 is often referred to as the Sherman Tank of wheel guns. I think it meets all listed requirements! :)

DeMilled
October 2, 2011, 12:14 AM
Ya know, when it comes to a revolvers durability I always mention the fact that hand load publications have published very "hot" recipes that they listed as "Ruger Only" loads.

There were other revolver that could also handle these loads, not sure if S&W was on the list...but I never wonder about my GP100.

I must mention that the "Ugly as a Tank" looks of the GP100 stoke my engine and my wife thinks she's pretty sexy too. Eye of the beholder and all that...

pendennis
October 2, 2011, 12:48 AM
Smith & Wesson Model 65, THE utilitarian revolver. Load it up with 158gr LSWCHP +P, and it's the perfect self-defense revolver.

http://i661.photobucket.com/albums/uu331/pendennis1947/SmithWessonModel65-5RT.jpg

kellmark
October 2, 2011, 01:08 AM
I vote for the 681 for a six shooter. I have a 4 inch barrel one which has a great action and is heavy and tough. No lock on mine either.

However, I find that I like my five shooter Ruger SP-101 even better. It seems to be the best al around combination of toughness, size ,weight and firepower of any revolver I have. Of course, it is not a six shooter, but I am just saying.

Radagast
October 2, 2011, 03:59 AM
The 581 & 681 are long discontinued, you will be looking at purchasing a 20 year old gun. Ditto the Ruger Service Six range. If going for a second hand gun then a Nickel Model 13 3 inch or stainless Model 65 3 inch would be my choice, I quite like the K frame and would simply restrict myself to 158 grain magnums.
Data on the problems with the 125 grain loads is here:
http://www.gunblast.com/Butch_MagnumLoads.htm

If buying new my choice to meet your requirements would be a 686 SSR with a Bowen rough country sight.
http://www.dayattherange.com/?p=160
http://gunnuts.net/2010/04/30/bowen-rough-country-smith-wesson-revolver-rear-sight/
http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=31965/Product/S_W_REVOLVER_ROUGH_COUNTRY_HEAVY_DUTY_ADJUSTABLE_REAR_SIGHT

For an out of the box gun, the Ruger GP100 with fixed sights. The only caveat is that Ruger triggers tend to be rougher than S&W triggers, so I prefer S&Ws.

Dr.Rob
October 2, 2011, 04:04 AM
GP100 or Model 65, both are great choices.

Lost Sheep
October 2, 2011, 04:48 AM
Owning both Security Sixes and GP100s in various barrel lengths, I can tell you for sure that to wear on your belt all day long, the Six is a LOT lighter than the GP. Every mile you hike, the difference between the GP and the Six seems to get even greater.

But the GP is stronger. Heavier frame. The extra weight makes it more pleasant to shoot. Also, the ejector rod is offset from the barrel threads (in the Six, the ejector rod is centered on the cylinder where the GP is offset down).

So, if it will be carried lots and shot little, the Six. If shot a lot, the GP. If shot a LOT, a Redhawk in .357 mag (rare nowadays, though). The S&W Model 28 is no slouch, either.


Lost Sheep

madcratebuilder
October 2, 2011, 08:39 AM
Needs to be double action and 6 shots, 3-4" barrel, fixed sights, and capable of taking a beating.

Many of the suggested revolvers failed the fixed sights requirement.

Even tanks break down.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d37/madcratebuilder/100_0326.jpg


The Ruger Service Six would fill your needs at a reasonable price.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d37/madcratebuilder/ServiceS02.jpg

Big Juan
October 2, 2011, 09:07 AM
Aw shucks!

Big Juan
October 2, 2011, 09:15 AM
Hmmmm... what's that? An exploded SP101??
Hope nobody was hurt!
GP100 all the way.

Cat #____Mod#__Cal___Cap___Finish_____Sights__BBL _OAL__Wgt
KGPF-331 1715 .357 Mag. 6 Satin Stainless Fixed 3.00" 8.50" 36.00oz.

MachIVshooter
October 2, 2011, 09:19 AM
Many of the suggested revolvers failed the fixed sights requirement.

This.

All 586 and 686 models are adjustable, and to my knowledge, so are GP100.

If we can ignore that requirement:

K frame Smiths and the -Six series are good, tough guns that carry nice. But......both K frames and -Six guns have a thin section of forcing cone at the six o'clock, and can crack. My K's never have, but my Security-Six did.

The L-frames and GP-100's can handle whatever you can throw at them, but are a little bigger. Also goes for medium frame Colts (Python, King Cobra, Trooper mk. III, etc)

The S&W N-frame and Ruger Redhawk are the big dogs. Usually chambered in .44 magnum, these large frame guns are overbuilt for the .357, and I don't think you could blow one up if you tried (short of obstructing the barrel). However, those small holes in that big cylinder also make it very heavy, and rapid DA firing will batter the cylinder stop.

Personally, I'm a S&W guy, and I like to enjoy my K-frames with .38 loads, not because they can't handle .357, but because I handle full house loads better in my heavier 586 and 686. My M65 did see a lot of heavy loads before I had an L-frame, though.

BCCL
October 2, 2011, 11:33 AM
3" Ruger GP-100 with fixed sights?

http://www.ruger.com/products/gp100/images/1715.jpg

roaddog28
October 2, 2011, 11:36 AM
AJM Blazer,
Here is a revolver that describes what your looking for. Fixed site, 4 inch or 3 inch, 357 magnum, tough as nails, able to handle any factory 357 magnum round and handles great. Mine is blued but they are available in Stainless Steel.
Here is a picture of my revolver that your describing.
Ruger Police Service Six 4 inch
http://i656.photobucket.com/albums/uu283/HPitt74985/RugerServiceSix.jpg
Regards,
Howard

AJMBLAZER
October 2, 2011, 11:45 AM
The simple fact that I would have to specifically avoid some loads makes me say no to the K-frame .357's. Anything else with those limits as well.

110 grain bullets moving at warp speed or 180gr bullets moving fast I want to be able to shoot it all without worry and do it a lot.

MachIVshooter
October 2, 2011, 11:57 AM
110 grain bullets moving at warp speed or 180gr bullets moving fast I want to be able to shoot it all without worry and do it a lot.

Super-fast 110 and 125 gr. loads are going to cause flame cutting on ANY revolver, just so you know. The forcing cones shouldn't crack on the medium and large frame guns, and the effects will be less pronounced on larger frame guns, as there is more distance between chamber mouth and top strap, but that doesn't mean the gun will be completely unaffected by it.

Besides, there's no real good reason for such loads; Hot 158 or 180 gr. loads shoot quite flat, expand well, hold together and penetrate deep without causing undue wear on the gun.

I understand hot rodding, believe me. But one must also realize that there are certain combinations that have serious drawbacks. Loads that push bullets in excess of their intended velocity is akin to putting skinny radial street tires on drag cars; You get a show, but at the cost of performance.

Warp
October 2, 2011, 12:15 PM
@ MachIVshooter: Who said anything about loads that push bullets "in excess of their intended velocity"? The discussion, as always, is around hot 125gr loads. I don't think a factory Remington load, for example, pushes the bullet in excess of their intended design considering that they designed and loaded the round themselves.

Tony_the_tiger
October 2, 2011, 12:22 PM
around 1450 ft/s is the intended velocity of traditional 125 grain .357 loads ... Of course, intended velocity should probably read 'ideal' velocity and varies by bullet design, expansion, penetration, and other factors effecting performance that are taken into consideration by the manufacturer.

MachIVshooter
October 2, 2011, 12:42 PM
@ MachIVshooter: Who said anything about loads that push bullets "in excess of their intended velocity"? The discussion, as always, is around hot 125gr loads.

The OP:

110 grain bullets moving at warp speed or 180gr bullets moving fast I want to be able to shoot it all without worry and do it a lot.

Elkins45
October 2, 2011, 12:55 PM
The newer Smith revolvers I've bought have had horrible accuracy and I ended up selling every one. If you can get your hands on a pre-lock 586 or 686 you'll be very happy.

I like the current Rugers better than the older 6 series---I always thought their grip frame angle was very awkward. Plus if you buy one that's sufficiently old the newer aftermarket grips won't fit it.

I think the talk about the K frame not holding up was based on police training guns that saw hundreds of full-power rounds a week. My first centerfire handgun was a 4" model 19 (pinned and recessed) my Dad gave me in 1980 and it's seen a LOT of heavy handloads. It's still holding up fine. So you might throw a model 19 or 66 into the mix as well.

svtruth
October 2, 2011, 02:27 PM
GP-100
Colt Trooper, Mk III

sixgunner455
October 2, 2011, 04:00 PM
So you might throw a model 19 or 66 into the mix as well.


Or a 13 or 65, since you said you wanted fixed sights.

06
October 2, 2011, 05:09 PM
Every one has been tunnel visioned into the "big three" and noone has mentioned the lowly Taurus. I have one in stainless that has been my hunting sidearm for many many years. Have consistantly fired +P in it.

zxcvbob
October 2, 2011, 05:27 PM
Every one has been tunnel visioned into the "big three" and noone has mentioned the lowly Taurus. I have one in stainless that has been my hunting sidearm for many many years. Have consistantly fired +P in it.

There's a reason. Too much chance of getting a real POS that you never can get to work properly. (I have one) I'm glad you got a good one; you should play the lottery.

357Shooter
October 2, 2011, 06:13 PM
S&W 65 Easy on the super mag loads
S&W 681 Shoot -Em Up!
EOD... (End-Of-Discussion)
just a thought!

John C
October 2, 2011, 08:47 PM
I have about 5 S&Ws for every Ruger revolver I own. If I were to have all my revolvers burn up in a fire or get stolen (God forbid!), the first gun I would get would be a 6 inch GP100. Smiths, though wonderful pistols, are just too much money for what you can get in a GP100. Plus, no internal locks or MIM parts on a new GP100. Not that either are a big deal to me, I have several Smiths with both, but the fact is that the Smith aren't 100% stainless steel and will rust more easily than a Ruger. I prefer no internal lock for aesthetic reasons.

If you could find a used, older 686, for a reasonable price, jump on it. Otherwise, if buying a new gun, definitely a GP100. Ruger is currently stocking a 3 inch, fixed sited gun.

-John

Doug Add
October 3, 2011, 10:53 AM
I will agree with those suggesting the Ruger Police Service Six. I love my S&W 586 and 686 4" revolvers, and my Ruger SP101 2.25", but my father-in-law's Service Six 4" is as fine a gun as these, and perfectly matches your requirements.

Coyote3855
October 3, 2011, 02:09 PM
My knock around gun is a stainless Ruger Speed Six with a 2 3/4" barrel. I'm old enough to have stopped enjoying recoil, so I shoot only moderate loads. I expect the Six to outlast me, my son, and probably my grandson.

Franco2shoot
October 3, 2011, 02:36 PM
Eaa .357


kkkkfl

Mr. T
October 3, 2011, 06:38 PM
Without a doubt...Ruger GP-100 in 4" and 6" barrel configurations! That's my .02 worth anyway.

230therapy
October 3, 2011, 06:42 PM
S&W 586 and 686. Also look at the Ruger GP100.

Guillermo
October 3, 2011, 07:24 PM
if you want something that is tough and don't care about looks or trigger pull...buy a Ruger GP100.

If you want something a little nicer buy a pre MIM Smith 686.

Deaf Smith
October 3, 2011, 08:50 PM
I have Security Six, Service Six, Speed Six, GP-100, as well as K, L, and N frames. From 2 1/2 M66 to 2 3/4 Speed/Security six, to 3 inch L frame and GP100. And 4 inch N frame, Security SIx, and Service Six handguns.

Yea the Rugers are the toughest. If you can't find a good tight Speed Six or Security Six I'd recommend the 3 inch GP-100. Excellent weapon and if it runs out of ammo you can still use it as a rock.

Deaf

batmann
October 3, 2011, 09:37 PM
IMHO-----NOTHING can beat a Ruger GP 100. Tough, durable, reliable, will shoot just about anything you can put in it and the cost is usually less than a Smith.

DFM914
October 3, 2011, 10:15 PM
GP100 all the way. The Ruger is the definition of rugged reliablity and craftsmanship.

GP100Wii
October 3, 2011, 10:22 PM
I debated heavily, at length, before getting my revolver.

The GP100 (4" stainless) is the best, I'm ecstatic about it.

Ridgerunner665
October 3, 2011, 10:24 PM
I just bought a Rossi 357... http://www.rossiusa.com/product-details.cfm?id=140&category=1&toggle=rv&breadcrumbseries=R357

I know, I know....its not a S&W or a Ruger...but I'm not a wheelgun guy anyway...I just wanted a 357, LOL...a knockaround gun.

It was cheap ($300, came with 3 boxes of ammo, reloading dies, some brass and bullets, and a cheap holster) I bought it from a buddy who only had it 2 weeks (spent $$$ he didn't have when he bought it)...he only fired it 12 times.

It has adjustable sights...as to how tough it is...I don't know.

EDITED TO ADD: I did not buy it for a carry gun...too darn heavy for that...and my G36 is much better suited to that task.

Warp
October 3, 2011, 10:33 PM
If you aren't particularly concerned with how reliable or durable it is, do not plan to put it into a defense of life role, and probably won't shoot it a whole lot then yeah...go with something cheaper.

Smith357
October 3, 2011, 10:40 PM
I'm a S&W guy but if you want tough then Ruger is the brand known for toughness. Any of the six line or the GP will take anything you can dish out. They may be a bit bulky and not have the graceful lines like a S&W or Colt but that bulk is why they are so darn tough.

230therapy
October 3, 2011, 10:55 PM
Great! Rugers are "tough"! Not really--your cartridges must still be within specification. They will not withstand abuse any more than a Smith & Wesson or Colt will.

Ruger triggers are not that great. A good gunsmith can tune the trigger of Smiths and Colts. Since trigger control is the key to accuracy, especially for rapid fire, the inability of Ruger revolver triggers to be tuned in a meaningful way is a huge drawback. None of this means the Ruger cannot be learned; you just need to know what you are doing.

Get a Smith & Wesson or Colt and you won't be sorry. If "The S&W Lock" is a concern for you, then purchase a good prelock model 586 or 686.

Deaf Smith
October 3, 2011, 11:28 PM
Rugers are, at least from the factory, oversprung. Wolf makes excellent springs that will help, and then add such as Micro-lube to the inside and a bit of polishing hand the Rugers become quite nice (I've done this to several of my Ruger revolvers.)

Yes they will never equal a S&W that has a good action job done to them but my Rugers have not only very good triggers but are zero-zero (that is, no end shake or crane shake.) I even replaced the bolts and, when the hammer is cocked and then let down with the trigger pulled there is no cylinder play.

As for overloads, you can overload a Ruger Redhawk .45 to .44 magnum power, and the S&W N frame .45 LC can't go that far.

Dunno about overloading the GP-100, but I do know about the Redhawk.

Deaf

ColtPythonElite
October 3, 2011, 11:53 PM
Colt King Cobra gets my vote.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=141985&d=1305073930

MtnSpur
October 4, 2011, 12:45 PM
Some time back my local FFL received a S&W 66 PD marked in trade and he knew I had been looking for a reasonably priced .357 in SS. While it came with "Pachs" and a police issue holster the price was right so I bit. Have to say I thoroughly enjoy it's balance, durability and accuracy (not ignoring the "fixed sight" requirement just guess I'd prefer the option of adjust sights as MY preference). I replaced the rubber with Ahrends rd to square conversion stocks. One day I might polish her up and learn how to take a decent photo. With that said:

http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h351/MtnSpur/SW66-1357.jpg

eddielewis
October 4, 2011, 10:09 PM
Great! Rugers are "tough"! Not really--your cartridges must still be within specification. They will not withstand abuse any more than a Smith & Wesson or Colt will.

Ruger triggers are not that great. A good gunsmith can tune the trigger of Smiths and Colts. Since trigger control is the key to accuracy, especially for rapid fire, the inability of Ruger revolver triggers to be tuned in a meaningful way is a huge drawback. None of this means the Ruger cannot be learned; you just need to know what you are doing.

Get a Smith & Wesson or Colt and you won't be sorry. If "The S&W Lock" is a concern for you, then purchase a good prelock model 586 or 686.
I would sure hope that a good gunsmith could slick the trigger up on a Ruger as well. IMHO it is very simple.

230therapy
October 5, 2011, 12:49 PM
I would sure hope that a good gunsmith could slick the trigger up on a Ruger as well. IMHO it is very simple.

My GP100 has had the trigger worked on. It only reliably ignites soft Federal Primers.

eddielewis
October 5, 2011, 03:17 PM
My GP100 has had the trigger worked on. It only reliably ignites soft Federal Primers.
Without seeing it, I would guess your smith put too light of a spring in it. Mine is running the 9 lb wolf spring without issue.

DeMilled
October 5, 2011, 06:52 PM
I've done my own trigger jobs on both a GP100 and SP101, it was not very complicated and my triggers are pretty dang nice, if I do say so myself.

If you want to sent it out just call around for a 'smith that has done Rugers before, too easy.

Strykervet
October 5, 2011, 07:23 PM
I have a 686+ 6" that is just awesome. Super smooth trigger DA and SA, it is so light and short I can't really describe it. Just great. Very accurate, I put 5 out of 7 shots, 140gr. XTP handloads (but looking at some old load data from back then, I found it is possible, but not likely, I used a 125gr.?) on a sillhouette at 300m firing one handed single action. Yes, 300m. Chrono's 125's at around 1800fps using N110. No recoil, like firing a .22 with .38's, so fun for the whole family. One of my favorite handguns, my wife loves it and says I can never sell it.

The 6" is just awesome, but I wish I had one with a 3-4" barrel for carry. Those new 8 shot Smith revolvers with the scandium frames look nice too, but not with the rail. That might be a good idea for home defense or hunting, but I mostly use them at the range. I have a 340PD also, but that thing has the most felt recoil of any firearm I've ever shot. It is great carry piece, but I like my Glocks better for that. Perfect backup, but I don't feel the need to carry a backup. I do use it during excruciatingly hot days, but we didn't get much of a summer up here this year.

If I only had one .357 or was only going to get one revolver, it would most definitely be the 686+, but maybe with a 4" barrel if I were to carry it. The Pythons are very nice too, but now they are very expensive and personally, I don't like the cylinder release on the Colt revolvers.

Then there is always Korth... I got a thread going about Korth's compared to Smith's and there ended up being a good deal of .357 info that came out on there. Dan Wesson is another really well made .357 and it has changeable barrels.

rodinal220
October 5, 2011, 07:32 PM
Another vote for the Ruger Security/Speed Six guns as well as the GP100.

Fishman777
October 5, 2011, 08:56 PM
GP100s are as durable and reliable as a medium framed revolver gets. If you can't hit with a GP100, you can't shoot. My GP100 is one of the most accurate handguns that I've ever shot.

Dan-O
October 5, 2011, 11:39 PM
3" Ruger GP100 for sure:

http://i726.photobucket.com/albums/ww266/yeahitsthatbig/IMG_1367.jpg

svtruth
October 6, 2011, 12:00 PM
Out on a limb, why not a Colt Trooper, Mark III?
The King Cobra is nice too, but $$$.
Good luck.

AJMBLAZER
October 6, 2011, 12:01 PM
For the record Colts are PROBABLY out of my price range unless I find one for silly cheap.

Remllez
October 6, 2011, 12:36 PM
Dan-O's Gp-100 fits your requirements perfectly. Pretty sure they came in stainless as well. In my humble opinion the GP's are near perfect revolvers and I've never seen one shot out of time. When you compare Rugers new or used to Smith guns you will come to understand what a true value they represent.

herkyguy
October 6, 2011, 02:41 PM
GP-100. plenty of barrel lengths to choose from. I used to think my SP-101 was rugged, but the GP-100 takes it to a whole new level.

Deaf Smith
October 6, 2011, 11:42 PM
Yep the GP100 is a good choice.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=139730&d=1301801899

This is my ex-Canadian 3 inch GP. I've done an action job and it's zero-zero (that is no end shake, crane shake, gun locks TIGHT on firing.)

25 yard consistent head shots I do with this gun (on SA) using Walmart 125gr Remington .357 Magnums.

It's my light field gun (my 629-1 is the heavy one.)

Deaf

bestseller92
October 6, 2011, 11:47 PM
Ruger GP-100. The tank!

AJMBLAZER
October 7, 2011, 12:03 AM
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=139730&d=1301801899
Sexy!

Elkins45
October 7, 2011, 04:20 PM
Some time back my local FFL received a S&W 66 PD marked in trade and he knew I had been looking for a reasonably priced .357 in SS. While it came with "Pachs" and a police issue holster the price was right so I bit. Have to say I thoroughly enjoy it's balance, durability and accuracy (not ignoring the "fixed sight" requirement just guess I'd prefer the option of adjust sights as MY preference). I replaced the rubber with Ahrends rd to square conversion stocks. One day I might polish her up and learn how to take a decent photo. With that said:

http://i1105.photobucket.com/albums/h351/MtnSpur/SW66-1357.jpg
IMO a 4" K frame S&W is the most ergonomic revolver ever made. No revolver even comes close in terms of pure 'feel' to me, and that includes the legendary Colt Python.

If I had to shoot maximum loads all day long I would choose a GP100 or a 686. if I had to carry and handle a gun and shoot a variety of loads I would choose a 19 or 66.

Legionnaire
October 7, 2011, 05:41 PM
I just skimmed through the thread and don't have much additional info to add. But I'll add my voice in favor of the GP100. I have a stainless 3" fixed-sight model, as well as a 4" adjustable; I put a smaller "fixed-sight grip" on the 4", as I like it better. Hard to pick between the two for a "favorite." Don't think I'll part with either of them any time soon.

edwin41
October 7, 2011, 08:08 PM
ive shot the gp 100 , and found it a great revolver..
the quality looks good to me , dont think they wear out so easily !
but..... what ...... idiot stamps the whole safety instruction on the barrel of a revolver ??

Marlin 45 carbine
October 7, 2011, 08:16 PM
GP100 4" is handy. built on a .44mag frame too. I had a lightly built lady friend shooting "loaded to .357 data" cast slugs out of mine w/no problem actually she did quite well on paper silohuette target.

ghitch75
October 7, 2011, 08:30 PM
686....my vote....but i have King Cobra and a Trooper III too...

http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb368/ghitch75/S3010400.jpg

Legionnaire
October 7, 2011, 10:19 PM
what ...... idiot stamps the whole safety instruction on the barrel of a revolver ?? I polished the warning off my 3-inch GP.

wlewisiii
October 8, 2011, 03:25 AM
Elkins45, bingo. I like the fixed sight ones myself because I always/only shoot 158 in either special or magnum. No, I haven't had one yet, but a 3" Model 65 is my holy grail ccw.

gvf
October 8, 2011, 01:22 PM
Any of the Colt 357s - especially Python, if you can find a shooter (have a Colt man check it out). Pythons shoot with great balance and with Pachys will help to withstand well Buffalo Bore +p +p (great ammo, but THAT in +P +P ! Have a hand surgeon standing by). They also are superb in accuracy.

Or here's something different on Gunbroker: The Coonan 1911 .357 Magnum:

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=254762575

AJMBLAZER
October 8, 2011, 07:35 PM
Ooooph, nice but yah...way outta my price range.

gvf
October 8, 2011, 11:21 PM
Too pricey for me. I'll stick to my Python (got it unfired 3 1/2 years ago for $499 at Gander Mtn)

Anyone ever shot a Coonan? That slide must fly back like a rocket with .357 - wonder how it shoots and how it feels - weird, 357 in a 1911........

Shienhausser
October 8, 2011, 11:23 PM
I would love the chance to even own a Coonan.


I was debating a M1a as my next purchase but I could buy an Auto .357 for less. oh man decisions.

gvf
October 9, 2011, 05:15 AM
I would love the chance to even own a Coonan.


I was debating a M1a as my next purchase but I could buy an Auto .357 for less. oh man decisions.
Well, sorry if this makes it harder for you, but how often do you see a Coonan? (I think the seller originally had it on Glock Talk).

I'd get the Coonan between the two you mention, as long as they have good reputations. The price too may be below average - which protects you in a way.

Good luck with either purchase though. Exciting to get a new gun!

(If you get the Coonan post about it OK?)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Just found this:

From Coonan site http://coonaninc.com/ (I know, I'm terrible...)

"A brilliant and unique engineering feat with flawless reliability and functioning. The only pistol of it's kind, chambered for an iconic and still superbly useful cartridge. Great Value for the money."

Peter Kookalis, Shotgun News, May 2011


"I really enjoyed shooting this pistol, and I believe any handgunner would too. It's reliable, accurate, powerful and a whole lot of interesting"

Bart Skelton, Guns and Ammo, The 2011 Complete book of the 1911


"Has far greater shock power than any .38 .44 or .45 ever tested".

John Taffin, American Handguner, Sept/Oct 2011



Read what the industry experts have to say about the Coonan .357 Magnum Automatic. ...here:
http://www.coonaninc.com/news10.php



Read what our customers are saying about Coonan ...here:
http://www.coonaninc.com/news40.php

Hmmmmm - you can get a new one - though Basic - for $1249.

(I'm beginning to want one badly myself....)

Missionary
October 9, 2011, 05:29 AM
Good morning
Dan Wesson ! Swap barrels from 2" to 10" . Most acurate production revolver that was made. Still lots of nice used DWs caliber .357s out there. Built like a vault & will take all the heavy shooting anyone can give to them. DW .357s are strong enough to take "silly wet" shooting and accurate enough to win repeatedly. Thats what I used my first year popping steel in 81.. still have the same revolver and it is as accurate as the day I bought it in 1978.
Mike in Peru

Stainz
October 9, 2011, 09:00 AM
Marlin 45 Carbine: The GP100 frame was purpose built as a .38/.357 - it has never been offered in anything larger. It does share it's lockwork with the Super Redhawks and, in a smaller size, with the SP101 as well.

To the OP: If you forget the '+P' & '+P+' requirements, a 3"/4" 65 would be ideal. If you regularly need more 'oomph' than a standard .357 Magnum, go with a hotter caliber.

Of course, I chose a 4" 627 Pro as my heavy duty .38/.357M launch platform. It won't fill the bill for the OP, however. It holds eight rounds and has adjustable rear and easily changed front sights. Too nice for a 'truck gun'!

Stainz

waidmann
October 9, 2011, 10:18 PM
If I were going to tote it a 65 or 681 would be my choice. If I were going to bet on one in a destruction test, a Ruger.

AJMBLAZER
November 1, 2011, 10:37 AM
So...local store that deals in high end and quality and classic used guns has a 4" fixed sight Service Six .357 in stainless for $350.

I'm uhm...I'm uhm...uh...dammit!...I wants!:D

Jonah71
November 1, 2011, 01:23 PM
I just let one get away from me. Ruger Security Six is a good, reliable revolver.

sprale
November 1, 2011, 01:23 PM
I love my Security Six. It has adjustable sights, though, but I expect it will outlast me, and maybe my children too. I picked mine up for $300 earlier this year, private party sale. I have been thinking of swapping the Pachmayr's for Hogues, and installing a fiber optic front, but still need to paint the rear.

Radagast
November 2, 2011, 06:41 AM
Not mentioned yet, but definitely fitting OPs requirement is the original S&W 520 .357 magnum Military & Police. A fixed sight .357 magnum on the large N frame manufactured in 1980 for the New York State Police but never delivered. Four inch barrel with ejector shroud, square butt, blued wit a 6 shot cylinder.

bannockburn
November 2, 2011, 07:41 AM
A Ruger Service Six would be my choice based on the OP's requirements for a tough, utilitarian, and durable .357 double action revolver.

hiker44
November 2, 2011, 04:03 PM
Depending on your preference, Ruger GP100 or Smith L-frame. They are #1 and #2, not necessarily in that order, and it just depends on who you talk to. Both excellent guns.

Loyalist Dave
November 2, 2011, 04:22 PM
I like the S&W Model 13 in 3".

LD

Rey B
November 3, 2011, 12:48 AM
Add another vote for a 4" prelock 686. Easy to carry and will handle anything you want to throw at it. I know adjustable sights but I haven't had any problems.

GRAPE-DRANK
November 3, 2011, 01:01 AM
I own two Smith autoloaders and I like them just fine, but for .357 revolver I have to say Ruger. I have a 3" SP101, but anything that Ruger makes in .357 is a perfect "utilitarian" revolver and they don't have the stupid locks like Smith.

Brian Williams
November 3, 2011, 09:43 AM
My vote is a S&W 681. It is tough and will shoot with any Ruger or Colt or Dan Wesson and even a Taurus.

If you really want tough get a Ruger Redhawk in 357, they can take just about any load you can stuff in a 357 case.


Now I wish some one would take 3 S&W 5/686s, 3 Ruger GP, 3 Colt pythons , A couple of Dan Wessons and a few Taurus's maybe even a Rossi and shoot them until they fall apart and do a metallurgic survey on each and let us know which mid frame 357 is really the tough king of the hill.
This size gun was made for the 357 and meant to be shot with full power loads and last. They all have some problem, but they are all designed to handle the 357 and do it well.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
November 3, 2011, 09:45 AM
Anything S&W or Ruger -- period (IMHO).:cool:

Fleet
November 3, 2011, 02:32 PM
I'll second the Dan Wesson in the 15 series. I fed one many thousands of rounds loaded with 16.5 gr of 296 and a 150 gr. LSWC hard cast. Never a hiccup as long as I did my part.

AJMBLAZER
January 3, 2012, 01:25 PM
Well, small update on this.

I was about settled on a Ruger GP100 when back in November a local shop (the one that had the Security Six for a song) had a rough looking but solid S&W Model 28 Highway Patrolman. I LIKED. Similar good price.

Sadly by the time I had the funds raised it was gone.

Then another place in town had a Model 28-3 with a 4" barrel. Yes, adjustable sights and blued but really, after handling the Highway Patrolmen I was in love. Price was a hundred and some more but I could work with it since it was much better shape. Went in with cash in my hand for a month until it came off consignment and they'd negotiate with me. Bought it about 3 weeks ago.

Loving it. Just feels like a great gun in the hand and shoots great. A bit worried the GF wants to adopt it though.:D

slick6
January 3, 2012, 02:13 PM
Although I liked my 3" Ruger GP100, I much prefered my 3" Ruger Speed-Six pictured below-since it was better handling-due to being less bulky, and still a "tough as nails" revolver, with the build quality being obviously superior!:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v631/shootit/P1020157.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v631/shootit/P1020158.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v631/shootit/P1020162.jpg

ghitch75
January 3, 2012, 02:17 PM
Colt Lawman MKIII.....built like a tank.....

http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb368/ghitch75/S3010440.jpg

medic_guns
January 3, 2012, 08:10 PM
Nice Mk III. I sold a blued one last year. I am still crying about it. Just bought a nice model 13 3" roundbutt though, so my tears have subsided some.

MuleRyder
January 3, 2012, 08:42 PM
No votes for Trooper MKV? I've had mine for about 25 yrs and 1000s of rounds through it without a problem.

FIVETWOSEVEN
January 3, 2012, 08:48 PM
I vote for a .357 magnum chambered Ruger Redhawk, .357 magnum on a frame originally designed for .44 magnum. Only disadvantage would be the limited number of them.

wheelyfun66
January 3, 2012, 10:09 PM
Tough as nails?
Reliable?
good customer service and aftermarket support?

Ruger GP100!

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