Help picking a full size 357 mag revolver


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JBrady555
March 22, 2012, 05:45 PM
Hey guys I've bought plenty of semi autos here lately and I'm now ready for another revolver purchase. I want a 357 with a 6-8 inch barrel with a full underlug. I would go for a 44 mag but I have a problem with my shooting hand wrist so I'm going with the 357. The S&W 686 jumps out as a front runner but I want to get some opinions on some other guns. I would like to get out of the price range of the 686 also but will spend it if I have to. So whats some other full size/length "tough" looking 357 mags? thanks for any info.

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codefour
March 22, 2012, 05:49 PM
Have you ever considered a Ruger GP-100? They are built like a tank. Not as smooth as a S&W 686, but much more stout. You can rework the action with a little time and some Wolfe springs and they smooth out pretty well. They usually run $100 to $200 less than a S&W.

JBrady555
March 22, 2012, 05:50 PM
thanks for the reply, hadn't even thought about a gp100

ColtPythonElite
March 22, 2012, 05:51 PM
A Colt KIng Cobra is about as tough as it gets. Sure, it will cost a little more than a 686, upfront, but your money will be safe...or you could always take the cheaper, more common road that 25 other guys will suggest and get a homely GP100.:D


http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=152995&d=1321648669

JBrady555
March 22, 2012, 05:53 PM
thats one badass looking piece, I'm fixing to look at those pythons on gunsamerica.

JBrady555
March 22, 2012, 06:06 PM
well the python is definitely out of my price range, lol.

Byrd666
March 22, 2012, 06:14 PM
Ruger would be my choice

theicemanmpls
March 22, 2012, 06:15 PM
686 is the one I enjoy

BYJO4
March 22, 2012, 06:17 PM
For many of us, a gun purchase is a long term investment and spreading out the additional cost of one gun over another is minor in comparison to quality and other personal factors. I assume based on the barrel length you indicated that this will be range gun primarily. The 686 is an fine gun with great accuracy and an excellent action right out of the box. It also maintains its value well.

19-3Ben
March 22, 2012, 06:24 PM
or you could always take the cheaper, more common road that 25 other guys will suggest and get a homely GP100.

Count me in with the 25 other guys.

GP100 has everything you are looking for. Full underlug, cheaper than S&W 686 (especially if you find a nice used one in the high-$300 to low-$400 range), built like a brick outhouse, and I don't think anyone is going to accuse it of being less than full sized!

For the record, I don't think the fit/finish or triggers on the current production Ruger revolvers are any worse than the fit/finish and triggers on current production S&Ws.

HankB
March 22, 2012, 06:44 PM
l would look for a pre-Lock, pre-MIM, gun, meaning a 686-4 or earlier; that means a gun with the firing pin on the hammer where it belongs.

Keizer
March 22, 2012, 07:46 PM
Count me in with the 25 other guys.

Me too! There's a reason gun stores can't keep GP 100's in stock.

GP100man
March 22, 2012, 07:54 PM
I`m #1 guy for the GP100 !!!

http://i746.photobucket.com/albums/xx110/GP100man/102_0333.jpg

AABEN
March 22, 2012, 08:00 PM
Why not a Dan Wesson that has the full under lug? Then you can get different size from 2in up to an 8in that Way you can 4 guns in one 2 4 6 8 Good Luck

bikemutt
March 22, 2012, 08:01 PM
I picked up an unfired no-dash S&W 686 for $550, it is a fine gun.

If there is even the slightest chance you could give up the full underlug, consider a Colt Trooper Mk III. I picked up an unfired one for $500 not too long ago. Frankly, I like shooting it more than the 686 or my King Cobra.

I sold both GP100s I owned, they just didn't suit me, but they are an excellent value if they work for you.

The good news about the S&W and the Ruger is they are both usually available to rent so you can try-before-buy, not so with the Colts.

click clack
March 22, 2012, 08:04 PM
I would go with your original idea of the 686 but a GP100 would do just fine as well.
best of luck!

bluethunder1962
March 22, 2012, 08:08 PM
I just bought a S&W 44 mag. I know what you mean. My wrist is fine I just get blisters on my hand. BUT you have the option of 44 special. they are fine. Mine is one of those light weight (forgot what they call them) I love it.

rcmodel
March 22, 2012, 08:18 PM
I believe I heard something like 28 of the 29 finalists at the last USPSA National Revolver Championship match were shooting S&W.

The one odd man out was shooting a Ruger, and I don't believe he placed.

I doubt S&W gave everybody entered in the USPSA regionals all over the country free guns, just in case they moved up to the nationals!

rc

SWIll
March 22, 2012, 08:19 PM
I have a ruger gp 100, built like a tank. The 40 oz weight helps with recoil on full .357 magnum loads, also. Very manageable recoil.

Okiegunner
March 22, 2012, 08:22 PM
For me, the 686 is the Cadillac of SW handguns. It just seems like they have gotten so cost prohibitive of late. I noticed a previous poster said they had found (nice gun) one for $550.

Really?? Not in my neck of the woods. Are nice 686's to be had for $550. If so, please tell me where. I live in central Oklahoma. I often work in Fort Worth, TX. Are these prices anywhere close to me?

Thanks much,

Gunner

shockwave
March 22, 2012, 08:33 PM
I'd go for the 686+ Combat Magnum first. Just get that.

Then, if you have further full-size .357 magnum needs, consider something else. But get the Smith first. Quite possibly the finest revolver ever made.

BullfrogKen
March 22, 2012, 08:54 PM
I've seen used Troopers sell for $400 on Gunbroker. Those are nice, solid, last forever revolvers.

A 686 is a great handgun as well.

MrBorland
March 22, 2012, 08:57 PM
The gp100 is a fine gun. But I loves me some 686. ;)

http://i415.photobucket.com/albums/pp239/becke016/GunsTargets/TomIDPA2012Worlds.jpg

I believe I heard something like 28 of the 29 finalists at the last USPSA National Revolver Championship match were shooting S&W

It's partly because in USPSA, S&W 625 .45acps rule because they're moonclipped & because of USPSA scoring, as it relates to power factor.

Fuzzball
March 22, 2012, 09:09 PM
S&W are over rated and over priced, quality control is a thing of the past and competition smiths require $$$$$$ from the custom gun shop.

Rugers are tanks and workhorses. at several hundreds of dollars less for new, or used, the custom work is becomes an affordable option.

Colts are poorly made these days, and rely on the past. Another pistol overpriced and out of reach for us common folk.

So, my $.02 is in. Harsh words from an old timer

Fuzzball

jon86
March 22, 2012, 10:00 PM
I don't have a full size 357, but every GP 100 I've handled has a smoother and lighter feeling trigger than most 686's I've shot and handled. I know this goes against what most people say but it's what I've experienced.

rcmodel
March 22, 2012, 10:05 PM
Colts are poorly made these days, and rely on the past.Ehh?
They have to rely on the past now.

The last production line Colt DA revolver was made in 1999.

rc

scott5
March 23, 2012, 01:06 AM
Hello all,
You might try a GP-100 and a Dan Wesson:D

wrs840
March 23, 2012, 01:33 AM
I own a like a lot of Ruger products.

I honestly don't think they've ever made a DA revolver that compares favorably to a -4 or earlier 686 though.

bikemutt
March 23, 2012, 01:16 PM
For me, the 686 is the Cadillac of SW handguns. It just seems like they have gotten so cost prohibitive of late. I noticed a previous poster said they had found (nice gun) one for $550.

Really?? Not in my neck of the woods. Are nice 686's to be had for $550. If so, please tell me where. I live in central Oklahoma. I often work in Fort Worth, TX. Are these prices anywhere close to me?

Thanks much,

Gunner
Gunner, I will confess it was a lucky break to find that no-dash, unfired 686. I was on an out of town trip in Florida, walked into a small, out of the way gunstore and saw the gem. They were asking $650 IIRC. I told him it was worth $500 to me. He called the owner since this was a consigned gun, he looked up from the phone and said "$550?", sold. Plus I had to kick in $20 to have it shipped to my FFL in WA, but no fee for a credit card as many shops are doing these days.

All that said though, I see 686 guns at pawnshops around here all the time, it's a pretty common gun. The only ones I see resistance to haggling over are the 686+ models as those are less common.

tryshoot
March 23, 2012, 01:31 PM
I own gp-100, great gun. Will be last gun i get rid of. Have shot many 686. Great guns too. Would go with gp-100.

W.E.G.
March 23, 2012, 01:50 PM
Depends how pretty you want.

I got this one for $250 at the LGS in 2010.

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/pistol%20pics/686-5/stinkbutt-smaller.jpg

svtruth
March 23, 2012, 01:53 PM
I've never held a Dan Wesson, but suggest you wrap your hand around a Model 19, poetry in blued steel.
Really, you want several, iron sights, scoped, a Colt Trooper for HD (12lb DA trigger pull) stainless for camping, etc.
Good luck.

R.W.Dale
March 23, 2012, 01:57 PM
I've owned the gp, 686 and the old security six. Honestly I wouldn't walk past a nice ruger to hold out for a 686 and vise versa. They're both great guns.

My current 357 though is a s&w 60-18

posted via mobile device.

ArchAngelCD
March 23, 2012, 02:18 PM
Remember, if you don't like the gun you buy you won't shoot it so don't buy on price alone.

I own a M686-2 and I feel it's a great revolver. It's smooth, accurate and well balanced. Buy what you want but be sure you like what you buy.

BTW, the Ruger GP100 is built large but not because it's built like a tank but because it's necessary to be as strong as a forged frame because of the investment casting method of manufacturing. Yes it's a very good revolver but not because "it's built like a tank".

Teachu2
March 23, 2012, 02:18 PM
The Ruger is a fine gun, but it's not a 686. Nor is the 686 a Ruger. The two are just different.

If at all possible, rent both and shoot them back-to-back. One or the other will feel more natural to you, and you will shoot it better. If it's the Ruger, you'll save some money and know you made the right choice. If the 686 is what you want, spend the money. You'll wish you had, if you don't. I've never purchased the more expensive gun that I really wanted and regretted it later.

I was recently thinking about buying a Glock - seems like they're the gun to have these days. Went to the range and rented a few - and dismissed the "gotta have a Glock" idea quickly. They just don't work for me. I don't like the grip, I can't stand the trigger, and worst of all - I can't shoot them accurately. Hand me a 1911 (ANY 1911) and all is good with my world...

And my favorite revolver is my 686+ Pro. A 686 6" is a very close second.

larry237
March 23, 2012, 02:18 PM
I really like classic Smith and Wessons, and have shot them a lot, especially 19's and 66's. That said, my GP100 is sturdy, accurate and after 1,000 dry fires and about 500 rounds through it, the action is too smooth to need an action job. I haven't had a 686 but when handling them they feel pretty good. I don't think you would go wrong with a 686 or GP100, if you found a good price on either one. If I could only have one handgun, I would have to go with the GP100.

Guillermo
March 23, 2012, 02:20 PM
Colts are poorly made these days

Please enlighten us as to which double action Colts to which you refer.

Teachu2
March 23, 2012, 02:25 PM
Ask yourself "If they were the same price, which would I buy?" AFTER you've shot them both. Then buy once!

Wildbillz
March 23, 2012, 02:26 PM
When you said full size, my mind whent an entirely differant direction.

S&W Model 28 or 27. Full sized N frame (same as the 44mag). I have a four inch bbl Mod 28 that I love. The weight sucks up some of the recoild of the full tilt Magnum rounds.

But I do like the 686 (more of a Medeum frame) also. I would love to get a Python but thats a little more coin then I have to play with most of the time.

WB

solvability
March 23, 2012, 02:28 PM
I bought a 686 as my first Magnum and it is a delight to shoot. I get better groups with a 629 but for you it would be handloads for sure. You might consider a 41 Magnum - with an 8 inch barrel amazingly accurate and the recoil in the same category as the 357 with full power loads. I prefer Smiths but Rugers are built tough and heavy.

627PCFan
March 23, 2012, 02:49 PM
Wildbillz killed it. Everytime I read one of these threads I hope no one mentions a model 27 N frame. That means theres another one out there safe for my taking :D

Driftwood Johnson
March 23, 2012, 03:16 PM
Howdy

For me, 357 Magnum cartridge is synonymous with either the S&W Model 27 or the Model 28.



Model 27


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Driftwood_Johnson/smith%20and%20wesson/Model%2027/IMG_0191_enhanced.jpg


Model 28

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Driftwood_Johnson/smith%20and%20wesson/Model28_01.jpg


The Model 27 was THE 357 Magnum when the cartridge was first invented by S&W in 1935. In 1957, the name was changed to the Model 27. The Model 27 was the top of the line, with higher quality finish and nice touches like checkering the top strap of the frame and the top of the barrel rib.

The Model 28 was originally known as the Highway Patrolman. Introduced in 1954, it was basically the same as The 357 Magnum without the fancy finish. A more utilitarian gun, with a satin blue finish instead of the high polish of the Model 27. In 1957 The Highway Patrolman became known as the Model 28.

I never much cared for the modern revolvers with full length underlugs. The weight of the N frame Model 27 or Model 28 is plenty enough to allow me to shoot full power factory 357 Magnum ammo all day long, even with the standard Magna grips you see on these guns. I see used Model 28s on sale all the time, usually for around $400-$500. I have two of them, the 6" barreled one in the photo and another with a 4" barrel. If you look around you can find a nice blue steel Model 28 with recessed chambers and pinned barrel and without a lock or MIM parts that will be a better gun for less money than any Stainless gun Smith is offering today.

In my not so humble opinion of course.

Jim NE
March 23, 2012, 03:25 PM
When you said full size, my mind whent an entirely different direction.

S&W Model 28 ...

Same here. Problem is, I inherited my old Highway Patrolman, so I have no idea what they go for. Don't know if they're out of most folk's price range or not.

My acquaintence has a pristine original 6" five screw that he says is worth around $1100. Mine is worn and refinished, so I would imagine it's a lot less. Look for a shooter/non-collectible condition 28/HP (like mine), and it might be a great option that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Kinda heavy, though.

Oops, just saw Driftwood's post - 400-500. Sounds very reasonable.

Nce
March 23, 2012, 03:31 PM
I just picked up these 2 this week. The Little one is for pocket carry in the summer and the other is a S&W 386xl Hunter. It is essentially a scandium framed 686+ I will be using it mostly as a range gun. I like the 686's but after a couple of hours holding one my arms get a little tired. For me this is light enough to shoot for hours without tiring. I shoot mostly .38 at the range due to the cost. I did just put 25 158 gr. .357 Speer gold dot hp's through it and it was lively but nothing to crazy. I like the high viz sights and I shoot this gun very well. If you are shooting solely .357's in large volumes there may be better options. If you are out in the woods hunting this would be a good choice too.

Okiegunner
March 23, 2012, 08:36 PM
In my opinion...

1. Nothing beats the Colt Python (for a .357)

2. SW Model 686 is the ultimate SW .357

With prices what they are, there is absolutely no way in h*ll I could afford the Python. However the 686, (which I love) possibly. I actually own a 686, but my brother has it in North Carolina, so good luck to me, I will never see it! The pistol was once upon a time an Oklahoma State Trooper sidearm.

BikeMutt, congrats to you on an outstanding purchase. If anyone knows where I could purchase a 686 (please, not shot to h*ll) for anywhere close to what BikeMutt paid for his, then I'm a buyer. Please PM me.

I am not a wealthy guy, just working class, I am paid on the 3rd and the 18th, and will need a little lead time to shell out the dough. As much advance notice as possible would be appreciated. However, this is not BS, I am serious about buying one of these pistols.

Anyhow, thanks and I appreciate you guys. BikeMutt...Great purchase

Gunner

oldfool
March 23, 2012, 09:25 PM
being a S&W unabashed fanboy, no matter what, it's just a too easy answer for me (?)
simply no question about it, ain't nothing else worth owning.. except

nothing beats a vintage S&W model 27
nothing beats a Colt Python
nothing beats a vintage Dan Wesson
nothing beats a Freedom Arms SA
nothing else still in production out there beats a Ruger GP in DA, or a Ruger Blackhawk SA for value plus plus
(but my heart belongs forever to 19/66 S&W k-frames)
though I could live and smile a whole lot forever with any vintage Ruger "Six" or vintage Taurus 66 or S&W 686
and that's the truth as best I know how to tell it... or leastways an honest opinion

other than that, I ain't really got no opinion on this topic :D

disclaimer -
I don't own but two of the specific brand/models mentioned, but no reason a man can't keep on hoping !

C5rider
March 23, 2012, 09:44 PM
Why not a Dan Wesson that has the full under lug?
Glad to see that several folks have included possibly one of the most undervalued firearms available to the common man. :D

I think every collection should have at least one.

creitzel
March 23, 2012, 10:10 PM
I love my 686+. One of my favorite handguns actually.

sirsloop
March 23, 2012, 10:33 PM
http://photos.tallmanphoto.com/photos/i-BLRXB92/0/X2/i-BLRXB92-X2.jpg

enuf said ;)

BCRider
March 23, 2012, 11:15 PM
The 686 IS a superb gun. As is the compaion blued 586 model. But if you want to shoot a steady diet of stout full power .357's then I'd suggest the S&W 27 or 28/Highway Patrolman as well. With a VERY close second being the Ruger GP100.

Unlike the previous poster that mentioned he preferred the Ruger trigger I'm the other way. To me nothing has the silky smooth feel of a S&W trigger. Of course different folks like different things. It's certainly not that the Ruger trigger feels bad by any stretch. Just it has some subtle little warnings that occur during the pull that telegraphs that it's about to drop the hammer.

Of course if you'll shoot either in SA model most of the time then you won't ever notice. Both the S&W and Ruger have delightfully light and crisp SA trigger pulls.

lobo9er
March 24, 2012, 12:10 AM
http://i415.photobucket.com/albums/pp239/becke016/GunsTargets/TomIDPA2012Worlds.jpg

better watch that thumb :0

BCRider
March 24, 2012, 12:18 AM
It's getting close but it's not in harm's way... YET! But equally is that he's got the thumbs up semi auto hold. Most I know of get the strong hand thumb down where it can do a better job of holding the grips and fold the support hand around and over the other.

sirsloop
March 24, 2012, 01:09 AM
Ok until you pick up an X frame and snip the tip :p

skidder
March 24, 2012, 02:38 AM
Not as close as the hot dog video, but an inch higher and he may feel a burn.

CajunBass
March 24, 2012, 03:09 AM
Try a "N" frame Smith & Wesson. You'll throw rocks at anything else.

Like a 27-2

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b292/CajunBass/handguns/100_0345.jpg

or "357 Magnum", aka a "Pre-27".

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b292/CajunBass/handguns/100_0237.jpg

Or a 28.

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b292/CajunBass/handguns/100_0218.jpg

Full length underlugs were sadly, Smith & Wesson (and everyone else too) trying to make something that looked like a Python. Never cared for them myself.

A GP-100 is OK, if you don't mind looking like everybody else at the range. Too boring for me.

lobo9er
March 24, 2012, 07:34 AM
A GP-100 is OK, if you don't mind looking like everybody else at the range. Too boring for me.

Theres a reason you see a few gp100 aat the range, its probably not because they suck. Affordable, and reliable. Nice smiths by the way!

And that thumb is tempting fate :)

CajunBass
March 24, 2012, 07:55 AM
Theres a reason you see a few gp100 aat the range, its probably not because they suck. Affordable, and reliable.

Nice smiths by the way!

I didn't say they suck. I said they're boring. ;) To me. :D I have no doubt they're good guns.

I used to really like the old Speed/Service Six Rugers. When they stopped making them, I stopped buying Rugers.

4v50 Gary
March 24, 2012, 09:07 AM
Ruger builds the toughest guns. However, inspect amy gun before taking it home

Guillermo
March 24, 2012, 12:16 PM
I didn't say they suck. I said they're boring. To me. I have no doubt they're good guns.

I used to really like the old Speed/Service Six Rugers.

Cajun Bass (who must be jonesin' for some boudin living in virginia) perfectly verbalized my feelings on Ruger.

Although the SP101 does hold some interest for me.

lobo9er
March 24, 2012, 12:49 PM
no I know you didnt say they suck, wasn't implying that. And once again nice 357's.

Sp 101 is a pretty great hiking gun.

skidder
March 24, 2012, 01:18 PM
I didn't say they suck. I said they're boring. To me. I have no doubt they're good guns.

I used to really like the old Speed/Service Six Rugers.
Cajun Bass (who must be jonesin' for some boudin living in virginia) perfectly verbalized my feelings on Ruger.

Although the SP101 does hold some interest for me.


They can get kind of boring :rolleyes:, since I switched to Ruger I have all this free time......no more fixing end-shake, filing down the hammer seer to fix trigger, replacing springs, looking for lost yoke screws :uhoh:. My gunsmithing skills are slipping and boredom has over taken me :eek:.

I think boring is a relative term. Take a good look ......:uhoh:...... Are you still bored??
P.S.
Gman -- Did you post again without having your first cup of coffee? ;)


http://i1212.photobucket.com/albums/cc456/exlogger/Security%20Six/Sixes.jpg

skidder
March 24, 2012, 01:35 PM
Still bored?? Relative persception again, but that don't look boring to me.

Here ya go :D.

http://i1212.photobucket.com/albums/cc456/exlogger/Redhawk/Redhawk.jpg

skidder
March 24, 2012, 01:38 PM
Sorry OP, I got a little off coarse. Maybe I should have stopped on my 4th cup of coffee :D.

Lee D
March 24, 2012, 04:33 PM
N or L Frame Smith. beauty and the beast all in one package.
my 681 has had a steady diet of HOT .357s and im betting it will outlast me. the GPs are great guns, but IMO they arent near as classy as a Smith

45_auto
March 24, 2012, 06:12 PM
Why does Ruger insist on putting so much crap on their barrels?

I might be interested in one if I could get past that, but I just can't stomach it.

Guillermo
March 24, 2012, 06:51 PM
Skidder,

While I do not like Ruger revolvers generally, (they seem..."clunky") I was a fan of the Speed 6. It was K-frame-esque.

And the SP101 seems a nice size too.

No, I am not fond of injection molded parts or cast frames. Would prefer not to have to take a new gun and modify it before use.

But Rugers are cheap. I understand that they have to cut corners. And they went out of their way to build in some nice features.

With the exception of the SP101 their current line does not interest me. But I am glad that they are making revolvers that a lot of people like and are doing so at what I consider a fair price.

Just because I don't have a raven tattoo on my butt, and sold my last Ruger several years ago does not mean that I do not appreciate the job they are doing.

You seem thrilled with your's and that is a good thing.

CajunBass
March 24, 2012, 07:21 PM
Cajun Bass (who must be jonesin' for some boudin living in virginia) perfectly verbalized my feelings on Ruger.

:o I had to ask my wife what that was. I'm a native born Virginian, lived here all my life. I got the "Cajun" in my name from the Cajun bass boats I ran back in my bass tournament fishing days. My wife on the other hand was married to a gen-u-wine Cajoun and lived in Plaquemine for years. I have to refer all Cajun questions to her.

Just to be fair, I looked at a GP-100 today. I didn't pick it up. But I did look at it. ;) :D

daytodaze
March 24, 2012, 07:30 PM
Another vote for the 686. It's on my 'never sell' list

jimniowa
March 24, 2012, 08:26 PM
I have a Colt Trooper in .357 as the Python was hard to get at that time. It is a great gun but when firing 158g factory loads you will feel a lot of recoil. My wife has a 686 that is a lot more comfortable to shoot. A friend of mine retired from Ruger said it was the design of the trooper that caused the problem. I also echo the .44sp/.44mag as this ammo has a lot less explosive recoil in my opinion than a .357. Ruger really shines in this caliber. I shoot and carry in the field a SBH 4.5" shooting 240 swc hard cast as a back up in .44sp. My hunting loads are 240g jsp to 300 g jhp that I can use in my Ruger Redhawks or Marlin 1894P. I would try out the .44s before you buy. My wife has progresive AR in her wrists and started shooting 148g target loads in .38sp in her 686. She has her carry permit now and practicing with 125g +p loads in her Ruger LCR. Point is your body and mind will adjust to moderate recoil and above as you just have to workit out.
Jim

skidder
March 24, 2012, 11:34 PM
Just because I don't have a raven tattoo on my butt, and sold my last Ruger several years ago does not mean that I do not appreciate the job they are doing.

It's actually a phoenix.... but I get your point. No verification necessary!

Guillermo
March 25, 2012, 12:07 AM
No verification necessary!

Literally laughing out loud!!!

good stuff skidder!!!

whalerman
March 25, 2012, 12:46 AM
Do not overlook a used Security Six if one passes by. Everybody seems to love them. And I would not dismiss an sp101 without careful thought. Both are a step smaller than the full size idea first expressed, but they offer other qualities.

Cowboy011
March 25, 2012, 07:46 AM
Model 28, saw a nice one the other day for $500. The only reason I didn't buy it was the 6" barrel. I already have a 6" model 28, had it been a 4" it would have been mine.

mnhntr
March 25, 2012, 08:01 PM
GP100 if you want a reliable revolver to shoot hot hot hot loads all day.

S&W 27 or 28 if you want a thing of beauty and styling.

Colt if you want to spend a lot of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

S&W 66 if you want to conceal and carry.

S&W 686 for a all purpose revolver or 586 if you want blued style.

RinkRat
March 26, 2012, 01:24 AM
I'm in the mood for a GP100 4" 357, to keep my model 19-4 company ... just trying to decide between the blue or ss version :rolleyes:

2zulu1
March 26, 2012, 02:20 AM
I believe I heard something like 28 of the 29 finalists at the last USPSA National Revolver Championship match were shooting S&W.

The one odd man out was shooting a Ruger, and I don't believe he placed.

I doubt S&W gave everybody entered in the USPSA regionals all over the country free guns, just in case they moved up to the nationals!

rc
I enjoy reading the comments that the GP 100 is built like a tank with the inference being that the Smiths can't take the punishment.

Another competition in addition to the 28/29 Smith/Ruger ratio;

Of the 200 competitors at the International Revolver Championship, 199 shot Smiths and one a Ruger.

Elm Creek Smith
March 26, 2012, 02:37 AM
Here's a serious full-sized .357 Magnum! (http://archives.gunsandammo.com/content/colt-new-service-357)
http://gastatic.com/UserImages/90392/936211444/wm_1123574.jpg
It isn't a Smith & Wesson, but I think that would be all right. I also think that it would give a Ruger a run for it's money in the "built like a tank" department.

ECS

mnhntr
March 26, 2012, 11:29 AM
I enjoy reading the comments that the GP 100 is built like a tank with the inference being that the Smiths can't take the punishment.

Another competition in addition to the 28/29 Smith/Ruger ratio;

Of the 200 competitors at the International Revolver Championship, 199 shot Smiths and one a Ruger.
They are not shooting high power loads in those comps. I shoot a S&W 686 in USPSA and if I had to shoot hot hot loads it would be a Ruger.

lobo9er
March 26, 2012, 01:05 PM
] hey are not shooting high power loads in those comps. I shoot a S&W 686 in USPSA and if I had to shoot hot hot loads it would be a Ruger.
I have never competed or been to any competition, so I am ignorant on the subject, but I would guess the same.

leftymachinist
March 26, 2012, 01:36 PM
Have to agree with CajunBass, as my old 70's vintage M-27 is still my primary. Although skidder's selection is my other fave. Ruger lost it when they dropped the Security/Service Six line. Never liked the GP.

2zulu1
March 26, 2012, 04:47 PM
They are not shooting high power loads in those comps. I shoot a S&W 686 in USPSA and if I had to shoot hot hot loads it would be a Ruger.
Or they may prefer the hammer forged, heat treated frame over a cast frame among other things.

Bill Ruger achieved his goal of over building the GP 100 and it shows. :)

BullfrogKen
March 26, 2012, 05:09 PM
The bigger, heavier gun (GP100) does not swing as smoothly from target to target.

Nce
March 26, 2012, 08:34 PM
I had posted a scandium 386 xl hunter on page 2. Here is a heavier option that shoots well. It is a seven shot 686 with an unfluted Cylinder and 7 inch barrel. The other one is a 629 3" Talo.

speedway
March 26, 2012, 08:51 PM
Model 27 or a python.

Rugers are like an early 80's front wheel drive dodge. They will get you there but not as pleasantly.

Jaymo
March 26, 2012, 08:53 PM
Which 6 to 8 inch .357 to buy sure is a tough choice, with lots of opinions available.
Colt Python 6 inch would be my first choice.
Dan Wesson would be my next choice, based on action, barrel changes, and durability.
Ruger Security Six or GP100 6 inch would be next.
I've never been a fan of the 686 Smith.

If you want a big, heavy one, there's the Smith 27/28 and the Ruger Redhawk.

Of course, these are just my preferences and they're worth every penny you paid for them.
My preferences are based on guns I've actually shot.
The problem is, they are my opinions based on my personal experiences.
What shoots well for me may not shoot well for you.
And you know that the problem is with opinions.

.357MagTaurus
March 26, 2012, 09:43 PM
If money was no object I probably would own a different .357, but it is . That being said I still love my Taurus model 608 Large frame .357 Magnum revolver. Has a 4 " Factory ported barrel and an 8 shot cylinder. Many relatives have had an opportunity to shoot this weapon, and they all approve. Currently my Home defense choice.

qcsmitty
March 27, 2012, 06:45 PM
Another vote for the "homely" GP100.

788Ham
March 27, 2012, 06:55 PM
I have to agree with you Jaymo, 6" Python is my choice also, have one in the safe as we speak, very nice shooter!

baylorattorney
March 27, 2012, 07:06 PM
The Ruger GP100

sirsloop
March 27, 2012, 07:48 PM
They are not shooting high power loads in those comps. I shoot a S&W 686 in USPSA and if I had to shoot hot hot loads it would be a Ruger.
i shoot full horse .357 magnum outta my 686SSR at IDPA and USPSA events. More fun and you get the high power scoring for revolver.

Confederate
March 27, 2012, 09:32 PM
In my opinion...
1. Nothing beats the Colt Python (for a .357)
2. SW Model 686 is the ultimate SW .357

Why do you think nothing beats a Colt Python for a .357? In other words, what about the Python makes it unbeatable?

What makes it unbeatable to me is its beauty. I don't think it's inherently more accurate than the Smith 686. In fact, S&W specifically designed their 686 to go head-to-head against the Python; and gun tests at the time the 686 came out indicated that it succeeded.

I couldn't afford the Python (still can't), but I do enjoy seeing it every week in AMC's The Walking Dead. At first I thought it was a 686, but I soon saw it was a Python.


http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh198/jriler/SW686_3-1.jpg

The 686 is a beautiful gun when polished.


http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh198/jriler/SW_Ruger_1.jpg

The 686 is great for the range and competition, but if you want a
.357 to carry in the field, you can always get Ruger's Security-Six. It
allows for quicker pick-up of moving targets and is lighter and yet
strong enough to handle a steady diet of magnum loads. It's a great
gun and...wait a minute...you can't get it. Ruger discontinued it! Like a
Ford being available in any color as long as it's black, you can
get any medium frame .357 you want as long as it's got a full
under-lug! And no one seems upset about it but me. [Sniff, sniff....]


http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh198/jriler/Korth_357.jpg

When talking .357s, no one ever brings up the Korth. Doesn't anyone own
one of these beauties?


http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh198/jriler/ManurhinMR88.jpg

Or a Manurhin (also with an underlug)?

.

wrs840
March 27, 2012, 09:53 PM
I enjoy reading the comments that the GP 100 is built like a tank with the inference being that the Smiths can't take the punishment.

You nailed it. I own both, and everyone has their preferences, but one man's "tank" is another man's "clunky".

I will have to admit that this is the first time I've been clued-in to the notion that a L frame 686 may be accused of not being stout enough for any load you'd put into a .357 revolver.

Confederate
March 27, 2012, 09:59 PM
Does anyone have a photo of a stainless Python side-by-side with a S&W 686?

This one is my 686-0. It has a stamped side plate, hard chromed hammer and trigger, hammer-mounted firing pin and some nice wood grips.

http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh198/jriler/SW686_2c-1.jpg

http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh198/jriler/SW686.jpg


http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh198/jriler/A686Cylinder.jpg
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh198/jriler/sW686_2-1.jpg

The old model 686 has a rougher cylinder (above). The newer model
has a polished cylinder (which I hand polished with Semichrome). Both
guns have wonderful actions which don't increasingly bind up like the
Pythons have.

You nailed it. I own both, and everyone has their preferences, but one man's "tank" is another man's "clunky".
Ruger didn't need to beef up their .357s. The older "Six" series were plenty stout and, in my view, much better balanced. As my old journalism professor said, "Don't add until you can't add any more; take away until you can't take any more away!" That's how these guns ought to be made. Don't keep adding weight until you can't any more. Take the weight away until you can't take any more away!

.

rls303
March 27, 2012, 10:13 PM
now u guys are makeing me go to rugers web site . if i bring in anouther gun ill be in the dog house

jbr
March 27, 2012, 10:15 PM
(this isn't going to be popular) Really enjoy my Taurus Model 66. I am a small guy and the mid size frame works well for me. The trigger on mine is fantastic. Price was right - 5 to 600 rounds of .357 including 50 buffalo bore 180gr. bear loads, not one issue. It's my 14 year old daughters favorite larger caliber pistol. More accurate by far than I am. I looked at the gp100 but decided on the taurus for price and better feel to my hand. I liked the trigger on both. ymmv

sirsloop
March 27, 2012, 10:24 PM
Heck, my 686SSR has chamfered charge holes! Sooo smooth ;)

mnhntr
March 27, 2012, 11:21 PM
i shoot full horse .357 magnum outta my 686SSR at IDPA and USPSA events. More fun and you get the high power scoring for revolver.
You are cheating yourself. I shoot 38+p loads that make major power factor without the recoil. Faster follow up shooting increases speed and points.

wrs840
March 28, 2012, 10:03 PM
(this isn't going to be popular) Really enjoy my Taurus Model 66...

Not going to get disagreement from me. I have a mid-80s mfg 6" Taurus M66 that I paid $250 for a couple years ago and it's got a fabulous trigger, feel and accuracy for me. I like it as much as my three 686s and as much as my two S&W 19s. I also bought a June 1977 mfg 6" Ruger Security Six about the same time for $375 and sold it a couple months ago for $400. Not to make a buck, but it just wasn't my cup-o-tea.

FWIW, I really prefer buying revolvers used. The individual specimen, more than the brand or model, is what gets my wallet out.

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