Accuracy; Security Six v/s GP100 v/s S&W 686

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Onty, Aug 14, 2022.

  1. Onty

    Onty Member

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    I have S&W 686-3, 6", and it's fine gun. The loads I am using now are 148 grain WC and 158 SWC, at about 900-1000 fps for target shooting, but for more fun I am thinking about 155-160 grain lead bullets at 1200 fps. As a matter of fact, I purchased this 8-cavity bullet mold https://www.mp-molds.com/product/360-640-solid-6-cavity-plain-base-mold/ . Didn't try it yet, waiting for fellow shooter to finish his shooting range.

    Despite fine 686, I always admired Ruger Security Six 6", it's balance and reasonable weight. The truth is I also like a lot S&W 66, 6", but because it cannot compare in strength and durability with Security Six, I ruled out 66 as my next revolver. At first, I didn't think about getting Security Six, but I learned that few in stainless steel might be for sale, including one with scalloped shield.

    So, before rushing to get Security Six, I would like to know what is your experience with 6" Security Six regarding accuracy with lead bullets, and how it compares with GP100 and S&W 686?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Y-T71

    Y-T71 Member

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    I have a stainless Security Six with 4" barrel (had 2 but gave one to my sister go help bolster her HD plan)

    I also owned 2, four inch S&W 66's; one a no dash the other a dash-1.

    Ove only ever shot lead (mostly, but not always, powder coated) out of all of them.

    Forr my purpose, they all shot the same: accurate as they could be with me behind the trigger.

    I would not hesitate to pick up another Security Six if the opportunity ever presents itself.
     
  3. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    They will all be more accurate than the shooter.

    Assuming the triggers and sights are satisfactory...

    The most accurate one will be the one that fits the shooter's hand best. That will vary from person to person.
     
  4. Anchorite

    Anchorite Member

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    I think that unless you have any of them worked on and have a custom barrel installed, you’ll never be able to discern a difference. Right now it’s purely subjective in factory form.
     
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  5. dannyd

    dannyd Member

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    The accuracy is going to depend on the person more than the revolver. GP100 with a red dot weak hand 50 rounds 50 yards. I tend to shake a little more after getting the medicare card. :)

    5A3DB0EB-95DF-46FA-84CC-F114FA32FA87.jpeg
     
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  6. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    At one time I had several Security Sixes (all with 4" barrels) and found them to be well designed and built, extremely durable and surprisingly accurate. The only negative thing I would say about the Security Six, in comparison with the S&W Model 686, was that the trigger and the action itself were not as light or as smooth as that found on the S&W.

    I also had a GP100 but never liked it as much as I did the Security Six.
     
  7. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    I have all three and with mine the 686-4 is the easiest to shoot accurately.
    The Security Six is second, then the GP 100.

    My Gp shot good when I first got it but that accuracy only lasted a few years.
    My Security Six always did outshoot the Gp100, but my 686-4 has them both beat.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2022
  8. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    The only big thing negative about the security six is it hasn’t been made for ages. Factory support is nil, but fortunately they’re tough so trips to a gunsmith should be pretty rare. Lots of parts are out there and and springs are still being made so if something does break a fix isn’t too tough to find.

    Of the three, I find the S&W trigger to be smooth all the way through the arc and the Rugers not so much. My 4” GP .357 has a stagy-stacky pull that makes it my least favorite revolver trigger after my Taurus rimfires. (My 5-shot GP .44 Spl. has a smoother pull than the 6-shot .357.) The sixes I have fired were similar to the GP in their pulls were not even all the way through either.

    The sixes are great guns, if you can find a nice security six you won’t be disappointed.

    Stay safe.
     
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  9. LaneP

    LaneP Member

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    My 1982 Security Six is not only accurate with a range of bullets from 125 gr JHP to 200 gr Lee cast C358-200-RF, but it shoots faster (25 to 40 fps depending) with its 6" bbl than my 686 does with a 7" bbl. If I were going to pack a revolver on the hip all day in the woods, the Security Six would be my choice.

    0SnAoMtAb3QeZ4Go9Ofl2eU-DUbDqIKHzYMypv-LQhUyU2-7Cw5klqqrjmiDCm9wvvVocsQ=w1200-h786-no?authuser=0.jpg
     
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  10. Onty

    Onty Member

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    I share your opinion. Considering all characteristics, and if 357 Magnum is a caliber of choice, Security Six is the top choice for an outdoors-man.
     
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  11. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    I also agree with the above. For a pistol you're going to carry in .357Mag, it is pretty hard to beat a Security-Six...this from someone who carried a Colt Python, S&W 686, S&W 19/66, and Ruger Gp-100 as duty guns

    For accuracy, the Python would edge the 686 out by a hair, but 686 could be shot faster due to it's shorter hammer travel. Ruger triggers aren't usually up to the same level of refinement, but that changed with the GP-100 Match Champion.
     
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  12. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    There's likely more variation between individual revolvers than between model averages. That said, you're more likely to have to lap out the frame restriction in a Ruger than a Smith. Also, the chances they will share a most accuracy load and bullet diameter is middling.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2022
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  13. Bush Pilot

    Bush Pilot Member

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    At the time there wasn't a better .357 made for the money. They weren't as pretty as a deep blued Smith or Python but they always went bang.
     
  14. Onty

    Onty Member

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    From another forum:

    "In the 80s or early 90s, famed gun writer Skeeter Skelton wrote that he knew of three Security-Six revolvers, each of which has in excess of 30,000 full throttle rounds. Each, he wrote, we're still functioning fine. One was just slightly out of time but was still fully operational. That many rounds would decimate a S&W 19/66. (And I'm a big fan of the 66!)"

    https://thefiringline.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6198989&postcount=28
     
  15. dannyd

    dannyd Member

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    This GP100 from 1989 serial number starts with 171 has north of 35,000 rounds and runs just fine.

    To the people that have the new GP 100's the first ones don't have a hole in the frame to push the trigger plugger in, so you have to use the short end of a hex wrench.

    I don't have a option on S&W's because I have only shot a K-22 and didn't like the small grips, but the revolver worked fine.

    31237E83-23EC-4F5E-BD88-3B1D0BC4F500.jpeg
     
  16. Onty

    Onty Member

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    I was looking how S&W 19/66 and Security Six compare in weight, according to these folks:

    Model 19 6-inch barrel, Weight 39 ounces https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smith_%26_Wesson_Model_19

    Model Security-Six, Barrel: 6-in. Weight: 35-oz https://www.genitron.com/Handgun/Ruger/Revolver/Security-Six/357-Mag/Variant-6

    Surprisingly, 6" M19 is 4 oz heavier than 6" Security Six. Considering that Security Six is significantly stronger and more durable than S&W M19/66, I take my hat off to Ruger designers, they did marvelous work.

    If Ruger makes 6" GP100 with same barrel configuration as 6" Security Six, hammer spur as on SBH, manufacture barrel and cylinder from same steels used in their 454 and 480 revolvers and tune it to a Match Champion level, I would take it in a hart beat, even if price is more than for Python or 686 TC.
     
  17. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    I wouldn’t turn down a good deal on either, I have two 66’s a 6” and a 4”, -2 and No Dash. Love them! I also have a great respect for the Ruger. You would have to be a master class shooter to notice a difference in mechanical accuracy between the two. It comes down to preference, what you shoot better and ergonomics, trigger and sights. If your worried about the strength issue S&W makes the 66 new with the forcing cone issue’s remedied. Or you can step up to a 686. But, if you like the Ruger you will not regret that choice.
     
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  18. Onty

    Onty Member

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    Too bad, there is no in production 6" barrel K-frame M19/M66. To get one with longer barrel, older ones are the only option. Unfortunately, they also have a barrel with the relief cut that makes forcing cone area week, prone to crack if full power 357 Magnum ammo is extensively used:

    crackedm19forcingcone3yw0-jpg.jpg

    According to thread https://www.smithandwessonforums.com/threads/what-happens-to-all-of-the-model-19s-with-cracked-forcing-cones.87593/ , the main culprits are lighter bullets 110 and 125 grains, with top loads.

    As for 686, I do have 6" 686-3, however, I found it is on heavy side, even on the range. When I checked the weight, that ting with 6" barrel has 44.8 oz https://www.smith-wesson.com/product/model-686-0 , 1 oz more than 4" M29 in 44 Magnum and almost 10 oz more than 6" Security Six. When I checked S&W M14, the weight is 35 oz https://www.handgunsmag.com/editorial/featured_handguns_smith_wesson_model_14/138598 , same as 6" Security Six.

    Once I found article about marketing guy from Ruger. He pointed that they noticed significant increase in sales of GP100 with 4" barrel (41 oz) over model with 6" barrel (46 oz), at that time they had just full shroud, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruger_GP100 . Info they received was that 6" GP100 is just too heavy. I guess that was the moment they realized that barrels with shorter shroud should be offered.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2022
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  19. Smaug

    Smaug Member

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    Accuracy will be fine, but you're likely going to lead your barrel pushing lead to that velocity.

    For target shooting, I wonder why you would want to push wadcutters that fast. They don't need to be going 1200 fps (or even 900 fps) to cut nice clean holes in paper. For the magnum level loads, I recommend jacketed or semi-jacketed bullets. Or even copper-plated.

    One thing other: don't presume Rugers are always stronger just because they're thicker. Ruger uses investment casting, which requires thicker steel to get the same strength as the same part made with forging. (which S&W does) Now sometimes, Ruger's DESIGNS are tougher. For example, their frame has the lockwork drop in as an assembly, instead of having a side plate that needs removing to get to the lockwork. (ala S&W, Colt, Taurus)
     
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  20. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    My regrettably long gone first model Security Six 6" was slightly more accurate in my hands than my 6" 686+. My 15 is next, then 19.
    No GP at present.
     
  21. Smaug

    Smaug Member

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    Also, since you're talking about shooting full power rounds, look at this from the Wikipedia article on GP-100:

     
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  22. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    Agreed it’s an issue, I have never had a problem but others have. That’s why I said “new”, I did not know they didn’t offer a 6” though. I guess it really comes down to how many and how often is the upper limits being pushed. I can only speak for myself and say that it’s rare. .357 is my least shot caliber, it just doesn’t fit for me. So my 66’s are target guns and 98% .38 Specials. Sounds like you are leaning towards the Ruger. Like I said, great revolvers and if max is what your after that would be my leaning. Good luck, take pics and we need range reports!
     
  23. Curious2

    Curious2 Member

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    Good shooting! Have a GP100 6" with a red dot and shoot from a rest. I'm a good 10 years into Medicare, that's why I shoot from a rest. Now about 7000 rounds, trigger is very nice now. Accuracy is excellent, I be lacking most of the time. Kills a 25 yd paper and a 70 yd 6" steel. Generally speaking I believe most name brand revolvers can out shoot the person holding them. Triggers can be made to be what you like or want. Get the gun that fits your hand and the balance you want. Here is my target from a week ago, a personal best @ 25 yds. Shooting 38 Spec HBWC, standard 3gn BE. Only 3 rounds due to conservation of primers.
    PXL_20220909_171325755~2.jpg
    Totally agree with what you said!!! Amen...
     
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  24. Onty

    Onty Member

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    Local rules are 250 m/s minimum, that is about 820 fps, so we are making sure that velocities are tad higher. Since I am still arranging and equipping my reloading corner, I don't reload yet, friends are providing me with ammo. In order to conform to rules, they estimate that velocities are 270-280 m/s, about 900 fps. Apparently, other folks found that their reloads are more accurate with bit peppier loads, so I would assume that some of them are approaching 1000 fps.

    As for 1200 fps, bullets are going to be cast from wheel weight, with touch of tin for better filling of the mold. According to some gun writers, just cast bullets should be OK up to 1200 fps, but testing will show do I need something else. If leading is the problem, I will get mold for gas check bullet, that should be enough

    I still remember S&W advertising their revolvers showing a steak or hamburger with GP100 stocks attached, saying that thickness counts only when getting a meat. Nevertheless, Ruger proved that their revolvers are very sturdy and durable, and the fact is S&W M19/M66 just cannot compare with Security Six or GP100. Model 686 is a different story. If I would like to get something, it will be 686, Target Champion, selected as DX, with barrel to look like on M19/M66, or even M27. Unfortunately, I doubt that we will ever see such revolver.
     
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  25. dannyd

    dannyd Member

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    I will always be a GP100 shooter because 34 years ago when I very living on limited fund's Rugers were the only revolver's I could afford. Over 150,000 rounds later between the Blackhawks and GP's I still like them. The red dot and using two hands does help.

    31A29123-F0BF-425E-A210-394AE5EE3464.jpeg
     
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