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Decisions, decisions...

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Warners, Dec 6, 2010.

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  1. Warners

    Warners Member

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    I'm really perplexed. I want to get a .357 revolver and I've narrowed it down to the two obvious choices. The Ruger GP100 and the S&W 586/686. If I go with the Smith, I'd definitely want a pre-lock gun. I'm also not sure which barrel length I want....either 4" or 6". I really can't decide. This would NOT be a gun that I would carry anywhere (I live in the People's Republic of Illinois, after all!). I'm looking for ONE gun....so which would be the most versatile? I think I'd be fine with either gun in either barrel length....but I don't want to have regrets. Any suggestions on choosing a barrel length? I'm also surprised to see that the Rugers are bringing almost as much money on Gunbroker as the Smith's are....strange!

    As far as funding to acquire this new revolver, I am planning on selling my old Winchester Model 20 single shot .410 shotgun. It's from the 20's and fairly collectible. The ones I've seen online are not in nearly as good condition as mine, and they are bringing between $500- $700. Even if I got $500 for it, that should be enough to get a nice .357 revolver. Any suggestions on barrel length guys?

    Much thanks,

    Warner
     
  2. USSR

    USSR Member

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    I am partial to S&W's. I bought a 686 when they first came out in 1982, and still have it. If the revolver is not for concealed carry, then I would suggest you go with the 6" barrel as I did. The longer sighting plane is a big help when target shooting or hunting.

    Don
     
  3. Warners

    Warners Member

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    I am leaning towards the 6" barrel for that very reason, Don. Thanks for the response.

    Warner
     
  4. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    I'm in the 4" camp, both for versatility and balance. YMMV, but many find a 6" barrel with a full underlug to be very muzzle heavy. Any gains in sight radius may be erased by a less-than-steady hold.

    As far as versatility, you eventually get interested in checking out a local shooting match eventually. IDPA seems is often most available option, but they have a 4" barrel limit on revolvers. A 4" 686/585 is an outstanding IDPA gun, btw.

    As far as Smith vs Ruger, I shoot Smiths, but I'm impressed with the GP100. With a little action work, it can really shoot. They're renowned for their durability, and most see it coming from the extra metal, but I think it's largely in the design, which gets around the 2 weak points of a Smith revolver.
     
  5. Warners

    Warners Member

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    I know I'm in the minority here, but I think the Stainless GP100 LOOKS better, too. Again, I know I'm in the minority. If they are the same price though, I'd probably opt for a pre-lock Smith, though....just because it's a better deal for the $.

    Warner
     
  6. cackalak

    cackalak Member

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    Like many, I went through the same two choices. I ended up with a Ruger GP100 (stainless) due to price and strength. This thing is heavy duty and has swallowed up many hot loads with zero problems. Got mine for a little less than $500 new.

    And get yourself a 6" barrel. I also do not carry this and appreciate the extra velocity from the longer barrel. And me personally, I think it looks tougher than the 4" :) can't go wrong with either length, though.
     
  7. nathan

    nathan Member

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    I have a prelock SW 686 4 inch bought from a pawnshop. Its in excellent condition and shoots really great . I wish it was 6 inch long barrel as it balance even nicer esp one can use it hunting loaded with 158 gr .
     
  8. Warners

    Warners Member

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    Thanks for the feedback guys.....I'm tending to agree with the 6" barrel thoughts. Whether I go with the Ruger or S&W is probably going to depend on which one I can get a better deal on.....

    Warner
     
  9. Warners

    Warners Member

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    Well, I just made my decision. It just looked too good to pass up! I ended up finding this guy on Gunbroker with what I thought was a really reasonable buy it now price. It's a 6" 686 no dash (so I'll likely send it to S&W for the updates). What do you guys think?

    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=205050933


    Let me know and thanks,

    Warner
     
  10. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    Congrats. Looks to be a fine gun. We'll expect a range report soon...;)

    By "updates" you mean the recall? The repair may have already been done - you can check by seeing if there's an "M" stamped into the frame or crane close to the model #. The one I saw was pretty light and easy to overlook.
     
  11. Warners

    Warners Member

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    Yeah...the recall is what I meant. I'll check for the "M" stamp before I send it out anywhere....thanks.

    Warner
     
  12. cackalak

    cackalak Member

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    Can't go wrong with that. Nice buy.
     
  13. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    It may be the picture but I don't even see a turn line around the cylinder. This implies that it's a seldom shot gun. I suspect you're getting a really GOOD deal.

    I was going to suggest that you also look at the S&W Models 19, if you would be shooting more .38Spl than Magnums, or a Model 27 or 28 if you wanted to shoot mostly magnum rounds. The lighter K framed 19 is a super sweet gun while the N framed 27 or 28 is a burly hand cannon the same size as their .44Magnum gun. The 27/28 will spit out .357Mags all day long and laugh while doing so.

    In any event it would seem that you're getting one of the all time superb guns at a pretty darn fair price. And even better if it's been shot as little as I think it has.
     
  14. Warners

    Warners Member

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    I noticed the same thing you did about the lack of a turn line on the cylinder. Like you, I also wondered if that was just the way the photo looked or if that was for real. Either way, I think you're right about getting a good deal on it. It cost me the same as a good deal on a GP100, but it's safe to assume that it will hold it's value better and be easier to sell if I needed or wanted to down the road. Thanks for your response and opinion....it's appreciated.

    Thanks again,

    Warner
     
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