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First Revolver

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by cdahl383, Dec 21, 2020.

  1. cdahl383

    cdahl383 Member

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    Thinking about getting a revolver soon. This would be my first revolver as I already have some other guns (shotguns, rifles, semi auto handgun). I’ve been looking at the S&W 586 and 686, as well as the Ruger GP100. They both seem like excellent guns.

    I have three Ruger guns (two rifles snd one handgun) and really like them. They’ve been very reliable, well built, and they seem to be priced very reasonably for what you get. So I’m inclined to lean toward the GP100.

    The S&W 586 and 686 seem great as well. I think they are a slightly better looking gun and from what I’ve read the trigger is smoother than the Ruger. They’re also a little more $$$ as well.

    I’m also not sure which barrel length would be better (4” vs 6”).

    This gun would just be for fun, target shooting, etc. I don’t plan on carrying it.

    Anyone here have both that might be able to provide some insight?
     
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  2. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    cdahl383

    I would go with a used Model 686 if you can find one at a decent price. If looking at something new then a GP100 would be your next best choice. Have always preferred a 4" barrel as being a good, all-around length versus a 6" barrel.
     
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  3. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    I have had both the GP and the 686. For me, if it is going to be something you purchase and keep, I just think the 686 is a tick nicer, better balanced, and not a compromise like the GP. Absolutely nothing wrong with the Ruger. Heavy duty and well made, but neither of my 4" or my 3" hangs in my hand like a 686. I let a 4" 686 slip out of my grasp a decade ago and kicked myself ever since. Bought a 2.5" 686+ that covered more of my need as a travel/HD gun, and I think short of my 12 gauge, it would be the last gun I gave up. Not because I am a huge .357 fan (I actually find it a bit obnoxious) but its just such a comfortable, accurate, and capable gun. A true combat revolver that is just elegant and refined and robust at the same time.
     
  4. pairof44sp

    pairof44sp Member

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    PM me if you’re interested in a six inch GP 100. It’s perfect as far as I can tell, but it has some discoloration on the stainless steel.
     
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  5. Cump

    Cump Member

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    I have both a 686 (5 inch) and a GP100 (6 inch). Also have many rounds through my dad's GP (6 inch). No complaints with either model. I am a bit more accurate with the Rugers, whether it is from the extra weight or slightly longer sight radius - even though the Smith has a slightly better trigger.

    I'd say you are good to go with whichever appeals to you more, whatever the reason. I lean toward the GP.

    I chose the 6 inch Ruger because I like the balance, and i do use it for woods carry on occasion. But I'd also like a 4 inch for the aesthetics.
     
  6. pairof44sp

    pairof44sp Member

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    As for comment on the gun:

    The 6” GP100 is very big and heavy for what it is.

    However, it is the only gun I have ever shot that made me feel like a competent shooter. It is easy to hit things far away, over and over. More than any other gun I’ve tried.
     
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  7. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    Can’t go wrong with either one. Ruger stands behind their stuff. S&W is a bit nicer. Only factory new gun I have ever had issues with was Ruger but I know that was a fluke. I still can’t enjoy a Ruger DA revolver because of how bad the impression was, but similarly I got a 4” 686-6 factory new and just never enjoyed it. It was a nice enough gun but it was nothing special so it went down the road. An older 686, or 586 would be the thing to find.
     
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  8. Buckeye63

    Buckeye63 Member

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    If you go 7 shot .. go Smith...
     
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  9. cdahl383

    cdahl383 Member

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    Was just looking to get a six shot.
     
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  10. cdahl383

    cdahl383 Member

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    I agree, the 4” has better proportions, but I’m guessing the 6” barrel helps with accuracy quite a bit.
     
  11. cdahl383

    cdahl383 Member

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    Why are the older S&Ws better? I’ve heard this a few times from people and reading online.
     
  12. Cump

    Cump Member

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    Many dislike the internal lock. It has never induced a failure in my 686. Others note better craftsmanship, which may be the case, but the importance may be magnified by nostalgia.
     
  13. cdahl383

    cdahl383 Member

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    Yeah I read about the internal lock, but didn’t think that really hindered the gun in any way.
     
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  14. Barry the Bear

    Barry the Bear Member

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    It doesn't. There may be a few reports about the guns locking up but there is no large known problem. I have had over 30 Smith's new and old and have had more issues with prelock than post lock revolvers, manufacturing has gotten alot better and the recent revolvers put out by smith are no slouch.
     
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  15. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    I'd second the above advice to go with a S&W revolver. Their triggers are so superior to any other options.
     
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  16. UncleEd

    UncleEd Member

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    CDahl,

    You decide after handling some Smiths and Rugers.
    Planning on single and double action shooting? Or mainly one?
    That might tell you something about each gun's triggers.

    One difference is that Smiths' exteriors are more
    smoothed out, such as edges of cylinder flutes, trigger
    guards, etc.

    Either gun's design are easy to "improve" the triggers
    with different springs sold by such companies as Wolffe
    or Wilson.

    Smith's customer service is good to very decent and Ruger's
    is legendary for taking care of its firearms. Smith in the last
    20 years has changed or altered design for internals while
    older Smith parts may not be readily available.

    While I have a number of older Smith revolvers, they are
    semi-retired. I do the bulk of my shooting with a few new
    models such as the Model 19 Classic.
     
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  17. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    Some decisions, particularly close calls, need an emotional input. Go with the one that “grabs” you! :thumbup:
     
  18. mcb

    mcb Member

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    This will be an unpopular opinion to many but unless you think this will be the only revolver you ever own I would skip the 357 Magnum. 357 Magnum is a jack of all trades and master of none. It is versitile but rarely the best choice for any given job/use and there are so many more interesting revolvers and cartridges available out there. I am partial to revolvers in rimless cartridge on moonclips and shooting practical pistol matches with them but there are also the big bore revolvers to explore. For the budget minded a 38 Special will be cheaper to buy and feed. Just something to consider, don't get the 357 Mag tunnel vision many new revolver shooters get themselves into, there are lots of good revolver cartridges out there.
     
  19. NeroM

    NeroM Member

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    While lots like 357, it is versatile- I own at least a couple.
    Based upon your comments, not sure it is what you are looking for ?
    357 is LOUD, to much noise to learn to shoot. Too powerful for plinking,
    Not quite enough for big game - know a lot use it for both.
    Suggest 38 SPL chambered in a S&W M10- great for recreational shooting,
    As a house gun or walking around in the woods.
    Fun to shoot. Easy on your wallet to shoot, especially if you reload.
    Just want to echo - how fun an M10 is to shoot.
     
  20. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    I never get tired or bored shooting my .22LR S&W Model 17s or 18. Satisfying and relatively cheap entertainment, even at today’s ammunition prices.
     
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  21. e rex

    e rex Member

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    I have a 686-4 (no internal lock) that I like a lot, 4" barrel.
    If you could find a nice Security Six, I always liked them better than the GP100. I don't know why.
     
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  22. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    For a .357 magnum that may never see much time in a holster, I'd pick a 6" barrel. Longer sight radius, softer felt recoil, and potentially more bullet speed for those that are interested.

    6" full lug barrel .357 magnums make a fine all purpose target gun as long as you have the arm and hand strength to hold them up for a while. If muzzle weight is an issue, then I'd look for an older styled gun with only enough underlug to cover the ejector.

    For the person that may never choose another revolver, being able to use .38 Special/.357 magnum in the same gun is a good thing. Besides the increase in ammo variety, being able to load some softer shooting cartridges for the kids or wife to shoot can give them the centerfire revolver experience with much less worry on their part.

    Of course, there is always the option of getting a good .22 LR revolver. But once your heart is set on a centerfire revolver, sometimes it's best to just follow through and get a centerfire revolver.
     
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  23. Paul R Zartman
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    Paul R Zartman Contributing Member

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    I have 2.5 -8" revolvers, 4 just seems perfect
     
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  24. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    I have shot a 586 and it was a very nice gun. I went looking for one a few months ago and the prices killed the deal. Nice guns but not worth it to me.

    I have a 4" and 6" GP -100 and a 4" Security Six. Those are some of my favorite handguns. I used the 6" in the falling plate matches back in the early 1990s and won a lot of trophies with that gun. I still have it 30 years later and its not for sale. I worked on the trigger and no it doesn't match a S&W but its close. Good enough for me.

    All of the listed guns are a good choice. The 38/357 combo gives you a lot of power options in one gun.
     
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  25. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    This ^^^^^
    Get what you want. Know why? Because it’s what you want. Not something someone talked you into or sold you on.
     
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