Is the Ruger GP100 the Greatest Double Action Revolver Ever Made?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by weblance, Mar 2, 2014.

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  1. Willie Sutton

    Willie Sutton Member

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    "No, that would probably be Rohm RGs. Zinc frame and barrel with a steel barrel sleeve and cylinder. Now if you said "as cost efficient as possible", you would be closer to accurate."

    Well said, and obviously my intent. Thanks.


    "According to that reasoning, Holland & Holland shotgun would be better than M870 for the sole reason that the price is marked higher. However, that completely disregards the intended role or purpose. What kind of idiot would carry a H&H double barrel over an M870 into combat?"


    I never mentioned a pump shotgun, thus it is not by any sense of "reasoning" (which is a logical argument stemming from a proposition). The fault lies with your own error in rational thoght: You made an erroneous jump in your reply to the proposition. I listed a pair of manufacturers of high quality double barrel upland game shotguns, and put them side by side. You made an illogical jump to a pump action shotgun with obviously different attributes. Apples and Apples, please. Revolvers to Revolvers, side by side shotguns to side by side shotguns, as it were.

    "According to your reasoning, Rolex is a better watch than an atomic radio digital clock becuse Rolex is much more expensive. But, for time keeping an atomic radio digital clock is factually better than a mechanical Rolex. This is an indisputable fact."


    No. That's according to YOUR (flawed) reasoning, not mine. Logic and rhetoric weren't your strong subjects, were they? Start here and enjoy an hour, and then rejoin the discussion fully armed with new knowlage.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies



    Now then:

    Again,let's compare apples against other apples, not apples and applesauce please.

    To the point, I've done offshore celestial navigation using Hamilton Model 21 mechanical ships chronometers to shoot the sun (three of them, actually so as to be able to detect one that's gone off-rate). That rated time was logged against my Rolex's rate and then the Rolex was used on deck with the sextant. We also checked the Hamilton Chronos against WWV on 10,000 KHZ, and kept a log of all of the 4 mechanical watches rates (3 chronos and my watch). So, with that said, would you say that a shortwave radio is better than a Rolex as a practical portable timekeeping instrument? (BTW, your "atomic alarm clock" uses that same WWV signal for it's syncronization to standard time. All it does is to reset a cheap quartz clock periodically. Without external signal it's just a cheap clock. Without elextricpower it's just a cheap piece of plastic sitting unusable).

    On a segue to this, I spent two years in Antarctica. Care to guess how many super-accurate quartz wristwatches were sitting in guys seabags with dead batteries and unusable and unfixable after a while? Many of the guys ordered Rolex and Seiko's out of the Exchange Catalog and had them mailed to them after their junk-watches failed. The Seiko's and Rolex's were still keeping time when we came off-ice at the end of the expedition. 30 years has now passed from then. I'm still wearing the same Rolex Sea Dweller I wore then. Want to guess how many of the Seikos are still being worn daily? Uhh... none. "Great" has a measure of "quality over time", see more on "greatness" below.

    Again, it's comparing apples to applesauce, and grapes to grapefruit. Compare Wristwatches to Wristwatches, if you would be so kind.


    "Great" also has another extremely important point to it's own definition: It does not mean "best quality". It means "widely regarded by a variety of observers as holding the positive vitrues of being of high quality, and further, as compared to it's peers, is regarded as highly influential and significant".

    "Greatest", as a result, would indicate "significance of a level higher than ANY other example of a similar product. The standard by which other ALL significant competators are compared". Saying that the Ruger GP-100 = "greatest" is a laughable proposal.


    Let's pick the below for dissection:

    "Great", as in "Greatness": : The S&W Military & Police series is without debate the most significant and influential and longest serving and is probably as a result the greatest revolver design ever produced.

    But is it the "best"? No way.....

    "Best": This speaks to quality, which is another subject completely. To say that the GP-100 is "best quality" is laughable on it's face to anyone who's ever handled a Korth, or a Python, or even a nice Smith. Now I agree that one of the many aspects of quality is reliability, and the reliabiloty of the Ruger is excellent. So is it's strength. Finish... meh. Fitting... meh. Quality is good. Not best.


    In any event, "Great"and "Best" are two completely different proposals. The GP-100 is neither.


    Ruger makes an excellent general purpose revolver at a price point that makes it accessable to the average consumer. It's hardly the "greatest" revolver ever made, is not the "best" (highest quality) one available, and can't hold a candle to many others that have preceeded it from the stanpoint of either "Greatness" or "Best quality"


    If Ruger fans wanted to make a case for "Greatness", it would be smart to argue for the Mark-1 .22 pistol, and the 10-22.

    1: Both of those are "Great".

    2: Neither is "Best".




    Willie

    .
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  2. bearfoot

    bearfoot Member

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    The facts of the free market are not what I'm disputing, nor your freedom to spend your money as you see fit.
    It's your elitist attitude that causes me to discount anything and everything you say. While the OP was clearly stirring the pot with his appreciation for a fine, affordable gun, you enthusiastically took the bait and used the opportunity to grandstand and put your worldly sophistication on display.
    I'm just sayin'.
     
  3. TestPilot

    TestPilot Member

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    Funny, since you mention appples to apples then never give an example of your example of revolver to prove that GP100 is not top of the line until your last post which I will get to once I am done with work.

    I clearly stated that my reasoning for GP100 being top of the line is that of combat utility, but you try to refute that using comparison between luxury product like Holland & Holland, Rolex, etc. '

    Combat utility product and luxury product is not apples to apples, however you keep asserting that comparison between luxury product measured by money price has direct relation to a combat utility product.

    You fail at your own standard of analogy, then you want to whine about logic not being my strength?

    My reason still stands, my point is that price being higher does not mean it is better.

    My logic is a simple and conscise points which does not need lengthy blabber about celestial navigation with luxury products to mask lack of logic. You can use your Rolex or whatever, but experts just use GPS.

    My G-Shock even without radio wave correction is still more accurate than your Rolex, and would last better in harch environments where it would see abuse.

    You can cherry pick your examples to make your Rolex sound better, but it isn't the best time keeping instrument.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  4. Queen_of_Thunder

    Queen_of_Thunder member

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    RE: post#10

    I'm sure you have a point in your response but I just don't see it.

    I own a GP100 and its an ok revolver but it required a trigger job to be more than a collector of dust. While its not a S&W and will never reach that level of quality it never the less fills the truck gun role(throw away).
     
  5. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    I have thought about this question, not that it is any more than amusement, and feel that a gun has to be versatile to qualify. That would depend upon a moderate barrel length to include practical concealment, while still long enough to be capable of consistent accuracy at some distance in less than expert hands. I think the GP100 at 4" should be respected and under consideration.

    I don't think it is merely a matter of design and don't-make-em-like-they-used-to, old guys know best. The gun has to be practical. Among the greatest is the 357 Magnum because of its capability to be carried with six rounds without feeling like a boat anchor and printing badly. That is the caliber whose popularity endures at a profound level. It cannot be that popular if only old guns qualify. But there is that word "ever" (made). I doubt if the GP100 is really better than the Security Six. I have both, one 5" and one 4", so I don't have to decide.

    My S&W 686-6 is the better looking, more sensibly proportioned design. The GP100 by contrast is a bit of a caricature but still great looking at the right barrel length. I tend to think of the Smith as the better gun or design. Both of my examples had to go back to the maker or a gunsmith for one reason or another, just like a number of my others, new and used, so I can't claim any quality differences that matter or distinguish.

    I do have a 1987 Smith 657 which is an impressive thing, mentioned to point out that to some extent I know what older Smiths are like. I guess my Security Six would be from a comparable period on the Ruger side.
     
  6. JRH6856

    JRH6856 Member

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    Better looks, better balance (for me). I just don't like a full under-lugged barrel. Smoother action, though that may be due to the fict that I didn't give the GP100 enough time to smooth out. I just did not enjoy shooting it as much as the Security-Six. But my current Security Six isn't perfect. It has an extremely tight bore and is more accurate with 9mm lead (sized .3565) than .357 (sized .358). Handles jacketed bullets just fine.
     
  7. JFrame

    JFrame Member

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    Way back when, I wanted a 6" hawg-leg .357 to add to my collection. The contenders were a GP-100 and a S&W 686 (the latter one I was looking at happened to be power-ported).

    The 686 had the smoother trigger and just felt more "refined" in my hand. For the (IIRC) $60 price difference at the time, I went with the Smith.

    This is not to diss the Ruger in the least. The trigger was a fairly objective assessment, but the other impressions were subjective and just based on what worked for me.


    .
     
  8. back40

    back40 Member

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    test pilot, the OP claimed greatest ever...and didn't mention a role, you did.

    also, the products Willie mentions aren't some of the best because they are so expensive. they are so expensive because they rank among the best, and the materials, labor, design, etc. are top notch.

    if money were no object, and you could have any .357 you wished, would you still choose the gp100?

    besides, "best", "greatest", etc. are all relative terms, which is why claims like these hold no water.
     
  9. anothernewb

    anothernewb Member

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    I certainly love my GP100, and would happily buy another. If I ever lost my hammer, I could probably build my house with it while protecting my family.

    However - asking if something is the "best" on a public forum open populated by a group of enthusiasts known for having strong opinions - is probably like trying to put out a grease fire by dumping gasoline on it. No matter what - someone's gonna get flamed!

    Not that I don't always enjoy the comments and reasons though - I love these kinds of topics and the people on all sides that it brings out.
     
  10. benzy2

    benzy2 Member

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    Greatest ever is subjective. If you think it is the greatest ever there is no arguing it is not, as greatest relates to a set of stipulations each person defines. It can be based on artistic value, build quality, strength, weight, price, etc or multiple categories weighed together.

    I don't find it the greatest ever but I certainly find it one of the best NIB values offered today. I don't think I'll ever get rid of mine though I don't have illusions that my revolver itch has been filled completely with the GP100. It is an enjoyable handgun to own and use.
     
  11. TestPilot

    TestPilot Member

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    Now that I am back from work, lets go to work on this.

    Fist of all, I did not say GP100 is the "best quality," so don't put words in my mouth. I stateted it is top of the line in terms of combat utility.

    I make to false pretense that my "top of the line" argument is universal or absolute.

    However you do present your standard as universal.

    With statements like,

    "The relative value of the consumer goods I recited side by side are set every day by what people are willing to pay for them. That means that an absolutely democratic vote is taken every day when people trade the value of their own work to purchase the listed products. The free market has dictated that those in Column A are of a lower quality then those in Column B. That's just a fact of science, not an opinion."

    you cannot back out of that.

    So, is Korth or Python's value better than GP100 as a "matter of science"?

    In terms of utility, no.

    Your Korth or Python do not even meet my minimum standards for pistol for security use which specifies that it must have a rust resistant surface matrial or finish. There is no 357 Magnum revolver in S&W catalog that I cannot afford, but I chose a GP100 over it.

    So, not only is your standard of "better" based on what people seeking luxury are paying for not "scientific" in that it totally disregards the intended purpose or role, it has a fair share of your bias woven in to it.


    Of course I did, since what I think is best would be meaningless without its intended purpose.

    I am fully aware that those are made with expensive method and sophisticated labor.

    That does not makt it "better" in universal and absolute terms.

    As a matter of fact, I will take my M&P40 over a Korth self-loading pistol to combat any time. How is that for "better"?

    "Oooo Ahhhh the deep gloss, fine matching lines, workmanship blah blah blah....." Whatever. If those are expensive, it only means there are some people willing to pay for those.

    If somebody likes it, fine. But, do not shove those down others' throat to accept it as better when it does not even meet some people's utility requirments, then expect a warm response.

    For fighting gun purpose? As a matter of fact yes.

    There are reasons why Python or Korth is not in my inventory. And, lack of my ability to buy one is not one of it.

    For selling it off to take money from people willing to pay me more than I paid for it? Yeah, I'll take a Korth or Python.

    Of course I agree with that. I think GP100 is best for my particular purpose, and I make no false pretense that it would be for everyone else.

    However, Willie Sutton is suggesting that the luxury standard should be universal.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  12. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    yes anyone can, but it really isn't worth the effort
     
  13. dbmjr1

    dbmjr1 Member

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    Nice Ruger. Does that come chambered in .357 maximum? How many barrels come with it? :evil:
     
  14. fastbolt

    fastbolt Member

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    You know, back in the day, the GP was a late genre entry into the end of the service revolver era. The L-frame was the defacto leader of that market niche toward the end of the service revolver's era.

    On the other hand, I've heard more than a few experienced revolver shooters, including one current competitor in the revolver games, opine that if tomorrow were to start the return of the service revolver, their choice would be one of the Scandium aluminum 8-shot .357 Mag revolvers being produced by S&W (yes, even with the ILS) ... and I can't disagree with them. Those lighter weight 8-shot Magnum wheelguns are a nice option when considered against the older all-steel revolvers, and even some current all-steel duty-size pistols. The new production 4566TSW I carried in my plainclothes assignment could become a real boat anchor hanging from the hip by the end of a 10-16 hour day.

    Of course, that's also because the uniform gun belt of yesteryear has become a heavy equipment belt of today's world, where the service weapon is often lost amidst the clutter of all the equipment being carried, and they've even re-invented duty suspenders to try and help mitigate back problems. ;)
     
  15. JFrame

    JFrame Member

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    I have to say, fastbolt -- I appreciate your contributions to these various threads. They are all very thought-provoking, articulate, evidently based on a fair degree of practical experience, and just plain interesting.

    Thanks!

    .
     
  16. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    So true. The constant bickering in this thread is pathetic. This is all opinion folks so there is no right or wrong here. Voice your opinion, realize that others will and won't agree and move on.
     
  17. back40

    back40 Member

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    test piliot, you realize that bluing IS a rust resistant finish and that pythons come in stainless as well...right?
     
  18. mikebsr

    mikebsr Member

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    My GP100 is the top of the line. End of story.............
     
  19. fastbolt

    fastbolt Member

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    Thanks yourself. De nada.

    Just remember that my perspectives are my own, albeit they've been increasingly influenced by my experiences as a firearms instructor and armorer for a number of firearms commonly found in LE.

    It's these experiences (as well as accessibility to various training venues) that have slowly changed my thinking about many things gun-related from my earlier perspectives and opinions as a simple owner/shooter (prior to my LE days). I was a "gun nut" (a term applied to me quite often, not one of my own choosing) and avid firearms enthusiast as a young man.

    I spent my years as a young man enjoying handloading for Magnum revolvers (mostly Ruger Blackhawks, a SBH and then a lot of Security-Sixes), and thought the .357 Magnum was a decent medium-bore caliber. I preferred .44 Magnum for all-around use, and even carried one or another as an off-duty weapons back when they were still approved for use as duty weapons (but I just never quite managed to set aside enough money for a Buscadero to carry one on-duty, before we went away from revolvers to hi-cap 9's).

    I miss the "revolver days" of LE in some respects. When about the only thing that was authorized for someone to do with an issued (or even a personally-owed) service revolver was to change the grip stocks, it removed the emphasis from tricking out & accessorizing handguns, and placed it more back on the user's ability to actually shoot.

    Sure, armorers were told to be aware for little things done to guns (cutting springs, stoning parts) that might compromise serviceability and cause problems, but for the most part it came down to using (or choosing) revolvers made by one of the 3 major American gun companies, and maybe adjusting the fit of the grip stocks to your hands. The choice of calibers was either made for you, or you might be able to choose (.38 Spl, .357 Magnum, .41 Magnum, .44 Spl, .44 Magnum, .45 Colt, .45ACP), and there may be various ammunition restrictions in place, as well.

    One of the reasons I miss the revolver days of LE was that learning a foundation handgunning skillset on a revolver (especially a Magnum revolver) seemed to make for better shooters. I'd still much rather transition a revolver shooter to semiauto pistols than the other way around. ;)
     
  20. boricua9mm

    boricua9mm Member

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    I grew up shooting S&Ws and my father's beautiful Python. I've since owned pre-lock Smiths and had great luck with them. Looking for a Florida Black Bear gun, I wound up giving Ruger a chance after having no luck at finding a nice, reasonably priced pre-lock S&W 686. I wound up buying a Wiley Clapp. Easily, this was the most expensive GP-100 produced at the time. The first one was real looker. A lot of attention to detail was given, but perhaps not internally. The gun eventually locked up the cylinder; clean gun, no forcing cone buildup, no ratchet debris, etc. Ruger decided to replace the gun, and what they replaced it with was anything other than "Great."

    For $800, I expected a lot more, but Ruger was content with sending me a frame rife with horrendous machine marks, casting slag remaining everywhere, a thick burr above the forcing cone, an S-shaped chicane ground off the 6:00 position of the forcing cone, and down-sloping barrel engraving. Ruger's response to all of this was that it was "normal."

    To me there is a huge chasm between "good shootin' value gun" and "greatest double action revolver ever made."

    If this is how they produce their most expensive model, what does that say about the skill-set of their workforce? Ruger used to be able to reliably produce a nice gun. My personal belief is that those days are over.

    gp100-forcing-cone-2.jpg

    gp100-forcing-cone-3.jpg

    gp100-factory-engraving.jpg
     
  21. fastbolt

    fastbolt Member

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    Sorry to hear about your recent experience.

    Expectations about what "normal" means can certainly vary among customers and companies, though.

    I've had to return more Ruger pistols and revolvers than I have any other brand, starting with a SBH produced in '73. The last was an early production Redhawk .44 that required a new cylinder, hammer and trigger assembly pretty much right out of the box. I corrected a "seizing" problem myself, after consulting with the head armorer (ret) in the early 2000's.

    Not just with their revolvers, either. They had to replace a slide for me on an early production KP90DC due to what they described as a heat treat problem.

    I've always described their guns as "tool box" guns, meaning they're durable and tough enough to survive "tool box" environments, and they're also not any "prettier" than tools that have been subjected to being banged around inside a working toolbox. ;)

    Although I'm a long time Ruger owner & enthusiast ... my dad gave me my first Ruger, a .22 Standard, and then a 3-screw Blackhawk .357/9 Convertible ... I've never been under the impression that their "parts is parts" handguns were meant to be pretty, or even necessarily nicely machined or finished. Just hasn't been my experience over the years.

    Durable? Yep.

    Decent quality for the budget price? Yep.

    Being a parts bin gun that doesn't require fitting (according to my conversations with Ruger folks), it's not surprising their fit & finish may not quite meet the expectations of some owners accustomed to buying older Smith's & Colt's.

    But yes, if a GP is being sold for upwards of $800, you'd rather hope they would receive some additional moments of attention during assembly to make sure they're at least a little bit better than the standard run guns.
     
  22. TestPilot

    TestPilot Member

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    Bluing can be argued as better than nothing.

    According to my experience, Bluing is equal to nothing for practical purpose.

    Rust resistance ability of Bluing can be summed up as PATHETIC.

    Yes, some Pythons may come in Stainless Steel. But, lack of a rust resistant surface is not the only reason why it does not meet my requirements.
     
  23. savit260

    savit260 Member

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    Then you ought to take a look at a stainless Colt King Cobra. ;)

    Stronger than the GP-100 with much nicer fit and finish .

    As nice as the KC is, I'd still not rank that as "Greatest" either.

    The only category where the GP can be argued to be "greatest .357", IMO is greatest value.


    Greatest double action .357's by category in MY opinion.

    Accuracy? I'd go with a Dan Wesson or Python.

    Fit and finish? S&W 27, Python , Korth

    Strength? Ruger .357 Redhawk.

    Value? Ruger GP100 S&W Highway Patrolman/28

    Best looking? S&W 27 (19 get's an honorable mention) Colt Python


    Overall greatest? Still have to go with the S&W 27 or Python.


    Most rust resistant ? :evil: Ruger LCR :p
     
  24. LeontheProfessional

    LeontheProfessional Member

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    I own both a GP100 and SP101. I've shot many smiths and a Dan Wesson my dad has. The rugers are the only ones I really like but that's because I like durability over all else. The rugers are tanks and plenty accurate. More accurate than I am. I've taken dove with it at distances past 25 yards.

    Everyone else will always hate because they're elitists. Ruger is a fine gun and affordable
     
  25. Willie Sutton

    Willie Sutton Member

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    "However, Willie Sutton is suggesting that the luxury standard should be universal."


    Goods that are widely accepted as the best available in their particular categories are just that: Goods that are widely accepted as the best available in their particular category. That's not opinion, it's just the way it is. These things are, with very little argument, universally held opinions if you gather a group of knowlagable enthusiasts. They certainly set the standard by which oters are judged. Are there better watches than a Rolex? Absolutely. But Rolex is the yardstick measure by which others are judged.

    Now: Top shelf goods are generally *really* good, but sadly many buyers don't use them hard enough to really understand how good they are. Example: How many Porsche buyers really know how good their cars are? Most of them just buy them because other people tell them how good they are, and then they become garage queens. Ditto guns, watches, and many other expensive things. Now and then you'll meet a guy who put over 600,000 miles on his last Porsche, and has worn the same Rolex for nearly 40 years. Those are the people who know what good their things really are, and why they are considered to be superior to others in the market. If you don't push your hardware, you might never see it's limitatations, and would very likely be satisfied with something inferior. With that said, there are enough people willing to pay more for (Holland & Holland, Porsche, Rolex, Hassleblad, etc., etc) to have those items maintain their value. That's the market at work. Nobody is twisting anyones arms to buy these things, they sell because a large number of people think they are worth it.


    Data points:

    That 600,000 mile Porsche is still being driven by a friend of mine, BTW. It was the cheapest car I ever owned: Bought new for $24K, driven over 600K with nothing but tires, brakes, struts, clutch, and rings. Driven in snow, driven on dirt roads, and taken to the track enough times over ten years of club driving that I earned being a Porsche Club of American Instructor in it. Sold for $15K. Total cost of use: Far less than a Honda. The 40 year old Rolex was bought by me from the exchange for just over $300. It's a high-dome Sea Dweller. Appraisal now is over $20K in "beat to living crap" condition. I don't have a Holland & Holland, but I do have a John Wilkes made in 1906. I paid $11K for it a decade ago. Champlins says it's worth over $30K now to sell. The Colt Python cost $250 when I bought it. It's now well over $1K. Rugers? Well... they pretty much sell for what they sold for. That's the market telling you that they are not "Great". Be satisfied with "darned good", because that's exactly what they are.


    Willie

    .
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
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