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Oft repeated thread Ruger & S&W 38/357

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by tackleberry45, Feb 8, 2008.

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  1. tackleberry45

    tackleberry45 Member

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    I would like to get a pistol for home defense and it will see A LOT of range time. Ruger GP100?? Smith 686?? I would like 38/357 and a 4" barrel that can stand up a lot of practice time even with magnum loads. Other suggestions????
     
  2. RNB65

    RNB65 Member

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    The 686 has a more graceful and refined look. However, many people (including myself) refuse to buy S&W guns because of their politically motivated decision to install trigger locks on their handguns. In the case of the 686, the result is a beautiful handgun with an ugly keyhole on the side of the gun. Kinda like a beautiful woman with a big zit in the middle of her forehead. :)

    The GP100 has been referred to as a hand held Sherman tank. Not real pretty, but built to last. I have one and it's nice.

    Either will meet your needs with no problem. Handle each and see which one feels better in your hand.
    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2008
  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    If recoil is an issue, the GP-100. Both great guns.
     
  4. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    Buy a used, pre-lock S&W K or L frame, either a Model 19 or a Model 686. They're out there (especially the 686s) for reasonable prices.

    If you HAVE to buy new, buy a GP100.
     
  5. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    Get either one and get a starter reloader set and see if you can wear it and the gun out, then get the other and repeat.

    I prefer the S&W by looks and the trigger just feels better for me.

    This is just a Ford/Chevy debate anyway.





    Chevy
     
  6. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    They'll both last a long time.

    Personally, I don't like the way a GP-100 feels in the hand, and my strong hand thumb doesn't reach the hammer from a shooting hold. The Smith feels great to me, and the hammer is right where I want it. 7 rounds doesn't bother me, either, but it wouldn't be enough to make me buy the Smith if I preferred the feel of the Ruger.

    That's me. Everyone's different. Feel them first. That's how I'd make the decision.
     
  7. SJshooter

    SJshooter Member

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    Never get tired of posting this classic ad from the 1980s:

    ad_686vsgp100.jpg
     
  8. jaydubya

    jaydubya Member

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    My primary HD weapon is a 4" 686-6, the seven shooter, bought used but unfired two years ago. It is a perfect handgun. I've fired somewhere around two thousand rounds of .38sp standard pressure 158gr SWCs through it, plus various +p HP loads, no .357 stuff. Don't even have any, because I don't need it to defend home and hearth. For that it is loaded with the discontinued Cor Bon +p .38 sp 115 gr HP (Sierra's I think).

    It has the internal lock. I could not care less about that dreaded, almost politically poisonous issue, so let it ride, guys.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2008
  9. RobertFBurnett

    RobertFBurnett Member

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    On paper Ruger should win every discussion known to man regarding the .357 cartridge and durability. But when I got some range time with both of them the 686 is a beautifully complex woman who by no fault of her own has a mistimed case of acne, and the Ruger is a "Sherman Tank." I took the woman to the dance and left the Ruger in the case.

    I went with 686-6+ 4" and have loved every minute, maybe one day some enterprising Firearms accessories company (HINT, HINT, SHOT show '09! you could make Millions! Patent Pending :D) will come out with some Acne surgery kits for those -6s since everyone is against them. ;)

    My $0.02

    RFB
     
  10. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Get the Ruger and don't look back.
     
  11. RobertFBurnett

    RobertFBurnett Member

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    I got so wrapped up in 686's analogies I totally forgot to ask: Would the Ahrends Retro Target grips kinda look like those on the bottom of the S&W ad?
     
  12. Moonclip

    Moonclip Member

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    I LOVE that ad, haven't seen it since I was quite young. For the intended purpose a 4" stainless GP100 would be great. I won't buy lock model S&W either.
     
  13. jameslovesjammie

    jameslovesjammie Member

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    Unlike Bill Ruger, who supported the Assault Weapons Ban and 10 round mag capacities. Just as bad in my opinion.

    "No honest man needs more than 10 rounds in any gun…" and "I never meant for simple civilians to have my 20 and 30 round magazines…"
    -Bill Ruger, 1989
     
  14. RNB65

    RNB65 Member

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    So true. But Bill Ruger is dead and the keyhole/lock on the 686 isn't. Gotta pick your fights one at a time.

    :barf:
     
  15. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I have always been partial to the K frame Model 66. If you shoot 38 Specials for practice, it will last forever.

    Wish I still had my M686-1, with the hammer mounted firing pin. Great revolver.

    You will be well served by either pistol, I would pick one out based on feel and trigger pull.
     
  16. Hunter0924

    Hunter0924 Member

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    I prefer the Ruger myself.
     
  17. Paints

    Paints Member

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    I would say to choose whichever feels best to your hand and whichever trigger you like the best. A 686 will last a lifetime, as will a Ruger. But the triggers have very different feels. Not to say that one is better than the other, I like them both. (Actually, I haven't shot a GP, but I have an older Security Six and a SuperRedhawk. On the S&W side, I have a 686, a 19, and a 629.)

    The Smith model 19 was not made for constant .357 shooting. The 686 was.

    Ken
     
  18. Lucky Strike

    Lucky Strike Member

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    Both great....i chose to save the $100 and went with the GP100
     
  19. Boats

    Boats member

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    It's amusing that the Hillary Hole fanboys post and repost their misleading ad.

    The 686 and GP-100 are within an ounce at the same barrel lengths. They share speedloaders and can share leather.

    They can't share keys though. Bill Ruger is as dead as the AWB is. The Clinton Agreement lives on without a word to the contrary from Springfield, MA.

    As long as we're analogizing to women, the Ruger is the girl next door. Not a knock out, but sexy enough, especially if you take on her tattoo removal, she's changed a little bit over the years, but she's never been anything other than steadfast and reliable.

    The Smiths are the lighter built looker who has fallen on hard times. She's steadily cheapened herself over time and ultimately whored herself out to Bill Clinton on a seemingly permanent basis. Not a surgeon in the land will fix her face, or her fake parts, her fans will call critics "turd suckers" for pointing out her flaws, and say her nearest competition still looks "fat" even though she can wear her clothes.

    I'd rather have the wholesome one who looks a little chunky in the wrong light than the one who looks like an skin diseased porn starlet with no tread left.

    What's really amusing is that I have a S&W MP-9 that has no lock on it. All S&W has to do is delete the hole from the CAD/CAM files and go back to the pre-hole hammer.

    That they don't do this despite continued clamoring for it from the market speaks volumes. None of it good.
     
  20. mgregg85

    mgregg85 Member

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    Go for the ruger and don't worry about the forging vs cast debate. Both are strong and work just fine. The real difference is in the timing/lockwork of the ruger vs the smith and the ruger appears to be much stronger.
     
  21. sfhogman

    sfhogman Member

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    I have a GP100 and a Smith 620. That's the 7 shot .357 with adjustable sights and half-shrouded barrel. It also has the lock, and the barrel is 2-piece.

    That Smith 620 is my favorite handgun, and I'm a Ruger guy.

    While either will serve admirably, the Smith just gets it for me. Buy a set of Ahrends grips and you're good to go.

    JMO,

    Jeff
     
  22. Snapping Twig

    Snapping Twig Member

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    Both good brands with several models to select from.

    Mine get range time mostly, but they're ready to hunt.

    Something not mentioned yet is older models. I personally prefer the old Smiths and they can be had much more reasonably than a new purchase.

    Consider an N frame Smith, a 27 (fancy) or a 28 (workhorse). Both are made on the same frame, but the 27 has mirror polished blue with hand scribed top strap checkering, while the 28 Highway Patrollman has a flatter finished blue and a bead blasted top strap.

    With the right grips, an N frame can be a very nice option. Tougher than they need to be by far and that sweet S&W trigger - smooth.
     
  23. Fishman777

    Fishman777 Member

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    Not the Ruger "burger" ad, again...

    Nothing quite like supporting an argument with "ad" copy. That is like saying that Miller Light tastes better than Bud Light because you saw it in a Miller commercial. It's a funny ad, but at the end of the day, it is a marketing piece that implies that only an unsophisticated, ignorant shooter would ever take a cast frame gun over a forged one. Since they have no technical ground to stand on for this ad, they approach the ad on an emotional level.

    I wonder if it ever occured to anybody that Ruger made their frames thicker than Smith frames because they wanted to make them much stronger than Smiths, not because they wanted to be "equivalent". The lockwork on all Ruger DA revolvers is signifcantly stronger than anything you'll see on any comparable Smith, not equivalent. My guess is that it was never Ruger's intention to make their revolvers frames equivalent to Smiths, it was to make them much stronger. The solid, thick frames on the Rugers are stronger than the Smiths, in spite of what Smith and Wesson's Sales and Marketing department wants you to think.

    If Rugers are not stronger than Smiths, then I guess all of those reloading manuals are wrong to list Ruger-only loads. I guess the marketing guys at Smith and Wesson know something that the rest of the shooting world isn't aware of.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2008
  24. foghornl

    foghornl Member

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    I'm a Ruger guy, but I suggest handling/shooting both, and buy the one that spins your fan.

    I can't see you going wrong with either one, unless for some reason you buy the one that you don't like....

    (I have seen people do this...but something, then later say "I just don't like this xxxxxx"
     
  25. Markbo

    Markbo member

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    Let's see... around the house I have a 686.




    Oh... and an SP101.




    Oh yeah... and a P-11.




    Oh crap... and an XD-40 subcompact!

    Why does a choice like this have to be either/or?





    Oh... can't forget the Mossy 500!
     
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