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S&W guys/gals only- should I buy a Ruger GP100?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by chaim, Feb 15, 2004.

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  1. chaim

    chaim Member

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    Yeah, I know it sounds odd to address this to S&W guys and gals only, but I know what you Ruger guys (and gals) will have to say to this.

    I love S&W revolvers. I am primarily a S&W guy, though I obviously (see sig line) like Taurus too. The S&W revolver is just the epitome of revolver design- smooth, pretty, well made, great triggers (with the capability of even more with work), sophisticated, and "strong enough".

    Still, every now and then I start thinking about a GP100. They are stronger and sized similarly to my S&W 586 (i.e. they are L-frame sized). I don't know, I consider myself a revolver guy and I'm not sure one can really be a revolver guy and be without a Ruger wheelgun (I've got several Smiths, a Taurus and a Colt, but no Ruger). Heck, I've never owned a Ruger wheelgun. I am a 3" wheelgun guy especially, and I like that I can get the Ruger in blue and with a 3" barrel. Still, it is hard for me to actually buy the Ruger when I consider that for almost the same money I can get a new S&W (just a little more) or for quite a bit less I can get a new Taurus or used S&W (ooohh, and those used S&W wheelguns- man I need a :drool: icon).

    I do need to really think about this over the next month if I will go this way. Ruger doesn't have the built-in locks and there probably won't be many new GP100s left in this state much longer (for those who have been on a different planet the past year MD now has a built-in lock law mandating all guns made on and after 1/1/03 have a built-in lock). Of course, I have nothing against going used either- but I do prefer guns I can buy in person instead of the net when that is an option (I don't see that many used GP100s), though if need be I buy on the net (I've bought quite a few guns that way- the only thing I really don't like about it is the wait).

    Anyway, as a wheelgun guy, sans Ruger, should I get one?
     
  2. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    Do you handload?

    Do you see yourself handloading monster 180gr and 200gr loads?

    Do you CCW your revolvers?


    Personally, I have no real use for a GP-100. They're fine, sturdy guns, and not too terribly homely as far as DA Rugers go, but all my wheelgun needs (and, more importantly, my wheelgun wants ;) ) are met by S&W's. If you already own a 586, it'll do 99.9% of what the Ruger will, but if you really want the Ruger, then you're gonna need to buy it, because the Smith can't fill that particular need. ;)
     
  3. Spot77

    Spot77 Member

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    Chaim, I think you've answered your own question already.

    Do you want it? Yes. Then buy it.

    You really don't have to justify the reasons FOR wanting it as much as you need to think about why you WOULD NOT want it.

    I think Tamara made the same good point.

    Now you do trust Tamara's and my opinion, don't you?

    :evil:
     
  4. Grey54956

    Grey54956 Member

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    I am a S&W guy, and my brother is a Ruger guy, so it makes for interesting discussions at times.

    Personally, I prefer my S&W 586 to his GP-100. My feeling are that the action is much smoother on the 586, and I like the fit in my hand better, too.

    The GP-100 is respectable in its own right, being strong and beefy. It just isn't my preference.

    Since you seem to have a varied collection of wheelguns already, you may want to consider adding the Ruger to it. Variety is the spice of life. You may also want to look at it like this: understanding the different qualities of each piece of your collection enables you to better appreciate the unique characteristics of each gun.
     
  5. RWK

    RWK Member

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    chaim,

    I, too, am a S&W N Frame “guyâ€: a wonderful, old 27-2, two 627 Special editions, and a .45 Colt 625-9 Mountain Gun. However, I also love my two GP-100s. My Rugers are STRONG, ACCURATE, RELIABLE, and DURABLE. Their quality is excellent. Finally, while the DA trigger pull is not initially as smooth as its Smith counterparts (581, 586, 681, 686), the GP100 trigger is not bad from the factory and IT SMOOTHES OUT VERY WELL WITH USE.

    In sum, I believe the GP100s are VERY fine revolvers – and great values – worthy adding to your stable. By the way, I frequently use a KGP-141 as my primary CCW handgun, which should document the unlimited faith I place in GP100s.

    Best regards.
     
  6. MikeJ

    MikeJ Member

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    I am primarily a S&W guy although I do own a Ruger Redhawk 44 mag. My next purchase will more than likely be a GP100, I'm just trying to choose between the 3" and 4" versions. I shot a friends 4" GP100 and was really impressed with the balance and particularly the feel of the grips, they were by far the best grips I have ever felt on a revolver. The 3" version is especially comfortable in my hand and really fills a niche that S&W isn't addressing with any of their current production guns, I don't consider the 65 Ladysmith an equivalent. I have to admit that my reasons for getting one are simply that I have grown to like them and want the variation and I do like the way they look. If you've also taken a liking to them then I say go for it. If at some point down the road you change your mind you can always sell it.
     
  7. Highland Ranger

    Highland Ranger Member

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    Every time I go to buy a Ruger revolver I find myself thinking that it doesn't look or feel right.

    They are beefy, no doubt . . . . . but maybe that's part of it. I like owning and using a finely crafted instrument - whenever I pick up and hold a Ruger, I feel like I am holding a rock.

    And the manual printed on the barrel also detracts from the aesthetics.

    So I say - How about a S&W 44 mag snubbie?
     
  8. liliysdad

    liliysdad member

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    I am a hrad core Smith man. However, I like the Rugers to a point, however the current GP/SP guns I do not. If you could find an older Security or Speed Six, then I would snatch it up in a heartbeat. The current guns arent nearly the quality the older ones where.
     
  9. PlayTheAces

    PlayTheAces Member

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    S&W has been my first choice for 30 years now, but I also like diversity. Some years back I bought a new GP-100, 4" blued, just to see what one was like.

    It's well built and heavy. Be pretty hard to wear it out. Functions well, accurate. The only thing I don't care for is the trigger action - a longer, staging pull unlike a S&W. I shoot it seldom. I have no real beef with it, but someday when I start thinning the herd it'll be one of the first to go, and somebody will end up with a like new GP-100.

    Good solid guns, but if you're really a S&W person, you'll probably end up regarding it as the stepchild.
     
  10. chaim

    chaim Member

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    Spot, do I want one? Yes and no. I'd kind of like to have one, and I sort of feel like I should have one (hey, I'm a revolver guy and I don't have an example of the Ruger wheelguns), however whenever I get close to putting the money down I have trouble spending that much money on a wheelgun that doesn't say S&W on it. Heck, I love Taurus and my only Taurus wheelgun I have right now is a small-frame snub (the 85) and my last one before that was also a small-frame snub (the 605).

    I was sort of thinking that as a wheelgun guy I need a Ruger, a gun that more than 1/2 of wheelgun guys seem to have and that represents probably about 1/3 of revolvers sold (if not more). Well, when no less an "authority" than Tamara says:
    I'm no longer sure I need one to be a real revolver guy. No one can even try to claim that Tamara is not a revolver gal for not owning a Ruger, at least not if they want any credibility.:scrutiny:

    I don't know, I still think I'd like one eventually, but I also need another N-frame or two. I only have an M57- a 3" .44mag would be nice though I'd only feed it Specials. I definately need an M27 or M28, what kind of revolver guy, and especially a .357mag guy, doesn't have even one N-frame .357? :what: Also, a .45LC or two would be good (both S&W and Taurus).

    Maybe I should forget the GP100 and go for a Vaquero for my Ruger wheelgun. Still, whenever I think I've decided for sure not to get one, they start calling me again.

    Arrgh!
     
  11. mtnbkr

    mtnbkr Member

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    IMO, a GP100 is N frame strength in an L frame size. The do slick up very well. I've worked on mine a bit plus shot it thousands of times. It's as smooth as any recent manufacture S&W. If I could have only one handgun, it would be a 4" GP100.

    Besides, they are so inexpensive. SOG had 3" bobbed hammer GP100s for something like $240 (with holster and speedloader) last year. My dad got one and it's a good shooter. If you hit the gunshows, you can still find guns from the same import batch for about the same price.

    Chris
     
  12. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Greeting's All-

    chaim, more importantly ask yourself; "why shouldn't
    I buy a Ruger GP-100"? While I'm a S&W revolver man at
    heart; if I wanted a Ruger (or any other handgun) it would
    not take much to persuade me too get it. Especially, if the
    make, model, and price was what I was looking for.

    When I bought my NIB Smith & Wesson 6" 686-5, I had
    considered the Ruger myself; with the deternining factor
    being the fact that the DCM had a slightly better trigger.
    Since then, I've installed a WOLFF spring kit in the 686
    and she is even sweeter. FWIW, a note about the kit-
    I stopped with the 13 lb trigger return spring; but the
    kit also comes with the 12 lb spring as well. I see no
    reason to reduce the weight any lower; cuz it suits my
    needs right where it is.

    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
     
  13. Boats

    Boats member

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    I know you only wanted to hear from S&W types, but cut me some slack, as I have only officially been a "Ruger guy" since Friday.

    Points:

    The trigger can become as good as all the stock S&W actions. I handled a 10 year old GP that a friend owns before I bought mine, and I am sure my trigger will eventually become that nice.

    When I went shopping, all of the new S&Ws and Taurus revolvers featured an unsightly nipple on them somewhere. People compain about the "essay" on the Ruger, but only two of the four lines are warning, the rest would be on there anyway as the bottom two lines are Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. Southport Conn. U.S.A. If it really starts to annoy me, I'll have it milled off and rebrushed.

    The 4" GP weighs one ounce more than its 586/686 counterpart.

    If you're a do-it-yourselfer a Ruger is more friendly. No sideplate screws to mess up and all coil sprung.

    Let's put it this way: My next revo is probably an SP-101, but I am always on the lookout for a 586 or a good deal on a 625, especially without the ugly lock. All quality revolvers are worth having, and I will never say that S&W offers me nothing, just something different.

    I bought a Ruger for two primary reasons: It is well-nigh indestructable and it has a better cylinder latch design for lefties in that it is a push "in" button rather than a push "forward" deal. The latter works well with a thumb, not so hot for a contorted trigger finger.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2004
  14. g32

    g32 Member

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    Get the GP100

    HAving a GP100 is like owning a 1911. There are some guns that everyone should just havein their collection. My GP100 has handled every load I've ever run through it without a hiccup. It is a fun, sturdy. accurate firearm. Most notably FUN! I am alos a huge fan of S&W Model 686 and 625. I typically carry a semi-auto(glock 19, 32, or Kahr PM9) but can't imagine life without a stable of wheel guns.
     
  15. Zeke Menuar

    Zeke Menuar Member

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    To me, a S&W is a fine sports car. A Ruger is a clunky truck with no power steering, power brakes and no synchros in the tranny.
    Most everyone that I know that has bought a Ruger has had to send the gun to a 'smith to have the trigger fixed or back to Ruger to fix a defect. And they are fugly too.

    ZM
     
  16. Gary A

    Gary A Member

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    Well, Zeke...good points. But the next time you actually have to do some work , would you pick the sports car or the truck?;)
     
  17. Boats

    Boats member

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    Maybe because I tear down my 1911s all by my little lonesome, I found taking apart the Ruger to be a snap. I "fixed" my own trigger by polishing it up and Wolffing it in about 20 minutes. No "defects" are present on my Ruger as I actually used the combined wisdom of The Firing Line and The High Road before I purchased it. If one doesn't use the revolver check thread floating atop this forum for purchasing both new and used revolvers, one is a inexcusable fool if he comes here with a tale of woe about a manufacturing defect.

    Of course, I could have listened to those who think all Rugers are inexplicably junk, a notion put to the lie by the fact that it is exceedingly difficult to find used ones of relatively recent vintage compared to other brands, but reason always wins out with me and I am now the proud owner of a revolver I have little doubt I will be able to pass down to my son or daughter, if my wife doesn't snap it up first.:D
     
  18. HSMITH

    HSMITH Member

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    The GP fills one bill well, testing VERY heavy handloads. You won't hurt it with anything even close to sane. Other than that it is a heavy clunky gun with a poor DA trigger. If you like to plink single action the trigger can be made to be as good as any but you just can't overcome the coil springs. The one plus of the GP is they seem to be on average silly accurate.

    Your 586 does everything the GP does, and some of it a lot better. Unless you want a truck gun you can beat on and not care or a beater for seeing how far you can push noise and recoil with your handloads I say buy another S&W with that money.

    I am a S&W guy if you didn't guess already:rolleyes: , but I do own a GP. The only reason I keep it is for the reasons noted and the fact that it isn't worth much.
     
  19. dairycreek

    dairycreek Member

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    If you are a REVOLVER guy then.............

    to have some different examples of high quality revolvers is not a bad thing at all. To say that you are a Smith Guy or a Ruger Guy and then let that dictate your purchases does not, to me, make a great deal of sense. Tamara raised the issue of reloading and that should not be overlooked. When I get serious/experimental about reloading it is usually for one of my Rugers. They are incredibly strong. That doesn't mean that one should get stupid/careless with reloads but the Rugers give one some confidence in that area. Do I like Rugers - damn right! Do I like Smiths - double damn right. Good shooting;)
     
  20. Majic

    Majic Member

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    There is no reasoning with your wants. If you want one then get it. You will find a use for it and might even enjoy it. I wouldn't pay much attention to the triger debates as most triggers on the market today are nothing to write home over. Wolff is selling spring kits like hotcakes and action jobs are lined up in shops. Not to mention the tired fingers from the gazillion dry fire sessions held everyday in front of tv's. They all benefit from a little tender loving care.
    There is one thing for certain. You will have to work pretty hard to hurt a Ruger short of extreme abuse.
     
  21. surfinUSA

    surfinUSA Member

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    The Ruger is a good gun, but the 686 is the way to go. The 686 with its forged L frame is just as strong or stronger than the cast Ruger. One of the reasons Rugers are bigger is that, being cast frames, they have to be in order to provide the same strength as a smaller forged gun.

    Rugers are a good reliable gun but are nowhere near as refined as a S&W. If you like the Ruger get the Ruger, but the S&W including the K frame S&W will do everything the Ruger will and usually with a smoother trigger pull. Plus with the 686 you can get 7 shots.
     
  22. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    chaim,

    Oh, don't get me wrong, I like both my Vaqueros just fine, it's just that I love my S&W's. :) (You'd better believe that when I set up to reload .44 Mag, the loads'll get tested in my Bisley Vaquero before I ever endanger my precious 3" 629-1 with 'em. :uhoh: )

    Like I said, the GP-100 is a fine gun; if you want one, the only thing that'll scratch that itch is buying one.
     
  23. chaim

    chaim Member

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    Hmm, the GP100 doesn't have the DA trigger of the S&W (I prefer the DA trigger to SA trigger on a DA revolver), it is a bit big, it is similar in size and type to a S&W model (the L-frames), it is best for playing with reload experiments (I do not experiment w/ handloads, when I load I am very careful that I stay within safe levels), and the Vaqueros are just as strong....Maybe I should look for a .45LC, .44mag and/or .357 Vaquero or three. Then again, it would be nice to get a GP100 to really see what the fuss is about. Arrgh!
     
  24. Hal

    Hal Member

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    surfinUSA
    Is dead on.

    Ruger's are bigger not because they're tougher, they're bigger because they have to be.
     
  25. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    Hal,

    surfinUSA is factually incorrect, but I've grown tired of calling him on it.

    (I'll leave it to WESHOOT2 or Terry Murbach to explain it...)
     
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