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This is NOT a Ruger vs. S&W thread...

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by heavyshooter, Apr 12, 2011.

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  1. heavyshooter

    heavyshooter Member

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    ...However, I do sincerely prefer Rugers over Smiths. :) I have been into revolvers for a couple years now and my father sold me on Ruger’s solid build, long life, and ability to handle warmer loads. I have never been impressed with the modern S&W's that I have run into. I am not a fan of MIM parts and the ILS. But my wife preferred the J-frame over the Ruger LCR. Since she feels comfortable with it I purchased one for her. I managed to get one that did not have the internal lock. Then I came upon an S&W 37-2 that caught my eye. Either the salesman was good or I was gullible. Whatever the reason, I walked out with another J-Frame. I am not super impressed with either of them, but they will do the job in a pinch. Then I go to the store to buy a second Ruger SP101 that I wanted to use for home defense. While looking in the consignment section I found an S&W 27-2. It felt good in the hand and I know that it's a classic. I knew enough about Smiths to note that it is pinned and recessed; it was made the same year I was born. Then I realized that I do not dislike S&W revolvers; I dislike MODERN S&W revolvers (opinion). Of course I purchased the 27-2. Recently I was in the consignment section again looking for an SP101 for home defense; I came upon an S&W 15-6 (for $189.99). I slapped some Hogue grips on it and now it serves HD duty instead of an SP101.:uhoh:

    The result is – I am a Ruger guy, but I own more Smith than Ruger revolvers. Don’t get me wrong, my Rugers are not intimidated. And they will soon have back-up when their big brother Redhawk .44 Mag shows up. But my father is beginning to wonder where he went wrong. “Boy I raised you better than this.” Maybe someday I will recognize there error of my ways. Until then, I have my eye out for an S&W Model 19. :rolleyes:

    Sorry Dad :D
     

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  2. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Member

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    Taste and good judgement do not necessarily stem from parental influence. Sometimes, you have to develop it on your own. Good on you! Smiths are great. Your Rugers won't notice if you spend time and money on some nice Smiths.
     
  3. oldfool

    oldfool Member

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    good choices all, heavy
    (Rugers & S&Ws alike)

    I see a model 19 in your future, and a lot of smiles
    don't give up on your SP101 search, though, SP101s get along swell with older model S&Ws, take my word for it (and Ruger SAs and GPs for that matter)

    15s and 27s and 19s are all excellent choices to promote future family harmony
    so don't forget to introduce dad

    PS
    as for j-frames, older models in particular, be careful, be very careful
    sneaky little guns, they tend to grow on you, you know !
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011
  4. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    Back in the day, all I ever bought were Rugers. Security and Speed-Six's...Blackhawks and Super-Blackhawks. They were good solid, reliable revolvers, each and every one of them.

    But...even then I knew they weren't what I REALLY wanted. I got them because they were a little less expensive than the Smith & Wesson's and Colts that I really wanted. Why did I want them? I don't really know. I really didn't think they were any better than a Ruger. I guess they were just prettier. Or better known maybe.

    These days, I'm buying those Smith & Wesson's I used want when I was younger. But I'm under no illusion they're any better than the Rugers I used to have.
     
  5. RidgwayCO

    RidgwayCO Member

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    For the old warhorses (.45 Colt and .44 Special), it's a joy to reload for your Rugers. Mild to wild, no problem. Terrific handguns for hunting. I only own three, and two are convertibles (.45 Colt/ACP and .357 Magnum/9mm Luger).

    If SD is a possibility, then I like S&W only because they're generally a little lighter, with better DA triggers. Plus they seem to hold (or increase) their value better than Rugers. YMMV.
     
  6. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Variety is the spice of life and I like a little bit of everything. That said, I don't really care for Ruger's DA's too much and refuse to buy a newer S&W for myriad reasons. So for me, it's Ruger single actions (among others) and older S&W double actions.
     
  7. Thaddeus Jones

    Thaddeus Jones Member

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    It was the current S&W production revolvers of the last ten years that enabled me to discover Ruger revolvers. Thanks S&W!! :)

    I love my GP100 and SP101. They remind me of my pre 2000 S&W's!!

    Great revolvers at affordable prices. Nice triggers, good QA/QC, accurate, affordable and look good doing all that. What did the current company calling itself S&W forget first - making decent triggers? - or making good looking revolvers?

    In a brand new revolver, Ruger is the only game in town.

    There is hope though! Strong rumors of Colt making DA revolvers again. Heres hoping its true!! TJ
     
  8. PcolaDawg

    PcolaDawg Member

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    I've never had the pleasure of shooting a Ruger revolver, although I hope to someday soon. I do like the Ruger SR9s that I bought my kids.

    I simply like the look of the Smiths over the look of the Ruger. Just a personal preference. Also, Smiths just look more comfortable to shoot to me. I would like to shoot a Ruger revolver to see if that's true or not.

    Anyway, although I hope to shoot - and maybe own - a Ruger revolver one day, all I have now are Smiths (and one Taurus Judge) and I am very very happy with them.
     
  9. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno Member

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    Sold my only Ruger. Still have 3 Smiths, but not really wedded to them, except for the 22 Kit gun with Hogues. Fell in love with a little Smith model 60 357 with Crimson Trace grips. Don't like the stock grips or any of the wood grips, but with the CT grips that thing was the most comfortable small revolver I have ever hefted. Problem was that the overall price was too high at the time. So it's still on my Christmas list. Maybe next year?

    But, neither brand is the one I prefer most. My 6" Python is the one I actually like the best. Next in line is the Taurus 66SS6, then the Smiths, then my little Rossi 971. After that it's High Standard (revolver), various H&Rs, etc. Ruger fall off the list somewhere there. Maybe a 101 someday. Just not there yet :uhoh:

    I think a LOT of this is about ergonomics? Hand feel is very different between the makes. What feels good in my hand, is likely not the same for you'all?
     
  10. Lucky Derby

    Lucky Derby Member

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    My collection includes revolvers from each of the "Big Three" (S&W, Ruger, Colt) As far as new guns go, Ruger is the only one I would even consider purchasing. For now, I have the S&Ws I want, but a Redhawk .45, A 6" Colt Model .357 and a 4" Security-Six keep calling me. sigh.
     
  11. psyshack

    psyshack Member

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    I will take our Smith's.

    Sorry Ruger fans. I will take a mim and locked Smith any day over a Ruger and there over rated investment casting. In double action! Some of the SA Rugers are sweet as heck. :)

    There just not a 4" GP100 or older Ruger than can stand with this new Smith. You can't make a Ruger have a trigger like this pistol has that I put on it. The best you can expect is a tuned feeling J-frame trigger.
    686_P2.jpg
    686_P1.jpg

    It's now polished dripping wet. Not a combat revolver finish by no means. :) Trigger and hammer finished out to match the cylinder release, which is much better than Ruger's or Colt's release. I resprung it and took the stones to the mim. Barrel is lapped out and the chambers cleaned up. 3.5 thousands cylinder to forcing cone tolerance with no forcing cone to cylinder jams. And a very good breach to shell face. Put 500 rounds through it at the range and you can't make it jam or spit.

    My very best friend bought a 4" GP100 when I purchased my 686p. We paid the same money for our pistol's. Bought at the same place at the same time. I paid the same for the scratch and dent / display Smith as he did his NIB Ruger out of the vault. One year later we would meet at the range and see what was what. And use his four barrel DW in pristine condition that has had limited range time as the baseline. I was with him when he bought the DW as I purchased my first 92 that day. We have known each other since the 5th grade. :)

    We met at a public range in Arkansas. He still lives there. I call it home. I warmed up with my max 2400 loads,,, and he did also with his own 2400's. Then we went to our entrance level H-110's. Then went to our max H-110's. We had cleared the lanes around us as it was clear we where shooting off.

    Long of the short the GP100 would not hang when we went way over published rounds. The Smith and DW held there spec's concerning forcing cone to cylinder, breech and timing. The GP didn't. It was clearly shooting low. Investment casting sucks. And if you know something of investment casting, you know. MIM sucks, locks suck! But investment college boy casting sucks more. :) His GP rattled a tad before we started shooting. The DW and Smith did not before or after.

    After shooting. It was clear. The Smith and DW had no flame cutting. The Ruger was done. It had had also opened up the cyclinder to forcing cone by .001 over all.

    He cut the GP with a torch and brought the Dan Wesson back into service. His stock and trade is quality control. He is a independent lab QC guy. GP100 failed when we hung the meet to it.

    On the other hand,,, and this is a twist. My old Ruger Super Black Hawk first gen was much better than his Smith 44 mag. And my SBH is so ugly I won't pic it. It has seen real range Cowboy duty in OK and KS.

    I don't want to bag on Ruger. Heck a GP100 is my mothers night stand pistol. She lives in Mesa and knows the factory is just over there if she needs service. She's in her early 70's. She is coming in this week for a visit tomorrow. And she's bringing her heat! I look forward to seeing her and she wants me to tune on her 4" GP. My wife is already to gift mom her 60 Pro thats tuned up if mom likes it.

    Our middle daughter is getting married this week. So we are planing a family shoot this sunday on some private land. Will be fun to see who trades what with who in the family. :D
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011
  12. dallascj

    dallascj Member

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    Heavy,
    If you think you got it bad now, then I suggest you never pick up a K frame S&W. You will be ruined. My Model 66-2 is the best .357 I have ever owned. I am also not a fan of Ruger DA's, but I really like their SA's. For DA revolvers, I prefer S&W and Taurus.
     
  13. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    I know there's been a lot of BS advertising going back and forth over the years but stuff like 'that', is totally unfounded. Let us not forget that the finest single action revolvers available (Freedom Arms) are built on investment cast 17-4 stainless steel frames.
     
  14. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I'd rather have either one of them over a Taurus.
     
  15. oldfool

    oldfool Member

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    investment casting is like a lot of other things (most everything else)
    done right, it's right, and Ruger does it right, pot metal it ain't

    Me, I would even say the same for MIM, but I cannot fault anybody who values forged or machined good quality steel; I would choose old fashioned high grade steel over anything else, every time, but being paranoid about good investment casting is just naive

    the SP101 is the toughest mass produced small frame 38/357 in the marketplace, bar none...only thing as stout is a Freedom Arms, but they don't make small frame DAs, more's the pity, even if I couldn't afford one

    PS
    "when we went way over published rounds"
    do that, and some will hold up longer than others, but do enough of that they ALL will loosen up too much
    your hand, your gun, do your thing so long as willing to pay the price
    wildcatting can be fun and educational, but it never was the measure of what quality (fitness for function) is really about
    and 686s and GP100s are nowhere near as hard to replace as those old model Dan Wessons either
    (me I prefer to fondle all mine, whatever make/model not torture 'em)
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011
  16. knighthawk-72

    knighthawk-72 Member

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    Well over the years I have owned Colt , Ruger , & S&W I like all of them. If you ask me there are good and bad ones in all the brands. As of now I have a Ruger Security Six made in 1972 and a S&W 65-2 made in 1981. I think everybody should try every brand that they can and pick the one that fits you the best.
     
  17. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I like both. The Ruger is probably the most durable tool. A Smith may cost more initially, but they will hold a much higher percentage of their value. Someone, will eventually sell whatever gun you purchase. It may be your great grandchildren, but the when you factor in re-sale value, the Smith will be cheaper in the long run.
     
  18. psyshack

    psyshack Member

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    I enjoyed the shoot off very much. Kind of disliked putting the DW through a grinder. BUT it came out no worse than before.

    I was coming back from Manhattan Ks. yesterday evening and got into a 4 way conference call with my buddy that owns the DW and GP. A gunsmith buddy of mine that works on all but is a specialist in collectible lever action, bolt, and pistols. He has a machine tool back ground and is a great spec welder. Fourth member was a LGS owner out of La.

    We are trying to put together a shoot out early in the summer before it gets to hot. We want to use 4" and 6" barreled revolvers. Meet at one persons home for a long weekend. Maybe over the 4th. Use box stock and our own setup rigs. LGS owner will help with supplying NIB retail pistols. Will cost use some money but not a whole lot considering the fun to be had. :) We will load all ammo used from one bench and keep everything as uniform as possible. We will measure out all pistols on a currently used die makers leveled and secured measuring granite surface with standard devices and some laser back up. I have been charged with coming up with some strip transducers, cabling, software and the laptop so we don't ruin pistols, esp. the DW and a Colt or two that will be there. And further avoid shrapnel. A Ransom will be used. We have a old deaf and dumb retired mechanical engineer we would like to have there with us. He is currently on vacation in Vietnam. So he's out of pocket right now for counsel.

    Our guts are telling use a NIB Smith will Hold up as good as a new GP in a controlled test. But we all have misgivings concerning investment cast. It's well known that investment cast is either to soft or to hard given it's intended use. Thus the bulk one sometimes see's and perceives as strong. Kind of like American and Russian Battle Tanks. Is the Russian tank truly stronger than the American one. Is the American tank more accurate type of thing.

    I hope we can get this shoot out done and data collected.
     
  19. rich642z

    rich642z Member

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    I have half Rugers and same with Smiths. Most of them[Smiths]pre-locks and one 625-8 w/lock. Both sets of revolvers of mine shoot poa.
     
  20. oldfool

    oldfool Member

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    I do genuinely envy your fun and educational exercises, psyshack
    a bit too pricey fun for many of us you know, color us a bit envious

    but..."way over published rounds" is not a meaningful test of any firearm
    fitness for intended function is the definitive criteria of quality
    excessively hot loads in excess of design criteria may produce interesting results, but they do not test the fitness for function of the design
    a guy I used to know did a lot of that sort of thing, but he only has one eye.... now
    yeah, I-R-N engineer, too, Aero E, college boy and all that

    running tens of thousands of rounds through handgun (rounds the firearm was designed to handle) would tell you a great deal more about fitness of the design for intended function - doing so requires not just a lot ammo, but a whole lot of time, and a whole lot of friends to help pull triggers, of course !

    I have some really nice old 22 rimfire S&Ws that I do not expect I will ever wear out (with tens of thousands of rounds thru 'em already), and if kept clean, my grandchildren will never wear out either - 22LR is just nowhere near harsh enough to do that all by itself -but if you could pack enough powder in the cylinders, not doubt at all you could ruin' em
    fitness for function, you know

    how many rounds of 38, 38+P, or even factory 357 it would take to wear out my Ruger SP101 (early model not even stamped for 357, but will handle the JHPs), I don't know, and don't expect to live long enough to find out, cannot afford that much ammo anyway

    really nice workmanship on the 686, by the way
    (but you really ought get together with Prosser and Craig C if you enjoy seriously HOT loads, fired out of enviable handguns built to do exactly that, and/or try a Freedom Arms SA with investment cast frame)
    me, I ain't quite stout enough myself to travel that road

    be well, and always wear really good eye protection

    PS
    I would volunteer my engineering expertise to your planned shootout - but I am already half deaf (and pretty dumb as well) !
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2011
  21. 45Fan

    45Fan Member

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    I was raised on smiths, and they are fine pistols, but I love my Rugers for what they are. Solid, affordable, and accurate. If I were in the market for a safe queen, then I would definitely consider a Smith and Wesson, but my revolers are hunting guns, and as such, see holster wear, rain, snow and mud. I wouldnt feel right doing that to a high dollar revolver like a smith. If it were for CC, then I would look at either make, as they both make fine tools for that purpose.

    To each their own, me Im not so picky about the name on the side, just that the tools I choose dont let me down.
     
  22. wcavasos

    wcavasos Member

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    To Psyshack

    :cuss: I wouldn't be so sure that you can't get one heck of a trigger on a ruger. Yah it takes time and a whole lot of work on the bench under a magnifine glass and a polashing wheel. But it can be done. I know cause Iv'e done it. My GP happens to have a great trigger. Don't get me wrong I love S&W's... But only because they are firearms and I love all firearms. My opinion is that if you put good work into a cheaper more rugged ruger you end up with much more bang for your buck. I will end on a positive note though. That is one fine 686 you got there:).
     
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