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Used Highway Patrolman vs. new S&W 586/686 or Ruger SP100

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by netsew, Mar 17, 2017.

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  1. netsew

    netsew Member

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    I would like to get a "new" .357 magnum revolver. I now use an old Taurus .357 and will continue to shoot it. I am thinking of using the Taurus for all my .38 spl shooting and the "new" revolver for my .357 magnum shooting. I reload, I have arthritis and none of these guns will see anything except low to at most moderate power loads. I will not carry this gun and use it only for range work or plinking. I was thinking of getting a new S&W or Ruger but I can buy a used S&W Highway Patrolman in very good shape and the cost would be about the same for all three. Any idea on which way to go? thanks for any information or thoughts.
     
  2. Mn Fats

    Mn Fats Member

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    Highway Patrolman in very good shape? Oh I'd take that in a heartbeat. For mild .357 range work, my second choice would be the 586/686.
     
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  3. Dog Soldier

    Dog Soldier member

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    The Mdl 28 Highway Patrolman was built on the N Frame. It was the budget series of the famous S&W Mdl 27. This heavy revolver with fitted grips for you hands should be comfortable. My old S&W 3.5" Mdl 27 was bought from the Weber Co,,Utah Sheriffs Dept years ago.

    IMG_0315.JPG
     
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  4. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

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    All good guns, but I'd agree with mn fats The Model 28 would be my first choice.

    My 4 inch M28 with Hogue rubber grips is a comfortable gun to shoot.
     
  5. Rio Laxas

    Rio Laxas Member

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    Go for the Highway Patrolman! I've got a 4" and a 6" and love them both.
     
  6. valnar

    valnar Member

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    I can't recommend a Ruger over a Smith in any circumstance, but that's just me.
     
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  7. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    Another vote for the Highway Patrolman here. And I bet you won't be shooting the Taurus much after you get the S&W! ;)
     
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  8. redbone

    redbone Member

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    Same as all of the above. HP.
     
  9. reddog81

    reddog81 Member

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    Is the Ruger an SP101 or GP100? Wait it doesn't matter, I'd choose the Highway Patrol.
     
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  10. chuckpro

    chuckpro Member

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    I have to agree.
     
  11. Mn Fats

    Mn Fats Member

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    I'd imagine its the GP100. And I agree with valnar and chuckpro. S&W all the way. For your intended purpose of mild .357 target shooting, a Smith can't be beat, only by a Dan Wesson of course... Now if you want to bang out hot .357's go with the Gp100 or Blackhawk. Pick the model 28 and never look back.
     
  12. Radagast
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    Radagast Member

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    I have the Model 28 with six inch barrel. I have shot a few of the 4 inch variants. I've shot the 686 and 586 in four and six inch; standard and adjustable sights; standard, International DX, Competitor and Lew Horton editions.
    My preference is for the Model 28, as the heavy barrel of the 686 does not balance well for me in the 6 inch variant. That said, the 686s with tuned triggers have been the best I've tried, with amazing accuracy.
    I would expect less muzzle flip with the 686, which may be important as you have arthritis. See if you can borrow one of each model and try it out, including holding it on target for a while to see which balances best for you.
    I Haven't tried a Ruger GP100, the Super Redhawk and SP101 that I did try had very rough triggers compared to any S&W.
     
  13. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    If the Highway Patrolman, I assume it is a S&W Model 28, is in good shape, that would be my choice. So much the better if it is a S&W Model 27.

    The N frame Smith and Wessons are fine revolvers. Not to say the new production 586/686 or the GP100 are not but the N frame S&Ws are wonderful.
     
  14. Mn Fats

    Mn Fats Member

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    Last input on this, (and first input) buy the "very good shape" 28 before someone else does. If the cost really is "about the same" which only makes sense if the Smiths are used...New 586/686's have about a $200 gap between GP100... If the 28 is in that range, do it. I don't think you'll use your Taurus for .38's after shooting the 28, or any Smith for that matter. Sell it and buy ammo.
     
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  15. RON in PA

    RON in PA Member

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    Are you going to shoot DA a lot or just SA? If you are going to shoot primarily SA the model 28 will be OK, but N frames can get out of time if shot DA most of the time. The 686/586 is better for DA shooting. Smith and Wesson designed the trigger pull on the L frames primarily for DA shooting.
     
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  16. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    I wouldn't be interested in any N-frame, unless the caliber really demanded it. A new Smith would be out of the question. My latest "new" 357 is a Ruger GP100 Match Champion, but of course, being a Ruger, it had to go back for rework. That was quick and free though, and I really like the gun. I also have a S&W 686-6, but it has had a lot of gunsmithing to make it special.

    I find that Smith's ECM rifling definitely does not pair well with lead bullets.

    I should mention that acquiring the Match Champion was not a deliberate choice. Ruger wanted to scrap my Service Six and offered a deal on a model of my choice, about the only way I would go for the price of the Match Champion, when already owning good 357s.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
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  17. Crunchy Frog

    Crunchy Frog Member

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    I agree with my neighbor RealGun in that I personally don't care for the N frame for a .357 revolver. Just seems bulky to me.

    I have a no-dash 686 that I think is just the right size for .357.
     
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  18. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    If i was young, a new S&W with a life time warranty is the way i would go.
     
  19. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    If the N frame fits your hand well, buy it and never look back. If not, hold the Ruger and the new S&W and buy the one that fits your hand best.

    Some of the posters would be surprised at how good the triggers are on some of the older Taurus revolvers.
     
  20. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    For a new gun, S&W and Ruger are equals. For an older gun, I'll take the S&W every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Like this pre-28 I picked up last year.

    [​IMG]


    Or this freckled 27-2 I got a couple years before that, which is an ounce lighter than a 6" model 29. Or 3oz heavier than a 6" lugless GP-100.

    [​IMG]


    An older 586 would also be a peach of a .357 but I don't turn my nose up at N-frames in ANY chambering.
     
  21. 200Apples
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    200Apples Member

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    Outstanding.
     
  22. BobWright

    BobWright Member

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    Hate to be ornery and out-of-synch, but I believe the S&W Model 586 Distinguished Combat Magnum to be the finest DA .357 Magnum revolver to be introduced yet. I own two, a 4" and 6", and they digest my handloads that neither a Model 27 nor a Colt Python can chamber due to short cylinders. And they do so with aplomb. The L-Frame has digested my heaviest loads, and at the same time has been pristine, for me, in rapid double action firing. The sighting plane is a trifle higher than the K-Frames, but that is a small difference.

    Bob Wright
     
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  23. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    The size and configuration of N-frames and L-frames are different enough to, if at all possible, warrant extensive handling and shooting both before deciding between the two. I own a Model 28 with a 6" barrel and a Model 686 Plus with a 4" barrel and would hate to have to choose between them because I shoot and carry them for different reasons (in my case, the Model 686 is more of a self-defense revolver and the Model 28 I use more for hunting and target shooting-not that you couldn't use either for the same arbitrary reasons). I will say that the full-lugged ejector housing on the L-frame does afford better recoil control for me, especially on rapid, repeat shots.
     
  24. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Really? I'm curious where you heard that, about N frames going out of time and L frames having the trigger pull designed primarily for DA shooting. I certainly have not heard that. I have a Model 686 and a Model 28-2 in hand right now. Both are stock guns and have not been modified or slicked up in any way. The DA trigger pull of the Model 28 is the better of the two. It is lighter and smoother. Of course the Model 28 is over 40 years old and the Model 686 is only a couple of years old. Maybe after 40 years the 686 will have as good a trigger pull as the 28. Single action too, the Model 28 is better. The Model 28 is the four inch one in these photos.

    I have a GP 100, a Model 686, and three Model 28-2s. Which model do you think I like better? As far as the 686 is concerned, I have not been impressed with anything that S&W has been making for the last few years, so I doubt I will be buying any new revolvers from them. I buy used ones all the time. As far as I am concerned, S&W quality today can't hold a candle to their level of quality in the past.

    Here is a photo, from top to bottom, Model 19, not relevant to the current discussion, Ruger GP100, and six inch S&W Model 28-2.

    [​IMG]




    Another six inch Model 28-2.

    [​IMG]




    Four inch Model 28-2.

    [​IMG]




    Seven shot Model 686.

    [​IMG]





    In my book, the Model 28 wins hands down in this comparison.
     
  25. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    Didn't expect a half lug on the GP100. I want one.
     
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