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Why should I get a Ruger...

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Carbon_15, Aug 21, 2006.

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  1. Carbon_15

    Carbon_15 Member

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    instead of another Smith. I am thinking about getting a model 66 as a hunting companion, woods knock-around gun. I ran across a good deal on a Ruger GP-100. Can someone give me the pros and cons of each. I already have several S&W's, and I know the Ruger functions slightly different (cylinder turn, cylinder release). WHat about a weight comparison in 4inch. Why should I get the Ruger over a Smith?
    Thanks
     
  2. Panthera Tigris

    Panthera Tigris Member

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    Rugers will take the hottest .357 loads you can dream up and never have any issues, while Smiths (and Colts) will eventually blow up using hot loads.

    And my wheelgun collection is 2 Smiths and one Colt, no Rugers, so I'm not just partial to Rugers. For a woods gun, I think Rugers are the best.

    Weight-wise, I don't think there's much difference between a 4 inch Smith and a 4 inch GP100.
     
  3. Troggy

    Troggy Member

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    Ruger GP 100 is a very stong gun. You cant realy hurt it. Like the other poster said you can load it hot for outdoor use. I dont know about blowing up a colt or a S&W but at least it may shoot 'em loose way before the Ruger. I used one last year on my hog hunt and even in 6" it was easy to tote. Accurate too. Didnt take a hog with it , I used my Marlin 35rem for that.
     
  4. dispatch

    dispatch Member

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    Ruger

    I absolutely love my old Smiths but if you've never owned a Ruger you owe it to yourself to bring one into the fold. GP100 is great and in my judgement a Security Six is even better. Like all revolvers and all men, they all get better with proper use and care as they age.
     
  5. KINGMAX

    KINGMAX Member

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    RUGER of course

    I am just bit bias when it comes to picking a revolver. I look at others, :scrutiny: but I seem to end up buying the RUGER. :)
    They just seem to have a bit more 'heft' to them. :rolleyes: My last RUGER revolver was a Bisley in .45 Long Colt 5.5 inch barrel, Stainless Steel. :D When you grap it, it feels the part of having one heafty six-shooter in hand. Try it, You may like it. ;)
     
  6. Deer Hunter

    Deer Hunter Member

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    I believe most of the internet theories of "smiths blowing up" are not very factual. In older smiths, people using very hot loads would eventually wear down the gun after pounding it trip after trip to the range with their hottest loads. Nowadays, the Smiths are stronger. I believe you couldn't afford to blow up a Smith and Wesson with full-power loads. Even if you handload and make them hot, the gun wont wear out anytime soon.
     
  7. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

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    I prefer the Smiths. However, if you're going to shoot A LOT of hot ammo go with the Ruger.

    Keep in mind though, the 66's are not being made anymore. So if you want one don't wait too long.
     
  8. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    In terms of size and weight, Smith & Wesson's 586/686 revolvers are similar to the Ruger GP100. S&W's model 66 is a lighter gun. Obviously a Ruger GP-100 will stand up to abuse and heavier loads better then a S&W model 66. However a model 686 would be an even match. Once we get past that it's a matter of picking whichever revolver you like best. You won't go wrong with either one.
     
  9. jman74

    jman74 Member

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    If you're going to go hot all of time, Ruger is your man. Almost any brand will survive what the average shooter will dish out. All modern brands are strong enough. Ruger however produces handguns with stronger than they need to be. Look in just about any reloading manual. Many have loads meant to be used in Rugers only.
     
  10. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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    I have to agree that finding a good stainless Security-Six would be the way to go. The little Rugers today are tough, but they're hard on the hand. I wouldn't worry too much about getting a good 66, though. The tech guys at the NRA years ago told me that a good K-frame Smith would take about 1,500-2,000 full throttle magnum rounds before needing serious work but (and here's the rub) if you then put another 1,500 rounds through it, the frame would actually warp to the point where it couldn't be adequately repaired.

    Now in contrast, Skeeter Skelton said in an article he published, that he knew of three Ruger Security-Sixes, each of which had in excess of 30,000 magnum rounds fired through them. Only one of them is a little out of time, he said at the time, and could be fixed by putting in a new cylinder hand (pawl). Once fitted, the Rugers should keep on going for as long as you can. Eventually they'll need a new barrel, but that's true with any gun. Because of its solid frame, there's no warping to worry about.

    You can get Security-Sixes, Speed-Sixes, Service-Sixes in stainless and for good prices. I looked at one of mine today. It had a B/C gap of .004 and the cylinder was solid as a rock when cocked and even more so when the trigger was pulled. It was one of the finest revolvers ever sold and Ruger replaced it with an ape of a gun that no one really needed except target shooters, and they'd have been better off with a Smith 686.

    Let's face it, if you're going to carry it out in the middle of nowhere, who wants to carry the extra weight. Ruger's medium-frame .357s were as strong if not stronger than Smith's large-size magnums.

    A number of years ago, blued Rugers were fairly rare. Now there seems to be more blued models available than stainless. Don't know why that is, but I liked the stainless. They also had 2.75-inch barrels compared to Smith's 2.5-inch models.

    9650ecc2.jpg
     
  11. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    As I put it once:

    Rugers are so tough that a million years from now when we're all geeked and giant 10ft-tall descendents of the modern cockroach rule the world, they'll be able to dig up GP100s, stick different grips on and shoot each other with 'em.
     
  12. Carbon_15

    Carbon_15 Member

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    OK..the Ruger is tough..I knew that:neener:
    What about accuracy?
    The load I shoot most is a 125gr bullet over 7.4 grains of American Select (alliant)..would this be considered loading hot? For woods packing or hunting I just uses factory 158gr SP's.
     
  13. Stainz

    Stainz Member

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    New Rugers, at least in the last few years, have more QC issues. Additionally, they have nastier triggers. The GP-100 & SRH share the same lockwork and grip. Their triggers will never equal a K or L-frame S&W .357M. I do like the grip on the GP-100/SRH - my .454 SRH was actually quite decent, in retrospect. I wouldn't discount a six shot 686 as equivalent to the GP-100, load wise - they are nearly identical. My preference, for pointability and shootability, is the partial-lug 66, like my 6"-er. Their Achille's heel is the forcing cone erosion from blasting away with 110-125gr hot .357M's - not heavier (158gr) rounds. That was addressed by the increased frame thickness and fc diameter of the L-frame 686.

    A great choice exists today in the 66's replacement - the 620. It is a 4" L-frame, with the 686+'s 7-shot cylinder, and a half lugged barrel of their new 2-piece construction. That would be my choice - a new 620 - with a lifetime warranty with an 800 number for pick-up. That'll last a lifetime plus. It'll break-in to a better stock trigger - with some more improvement available from some S&W trigger work. If the recoil is bothersome, their .500 Magnum Hogue grips will fit - and insulate your hand from the backstrap.

    Of course, I am biased... my Rugers have been leaving - and more S&W's arrive in their place.

    Stainz
     
  14. PinnedAndRecessed

    PinnedAndRecessed member

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    Hi Carbon. Thanx again for the Ahrends. They are on my 66 no dash, with four inch barrel.

    And I also have a four inch GP100. I can shoot either gun with equal accuracy.

    True, the Smith has a better trigger pull, but in single action mode, it's a moot point. You're talking about a field gun and target accuracy is not needed. Nor is a 40 oz. trigger.

    That's why my "field" gun is the Ruger. It's built like a tank and is plenty accurate for the purpose. Buy with confidence.
     
  15. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Wear out quicker, maybe, but BLOW UP? I don't think so.

    I'd go Ruger for outdoor heavy load use, but if you're going to carry this thing hiking and such and shoot mostly .38s in it and stoke it with hot stuff for the possibility of getting in a fight with a bear or some such almost impossibility or running across a drug dealer in the ********** hills (more likely), I'd take a lighter gun than a GP100. I mean, I love my blackhawks, but a 66 is 6 or 7 ounces lighter. Now, that don't sound like much, until you're 6 hours into your hike and it's hangin' on your hip. :D That said, I really prefer an even LIGHTER gun than the 66. I'd like to have one of them titanium wonder revolvers, just ain't got the bucks for one right now. A Taurus Tracker would be nice.

    However, for light day hikes, short hikes, I've toted a Blackhawk all over the place. I don't do much overnight long hiking anymore. 54 years old and out of shape for that sort of stuff. My hikes are half day at most, or the last time I hiked. Carrying a heavier sidearm like the GP100 isn't that big a deal on a short excursion, just that it gets old after 8 or 9 hours on the trail. Been there, done that. When you're out on a long hike, you gotta carry water, for one. That's the heaviest thing, but it's a necessity. With all the weight you HAVE to carry, the handgun you'd like to downsize, or at least that's the way I look at it. I may never use my frame pack again, though, so a quest for a light weight revolver isn't that big a deal to me anymore.

    So, if excess weight doesn't matter to you, go with the stronger GP100 and be assured your great grandson will enjoy it (future politics not-withstanding). If you don't wanna tote around 40 ounces all day, think about the 66 even if it's not as strong a gun.

    Just my $.02
     
  16. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    My experience with Ruger revolvers is they're just as accurate as any comparable Smith and Wesson or any other revolver. Sure, the DA trigger is not the quality of a Smith, but don't tell me you're going to shoot the thing DA at a 50 yard target...:rolleyes: I carry Blackhawks afield, myself. I got no use for DA in the great outdoors and if there's anything stronger than a GP100, it's a Blackhawk.

    I only stoke my .357s with 125 grain bullets for self defense. I carry either 158 grain SWC gas checked bullets from a Lee mold over 14.5 grains of H2400 (hot, but in the book) or a 180 grain Hornady XTP load that's even hotter I will not give the weight of AA#9 I use. That load I reserve for my Blackhawk, but would likely be okay in a GP100. Nearly 800 ft lbs from a 6.5" barrel. I want at LEAST 158 grains of hot handload if I'm to go against a fanged critter like a bear. I feel better about it even against a cat. If I'm going against something like that, I'm face on with it and I'm going to have to penetrate some flesh if I can't make a head shot. I also find those two loads exceedingly accurate in my Blackhawk, 100 yards accurate on deer size game.
     
  17. MK11

    MK11 Member

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    Before jumping on the Smith trigger bandwagon, actually compare the triggers. An older Model 19/66 will probably have a better trigger pull than the GP100. The new 620 will probably not.

    I've got two Model 19s and a GP100. I like my Model 19s because they're pretty and a lot of fun to shoot .38s through at the range. I like my GP100 because it makes shooting hot loads easier on me and it's extremely accurate with a wide variety of loads. I'd dump the Model 19s before the GP100.
     
  18. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Member

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    The ruger is MUCH easier to field strip when you fall in the mud/snow/stream/whatever. And you WILL do this eventually.
     
  19. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    The Ruger triggers smooth out with use. New (or used!) Rugers DO need to be run through "the checkout" new but I can say the same for S&W. "The checkout" will spot any glitches. The newest pieces actually seem quite good - my year-old Ruger New Vaquero was cosmetically very good and mechanically superb: tight gap, good lockup, good timing, great accuracy. She'll pull 2" groups off the bench at 25yds with a factory load I've found to date, and it's a load that would work real well for personal defense (Speer Gold Dot 135gr JHP 357Mag "lite load").

    (Only reason I rate that gun down a bit on looks is that the fake color-case-hardening was a bit cheesy lookin' - all smoky gray all over, pretty much no reds or blues like real case hardening. No big deal to me, looks OK in it's own right but doesn't look "period".)

    For some reason Rugers seem to "shoot fast" - in other words the barrels generate good velocity. Some (but not all) of the newest S&Ws seem to share this trait. One place you can see it is in the published velocity data from real guns at Buffalo Bore under the 357Mag loads:

    ---------
    1. 3 inch S&W J frame

    a. Item 19A/20-180gr. Hard cast LFN = 1302 fps
    b. Item 19B/20-170gr. JHC (jacketed hollow cavity) = 1299 fps
    c. Item 19C/20-158gr. Speer Uni Core = 1398 fps
    d. Item 19D/20-125gr. Speer Uni Core = 1476 fps

    2. 4 inch S&W L frame Mt. Gun

    a. Item 19A/20-180gr. Hard cast LFN = 1375 fps
    b. Item 19B/20-170gr JHC = 1411 fps
    c. Item 19C/20-158gr. Speer Uni Core = 1485 fps
    d. Item 19D/20-125gr. Speer Uni Core = 1603 fps

    3. 5 inch S&W model 27

    a. Item 19A/20-180gr. Hard Cast =1398 fps
    b. Item 19B/20-170gr. JHC = 1380 fps
    c. Item 19C/20-158gr. Speer Uni Core = 1457 fps
    d. Item 19D/20-125gr. Speer Uni Core = 1543 fps

    4. 6 inch Ruger GP 100

    a. Item 19D/20-125gr. Speer Uni Core = 1707 fps

    5. 18.5 inch Marlin 1894

    a. Item 19A/20-180gr. Hard Cast = 1851 fps
    b. Item 19B/20-170gr. JHC = 1860 fps
    c. Item 19C/20-158gr. Speer Uni Core = 2153 fps---- Can you believe this?!!!
    d. Item 19D/20-125gr. Speer Uni Core = 2298 fps---- Or this?!!!

    Source:
    http://www.buffalobore.com/ammunition/default.htm#357
    ---------

    Note the difference between 5" S&W and 6" Ruger - there shouldn't be a 150fps boost from 1" of barrel. More like 50fps would be normal. Something else is going on - 100fps or so of that would be attributable to barrel quality. The S&W 4" barrel listed is in the same ballpark as the Ruger (100fps loss on 2" of barrel, that makes sense) but the 3" S&W is again not holding up...doing better than the 5" though.

    We see this fairly consistently across all ammo tests and different Rugers...some of Stephen Camp's testing shows this pattern. Ruger barrels shoot fast. Others sometimes keep up but Rugers are consistently fastest.
     
  20. Essex County

    Essex County Member

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    I've owned both and it's a toss-up. We may argue about durability but I'd like to have the ammo to wear either out.....Get the one that fees best in your hand...........Essex
     
  21. eastwood44mag

    eastwood44mag Member

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    Smiths shoot nicer, but Rugers last forever.
     
  22. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Member

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    Hows this:

    A certain relative of mine lost his blued gp100 late in the fall(October) up the canyon. Said certain relative recieved a call the folowing spring(April) from the police.

    Seems some cross country skier found it in a melting snow bank and turned it in.

    Bluing isn't so good in spots. But after a good clean up it still shoots as good as ever. I know- I shot it before and after.

    Bore still looks good, internals are ok.
     
  23. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    I'm tellin' ya. Cockroaches. Eons. Won't matter. :)
     
  24. Carbon_15

    Carbon_15 Member

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    Thanks for all the input guys. I think I am going to try to find either a 19 or 66 at the next local gunshow. I have a 6in 66, 19 and 27, and a 4in 67 and pair of model 10's. The reason I dont want to carry one of the 3 .357's I have in the woods is weight and in some cases collectable value. I have a bum right leg from a car accident and every ounce counts. I don't have a need to shoot nuclear handloads either. not many bears here in SC, The only critters I would likely face would be wild boar (my hunting grounds are INFESTED) and various wild cats.
    I REALLY like the GP-100 grip, and I was hoping you guys could make me change my mind, but I guess I'm just a vintage Smith-aholic. A P&R 66 or 19 in less than mint condition should be prefect.

    P.S. anyone personaly worn out a S&W???:scrutiny:
     
  25. surfinUSA

    surfinUSA Member

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    "Rugers will take the hottest .357 loads you can dream up and never have any issues, while Smiths (and Colts) will eventually blow up using hot loads."

    This is absolute internet bull*****. As long as you are using SAMMI spec ammo a Smith &Wesson will last as long or longer than a Ruger, and so will a Colt.

    Rugers are bigger than they have to be because they are cast and not forged. That doesn't make them any stronger than a Colt or a Smith & Wesson just bigger and heavier.

    Now I'll clue all you internet readers in to a fact that the custom ammo manufacturers don't tell you, when they say "for Rugers only" its just advertising bull*****. As long as the rounds they are selling are within SAMMI specs for that caliber, they are safe for and gun in good condition chambered in that caliber. This nonsense just makes their rounds sound more powerful. If their rounds are outside of SAMMI specifications you shouldn't be using them in the first place regardless of the manufacturer of gun you are using.

    Ruger makes a decent gun for the price but its no better and won't last any longer than a Colt or a Smith & Wesson.
     
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