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Discussion Starter #1
S&W 686, or Ruger GP100? I WANT the Python, but it's a little out of my budget. Currently, I'm leaning towards the Ruger because it's roughly $150 cheaper. Any feedback would be much appreciated. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Imo, Pythons are to nice and expensive to go out and shoot anyway. Owned a S&W mod 14 didn't like trigger but wish I wouldn't have sold it all the same.

Don't own either but have been looking at the GP100. Below is a link that has lot of info on it.

Ruger GP100 Book of Knowledge « Gunner’s Journal
Thanks for the link. That's why I was leaning away from the Python; if I got one, I'd pry only shoot it twice annually. $1500-$3000 is WAY TOO much for a safe queen (on my budget).
 

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You named three manufacturers' revolvers... none of which would be a wrong choice. I happen to like the looks and feel of S&W, and that's the path I chose. In .357 mag I have a Model 19 and a Model 686. Others prefer Ruger because of the more rugged look and feel. If I had an unlimited budget, I'd have a Python or Anaconda already!

ETA: Don't dismiss used revolvers... there are great bargains out there. All my revolvers, save my Model 29, were purchased used. The Model 19 cost me $450 (was LNIB) and the 686 ran me $345.


The 686:


 

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Well, it depends. The GP100 is a freakin' tank. A friend of mine once said that the only things that would survive a nuclear holocaust would be cockroaches and Ruger GP100's. If you just want a tank of a revolver that you don't need to care for other than a quick wipe and a boresnaking here and there then get the Ruger. On the other hand, the S&W's can have the crap upgraded out of 'em. They are great for, say, IDPA competitions. So if you want something you can trick out a little and really make your own then I'd get the S&W. Hope that helps.
 

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If you want pretty and a better trigger pull S&W, if you want an affordable revolver built like a tank Ruger.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks buddy. $345 for a 686 is a heck of a deal! The cheapest used one I've found up in Minnesota is $560!
You named three manufacturers' revolvers... none of which would be a wrong choice. I happen to like the looks and feel of S&W, and that's the path I chose. In .357 mag I have a Model 19 and a Model 686. Others prefer Ruger because of the more rugged look and feel. If I had an unlimited budget, I'd have a Python or Anaconda already!

ETA: Don't dismiss used revolvers... there are great bargains out there. All my revolvers, save my Model 29, were purchased used. The Model 19 cost me $450 (was LNIB) and the 686 ran me $345.


The 686:


 

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If you want pretty and a better trigger pull S&W, if you want an affordable revolver built like a tank Ruger.
I bought mine over 30 years ago. This is the "grand daddy" of the GP100.


$Ruger1.jpg

$Ruger2.jpg

$Ruger3.jpg

Ruger Police Service 6 in .357 Mag.
 

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If you want pretty and a better trigger pull S&W, if you want an affordable revolver built like a tank Ruger.
This is a fair summation. I have owned both. The Ruger SP100, like most Ruger revolvers, including their Redhawk and Super Redhawk are built extremely heavy. Overkill is a way to put it. I sold my Redhawk and my SP100 after shooting Smith and Wesson 66s, 686s, 29s and 629s. I have pretty much washed my hands of Ruger handguns. Not that they are inferior or anything, I just found that I never carried them after purchasing my Smith revolvers.

The Smith revolvers are just more refined, plenty strong and lighter to carry in general. I also like their triggers much better.
 

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Drop a Wolff spring kit in the GP100 and don't look back. My GP has tens of thousands of rounds through it (at least two thousand of those have been full-house 357 mags) and still shoots clover leafs at 25 yards. There is no end shake and headspace and cylinder gap are incredibly tight.

Smith makes fine revolvers, but they don't have a lockup on the front of the crane like the Rugers, and they will loosen up over time if you put a lot of 357 Magnum loads through them. That requires a trip to a competent gunsmith. Meanwhile the GP100s keep on sending lead into very small groups downrange. More than one gun writer has opined that the GP100 is the most consistently accurate production double action revolver on the market.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Drop a Wolff spring kit in the GP100 and don't look back. My GP has tens of thousands of rounds through it (at least two thousand of those have been full-house 357 mags) and still shoots clover leafs at 25 yards. There is no end shake and headspace and cylinder gap are incredibly tight.

Smith makes fine revolvers, but they don't have a lockup on the front of the crane like the Rugers, and they will loosen up over time if you put a lot of 357 Magnum loads through them. That requires a trip to a competent gunsmith. Meanwhile the GP100s keep on sending lead into very small groups downrange. More than one gun writer has opined that the GP100 is the most consistently accurate production double action revolver on the market.
Thanks, Noah Mercy. I ended up going with the GP 100. The thing is a BEAST, plus it was roughly $200 cheaper. I'm going to take your advice on the trigger upgrade.
 

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Good call, Chris (but like someone mentioned, there is no wrong answer when the question is 686 or GP100).

I put the Wolff springs in my GP100 a few years ago and am glad I did. I also have done some polishing inside, but I would not recommend that you do that unless you have someone experienced show you how. (I have enough to do it myself but not to teach yet)
 

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GP100 all the way....Then get the SP 101....Then the LCR....You can come down with Rugeritis before you know it!
 

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Thanks, Noah Mercy. I ended up going with the GP 100. The thing is a BEAST, plus it was roughly $200 cheaper. I'm going to take your advice on the trigger upgrade.
Good choice. The rule of thumb I've read for Smith's is a 1:10; you can fire 1 full house .357 for every 10 .38 Spc. A steady diet of .357 will supposedly loosen it up. This isn't the case with the Ruger.

I have a 4" GP100, 3" SP101 and a DAO 2" SP101. The trigger on my GP100 was excellent out of the box, but the SP101s needed springs and polish. Pretty easy to do with a pad and Dremel. I just dry fired them about 300 times and polished any areas that seemed worn. World of difference. They were my first attempts at any gunsmithing too and went without issue.
 

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Good call, Chris (but like someone mentioned, there is no wrong answer when the question is 686 or GP100).

I put the Wolff springs in my GP100 a few years ago and am glad I did. I also have done some polishing inside, but I would not recommend that you do that unless you have someone experienced show you how. (I have enough to do it myself but not to teach yet)
I did the same with a used GP100 and while its still not quite like a finely tuned S&W, its a damn fine trigger and very smooth. Dremel tools do as much harm as good, use an absolutely flat surface (I have a lapping block) and some emery paper from 600 down to 1200 and light oil. You will have a mirror finish on the parts. DO not attempt if you don't know what your doing though.
 

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I would get the 686 as a L frame gun there is no worry about .357 loads. and they just seem to have a much better trigger and fit & finish then any money spent on it just makes it that much better


I added a Korth Combat 357 to my wish list. Now just to come uo with $4200.00 plus tt&l
 

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Good choice. The rule of thumb I've read for Smith's is a 1:10; you can fire 1 full house .357 for every 10 .38 Spc. A steady diet of .357 will supposedly loosen it up. This isn't the case with the Ruger.

I have a 4" GP100, 3" SP101 and a DAO 2" SP101. The trigger on my GP100 was excellent out of the box, but the SP101s needed springs and polish. Pretty easy to do with a pad and Dremel. I just dry fired them about 300 times and polished any areas that seemed worn. World of difference. They were my first attempts at any gunsmithing too and went without issue.
Untrue.

I've fired plenty (read: thousands) of full-house .357 through my 686-1 (which was well-used when I bought it), and it's till tight. In fact, I think it locks up tighter than my GP-100 (which was also bought used, but appears to be used less) which I had first, and shot a similar # of rounds through. The 686 without a doubt has a better trigger, and I do believe they are both stock.

I do believe they are both good pistols, but the Smith is, in my experience, a better pistol. And the Ruger is not a "tank", it is a pistol, and I've seen the remains of a GP100 afer a catastrophic failure...it can happen.
 

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it's the Model 19 (I'm not sure if the 66 had the same problem) that doesn't like a diet of fast, light magnum loads all the time.

the 686 is about as tough as they come.

either the 686 or the GP would be a fine choice but like Cuda said, the Smith is gonna have a better stock trigger (and tuned too really) But the Ruger trigger isn't bad by any means, accurate DA shots aren't much more difficult with it.

hmm, I need more .357's

first on the agenda is more .44 mag's and maybe some .41's

but really, what you need is a flock of Blackhawks.

I've got an itch to get a 4 5/8" .44 mag and get some fixed night sights made for it.
 

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Tough to beat a S&W 686 they are a great handgun. The one I own is a very good shooter, accurate and had a very good trigger out of the box.

This one has seen a lot of .357 fullhouse loads and is just fine.

There is also nothing wrong with a GP100, they are indeed built to last and take beating.
 
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