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Im searching for a revolver as a range gun and want to hear your opinions. S&W686 vs. like condition GP100. Any opinion from any vantage point will help me. thanks RFN!
 

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I have a GP100 4", and a S&W 686Plus 4". The 686 was $130 more, but has a 7 shot cylinder. Is that worth $130? Probably. The 686Plus is unique with that capacity. It makes its resale value higher than the GP100. The 686Plus has a shorter Double Action trigger, but the pull weight is the same as the GP100. The Single Action trigger is supurb, with no creep at all. The GP100 Single Action trigger has a bit of creep, but is of course, very serviceable. Both of these revolvers will last for generations. Is the Smith worth the extra money...? Yes, I say it is.
 

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Greetings,

I had a Colt python with six inch barrel, and it was sweet shooter. I had a S&W 686 with a four inch barrel, and it was sweet, too. Both of these revolvers were great, and I wish I still had them... The Ruger is tank tough, and will serve you well.

Which to choose??? Up to you...

moondog911 :cool:
 

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Hey Kali - Still looking for a DA revolver? There are a lot of options, including S&W. I love my Rugers but I have a few Smiths I'm really fond of as well.

I would guess your question posed here will generate more "no" answers and if put out on a S&W forum would get you more "yes" answers. :p

The GP100 is tank-tough and easily servicable. It's a pleasure to shoot and a great revolver. The S&W generally seem more "elegant" in design and feel and the trigger responds and feels differently - crisper is the best word I can come up with. This is all subjective of course and opinions will vary. If presented with both and I could choose either one and cost was not a factor in my decision I would probably lean toward the 686. 7 shot is unique. I would probably prefer a 686-4 though - pre-lock and no MIM parts.

Whether or not the higher price on the 686 is worth it finally comes down to you. If you could handle both and, better yet, shoot both you should come away with your own opinion about the worth of one versus the other. And in the end that's the only opinion that really matters.
 

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I’m a long time very committed S&W revolver shooter and my loyalty to the pre-1990’s models is unquestioned. Now though is I were choosing a full sized 357 magnum revolver it would be the GP100, the cost savings have nothing to do with this. Instead I consider a newer GP100 to be a more intelligent design to the S&W.
 

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Wandering Sandlapper
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Both are great guns!

I've shot quite a few of the S & W's. I own quite a few Rugers wheel guns.
 

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The best I can say is with S&W you are paying for a bit more fit and finish that the Ruger. As long as your S&W is good to go then it should need nothing done to it for it to go from out of the box to a great range blaster. Ruger doesn't spend the money on final polish and detailing that S&W does. The back of both of my GP100's triggers had to be rounded with a dremel to stop eating my trigger finger. The back of the hammer is sharp as well and could start chewing on holsters depending on design. IMHO they both come with terrible grips that need to be replaced. You have a thousand plus grips out there for S&W but a fraction to look at for the GP100. But really once I found a good fitting rubber one piece grip with inserts I've not felt the need to swap it out any more on my GP100s. And keep in mind while I've shot several 586s and 686s, I went ahead both times and bought GP100s instead. I do own several S&Ws but I always have a GP100 in the range bag.
 

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I think the Colt Python is the best revolver ever made. I'm hearing enough stories about QC issues due to Ruger's increased production that I wouldn't be in a rush to buy a new Ruger. That said, my older 10/22s are just great.
 

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My first firearm purchase was in 1984, I wanted a Python but at 22 years old I couldn't afford it. So then I started doing some homework and discovered the 686, WOW beautifull, looks simular to a Python (so I thought) and a lot less money. So I made my decesion, put my hard earned cash toward the purchased and ordered the 686; $240.00 was alot of money in those days!!!

I still own this gun and have had a lot of good times with it and would never sell it. I did however purchase a new GP100 SS 6" about a year ago and I have to say hands down that I am more consistantly accurate with the GP.

In any days dollars, I don't feel that the Smith is worth that much more.

Either way whichever you go with I'm sure you will be happy with it...

Enjoy.:)
 

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I think the Colt Python is the best revolver ever made. I'm hearing enough stories about QC issues due to Ruger's increased production that I wouldn't be in a rush to buy a new Ruger. That said, my older 10/22s are just great.
My Blackhawk and 10/22 have had no problems though. I think the reason you hear "enough" stories as apposed to another manufacturer is because you are on a Ruger forum. That being said, if you were to encounter a problem, Ruger's customer support is amazing from what I hear.
 

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Both are just fine, I've got Smiths as old as 1920 and as new as 2008. My opinion is, S&W made the best .38 special revolvers ever designed, and then Ruger took over when it comes to Magnums. For the average shooter a 686 is just fine and will probably be slicker out of the box than a GP100. Most revolver buyers get a .357 and then run mostly .38's through it anyway. If you've got magnum-itis , get the Ruger. The GP100 is much tougher than a 686 and the Redhawk blows the 29 and 629 out of the water for durability. But, unless you shoot tens of thousands of .357's a year, the Smith will hold up just fine. My Dad has had a 586 he bough new in 1989 and it's still tight as new and it's seen a fair amount of .357.
 

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I would go with the Ruger GP100
 

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Ruger GP.
 

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Like many others that posted a response, I have many revolvers and I love Smiths, Colts and Rugers. I would go with the GP-100.
 

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These are my two early 80's production S&W 581's, they are basically 586's with fixed sights. I don't expect either of them to wear out in my lifetime, but they still aren't as tough as my GP100's.



This is the 581, along with the GP100 fixed sight full lug. Both are medium frame, .357 revolvers. The S&W L-frame came out first, IMO S&W brought them out to try to regain the police market from Ruger's Security Six, with the "larger frame" S&W hoped would make a .357 that would appeal to LE agencies. But, the S&W L-frame uses the same yoke assembly as the K-frame, and is just as prone to developing endshake issues with lots of .357's. The L-frame is basically just a beefed up version of the K-frame, the lockwork is exactly the same. The GP100 was a completely new design , with a beefier yoke tube, and has a crane lock, which is MUCH sturdier than S&W's ejector rod lockup system, and also the same system on the Security Six.



This is one of my GP100 6" guns, along with my Dad's 6" 586 made in 1989. I just sold the Colt King Cobra because it didn't do anything my Rugers couldn't, and I am not really a Colt guy. The GP100 shoots just as well as the 586 and I see no difference in DA shooting with either. They do the same exact job, but the GP100 will stand up to super-heavy .357's a lot better. That 586 is a work of art, though, with target hammer and trigger...........it was the first "real" gun that I fired, when you're a 10 year old kid touching off .357's at the indoor range with your Dad, it can make you a wheelgun fan for life=) Back in 1990, .357 revolvers still ruled the range, it was before the plastic "wondernine" Glock poppers completely dominated the market.
 

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I have both Smith and Ruger revolvers. If you get the Smith do it for the seventh round. However, overall I would recommend the Ruger. It is a simpler design, more rugged, and after some action work I think better than a Smith. the only guns I have ever sent back to the factory have been Smiths... In fact every one of my Smiths has gone back for service.

So, other than the extra shot if you go the 686+ I would say the Smith is not worth the extra money.

Note I am referring to new Smiths.... Older Smiths are very nice in their own right,
 

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It really depends on what you mean by "better". To some it is well worth it, to others it is not only not worth the extra $$, but the Ruger is superior.
 
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