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Discussion Starter #1
I have to admit I am both a Ruger and S&W revolver fan. I think they both have different and great qualities sometimes I wish I could merge them.

I know nothing about metal beyond what the every day man knows. I was discussing the weight of the revolvers with my Father N Law. He runs a factory that casts metal parts. He is not a shooter but I trust him and he is a very intelligent man.

He told me the difference is the Ruger is cast metal and the S&W is machined metal. He said cast metal is typically heavier but not more or less strong. Again he is not a shooter so I can only assume he could tell by looking???

I hear that Rugers are heavier therefore more durable is that a misconception? I do know the weight will lesson felt recoil. But does it have an affect on durability?

Doesn't really matter to me because I love them both and I think they will both last a very long time. I am just naturally a curious person and I was just wondering what the general consensus is.
 

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The GP100 and SP101 were Ruger’s response to accelerated wear from a steady diet of 357 Magnum round’s plaguing S&W’s K frame line and Ruger’s Security Six. So, yes being more heavily built make’s the GP 100, SP 101 & 586/686 more resistant to cylinder strap erosion and frame fatigue. Regrettably this does not apply to the S&W J frame. In the end though as a general principle as a matter of general principle none of this really mattered to the average gun owner/shooter. Instead it was larger LEA who sought these more heavily constructed revolvers. Curiously enough though the majority of LEW/LEO transitioned to semi-automatic pistols, primarily Glock’s as the GP/SP and L frames came into being.
 

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^^ that^^ exactly what I was going to say. Rugers are so much stronger that there are published loads for them that would blow a S&W to bits.....

Take two guns, one made for .38special, and one made for .357 mag, and shoot a steady diet of full power .38 special through them both, all day, every day, and which do you think will last longer, the one made for exactly what you are shooting, or the one made for something much stronger?

Another example, two trucks, one made to tow 12,000lbs, and one made to tow 24,000 lbs, using them to tow 12,000lbs every day, which transmission do you suppose will last longer?

In every case, of course the one made more heavy duty will be more durable....
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
^^ that^^ exactly what I was going to say. Rugers are so much stronger that there are published loads for them that would blow a S&W to bits.....

Take two guns, one made for .38special, and one made for .357 mag, and shoot a steady diet of full power .38 special through them both, all day, every day, and which do you think will last longer, the one made for exactly what you are shooting, or the one made for something much stronger?

Another example, two trucks, one made to tow 12,000lbs, and one made to tow 24,000 lbs, using them to tow 12,000lbs every day, which transmission do you suppose will last longer? What material is the transmission made of cast metal or machined metal that is in a sense of what we are talking about. Which ever is made of better material will last longer.

In every case, of course the one made more heavy duty will be more durable....If you are saying heavy duty in weight terms I completely disagree some outstanding things are being done with newer technology and making lighter stronger metals
I don't know about published rounds the .357 magnum used to be the .357 Smith and Wesson. I am not familiar with Ruger only rounds so I don't know enough to say. But it doesn't sound like a good argument

I don't think the weight of the truck has to do with it as much as the materials the truck is made out of. If it is a better built truck it is going to run better than the heavier not as nice built truck.

Again I am not saying one is stronger than the other I am just not yet convinced that one is stronger than the other. What can I say I love them both!
 

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I don’t know how much is legend and how much is truth in the Ruger vs. S&W relative strength question. A Ruger is typically heavier than a Smith & Wesson with the same barrel length which reduces felt recoil. Smith & Wesson cylinders are a little shorter than the Ruger cylinders. Some of the Buffalo Bore .44 magnum +P+ ammo will fit in one of my Rugers, my Colt Anaconda, or in the Dan Wesson I previously owned, but will not allow the cylinder to close on the S&W 29-2. I don’t believe the Colt or Dan Wesson revolvers were built any more ruggedly than the S&W revolvers. The only difference I see is in the cylinder length.

I do know if you push any gun to the limits, it can be very dangerous. I don’t see any need to overload any of my .44 magnums with a steady diet of super heavy rounds. If I need more power, I get out my Desert Eagle 50AE with about 60% more power or my S&W 460XVR with up to 180% more power.
 

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Guys, "ruger only" loads arent just something "ruger fans" talk about. Its established fact that ruger revolvers are stronger than most, and "ruger only" loads are included in most published reloading manuals.....
 

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It's not just weight, it's design.
The Rugers were designed from the ground up with .357 Mag pressures in mind, not just adaptations of a century-old design upgraded with better heat treatment and slight upsizing.

The Ruger has reinforced areas in the crane, forcing cone, barrel/frame attachment, cylinder walls, cylinder lockup, and so on, besides a generally beefier frame.

The Ruger GP IS a more durable gun than a Smith L Frame.
The Ruger Redhawk (either version) IS a much stronger and more durable gun than a Smith N Frame.

This is not saying the Smiths are junk, so let's not run off on that tangent.
Denis
 

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I hear that Rugers are heavier therefore more durable is that a misconception? I do know the weight will lesson felt recoil. But does it have an affect on durability?
I've often heard how Rugers are bigger & heavier than S&W. Only thing is it doesn't seem to be true.

Ruger says my GP100 6" is 45 ounces. S&W says the weight of their 686 6" is 44.9 oz. See any difference?:confused:

I can see one way in which Ruger seems to be more demanding regarding strength. Unlike S&W & Taurus, Ruger refuses to put more than 6 rounds in a .357 cylinder. Seems like thicker cylinder walls should be harder to destroy (either by handloader accident or intentionally pushing the limits).

Ruger also has timing notches cut into the thickest part of the cylinder (between chambers) at least on guns with an even number of chambers. Exact opposite of S&W.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I've often heard how Rugers are bigger & heavier than S&W. Only thing is it doesn't seem to be true.

Ruger says my GP100 6" is 45 ounces. S&W says the weight of their 686 6" is 44.9 oz. See any difference?:confused:

I can see one way in which Ruger seems to be more demanding regarding strength. Unlike S&W & Taurus, Ruger refuses to put more than 6 rounds in a .357 cylinder. Seems like thicker cylinder walls should be harder to destroy (either by handloader accident or intentionally pushing the limits).

Ruger also has timing notches cut into the thickest part of the cylinder (between chambers) at least on guns with an even number of chambers. Exact opposite of S&W.
So what you are saying is its the design of the gun not the weight like some people think.
 

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It's not just weight, it's design.
Exactly. The GP has a three point lockup with the front of the cylinder locking with a heavy latch independent of the crane rod. Not what you'll see in a S&W. The GP also has no side plates that you see on a S&W to weaken the frame. The GP frame is a one piece tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, yeah....
Thought we laid it out pretty clear.
Denis
ok just clarifying.

So I am glad it is clear now and hopefully it will clear up some mistaken information for others that see this post. I hate when bad information gets passed as fact just because it is the most commonly made statement.
 

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Usually at about this point somebody drops in to defend S&W.
There's no need to, Smiths are far from junk & nobody's saying they're fragile.
Statements based on the greater durability of Rugers are not based on fan "blinders", they're based on fact.

In most cases most owners won't shoot enough of either for that alone to be a determining factor in choosing one over the other.

I have stock examples of both, I have customized examples of both.
If you want sheer strength, go Ruger.
If you don't care, go with S&W.
Denis
 

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I don't know about published rounds the .357 magnum used to be the .357 Smith and Wesson. I am not familiar with Ruger only rounds so I don't know enough to say. But it doesn't sound like a good argument

I don't think the weight of the truck has to do with it as much as the materials the truck is made out of. If it is a better built truck it is going to run better than the heavier not as nice built truck.

Again I am not saying one is stronger than the other I am just not yet convinced that one is stronger than the other. What can I say I love them both!
Many reloading charts have a page listed "Ruger Only" google ruger only reloading chart and see what you find.

Rugers are made of better steel than an S&W. To have a Ruger engraved the steel has to be annealed or softened. To engrave a S&W you only need to get busy.

I am not saying S&W builds bad guns. For the average shooter a S&W is a fine weapon. But for someone who punishes weapons....Pushes them to their limits all the time, they need a Ruger.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The ruger security 6 etc is way more durable than the k frame of the era the gp100 is a bit more durable than the 686 series.
Really??? Please tell my how you know this for certain. Just trying to figure out the facts.
 

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ruger vs S&W

The ruger security 6 etc is way more durable than the k frame of the era the gp100 is a bit more durable than the 686 series.
;)I disagree. Ruger and S&W are entirely different designs. Some of the earlier responses on this thread are correct, in that the GP100 was a response to lots of shooting with .357 loads. S&W made the same switch when they went from the K frame to the L frame, which is the 586/686 series. The GP100 and 686 are both great guns. The S&W is a 100 year old proven design and the GP100 is a more recent design. But IMHO the arguments comparing the Ruger and the S&W just don't hold water:)
 
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