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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I love wheelguns. The only pistol that comes close to a wheelgun in terms of appeal is the .45 1911 platform, but that is a discussion for a different post.

I thought I would share my thoughts about the GP100 in its different incarnations, as well as some related thoughts. Warning, there are some opinions here and some of you will disagree with them. No offense meant here -- just talking about my opinions about revolvers.

1. GP100 full underlug versus half underlug. Personally, I think that the full underlug is better. I have several revolvers, some with half underlug, some with full, including a GP100 4" with the half underlug. Personally I prefer the full underlug. The .357 round has a stiff recoil and the full underlug adds stability. Shooting accurately is the whole point of the handgun. I get it that the half underlug has a cool retro look to it, and it lightens up the gun a little bit. But I prefer both the look and feel of the full underlug.

2. GP100 standard model versus Match Champion. I looked at the Match Champion and tried to like it. Well, mostly I do like it. Pretty good revolver, that's for sure. Have to say that I prefer the Ruger standard configuration GP100 more. The standard GP100 has the best front sight system anywhere, with that spring loaded front sight system that allows for instant switching of front sights. Love it. The Match Champion omits this wonderful feature. I also like adjustable sights on a revolver and while I know that there is a version of the MC that has this, this model has yet to show up in Southern California. While the MC has a nice trigger, after my gunsmith was done with my Standard model GP100 I can assure you that mine has a better trigger than the out-of-the-box MC and maybe better than any MC. Lastly, as per above I prefer the full underlug. So no MC for me, much as I like the revolver.

3. GP100 versus Smith 686+. I have both of these revolvers. I would be hard-pressed to say which is better or which I like better. On all the gun forums the Smith snobs will say that the 686 is more "refined." For the life of me I cannot see this. The Smith and Ruger have different triggers. The Ruger trigger is stagier, while the Smith trigger is shorter and snappier. I find the Ruger trigger to be easier to master and I shoot my GP100 better than I do any other revolver. The 686 is a fine revolver in all respects. It lacks the quick front-sight switching system of the GP100. By the way I could not care less about the Smith lock, which all of the S&W purists decry. Stories about the lock causing a gun to jam remind me of the old saw that "it must be true because I read it on the internet."

Anyway, I hope that someone enjoyed reading my comments and maybe this little post will result in some fun discussions.

My GP100 standard model. The gun features Williams Fire Sights and a Hogue Pau Ferro wood grip. It has had a trigger job and shoots great.



This GP100 I picked up used. It is pristine excepting for some tiny wear that appears to be holster wear. The bluing shows some honest wear. Note the half lug and fixed sights. This was probably a cop's back up gun. Bought it from the LGS consignment shelf. It shoots terrific.



My Smith & Wesson 686+. This gun is completely stock excepting for the Hogue Pau Ferro grip. It shoots great. Note the full lug barrel. This is a seven shooter.

 

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I told my wife I wasn't crazy for having three different .357 mags. She thinks I'm nuts and they are all the same. I'll show her your post to prove I'm not the only CRAZY :eek::D
 

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I also have a few GP100'S all with full lug for the reason you posted. I did have a 686 but traded it, just liked the Ruger's more than the Smith. I also like the picture's you posted.

Joe
 

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Redleg said:
GP100 versus Smith 686+. I have both of these revolvers. I would be hard-pressed to say which is better or which I like better. On all the gun forums the Smith snobs will say that the 686 is more "refined." For the life of me I cannot see this. The Smith and Ruger have different triggers. The Ruger trigger is stagier, while the Smith trigger is shorter and snappier. I find the Ruger trigger to be easier to master and I shoot my GP100 better than I do any other revolver.
I bought a 4" Stainless GP100, and a 4" S$W 686+ the same day. I wasn't sure which I would like better, so I decided to try them both. Right out of the box, the 686+ sights were way off, the GP100 sights were perfect at 25 yards. I didn't like the 686+ trigger. It would hit a wall right before the break, causing me to jerk the shot. The GP100 trigger was smooth all the way, and I shot it much better. The 686 cost almost $200 more. I traded the 686+ even up for a vintage 6" stainless GP100, and couldn't be happier.
 

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I'm not crazy either. I just got my 6" GP100 SS pau ferro a month ago.
Now I'm seriously trying to talk myself out of the TALO 6" or MC.
I figure If I break 'em out one at a time, my wife won't even
know I got another. ;)
 

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Thoughts on the GP100...

With a title like that, my mind instantly comes to the same thought as every time I consider the GP100. While I've owned many of them over the years, and have owned literally hundreds of revolvers, the full size .357magnums like the GP100 just don't have much room in my life. The practical application of a full size .357m is limited, extremely so. Outside of pleasure shooting and defensive application, there's just no other application for which they're really well suited. Too big for small game, too small for big game, although reasonably capable for either, if concessions are made for range. For plinking, rimfires and auto pistols have better economy, for defense, bottom feeders will have longer sight radii, lower weight, and higher capacity. So for me, the full size .357mag revolver is kinda like a compact pickup - they're fine built and functional, but I just don't find any good use for them.

Flame on. Won't change my opinion.
 

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Love your thread, OP. I share most of your bias regarding the GP 100.

I too prefer the full barrel lug look. It just looks " right ". I've been on a shopping mode for a good mid-sized DA .357 magnum revolver for a few weeks now, and the GP 100 is a strong contender. So is the Smith 686. Push comes to shove, I would lean on the GP 100 for the following reasons:

It is cheaper, more widely available (a big plus for us Californians), easier to tear down and work on, robustness of design.

What I don't like about the GP 100's: there are plenty of sharp areas, particulary around the forcing cone area. Flip the cylinder out, and right there by the barrel cone AND the worst of them all......the frame/cylinder crane area! Thumbing this area, if you are not careful, you will get cut! I have to admit that I am annoyed that the Ruger workers won't even take the extra effort to buff out those sharp edges. It shouldn't take more than 2 min. cleaning that area with a buffing wheel from the factory. So, I have a ceramic stone handy and made it a point to polish out those sharp areas on my previous GP 100 that I sold away. I was hoping, when I was checking the GP 100s on two LGS, that Ruger had addressed this issue. But no, those sharp edges are still there on ALL the Ruger GP 100s I fondled.

And that is where, the Smith 686 shines. That feeling of " refinement ". Not so much to the trigger pull, as the Ruger GP 100 can be equal to the 686 in this department. The extra effort done by the Smith's factory workers to spruce up a piece before packing up and sending the piece out.

That said, my next purchase could be a stainless Ruger GP 100. You and a few others who posted on my thread " Miss My GP 100 " convinced me of this..........UNLESS the Ruger American pistols shows up. I have a hankering for the Ruger American in .45acp. So, while I'd like to get a GP 100, I am in no hurry. I will have to play this waiting game.
 

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I'm with you 100%, Redleg. Nothing better than a day with my GP100 at the range. Since I reload, ammo is not that expensive and I always bring along my Rossi lever rifle and make it double fun.
 

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My thoughts:

1- I'll agree with you on this one. I just think the full underlug just looks better, and it does help with balance.

2- For some strange reason, I just can't get into the Match Champion GP100s either. I think, for the money, I could do a better job with a standard 4" GP100 and do a grip change and trigger work, and have basically the same thing for less money. JMHO.

3- I got rid of ALL my Smith and Wessons after receiving poor customer service on a few revolvers I returned for work. Since then, I found Ruger revolvers do a better job than the Smith's did, and are more user friendly when it comes to taking apart and cleaning. Also, I can't stand that trigger lock on the newer ones; it reminds me of their sellout in the late '90s.
 

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I much prefer my S&W K frame Model 66. Because of the design most of what I have read the S&W will have a smoother action and lighter trigger pull both SA/DA. But I have never owned a Ruger GP100 I did have a blued 6 inch Security Six several years ago. But I would love to get a Ruger GP100 4 inch adj. sights either Blued or Stainless. To me the Ruger MC is a flop a waste of time compared to a standard GP100 with adj. sights. The very name Match Champion well then Ruger needs to take the time and efforts for fit and finish to have such a gun with this title! I own more Rugers then Smith & Wesson's but these are smaller D/A's and my Ruger Vaquero.
 

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What I don't like about the GP 100's: there are plenty of sharp areas, particulary around the forcing cone area. Flip the cylinder out, and right there by the barrel cone AND the worst of them all......the frame/cylinder crane area! Thumbing this area, if you are not careful, you will get cut! I have to admit that I am annoyed that the Ruger workers won't even take the extra effort to buff out those sharp edges. It shouldn't take more than 2 min. cleaning that area with a buffing wheel from the factory. So, I have a ceramic stone handy and made it a point to polish out those sharp areas on my previous GP 100 that I sold away. I was hoping, when I was checking the GP 100s on two LGS, that Ruger had addressed this issue. But no, those sharp edges are still there on ALL the Ruger GP 100s I fondled.

And that is where, the Smith 686 shines. That feeling of " refinement ". Not so much to the trigger pull, as the Ruger GP 100 can be equal to the 686 in this department. The extra effort done by the Smith's factory workers to spruce up a piece before packing up and sending the piece out.
This is exactly why the Smith costs more, in some cases, $200 more for a comparable model. That extra hand polishing takes more than 2 minutes, and Ruger chooses not to do it. You can see areas in the cylinder window that, while rough, have nothing to do with function, or longevity. Open up the GP100, and it has razor sharp edges, the Smith doesn't. Ruger makes a product that, most times, functions perfectly, but isn't completely "finished". This keeps Ruger products at a value price, compared to Smith $ Wesson
 

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Love my GP's. And my SP, and Security six too, for that matter.

For straightforward practical use, I use glocks.

But I love my wheelguns! they are not my first choice for carry..yet there is a kydex holster in the woks on my bench...odd.

the trigger on rugers need improvement, but its very satisfying getting them there.

a 3-4" 357 is a great all around gun, does a lot of things well. Suffers from capacity problems defensive-wise, but my carry gun is also a utility tool.


Not many nights after work while I unwind that I do NOT have a wheelie to handle ..mostly a GP.
 

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I told my wife I wasn't crazy for having three different .357 mags. She thinks I'm nuts and they are all the same. I'll show her your post to prove I'm not the only CRAZY :eek::D
Owly, if your wife thinks you have three .357 mags, and she thinks they're "all the same," you have hit paydirt. Think about it. This means you can have as many .357's as you like, because they all look the same to her. :)

(Just don't let her see more than three together at the same time).
 

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Good post, Redleg

I also shoot both the Rugers and Smiths.

Full under-lug versus half-lug or tapered and so on to me is a tradeoff. I like the speed and pointing characteristics of the half-lug and/or tapered barreled guns, but for the sake of accuracy and recoil control, I prefer the full lug.

Had the MC and sold it. Fine gun, no issues and I shot it well, but no better than a standard GP. Do like the styling, though.

To be honest, I shoot more Smiths than Rugers. I like the shorter DA stroke on the Smiths, but have never had a gripe about the GPs. Overall, the SA pulls on our Smiths tend to be crisper with less over-travel. Again, not a big deal. I do like all the many options that S&W offers on the 686, though, since my main handgun cartridge, now, is the 357 mag. With the Smith, you get more options as to barrel lengths, styles, frame materials and, of course, 7 shots (and even 8 shots on the 627s).
 

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I have a Stainless Steel full lug 6" bbl. GP100 that I bought new almost 20 years ago. This gun has been flawless and it is a piece that I will never part with. The only other revolver that I will consider is a Blued 4" GP 100. I may add that to my collection this year. Why mess with perfection???????
 

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I've looked at MC's in the LGS twice and I just don't get it, sorry MC fans.

I've had a trigger job done on both my 4" SS GP and my 2 Security Six by a guy just starting out. He did shims and polish and maybe a spring or two.

I've also owned a good Smith 19.

I wouldn't throw the 19 out. I think my GP with the work that's been done on it feels nicer.

Compared to the 19? I prefer a gun with more mass when shooting 357s and a little more trigger pull - so the vote goes to the GP. Just my choice.
 

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At the risk of offending my Smith loving friends if you want to look at it, buy a Smith. If you want to shoot the snot out of it buy a Ruger.

I'm not a fan of S&W revolvers even though I do own one. My lack of love for S&W wheel guns is 100% subjective. I just don't like them and I can't tell you exactly why.

My Smith is a J-frame that does what it's designed to do very, very well (pocket carry). My GP100 is a 6" stainless.

It's a Ford vs Chevy argument.
 

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It's more than that. Just try dealing with S&W customer service once.
I was being polite. Nobody in their right mind would pick a 686 over a GP100. CS is just one reason. There are many others. :D
 
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