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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
looking at picking up one of these revolvers to qualify for my CHL instructors license. I have picked up both and they both feel really good. I have shot a 686 and it shoots well. Anyone shot the Ruger? What are your thoughts?
 

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Hi, Reyort - I've shot both quite a bit. I don't own either, but I do own a Smith 586, which is the blued-steel version of the 686, and I've owned it longer than any firearm I own and didn't inherit.

Both are fine revolvers that will give you, and likely your grandchildren, many decades of service. Both are very robust and reliable.

Frankly, by my way of thinking, you should just shoot them both and go with the one that your hand likes better. I can think of no practical, substantive difference between them that would override that.

Best,
Jon
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. Handling both guns at the shop, they feel identical. Just curious if both are accurate.
 

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Given the choice, I would take a Smith anyday. But then, I'm a Smith revolver guy.
 

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New? Ruger GP100.
Used? S&W 686-4 pre lock.

I felt the need for a "new" 357 some years ago. After viewing S&W current production offerings I bought the Ruger GP100 4". Fine revolver with a trigger thats sweet. I've since purchased other Rugers and have not looked back.

That said, S&W revolvers (made prior to 2001) are my favorites. See if you can locate a lightly used 686-4. I have a 686-4+ 7-shot. That is one sweet revolver. All the best engineering changes incorporated and none of the cheapening "innovations". No internal lock either, which precludes consideration of a revolver for any serious purpose, for me.

Good luck with your decision! Regards 18DAI.
 

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New? Ruger GP100.
Used? S&W 686-4 pre lock.

I felt the need for a "new" 357 some years ago. After viewing S&W current production offerings I bought the Ruger GP100 4". Fine revolver with a trigger thats sweet. I've since purchased other Rugers and have not looked back.

That said, S&W revolvers (made prior to 2001) are my favorites. See if you can locate a lightly used 686-4. I have a 686-4+ 7-shot. That is one sweet revolver. All the best engineering changes incorporated and none of the cheapening "innovations". No internal lock either, which precludes consideration of a revolver for any serious purpose, for me.

Good luck with your decision! Regards 18DAI.
Ditto. I have a prelock 686-3 4 inch. One of the best in a used double action revolver. I also have a brand new GP100 4 inch. Without a doubt they are the best value in a new medium frame revolver new. Now I am going to throw a curve into the post. How about considering a nice used S&W model 28 in 4 inch barrel. With out a doubt I consider the model 27/28 as the best when shooting 357s. I have all of the above revolvers including the a model 28-2 4 inch. My model 28-2 is the most comfortable revolver to shoot 357s. It beats all the rest of my 357s.

Good luck on your decision,
roaddog28
 

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For the most part, I'd say 6 one, 1/2 dozen the other.

I've owned a 686 longer than any other centerfire caliber handgun, and it is still my go-to gun.

That said, GP-100s are damn fine weapons.

Both guns are brute strong, and have cylinder's long enough to handle longer, heavier .357 bullets (unlike an N-frame S&W 27 or 28), if you are so inclined.

The only determining factor, aside from price, may be the trigger pull. Ruger's are notorious for having heavy triggers that need some 'smithing and smoothing. Also, Ruger uses coil mainsprings, which "stack" during double action firing. S&W's, on the other hand, are famous for their smooth DA and crisp SA.

Still, if you can get one at a good price, I wouldn't kick a GP out of bed for eating oats...
 

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I recently picked up a used 4" GP100 myself.
I don't reload and I do like putting a steady diet of 357 though my .357's.
The 686 has a smoother trigger, but the GP is built like a tank.
If you choose 686 definately go pre-lock as mentioned above.
 

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Given my druthers, I'd go with the GP-100. Both are bull tough. Both are accurate. Each will outlast you. The Smith will probably have the best out of the box trigger, but the Ruger won't be bad and can be easily made to be very good, usually with just the installation of a Wolff spring kit. What tips the hand to the Ruger for me is the modular construction, they are just easy to take apart for cleaning and maintenence or to work on. Front sight on the Ruger is easily replaced with colored or night sights if desired. And I just don't like that Smith internal lock, and the Ruger doesn't have such nonsense (at least not yet). Ruger will probably be less expensive too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the advice. I think I am leaning toward the GP 100 as it is about 200 bucks cheaper. For well under 200 bucks I can smooth out that trigger without a problem. Once again I appreciate the input.
 

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I have a GP100 and have owned many S&W sixguns. I have a couple now.

I'd have to recommend the 686, mainly because it's much easier to get the Bang spring set and do an excellent trigger job on the Smith than it is to get a real good trigger on the Ruger. The Ruger action just doesn't lend itself to super-smooth and light triggers like the Smith.

I know there are Ruger 'smiths out there who do great work. I'm not one of them and I'm not willing to pay their prices.
 

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I did this exact decision about 5 mos ago for a 4" revo. I went with GP100, mostly because I like the pushbutton crane release, secondly because I have a thing for the old GP 100 wood in rubber grips, and the last consideration was price. Along the way I learned how easy the front sight switch was.
 

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Ben B

Which new front sight did you get and where did you purchase it?
Need to do the same for my GP100. My old eyes don't like the plain sight...
Keech
 

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I used the HiViz. It was inexpensive and readily available, does the job. I didn't shop for much else for the GP front sight, this went in with another order.
 

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I prefer the pre lock S&W 686, but the locks don't bother me so much that I wouldn't buy one. The 686 Plus is a good option.
My favorite 357 magnum is the S&W 627. It has to be the finest and most durable 357 magnum ever made, with 8 shots it makes it a real winner.
 

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I was in the same situation about 2 months ago. I bought the GP100, great pistol, built like a tank and easy to shoot. Trigger not as good as a smith, but for IDPA and hunting backup it is perfectly fine. Hope this helps.
 

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Which new front sight did you get and where did you purchase it?
Need to do the same for my GP100. My old eyes don't like the plain sight...
Keech
I put a Marbles fiber optic in mine. It was about $20 from midway.
 

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Rugers are built like tanks, but are less refined than S&W's. I'd go with a S&W.
What he said. I like ruger single actions but in a double action, smith is only way to go. Even a new one with a lock.
 

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My 686 is extremely accurate. I have shot my friend's GP100 several times but not as accurate and the trigger pull doesn't compare to that of the 686. My friend also shoots better groups with my 686.
 
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