It's funny. I wanted a GP100 for years. I went into my LGS a couple months ago to buy a GP100 4" that I had asked about on the phone. It was $465 used in excellent condition. When I got there, right next to it was a S&W 686 4" for $495. For the $30 difference it was a no brainer. I still plan to get a GP100 in the future as I want both. As far as I'm concerned, it basically comes down to how much do you want to spend when you compare the two. They are both excellent guns.
Attachment 24831 Attachment 24832 Attachment 24833
Anyone who has seen me post on DC will know my choice. S&W baby!
This is a fairly simple answer, all you have to do is pick up and shoot each gun. As far as the Ruger being a tank, well my S&W is damn tough and will be around long after me. How much tougher do you need to be? Now that we got the Ruger's one selling point out of the way, lets move on to the trigger, accuracy, fit and finish.
The trigger, the finish, the way it shoots... Hmmm, sounds like a 686. I always kinda laugh at the "Built like a Tank" I doubt if you will load 357's to the highest pressure you can, they aren't that fun to shoot, I guess the Ruger (which I do think is a fine gun) is better suited if you use the "dip to fill" method when reloading! I think the both of them have their place, I'd like to vote (since it's your money we're spending here, GET BOTH.
From everything Ive heard you cant go wrong either way. I want a GP-100 as that is in my price range now and when Im slightly more affluent I will buy the 686.
Using factory loads, I much prefer the S&W. Bet6ter trigger, etc. etc.
Using heavy reloads - the Ruger. REASON - The bolt notch in the S&W is over the thinest part of the chamber. The Ruger [as I seem to remember] has the bolt notch offset for more strenght [and yes I HAVE seen the s&w "blow out" at the bolt notch - several times].
What do I own? S&W 686 in 2 1/2, 4, and 6. I shoot factory or factory equiv, reloads.
I debated and debated .... between the two ... GP100 vs 686. I tended to like the 686's.
Then a guy had a GP100 for sale, and that was that ..... I loved the one he had, and still do . Besides the quality, etc. ... another reason I went with the GP100, is look at the way they break down in comparison for cleaning or maintenance, etc. The GP100 requires no tools, and is much easier and simpler. They thought out the design well. Even the sights are easy to change out if you want to.
Both are top notch guns as far as I'm concerned. I think most people go with what they know so to speak. I have 3 Ruger revolvers and never owned a S&W (revolver) so naturally I would tend to go with the Ruger GP-100.
But I would likely give the Smith a good look only because of the reputation Smith has with their wheel guns. The only S&W I ever owned was a 9mm model 459 and I never really warmed up to it.
By the same token, I've never owned a Ruger semi-auto pistol either.
What does all this mean? Not a heck of a lot. Just rambling here. But I do like Ruger revolvers and say what you want about their triggers... It's never really affected the accuracy on any of the three I own. Rapid fire, slow fire, one handed, off handed or two hands, I shoot them pretty well because I've worked with them.
I am looking hard at those TRR8's. Seen a couple YouTube reviews and am really liking what I see. Nutnfancy has run one pretty hard in some run-n-gun videos and I'm impressed.