This is a discussion on Which company to patronize? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Yup, S&W!...
ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!
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I had a S&W 642 that was a good carry piece but traded it on a Ruger SP101. I also bought my daughter a Taurus 85 stainless lightweight. The S&W models do have a smoother trigger pull, but all three brands have proven to be reliable. I would go for the S&W first, and then which ever one is the cheapest on price. If you plan to shoot a lot of .357 magnums the Ruger wins hands down IMHO.
I have a S&W 642 and a Taurus Model 85 UL. Weight is close to the same and neither have ever failed. The blue finish on the Taurus has held up much better than the clearcote on the Smith. No noticable difference in the triggers between the two. The stock grip on the Taurus, although a little larger, is much better than the stock grip on the 642. The Taurus is more comfortable to shoot. Both mine have internal locks and I just don't worry about them. Just never lock either of them. The cylinder will spin much longer on the Smith which tells me there are some manufacturing/tolerance differences. Neither has ever failed and the Taurus is just as accurate as the Smith with me shooting. Bought the Smith since I wanted a concealed hammer and a local store had them for a great price last spring ($349). I just don't see that much difference between the two. Buying another would depend on the price spread (now about 80-90 bucks at my LGS).
I currently have the Taurus 85UL and have no complaints. I hate DA trigger pulls in any gun, so I can't really complain about that either. I don't pocket carry it, so the hammer isn't an issue with me. I have never owned a S&W Revolver, but I have shot a few and to be honest I personally wouldn't pay the price difference for the S&W. As far as resale value, you're better off with the S&W.
I also have a Taurus 605 that I sometimes pocket carry. IMHO, just as good as a S&W, without the inflated price.
If you own a handgun and your state law allows it, please carry.
why support the economy of a third world country???
I really wanted to buy a Taurus and almost did. But after driving the guys at the LGS nuts by handling ALL the snubbies several times I had to pay extra for the S&W (even though I couldnt afford the extra $$ at the time). The solidity and smoothness of the S&W was really that much better. Just go handle them both at the same time. FWIW, at the local gun show this weekend I handled a Charter snubbie for the first time and was impressed. I would consider one of those also. Good luck!
S&W will have a better resale. (Do we ever sell a fine gun?)
Another...S & W buyer here...OMO
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I have recently retired and went to work part time in a local gunshop. From every thing I have seen the S&W is smother and has a better warranty than the Taurus. My second choice would be a Ruger before a Taurus, just my personal prefrence.
S&W would be my choice as well. I want all my guns to be able to be passed down to my kids/grandkids. I trust S&W for longevity much more than Taurus.
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I've got 2 S&W J frames and 2 Ruger SP101's, one of each for my wife and I.
I've got a Taurus PT1911 and it is a fine gun, so I would not turn up my nose at one of their snubbie guns either.
I'd go with a Taurus or a Colt. I know S&W make good guns, but I still remember they sold out to the Clinton Administration. The company was eventually sold, but to my knowledge the new owners have not reversed the previous owners policy.
I have both, a S&W 638 and a Taurus 85. Both are good for what they are to be used for (snubbies). I think the 85 is easier to shoot but I carry the 638 because it's 15oz empty and great for pocket carry. If I carry the 85 it's in a IWB holster.
I also would have liked to try the Charter Arms 12 oz. mdl. but my dealer couldn't (said) get one.