I decided my next purchase will be a wheel gun. This will be my first revolver. It will be used for range work and maybe home defense after familiarization. I’ve decided a 6inch full size .38/.357 will fit the bill. I will probably be shooting .38s 99% of the time, but I feel a full size would be best for learning, and extended range use.
I have been looking hard at the S&W 686, and the Ruger GP-100 (and lightly kicking around the idea of a Taurus) trying to decide which is for me. Let me talk myself through here, and feel free to set me straight.
GP-100 - I’m told they are tough and able to handle the full house .357 loads for a long time. To my relatively untrained eye it feels the most solid of them all. I would probably replace the front sight with an orange insert, and maybe the grips with Hogue finger grooves. The price is very good for quality gun.
S&W – It feels good with the Hogue finger groove grips. The sights are to my liking. And, probably to none of the veterans surprise, the trigger is a dream. The single action pull is crisp, sharp, and beautiful. The gun store guy’s word was “electric” with no mechanical feel at all. I’m sure I’m not experienced enough of a shooter to appreciate this trigger. The price is nearly a third more than the GP-100.
Taurus – I am sure it would handle my occasional range use, and the price is the lowest of the three, but it feels the least sturdy. It has a few sharp edges, and the roughest trigger of the three. I think that the nearly identical price to the Ruger make it the third place winner. (was never really in the running)
Now that I’ve have talked myself down to the Ruger or S&W, I guess my question (finally) is which would you choose? The solid, attainable Ruger (with upgrades probably in the future) or the 686 with every thing I’m looking for and less money for ammo.
Tell me what you think, and teach me what you know.