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Looking at two revolvers for occasional carry or fun shooting.

S&W 686, stainless steel, 4 inch barrel, 357 mag with box, adjustable sights, used but in near perfect conditon for $415.

or..........

New Ruger GP100, Stainless steel, 357 mag, box, fixed sights, papers, new, 3 inch barrel for $475.

What one has a better reputation? Which one is better built? Accuracy expectations?

I am 6'4" and go about 290 lbs. I have med-large hands. Any comments would be appreciated.

If you can point me to any articles online that go into detail about these two fine guns, I would appreciate it.
 

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the Gp-100 is better built might not have best trigger but hard to break a ruger the 3"gp 100 is a sweet shooting piece

Other will tell ya smae about the smith im not really a smith wheelie man so other than x frame i cant really give you good opinion

What ever feels best is what ya want
 

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Ridge Runner said:
Looking at two revolvers for occasional carry or fun shooting.

S&W 686, stainless steel, 4 inch barrel, 357 mag with box, adjustable sights, used but in near perfect conditon for $415.

or..........

New Ruger GP100, Stainless steel, 357 mag, box, fixed sights, papers, new, 3 inch barrel for $475.

What one has a better reputation? Which one is better built? Accuracy expectations?

I am 6'4" and go about 290 lbs. I have med-large hands. Any comments would be appreciated.

If you can point me to any articles online that go into detail about these two fine guns, I would appreciate it.
What generation of 686? If it's an earlier piece (pre lock) I'd favor it over the Ruger.

If it's a 686 with the lock I'd take the Ruger. The Ruger has a lock too in all probability but it's a superior design.

Both are going to have great reputations.

Both are very well built. Now what you're going to hear is this old line that Smith and Wesson revolvers are weak. That's not true, they're actually plenty strong and the action of a Ruger revolver is very very strong. However these two models are more or less comparable in that department. Both of these guns will handle a lifetime of shooting hot, hot loads.

I dare not guess exactly how accurate they'll be, but if anything the slightly longer barrel would probably help. As for inherent accuracy I can't imagine any difference. As for adjustable vs. fixed sights, if you're going to carry the gun, get fixed sights as they don't snag or break or catch and learn to compensate. If you're getting the gun to shoot all sorts of loads and because you're a revolver geek, you'll appreciate the adjustable red ramp sights. I find them to provide a much better sight picture personally. From a rest they should both hit a pie plate (smaller actually) consistently at 25 yards. I'm sure someone reading this can make 200 yard or longer shots with it, just not me personally.

If you have larger hands like I do, I think you'll find they're both going to be very comfortable. For me, the most comfortable handgun ever is still my 686 with Hogue monogrips. For actual use where appearance is not a factor, I find that the rubber grips provide superior performance. The recoil on .357 Magnum is very sharp. It really does make a difference if you have the right grips or not.

IMHO a revolver also offers you worlds of grip options a lot of service pistols just can't hope to match in terms of materials and shapes.

With the same barrel length, the GP100 and 686 can often share the same leather.

I personally have a 686-2 and now it's blued cousin the 586 (no dash) and I want a couple of Rugers too. The Smith and Wesson just has a cleaner action, it points better for me, and it's a piece of workmanship in its early generations. The Ruger GP100, I think the model you're looking at would be exactly what I would get if I were to buy a brand new revolver right now. The SP101 is sweet too, and I like what Ruger does with their revolvers aesthetically. They have their own look and I like it.

For me it comes down to what condition that particular Smith and Wesson is in and what generation it is. If it's a post lock Smith, I think I'd get the Ruger. It also depends on what I was going to do with it. For a true do it all handgun, I'd get that 686 for the better sights and longer barrel. For a carry gun I'd go with that GP100 for the more rugged sights and shorter length.

The one bad thing I can tell you about the Ruger is that the trigger is going to be pretty rough until you either get it worked on or just fire the devil out of it.

I love revolvers and I've looked into both and they're both very good. You aren't going to mess up going with either.

As always, the answer is both. If this was going to be carried every day, I would want the Ruger. If this was to round out a collection, I'd want the Smith.

Edit: My favorite handgun ever is still my 686, but I consider the GP100 to be its equal in current production. I think early 686s were better but that's just me.
 

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I feel I should say that there's no evidence the locks actually affect the operation of the gun. And on certain guns they don't bother me. For instance on my 642 I live with it but my 642 looks like crap anyway and is my second least favorite wheelgun. But I try very hard to avoid them.
 

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RUGER! RUGER! RUGER! RUGER!

The 3" is a little easier to conceal than the 4"... believe me I've tried.
 

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All Smiths had a internal lock since the 90's soem time you use a key to lock the gun its located behing the cylinder release ..

Smith must be confident it cant break as they put it on the 500
 

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I know the Ruger is the tougher of the two but I'd go for the 686 - just ''because'' :smile:

Trigger will be pretty good. ... and even 4" is not a prob to conceal.
 

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For concealed cary, you will be shooting double action if ever you have to defend yourself. This is where I have to say go for the Smith because of the better trigger.
Rugers are a tough animal and you will not go wrong with that choice. My Rugers are for .44 magnums and hunting as they were made to be.
Just my 2 cents worth...
 

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I've owned a 4" 686 and a 4" GP100. I much prefered the GP100. I wish that I still had it, but I bought it from a friend when he was in a tight, and I sold it back to him when he got back on his feet. Another buddy just got a 3" GP100, and it is a GREAT feeling revolver.
 

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Ridge Runner said:
What is the lock you are talking about???


This lock. I HATE it.

I don't so much resent the fact they added a lock, I resent the fact that it was done because it's legally necessary. :mad:

I also HATE how they did it. The Taurus locks for instance are a much more elegant design.
 

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I believe that is prelock, and if I'm not mistaken I think that the MIM parts went in with the 686-5. Where's that catalog when you need it... Grrr... I think the main thing about the "-4"s was they introduced their 7 shot cylinder (which this one doesn't have it seems).

My only question now is what are you going to do with it? Do you want rugged and easier to carry? That's the Ruger. Do you want easier to shoot? That's going to be the Smith with its trigger pull and adjustable sights.


FWIW you can't really screw this up.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Got the S&W 686-4

I got the S&W 686-4 today. What a sweet trigger!

It also came with an additional set of wood custom grips. These grips fit my hand perfectly.

I can not beleive how solid this thing is...........
 

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Euc,
No wonder you don't like the lock. That key is bound to dig into your side when the gun's holstered! :biggrin:
 

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Ridge Runner said:
I got the S&W 686-4 today. What a sweet trigger!

It also came with an additional set of wood custom grips. These grips fit my hand perfectly.

I can not beleive how solid this thing is...........
I have one of those things - I believe you!
 

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Glad you are pleased Ridge - one nice gun you now have. Enjoy.

I have a 6" which is very smooth and great for PPC - it was pre-owned by acparmed.
 
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