Our family has a 686 and a Ruger GP100. Both are superb revolvers; I would be hard-pressed to say which one is the better gun. Both have great triggers. The Ruger's double-action trigger is smooth and long, while the S&W is shorter and snappier. I actually get better groups with the Ruger but I practice more with it too. To be fair, while the Ruger's single action trigger is very good, the S&W's is sensational.
One advantage that the GP100 has is that you can very easily, with no Gunsmithing, swap out front sights. This is a user-doable task on the GP100 so if you do not like the blade sight you can try Fiber Optic or other types of front sights. I have done this and it has worked out well.
For a range and home defense gun I would take the GP100 or 686 over the other ones that the OP is considering.
The difference between a citizen and a civilian is that the citizen makes the safety of the body politic his personal responsibility, protecting it with his life. The civilian does not.
Last edited by Rogervzv; April 18, 2013 at 10:00 AM.