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Old June 21, 2013, 03:38 PM   #1
KMAX
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S&W 686 Plus vs Ruger GP100

Looking at buying one of these. Probably with a 4" barrel. Would like pros and cons of each. Durability, resale, performance, etc. Anybody have experience with both? Thanks.
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Old June 21, 2013, 03:47 PM   #2
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I own and like the Smths a little bit better. I've owned Rugers in the past and have no issues at all, just prefer the Smith. But I've not bought one in years. With the prices I'm seeing on Smiths right now I'm not even convinced I'd pay the difference for a Smith over a Ruger.
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Old June 21, 2013, 03:54 PM   #3
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Personally, I never "got" the 7-shot over a 6- or an 8-shot. If they were both 6-shot, I'd say it's a toss-up, but in this case, I'd recommend the GP100.
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Old June 21, 2013, 04:14 PM   #4
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S&W 686 Plus vs Ruger GP100

I think the Ruger GP100 is the exemplar current-production .357 Magnum revolver. Tough, robust, affordable comfortable, not that sleek. Very cool revolvers. YMMV.
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Old June 21, 2013, 04:24 PM   #5
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I like both but i like the S&W better. Just my taste.
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Old June 21, 2013, 04:43 PM   #6
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If it was an older Smith & Wesson I would pick that (pre lock if the 686 has one now and a couple if years). But with the current production guns I have picked up recently, as much as it hurts me, I’d have to go with the Ruger.
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Old June 21, 2013, 06:19 PM   #7
DPris
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This always generates an argument along party lines.
Last year I tested both, in brand new four-inch configurations.
I bought the Ruger.

Preferences vary, and while the Smith shot fractionally more accurately, I bought the...Ruger.

The Smith lock was A consideration, but not the ONLY consideration.

I have other examples of both guns.
I am not addicted strictly to either brand.
I have confidently carried both brands in uniform.
Both brands have had QC problems in recent years.
Did I mention I bought the...Ruger?
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Old June 21, 2013, 07:51 PM   #8
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I will stay away from the lock/pre-lock part of the discussion, because it's my hope that my comments and experience will help the OP and not derail the thread.

The seven shot 686+ has a different double action trigger stroke than the typical Smith & Wesson K and L-frame (six shot) guns that I grew up on. It's noticeably different and without pulling punches, I hate it. The 686+ just gets my goat because it looks like the gun I know so well but it doesn't operate in a familiar manner.

In the 686 vs GP-100 decision, I'd choose the 686, and it would be close.
In the 686+ over the GP-100 decision, I'd so very much choose the GP-100 and have zero regrets.

I'd take an old, used 686 over a brand new, never touched 686+, and I'd happily pay more money for the older gun. I'd take any K-frame magnum over any 686+.

In my own opinion, finding an extra shot (from 5 to 6 or 6 to 7) is definitely a draw to a defensive or carry revolver. But in a medium/large frame revolver that you would use as an all-around fun shooter or an outdoorsman's tool? Give me the six shots and the proper amount of meat between chambers on that big, beautiful cylinder.
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Old June 21, 2013, 07:53 PM   #9
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I have Smith and Wesson's and I have a Ruger. The Ruger is a 45 auto. I have a 686 6" and I really like it. I don't dislike the Rugers, but my personal preference is the 686. Just my 2 cents. Good luck. It is a tough choice, they are both good.

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Old June 21, 2013, 08:55 PM   #10
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I have a 6" GP100 and a 4" S&W 686. Frankly, when it comes to new production guns I'd say its a toss up. They both have their pluses and minuses. The best way to decide would be to get your hands on an example or each and see how they feel to you.
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Old June 21, 2013, 11:46 PM   #11
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I have very limited experience with the 686 4". I sent about 150 rounds of 38+P and .357 mag down range using a range gun. My experience was not a good one. Granted the gun was dirty indicating that it had been used that day. The action was so tight that I often had to use two fingers to pull the trigger in DA. I wondered a the time if the previous user had dropped it or abused it. Groups were averaging 6 to 7 inches at "5 yards". My GP100 4" has handled over 500 rounds at a time without a failure. After dialing the sights in, 2.5 inch groups are common at 7 yards... and I have 60 year old eyes. I'm sure that others have had different experiences with S&W, but this was my experience.
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Old June 22, 2013, 12:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
I sent about 150 rounds of 38+P and .357 mag down range using a range gun. My experience was not a good one. Granted the gun was dirty indicating that it had been used that day. The action was so tight that I often had to use two fingers to pull the trigger in DA. I wondered a the time if the previous user had dropped it or abused it. Groups were averaging 6 to 7 inches at "5 yards".
I'd have asked for my rental money returned & some manner of compensation if you were (likely) forced to purchase their ammo for that rental.

7 inch groups at 5 yards?
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Old June 22, 2013, 12:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
action was so tight that I often had to use two fingers to pull the trigger in DA
That would indicate a return to whence it came.
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Old June 22, 2013, 02:24 AM   #14
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I have a GP100 and think it's a great gun. I've only handled 686s and they sure are a bit prettier. I believe the Smiths are forged and the Rugers are cast (I hardly think this matters, honestly) and the Smiths will have a more traditional side plate while the Rugers will not. Both will probably perform about the same (as in, they will be more accurate than you) but the triggers and grips will differ. That will be your personal preference. Mine has a Hogue on it and it's very comfortable. My understanding is that a GP100 will be preferred if you intend to handload as, in the case of a catastrophic failure, the Ruger will handle it while the Smith may not. The resale value on both will be about what you'll pay for it used.

If you really want the Smith, just save a little more and get it. You won't regret the Ruger and money saved if that's not an issue for you.
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Old June 22, 2013, 06:52 AM   #15
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have you handled both guns?

I like them both. But.. there are little things I like about the Ruger over the Smith that breaks the tie for me. For instance: I love Ruger's push button cylinder release way better then Smith's release. I also like Ruger's sights a little better, and like how the fronth sight attaches for easy chang out.

I think S&W comes a bit better finished, overall, from the factory.. but there is the price difference to consider.

For me, Gp100
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Old June 22, 2013, 07:31 AM   #16
jolly roger
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Back in the day I would have said 686. Not anymore...and the S&W lock has nothing to do with it. The last couple of GP100s I played with had nice triggers and were VERY accurate...VERY. Way better triggers than the early ones IMHO
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Old June 22, 2013, 08:26 AM   #17
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Both are great guns. I believe that the 686 typically has a slightly better trigger but it really is a matter of preference as both are fantastic guns.
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Old June 22, 2013, 09:01 AM   #18
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A matter of personal choice really

I chose the 686+ because of the extra shot, my brother chose the the GP100 because he didn't care about the extra shot. We go out and and shoot them side by side and to me they are interchangeable all intents and purposes...except for the extra round!
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Old June 22, 2013, 09:06 AM   #19
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Had both have one

I originally had a GP 100, had to sell it in hard times many years ago. came across a good deal on a 686 so picked it up as a replacement for the GP 100, never could get used to the S&W feel looked sleeker but felt weaker only kept it 3 mos, sold it and bought another GP 100. ALAS happy again!
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Old June 22, 2013, 01:54 PM   #20
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I've owned a few of both over the years, currently only have a 686 4" if that tells you something. I wouldn't feel poorly armed if I had the Ruger instead though.

One caveat, all of mine have been 6 shot. I've fired the 7 shotters and just don't care for them... probably just bias, but I wouldn't recommend one.

Shoot both and get the one you do better with, flip a coin, or get the one you think looks best.

The criteria you mentioned... I'd say the individual unit you get will matter as much or more than whether it's a Smith or Ruger.

Truly a win-win situation and I think everyone should have a medium frame .357 in their battery.

hth
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Old June 22, 2013, 02:48 PM   #21
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Quote:
My understanding is that a GP100 will be preferred if you intend to handload as, in the case of a catastrophic failure, the Ruger will handle it while the Smith may not.
Nothing personal and sticking entirely to the subject, I have never seen anything that would even HINT at this statement being accurate.

I would further say that anyone who picks a particular handgun over any other due in part because they fear blowing up a handgun with their handloads...should never attempt to handload. Ever. Please.
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Old June 22, 2013, 03:07 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqbob51
I chose the 686+ because of the extra shot, my brother chose the the GP100 because he didn't care about the extra shot. We go out and and shoot them side by side and to me they are interchangeable all intents and purposes...except for the extra round!
If one wants to eventually become good with quick reloads, 7-shot speedloader options are relatively limited (though it can be machined to accept moonclips). And reloading aside, a 7-shot would be a very poor choice if one ever gets the itch to try shooting a local match with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevens
I would further say that anyone who picks a particular handgun over any other due in part because they fear blowing up a handgun with their handloads...should never attempt to handload.
+1.
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Old June 22, 2013, 06:20 PM   #23
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Eventually you are going to need both if you plan to be any sort of revolver guy, so you might as well get the cheaper of the two for now so that you can lust over the more expensive one.
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Old June 22, 2013, 06:23 PM   #24
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I prefer pinned and recessed Smiths, but for new production I'd get a Ruger.

Easy solution: Get both, I did.
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Old June 22, 2013, 11:31 PM   #25
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I have the GP100 6", she has made me a revolver man for sure. I like the weight of the gun on my hip. The only s&w I have is a M36 which I use for EDC. If I had the chance I would love to get a 4" 686+, but I wont part with that Ruger.
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