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Old August 18, 2012, 02:18 PM   #20
Senior Member
Join Date: July 20, 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 10,170
Since the poll allowed voting for more than one option, I voted for both the 686 and GP100. Both of those are excellent quality revolvers that would serve their owner well and which one is better is more a matter of personal preference than anything. I did not vote for the Taurus offerings because, while I do believe that Taurus can make a good gun, I don't believe that they have the same level of quality control or customer service as Ruger and S&W do and Taurus' resale value can only be described as abysmal.

Between the Ruger and the S&W, consider the following differences:

The Ruger will sit lower and further forward in the hand while the S&W will sit higher and further back. In my experience, the Ruger's lower bore axis will yield a bit less muzzle rise while the S&W's slightly higher bore axis produces less perceived felt recoil.

The DA triggers are also quite different between the two. The Ruger trigger "stacks" which means that the shooter can feel a slight difference in the DA trigger stroke just before the trigger breaks while the S&W has a smoother, more consistent pull all the way through. Neither is necessarily better as some people like a bit of stacking while others don't.

The cylinder-release latches also work differently. The Ruger uses a pivoting button that is pushed in while the S&W uses a sliding thumb piece that is pushed forward. Again this is a matter of personal preference as what feels natural to one person may feel quite awkward to another.

Also, while a S&W is more expensive than a Ruger, the difference is not as large as some make it out to be. When a 686 and GP100 which are comparably equipped (finish, barrel length, cylinder capacity, sights, and other features are the same or close), the S&W usually sells for about $100 more than the Ruger. However, the S&W is available in a wider array of configurations than the Ruger is.

I personally prefer S&W revolvers as they are what I'm most familiar and comfortable with, but I also think that Rugers are excellent quality and that people who choose them are no less well armed than I.
Smith, and Wesson, and Me. -H. Callahan
Well waddaya know, one buwwet weft! -E. Fudd
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