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Old January 20, 2013, 12:47 PM   #14
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Join Date: July 20, 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 10,167
Neither one is necessarily better, but they are different in several aspects. The most noticable difference to me is the way that the guns sit in the hand. Rugers seem to sit lower and further forward while S&W seems to sit higher and further back. This means that the Ruger will have less muzzle climb and therefore potentially faster follow-up shots, but the S&W will have less felt recoil given guns of similar size and weight such as a GP100 and 686. The cylinder release latches are also different in that the Ruger pushes in while the S&W slides forward, which feels more natural depends on the person. Finally, the triggers are indeed different in that the Ruger stacks more perceptably towards the end of the DA stroke while the S&W trigger seems a bit smoother and more consistent all the way through the DA stroke. People who like to stage their triggers will likely prefer the Ruger while people who don't stage their triggers will likely find the S&W more agreeable.

The other differences are not, IMHO, all that significant. A Ruger does cost less that a comparable S&W, but the difference in price really isn't all that much (usually $75-150 actual retail). The Ruger is also stronger, at least theoretically, but that's really only an advantage to someone who wants to shoot copious amounts of ammunition that pushes the limit of the cartridge as the S&W are perfectly capable of digesting thousands upon thousands of rounds of 'normal' ammo with aplomb. The two brands do have distinctly different looks to them, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder and asthetics are purely subjective.
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