The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Revolver Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 19, 2019, 12:19 AM   #1
Stargater53
Member
 
Join Date: October 17, 2014
Posts: 94
Anyone Own Both a GP-100 And a 686?

I don't own a GP-100, but I do own a Ruger Security-Six and a S&W 686. The actions on both guns are astoundingly good, but I'm curious as to whether the GP-100 is actually on a par with the 686. When the 686-no dash first appeared, it was generally reported as being substantially more accurate than the Ruger. The reason was because S&W wanted to compete head-to-head with the Colt Python. One magazine in particular reported that the Ruger shot better with the heavier bullets, but that the S&W shot both light and heavy bullets equally well.



They don't make 'em like this
anymore. Some are for
shooting and others are
for looking, and this S&W
686 is purely for looking!
The no-dash 686 is a superb
.357 and has a reputation for
breathtaking accuracy. The
wood grips, stamped side-
plate and chromed hammer
and trigger make this a safe
queen extraordinaire! Not w
worry. I have another one
fer shootin!


Now, almost 40 years later, I have two S&W 686s, one no-dash and the other a 686-6, which is exceptionally accurate. I don't have a Ransom Rest to crank them both into, but I'm curious as to whether anyone has done a side by side test for accuracy? My 686-6 is a fine gun, and beautifully crafted, and whether it's up to a head to head shoot out with a Python or not I don't know; however, when first produced, it apparently could.

I've never fired my no-dash, but I'm keeping it for collectors value. I have fired my 686-6, though, and it's exceptionally accurate. I just don't know how accurate a 686 out of the box is in relation to an out of the box GP-100. I know people raise questions relating to which of the two they should get based on price, balance, reputation -- but I'm going by just accuracy, nothing less, nothing more.

And if there's an accuracy difference, is it enough to be the determining factor in buying one gun or the other?

--

Last edited by Stargater53; June 19, 2019 at 12:49 AM.
Stargater53 is offline  
Old June 19, 2019, 01:44 AM   #2
DaleA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 12, 2002
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 4,400
And now to complicate things a little more there is the Ruger GP100 Match Champion as well as the "standard" GP100. There's also the Super GP100 Competition but I hear that's on the Super Redhawk action.

I'm afraid I don't own any of the S&W's or Ruger's you're asking about but having so many out there sure makes for some "interesting" discussions.
DaleA is offline  
Old June 19, 2019, 03:39 AM   #3
Scorch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 13, 2006
Location: Washington state
Posts: 13,720
I've got both. I prefer the Ruger, but the S&W is nice. I used to be a big Colt fan, but when the Python got to be too expensive, I got a Ruger. A friend gifted me a S&W 686-2 a month or so ago.
__________________
Never try to educate someone who resists knowledge at all costs.
But what do I know?
Summit Arms Services
Taylor Machine
Scorch is offline  
Old June 19, 2019, 04:54 AM   #4
UncleEd
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 13, 2013
Location: N. Georgia
Posts: 1,106
A discussion on "accuracy" could go on and on without
any definitive results other than one example or another
of either gun is just a tiny bit more accurate using a Ransom
rest.

Personally I've come to prefer the Ruger GP-100s for
double action shooting, period. But that's just me
and my preference for the stocks which can be
fitted on the GP-100 and also the feel of the
triggers contribute to my preference.

I run both the Smith SSR (Stock Service Revolver)
and its competitor the Ruger Match Champion and
I'd choose the Ruger out of the box any day.

Another poster is likely to say just the opposite
and be just as correct as to the preferences stated.

I currently am wringing out a 586 L-comp but I haven't
experienced anything that would make me choose it
over a GP-100 7-shooter, which I also have.

But I'm not a great shooter and am at best an average
one so take my comments from there.

Last edited by UncleEd; June 19, 2019 at 05:01 AM.
UncleEd is offline  
Old June 19, 2019, 06:28 AM   #5
NoSecondBest
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 7, 2009
Location: Western New York
Posts: 2,365
I can tell you that I owned two of the most accurate revolvers money could buy, both custom built by Bill Davis. I own two 686's and one 586 and they are at least 95% as accurate as the Davis guns and the triggers on all three are superb. I own a GP 100, and although it's built strong and the trigger is "fair", they simply aren't in the same league as the SW 686. You can pay some good money and get them greatly improve upon, but they're not the same gun. The two Davis guns I had built were built on one Security Six and a SW model 27. The Davis Ruger ended up shooting as well as the Davis model 27, but it took a lot of money and parts to get it that way. I had a Python back in the 70's and it was a slick gun. However, I don't consider it to be a better gun than the 686, just better finished. If money is no consideration, get the 686.
NoSecondBest is offline  
Old June 19, 2019, 07:16 AM   #6
wild cat mccane
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2011
Posts: 1,379
I own both.

The 686 trigger is smoother. And that translates to better accuracy (on any gun).
wild cat mccane is offline  
Old June 19, 2019, 07:24 AM   #7
DavidAGO
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 7, 2008
Location: Magnolia, AR
Posts: 336
I own both, a 6" GP100 and an 8" 686. I consider myself a S&W guy for what that is worth. Both were bought used. the S&W has been a great firearm. Very nice trigger, very nice accuracy. When I had a red dot on it I hit a squirrel at 75 yds with a .38 wadcutter. I reload and that load was worked up for that gun.

When I shot the Ruger it would lock up after three shots. It went back to Ruger, they fixed it, no charge. The trigger was much better after they worked on it.

Currently, when I go out to just shoot for fun, the Ruger goes and the S&W stays. When I go out for the informal steel competition we sometimes have the Ruger goes, the S&W stays. When I go out to the woods, the Ruger goes, the S&W stays. Probably as much as anything because the long barrel.

I really do like the S&W, but if I ever have to cull out the herd, the S&W goes and the Ruger stays.

David
DavidAGO is offline  
Old June 19, 2019, 07:25 AM   #8
jmr40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 9,662
I have owned both in the past. Neither currently, sold them all in favor of Smith N frames.

Overall it is as close to a tie as possible. They "FEEL" different. Hard to describe, you just have to shoot them side by side. I won't say one is better than the other, just slightly different. But the "FEEL" of the Smith is just what I prefer.
__________________
"If you're still doing things the same way you were doing them 10 years ago, you're doing it wrong"

Winston Churchill
jmr40 is offline  
Old June 19, 2019, 07:27 AM   #9
dahermit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2006
Location: South Central Michigan...near
Posts: 5,695
What seems to be missing from this conversation when it comes to accuracy is that it seems to lack any mention of handloads. In my experience (I have been casting all my handgun bullets and hand loading since the sixties), one has to develop one's handloads relative to any particular gun in regards to accuracy. Again drawing on years of experience, it is likely that the Ruger GP-100 will perform just as well as the 686 with hand loads that have been found to be accurate via diligent experimentation with different powders and charge wights, bullet sizing diameters. That has been a given for many years.
dahermit is offline  
Old June 19, 2019, 07:30 AM   #10
dahermit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2006
Location: South Central Michigan...near
Posts: 5,695
Quote:
Originally Posted by wild cat mccane View Post
I own both.

The 686 trigger is smoother. And that translates to better accuracy (on any gun).
For those of us who always do trigger work on any S&W we acquire, that is a moot point. I don't expect them to come with a good trigger, but before I am done with them, they have one. I have the time, metal working skills and the inclination to not be satisfied with what comes out of the box.
dahermit is offline  
Old June 19, 2019, 07:34 AM   #11
dahermit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2006
Location: South Central Michigan...near
Posts: 5,695
Quote:
Overall it is as close to a tie as possible. They "FEEL" different. Hard to describe, you just have to shoot them side by side. I won't say one is better than the other, just slightly different. But the "FEEL" of the Smith is just what I prefer.
I agree...Ruger double actions feel "spongy" to me and I prefer the S&W's...any with a flat mainspring. I find that S&W's (any with a flat mainspring), have more things that can be done to them to get a better double-action pull than does a Ruger double-action.
dahermit is offline  
Old June 19, 2019, 08:28 AM   #12
sarge912
Member
 
Join Date: May 18, 2019
Location: Beautiful Parma Ohio
Posts: 70
I immediately change the springs on my Rugers for Wolff and the triggers are great. I had a 586 and a 629 and a Model 19, All have been replaced by the Rugers. My Model 60 (.357) will probably stay with me to the end.

There was nothing wrong with the 586 (except the stupid key lock) Great shooter, just didn't care for the sound it made when I dry fired it compared to the pre-lock ones.

The 629 was pre-lock and absolutely a wonderful gun but someone made me an offer I could not refuse. I had gotten it cheap because I had to do some minor repairs on the works. I would have probably not let it go except I really prefer my .44 Ruger GP100 which is a special edition Lipsey 5".
sarge912 is offline  
Old June 19, 2019, 09:42 AM   #13
arquebus357
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 19, 2016
Location: Atlanta, Georgia area
Posts: 403
I like shooting both Ruger GP100 and S&W 686 (don't own a 686) and my only preference is Ruger's cylinder release. The real difference, I find, is when you work on them.

The S&W lockwork is a thing of beauty. The main reason people like me don't like the S&W lock device is that ruins that almost perfect example of mechanical art.

I hate working on Ruger revolvers. ( don't get me started on the single action nightmares) To remove the trigger housing assembly you first need to remove the hammer. No problem except every Ruger DA revolver I own needs hammer shims. (my Match Champion came with them). I don't like the ball/race arrangement that keeps the cylinder/yoke assembly together. I also don't like the idea of having to get a special tool to disassemble the cylinder. Sorry Ruger but I would rather work on the old Security Six series. Oh...I know, you can take the cylinder apart with your Swiss army knife and I'm so stupid for needing that tool. Hahaha

I also don't care for the GP100 little stub that is used for the grip frame.

That said, I still own two GP100's

Last edited by arquebus357; June 19, 2019 at 09:47 AM.
arquebus357 is offline  
Old June 19, 2019, 11:42 AM   #14
ms6852
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 3, 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,052
I have a 686 no dash and a colt python I find both handgun action about the same maybe giving an edge to the 686, and as a south paw my preference goes to the 686 simply because it is easier to push with my index finger the cylinder release button one handed whereas the python I have to hold it with two hands so that I can pull the cylinder release button towards me makes it awkward. If I was right hand I would probably choose the python because I would be able to release the cylinder with the thumb one handed. Only reason for my preference towards the 686.
__________________
ONLY TWO DEFINING FORCES HAVE GIVEN UP THEIR LIVES FOR YOU. ONE IS JESUS CHRIST FOR YOUR SOUL AND THE OTHER IS THE AMERICAN SOLDIER FOR YOUR FREEDOM.
ms6852 is offline  
Old June 19, 2019, 12:26 PM   #15
T. O'Heir
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 13, 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 11,392
A GP will fit the hands of people no 686 will ever fit. Had a Smith 19 I never could get to fit my hand. The grip frame is too big for my hand and that silly flare on the bottom doesn't help.
Takes more than just changing the springs but a trigger job(factory triggers don't count) on a GP is pretty much exactly like doing a 1911A1.
"...the single action nightmares..." Doesn't apply to the GP. Innards are 100% SS and the thing comes apart easily with no special tools required like any Smith 'K' frame requires.
__________________
Spelling and grammar count!
T. O'Heir is online now  
Old June 19, 2019, 01:07 PM   #16
PolarFBear
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 22, 2015
Posts: 269
I own both; and many others. If I could only have ONE firearm it's the S&W 686. Does EVERYTHING best.
PolarFBear is offline  
Old June 19, 2019, 04:28 PM   #17
jmstr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 24, 2001
Location: San Joaquin Valley, CA
Posts: 1,183
If I could only have one, and were allowed to use it as a carry gun, as well as hunting/home defense, I'd go with the GP100 4".

I've slicked mine up and the trigger feels very nice. I like it.

In .357mag, I also have a 586, a Ruger Blackhawk and a Colt Model 3 5 7.

The GP100 isn't as precise as the 586 or Colt, but I just like it better. I am able to hit what I want with less concentration on the hold/mechanics. I can get better results with the other two, but it takes more deliberate effort on my part.

From a long term accuracy and reliability point of view, the GP100 would be the one I'd keep.

However, in California, where carry is hard to be able to do, I may as well keep a Blackhawk .357/9mm convertible- so that I have ammo options.

The 586 is MUCH more elegantly made and feels smoother, but I am better with the GP100.

The Colt 3 5 7 is even better than the 586, but- again, I am better with the GP100.
jmstr is offline  
Old June 19, 2019, 07:33 PM   #18
FrankenMauser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: Potatoes and Hops
Posts: 11,931
I'm another one of the "backwards"-crowd -- those that don't follow common expectation.

I recently sold my GP100, but owned it and the 686(-3?) Midnight Black at the same time.
While the 686 is a good revolver, and fit and finish are superior out of the box, I actually preferred the GP100.

The GP is 'rugged', overbuilt, heavier, and unrefined.
The 686 is leaner, lighter, more refined, and more precise.

...But the GP worked better for me.
I only sold it for two reasons:
1. It was chambered for .327 Federal and had a 4.2" barrel - which duplicated performance of the SP101 (.327 / 4.2", with better sights) that I liked even more.
2. While my GP was worth more than the average .357 model, the 686 was/is worth notably more still, and will only continue to gain value. (Only 1,559 or 5,000 made, depending upon which source you check).
__________________
Don't even try it. It's even worse than the internet would lead you to believe.
FrankenMauser is offline  
Old June 19, 2019, 07:53 PM   #19
dahermit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2006
Location: South Central Michigan...near
Posts: 5,695
Quote:
Originally Posted by T. O'Heir View Post
A GP will fit the hands of people no 686 will ever fit. Had a Smith 19 I never could get to fit my hand. The grip frame is too big for my hand and that silly flare on the bottom doesn't help.
Takes more than just changing the springs but a trigger job(factory triggers don't count) on a GP is pretty much exactly like doing a 1911A1.
"...the single action nightmares..." Doesn't apply to the GP. Innards are 100% SS and the thing comes apart easily with no special tools required like any Smith 'K' frame requires.
I would guess that he has never heard of a round-butt M19/M66. Also, I never considered my gunsmith screw drivers as "special tools."
dahermit is offline  
Old June 20, 2019, 07:24 AM   #20
wild cat mccane
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2011
Posts: 1,379
I am also confused about the gun smith trigger comment.

I think any person going to a gun store could pick up the GP100 Match Champion (which has everything a trigger job on a normal GP100 would have) and still find the 686 has a smoother trigger.

The trigger on the GP100 stages in double action. Pull Pull Pull *trigger locks in* then single.

686 smooth pull with no transition boom.


I own both. The 686 is smoother. Unless you are staging every single double action shot, the 686 is better in da. In single action the GP100 has creep. None in the 686. Just a touch boom.
wild cat mccane is offline  
Old June 20, 2019, 07:26 AM   #21
wild cat mccane
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2011
Posts: 1,379
Also, someone mentioned the 686 being more sleek and smaller. I agree. But...

It's smaller in feel, but that GP100 7 cylinder debacle by helped Ruger prove the point that no one ever brought up before, the S&w L frame is bigger. Even the Taurus 66 Medium frame is bigger than the GP100. Both frames accommodate a 7 round cylinder fine. Not so on the GP100.

Again. I own both.
wild cat mccane is offline  
Old June 20, 2019, 11:57 AM   #22
armednfree
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 30, 2016
Posts: 172
I can't make a fair comparison. I can say the Ruger GP-100 with the original grip is far better in the hand than that Houge grip they use now.

My GP-100 was made in the first year of production. it is 170-13***. The action is slick, about the smoothest revolver I've ever owned and that includes several Smith M-15's, an M-19 and an M-27.
armednfree is offline  
Old June 20, 2019, 02:52 PM   #23
Don P
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 17, 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 5,986
I own a GP-100, GP-100 Match Champion in 4 " barrels, S&W 686, S&W 627, S&W 625 plus some others. Both Rugers are used in competition and both have a double action trigger pull of 7 1/4 lb as well as the S&W's
__________________
NRA Life Member, NRA Range Safety Officer, NRA Certified Pistol Instructor,, USPSA NROI Range Officer,
ICORE Range Officer,
,MAG 40 Graduate
As you are, I once was, As I am, You will be.
Don P is offline  
Old June 20, 2019, 11:11 PM   #24
arquebus357
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 19, 2016
Location: Atlanta, Georgia area
Posts: 403
This is for posters who took my bait concerning the disassembly of the Ruger GP100 cylinder..

Neither one ever disassembled one or they would know that you need the screwdriver bit with a hole in the middle That slides down the extractor rod and engages the split slotted nut that holds things together. Maybe you can craft your own tool but if you bugger up that split slotted nut, you are screwed. Most experts will tell you not to take the cylinder apart but if you are re-bluing for example, you need to.

Bubba
arquebus357 is offline  
Old June 21, 2019, 12:23 AM   #25
FrankenMauser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: Potatoes and Hops
Posts: 11,931
Quote:
Neither one ever disassembled one or they would know that you need the screwdriver bit with a hole in the middle That slides down the extractor rod and engages the split slotted nut that holds things together. Maybe you can craft your own tool but if you bugger up that split slotted nut, you are screwed. Most experts will tell you not to take the cylinder apart but if you are re-bluing for example, you need to.
No one "took the bait." ...Because people that have disassembled a Ruger cylinder assembly know that a Swiss Army knife isn't going to do the job in a manner conducive to continued operation of the revolver. And people that haven't done it just don't care.
__________________
Don't even try it. It's even worse than the internet would lead you to believe.
FrankenMauser is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:57 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10173 seconds with 8 queries