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Old March 2, 2011, 06:38 PM   #1
goonie76
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gp100 vs s&w 686

im new to revolvers and have be browsing the revolver forum quite a bit getting various opinions on these two models, one of which will be my first full size revolver. with price not being a factor in the decision, which of these two revolvers would be a better purchase regarding longevity, ease of maintenance, quality and, i hope it never comes to it, resale value?
thanks for the input
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Old March 2, 2011, 06:44 PM   #2
mikejonestkd
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Here's a bit of reading material:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=185376

Personally, I own both and the smith has a better trigger, but otherwise both are excellent 357 revolvers.
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Old March 2, 2011, 06:57 PM   #3
dgludwig
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Both are good revolvers and have their individual advantages and disadvantages. Like mikejonesgkd opined, imo, the Smith&Wesson has the better trigger. Also, the Smith will probably have a better resale value over time.
What is your planned use (i.e., a self-defense carry weapon, a home defense gun, a range/target gun, a hunting gun, a camping/plinking gun or an everything in-between gun?) for the revolver? If you plan on carrying it, the Smith is larger and heavier. On the other hand, you can get the "plus" version of the model 686 and get a seven round capacity, nothing to sneeze at if your intended purpose is for self-defense. Once you decide what you want the gun for, the decision of which one to buy becomes a little more rational.
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Old March 2, 2011, 07:02 PM   #4
goonie76
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usage

it will be a plinking/range toy as i carry a colt defender for ccw and keep an hk usp 45 in the night stand

Last edited by goonie76; March 2, 2011 at 07:32 PM.
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Old March 2, 2011, 07:17 PM   #5
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Consider a used Security/Speed/Service Six.
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Old March 2, 2011, 07:34 PM   #6
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If price is no factor I'd say the S&W 686 or even the 686+. Both the S&W 686 and the Ruger GP-100 are excellant guns. I'd say you can't go wrong on either of your choices. The S&W will have a higher resale but you pay more up front so it works out about the same. I never let resale affect my purchace up front.
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Old March 2, 2011, 09:12 PM   #7
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Hi,
These two revolvers have been compared many times. There is not a clear cut advantage. I will give you some features on both. I own both a 686 and GP100.
First the S&W 686.
1. Smooth double action pull.
2. Very accurate.
3. Good looking as most S&W are.
4. Better resale value than the Ruger.
5. Will shoot a steady diet of factory 357 magnums.

Ruger GP100.
1. Probably the strongest medium frame 357 magnum made now. In my opinion the GP100 has the stronger trigger group and will last long than the 686.
2. A person can field strip the GP100 without any special tools.
3. Like the Smith this revolver is very accurate.
4. The trigger on most is good. Maybe not quite as good out of the box as the S&W. But the good thing is a gunsmith can slick up the trigger to be just as good as a S&W. That is what I did.
5. Too me the best value in a 357 magnum revolver.
I love both of these revolvers. It really comes down to a personnal decision. Best thing to is rent and shoot both revolvers.

Good luck,
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Old March 2, 2011, 11:53 PM   #8
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I found myself considering the same two revolvers several years ago. After collecting all of the same information here, I chose the 686 with a 4" barrel and never looked back. Since then, I've come home with several more Smiths. They really grow on you!
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Old March 3, 2011, 12:25 AM   #9
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For all practical purposes, they are the same. Pick one and go for it.
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Old March 3, 2011, 07:37 AM   #10
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The S&W costs more but has a slightly better trigger. As far as resale value, the S&W will likely resale a little higher. For every thing else, the two guns are basically the same.

Pick the one you like the best and you'll end up with the best gun out of the two. Both of them with proper care will last your lifetime trouble free.

I own a 686. My buddy owns a GP100. I prefer my S&W but if I ever had to replace it, I'd look long and hard at a Ruger before I automatically bought another S&W.
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Old March 3, 2011, 07:56 AM   #11
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Great guns:

The downside:

Smith, the price. Ruger, the looks.

Upside:

It's all good!
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Old March 3, 2011, 10:26 AM   #12
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I have a 4" bbl S&W Model 586 and a 686 powerport with a 6" tube. I also have a GP-100 with 4" barrel. Of the four pistols the Model 686 powerport is the easiest to shoot full house loads through. If I had to walk off into the woods I would be happy with either the S&W 586 or the GP-100. If I was going to go after black tailed deer in the coastal range, I'd take the S&W 686 and mount a very good red dot sight on it. The Colt Python is the ~same frame size as the GP-100 and S&W 596.686, but I never enjoyed the clunky and stagy trigger pull of the Python or the Trooper.

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Old March 3, 2011, 11:01 AM   #13
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I like the single action on the 586/686 better and the double action on the GP-100 better, but both are excellent guns. If you can, you should really handle both of them to see which feels good to you.

Hard to go wrong either way.
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Old March 3, 2011, 11:07 AM   #14
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Get the S&W 686!

I was just talking about my S&W 686-5.... check out the thread for helpful info and pics!

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=442851
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Old March 3, 2011, 12:07 PM   #15
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S&W Model 686

At the recent IRC, all but one revolver shooter was shooting a Smith & Wesson;
with most being the 8-shot model 627. This has gott'a tell you something~!
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Old March 3, 2011, 12:08 PM   #16
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I would get the GP-100 over a S&W with the internal lock and MIM parts.
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Old March 3, 2011, 01:09 PM   #17
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I take it then that you prefer investment cast over forged steel . Uh oh, Pandora's Box has just been opened a crack.
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Old March 3, 2011, 01:17 PM   #18
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When I was buying my first handgun I had the same choice, a new GP100 vs. a used S&W 686-4 at exactly the same price (both 6" barrels). I chose the S&W and have never been sorry that I did since I have never seen a similar S&W at the same shop since. I got lucky, since I didn't know it at the time, but the -4 is the last one they made without either ILS or MIM parts.
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Old March 3, 2011, 05:01 PM   #19
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S&W

Look at a S&W on one of the auction sites if you are price conscious. Both are good guns. I hate to see the debate back and forth from owners trashing one or the other (but not in this thread).

I just made the S&W choice and couldn't be happier, but I got the half lug older versions. Classy.
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Old March 3, 2011, 05:18 PM   #20
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I have had both as many here have, and found that with much dry firing, the Ruger trigger surpasses the Smith. My agency converted to Semi's in the mid 90's and up til that point, we carried the 686. I carried my own personal GP100, and found it superior to the Smith in every way. Every other officer that handled my GP was amazed at the smooth, grit free trigger. Did I get a one in a 100,000 gun? I don't think so. Again, dry firing it extensively seemed to self polish the inner workings to a smoothness the 686's could not match. A coil mainspring probably helped as well, compared to the Smith's flat one.

My 2 rounds worth.
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Old March 3, 2011, 06:10 PM   #21
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it all depends on what it will be used for.if i am just looking for a gun to use for a truck gun boat gun or woods gun. that well basically be beat to heck.then for the right price I'd maybe get a ruger. if i was looking for one for any thing else it would be a s&w. that I'd be proud to pass down to my son...that's just me.
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Old March 3, 2011, 06:57 PM   #22
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I liked my 4 inch barrel SW 686 so much I bought the 3 inch barrel modell too.
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Old March 3, 2011, 07:10 PM   #23
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I have a 686 no dash 4" in good shape... I'm wondering if this model is seen as a positive or negative in terms of the 'no dash' in comparison to other versions.

I'm asking to help guide me whether to hang on to it or to look at as an option to trade in the near future.
Thanks!
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Old March 3, 2011, 09:59 PM   #24
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Quote:
I hate to see the debate back and forth from owners trashing one or the other (but not in this thread).
Sorry, I was just sharing my opinion

I have a S&W with a lock and it doesn't bother me at all

http://thefiringline.com/forums/atta...0&d=1142700996
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Old March 4, 2011, 07:44 AM   #25
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Its too close to call because both are excellent revolvers. The Smith just has a bit more love.
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