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Old January 22, 2019, 10:10 AM   #1
arquebus357
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Ruger GP100 Match Champ

Say Hi to my new subject revolver. First impression...eh, The stainless steel brushed finish is nice but to be honest, not much better than I could do. (look at the cylinder)

I could hardly wait to get rid of the god awful Hogue grips. Hogue grips are too long (allows for their attachment system), These particular Hogues have an odd, almost Bisley, angle to them and why are they pushing my hand back 3/8" from the frame ? Nice Walnut wood though. This spare set of Thai grips have a better angle, 1/2" shorter, and tuck under the back strap ledge. Smooth finger groove grips just work better for me. I naturally hold them tighter which improves my shooting.

Over all, I like my new purchase but I'm wondering if my money wouldn't have been better spent on an older nice condition S&W 686. (I"M not a collector)

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Old January 22, 2019, 11:03 AM   #2
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Money is always better spent on a S&W than on a Ruger, IMO.
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Old January 22, 2019, 11:09 AM   #3
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I gotta agree with mamba. The Ruger prolly cost what a 686 costs. If you are a shooter you will appreciate the 686 both single action and double action.
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Old January 22, 2019, 11:29 AM   #4
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If you're not a collector, and you like the gun, what's the problem? Buy a ton of ammo and enjoy your new gun. Focus on your shooting, less on whether the GP100 or 686 was the better choice.

FWIW, my primary shooters are 686s, but the GP100 is a fine revolver too. Both have their strengths and compromises. I wouldn't hesitate to get a GP100 if I were in the market for a 686-sized revolver.
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Old January 22, 2019, 11:33 AM   #5
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I have a S&W model 15, 19, and a couple of 64's. and Like all very much. I would also much rather disassemble and reassemble a S&W than a Ruger. As far as shooting though, I would find them pretty equal with maybe a nod to Ruger's cylinder release button.

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Old January 22, 2019, 02:22 PM   #6
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Mine has a better finish, very nice actually. As soon as I got it, it had to go back for a new cylinder. Grip wise, I went with the Lett style with Ruger logo inserts...maybe something to look at if you want a carry gun.

I had both the GP100 Match Champion and a 686-6. I had a lot of gunsmithing money in the 686 before it was really right. I sold it in good conscience because the thrill was gone, no bond with a gun that spent more time in the shop than in my safe. The GP100 shoots well but the Smith trigger slicked up better. I won't be buying any more NEW Smiths, thank you. The deal maker was that the Ruger would fire lead bullets without fouling. The ECM rifling on the Smith made a mess of the same loads.
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Old January 22, 2019, 03:17 PM   #7
Earthling2112
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This was my first gun back in mid 2017. I really caught the bug since then and now have 4 357s including a 686+ and several semi autos. The Ruger is my favorite revolver I own and I am still enjoying it very much.
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Old January 22, 2019, 04:12 PM   #8
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You can shoot hotter loads in the Ruger..that is a plus..I love all makes and Models, just shoot it and enjoy it.
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Old January 22, 2019, 05:31 PM   #9
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Ruger is cast steel, no way it will tolerate hotter loads than an L frame S&W.
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Old January 22, 2019, 05:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Ruger is cast steel, no way it will tolerate hotter loads than an L frame S&W.
Does the fact that it is investment cast steel make it inherently weaker than a milled M686? How do you know this?
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Old January 22, 2019, 06:46 PM   #11
Dobe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dahermit View Post
Does the fact that it is investment cast steel make it inherently weaker than a milled M686? How do you know this?


It is just as strong or stronger than the Smith. This cast vs drop forge has been debated to death.


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Old January 22, 2019, 06:51 PM   #12
Dobe
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Ruger GP100 Match Champ

Quote:
Originally Posted by arquebus357 View Post
Say Hi to my new subject revolver. First impression...eh, The stainless steel brushed finish is nice but to be honest, not much better than I could do. (look at the cylinder)



I could hardly wait to get rid of the god awful Hogue grips. Hogue grips are too long (allows for their attachment system), These particular Hogues have an odd, almost Bisley, angle to them and why are they pushing my hand back 3/8" from the frame ? Nice Walnut wood though. This spare set of Thai grips have a better angle, 1/2" shorter, and tuck under the back strap ledge. Smooth finger groove grips just work better for me. I naturally hold them tighter which improves my shooting.



Over all, I like my new purchase but I'm wondering if my money wouldn't have been better spent on an older nice condition S&W 686. (I"M not a collector)





I have many more Smiths than Rugers, but I prefer the GP100. Its a very strong design. The GP100 will hold timing longer than a Smith. The action can be smoothed up quite well. Rugers are tanks that shoot well.


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Last edited by Dobe; January 22, 2019 at 09:04 PM.
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Old January 23, 2019, 09:54 AM   #13
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I have a GP100 and a 586. Of course, everyone should have one of each. :-) It may sound stupid but I like that they both use the same speed loaders.

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Old January 23, 2019, 11:57 PM   #14
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On the strength issue.

How the various reloading manuals have "Ruger Only" loads and no S&W only loads?
Just curious.
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Old January 24, 2019, 12:11 AM   #15
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Ruger Only loads pertain only to the 45 Colt cartridge and for large framed Ruger single actions, Redhawks and Super Redhawks. There are no 357 magnum Ruger Only loads.
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Old January 25, 2019, 12:19 PM   #16
Dobe
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Ruger GP100 Match Champ

Quote:
Originally Posted by black mamba View Post
Ruger Only loads pertain only to the 45 Colt cartridge and for large framed Ruger single actions, Redhawks and Super Redhawks. There are no 357 magnum Ruger Only loads.


Even if the frames of the GP100, and L Frame were the same size, the GP100 would fair better in high pressure loads due to the solid frame (no side plates). And there is little doubt that the Ruger will hold its timing longer.
I do like both, and still have a fondness for the 19-3.

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Old January 25, 2019, 01:41 PM   #17
mrdaputer
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I was looking to get a 357 revolver. I have the S&W 629 so was going with the 686. Problem was the ones I looked at were over or under clocked. So there was no way I was going to buy one on line. I bought the Ruger GP100 love post revolvers.
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Old January 25, 2019, 02:00 PM   #18
stephen426
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Nice looking gun. Congrats! I have a GP100 as well, but I'm much more of a semi-auto guy. The GP100 doesn't come out to play much.
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Old January 25, 2019, 02:41 PM   #19
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Good looking gun!
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Old January 25, 2019, 03:41 PM   #20
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The frames are not the same size on the Ruger and the S&W, Rugers are always thicker because the cast isn't as strong as the forged frame on the S&W. They don't make them thicker just to make them heavier. As for timing, I've never had a S&W get out of time even after thousands of rounds fired double action. Where did you hear that? Ruger is a fine gun but it ain't good as a S&W, never will be. Have you ever seen a Ruger D/A at a match? I haven't. I've even seen old Colt revolvers but not Ruger.
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Old January 25, 2019, 03:51 PM   #21
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Just curious. I own both and have been eyeballing a GP100. Had a 686, wish I'd never sold it years ago.

Concerning modern Smiths, what is the consensus on quality? I have a very nice 29-2, and a Model 19 and a near mint 3 screw .44 so a bit of collectability would be nice to add to the safe.
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Old January 25, 2019, 05:06 PM   #22
Dobe
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Ruger GP100 Match Champ

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Originally Posted by pete2 View Post
The frames are not the same size on the Ruger and the S&W, Rugers are always thicker because the cast isn't as strong as the forged frame on the S&W. They don't make them thicker just to make them heavier. As for timing, I've never had a S&W get out of time even after thousands of rounds fired double action. Where did you hear that? Ruger is a fine gun but it ain't good as a S&W, never will be. Have you ever seen a Ruger D/A at a match? I haven't. I've even seen old Colt revolvers but not Ruger.


I’ve seen brand new Smiths with timing issues. I also had the experience of working for an indoor range while in college. I never saw a Ruger DA loose timing. I saw timing issues with plenty of Smiths.

The cast vs drop forge debate has been exhausted. Modern investment castings can be every bit as strong.


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Old January 25, 2019, 05:07 PM   #23
Don P
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Either gun would be a good choice. I have a GP 100 and a GP 100 match champion. Both are excellent shooters. I sent both cylinders out to TK Custom and had them cut for moon clips. Best of both worlds being able to shoot loose ammo, ammo loaded from a speed loader and ammo loaded in a moon clip. I also have S&W's, Colts and Taurus revolvers and all are a joy to shoot.
With some polishing and spring changes I have the 2 GP 100 trigger pulls down to 7lbs. in double action and they will light off factory ammo consistently.
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Old January 25, 2019, 05:18 PM   #24
Dobe
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Ruger GP100 Match Champ

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2wheelwander View Post
Just curious. I own both and have been eyeballing a GP100. Had a 686, wish I'd never sold it years ago.

Concerning modern Smiths, what is the consensus on quality? I have a very nice 29-2, and a Model 19 and a near mint 3 screw .44 so a bit of collectability would be nice to add to the safe.


Both Smith and Ruger seem to go through quality control problems. I remember buying a used nickel plated 19-3 for a song. The timing was a little off on one or two chambers. I had my LGS send it to Smith to be re-timed. It was returned in no better shape. The LGS sent it back to Smith. It was returned marked repaired, with the timing no better than when I purchased it. The gunsmith from the LGS could hardly believe it. He called Smith & Wesson, resent my 19-3 again, and finally it was sent to me as it should have been.


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Old January 25, 2019, 05:27 PM   #25
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Ruger is cast steel, no way it will tolerate hotter loads than an L frame S&W.


Good grief


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