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Old October 19, 2005, 06:02 PM   #1
cje1980
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S&W 686 vs Ruger GP100

Alright guys, I'm looking to buy a new gun with my work bonus. I already own a 4" and 6" Ruger GP100. I really like the Ruger GP series. Is the S&W worth the extra money? I've handled and dry-fired the 686 and it feels nice but haven't shot them very much. Just a buddies 6" but that was a while ago. Which would you recommend and why? I'm thinking of buying another GP or the S&W and scoping it. I'm looking for how they compare in the trigger, strength and durability, quircks about either that any of you have noticed. Stuff like that.
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Old October 19, 2005, 06:09 PM   #2
MADISON
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686 Or Gp-100

I personally do not like the GP-100.
[1]The GP-100 is stronger than the 686.
[2] The S&W 686 is easy to give a trigger job while, the GP-100 requires a spring kit.
If I can find a 2 3/4 inch Stainless Security Six, I'll buy it!!!
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Old October 19, 2005, 06:29 PM   #3
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I have a GP-100, 3" and a SW 686, 2 1/2". They are both nice revolvers. The GP-100 is no stronger than the 686! IMHO the difference is a fixed rear sight with a black front sight, as opposed to an adjustable rear sight and a red ramp front sight on the 686.

Another huge difference for the is the 686 DA trigger. It is the best I have ever experienced. Since you are looking for a revolver to scope I would expect DA wouldn't be of much interest to you. Here are the two together with Eagle Grips.


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Old October 19, 2005, 08:06 PM   #4
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I can't hack the Ruger DA revolver either. With a good stone, glass, 12lb spring, patience, and some know-how; any Smith you come up with will beat the snot out of any Ruger, Taurus, Dan Wesson, and a lot of Colts.
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Old October 19, 2005, 09:21 PM   #5
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Go with the GP, you will only be dissappointed with the extra money you spent for a inferior gun if you go with the smith.
As far as trigger jobs go, my Gp.'s trigger job runs with the best of any. Smooth and light as it should be.
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Old October 19, 2005, 09:50 PM   #6
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The GP-100 is no stronger than the 686!
If you're going to contradict something that is accepted as common knowledge, you should at least offer an explanation. A supporting source would be even better.

cje1980,

If you like the 686, get it. It's a nice revolver and will provide you with a lifetime of service if you don't abuse it.
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Old October 20, 2005, 05:34 AM   #7
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Likewise, John. A lot of people make the statement that the Ruger is stronger than the S&W 686. But I haven't seen any facts to back it up, either. I think they're both good guns, and it comes down to personal preference. I had to make this same decision last year, and chose the 686 over the GP-100.

Dean

S&W 686 SS 4" with Crimson Trace Hog Hunter Laser Grips (LG-308)

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Old October 20, 2005, 08:17 AM   #8
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I like the grips on the GP-100. But, I like the design of the Smith. The opening and closing of the cylinder seemed more solid and smoother on the Smith. The trigger (to me) is better on the Smith. So, I bought the S&W 686. Even had a gunsmith enhance the smoothness of the trigger. WOW!
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Old October 20, 2005, 08:37 AM   #9
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S&w

I like both models, but since you already have two GP's, I'd go with the Smith.
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Old October 20, 2005, 09:05 AM   #10
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As far as strength...

The Rugers are investment cast, while the Smith's are forged. A company tried to investment cast an exact replica of the S&W 66 in the 70's but it wasn't strong enough to survive. That is the reason Rugers were always "bigger". Ruger advertising claimed their guns were better because they were bigger. (Security Six vs. 19) A lot of people believed it and that is why we have the 686. S&W claims their frames are still hammer forged although I hear they are discontinuing their k frame size. I do know their internals are cast now. It is a way of making both the manufacturing process and the gun cheaper (not pricewise). While I prefer the S&W I don't own any of their "new style" revolvers. I do own 50 old ones. And no rugers! So what, in my opinion, would I recommend? Go for the Ruger . If you'r putting a scope on it the Ruger is fine.
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Old October 20, 2005, 09:58 AM   #11
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Hey John

Quote:
If you're going to contradict something that is accepted as common knowledge, you should at least offer an explanation. A supporting source would be even better.
Well I am neither a gunsmith nor a scientist. I'm just a person that has owned and experienced many guns in my lifetime. I have yet to wear one out. Many who have accepted the myth that Rugers are stronger than Smiths heard it from someone/somewhere else and just passed it along to prove their knowledge on forums. If repeated long enough, it then becomes accepted common knowledge.

We now have people making statements that the Ruger P series is better than---because Rugers are built like tanks. Well, the Ruger P series frames are polymer, hardly tank material. (I own a P95 & P345)

I agree with djhansensr
Quote:
A lot of people make the statement that the Ruger is stronger than the S&W 686. But I haven't seen any facts to back it up, either. I think they're both good guns, and it comes down to personal preference. I had to make this same decision last year, and chose the 686 over the GP-100.
All you need to do is pick up and fire a GP-100 and a 686, and it will become very clear which is the better gun. Having said that Ruger GP-100 is a very fine gun, but second place to the 686. Just my humble opinion!!!
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Old October 20, 2005, 02:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
2rugers: Go with the GP, you will only be dissappointed with the extra money you spent for a inferior gun if you go with the smith.
As far as trigger jobs go, my Gp.'s trigger job runs with the best of any. Smooth and light as it should be.
To say that the S&W 686 is an inferior gun to the Ruger GP-100 is a baseless and ignorant statement. DO a search and read the reviews from professionals in the field, firearms experts, and learn what they think. While I won't knock any gun made by a major manufacturer, the S&W 686 is world class gun made with more expensive manufacturing processes by one of the best known, highly respected gun factories in the world. The Ruger line is less expensive because there are compromises made in production to give you more value, but not the same level of quality. 2rugers, you are just in denial, or just pulling some legs.

Last edited by PythonGuy; October 21, 2005 at 09:06 AM.
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Old October 20, 2005, 03:12 PM   #13
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Decisions...Decisions

Buy the one that will be the best OVERALL REVOLVER for you. I own two Smith & Wesson firearms and I love them both. That being said, I would not give up my GP 100 for anyone's 686. The GP 100 works best FOR ME. Your mileage may vary. Choose what works best for you, buy it and enjoy it in good health.

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Old October 20, 2005, 03:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Buy the one that will be the best OVERALL REVOLVER for you. I own two Smith & Wesson firearms and I love them both. That being said, I would not give up my GP 100 for anyone's 686. The GP 100 works best FOR ME. Your mileage may vary. Choose what works best for you, buy it and enjoy it in good health.
What he said.
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Old October 20, 2005, 05:23 PM   #15
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If you're going to use it for nothing but outdoor, balls to the walls, hunting type rounds I think the Ruger is more durable. Not stronger, but more durable. A 686 while strong, will in my experience, loose it's timing pretty quickly with a lot of full power loads. At least the older ones with the finely tuned actions. The newer ones may work just fine. Their actions aren't anywhere near as timed as the old ones. The GP100 is also much easier to take care of if used in harsh conditions as it can be completely disassembled fairly easily. If these circumstances don't apply, then I would find an older 586/686 that is still in time (as they rarely are) and buy it.
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Old October 20, 2005, 05:58 PM   #16
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Brasso

Well Holy Smoke!!! I don't think I'll be selling my 686, 586, or my two 66's any time soon due to timing problems. But I am selling my GP-100...Go figure...
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Old October 20, 2005, 08:32 PM   #17
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Whatever. I have rarely picked up a S&W where all the cylinders were in time. Not a big deal if you don't shoot "full" power loads all the time. But I do. It's always puzzled me why someone would practice with .38spl and then carry .357mag. The other way around would make more sense. I carry full power ammo, so I practice with full power ammo. I think the S&W's make better target guns than useful hunting guns. To each their own. I like them both.
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Old October 20, 2005, 08:38 PM   #18
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Well I own only the gp100 6" stainless model but it shoots 1.5" groups and 50 yards with reloads and a reddot on it. I also like the cylinder unlock button on the Ruger better than the slide lever on the smith. The Ruger is cheaper also. I considered both when I was going to buy a .357 but I chose the .357 because it fit my hand better. Choose the one that fits you best.
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Old October 20, 2005, 09:36 PM   #19
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Quote:
Likewise, John. A lot of people make the statement that the Ruger is stronger than the S&W 686. But I haven't seen any facts to back it up, either.
I have and some have been posted on this forum and others over the years. And anyway, there's a difference between contradicting "common knowledge" and making a statement that is considered "common knowledge".
Quote:
I don't think I'll be selling my 686, 586, or my two 66's any time soon due to timing problems.
I hope not, but a friend of mine sent his 686 back for warranty service TWICE to remedy timing problems before he had shot 1,000 rounds through it.
Quote:
Well I am neither a gunsmith nor a scientist. I'm just a person that has owned and experienced many guns in my lifetime. I have yet to wear one out.
That's hardly anything approaching evidence. In fact, you'd have some evidence if you HAD worn some guns out. Then you'd know which ones were more durable. It's not the average user who finds out which guns are strongest--they're the ones who get a lifetime of use out of any quality gun. The users who find out which guns are strongest are the ones who push the limits.

By the way, if you think the GP100 DA trigger is "the worst you've ever experienced", I might have to call into question your claim that you have owned and experienced many guns. I can list a good many guns with worse DA triggers--my sister's Model 60, for one...
Quote:
We now have people making statements that the Ruger P series is better than---because Rugers are built like tanks. Well, the Ruger P series frames are polymer, hardly tank material.
1. "Better than" is different from "stronger than" or "more durable than".
2. Most Ruger P series pistols have aluminum frames.
3. Polymer frame pistols have been shown to exhibit extraordinary durability if designed properly--even outlasting steel and aluminum framed firearms.
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Old October 21, 2005, 08:13 AM   #20
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I tried both guns before buying one(my friend owns both, plus 30 other firearms--good friend to have, lol). Both guns are nice but there is no questions that the 686 has a smoother action. The GP-100 is very rough imo (and in my friends opinion too. And he's been shooting these two guns for a while now). This is not just a personal opinion thing, though. Pick'm both up and shoot them. The SW has way more smooth trigger action. It is sooooooo noticable that one can't help but notice. IMO they both shoot great and straight. The SW felt better in my hand(that is a personal opinion). So I ponied up the extra cash and bought a SW. My buddy suggested I do the same. But I also bought a Ruger Model77 rifle, lol. Look, both guns are great but the undeniable truth is that SW has a more crafted product. That's why you pay more. I always thought a good comparison was the Ruger is like a T-34 Russian tank while the 686 was like a German Tiger.

OK, those are my 2 cents.
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Old October 21, 2005, 09:14 AM   #21
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blanket forum statements and internet "facts" are just so silly. Millions of police have used S&W over the years as thier duty weapon, although many factors go into such a choice, I think being poorly made is not one of them. I've always said the major gun makers are all producing a high quality product by and large, but to say you've never piicked up a S&W that was in time is rediculous. If you like Ruger fine, buy and shoot it, same with S&W, Colt, et al. I am a Colt fan when it comes to revolvers, with S&W second. I don't knock S&W or Ruger because I like Colts, they all have their place. Why do some guys have to knock what they don't own? Its so silly.
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Old October 21, 2005, 09:29 AM   #22
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Quote:
I think the S&W's make better target guns than useful hunting guns.

I'm sure the hog sitting in my freezer would have found solace in your opinion while a Federal 158grn jsp was boring thru his skull //sarc off//. I've heard some pretty ridiculous statements on this board but that is definately up there.

I've put down more Texas hogs with my 686 than most have with a rifle.

I just have to make sure rain doesn't hit it because then it explodes. LOL
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Old October 21, 2005, 10:15 AM   #23
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John

You're to large a Ruger zealot and I don't bicker, so this will be my last post on the matter. As Mr. Bill would say, 'I'll give you the last word'

I'm not a promoter of any particular gun or manufacturer. I have been fortunate to own many guns and when I post, it is based on my personal experience and not on innuendo, common knowledge or mine is bigger than yours stuff. One of my best shooting revolvers isn't a Smith, Colt or Ruger! It's a Taurus 689!

So short of getting a lemon, I like them all. Ruger fans seem to dwell on elevating their Rugers to something God-like that no one can destroy. I have 6 Rugers. Two GP-100's, Vaquero, Blackhawk, P95D and P345D. If I didn't like them, I wouldn't own them. They are no better or worse than my other guns. With the exception of my Vaquero and P345 they do come up a little short in the trigger department. Nothing I can't live with.

OBTW, the last time I broke down my P95 & 345 the frame was plastic, including the rails.

Next thread!!!
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Old October 21, 2005, 12:39 PM   #24
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Ruger fans seem to dwell on elevating their Rugers to something God-like that no one can destroy.
Not true well for me at least. I happen to prefer Rugers over S&W but like you Bullrock I happen to have many Smith revolvers that I cherish but the Rugers particularly the GP-100 is my favorite. It all boils down to what revolver fits you the most.
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Old October 21, 2005, 12:55 PM   #25
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Bash me if you feel better. All I said was that I think the Ruger makes a better field revolver. I don't believe I ever said you couldn't use a S&W for the same purpose. And....as I said above, I like them both. As far as S&W cylinders being out of time. Sorry, but I can only go off personal experience. I have seen very few S&W, new or used, where all the cylinder holes were in time. If I can slowly rotate the cylinder, dragging my finger on the side, and the hammer locks before the cylinder does, I consider that out of time. You may not consider it out of time until it starts spitting lead and the cylinder starts unlocking under recoil. I have only seen two or three S&W's in my life where ALL the cylinder holes locked before the hammer did. And....like I said before, it's no big deal unless you shoot a lot of magnum loads (which police don't, never have, and probably never will so it's a moot point) it doesn't really matter.
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