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View Poll Results: Which gun?
Taurus 627 0 0%
Taurus 66 1 1.28%
Ruger GP100 38 48.72%
S&W 686 43 55.13%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 78. You may not vote on this poll

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Old August 17, 2012, 09:07 PM   #1
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First gun decision

So I'm deciding on my first gun it would be mainly for firing at the range and home defense. I've decided to go with a .357 magnum revolver that way I can practice with .38 specials untill I'm more comfortable then move up to the magnum rounds. I really like the 4" barrells.

I have several in mind from doing research give me some feedback please.

Taurus 66
Taurus tracker 627
Ruger GP100
S&W 686

Is the S&W worth the extra money?

Looks wise I'm really leaning towards the Taurus 627 after that it's kind of a tie between the ruger and the 686.

Last edited by Ares88ep; August 17, 2012 at 09:17 PM.
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Old August 17, 2012, 09:13 PM   #2
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I'm not a Taurus basher, have owned two, but do yourself a favor and get the Ruger or the S&W. Answer to your question, depends on what you want. Have had both Ruger and S&W double action .357s and I don't think the S&W is worth the extra $$$. But many will disagree.
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Old August 17, 2012, 09:14 PM   #3
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Ruger or Smith and Wesson. Ruger is heavier, accuracy probably about the same. You will likely get more guns later anyway so don't overthink it. I think the Smith and Wessons handle the best of current production guns.
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Old August 17, 2012, 09:17 PM   #4
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My personal opinion go with the ruger, they are bull strong, accurate, will last a lifetime, and made in the U.S.A. I watched a friend learn reloading with one and he did things that would have reduced a lesser revolver to scrap!!! it still is capable of taking groundhogs at 100yds and hitting golfballs at 25yds.
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Old August 17, 2012, 09:20 PM   #5
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Is there real Difference between these all in terms of quality?
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Old August 17, 2012, 09:38 PM   #6
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I will echo the first two responses. The Ruger or S&W will serve you best. If funds allow, I would go for the Smith, I really do love their revolvers, and should you decide to sell it later, they hold their value much better.

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Old August 17, 2012, 10:04 PM   #7
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The S&W, holds value better, nicer trigger, very reliable.
The Ruger, less money a, built like a tank will shoot almost anything.
The Taurus's, (if you get a good one) are reliable solid pistols, shoot well, will have the lest resale value down the road and taurus has a bad customer service reputation should repair ever be needed. S&W and Ruger have a fair to good service reputation.
I tend to the S&W revolvers because I like their looks, and how they feel in the hand and in 40 years of revolver shooting have only had one problem with a S&W that the factory took care of rapidly.
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Old August 17, 2012, 10:25 PM   #8
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All these guns excluding the S&W are in the $500 range while the Smith is more like $700. My real question is, is there anything wrong with any of the guns besides there customer service?
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Old August 17, 2012, 10:43 PM   #9
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For S&W 686+ cause I like it. Wish I could shoot it better & I will in time, though center mass on target is not a problem.
This was my 1st revolver & I can't comment on the other choices listed in the poll.
2nd revolver, bought for the wife was a S&W Bodyguard 38. She also has a Glock 19. I also have a Kimber Stainless ProRapto II & a Wilson Combat CQB Elite.
Think I am set.

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Old August 17, 2012, 11:02 PM   #10
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Can't go long with either the Smith or the Ruger. I'm usually actually a little more of a Ruger guy myself. However, I like the feel of the 686 better than the GP100 so I voted Smith in this case. The 686 is a smooth shooter.
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Old August 17, 2012, 11:10 PM   #11
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Go with the GP 100 or S&W 586/686, if for no other reason, than to represent America. If you want one that you can take to hell and back get the GP100. If you want one that looks good get the 586/686. Personally, I would take the GP if its your first revolver as the are a "little" more sturdy, and you can work on them much easier. With that being said, I think the the 686(pre lock) is a better looking gun; and come on, its S&W!!!!!!

If you are buying new, get a GP.
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Old August 17, 2012, 11:16 PM   #12
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With the Ruger anywhere near the price of a Taurus, it's a much better value.
"It is long been a principle of ours that one is no more armed because he has possession of a firearm than he is a musician because he owns a piano. There is no point in having a gun if you are not capable of using it skillfully." -- Jeff Cooper
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Old August 17, 2012, 11:45 PM   #13
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Not that it changes the functionality of the gun but I would actually be getting the Ruger Kgp 141
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Old August 17, 2012, 11:48 PM   #14
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Is that the blue one or stainless steel?
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Old August 18, 2012, 01:33 AM   #15
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kgp-141, its the stainless model
Rugers:SR1911 CMD,MK 3 .22lr 6",Sec. Six '76 liberty .357 4",SRH .480 Ruger 7.5",Mini-14 188 5.56/.233 18.5", Marlins: 795 .22lr 16.5",30aw 30-30 20",Mossberg:Mav. 88 Tact. 12 ga, 18.5",ATR 100 .270 Win. 22",S&W:SW9VE
9mm 4",Springfield:XD .357sig 4", AKs:CAI PSL-54C, WASR 10/63, WW74,SLR-106c
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Old August 18, 2012, 01:38 AM   #16
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I have a 4" barrel 686+ and its really a terrific revolver. Very smooth wonderful trigger and great balance. That would be my first choice.

I've never shot a GP100. I do have double action and single action Ruger revolvers and they are strong solid guns. If theyre anything like my Redhawks or my brother's older Speed Six - theyll serve you well.

I would choose one of these two -- it comes down to your budget and personal preference. Either will do the job you mentioned.

I currently own two Taurus guns. They are Tracker style - a 4" barrel 41 Mag and a 5" barrel 454 Casull. (An earlier Taurus 454 - which is a hunting cartridge - I had was traded off because of quality issues). One thing to consider in a self defense gun is muzzle blast and flash. That is, how loud the thing is and the flash that's produced. The 357 is loud. I wouldnt want to have to shoot one indoors in a defensive situation. I particularly wouldnt want to shoot that Taurus because of its muzzle porting. That makes it even louder, and puts flash up in your line of sight. Not good to be blinded by flash in the low light level conditions often encountered in self defense. (There's ammo designed to try to reduce this flash - but youre not helping things with a ported gun.)

Last edited by Pointshoot; August 18, 2012 at 02:02 AM.
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Old August 18, 2012, 08:09 AM   #17
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I really liked the way the Tracker looked, it is an intimidating looking gun but I never thought about that and how the ported barrel would work indoors. I'm deff more leaning to the Ruger KGP-141 now which is the gp-100 with a Satin stainless finish. I would deff have to be carefully when loading and unloading with that finish. But considering how much cheaper it is in comparison to the 686 it seems like a no brainer.
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Old August 18, 2012, 10:36 AM   #18
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The 686 is the finest .357 on the market. The GP is a close second. Is the S&W worth the extra money? Yes in my opinion, but you have to see if the slightly better S&W trigger is worth it to you.

Don't mistake a lower price for a better value.

As a prior Taurus owner, those guns aren't even close to the same class as S&W or Ruger.
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Old August 18, 2012, 01:59 PM   #19
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Taurus has a life time warranty!!
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Old August 18, 2012, 02:18 PM   #20
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Since the poll allowed voting for more than one option, I voted for both the 686 and GP100. Both of those are excellent quality revolvers that would serve their owner well and which one is better is more a matter of personal preference than anything. I did not vote for the Taurus offerings because, while I do believe that Taurus can make a good gun, I don't believe that they have the same level of quality control or customer service as Ruger and S&W do and Taurus' resale value can only be described as abysmal.

Between the Ruger and the S&W, consider the following differences:

The Ruger will sit lower and further forward in the hand while the S&W will sit higher and further back. In my experience, the Ruger's lower bore axis will yield a bit less muzzle rise while the S&W's slightly higher bore axis produces less perceived felt recoil.

The DA triggers are also quite different between the two. The Ruger trigger "stacks" which means that the shooter can feel a slight difference in the DA trigger stroke just before the trigger breaks while the S&W has a smoother, more consistent pull all the way through. Neither is necessarily better as some people like a bit of stacking while others don't.

The cylinder-release latches also work differently. The Ruger uses a pivoting button that is pushed in while the S&W uses a sliding thumb piece that is pushed forward. Again this is a matter of personal preference as what feels natural to one person may feel quite awkward to another.

Also, while a S&W is more expensive than a Ruger, the difference is not as large as some make it out to be. When a 686 and GP100 which are comparably equipped (finish, barrel length, cylinder capacity, sights, and other features are the same or close), the S&W usually sells for about $100 more than the Ruger. However, the S&W is available in a wider array of configurations than the Ruger is.

I personally prefer S&W revolvers as they are what I'm most familiar and comfortable with, but I also think that Rugers are excellent quality and that people who choose them are no less well armed than I.
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Old August 18, 2012, 04:01 PM   #21
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You have about a 50/50 chance of getting a goo new Taurus. Probably 99%+ getting a good Ruger or S&W. I personally like the S&W action better than the ruger. Ruger is probably the best gun in terms of durability. Got lucky a while back and traded my PT100 for an LC9, couldn't be happier to be rid of the Taurus.
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Old August 18, 2012, 06:29 PM   #22
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+1 on Webley's remarks above....

The S&W is hands down the better gun in the group...and you may not see it in the first 3 yrs ...but you'll sure see it in the next 15 yrs...

$300 difference in the price ( it it's anywhere near that much ) only $20 a yr over 15 yrs....and you might keep the 686 for 3 generations....not just 15 yrs....
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Old August 18, 2012, 07:03 PM   #23
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I have a suggestion for you. Start looking around for a used 686. One in good condition will serve you for the rest of your life in most cases. The trigger from factory is really good. Normally cylinder lock up is very good as well. For home defense I wouldn't care to use a magnum load for several reasons. This may be your first handgun. A used one in good condition will cost less than a new one will. I prefer my Dan Wesson, but, I would take a 686 any day if the price was right.

I have used a .357 Mag. to take deer under 50 yards some years ago. I only took a shot when I was fairly certain I couldn't miss hitting the vitals. One shot was all it took too.

Last edited by Misssissippi Dave; August 18, 2012 at 07:09 PM.
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Old August 20, 2012, 02:01 PM   #24
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These kind of guns will or at least should last a lifetime. So I'd go with whatever one really felt good in the hand and seemed to be the one that I really wanted. The dollar difference between them over the long haul is negligible.
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Old August 20, 2012, 02:30 PM   #25
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Anything but a Taurus,,,

I'm not Taurus bashing so much as I'm saying,,,
A first time gun buyer should not take the risk with their spotty factory quality control.

I voted for the S&W 686 because I like them better than the Ruger,,,
But the Ruger is just as good a gun as the S&W 686.

Too many Taurii are bad out of the box,,,
Too much risk for a first-timer.

After the newbie has gained some revolver experience,,,
Then he (or she) can evaluate a Taurus before laying out their cash.


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Combat: "A Silent Cry"
Aarond is good,,, Aarond is wise,,, Always trust Aarond! (most of the time)
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686 , ruger gp100 , s&w , taurus , taurus 66

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