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Old January 20, 2013, 01:47 AM   #1
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Ruger vs S&W Revolvers. Which is better?

Which is better out of Ruger and Smith & Wesson revolvers? Pro's and Con's??
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Old January 20, 2013, 01:59 AM   #2
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I prefer the look and feel of Smith revolvers. You are getting a nice revolver either way.
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Old January 20, 2013, 03:08 AM   #3
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I prefer Smiths.

Smith is:
machined, forged steel
better action
more expensive

Ruger is:
cast steel

Both are fine for firearms.
My rifle and pistol are tools, I am the weapon.
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Old January 20, 2013, 03:25 AM   #4
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I had this problem once, bought several revolvers of each. Love em all. I like the look and feel of the smiths, but I really like that I can shoot fire breathing dragon loads in my rugers that I wouldnt put thru my smiths. They're both good. Its like the mossberg vs remington, Marlin 22 vs Ruger 22. All of em are good and they all got advantages and disadvantages.
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Old January 20, 2013, 05:10 AM   #5
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^ I agree that Remington 870 vs. Mossberg 500/590 is the argument that best mirrors Ruger wheel guns versus Smith wheel guns. I prefer Remington and Ruger, but I could not logically or objectively say they're better than Mossberg or Smith. Better for ME, that's all.
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Old January 20, 2013, 06:56 AM   #6
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Neither is really "better". I believe that S&W typically have a smoother trigger than most typical Rugers however, like in the case of the Ruger GP, they come pretty close to Smith. Otherwise they are both well made guns and each has their fans.

I'd suggest buying which ever feels best to you. No matter what you buy, you'll know that you just bought one of the best made guns on the market from a maker that stands behind their products.
"He who laughs last, laughs dead." Homer Simpson

Last edited by Kreyzhorse; January 20, 2013 at 07:02 AM.
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Old January 20, 2013, 08:21 AM   #7
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You know what? It depends. Posts above are spot on.

Used to be there were no small lightweight Rugers, S&W had that covered with their air-lites/air-weights. Rugers new LCR fills that void. Finally.

And it is kinda hard to find a good, brand new single action S&W. Ruger? Covered.

Strength? Used to be, maybe still is, certain loads were A-OK in one but not the other, if that is important. Does that make one better and the other lesser? Perhaps to some.

Aesthetics are subjective, but some prefer the looks of S&Ws to Ruger.

Internal Locks? There's a subject that some will argue all day as being a deal killer. Same with politics of management (historical POV, we're all in this together nowadays or better be).

My own preference, subjective as it is, the majority of DAs I own or used to own are all S&W or old Colts. Single actions are Sturm Ruger. Curious how that turned out as it was not planned.
A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government." - George Washington, January 8, 1790, First State of the Union Address
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Old January 20, 2013, 08:55 AM   #8
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Owning both.....S&W has a higher fit and finish and infinitely better question
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Old January 20, 2013, 10:43 AM   #9
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Can't go wrong either way.
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Old January 20, 2013, 11:09 AM   #10
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Pick one either one. Either way no one is a looser as they say.

I like both. Though I found better deals on used Smith & Wesson Revolvers. I have not seen many used Ruger revolvers for sale. That says a lot to me as far as owner retention of them goes.

Here is a pic of my two Smith DA revolvers. Both were bught for under $350 each. One is a 6 inch N frame Model 28-2 .357 Magnum Highway Patrolman that was carried from 1979 till 1990 by a motorcycle cop. The other is a Model 67-1 K Frame .38 Special with a 4 inch barrel. Both shoot like laser beams. Lock up tight, and have nice smooth triggers.

No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
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Old January 20, 2013, 12:15 PM   #11
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I own two Smith's and one Ruger revolver. The Ruger is heavy for its size and the trigger isn't nearly as smooth as either of the Smith's. I'm in the market for a 4" .357 at the moment, and I'd honestly buy whichever one (Ruger or Smith) that I could get the best deal on.
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Old January 20, 2013, 12:29 PM   #12
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S&W has a better fit and finish....and the better triggers of the two options.

I prefer S&W ...especially in the older guns / and I think they're as tough, or tougher, than anything Ruger has ever made. I don't hesitate to put full max power loads thru any of my S&W N frames...L frames or K frames.../ they're solid guns !
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Old January 20, 2013, 12:41 PM   #13
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Smiths have a faster lock-time a feature that means nothing to most but for target shooting and competition it is important to gain every bit of advantage
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Old January 20, 2013, 12:47 PM   #14
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Neither one is necessarily better, but they are different in several aspects. The most noticable difference to me is the way that the guns sit in the hand. Rugers seem to sit lower and further forward while S&W seems to sit higher and further back. This means that the Ruger will have less muzzle climb and therefore potentially faster follow-up shots, but the S&W will have less felt recoil given guns of similar size and weight such as a GP100 and 686. The cylinder release latches are also different in that the Ruger pushes in while the S&W slides forward, which feels more natural depends on the person. Finally, the triggers are indeed different in that the Ruger stacks more perceptably towards the end of the DA stroke while the S&W trigger seems a bit smoother and more consistent all the way through the DA stroke. People who like to stage their triggers will likely prefer the Ruger while people who don't stage their triggers will likely find the S&W more agreeable.

The other differences are not, IMHO, all that significant. A Ruger does cost less that a comparable S&W, but the difference in price really isn't all that much (usually $75-150 actual retail). The Ruger is also stronger, at least theoretically, but that's really only an advantage to someone who wants to shoot copious amounts of ammunition that pushes the limit of the cartridge as the S&W are perfectly capable of digesting thousands upon thousands of rounds of 'normal' ammo with aplomb. The two brands do have distinctly different looks to them, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder and asthetics are purely subjective.
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Old January 20, 2013, 01:09 PM   #15
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I like both makes, though I happen to have more S&W's. But I get very irritated by the repeated nonsense that Rugers are somehow superstrong and cannot possibly blow up.

Believe it or not, both companies routinely destroy their own and their rival's guns in testing. Neither releases the results, which they certainly would do if their guns proved superior.

Rugers are strong, well-made guns, but it is safe to say that any load that will blow up an S&W will do the same to a Ruger. I have seen a couple of Rugers blown up by people who believed that Rugers could never be destroyed by any load. Wrong.

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Old January 20, 2013, 01:11 PM   #16
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Both are very good revolvers. For myself I like older S&W revolvers. If I buy new, I prefer Ruger.
Good luck,
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Old January 20, 2013, 01:18 PM   #17
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Does Ruger engrave their "lawyer warning" stuff on their revolvers like they do on some (all?) of their other guns? For some that's a big turn off.

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Old January 20, 2013, 01:23 PM   #18
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I don't know and don't really care. It is how well a gun works, not what is stamped on it, that counts.

FYI, that "lawyer" stuff was put on in the settlement of a law suit that would have bankrupted Ruger. Which would you rather have - a stamping on the Ruger barrel or no Rugers?

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Old January 20, 2013, 01:39 PM   #19
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I don't know and don't really care. It is how well a gun works, not what is stamped on it, that counts.
Well, like I said, for _some people_ it does matter if they have a big "Read owner's manual" and whatever else they engrave on the top of the bbl. For others, perhaps it doesn't. For me, a big part of making the decision between two guns is the fit and finish. The Smith is a work of art to me. I'm sure the Rugers shoot fine and last forever. For that matter, a pink Hello Kitty pistol may shoot great and last forever, but I would prefer the S&W.

If I "didn't know" I'd sure want to before I spent a few hundred dollars on one. Then I could make a more informed decision. But again, that's just me.

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Old January 20, 2013, 07:25 PM   #20
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Although I agree that many of the older(Classic)Smith & Wesson revolvers were a work of art, I don't share this opinion with the new Smith revolvers. And the frames with the internal lock are bulkier and shaped differently than in the past-thus, to my eyes, are downright ugly! A Ruger GP100 looks sleeker than an L frame with the Hillary hole frame with the lock! Each Company has their share of "Ugly Duckling" revolvers as well as nicer looking ones. I do agree that the trigger pull is generally better on both new and older Smith revolvers-but, this isn't to say that some Ruger revolvers don't also have some pretty good trigger pulls. Rugers need more break in time before their trigger pulls begin to shine a bit better.
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Old January 20, 2013, 07:33 PM   #21
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I have several of both.

S&Ws are a bit lighter, can have their triggers DA pull tuned a bit better, and are slimmer.

The Rugers more robust.

For heavy field use I prefer the Rugers, for self defense the S&Ws.

Both can still perform the task of field use and SD.

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Old January 20, 2013, 07:36 PM   #22
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Ruger... Sp101
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Old January 20, 2013, 08:17 PM   #23
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I think this is one of those questions that is too general. My choice would change depending on the specific model/caliber. In other word, it would be which specific model is best for me, both make fantastic revolvers.

Last edited by PatientWolf; January 21, 2013 at 09:58 PM.
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Old January 20, 2013, 08:22 PM   #24
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Well, if we are talking single actions I have to go with Ruger. Not only does Smith not make single actions, but Rugers are really nice.

Double actions I have to give the nod to Smiths for fit and finish, but I really do love my sp101 over Smiths J frames. I think Rugers are a better match if you are using heavier loads more often.
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Old January 20, 2013, 09:28 PM   #25
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I love both S&W and Ruger revolvers. If I were to buy new today, it would ONLY be Ruger.

I have had bad luck with S&W quality control on my last two S&W purchases. I have some older S&W revolvers that are butter smooth, but my recent ones left me fit to be tied.

My recent 627 PC 5 inch was shipped from the factory with a bent frame..! Yes, the barrel was threaded in crooked because the frame was bent. My 360 had a horrible timing issue. S&W fixed them both but it took over 60 days.

I have not a single issue with my recent Ruger purchases (Redhawk, SP 101). My LGS owner, great and honest guy, said he ships so many S&W revolvers back in the last year that he would personally pick a Ruger.

And yes, S&W triggers are smoother. On the other hand, you can make a Ruger trigger quite good, if not as good, as a S&W with a Wolfe Spring kit and an India stone. In fact, recent Ruger triggers are not as bad as they used to be.

The Rugers just seem to be built like a tank or a John Deere.
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