S&W 686 or Ruger GP100 - Page 2 - MP-Pistol Forum

S&W 686 or Ruger GP100

This is a discussion on S&W 686 or Ruger GP100 within the Wheelguns forums, part of the Armory category; I have a 4" 686 for about 15yrs now, had some work done to it, it is almost not fair shooting it, super accurate. Points ...

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Old February 7th, 2011, 05:49 PM   #16
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I have a 4" 686 for about 15yrs now, had some work done to it, it is almost not fair shooting it, super accurate. Points great, great trigger, never had any issues with it, and its easy to work on. The thing i dont care for with the GP100 is the free floating firing pin, Im not saying there are any issues with it, its just something i dont feel comfortable with. Im still trying to get my hands on a 4" 586, something about a blued gun
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Old February 9th, 2011, 01:01 PM   #17
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I'm a wheelgun guy at heart. I don't think you go wrong with either piece. The Ruger is more robust and easier to work on if you are into tinkering. The S&W is more refined.

As for the 7-shot models, I had one and got rid of it at the first chance. Your speedloader choices are narrowed a good bit in that Safariland loaders aren't available for the 7-shooters. SL Variants loaders are available, but they are more expensive. The HKS loaders just don't get the job done as well as the others. None of this matters if you just want it for target shooting and hunting, but if you plan to carry it it may be an issue.

The other issue I ran into with the 7-shooter is that when I switched over to a Wolff mainspring I began having light strikes with even top quality factory ammo. Just something to keep in mind if you plan to tune it.
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 05:02 PM   #18
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I've owned and extensively shot both. The bottom line: You (or your favorite gunsmith) can make a Ruger action match a Smith & Wesson (for less than the $200 difference). However, you can never make the Smith as tough as the Ruger!!

Smith has a finer action. Ruger is bull strong.

Choose the attributes that meet your needs. Both are fine firearms.
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 05:31 PM   #19
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I take the S&W to the range and I take the GP bear hunting. What does that tell you? I have no idea.
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 06:34 PM   #20
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The GP100 rocks. A very well built wheel gun. Heres mine.

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Old April 3rd, 2012, 03:57 AM   #21
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Just picked up a 686 7-shooter, so I'm a little biased. Having said that, I also own a Model 29 and a Ruger Redhawk in .41mag. I like them all, wouldn't let any go. All three will knock out the X ring as long as ammo and my right arm holds out. Like I said, I'm an S&W fan, but no way will I ever bad-mouth Ruger.
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Old September 20th, 2015, 05:13 PM   #22
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I'd take the Smith, every time.
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Old September 20th, 2015, 06:52 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by INMY01TA View Post
I'd take the Smith, every time.
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Old September 20th, 2015, 08:19 PM   #24
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I have been in this business as a professional trainer and competitive pistol shooter for more than 20 years. I once fought my way into C Class in IPSC with a 686. (That's how old I am!)

I have tens of thousands of rounds through 686s and thousands of rounds through GP100 training guns.

The best handgun ever made by anyone in history is possibly the 686. If you buy one today and keep it in good shape, you can sell it for more than you paid for it in ten years.

The GP100 is a good discount revolver. It is okay, but will not last. It wears quicker and will really slow down with heavy use.

It is not the quality of the Ruger single-action revolvers. It is more the quality of the Ruger P85 semi-automatic pistols, who's only real selling points are the sharp edges to dig into a lake bottom, stainless-steel construction to not corrode as fast in water and a trigger guard large enough to get your boat rope through.

Lots of people will get angry at my evaluation. In my opinion, the 686 is one of the best guns ever built; the Ruger is an economy gun.

I would trust my life any day to my 686 with 20,000 rounds through it, but I wouldn't trust my life to a brand new GP100. Bottom line.
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Old September 21st, 2015, 03:10 PM   #25
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To this day, I still regret selling my 686, but in our youth we are soooo wise, aren't we?

I would go Smith first, Ruger next, and Taurus last... Taurus pistols are junk, revolvers are "decent for the money", thus I woods walk with a #65 .357 and am confident in it. Would I rather have a GP or 686? You bet your brass buttons but its not in my financial scope at this time..

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Old September 22nd, 2015, 06:17 AM   #26
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I have also owned both. The 686 has an action that can be tuned to the finest trigger pull possible in a revolver and nothing can be done to the GP to match it. You can improve the GP (mine has been smoothed and has a Wolff spring kit) but it's still not the equal.

That said, both are strong, durable revolvers and will take tens of thousands of rounds with out complaint. If you compete, get the 686. If you shoot for fun and/or are a hunter, get the GP and save the money.

Chickenhawk's claim the Ruger will wear out sooner is the first time I've ever read this anywhere.
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Old September 22nd, 2015, 03:43 PM   #27
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Based on the Hawk's personal experience, I'd value his opinion.

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Old September 24th, 2015, 01:06 PM   #28
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I've owned a 586, a 686 and a Gp100, Still have the Ruger. Having said that, I'll say that the S&Ws were great, better triggers out of the box. The Ruger trigger can be made as good with a Wolff spring kit. The Ruger may be a tiny bit stronger, but that doesn't make much difference with 38 Spl. loads, which most of my target shooting utilizes. The one thing I did prefer was the 6" barrel over the 4", more forgiving on sighting errors and a touch more velocity with hot 357 loads. Both come with Hogue Monogrips, which on the Ruger I replaced with the old style rubber with wood insert grips, but you can buy all kinds of after-market grips for Smith J/L round butt grips, wood, rubber or whatever you please. Long story short, you won't go wrong with either one...
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Old September 24th, 2015, 02:15 PM   #29
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I have both the 686 PC competitor and a Ruger 6" GP100. I can shoot lights out with both but I do enjoy the Ruger GP100 the most. I also reload and have no fear that the Ruger will last with anything I load up. I do not over load but accidents do happen.
I am getting ready to buy another Ruger except a TALO addition this time. Love em
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Old September 24th, 2015, 02:25 PM   #30
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The Ruger is stout and reliable.

The S&W is stout and reliable and smooth. Smooth is very, very nice and you'll know it when you have something else to compare it to.

I own/have owned 6 Rugers revolvers, blued and stainless, over the years.

I've traded off three of them.

I own every S&W revolver I every bought, six of them. The only revolver I've ever outshot my 586 with was a college buddy's M14 with a 6" barrel.
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