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357 Help

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by jrw, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. jrw

    jrw Beaverton Member

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    I really don't want to open a can of worms but I am looking at either a Smith 686+ or a Ruger GP100. I have read that the GP100 is a more durable but the Smith is more refined. I guess I am looking for the most durable and reliable of the two. Thanks for your input.
     
  2. Spray-n-pray

    Spray-n-pray Battle Ground Moderator Staff Member

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    I think you are probably on the right track with your post. Either one would make a fine choice. If you are looking for one of the most durable 357s you can find, the S&W N frame like a 27 or 28 is pretty well bomb-proof. They are big beefy guns whose weight makes the recoil VERY manageable.
     
  3. nubus

    nubus Guest

    The Smith will have a much nicer single action trigger, the Ruger will be ~$200 less. I have both, like both for different reasons. For absolute durability I would have to choose the Ruger.
     
  4. jrw

    jrw Beaverton Member

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    Thanks for the info, I guess I wonder if I were to go new is the Smith worth the extra money vs the Ruger?
     
  5. jrw

    jrw Beaverton Member

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    I am looking for SHTF end times durability. Love the way the Smith looks great but the Ruger looks like it is built like a brick s*** house.
     
  6. Buddhalux

    Buddhalux Hillsboro, Oregon Active Member

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    I've never heard of a Ruger blowing up a cylinder. I can't say that about an S&W though.
     
  7. MikeE

    MikeE Portland Well-Known Member

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    GP100 and 686 are big and bad. But I would use my SP101 to defend myself with. Fast handling, quick on the draw, concealable.
     
  8. Oro

    Oro Western WA Active Member

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    The myth of Ruger durability comes from a misunderstanding of the metallurgical differences between the two makers. Ruger uses less dense investment-cast steel. They build their frames larger to compensate for this. S&W uses forged steel, and thereby can make an equally strong gun with less bulk.

    I have owned Rugers and S&Ws. I like them both almost equally. I am not bashing one or the other, just pointing out facts.

    Now between those two, I vote hard for the 686. I think it is one of the finest .357s ever made and especially at it's price point. The market has really noticed this the last few years and it's relative price vs. other "bigger name" .357s has gone up. I have a 28, 27, pair of 19s, two ruger .357s, and above all the sweetest shooting one is the 686. 4" 686 and the 4" 27/28 weigh the same - the more compact frame and full underlug of the 686 tame that recoil better than any other 4" .357 out there - including the 27 and 28.

    Whether you get a 686+ or the six shot model is really not important, both are superbly durable. Both of the 686's (one 4", one 2.5") in my cabinet were six shot - just liked the commonality with all my other six shooters. But the + models give up nothing if you like that aspect. I'd get whichever model I found with the best build, tightest action, etc. and worry less about six shot or +. I would refrain from going new and instead save a benjamin or two and get a used model of a 686-4 or earlier (c. 1997 or earlier, back to 1980 when they were introduced). They had some minor manufacturing differences that are desirable, and also came with the more valuable wood grips.

    While my 3.5" 27 is my "favorite" .357, this baby is my best shooting one, hands down. I like it so much, I dressed it up with some vintage Texas Ranger smooth targets. This is a 686 "no dash" from about 1981:

    IMGP4585.jpg
     
  9. Crispy

    Crispy WA Member

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    I have to say that the GP100 is the first revolver that I have owned.... not the first that I have shot though... Love the GP100, like the smiths. Would buy the Ruger again and again!
     
  10. actionflies

    actionflies Beaverton, Oregon Member

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    I would go with the Ruger. Save your money for ammo and just do the upgrade trigger spring kit which will greatly improve the trigger. S&W have great trigger pull and looks nice but I just hate that lawyer hole.
     
  11. jordanvraptor

    jordanvraptor Oregon City, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I'm a Smith and Wesson fan with or without the lock but if you are looking for ruggedness and durability I would have to say the Ruger GP100 is the way to go. My first handgun was a GP100 and had no complaints. Its kind of like the AK47 of revolvers. Simple, robust, easy to care for. If you don't like the lock then shop around and buy a used older model. Here is a pic of my no dash 686. When I bought this one, it was a choice between it and a new 6 inch stainless GP100. The 686 won on looks and I have no need or desire to feed it hot 180gr loads. :)

    686.jpg
     
  12. MrB+

    MrB+ Portland area Member

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    Is it possible to lighten the DA pull without appreciably changing the SA release? I have a fairly new GP100, dry-fired a few hundred times + a couple boxes now through it. I'm not sure I want the SA trigger any lighter but it's a pretty stout pull, DA.

    MrB+
     
  13. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    You answered your own question in an absolute sense.. except for the reliability issue. In reality the average shooter will never wear out a S & W and they are indeed more refined. The S & W "breaking glass" trigger is sooo fine
     
  14. actionflies

    actionflies Beaverton, Oregon Member

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    GP100 is very easy to take apart and change out the springs and if you polish the action which I did with a cloth dremel tool and mother polishing, the DA & SA was really smooth. I think sitting in front of the tv and dry firing over and over is a waste of time. No matter how much work you do to a Ruger, it will never match a S&W trigger. I think it is due to the design of the trigger action.