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.357 - S&W 686 vs Ruger GP!00 vs Ruger SP101

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by SynapticSilence, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. SynapticSilence

    SynapticSilence Battle Ground, WA Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty much out of my mind trying to figure out which 4" revolver to purchase with some money I have coming in next week. I like the S&W 686's trigger and the fit and finish is generally good, but the Ruger GP100 is a big brute of a gun that just calls out to me like I can't explain, especially the blued version. I've shot both and actually was more accurate with the Ruger, especially when shooting really hot .357 loads. And all of that is compounded by a really beautiful 4" version of the SP101 that Ruger just came out with recently that yells "Buy me!" every time I see one in a gun store or on line.

    Any advice or help would be appreciated, realizing full well that I still will be in the same dilemma next week when the check finally comes. Thanks in advance.

    S&W 4" 686:
    686.jpg
    Ruger 4" Blued GP100:
    RugerGP100.jpg
    Ruger 4" SP101
    Sp101.jpg
     
  2. FullCaliberII

    FullCaliberII Pierce County, WA Active Member

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    I have the stainless GP100 .357 4" and love it. Shooting .38sp loads is easy all day long. The gun is well built and feels great in the hand. I replaced the Hogue grips with the stock rubber/wood combo then put a Hi-Viz sight on the front. I vote GP100!
     
  3. Grunwald

    Grunwald Out of that nut job colony of Seattle, WA Well-Known Member

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    Can't speak for the GP100, but I love my Security Six revolvers. Each one has a great trigger(in my opinion) and is very accurate.
     
    Chee-to, Pepiot, jbett98 and 3 others like this.
  4. Sun195

    Sun195 Pugetropolis, WA Well-Known Member

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    If you shoot the GP100 better, then I'd go with that. I have a 686 4" and think it's a fantastic gun, but I wouldn't turn down a Ruger. I think the SP101 is sort of in a different class - especially if you're going to shoot hot loads. Personally, if I was going to get a SP101, I'd get a 3" barrel version.
     
  5. stmcelroy

    stmcelroy Madras, OR Well-Known Member

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    Not a bad choice in the bunch. Buy the one you really want now, and then work on getting the others down the road.
     
  6. CJ1089

    CJ1089 Aloha, Oregon Marveling at the world.

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    I'll join the chorus of "They are all good." I have owned all three (and a dozen others in 357mag) and I have settled on the GP100 as my personal favorite.
    But if you are buying new, take care concerning the feel of the trigger. A friend of mine picked up a new sp101 snubbie and the trigger was atrocious until we stoned it a bit. Not a design flaw just a little lax on the finish, 15 careful minutes later it was a new gun.
     
  7. beavernation

    beavernation Canby Active Member

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    I had a 4" stainless GP 100 and I couldn't even begin to wear it out. That said the trigger in the S&W is gonna be better from the factory or after it's tuned. I am not a huge fan of that sight on the SP101 but the 3" version in that gun with a "standard" ramp would be my choice, but I really like the triggers on the S&W!!.....do they make it in a 3"???....lol.....my .02....
     
  8. Sun195

    Sun195 Pugetropolis, WA Well-Known Member

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    Turns out they do.....

    150853_01_md.jpg

    Plus, it's a seven shot.

    Something for everyone.
     
  9. theguncrank

    theguncrank Columbia County Active Member

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    +1 for the Ruger gp-100. I used to have a KGP-141... It's the only firearm I've regretted getting rid of.
     
  10. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    I never chose a Ruger over a S&W in a DA/SA revolver simply because I am not a fan of the partial grip tang style Ruger uses. I prefer a full grip frame.
     
  11. yotehunter

    yotehunter north west Active Member

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    I think they are both great but I personally kept the GP100... on another note check out playboypenguins reviews he has some awesome S&W reviews.
     
  12. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I had the same thoughts as the OP last fall. I've owned many Ruger products throughout my life and have always been very pleased with them. I seriously considered both the GP100 and the 686. Even doing an up close and personal (non firing) comparison.
    However, the 7 shot capacity of the 686+ was a big deal to me. I ended up with a pre-lock, round butt 686+.

    If you are planning on shooting lots of magnum rounds thru your new gun, I think that I'd pick one of the full size guns, too.
     
  13. nwwoodsman

    nwwoodsman Vernonia Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    Get one of each. You'll never regret it
     
  14. KTM530XCW

    KTM530XCW Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    686. Hands down the best of the three.
     
  15. jordanvraptor

    jordanvraptor Oregon City, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I have owned each and I am more on the Smith and Wesson side. However, I would get a used model that was made before the key lock thingy. Not because of the key lock but because they had better factory triggers back then. New Smiths have heavy triggers that I think need to be lightened. They also polished the stainless steel and I think they were just better guns back in the day.
     
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  16. toolfan

    toolfan North Portland Member

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    I have one of each, more or less, (4" on gp100 and 686, 2" sp101)

    if I were buying new, I'd get the ruger gp100.

    If you found a pre-lock S&W, and thats what floats your boat, I'd get that.

    I don't think I'd pick an SP101 357 with a 4" barrel. The weight and size savings are going to be minimal, and the triggers don't take a tune as well, as I understand it.


    In the full size guns though, I think either will suit you fine.
     
  17. novamind

    novamind Hillsboro Active Member

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    Smith and wesson gets my vote but the ruger reminded me of the S&W when I shot one about 4 months ago my ,586 S&W was the most accurate pistol I have ever owned.
     
  18. Sincere

    Sincere Between Cascadia and Jefferson Active Member

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    In a 4" barrel, don't even consider the SP101.

    The SP101 would only take the cake over the GP100 if you're concerned with CCW, and even then... Especially if you're already set on the 4".

    I'd say it's an even toss-up between the GP100 and the 686.

    686 = Legacy, beauty, classic

    GP100 = Longevity, Heft, Tank

    I personally roll a GP100 special edition with wide rear and hi-viz fronts in a 3". She's a beast and a beauty. The GP100 heft and hulk really speak to me, though I totally drool for the classic lines of the 686, supposedly S&W's best make.
     
  19. Sun6one

    Sun6one Western WA New Member

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    Thanks for starting this thread. I'm in the market between lthe S&W and GP 100. I really want a colt python in 4 or 6 in, but those are hard to find. I spoke to a gunsmith at the Tacoma bullseye and he said a trigger job on either the 687 or gp100 would make either of the guns a smooth action as the colt. I've been watching YouTube for reviews and comparisons between the two. I don't really see a difference other than costs, fit n finish, the lock on the686. Just a preference on what feels better to shoot. Anyone else have any comparisons they can offer? How's the reliability after long term usage?
     
  20. toolfan

    toolfan North Portland Member

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    My gp100 is a 4" barreled, half lug, fixed sight version. It weighs 2lb 7 oz

    My 686 is a 4" barreled, 6 shot, full lug, adj sight version. It weighs 2lb 11 oz

    That's right, the S&W is 1/4 lb heavier than the ruger. The 686 is a plenty beefy gun, the ruger isn't necessarily "beefier" and the 686 is definitely not svelte in any comparative sense.


    One thing - it is easier to remove the cylinder and crane on the s&w for cleaning... if that swings any votes.