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S&W 686 vs Ruger GP100 -- and the winner is -- a Ruger Blackhawk!!

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by SynapticSilence, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. SynapticSilence

    SynapticSilence Battle Ground, WA Well-Known Member

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    Well, I had a great thread going about which .357 magnum revolver (Ruger GP100 or S&W 686) I was going to buy and got loads of great support for both choices. This may have had the effect of increasing my already existing ambivalence toward both guns. I found them both appealing, just in different ways.

    So I drove over to Wholesale Sports in Vancouver this morning to handle them just one last time before deciding, since I knew they had both in stock and my long-delayed contract check I'd been waiting for finally arrived yesterday. The 4" blued GP100 was still a bull of a gun. Woof! The stainless S&W 686 was still the winner in terms of looks, lines, and trigger out of the box. Wow! How could I go wrong?

    Then I looked down from the where the GP100 and the 686 were hanging on the big gun wall into the display case. When I did, I saw something that had been randomly popping in and out of my thoughts from time to time. OK, that's redundant, but so am I, or at least my wife says so sometimes. But I digress. Every now I'd think about the fact that Ruger makes a New Model Blackhawk chambered in 45 Long Colt with a second cylinder chambered for 45 ACP. Single-action revolver, ergo no moon clips required. And they had one. And it was one of the Lipsey's Distributor Specials, with genuine simulated ivory grips!! And I have dies to reload both calibers!!

    And they had two! -- a 4.2" and a 5.5" barrel version. Both for the same price. Both were insanely beautiful firearms. And priced less than I would have expected, especially for me. Even though I've found better retail prices elsewhere and on-line, Wholesale Sports offers a 5% discount for active duty and retired military members. They don't really advertise it, probably because it adds up to a fair amount on expensive weapons. But I ask, because I fall in the latter category, being a retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant, having served for 21 years, 3 months, 16 days of fun duty in exotic locations around the world. OK, the five years in San Angelo, Texas probably don't qualify, but other than that, pretty good assignments. With that discount figured in, I've never been able to beat Wholesale Sports' final price, which in the case of the Blackhawk was marginally less than the GP100 and way less than the S&W 686.

    Then it struck me that this wasn't going to be a home defense gun (I have a hi-cap 9mm Caracal Compact and a Sig C3 1911 .45 I use for that), it wasn't going to be a carry gun (I have a Kahr CM9 that works great for that), and I was buying it primarily for the range and for large critter control out at the new house in the country we're moving to in Battle Ground. Which a Ruger Blackhawk should work just dandy for.

    But the final deal-closer was when I had the sudden revelation that, as in all things in life, love really should trump practicality. The beauty and grace of a Blackhawk Single-Action clearly outshone the workhorses represented by the GP100 and 686. So I bought the 5.5" Blackhawk.

    We're getting to know each other this afternoon and I'm sure the relationship will be fully developed by the time we go to the range together tomorrow. And yes, I know that all sounds sorta sick.

  2. jonn5335

    jonn5335 Longview Active Member

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    Does your better half ever get jealous ???
  3. SynapticSilence

    SynapticSilence Battle Ground, WA Well-Known Member

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    My better half has a very nice little S&W 442 Factory Engraved .38 +P Airweight revolver that I bought her to replace the little .32 Beretta Tomcat she liked but that wasn't really reliable and the Beretta 84FS Cheetah .380 that she (and I) loved but just wasn't something she carried or used. I've gone through maybe 10 guns in the past 18 months, not losing a lot on them when I sold them but still it's been more like slow losing at Blackjack than hitting the lottery.

    All this started when I had this really sweet deal come up about two years ago where I could go half-time at my job and not lose any money (military retirement went up, disability went up, and I got a "good money for not much work" contract). I had shot at base and theater level competition when I was in the Air Force and loved it, but when I retired and went back to grad school I just didn't have enough time, something that continued after I moved up here to the Northwest from Texas A&M University and started my second career. She took me aside when I went half-time and said, "You need a hobby, because if you don't have one, you'll sit around doing nothing and be miserable and make me miserable...so pick something."

    I said I thought I'd like to start shooting again. She said fine, go get what you need. Reloading bench, turret press, dies, a nice quiet place, my first two guns (A Bersa Ultra Compact .40 S&W and a Keltec PF-9, neither of which I still have) and I was in business. It's been sorta "this gun, that gun" as I've figured out what I wanted and tried out new things.

    She was also going back to school for almost seven years while working part-time, so the money hasn't always been the greatest (until now), but she's been very good at trusting me to work within what we have and send money my way to make me happy. She's a psychiatric nurse practitioner now, so the money's starting to pick up pretty good and I'm sure she'll be expecting me to fund her own hobbies soon.

    And what might those hobbies be? Pretty much anything new and different she can come up with. She's already planning a totally self-contained solar-powered chicken coop complete with automatic doors and ventilation for the new place in Battle Ground (before she was a psychiatric nurse practitioner, she was an electrical engineer and computer programmer) that'll probably cost well more than a couple of guns worth. And she's my second wife. Almost 16 years. If I was still married to wife number one, I might get to buy firecrackers at the fourth of July, but nothing that made more noise than that. Life is good. Anyway, no, she doesn't get jealous. Or I'm too self-absorbed to notice.

    And here's her little pretty toy (stock photo, not hers but exactly the same).