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  #1  
Old 06-23-2011, 10:09 PM
7in1911 7in1911 is online now
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Which .357 magnum revolver is better?




I've been looking around on the internet at some .357 magnum's and was wondering if anyone here can give me some input as to which make is the better one and why?...the Ruger GP100 with the 6'' barrel or the Smith & Wesson model 27 with the 6.5'' barrel. Both revolvers are built really well and are accurate as I have been reading. Any info would be great...thanks.


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  #2  
Old 06-23-2011, 10:53 PM
Burgs Burgs is offline
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7in1911,

Well, you should get a few responses with this thread! You have touched on a very subjective debate topic.

It all boils down to what you like and what you can afford.
I personally love the S&W 684 4", but then I carried one an many Dark and Stormy Nights (sorry - true though).

Rugers, for me are over built and clunky, esthetically speaking. I don't much care for their trigger pulls either.
Rugers are also very durable and will likely last forever. The trigger can be learned and mastered.

Smith and Wessons as a class are like fine Swiss Watches and carry with them a huge pride of ownership. If you are into max turbo hand loads, you do not want a Smith as your test vehicle.

Except Pythons (which are still too big for my paws), I do not care for Colt magnums. My academy class was issued Smith & Wesson M-19s (very few and not enough to go around), Ruger Security Sixes with the old style grip frame, and Colt Troopers.
Nobody wanted the Troopers, except one guy who's Dad had carried one.
The guy was deadly with it, which just goes to show you that attitude is everything.

What do YOU like? What can you afford? THAT is the right magnum for you.

Good Luck. I hope the perfect one for you dirt cheap!
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Last edited by Burgs; 06-23-2011 at 10:58 PM.
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  #3  
Old 06-23-2011, 10:55 PM
Grunt33 Grunt33 is offline
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General rules of thumb regarding these two. Yes, I'm sure someone will point out these rules aren't 100% all of the time, just guidelines.

1- Both fine weapons, can't go wrong with either.

2- If you really like the GP100, the S&W 686 is a bit closer (as far as the underlug barrel is concerned). The flip-side: The 686 is considered the mid-sized frame for smith, the 27 is a large.

3- The Ruger is nearly indestructable. Their revolvers have always had a reputation as being the toughest available, both for sheer endurance over many thousands of rounds to being able to handle hotter loads. They're also heavier for this reason. But the S&W is prettier....

4- Out of the box, the Smith will most likely have a slight advantage in finish, but you or I probably will never notice it.

5- The recoil in similar barrel lengths is going to be inconsequential. I like a full underlug for target shooting, but that's just me.

6- Triggers!! The Smith is smoother, hands down. Lighter hammer, without misfiring. Lighter trigger pull. Yes, both pistols can be adjusted, but I like a heavy hammer. I had my GP100 6" sent out for smoothing the internals, now it's as nice as the S&W 686 that sits beside it. Before, the S&W won hands down.

7- Don't take that as the Ruger being a poor feeling weapon when it comes to the trigger, it was just stiff. Built for durability, not comfort. 65 bucks and she's slick as a whistle now.

8- The Smith & Wesson will hold resale value better. It's a name thing, means nothing to me since I have a pretty firm policy of not selling my guns.

You could have picked two easier pistols to decide between. My advice is get both eventually. I have an older GP100 in blue and an older 686 in stainless, and they're possibly my favorite handguns to shoot. I wouldn't kick either to the curb in favor of the other, but for raw looks I prefer the Ruger. Merely opinion, it just looks like business. No frills, no gimmicks, just firepower.

For now, however, if you're looking for an absolute winner, there isn't one. It boils down to which one feels best to you and which you prefer the looks of.
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  #4  
Old 06-23-2011, 10:57 PM
Redbeard135 Redbeard135 is offline
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I just picked up a 6" gp100. I love it! From what I've read and experienced, the smith will have a bit better fit and finish but if you want something to shoot the crap out of and load some hot rounds, the rugged is a fine candidate. The price is better too.
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  #5  
Old 06-23-2011, 11:06 PM
GeneticJoe GeneticJoe is offline
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i just got a ruger gp100 in a 3inch and love it to death but i also own a smith 1911. Like he said both are excellent choices. i look at it like this smith=smoother and ruger=rugged but both equal the two best in their class. Like he said eventually get em both
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  #6  
Old 06-24-2011, 01:13 AM
thacker8394 thacker8394 is online now
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I was recently in the same predicament but it was between the S&W 686 or the GP 100. The gun range had both that i could rent and shoot side by side. If you have the opportunity to do that then do it. the Smith is noticeably smoother as others have posted. And the GP 100 is noticeably heaver and more rugged as others have pointed out. But they are about equally as accurate the Ruger seemed to like the ammo i was shooting better than the Smith so when i was shooting it i think that edge went to the Ruger. For me it came down to what seemed to just fit. I ended up buying the GP 100 over the 686 because it fit my hand better and i like the way the sight picture looked over the Smith. If it is smooth you are going for go with the Smith but if you want a gun you can beat the tracks off a tank with go with the Ruger.
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  #7  
Old 06-24-2011, 01:36 AM
Chadwick122689 Chadwick122689 is offline
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I like both revolvers... If you plan on shooting double action I'd go with the smith because they seem to be smoother, but if you like single action shooting a DA revolver then I'd probably buy the ruger..
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  #8  
Old 06-24-2011, 02:19 AM
Tra Vinh Tra Vinh is offline
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The Smith & Wesson Model 28, Highway Patrolman
built strictly for business.

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  #9  
Old 06-24-2011, 03:41 AM
Redbeard135 Redbeard135 is offline
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One thing I forgot to mention: I'm not a smith buff so I dont know how many variations there are of the 27 or what grips they come with, but the hogue grips that come with the ruger are superb in my opinion. Some people think that they dont look the best, and I can see their point, but they feel awesome. Extremely comfortable to to shoot and the control is fantastic.
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  #10  
Old 06-24-2011, 10:07 AM
pendennis pendennis is offline
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Here's a list -

Smith & Wesson -
  • Model 19 - K frame. Will not withstand steady diet of light, hot (125gr) loads. Top strap becomes flame cut, and barrel throat severely erodes.
  • Model 66 - K frame. See above Model 19. However, S&W made some dimensional changes to the frame to help allay the problem.
  • Models 581, 681, 586, 686 - All L frames. Larger than K's, smaller than N's. Very stout, and will last a lifetime. Brought out to fix the problems with the older, lighter K frame.
  • Models 27, 28 - N frame. Biggest, beefiest of S&W's .357 magnums. Largest .357 Magnums ever built. Model 27 is the "Cadillac" of the line. The Model 28 is identical to the Model 27, but utilitarian finish. Costs less, lasts just as long.
  • Models 60, 640, etc. J frames. These are small frames with .357 capacity. Frame is not the same as the old J. However, .357 loads are not nice to your hands, especially during long range sessions. However, they do the job if you don't feed them a steady diet of .357 loads.

Colt - Anything in a revolver is automatically a used revolver.
  • Python - Top of the line. Built on an over-engineered I frame. More hand-fitted parts than any other revolver. Blueing is superior to all other U.S.-made revolvers. Colt still works on them, and they are expensive owing to the mystique, and scarcity.
  • Trooper and Lawman - These are Colt's "working man's" revolvers. Built on Colt J frame. Larger than Python, slightly smaller than S&W N frame. Still out there for sometimes good prices.
  • Colt Trooper Mk V - Successor to the Mk III. Added a vent rib, and kept the half-lug. Strong as an ox.
  • Colt King Cobra - Last of the .357's made by Colt. Frame comparable in size to the S&W L frame. Beefy, and can take any .357 load.

Ruger - Last one in to the medium frame revolver.
  • Security Six and others - Rugged medium frame. Not the best trigger, but very utilitarian.
  • GP - Successor to the Security Six. Improved over earlier models.

By no means is this an inclusive list. I didn't include any second-tier revolvers such as Rossi and Taurus. I also didn't include any single action revolvers. Colt, Ruger, and others make those, also, and they're great revolvers if you don't need double action features.

With any used revolver, you must have a competent gunsmith check out the piece for any excessive wear, erosion, etc.

Don't let the grips on any .357 magnum be the deciding factor. There are hundreds of after-market grips in rubber, neoprene, wood, ivory, and other materials that will change the feel of any revolver.
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  #11  
Old 06-24-2011, 11:51 AM
kkm2771 kkm2771 is offline
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Go with for the S&W

I would go with the 27 or 28 if you plan on shooting 357 loads. Had a pair of Model 19s, 4" and 6". Both had problems with barrel to frame attachment. Still have some custom target wood grips that I hope to put on a K22 some day. How about that saving grips for near 40 years to put on a gun I have yet to buy.
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  #12  
Old 06-24-2011, 12:24 PM
sandman228 sandman228 is offline
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i just went through pretty much the same situation . i had an older taurus 4 inch 357 mag was never realy happy with it but i got it for pretty much nothing ( i traded a rifle i won on a 5$ ticket for it ) but anyhow ive wanted to upgrade for a while now and decided i wanted either a s&w 686 or a ruger gp100 . i took the taurus to a local gunshop told him what i wanted but wasent sure wich 1 i was going to get . it worked out to about 80$ more for the smith . i'll admit i had a bit of buyers remorce till the 1st day i shot it , its the 5th 357 mag ive owned and by far the best and most accurate . im very happy with it
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  #13  
Old 06-24-2011, 12:24 PM
1911crazy 1911crazy is offline
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A little moly on any trigger sear will make them equal.

I have had a ruger police service six in 357mag w/ 2 3/4'' barrel since 1976 and its been flawless the whole time i still have it. I have another security six w/6'' barrel too. Size wise there ok.

Now with S&W you can't beat there N frames. There fit, there feel and balance is awesome. The model 27 in 357mag are awesome. Plus you can get them in the awesome nickel S&W finish too. I just purchased a S&W model 58 and a model 57 in 41mag in nickel and there awsome n frame revolvers.

I'd stay away from the colts they have had cylinder timing problems in the past and are known for it. I had one with problems.

With that said i would go to a local gun shop and put the ruger and S&W in your hands and feel which one fits you and get the one you like. Either one will serve you well. CZY

BTW; For shooting the stout 357mag loads the S&W N Frame and the Ruger will work out ok. A ruger redhawk in 357mag would be the best if you can find one used. But i like the S&W N Frames.
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Last edited by 1911crazy; 11-08-2011 at 08:59 AM.
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  #14  
Old 06-24-2011, 04:21 PM
redcliff redcliff is offline
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I like the S&W Model 27-2 or earlier. Great revolvers if you can find a nice used one and will only go up in value.
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  #15  
Old 06-24-2011, 08:12 PM
bipe215 bipe215 is offline
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My 686 is my best shooter. But I also love my Dan Wesson. They are great values, very accurate, and you can change barrell lengths in two minutes.

Steve
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  #16  
Old 06-24-2011, 09:20 PM
KyJim KyJim is offline
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A couple of points Grun33 made that deserve a comment:
Quote:
3- The Ruger is nearly indestructable. Their revolvers have always had a reputation as being the toughest available, both for sheer endurance over many thousands of rounds to being able to handle hotter loads. They're also heavier for this reason. But the S&W is prettier....

4- Out of the box, the Smith will most likely have a slight advantage in finish, but you or I probably will never notice it.
A model 27 is also indestructable. It's the same frame as the .44 magnum. Shoot full house .357 magnums through it all you want and your grandkids will still be enjoying it many years later.

Second, the Smith doesn't just have a "slight advantage in finish." A model 27 is an absolutely beautiful revolver that Bill Ruger never even dreamed of matching in his wildest wet dreams. Some people think they are more beautiful than Colt Pythons.

The Ruger is a fine, rugged revolver that anybody would be proud to own. But it can't do anything a Model 27 can't do and a Model 27 does it with much more grace and style.

Here are my two 27s:



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Old 06-24-2011, 09:24 PM
Horoscope Fish Horoscope Fish is offline
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Do You Want Two $10's or Four $5's?

I don't think either one is "better" than the other; they're just different.

Both are excellent revolvers that would serve anyone well for their intended purpose. It's like asking if you want two ten-dollar bills or four five-dollar bills.
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:04 PM
DScott DScott is offline
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I was looking at those too and found this Dan Wesson. I have a 6" barrel for it also that is not shown here. The trigger is smooth and the accuracy is excellent. I liked this one enough that I bought one in .44 mag too. They are somewhat lesser known so some good deals can be had.

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Old 06-24-2011, 10:25 PM
HungrySeagull HungrySeagull is offline
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All I can say there is a .357 at the LGS from S&W that is capable of magnum rounds all day. And also takes .38 special as well. (But not vice versa)

I vote for steel frame and some stout weight to absorb the shock/recoil of firing magnum rounds. It is a man stopper. I shoot .45 Super and will have to go to 460 Rowland to compete with the .357

Good luck!
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  #20  
Old 06-24-2011, 10:30 PM
DR505 DR505 is offline
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I'll take S&W



My first duty sidearm...I still have it and love it. Model 27-3 with 4" barrel. Picked it up brand new in 1985 for under $300. How times have changed!

I loathe Ruger DA revolvers, but can't get enough of their SA revolvers!
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Last edited by DR505; 06-26-2011 at 04:58 PM.
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  #21  
Old 06-24-2011, 10:38 PM
DR505 DR505 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grunt33 View Post
4- Out of the box, the Smith will most likely have a slight advantage in finish, but you or I probably will never notice it.
I must amend for Grunt33...you won't notice a difference in finishes if you are blind.
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  #22  
Old 06-24-2011, 10:50 PM
sniper208 sniper208 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bipe215 View Post
My 686 is my best shooter.
+1! It's actually my wife's 586 (blued version of the 686) and it shoots the best of any in the house. I carried a 586 on duty (Florida), won the firearms award in my academy class, top honors every year at qualifications and won several matches along the way. I carry a 1911, but love that 586....
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  #23  
Old 06-24-2011, 11:27 PM
txf15crewchief txf15crewchief is offline
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I fell in love with S&W revolvers after handling a Highway Patrolman that belonged to an ex-girlfriend's father (long story). After a long search I ended with a 6-in. barreled 686 from January 1986. Outstanding revolver, even after 25 years of full .357 loads through it. Don't think you're getting a dainty safe queen if you're getting a S&W L or N-frame. I hope to pass this gun down to my grandchildren one day, and I'm certain it'll get to that point in time better than I will

All I can say about the Ruger vs. Smith and Wesson is that, while a Ford Focus may get you from point A to point B, a Cadillac will do it in style.
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:33 PM
Rod38um Rod38um is offline
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I had the same problem.... finally chose the Smith.

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  #25  
Old 06-25-2011, 12:43 AM
KyJim KyJim is offline
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Congratulations! Very fine looking revolver.
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