Ruger GP 100 V S&W 686

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Rex Driver

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 8, 2007
Messages
60
Location
Colonial Heights, Va.
I have, in the past five years become a great fan of Ruger Single Action revolvers, now having a modest collection of 10 shooters from Original and New Vaqueros, to new Black Hawks to a bisley. The calibers range from 357 to 41 Mag to 45 Colt. I enjoy reloading and shooting all of them with the 357 Vaqueros being used for Cowboy Action. I, in my former life was a 26 year cop who shot S&Ws almost exclusively and have had Smith Revolvers from the early Victory to auto loaders in 40 CAl.

I just found out about the ICORE group and plan to attend a shoot this coming Saturday and am in the process of purchasing a double action 6" revolver to shoot in the limited class. I have never owned a Ruger Double action and see that many of the ICORE people shoot Smith 686s.

My question is, is the GP 100 on a level basis with the 686 and if not what are the drawbacks with the Ruger and if it needs some work, what needs to be done to make it consistent with the Smith as far as trigger pull and accuracy?

I really do like the idea of shooting the Ruger and will do so if the Ruger is not too much of a handicap, however, I need to make the purchase tomorrow in order to be ready for Saturday.

Any and all help and information will be greatly appreciated, I await with anticipation of the purchase and my gun store waits in anticipation of separating me out of another chunk of money. Revolver, holster and speed loaders, that is.
 

dakota1911

Buckeye
Joined
Mar 26, 2009
Messages
1,021
I have both with 6 inch barrels. The 686 came with a smoother trigger out of the box, but the GP100 seems like it is built heavier. I would think that if you shot S&W for years you might do better with the 686, at least initially.
 

gregs45auto

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 26, 2005
Messages
491
Location
utah
Rex driver: I had a nib GP100 with a stiff/rough trigger pull. My gunsmith told me to shoot it Double action to smooth it out. After a 100 38's double action the pull was noticeably lighter/smoother. As time went by I felt it was on a par with my Smiths. The Smiths are long gone! hth greg :)
 

maxpress

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
1,280
Location
Central Washington
guns and ammo did that article. they had a torture test of both side by side and both did just as well after 5000rds (mighta been handgunner) and accuracy was about the same. i like the ruger trigger better after its worked in so im a little bias.
 

Carry_Up

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 22, 2007
Messages
374
Location
Phoenix, AZ
The 686, assuming it has actually been q.c.'d, is a more refined gun out of the box. Both are heavy, but the GP100 - 6" is heavier. After the GP100 has had custom work, it has a much smoother and more controllable D.A. trigger than a S&W. The GP100 will need to have the f/c recut and smoothed. The stock adjustable rear sight on a GP100 is terrible. The question is: do you want to go ahead and find someone who can do the things to the GP100 that should have been done at the factory in the first place? Secondly, if you have to send your GP100 to Ruger, it will be returned to original condition - the way it was before all the work was done to it.

carry_up
 

revhigh

Hawkeye
Joined
Aug 31, 2005
Messages
5,590
Location
PA
Carry_Up":3keb6b6v said:
The stock adjustable rear sight on a GP100 is terrible.

This comment is simply not true ... there is absolutely nothing wrong with either sight ... front OR rear, on a GP.

REV
 

protoolman

Hunter
Joined
Oct 15, 2001
Messages
2,165
Location
ND
The trigger pull is longer on the GP . The Smith has a shorter trigger pull. I find it impossible to learn to shoot both actions well. I settled on the Ruger action and sold off all the SMiths and Dan Wessons I had. I have never had a .357 as accurate as either of my Gp-100s. (not a colt Trooper, Colt king Cobra, Smith 686, 2 Dan Wessons)
 

roaddog28

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
260
Location
Winchester, CA
Rex Driver":17gmo8iw said:
I have, in the past five years become a great fan of Ruger Single Action revolvers, now having a modest collection of 10 shooters from Original and New Vaqueros, to new Black Hawks to a bisley. The calibers range from 357 to 41 Mag to 45 Colt. I enjoy reloading and shooting all of them with the 357 Vaqueros being used for Cowboy Action. I, in my former life was a 26 year cop who shot S&Ws almost exclusively and have had Smith Revolvers from the early Victory to auto loaders in 40 CAl.

I just found out about the ICORE group and plan to attend a shoot this coming Saturday and am in the process of purchasing a double action 6" revolver to shoot in the limited class. I have never owned a Ruger Double action and see that many of the ICORE people shoot Smith 686s.

My question is, is the GP 100 on a level basis with the 686 and if not what are the drawbacks with the Ruger and if it needs some work, what needs to be done to make it consistent with the Smith as far as trigger pull and accuracy?

I really do like the idea of shooting the Ruger and will do so if the Ruger is not too much of a handicap, however, I need to make the purchase tomorrow in order to be ready for Saturday.

Any and all help and information will be greatly appreciated, I await with anticipation of the purchase and my gun store waits in anticipation of separating me out of another chunk of money. Revolver, holster and speed loaders, that is.
I have a 686-3 and love it. The trigger is smooth and the revolver is accurate. I also have a vintage Ruger Police Service Six. The action is also most as good as the Smith. But I will tell you the Ruger has seen many rounds and is broke in.
If you are going to buy new by a GP100. The more you use it the smoother the trigger will become. If you are going to look for a used revolver then I would look for a pre-lock 686. I feel they are much better than the current 686.

Good luck on your hunt!
roaddog
 

surveyor47

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 29, 2001
Messages
312
Location
New Orleans, LA
Comparing stock S&W 586-3 to GP100, both with 4 inch barrels, I prefer the GP100. My GP100 will outshoot the stock Smith and is easier to control in double action and is generally more accurate.

Comparing the GP100 4 inch to S&W 586-4 6 inch barrel tuned by the Performance Center- the Smith wins hands down.

Note that these guns are pre-lock S&W, not current manufacture.
 

maxpress

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
1,280
Location
Central Washington
i have a smith 19 and ruger speed six. i also had a moutain gun in .44 and still have a 4" redhawk in .44. i think its interesting that the guys that "wear large gloves" always go for my rugers or own rugers. and the guys with avereage hands say the smiths are a better trigger hands down.
 

trouble

Single-Sixer
Joined
Aug 31, 2006
Messages
261
Location
Va
If forced to buy a new one built today I'd buy the GP hands down, no lock to fail and Ruger hasn't cheapened their internal parts like S&W have. I've owned both and am quite fond of both, either model would serve you well provided you find a pre lock, pre MIM S&W. Trigger wise sorry but a tuned Smith like my 6" 686 is head and shoulders above even a tuned GP IMO. Longivety I think both are real close.
 

Rex Driver

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 8, 2007
Messages
60
Location
Colonial Heights, Va.
I want to thank each and everyone of you who posted an opinion on my search for my double action revolver. I thought long and hard and handled both the 686 and the GP 100s and made my decision. I bought a GP 100 and took it to the range and ran about 200 rounds of a slightly hotter round than I use for Cowboy Shooting (4.5 Grains of Win 231 behind a 158 Grain RNFP bullet).

I have come to the conclusion that I will never be the top speed shooter at any type of match, ICOR or Cowboy and any small advantage or disadvantage I may or may not get with the Ruger as opposed to any S&W will never overcome the fact of my own limitations.

I love the GP 100, so far, and look forward to shooting the heck out of it for the next couple of months and then looking to have it tweaked for next year.

This gun and ICORE has become a quest and as we all know the fun in a quest is many times in the journey and not completely in arriving at the destination.

Again, thanks for the input and all of it helped, now for one last question.
Please tell me that this is not the first of many double actions that I will be looking to purchase! Forget it, my wife of 38 years has always told me that I can never do anything in a moderate way.
 

epj

Bearcat
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
29
Location
Birmingham, Alabama
You've made a good choice. I have both a GP100 and a 686+. Both revolvers have been improved from their factory issue specs regarding trigger pull. The Smith is better. Not by a lot, but smoother, lighter, and shorter. That said, I like the GP very much. The GP may be sturdier, but it is very doubtful I will ever wear either out. The 686 was brand new and cost about $700 OTD. The GP was previously owned, and I have less than $300 in it. I really like the interchangeable front sight on the GP. I almost bought a GP when I bought the 686. I handled both in the shop and took a long time making up my mind. The GP was about a hundred bucks cheaper, but the Smith just somehow felt a little better. It had a better trigger by far, with both guns being in stock form. That didn't sway my decision much, because I knew I would do an action job on either one of them. Final decision came down to the 686 having a slihgtly lower bore axis than the Smith and had 7 shot capability. Can't go wrong with either one.
 

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