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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!

First post on PW after lurking a while to get a feel for things. I've been reading up lately on different .357 revolvers. I'm intrigued by these guns because:

A) GP100 was the first pistol I ever shot and I am biased towards them, and Im trying to get more unbiased opinions on a first revolver purchase.
B) I like the fact that you can feed them .38 special for plinking, or for the girlfriend, and .357 for serious shooting.
C) The large frame revolver itself may be defense enough in some cases of self-defense, without having to fire a shot!
D) I have only heard good things about the guns and manufacturers mentioned above.

That being said, I feel I should include my experience with these and other firearms. GP100 is my dad's only pistol, thats "all he'll ever need". I have shot the gun on multiple occasions, with both .357 and .38 special loaded. I like the way it shoots, looks, feels, everything. I want more time with that thing for sure! I would also like to try the S&W 586/686 pistols as well, because I like the idea of having a 7-shot, and because it has a look similar to the GP100 with its beefy frame and full underbarrel lug.

So, what are everyone's opinions on these guns for a first purchase? This will be paper puncher, camping companion, vehicle carry, etc. Should I look into 4" or 6" barrell, or something else? Positives, negatives for both? Anything else someone would suggest that fits into the category of all-around, durable as a tank, .357 wheel-gun?
 

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So, what are everyone's opinions on these guns for a first purchase? This will be paper puncher, camping companion, vehicle carry, etc. Should I look into 4" or 6" barrell, or something else? Positives, negatives for both? Anything else someone would suggest that fits into the category of all-around, durable as a tank, .357 wheel-gun?
Hello all!

So, what are everyone's opinions on these guns for a first purchase? This will be paper puncher, camping companion, vehicle carry, etc. Should I look into 4" or 6" barrell, or something else? Positives, negatives for both? Anything else someone would suggest that fits into the category of all-around, durable as a tank, .357 wheel-gun?
If you like the Ruger go for the Ruger. Theres nothing wrong with it.

If you want the extra shot, then go for the S&W.

Before you buy, try handling a 4 and 6 inch tube. btw, you dont say what your dads is. imo, i would get the shorter bbl if you want to carry it. the 6 in is nicer and longer sight rad, but its heavier too.


the S&W x86 series is a nice gun too. it all depends on how much you want to spend.

i have both, but i carry the GP100 more. once it worn out/shot out i plan on getting another one most likely in SS.

i consider my GP100 as my carry/use gun. i think of my S&Ws as too nice to carry or subject to holster wear.

theres the Colt Python, but thats out of your price range.

there are some other S&Ws. I just recently got a used S&W M65? its a Police trade in. the only thing wrong is that it has SS rear and front fixed sights so it not easy to see. i plan on putting some paint or something on it, but for 350 it was a really good deal and i just like the lines on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Id like to go with the GP, but like I said, there are other options and I would like to explore them, or at least get advice from people who have.

Padre's gun is the 4 (or 4.5?) Blued, stock as the day it was made. The weight feels good, balance is good, and I don't think I could go away from double action ever.

I guess in the end it comes down to what I want, or more accurately, what I can spend. I guess I just wanted to know what was out there, and what's suiting all around needs best.
 

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The Rugers are tanks and completely reliable. You'll never be wrong choosing those guns. As to the S&W's, I'm partial. I would, however, suggest that there are a great many models I would choose over the 7-shot anomalies. S&W's are more elegant than the Rugers and are reliable beyond words, but I prefer the older models to the new. They are also quite a bit more expensive. Compare the GP100 to the S&W Model 19, for example:



For a first gun - go with the Ruger in Stainless and you'll have a gun that is nearly indestructible, reliable and at a cost that you won't hesitate to carry on the range or in the field.

As for me, it's always .45acp for carry or field. :wink: Here's my field gun:

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow that GP you posted looks great! I might be swaying towards the stainless now, just after seeing that piece. And compared to the 19 you posted, I think the Ruger is a much better looking gun. The grip helps it out, but the full barrel lug gives it such a beefy look. This is why I don't want something like a redhawk or blackhawk. Obviously these guns are different entirely, and they serve their purpose, but I'm just using them as an example of the outline of what I want my gun to look like. I believe it must have an intimidation factor, and to me, a skinny barrel says "I shoulda been a cowboy" not "get the **** out of my face before I blow yours off". In a self defence situation, I'm going for the latter (I'm talking person to person. An angry bear won't give a crap what I'm holding, but there are no bears in Mesa/Phoenix).
 

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I do not like 1/2 moons and I even have a handful of 2-round clips. In my opinion they are both a pain. I have belt pouches that are made to hold full moons and, believe me, the full moons load very fast. The others actually take me longer to load because I cannot pinky them. By "pinkying" them, I mean insert the tip of my pinky of my off hand into the center hole which keeps everything lined up and then simply popping the moon off and into the chambers.
 

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I have a 4" Smith 686 and love it. I have carried it on occasion in cold weather (it is just a bit large to easily conceal otherwise) and I feel 100% secure that it could be deployed easily and effectively for defense. I did so once while walking and a dog took exception to my location on the road.

I helped my mom find a defense pistol for home and she now wins an SP101 .357 loaded with .38 Glaser Safety Slugs.

Both are very high quality and very reliable, and will serve you well.
 

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I have both Rugers and S&W, and enjoy them both.

Like most folks have said, the Ruger is a tank. They are overbuilt for strength and reliability, and your great-grandchildren will enjoy shooting them someday. They are fine guns, and you cannot go wrong with a Ruger revolver: SP, GP, Security Six, etc., etc., etc.

However, the S&W is like stepping up to a luxury vehicle. The trigger is so much smoother, the balance is finer, and the fit and finish is superior. Of course, it costs quite a bit more if you are buying a new one. You can feel the difference when you cock them both. There is a reason why Jerry Miculek's world record of 12 shots in under 3 seconds was with a S&W. (Check it out on YouTube.) The 7 shot 686 is a fine gun that you will always be glad you saved up for.

Nonetheless, I know you would be happy with the Ruger. It's a fine gun. You'll just be happier with the S&W!
 
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