The 686 is mostly a refinement of the S&W’s iconic revolver pedigree, established with their K/L frame revolvers. This author has shot many examples of each over the years in various configurations and found the accuracy of one to be on par with the other. Right next to both of them is a Redhawk in 45 Colt and it’s better than both and then I pick up a Ruger LCR and it has the best double action trigger of any revolver in the store. After “about” 500 rounds of magnum 357’s, I can “usually or normally” do 3 inch groups at 30 yards. When it comes to accuracy, a revolver’s barrel is the foundation of performance. I know people say Ruger DAs are stronger than their SA counterparts (.44 mag Redhawk vs. Blackhawk, for instance), so I wonder: Is a .357 "mid frame" (50th Anniv) BH really stronger than a GP100… For many it’s … Not a tremendous advantage, but worth mentioning. I have had to remove the side plates on a S&W and do not look forward to doing that again anytime soon. I myself would have the stock GP100 trigger improved, considering that a good DA pull is essential for fast and accurate shooting with a revolver as a defensive arm. As unpopular as this opinion might be, it is nonetheless mine that both of these revolvers are excellent and evenly matched in every essential category. So off we went to the firing line, stacks of targets in tow. I replaced the original hammer spring in the GP with a light spring available from Brownell's … If you prefer the no-nonsense design of the GP100 or the timeless, refined mechanism of the 686, both are deserving of your dollar, and your trust. A battle of the Titans so to speak. For the tinkerer without real gunsmithing skills, the GP100 may be a better choice, as detail disassembly and reassembly is somewhat simpler than the classic Smith and Wesson revolvers. Whichever one you choose, you have my assurances that both are excellent examples of their class, and this is a rare, rare case where you could make a purchase based on aesthetics alone and still arrive home with a great gun. Unlike the traditionally-designed Smith 686, the frame of the Ruger terminates in a rectangular block housing a coil mainspring assembly, which is as Ruger as it gets: it’s cheaper than shaping the frame to the grip, but it also means that a grip of any shape is possible as long as it’s larger than the frame, the manufacturing shortcut thereby being turned into an advantage for the user. Today, you will find no great advantage of one over the either when looking at variety. In this article, I’ll examine the strengths and flaws of each and let you decide. The Ruger, on the other hand, has been shot enough to have smoothed out nicely, and the double action trigger is nothing to be embarrassed about in its own right. I have a S&W Model 19 357 Mag with a 4" barrel. With products made in America, Ruger offers consumers almost 800 variations of more than 40 product lines. Ruger GP100 vs S&W 686 as a first revolver? Bottom line, S&W won the accuracy prize back when it first came out. By entering your e-mail you consent to subscribe to my newsletter. In double action shooting, it would be tough. Were Smith triggers better in the past, All the guns I’m talking about are new? Well, it was a draw, Colt was off due to price though Bill was luck6 to own it. So let’s get rolling, and start feeding this brace of wheelguns a selection of rounds in .38spl and .357mag, and see which gun likes what, how, and maybe even why. And if you guys think the GP-100 is as accurate as the 1980’s S&W 686, I suggest you buy your guns at a gun store, do a test and give us real data. The throats in Ruger’s cylinders were not on the level with S&W’s. Bass Pro Shops $749.99 See Deal Ruger GP100. In this instance, the L frame of the 686 denotes a medium-large frame, and is typical of modern, fullsize .357 Magnum offerings from Smith & Wesson. The B-2 has a three inch black circle which makes it an easy aiming spot, and the scoring rings make it a little quicker to assess performance. Once we got our shooting irons good and warm, we shot them back to back for thirty rounds apiece, just savouring the shooting experience. If one was to conceive of an excellent all-purpose fullsize revolver today, what would it look like? Feeling thus satisfied with the general comparison, we moved on to our stacks of targets. and that tool is a screwdriver blade with a hole EDM in it to remove the ejection rod. Unsurprisingly, the 110 grain ammo hit lower than the heavier 158s on account of the bullet leaving the barrel earlier in the recoil cycle; it’s soft-shooting ammo but the Ruger GP100 did not like it at all. How can you improve on such a weapon? The better a weapon feels in your hands/ or arms with long guns/shotguns. The GP100 trigger is approximately the same weight, but the travel is a little longer and feels heavier, with noticeable stacking about 2/3 of the way through the travel, with a little snag near the end in double-action, and a slightly gritty single-action break. Better made and better resale value. Back in the 80s, the 686 beat the socks off of the GP-100 and my Security-Six! And consumers like to hear about the next big thing. The frame, cylinder release, sideplate, and crane arrangement are unmistakably S&W. We don’t claim to be particularly adept shooters with revolvers (in fact we spend so much time with service pistols we have to consciously decide to move our support hand back to avoid blasting the tip of our thumb with hot gases from the cylinder gap) but three inch groups at 15 yards were easy enough and two inch groups readily achievable. 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