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Old 07-14-2017, 08:09 PM
ronmann ronmann is offline
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will the model 28 hold up to a steady diet of magnums compared to a gp100? my brother in law has both for sale and i want to buy one. i think the 28 is better looking. but the gp100 seems like it might be a tad more solid.
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:16 PM
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I have two Highway Patrolman revolvers, one from 1960 and the other from 1970, and both have held up well. They are a quality product. I can't speak for the Rugers, as I have never had one (of this model, I've had others, and they seemed pretty sturdy).

This one is closing in on 50 years old, and has been shot a lot, the finish is beginning to thin, but it locks up tight, and is a great shooter!!



Best Regards, Les
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:24 PM
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They should both be equally sturdy and solid

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Old 07-14-2017, 08:24 PM
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I recently purchased a 28-2 to take some burden off my ruger ss security six. I have a nickel model 19 in a display gun cabinet and it only gets used maybe 4 to 6 times a year with mostly 38 spl being shot from it. Every week shooting full house mag loads from ruger, I know it can digest many of them. Now the hwy patrolman can help shoulder some of the load. If possible buy them both, but if you can only afford 1 get the 28. Beefy N frames were made for mag loads. It won't even break a sweat on 357mags. Just think same frames used for 44 mag!!
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:28 PM
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The M28-2 will take anything you can feed it for many generations of owners! It will take more punishment that most of us can.....

Randy
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:30 PM
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You can shoot full house .357 Magnum loads in a Highway Patrolman every day until the cows come home. It will just digest them over and over as if nothing was happening. That's what they were made to do.

My advice is to buy the Model 28. I can't believe you will be anything but happy that you did.

I have nothing against Ruger firearms. In fact, I own several. But there are few revolvers out there as good and as durable as a Highway Patrolman.
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:30 PM
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The N frame (what the 28 is based on) has been in service since the early 1900s. You can shoot all the factory loads you can afford and any hand load, short of stupidity and it will hold up. I have been told that the Ruger is a solid unit that will last a lifetime also. (no personal experience with shooting the Ruger) I agree that the Smith has a better and more finished appearance.(you are on a S&W board, after all!) My thought is that you buy the one that feels the best in your hand and live happily ever after.

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Old 07-14-2017, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB View Post
The N frame (what the 28 is based on) has been in service since the early 1900s.
1907, to be precise. Chambered for the then-brand-new .44 S&W Special cartridge.
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:43 PM
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Conventional wisdom has it that the GP 100 is built like a tank. Looks like one, too. If you want one that can go the distance and look good doing it, go with the SW.
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:50 PM
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I have several Model 28's (4" & 6") and a pair of 3" GP-100's (blue & stainless). You will get tired of shooting .357 ammo long before the Model 28 does. The GP-100's will also handle lots of .357 ammo without complaint. My GP-100's have had over 5,000 rounds of .357, mostly 125gr, put thru them and they are still in great shape. Still, as much as I like my Rugers, if I had to choose I'd keep the Model 28. Nothing beats a Model 28.
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:56 PM
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Default M-28/Ruger

Both will handle full house .357s all day with no issue. The M-28 will only continue to grow in value. Get the one that suits you best.
Enjoy
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:19 PM
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Ruger looks beefier because the frame is cast metal. S&W is a more elegant frame and forged so much tighter packed material and as durable, maybe more so. The Smith may hold the value better and increase in price. The action of the 28 will get smoother and smoother, is tighter built and just a classic. 357 full loads are nothing to even think about. The frame will not stretch under them and the cylinder walls are thick as a vault. Only thing that is being discussed that lots of rapid fire under hard double action, not single action or paced double action, may cause peening of the cylinder stop notches as the big cylinder momentum must be stopped by the cylinders stop which then is battering the stop notch wall. But again, I read lots of posts where that is theoretical more than practical. The shooters owning them seems to not complain about it. I use a lighter spring set which makes it even smoother. I go with Wolf type 2 hammer spring and 13 lbs trigger return spring and that makes them cycle like butter. My weekly shooter says hello: Go get it fast!! Can always get a nice GP100 later.
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:23 PM
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The N-frame Smith (now the Model 27 and 28 Highway Patrolman)) has been handling the .357 since the .357's inception in 1935.............
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:29 PM
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See if you can go out and shoot both. Buy whichever one shoots the best. You will shoot thousands if not $10,000+ worth of ammo through them before anything should go wrong.

For what it's worth the S&W N frame comes in 44 Mag. Ruger just introduced the GP100 in 44 and it is limited to 44 Special...

The most likely weakness of he model 28 is that the cylinder is so large that an excessive amount of rapid fire can result in damage to the cylinder stop and notches.
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:52 PM
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ive put several thousand .357 rounds through my 1968 model 28-2.......accurate, reliable....never a miss fire.....
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Old 07-14-2017, 10:00 PM
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Startn to git the gist?
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Old 07-14-2017, 10:05 PM
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Both will suffer erosion at the forcing cone with a steady diet of double base, slow burning powder. In my experience with a 28 it takes thousands of rounds to begin showing a sign. I'm about 4000 rounds in on that gun, made in the late 60's and I'm not the first owner, and it still shoots perfectly. I have a pic of the forcing cone erosion. I'll try to find it and post it.


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Old 07-14-2017, 10:21 PM
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I could add my 2 cents, but it has already been said. Buy the 28.
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Old 07-14-2017, 10:51 PM
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I had a friend who was careless reloading some .357s some time back. I think he double loaded them with Unique. His 27 handled them with ease, except for having to pound the ejector rod to get the cases Out!

Though I will emphatically say DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!!!!, it was certainly a testament to the strength of the Nframe Smith!
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Old 07-15-2017, 11:06 AM
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On looks alone I would choose the M-28. When uglier guns are built, Ruger will probably build them. (smile)

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Old 07-15-2017, 11:33 AM
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I've been shooting 28s since 1970. We can all speculate on the durability of the 28 vs. the Ruger. Other than the basic unattractiveness, I don't know anything about the Ruger. Pretty sure 28s will always be more desireable to most and will retain a higher resale value, should you decide to sell or trade.
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Old 07-15-2017, 11:34 AM
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Sounds to me like comparing a mule to a Thoroughbred or a Cadillac to a Yugo. Larry
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Old 07-15-2017, 11:41 AM
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It's an N frame, the same frame as used in the .41 and .44 magnum, much heavier bullets, higher pressure,recoil etc. Nothing wrong with a Ruger, but a 28 will handle anything you want to feed it, barring a double charge of Bulls Eye or the like...might even survive that but I wouldn't try it. But I don't play with rattle snakes, or pick fights with red headed women either...
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Old 07-15-2017, 12:40 PM
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The M-28 is an excellent gun, although I prefer the brighter finish of Model 27.

However, N--frame .357's have a few problems. If you shoot a lot, the cylinder timing will wear faster than on the lighter Models like M-19 or 586 and their stainless peers. That's because the hand has to shove around that big,heavy cylinder, originally meant to be bored for .44 cartridges. Bored for smaller .38 or .357 ammo, there's a lot of metal there! That adds strength, but also weight.

You may also experience cylinder endshake sooner on the S&W than with the Ruger, which has a unique front cylinder lock on the frame.

With truly heavy use, normally encountered only by people who shoot a LOT, like SEALS or combat action shooters, both the GP-100 and the M-28 will eventually need repairs. I'm tired of Internet posts proclaiming that Rugers are built like tanks. That's trite now, too often said. Even tanks can be knocked out. Frequently firing very heavy loads with lighter bullets will erode the forcing cone of either gun until it looks like a "tank" has encountered an A-10 attack plane. I've seen pics of a GP that was a real mess there. I'm on one Ruger board and sometimes read the other, and you see photos there that you don't on this S&W board.

I've owned several M-27's and M-28's and liked them. All of mine had either six or 6.5 inch barrels, the best for that heavy frame and cylinder, I think, and giving higher velocity than shorter .357's. I also own a stainless GP-100 with four-inch barrel. The heavy barrel lug makes a longer GP or a M-686 too unwieldy for my tastes.

Overall, in a gun needed for long - term use with a minimum of repairs, I'd choose the GP. But I'd respect the laws of physics and realize that NO .357 revolver can be shot forever with heavy loads and not need attention. Also, the GP is available in stainless steel, a real boon for a gun actually carried outdoors n all sorts of weather. The M-28 is only in a dull blue finish and is discontinued. You may have some difficulty in getting factory repairs. Ruger's repair time is usually much shorter than S&W's.

How the guns feel in your hand can be changed with replacement grips. My GP-100 wears Pachmayr Grippers and feels great in my hand. It is very accurate and comfortable to shoot.

If one of the guns in the OP has seen less use and is in better condition, that may be the one to buy. Also, I don't recall barrel length being mentioned. Keep in mind that if the Ruger is stainless, small scuffs are easy to polish out.

Finally, unless you shoot a heck of a lot, trying out various handloads, you should not be firing a lot of .357 ammo. Bill Jordan told me that most people fire Magnum ammo maybe 10-15% of the time, and he had that in mind when asking S&W to make the Combat Magnum/M-19. The .357 is not a target or recreational round. It is meant for KILLING. How many coyotes, deer, or people do you kill in an average year? Snakes? They don't need .357 power, but you'd have .357's loaded in cougar or bear country, and still not fire a lot of them at snakes.

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Old 07-15-2017, 12:50 PM
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The one thing I haven't read yet is the trigger. I got rid of GP100's because it took Me almost 20 hours of take apart and put together to get a trigger half as smooth as the S&W. Get the 28.
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Old 07-15-2017, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silentflyer View Post
It's an N frame, the same frame as used in the .41 and .44 magnum, much heavier bullets, higher pressure,recoil etc. Nothing wrong with a Ruger, but a 28 will handle anything you want to feed it, barring a double charge of Bulls Eye or the like...might even survive that but I wouldn't try it. But I don't play with rattle snakes, or pick fights with red headed women either...
10-4 on the red headed women... been there and done that.

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Old 07-15-2017, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
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10-4 on the red headed women... been there and done that.

Best Regards, Les
I married a red head.

Have not won an argument with her yet.

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Old 07-15-2017, 02:03 PM
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Oh, to the Original Poster, get the Model 28.

It's a great gun.
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Old 07-15-2017, 02:15 PM
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One added issue is that S&W M-27/28 cylinders are too short for Keith's longer SWC bullet, I think the one that lists at a nominal weight of 168 grains. May be the 173 grain one. The M-19/66 has a longer cylinder. I don't think anyone has discussed Ruger cylinders in that regard. I don't use that bullet, so can't say.

If this is a factor for anyone, it has to be considered. That bullet will work in a .38-44 load, which is what Elmer Keith developed it for. The .38 case is shorter, of course.
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Old 07-15-2017, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave1918a2 View Post
The one thing I haven't read yet is the trigger. I got rid of GP100's because it took Me almost 20 hours of take apart and put together to get a trigger half as smooth as the S&W. Get the 28.
Varies. My GP and SP-101 both wore-in for very smooth triggers. But the SP has retained its very heavy pull weight.

As for red-headed women, I dislike that hair color and have dated just two. Had a 50% success rate. Alex. the Great married a redhead. Look what happened to him! Dead at 33...

I really prefer blondes and brown-haired girls. No cracks about blondes, please. Those I dated were very smart. My daughter is blonde and has a Masters degree with high honors, from TCU. She may be as smart as her brother, who was a member of Mensa for a time. She never took their IQ exam.

My son and Brooke Shields have brown hair. I had brown until it went gray. My son and Brooke are geniuses. I've never met a red-headed genius, but they may exist. I wouldn't like to risk their temper, though.

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Old 07-15-2017, 02:32 PM
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I don't shoot magnum loads anymore, but have shot many of the #358429 and #358439, the ones that are allegedly too long for the cylinders of 28s and 27s. These were designed as .38 Special bullets, certainly, and can be crimped in the crimp groove with a .38 Special loading. However, to use them in the .357 Magnum cartridge is really no hindrance. The bullet is simply seated a little deeper and crimped over the bullet's shoulder to give an acceptable OAL for the short cylinders. Accuracy is unaffected unless the crimp is overdone.

A better .357 Magnum bullet for those who must use a crimp groove for crimping is the original .357 Magnum bullet, the Hensley & Gibbs #51 SWC design, about 160 grains. There are others that will also work.

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Old 07-15-2017, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
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I don't shoot magnum loads anymore, but have shot many of the #358429 and #358439, the ones that are allegedly too long for the cylinders of 28s and 29s. These were designed as .38 Special bullets, certainly, and can be crimped in the crimp groove with a .38 Special loading. However, to use them in the .357 Magnum cartridge is really no hindrance. The bullet is simply seated a little deeper and crimped over the bullet's shoulder to give an acceptable OAL for the short cylinders. Accuracy is unaffected unless the crimp is overdone.

A better .357 Magnum bullet for those who must use a crimp groove for crimping is the original .357 Magnum bullet, the Hensley & Gibbs #51 SWC design, about 160 grains. There are others that will also work.

I was fascinated by your account. You are the only man I've encountered to use those bullets in a M-29, which is a .44 Magnum!

I expect that you meant to say, M-27. ??

Seriously, I don't like crimping over the bullet shoulder. However, I never found a factory .357 load that was too long for a M-27/28 cylinder.

In handloads, I used the 358156 bullet and it worked normally. I have shot 358429's but in other guns. Accuracy seemed identical to the other bullet. But penetration would favor the 358429. Keith had in mind shooting large, heavy animals. That's why he really favored .44 and .45 Colt guns.
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Old 07-15-2017, 03:19 PM
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I apologize for the mistake; I corrected it. The #358156 is also a good, accurate .357 bullet, but it works best with the gas check affixed. The #51 weighs about the same and is just as accurate, but no gas check is needed.

As for factory .357 Magnum loads, I fired some Winchester 145 Silvertips and 158 soft points several years ago after using only my own .357 Magnum handloads for many years, loads that I thought were fairly stout even if they didn't have maximum powder charges. I don't remember which revolver I fired these Winchester rounds in, either a 27, 28, or a Python, but I was amazed at the recoil.

It's certainly conjecture, but I must agree that a steady diet of factory .357 or factory-equivalent handloads would eventually wear a gun more than we think is possible, even a heavy-framed revolver.
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Old 07-15-2017, 05:44 PM
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As a couple have pointed out, the odds are darned high that you will tire of shooting full house magnums before either of those revolvers. You could shoot enough that either one needs work ... but that would take a lot of pretty stout ammo and the corresponding expense.

I would use either, but would prefer the M28. One of the reasons would be that accessories such as speedloaders, holsters and the like are easier to get, and I already have a preferred holster for a 4" N frame.
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Old 07-15-2017, 05:56 PM
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A colt Python would be tops on the list I fired hotter loads out of my security six and Python. I'm not sure if the s&w could handle my hotter loads. No problem with either revolver with the forcing cone. I'd go with the ruger. The s&w would be rarely shot with mild loads. My 357 Redhawk is another story.
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:36 AM
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If you intend on shooting factory loads the 28 will out last you by a long shot. If you use handloads that would depend on the load combination. Handloads can go from extremely mild to outrageously hot. If you handload be careful when approaching the maximum loads. I have had my 28-2 since 1981 and it is still going as strong as the day I got it. Should you get the 28? By all means get it. I seriously doubt you will be dissatisfied with it.
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:12 PM
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As a couple have pointed out, the odds are darned high that you will tire of shooting full house magnums before either of those revolvers. You could shoot enough that either one needs work ... but that would take a lot of pretty stout ammo and the corresponding expense.

I would use either, but would prefer the M28. One of the reasons would be that accessories such as speedloaders, holsters and the like are easier to get, and I already have a preferred holster for a 4" N frame.
Keep in mind that the GP-100 fits holsters marked for Pythons or S&W L-frame guns. I use a Bianchi Model 5BHL, lined and basketweave stamped. Also have a Gould & Goodrich holster, but don't like it as well and seldom wear it. It's not much, if any, better than the holsters that S&W used to sell.

Ruger sells holsters made for them by another firm whose quality is just adequate, if you aren't picky. My Rugers deserve better!


El Paso Saddlery has a Model 2 that's about identical to the old Safariland Model 29. I recommend it, too. I have a couple of them for other S&W's and like them very much.

The holster advice here pertains to either the M-28 or a GP. I have a really nice Safariland M-29, lined and basket stamped that I bought for a modest sum at a gun show. It was as-new. That 's my favorite N-frame holster, but no longer made. No worries: just order that El Paso version. Good guns deserve good holsters. And the right belts!

Last edited by Texas Star; 07-16-2017 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 07-18-2017, 06:03 AM
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Either should be good for well over 20,000 rounds of full power .357 Magnum loads. If you have the money for the ammo, you will surely have the money for repair or replacement.
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Old 07-20-2017, 04:20 PM
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We encountered this question many times from customers looking to buy a .357 Magnum revolver.
If they wanted 'pretty' we offered the Colt Python.
If the wanted beautiful and so sturdy that it would probably outlast theor grandkids we suggested the 'economy' S&W model 28 or as it was originally known Highway Patrolman.
If they wanted beauty, sturdy and pretty of course the original S&W .357 ( later the Model 27).
Ruger was also on hand for those who liked bulk, and did not care about looks.
( I started as a gunsmith back in 1948, so have been around all three fine revolvers for quite a while).
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Old 07-26-2017, 07:28 PM
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Maybe I'm just contrary, but I'll go against the tide and say...get the 28!
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Old 07-26-2017, 07:35 PM
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I think the ruger security six is tops in the 357mag. Tied with the colt.
The s&w m27/m28 will hold up with normal factory 357 loads. But the Redhawk in 357 has to be the strongest.

As a kid in my 20's I was loading the 357 mag in stout loads. My SBH was over loaded in 44mag. I'm surprised I lived through those years. I'm older and wiser now. 45 years later.

Last edited by BigBill; 07-26-2017 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 07-26-2017, 07:41 PM
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I have a GP-100 (4" Blue) and a 28-2 (6 in).

Both seem strong.

If I wanted to shoot tons of full bore 357 loads, I'd use the Ruger for the simple reason that if it broke, I could send it back to Ruger and they would have the parts to replace, of if not fixable could send me a new one. My 28-2 is nearly 40 years old.

Another option, although not an answer to the question you asked, would be my 627PC. It has a new N frame design, better support for the cylinder, and spare parts are available.

I suppose the strongest 357 magnum revolver would be a Redhawk as it's even stronger than the GP or N frame..

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Old 07-26-2017, 08:45 PM
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I would choose a 6 shot N frame 357 magnum over a GP100 any day of the week!
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Old 07-27-2017, 01:49 PM
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For the first time in years I am 28less. Sold my last last week. I will be replacing them with 27s eventually, as they come around.
And NO...they won't do anything a 28 didn't do.
I hope by now you have the 28.
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Old 07-28-2017, 02:11 PM
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One added issue is that S&W M-27/28 cylinders are too short for Keith's longer SWC bullet, I think the one that lists at a nominal weight of 168 grains. May be the 173 grain one. The M-19/66 has a longer cylinder. I don't think anyone has discussed Ruger cylinders in that regard. I don't use that bullet, so can't say.

If this is a factor for anyone, it has to be considered. That bullet will work in a .38-44 load, which is what Elmer Keith developed it for. The .38 case is shorter, of course.
Yes, I load this bullet in .38 special cases with the same powder and weight as in the magnum cases but, fits into 27s & 28s cylinders.
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