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  #1  
Old 11-25-2011, 08:33 PM
CIsland CIsland is offline
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Default Ruger GP 100 S&W comparison

What size S&W revolver is close in size to the Ruger GP100. I know thre Ruger is bigger then a K frame.
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Old 11-25-2011, 08:37 PM
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L Frame, 686 & so on.
Denis
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Old 11-25-2011, 08:39 PM
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Ruger created the GP100 to compete with the S&W line of L-frame revolvers. Ruger's previous Security/Service/Speed Six line competed with the S&W K-frames.
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Old 11-25-2011, 08:41 PM
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That's what I thought. Thanks.
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Old 11-25-2011, 09:33 PM
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Where's that great '80s ad?

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  #6  
Old 11-25-2011, 09:52 PM
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Ruger designed the Six series to compete with the S&W K-Frame .357's like the 19,66, 65 and 13.

Then, S&W brought out the L-frame in the early 80's to compete with the Ruger Six series and try to seize back some of the LE market.

The GP100 was not "designed" to compete with the L-frames, Ruger changed the way they cast the frames of the GP100 to save money.Bill Ruger claimed he made very little profit off the Six series, despite making over a million of them......... I don't know the exact method, I'm not a metallurgist but the cost-saving casting method resulted in a slightly beefier frame on the GP100. Most people think the GP100 is "stronger" than the Six series, but most of that is due to the crane lock on the GP, not frame size.

Overall, a GP100 is slightly thicker than an L-frame like a 686. A GP will fit in an L-frame holster but it will be just a little more snug. I have often carried one of my 6" GP100's in a holster made for a 586-686.
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:01 PM
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It feels to me more like it takes a N frame to match up with the GP100 than the L frame. This isn't a bust on the L frame, it's just that the Rugers are all so over built. That would be like comparing the N frame to the Redhawk. It just isn't the match up that some think. That would be about like comparing the 27/28/627 series to the .357 Redhawk... Yikes... Reeeeeaaaaaalllllyyyyyy different.

And for a Security Six to GP100 side by side:

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Old 11-25-2011, 10:11 PM
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Thanks. I looked at a Wiley Clapp GP100 today. It was sweet!
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:13 PM
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Did someone say .357 Redhawk? Overbuilt is definitely the word! Mine is purely a bench rest target revolver.

The Redhawk is closer to an N-frame in size, again the Ruger is slightly bigger.

S&W rules the roost for finesse, shootability, classic looks and just makes neat guns. Ruger wins in the durability with super hot magnums dept.

Either way, not many of us are ever going to wear out an L-frame .357.
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  #10  
Old 11-25-2011, 10:38 PM
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I owned a 686 with 6 inch barrel and sold it and bought a Ruger GP 100 in 4 inch barrel. I never warmed up to the Ruger and then I bought another 686 to replace the GP100.
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Old 11-25-2011, 11:11 PM
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I have a 5 in bbl GP100 and a 6 in bbl 686-4, and the GP100 definitely feels like the larger revolver. I can't make up my mind if push come to shove which I would part with. Both fine revolvers.
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  #12  
Old 11-25-2011, 11:47 PM
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I own a 4" GP100 and a few Smith & Wesson revolvers. The S&W wins, hands down, in the smooth trigger department.....but not by as much as I expected.

I really enjoy shooting all of them and they are all pretty darn accurate.

Jim
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  #13  
Old 11-26-2011, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arizonarotors View Post
I own a 4" GP100 and a few Smith & Wesson revolvers. The S&W wins, hands down, in the smooth trigger department.....but not by as much as I expected.

I really enjoy shooting all of them and they are all pretty darn accurate.

Jim
Jim,
I own 2 Ruger GP100's and had action jobs done on both of them and they are smooth as butter, better than the 686 smith I had with action job as well, and better shooter's in my book as well. Now my Smith 586, that is tough to say
Eric
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  #14  
Old 11-26-2011, 10:36 AM
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I ordered a 4" blue GP-100 as soon as they were introduced in the gun rags...before I'd even seen one in real life. I was going to get a 4" Security-Six, but wanted the "latest and greatest". No regrets, I still have that GP twenty-five years later. In that same time frame, many S&W .357 revolvers have come and gone. Although mu taste in revolvers has shifted more to S&W, my GP is a keeper. You can't kill 'em!
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  #15  
Old 11-26-2011, 04:29 PM
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I'm with fyimo; the GP100 is bigger and heavier than the L frame. Both are very nice guns, but I settled on the 686 and no longer own a GP100.

Full disclosure; I like the SP101s but do not own one - yet. The new SP101 4" in .22LR is at, or near, the top of my list of guns to buy. They just can't build them fast enough right now. I like the feel and weight (30 oz) of it better than the M63. The size and weight of the SP101 puts them between the J and K frames. (closer to the J frames IMHO).
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  #16  
Old 11-26-2011, 04:45 PM
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I have a 4" GP100 and like it. No problems with it at all.
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  #17  
Old 11-26-2011, 04:45 PM
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I would challenge anyone to find a three inch GP100 with the short Lett grip and see what they think of it. I may just buy the Wiley Clapp and swap out for the shorter grip. And I might just save up and buy the 586 L-Comp if they ever drop the (bleep).
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  #18  
Old 11-26-2011, 07:19 PM
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As I said earlier, the Wiley Clapp is sweet. I do like the grips much better then the Hogues Ruger is currently using..
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:29 PM
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My GP100 6 inch and S&W 586-no dash 6 inch & 4 inch L-Frames.
586L-Frame

DLC’s .357 Magnums-Ruger GP100 6’, S&W 586L-Frame 6” & 4” Distinguished Combat Magnums.
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  #20  
Old 11-26-2011, 07:47 PM
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Stan may have a point about Bill Ruger saying the Six series didn't make money for him, but see the following quote from GunWeek.com (October 2004):

"...[T]he introduction of S&W's L-frame guns must have surely brought market pressure to bear on Ruger. To compete, they needed a larger DA revolver suitable for police, military, and defense use. Bill Ruger wasn't going to fool around; he set out to design the new gun around the very hot ammunition it would have to use. His goal was to design the most durable DA .357 Magnum ever. The result was the GP-100, introduced in 1986."

So whether I was right or wrong -- I don't want Stan to think I just made it up. The article clearly ties the design of the GP100 to the introduction of the L-frame revolvers.
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  #21  
Old 11-27-2011, 10:53 AM
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My 2.75 inch security six sits in the safe while i shoot the snot out of my 581 and my 28-2. The Ruger just does not feel as “right” in balance and mechanical action as the Smiths.
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Old 11-27-2011, 12:34 PM
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When I was ready to buy my 686 (always wanted a SS .357) I went to the local gun show and went to pick up my first 686 4" and right next to it was a GP100 Rugar. I grabbed the Rugar first (it was $100 cheaper) Well, I have S&W already and am used to a smooth quiet action with the classic "clicks" and all. The Rugar felt like something was broken inside....very clunky. So I put it down and picked up a second Rugar GP100....it was the same. Put that one down and picked up the 686 I now own and there was the familiar solid quiet smooth reliable action I have grown to love. OK, I know its personal preference and Im really not saying the Rugar is a bad gun, just didnt like the balance the feel and the action near as much as the S&W686
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Old 11-27-2011, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maximumbob54 View Post
I would challenge anyone to find a three inch GP100 with the short Lett grip and see what they think of it.
Like this one?

Ruger GP 100 S&W comparison-gp100-3inch-jpg

I like it. Shoots just as well as any of my Smiths, and can be carried in crossdraw pretty easily too thanks to the compact grips. Concealment is not an issue with a loose shirt, and weight is not bad. Fits an L-frame holster (Galco Summer Special molded to fit the L-frame) easily, so they are very close in size.
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  #24  
Old 11-27-2011, 08:25 PM
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Thats one fine looking Ruger!
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:27 PM
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My brother used to own a nice little Security Six. I did shoot it a few times. It functioned and grouped just fine. Just not my cup of tea compared to my 686. I know comparing the 686 to a Security Six isn't a fair comparison, but going on just the feel of the trigger pull I like my Smith alot better. In the looks dept, IMHO Rugers don't look as finished and refined as a Smith. BTW, not saying I would never buy a Ruger, I think they work just fine. Just my first choice is a Smitty.

I also like Smith's cylinder release best of any wheelgun I have fired to date. Colt's are the WORST with that pull backwards with your thumb deal they have going.

BTW, little brother traded in that Security Six on the scoped 29 Classic he now owns and has a 586 on lay-away right now! I don't think he's planning on going back to Ruger any time soon....
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maximumbob54 View Post
I would challenge anyone to find a three inch GP100 with the short Lett grip and see what they think of it.
You mean like this one?



Or this?



Yeah ~ they're GREAT shooters! Haven't had them very long and only put 250 or 300 rounds through each but .... they're keepers. My 686-4 is a keeper too but ...... these are a couple of my favorites.
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hittman77 View Post
You mean like this one?


Yeah ~ they're GREAT shooters! Haven't had them very long and only put 250 or 300 rounds through each but .... they're keepers. My 686-4 is a keeper too but ...... these are a couple of my favorites.

Those are sharp! Especially like the grips.
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:43 AM
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I have two 3-inchers, both with the "short" or fixed sight grip.
The blued one I've had for about 12 years, carried it after I retired in early '99 till 9-11. It sits here in the office now, I'm about halfway through talking myself into going back to it.
The stainless one sits in the vault.

Those two are a near perfect fit in my hand. Wish the grips were still being made.
Denis
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:31 PM
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Dpris, I have recently seen the rubber portion of the original grips, I believe at Midway and/or Brownells. I think you have to buy the grip locator separately. You can get wood inserts for them at Altamont grips (the inserts for the SP101 fit). So if you don't mind spending a few dollars you can get something that approximates the originals. You might also find some on an auction site. I keep thinking about getting another one in stainless and was looking for something as close to the original grips as possible.
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
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Thats one fine looking Ruger!
Thank you. It does have some carry wear that doesn't show up in the photo due to the poor lighting.
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:42 PM
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To the 3" GP100 posters:

YES!!!

And again, this isn't a knock on S&W. I'm just shocked that these three inch guns aren't more popular and the short Lett grip only makes them better. I prefer the visual difference that the older models have to the newer ones with the full underlug barrel shroud while the older ones it didn't go all the way to the end as much. But it's just a personal look preference. I can say that the one and only three inch 586 did make me drool pretty hard. If I ever see a three inch 581 then I do believe a credit card may slap down on the counter. But the GP is just a three inch beast!!!
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Old 11-28-2011, 02:16 PM
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Let's compare apples to apples... a full-shrouded 4" six shot GP100, KGP141, weighs 40 oz. The full-lugged 4" 6-shot 686, SKU #164222, weighs 39.7 oz. Keep in mind that the Ruger is cast SS; the S&W is hammer-forged and heat treated. The Ruger has a solid frame with an easily removed trigger group. Further dissassembly requires a ziploc baggie. The sideplate seems stout enough on S&W's - the frame material is inherently stronger. Besides, they use the same construction for N-frame .44 Magnums and X-frame .500 Magnums. The S&W construction is decidedly more costly, MSRP $829 vs the Ruger's $729 MSRP.

Of course, all of this info - and I only have one 686 - actually, a 7-shot 686P. Why? I like partial lugs - my 5" 686P is a partially lugged 'Stocking Dealer Exclusive' - an oddball in the 686 world. I prefer partial lugs - like the old 66 series K-frame .357 Magnums or the 627 Pro N-frame 8-shooter. If the GP100 floats your boat, I'm sure you'll be happy with it. If the short shroud models were available again, I would look them over, too. It will take a lot, however, to pry my 4" 627 Pro from my hands... unless I need a snubby - my 2 5/8" PC627 UDR will suffice there. Something nice about a x8 .357 Magnum...

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Old 11-28-2011, 03:07 PM
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The GP's in 3, 4 and 6 inch were available in half-lug as well.

My personal preference however, is still the K-Frame sized Security / Service and Speed Six's.
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:47 PM
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If the 66's (and 19's) didn't have that danged flat milled into the bottom of the barrels then I would say they are near perfect. Then they "fixed" that problem with the L frame. (I don't feel like that is the right word, but don't know a better one) Then they made the 686 Mountain Gun and they dropped it. And they long since dropped the 586's with the exception of the one Performance Center model made in very limited numbers. Then they did the (bleep). Now they are making them in EDM barrels that don't like lead bullets. I can't help but feel left behind a little. That is why I struggle to desire a new S&W while I will buy a new Ruger no problem. And I don't mean to second shelf Ruger either. I love the beast and would love for them to bring back the half lug models or even better yet the Security Six series. But just as much, I would love for S&W to bring back the 586's, 581's, Mountain guns, and Combat Magnums. And leave out the (bleep) and make nice sharp cut rifling like they are supposed to have. If they had to cost more then I would pay it. And then again, pigs may fly...
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:41 PM
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TB,
Thanks, I may try to scare up another set.
Never hurts to have spares. I have those on the two 3-inch GPs, a fixed-sight older half-lugged 4-inch GP, and a 4-inch adjustable sight GP.
They are just a great fit for me.
Denis
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  #36  
Old 11-29-2011, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Maximumbob54 View Post
If the 66's (and 19's) didn't have that danged flat milled into the bottom of the barrels then I would say they are near perfect. Then they "fixed" that problem with the L frame. (I don't feel like that is the right word, but don't know a better one) Then they made the 686 Mountain Gun and they dropped it. And they long since dropped the 586's with the exception of the one Performance Center model made in very limited numbers. Then they did the (bleep). Now they are making them in EDM barrels that don't like lead bullets. I can't help but feel left behind a little. That is why I struggle to desire a new S&W while I will buy a new Ruger no problem. And I don't mean to second shelf Ruger either. I love the beast and would love for them to bring back the half lug models or even better yet the Security Six series. But just as much, I would love for S&W to bring back the 586's, 581's, Mountain guns, and Combat Magnums. And leave out the (bleep) and make nice sharp cut rifling like they are supposed to have. If they had to cost more then I would pay it. And then again, pigs may fly...
Which raises a question I have....Why the heck DID they discontinue the 586's, 29 Classic and other such models???? Not everybody likes stainless....
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Old 11-29-2011, 01:43 AM
DHart DHart is offline
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My favorite GP100 is this 3" fixed sight model, which I did a little, er, "polishing" on... and an action job... the action is now as buttery smooth as the finish is.





I love high polished blued guns, but gotta say, SS is such a joy to "touch up".
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  #38  
Old 11-29-2011, 03:03 AM
NE450No2 NE450No2 is offline
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If I was going to carry a 6 shot 357 Mag it would be a 2 1/2" Mod 19 or 66, or a 4" Mof 19 or 66. I prefer adjustable sights.

I do not see the point, for me in carrying an L frame or an N frame 357 mag, I would carry a N frame 44 Mag instead. In fact I am wearing a 629 Mountain Gun in a Milt Sparks Summer Special as I type this.

As it is hunting season, and I am between hunts, I will carry the Mountain Gun even between hunts, to and from, and when hunting, till after the season. Then I will go back to the 1911 in 45 ACP.

However a couple of years ago I shot a buddies pair of 8 shot 357 Mag S&W snubbies. If a person is a 357 Mag kind of guy, and you will carry a BIG gun they are definately worth a look...

IF I was S&W I would make an 8 shot Scandium framed 3 1/2" "Mod 27".
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  #39  
Old 11-29-2011, 07:58 AM
Tyrod Tyrod is offline
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Let's compare apples to apples... a full-shrouded 4" six shot GP100, KGP141, weighs 40 oz. The full-lugged 4" 6-shot 686, SKU #164222, weighs 39.7 oz. Keep in mind that the Ruger is cast SS; the S&W is hammer-forged and heat treated. The Ruger has a solid frame with an easily removed trigger group. Further dissassembly requires a ziploc baggie. The sideplate seems stout enough on S&W's - the frame material is inherently stronger. Besides, they use the same construction for N-frame .44 Magnums and X-frame .500 Magnums. The S&W construction is decidedly more costly, MSRP $829 vs the Ruger's $729 MSRP.
I'm not gonna get into the debate over whether what Ruger or Smith was designed to compete with whatever. Frankly, don't know, don't care. When I was younger, my budget didn't allow for many S&W revolvers, so as an alternative I bought Rugers & Tauruses. Tauruses are all gone now and my Rugers are on the way out.

I'm not a metalurgist. If I understand the process correctly, steel investment casting uses all reclaimed material of largely unknown steel composition. They smelt up a batch and test for the desired composition. If they find the batch lacking in the qualities they desire, they take a "best guess" addition of more scrap steel to achieve the qualities they want. After the casting process, heat treating would have to be performed to achieve the desired toughness. The process would be identical whether it's carbon or stainless.

Forged ordinance steel on the other hand is made from virgin steel and scrap steel of known heritage. It all boils down to "Better ingredients, Better Pizza" Papa John's.

It doesn't end there. Forged anything is denser than cast anything, thus stronger. That's why Rugers seem so overbuilt. They have to build them bigger and thicker to equal the performance of forged ordinance steel.

Bill Ruger practically invented the investment casting system used today in the USA. He owns one of the largest investment casting facilities. There's nothing wrong with investment casting as long as you realize you're gonna end up with a larger part than if you started with known high quality material and you forge rather than cast. I'd imagine that if Ruger forged their investment steel then their guns might be a tad smaller and stronger. But, I suspect hodgepodge steel doesn't forge well. Ruger only uses a tiny percentage of their overall production of investment steel to make their guns. The rest is sold to customers from various industries.
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  #40  
Old 11-29-2011, 08:55 AM
BobR1 BobR1 is offline
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Back several years ago, probably late 1970's, I bought a SS Security 6 in a 4". It was and still is a tack driver. The X still has it. It reminded me of a 28 S&W. Every 28 I have ever shot was very accurate. Same deal with that 6, it just plain shot great.
Lately I have owned 4 Super RedHawks, 2 in 44 and 2 in 480 Ruger that I still have. My little brother has handled the Supers a little, and being a South Paw prefered the cylinder latch on the Rugers.

Anyway we shoot an outlaw IDPA match every month at our Sportsman's Club. I have been shooting my 625, 610, and 64 in SSR Division. (We only have 1 Revolver Division like IDPA started with, No ESR Division) Anyway my brother has an old original JM 625, but he did not have a 38 bigger than a J Frame to shoot. He was also wanting a carry 38/357. He did a little research, and ordered a new Willy Clap GP100 3" Stainless. They got most of it right. I originally thought they had the grip right, just sorta. It is the old insert style, and dolled up nicely with better rubber, and some super looking inserts. The only thing is it isn't the compact grips on it. Not sure how they screwed that up. I have a set of compacts if he decided to change them for carry. He got his Lobo Enhanced Pancake for it this week, and he has been carrying it all week. Looks like it conceals about as well as my 3" Smiths. It shoots ok, but we have a spring kit for it to make it better. We will find time shortly to do a little polishing, and get the springs in it. Then I figure a road trip to see Ron Power at Power Custom to get the chambers chamfered, and have him look it over. I am starting on a new 64 S&W build that I will need him to do a little majic on. I think I will have him put a Loc screw on my old 64 strain screw while i am up that way. No idea why I did not have him do that last trip up to see him.

Bottom line I like his 3" GP100 just fine. It would have been better with Dolled Up Compact Grips.
I noticed a trend with 3" GP100. You can find all you need NEW. No used ones anywhere.

Note TALO has a Blued 3" Willy Clap in the wings. Dealers catalog shows it coming.

Bob
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:34 AM
stantheman86 stantheman86 is offline
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I have a 3" blued half lug GP100 and I love it, but I got it for more of the "cool factor" than for actual use as a carry gun. I agree, a 3" 686 would be just as good for carry.

For carry, a 6-shot .357 like a 2.5" 19 or 66, or a 3" 65 or 13 will do the job just fine. The 3" GP100 feels more like a short barreled holster gun to me, than something made for CC. Still, when I get the funds a 3" stainless GP is high on my list, although I have had the nagging urge for a 3" 686.

FYI the last 66's made,with the 2-piece barrel, do not have the flat spot on the forcing cone. My 66-7 from 2003 has a round forcing cone, like an L-frame. Possible S&W just used the same barrels for the K's and L's when they went to the 2-piece.
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  #42  
Old 11-29-2011, 12:11 PM
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Stainz Stainz is offline
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I've never seen a partially-shrouded GP100 in person - only pictures. I always liked it's looks - with the inset wood panel in the grip, of course. The grey SS finish, a la my long gone .454 SRH, was neat, too... until I 'discovered' S&W 627's... but that's why I spend the majority of my time here... on the S&W forum!!!

Still... a 4" grey SS partially shrouded GP100 with wood panel insert grips might just get my attention...

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  #43  
Old 11-30-2011, 01:01 AM
desto desto is offline
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I'm with your, have had a red hawk, have a 5 inch 629 now, have sold most of my Rugar guns, kept the new vaquero in 45lc, 22-45, and 10-22. They are big with heafty triggers. A friend has a GP100, I just don't like the trigger and cylinder release...just me I guess. I just Like S&W revolvers....have to say I loved my Colt Anaconda in 45 LC, wish I never sold that one. My Smiths are here to stay though.

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  #44  
Old 11-30-2011, 10:03 AM
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Maximumbob54 Maximumbob54 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stantheman86 View Post
I have a 3" blued half lug GP100 and I love it, but I got it for more of the "cool factor" than for actual use as a carry gun. I agree, a 3" 686 would be just as good for carry.

For carry, a 6-shot .357 like a 2.5" 19 or 66, or a 3" 65 or 13 will do the job just fine. The 3" GP100 feels more like a short barreled holster gun to me, than something made for CC. Still, when I get the funds a 3" stainless GP is high on my list, although I have had the nagging urge for a 3" 686.

FYI the last 66's made,with the 2-piece barrel, do not have the flat spot on the forcing cone. My 66-7 from 2003 has a round forcing cone, like an L-frame. Possible S&W just used the same barrels for the K's and L's when they went to the 2-piece.
The two part barrel negates the need for the milling by the design. If they had done them like Dan Wesson then maybe they would be better and maybe not. But all the two part barrels I have seen may be highly accurate with jacketed ammo, they are still not very lead bullet friendly and that is a sales kill for me. I'm not big on the end of the barrel having the tensioned cap since it can be set too tight and snap off, but I guess at least that would be easier to replace than the whole barrel. Find me a 620 with the sleeve having nice sharp cut rifling and I might buy it and spread the word. But the one I finally found and rented leaded so bad I didn't want to keep using it. And that was with the range's own ammo you had to buy for their rental guns. No likey.
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Old 09-14-2017, 01:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Maximumbob54 View Post
I would challenge anyone to find a three inch GP100 with the short Lett grip and see what they think of it. I may just buy the Wiley Clapp and swap out for the shorter grip. And I might just save up and buy the 586 L-Comp if they ever drop the (bleep).
I picked up a used GP100 3" with the old compact rubber grips at a local gunshop last week. Wow that is a very nice fitting revolver - it just feels right. The 3" models are so hard to find - especially the blued models (the blue 3" models are long out of production) - that bought it on the spot. I knew that if I didn't somebody else would.
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  #46  
Old 09-14-2017, 09:38 AM
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Thanks. I looked at a Wiley Clapp GP100 today. It was sweet!
You didn't buy it? Bob
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  #47  
Old 09-14-2017, 11:52 AM
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justintyme justintyme is offline
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Maybe he has by now, it was 6 years ago.
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Checkman View Post
Wow that is a very nice fitting revolver -
The 3" models are so hard to find - especially the blued models
Yeah, they're cool for sure.



Good for you on finding one.
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