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Old 05-19-2017, 06:46 PM
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Default S&W vs Ruger revolvers

It finally hit me. Smith & Wesson revolvers are like the North American P-51 Mustang.

Ruger revolvers are like the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt.
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Old 05-19-2017, 06:52 PM
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I own both, they both do what they are supposed to do. Three Ruger revolvers, and three S&W revolvers.
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:05 PM
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Agree, while not as drastic as apples/oranges...

I love my Ruger Bisley .357 and the .22WMR/.22LR single actions but S/W wins out on the action and overall feel of the doubles. A 686 vs. GP in .357mag...the overall balance and feel of the 686 wins. the GP does however feel like a big slab of steel (in a good way)
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:08 PM
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I rarely use the term "VS" when discussing Ruger and Smith revolvers. "AND" seems more appropriate.
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:13 PM
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Well, since this is a discussion board and we all like to join in, I will post this link just for fun: P-51 vs P-47 – Comparison – BVR – Dogfight I sorta think the P47 would do in most circumstances.

I prefer S&W in looks and handling. In the heavy 44 magnum offerings the Ruger is stronger.
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:15 PM
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It's not the plane that makes the difference in most fights. It's the pilot.

It would be easier for me to list the firearms I don't like.

I have an early blued .44 Redhawk that I have had since new.

It has the best double action of any gun I have ever tried,and is the standard I hold others to. A keeper till death. So's my 28 gauge Red Label.

Fine weapons.

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Old 05-19-2017, 07:17 PM
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The Ruger is the Sherman Tank of revolvers,,,Real work horses that never quit!
Of course the Smiths are more refined!
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:29 PM
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Refined. Well,they are an older compay,so that is true. Lookswise..it's a toss-up for me. Function is form! I'd like to take that Sherman to the range tomorrow...may be time to get the ole Redhawk out...for a blast!
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:35 PM
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Unfortunately, the Sherman tank wasn't that great of a tank compared to the German tanks. But it was available, and could do its job.

The P-47 was big, rugged, powerful, overbuilt, like the GP100. The Mustang was a refined thoroughbred with nimble handling, as I think of S&Ws. Both planes were fantastic, just different.
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Old 05-19-2017, 08:54 PM
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I have both, and admit to owning more smiths than rugers. That said, I'm shooting my WC GP100 in IDPA this season & am having a hoot. Previous seasons I used my M15 & M625 and did well w/ those too.
For me, neither is better, both have their attributes. I like both brands equally.
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Old 05-19-2017, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telecaster View Post
Unfortunately, the Sherman tank wasn't that great of a tank compared to the German tanks. But it was available, and could do its job.

The P-47 was big, rugged, powerful, overbuilt, like the GP100. The Mustang was a refined thoroughbred with nimble handling, as I think of S&Ws. Both planes were fantastic, just different.
Yes sir! Both great planes and both great guns!
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Old 05-19-2017, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telecaster View Post
It finally hit me. Smith & Wesson revolvers are like the North American P-51 Mustang.

Ruger revolvers are like the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt.
Being a Cold War submarine veteran and general military history buff, as well as a Ruger and S&W owner, I agree 100% with the analogy!

Last edited by Smith61; 05-19-2017 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 05-19-2017, 09:26 PM
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While I disagree with the fact that the P47 specs were very close to that of the P51(they weren't),I must say that they do not compare.The jobs they were intended for was very different.
Besides,the P51 was USA built but english designed(the british had designed it as a replacement for the Spitfire but the british govt not having the necessary $$$+ the fact that the latest improved versions of the Spit were doing aprox the same,declined to fabricate it and offered it to the US govt who quickly recognized a good offer).
This being said,I reckon both Ruger and S&W are excellent tools.In my case,I'll say that I'm a revolver man(even though I have a long auto background) and,well....I love S&Ws!
Qc

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Old 05-19-2017, 10:16 PM
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I think the S&W is like an Italian sports car and the Ruger is kind of like a Ford truck. They'll both provide you with transportation but the S&W does it with style. And if you want to beat it to death and work it hard then the Ruger isn't a bad option.
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Old 05-20-2017, 01:26 AM
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The P-51 was designed by North American Aviation, after the British had visited and enquired as to whether NAA could build Curtiss P-40's for them. The then president of NAA, offered to design and build a better mousetrap for the Brits, and do it inside 180 days. Edgar Schmued, (German/American, no less!!) the principle designer. Certainly not a British design, but one the cousins can be very proud of..........

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Old 05-20-2017, 07:50 AM
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Ruger double action revolvers are really ugly. LOL
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Old 05-20-2017, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
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Ruger double action revolvers are not quite as sleek and stylish as S&W. LOL
FIFY! LOL!
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Old 05-20-2017, 08:10 AM
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I own and have owned several of each, both S&W's and Ruger's are fine guns, S&W's are sort of like a race horse, Ruger's like a draft horse. Ever notice all the heavy hand loads for .44 magnums that have a foot note, that says, for Ruger,Dan Wesson's and Contenders only?
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Old 05-20-2017, 09:45 AM
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Yes; both great-different pedigrees-made in the USA
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Old 05-20-2017, 10:21 AM
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I look at them like this. The Smith will last a lifetime as long as it is not used overly hard. The GP100 will last a lifetime of trying to work it to death. Both will do, but say in an end of the world scenario I'll grab the GP over my 586. Reason is simple. The GP100 has the ability to be stripped down to the frame without the need for tools with the exception of something to remove the grip screw. Should it be dropped in the mud, I can quickly and very easily remove the entire trigger group as an assembly and clean it, whereas the Smith requires a more detailed approach to disassembly. My 586 has a very nice smooth/ crisp trigger. My GP 100 might not be quite as crisp, but is just as smooth in double action where virtually all gunfights take place. That super crisp single action is only good for hunting from a stand and target shooting. Gunfights take place in double action and for that my Ruger is a great weapon.
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Old 05-20-2017, 10:30 AM
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While I only own 7 Ruger revolvers, vs about 5 x's that number of S&W revolvers, I keep reading how folks are comparing S&W to the Ruger GP.

IMHO you are comparing to the wrong Ruger revolvers, as the "Security Six" series are/were the finest Ruger revolvers ever made, again IMHO!
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Old 05-20-2017, 10:50 AM
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I own 2 rugers . Why I'm keeping them I don't know as they never get used . I bought them " cheap " I guess is the best reason I have . I have a NMBH in 41 mag , 4 5/8" that somebody spent a lot of money on . Changed out the alu grip frame for steel , bomar rear sight , red ramp front sight , action job and it still has a real nice blued finish . The other is an OM Vaquero in 45Colt ( built on the 44 mag frame ) , again got it very cheap and still in the box , LNIB .
My Smiths get used exclusively . I just like a Smith better . I think " better " is a very subjective statement . Better means " what " ? Better finish , better handling , better action , better accuracy , better fit in the hand -- What ? All of that is totally dependent on each individuals desires , abilities and comfort level .
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Old 05-20-2017, 11:04 AM
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I broke a Redhawk and a Gp100 (kgp-100 stainless).

The argument that they're built like a tank isn't true.

I sold the replacements Ruger sent me and still have the letters they sent saying they were going to be destroyed as the frames (both) were no good!

Now I know the argument that Rugers WILL take hotter loads as I started to handload with them. My Redhawk would handle loads my 629's wouldn't. But what's the point there. " the light that burns twice as bright, lasts half as long!" As anything mechanical has a breaking point. Both my Rugers force cones were shattered pretty badly. ...

I have several examples of fine smith Revolvers and all are holding up very well.

Another argument. One said ease of take down not requiring tools? Has anybody tried to do a trigger job on a Ruger? The Gp100 has 2 springs. Hammer and trigger. To get to remove WHOLE trigger assembly ! To get it out is a PITA!

The Redhawks use one spring and one spring only. It controls the hammer and triggger! You have to take out the assembly, flip that deal upside down and there's a hook? Nuh-uh! No way!

On a Smith: remove sideplate. Remove sear spring. Use small screwdriver lift trigger spring out carefully; put finger so spring doesn't fly across room! Done!

So it was alot easier to do a trigger on a smith than a Ruger. They're easier to work with. I think the metal is thinner; but harder where it needs to be. Great warranty! No brainer for me.

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Old 05-20-2017, 11:26 AM
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My choices after owning and shooting far too many of both brands.
Smith and Wesson for double action revolvers. Ruger for single action revolvers. Ruger for the Mark series .22's. Smith and Wesson for 1911's/TDA and striker fired pistols.
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Old 05-20-2017, 11:38 AM
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The only Ruger I like better than a comparable Smith & Wesson is the LCR. For some reason I've never cared for J-frame S&W's, but the LCR felt right to me from the start.
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Old 05-20-2017, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
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FIFY! LOL!
You are much more diplomatic.
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Old 05-20-2017, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silentflyer View Post
I own and have owned several of each, both S&W's and Ruger's are fine guns, S&W's are sort of like a race horse, Ruger's like a draft horse. Ever notice all the heavy hand loads for .44 magnums that have a foot note, that says, for Ruger,Dan Wesson's and Contenders only?
Having horses for almost 30 years, a 6" 686-1 for about the same time, and a 4" GP100 for two years, I'd say the 686 is like an Arabian/Quarter horse cross and the GP is like a Morgan Horse. I'd also say my K frames are more like a purebred Arabian horse and my N frames are more like a good hunter trained Thoroughbred. I'd say a Redhawk is like a Percheron and a Blackhawk reminds me of a Quarter Horse.

Different horses for different courses.

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Old 05-20-2017, 11:48 AM
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double post

Last edited by spad124; 05-20-2017 at 01:29 PM. Reason: Double post
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Old 05-20-2017, 11:57 AM
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Rugers are very strong but that's the only advantage to them in my view. I own quite a few smiths and zero rugers, though I have owned some and sold them.
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Old 05-20-2017, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sodacan View Post
Ruger double action revolvers were designed by a turncoat who stabbed U. S. shooters in the back. LOL
FIFY! LOL!
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Old 05-20-2017, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telecaster View Post
It finally hit me. Smith & Wesson revolvers are like the North American P-51 Mustang.

Ruger revolvers are like the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt.
Well, there is the old S&W and the current S&W. Hard to compare something you swear you wouldn't own.
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Old 05-20-2017, 12:10 PM
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I have a few S&W revolvers, (see signature)

Have a couple Colts also, and to keep this on topic now have 2 Rugers. I did own for a couple years in the late 70s a Ruger Super Blackhawk .44Magum. In 1972 I bought a early model Security Six 4'' 357. Gun has fired a lot of shots many of them full power .357 and thousands of all power levels of .38. Gun is just as tight today as the day I bought it. I did do a trigger job on it late 70s. Had no spring kits back then but I took my time and all came out well.

My other Ruger is a LCR .38 that accompanies me most any time I stay local.

I have said for many years about Ruger products dollar for dollar that Ruger is a very good investment.
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Old 05-20-2017, 12:14 PM
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I really enjoy reading S&W vs Ruger revolvers discussions, but I don't always contribute much.

I have three of each. S&W 686 wins in the .357 class and J-Frame for carry. Redhawk wins in big boomers. However; the differences are incredibly small. They are very competetive with each other, and both have so much to offer.

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Old 05-20-2017, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
the "Security Six" series are/were the finest Ruger revolvers ever made, again IMHO!
I know they were single action, rimfire revolvers but the Single Six and it's variants are extremely nice guns. They are solidly built and accurate. Every one I've ever shot made me want to own one. I have never bought one though. I guess I'm a semi-auto guy at heart. I've tried to get a MkII away from my friend for over 10 years now but he just won't part with it. Dang the bad luck. I guess I could find another one but getting one that shoots as good as the one my friend owns is not easy to do. It may be the most accurate handgun of any kind I've ever shot. My Sig P220 is pretty good and so is my 629. But that MkII is something special.
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Old 05-20-2017, 07:20 PM
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I carry a SW 442 most of the time....a great firearm.

Have to admit my 3"GP100 is about as fine a carry piece as I've owned. I carry it whenever I can....unfortunately it's a bit on the hefty side for ankle carry which is usually what I have to resort to.
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Old 05-21-2017, 02:25 AM
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My main complaint with Ruger revolvers and some centerfire automatics is that they leave too many sharp corners and extra metal where it contributes nothing toward strength.
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Old 05-21-2017, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by CajunBass View Post
The only Ruger I like better than a comparable Smith & Wesson is the LCR. For some reason I've never cared for J-frame S&W's, but the LCR felt right to me from the start.
I quite agree. The LCR is a superior gun to most (all?) j-frames. Best DA trigger I have ever shot (and that includes Pythons, Diamondbacks and smiths). Otherwise, give me a Smith! As others have said, the Security Six is a fine handgun, as well. Still prefer a good 686 though.
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Old 05-21-2017, 10:47 PM
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I own a dozen or so Smiths, a couple Rugers. I use the Ruger GP 100 chambered in 357 to test my new loads, GP 100 is a tank. After that I move on to my N frames for serious shooting.
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Old 05-22-2017, 12:29 AM
sac-gunslinger sac-gunslinger is offline
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Originally Posted by Breakaway500 View Post
It's not the plane that makes the difference in most fights. It's the pilot.
I spent years in the Air Force fixing planes. Some pilots had fewer write-ups than others in the same aircraft. I spent years as a licensed aircraft mechanic. Some pilots had fewer write-ups than others in the same aircraft.

I also worked the streets and taught shooting and deadly force. Some people I would not pass despite pressure to do so.

It is the man or woman behind the sights that makes the gun work. Period. I do not care what you are carrying or shooting. It is you!
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  #40  
Old 05-22-2017, 12:38 AM
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Default The quality of both are good...

I'm S&W all the way. I love the silky triggers and the crisp SA and the looks and the way it shoots and all that..

But Gabby Gabreski loved his Thunderbolt and thought it was great for the job they were doing. The P-51 was a long range fighter escort that could do ground attack well and the P-47 was a ground attack plane that could fight well in the air.

Same way, about 35 years ago I met a guy at the range that had been the captain of some military shooting team. He had a Ruger that he said was the best pistol he ever owned. (He could shoot it too)
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Last edited by rwsmith; 05-22-2017 at 12:40 AM.
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Old 05-22-2017, 06:12 AM
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The truth is forging are stronger and casting weaker and need to be thicker to =same strength as forging. Smith Wesson forgings thinner and stronger. Ruger beefy and fat castings to =same strength as forgings.Casting cheaper to make.

Last edited by jeeps; 05-22-2017 at 07:21 PM.
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  #42  
Old 05-22-2017, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by at_liberty View Post
Well, there is the old S&W and the current S&W. Hard to compare something you swear you wouldn't own.
Revolver-wise, these days I only buy older Smith & Wessons and brand new Rugers. Many reasons, unfortunately.
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Old 05-22-2017, 11:17 AM
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I own Rugers, S&W's and a Kimber revolver. My Ruger SP101 with 3" barrel is the only revolver I can shoot with either hand and qualify shooting 90% scores with ease. It is not beautiful, it does not have great sights, but it has had a superb trigger job that allows me to stage the trigger and control the shot.
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  #44  
Old 05-22-2017, 01:54 PM
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Last week I went and fondled some wheelguns at my LGS. 3 of them all new. A 686+ 3"er, a Pro Series 60 3"er and a 2.25" sp101 DAO.

They ALL had way better triggers than my 442 and felt very good. I don't think I would consider the Ruger's any worse than the other 2. Well, the 60's was pretty light. The 686's smooth but a bit heavier. I think the 686 and SP101's trigger felt very similar. But I might not be very discerning. All I know is they all seemed infinitely better than my Stock 442.

Something about that 2.25" brick that seems so right. It balances nice. I think it definitely would feel a lot bulkier carrying than a J frame. And maybe even a K frame would feel a bit more svelte. But the weight isn't horrible on the SP101.

Anyways.... The lock does make a guy wonder about buying new Smiths. Although if you can take them out, why not just do that? I don't really care about the looks of plugging the hole there. If it works. But sure, would rather not have the lock to begin with.
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Old 05-22-2017, 07:09 PM
at_liberty at_liberty is offline
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Originally Posted by ABPOS View Post
Last week I went and fondled some wheelguns at my LGS. 3 of them all new. A 686+ 3"er, a Pro Series 60 3"er and a 2.25" sp101 DAO.

They ALL had way better triggers than my 442 and felt very good. I don't think I would consider the Ruger's any worse than the other 2. Well, the 60's was pretty light. The 686's smooth but a bit heavier. I think the 686 and SP101's trigger felt very similar. But I might not be very discerning. All I know is they all seemed infinitely better than my Stock 442.

Something about that 2.25" brick that seems so right. It balances nice. I think it definitely would feel a lot bulkier carrying than a J frame. And maybe even a K frame would feel a bit more svelte. But the weight isn't horrible on the SP101.

Anyways.... The lock does make a guy wonder about buying new Smiths. Although if you can take them out, why not just do that? I don't really care about the looks of plugging the hole there. If it works. But sure, would rather not have the lock to begin with.
Here we go...another lock thread.
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  #46  
Old 05-22-2017, 09:03 PM
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I can see the P51-P47 comparison. I have a hard time with this
explanation myself. My first quality revolver was a Ruger Single 6
it was a target pistol compared to H&Rs & IJs most of my buddies
had. I had a NIB m17 that I had got on a trade, had no interest
at all in DAs. I didn't want to shoot it because it would make a
used gun out of it for trading purposes. A buddy talked me into
shooting it and I never carried the Ruger again. That was 1964
I have went through stages since then but have never abandoned
S&W revolvers. The airplane thing is bugging me, what plane
can we designate to represent Taurus?
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  #47  
Old 05-22-2017, 10:10 PM
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How about an albatross from WWI?
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Old 05-22-2017, 10:42 PM
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S&W triggers are truly a joy; both single and double action. They are also very handsome with beautiful lines and weight distribution. Ruger does have a strong crane lock up, but are not very refined revolvers. Never liked the grip peg vs full frame on Smith. As said above, each has their place.
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  #49  
Old 05-23-2017, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loknload View Post


The Ruger is the Sherman Tank of revolvers,,,Real work horses that never quit!
Of course the Smiths are more refined!
In your analogy, you do realize that early Shermans were gasoline powered and blew up when hit by our enemies. Later versions went to diesel power and were much more reliable and durable.
Steve
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Old 05-23-2017, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by S.B. View Post
In your analogy, you do realize that early Shermans were gasoline powered and blew up when hit by our enemies. Later versions went to diesel power and were much more reliable and durable.
Steve
Most of these stories about the Sherman are now acknowledged to have been myths.

See:

and Ruger vs. Smith

See:

I agree with the factual assertions in the second video but not necessarily some of the language used. Caution advised.

Last edited by CarmelHP; 05-23-2017 at 12:36 PM.
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