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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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  #1  
Old 09-20-2011, 08:04 AM
doctorj357 doctorj357 is offline
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Hi Everyone, looking for opinions here

Recently I have been looking to go all S&W in my hand guns. So far I have a SW1911, a 669, and soon a Bodyguard .380. My current wheelgun, and one of my favorites, is a Ruger Security Six, SS, 6in in beautiful shape.

I'm interested (possibly) in swapping that for a S&W L frame. I guess that would be something like the 686? What I prefer in my wheelguns are the quarter/half lug barrels. Not a big fan of the full lug. But I don't know my S&W models past a 19. So could someone school me?

What I like about the Ruger, is the "built like a tank" reliability. And the fact it can eat a steady diet of .357mag. Which I'm just know learning is the case with S&W L frames too. Does anyone think I'd be going backwards if I sold or traded my Ruger for a S&W L frame? Granted I know this is Smith forum, and some opinions may be slanted. But just looking for honest answers.

Last edited by doctorj357; 09-20-2011 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:08 AM
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So you want to get rid of one of your favorite guns for a full-lug bbl you don't like? Sounds like a great plan. ;-)
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:12 AM
doctorj357 doctorj357 is offline
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Lol, no that came out wrong. I'm saying my favorite wheel gun, which is pretty hard to beat since I only own one, is my Ruger. I personally like S&W better, but never felt they had the same durability. Which I'm recently learning is incorrect.

But only L frame I'm familiar with is a 686. And not a big fan of a full lug. So I'm asking people to educate me what other L frames there are with a half lug barrel. And if they think that is a good, neutral, bad idea to swap the Ruger for the S&W?


Thats all
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:31 AM
tallpaul tallpaul is offline
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I love my smiths but to say they are as durable as rugers may be a stretch. I saw somewhere where they were throwing a gp100 across a parking lot repeatedly and it still shot! I doubt any smith passing that test. I would imagine a security six would fare well too. I would save and buy a smith but keep that SS. I will add a SS or a few of em if the deals ever come along but folk tend to keep them or are " proud" of em!

Personally I have room in my toy chests for several brands!
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:38 AM
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A Security-Six is stronger than a K, and may be about as strong as an L frame. There are non-lugged .357s (the 686 Mountain Gun) and half-lug ones also that are fairly scarce.

I agree with keeping your Ruger and finding a 686, possibly with a shorter full-lug barrel (3-4") so it is not so muzzle-heavy.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:39 AM
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The M-686 has been made in limited numbers with a barrel lug that resembles that on the M-19/66. In fact, the gun looks like a big M-66. Might be hard to locate one.

Keep your Ruger. No more of that model will be made, and it offers both ruggedness and relatively light weight. Ruger fans are seeking out the remaining good SS's and value is climbing. And they are a really handy gun in a six-inch .357.

It is true that the best M-686's are also out of production, so you'll have to hunt a used one. But if you dislike the weight of the full-lug barrel, you'll likely look for awhile to find a Mountain Gun. And if you want a six-inch barrel, that weight will really be more than I gather that you want.

I sold my four-inch M-686 and got a Ruger GP-100, which balances better, in spite of also having a full-lug barrel. I think the GP also holds its cylinder timing better than a Smith. This is definitely true of the M-27 and M-28, which have heavy cylinders than wear timing sooner than on their smaller guns in .357.

Be wary of firing too many hot loads in your Security-Six. It is a tough gun, more so than a S&W M-19 or 66. But you can push it too far, and Ruger may not be able to repair it. I've read that they no longer service that model, but that was on the Net, and may not be true.

I see no reason to go "all S&W". You might look for one of the discontinued GP-100's with a half-lug barrel if you want a six-inch gun wih good balance and great durability.

Frankly, I think the medium-framed .357's make a lot of sense. But some with full-lug barrels weigh as much as a .44 Magnum!

Don't sell that Ruger. The odds are high that you'll regret it.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:45 AM
jmcghee jmcghee is offline
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You most likely will not find an even trade as the "value" of a smith is always more than a ruger.That said I would, keep the ruger and buy a smith also.I have never sold a gun that I still wish I didnt.I have bought lots of gun on layaway plans.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:55 AM
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I understand how you feel about the full lug, I'm no fan of it either. Here's some food for thought though.
Ruger first produced the GP-100 with a half lug barrel, much like your security six, but there weren't many. Just FYI, not too many know that.
S&W made a L frame model 620 with adjustable sights and a half lug and a 4" barrel. It's an outstanding L frame, and has a two piece barrel and is extremely accurate. S&W also made a Model 619 with a semi-lug and fixed sights (looks like a model 65). I own a 619, and I think it's the slickest, most accurate revolver I've ever owned, it's a permanent in my armory. I've had a couple GP-100s and Security Sixes and if I had to choose, I'd keep the 619 without question. The only problem is S&W quit making them, last year, I think.
You would probably be better off keeping your Ruger, but you might try to find a 620 unless the 4" barrel is not to your liking. I think you'll be impressed with the accuracy though.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:56 AM
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There are several non-full-lug L-frames available in .357:

-The 686 Plus 2004 Stocking Dealer Special (SKU 164284)
-The 686 Plus Mountain Gun (SKU 104200)
-The 620
-The 619
-The 520 (2005 and later - earlier versions were on the N-frame)
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:03 AM
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Keep the Ruger. I had my 4 inch stainless out last night changing grips. I have many Smiths but have never been without a Security Six for over thirty years. It has never let me down.
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:21 AM
doctorj357 doctorj357 is offline
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Seems pretty anonymous to keep the Ruger. I actually had the half-lug GP-100, blued about 2yrs ago. It was nice. Had no issues with it. Don't really remember why I sold it. But I actually like the looks of Security Six more.

Thank you all for the information. My toychest space is limited, but in due time, I think I can make room for another Smith. Right now I'm saving my money for a silencer. Michigan recently lifted the ban on them. So now I'm questing to get my first silenced weapon..... that shouldn't be too expensive.....
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:24 AM
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I own a 4" 686 that I enjoy shooting, but my son owns a 4" GP100 that I also enjoy when it's my turn. The Ruger is a rugged revolver. It may not have the "finesse" of a 686, but that's subjective. My humble opinion is if you can afford to buy a 686 without trading the Ruger, do so. I don't think you'll regret it. They are both fine guns.
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:39 AM
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keep the Ruger! The Security/Speed Six, later GP-100 and little SP-101 are excellent guns. I also applaud Ruger for not putting locks in their wheelguns.

Older S&W's are more refined, better finished and prettier than older Rugers, but Ruger has always made a damn solid blue-collar revolver.
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:39 AM
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The common response to trading off a gun from most people is,"I wish I still had it!" If you have a gun you like, and Rugers have plenty to like, then try to avoid the greener grass syndrome. I am proud to own mostly Smith's and they are my favorite but we have many Rugers in the family and they are staying, too!

The responses you have gotten so far illustrate why I like this forum. No bashing of other manufacturers of the guns we all love. Each offers it's own appeal and should be appreciated for that which it was designed. Try talking about a Smith at the Ruger site and check the response.
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Old 09-20-2011, 02:55 PM
wrangler5 wrangler5 is offline
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There are guns I've owned in the past and don't miss. But I regretted letting a 6" Security Six go almost immediately after trading it (on a 4" GP100, no less, which I could never get to shoot for squat), and still do 15+ years later. Tough, handy (as 6" guns go), and accurate, with a great grip shape. At the moment I'm satisfied with 38s out of a Model 10, but if I were in the market for a DA 357 I would be hard pressed not to look for a Security Six again.

Keep it. You've already got a great gun.
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:37 PM
pdxjazz pdxjazz is offline
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I'm a big fan of the older Ruger .357 series made in the 70s and 80s. I had a ss short barrel security six that was given to me by my father and was stolen, later replaced it with a ss speed six (love that little gun). Recently I've been looking for a 6" .357 ss revolver and considered another security six. Frankly I just don't care for the blocky look of them and could not do it. Had Ruger made the service six (or speed six) in a 6" barrel I would have bought one. They have a much cleaner look than the security sixes and the resale values are rising somewhat faster than the security sixes (especially the speed six).

I have always preferred the looks of the older S&W revolvers and did allot of research to see what models were available in .357with the 6" barrel. I finally opted for an N frame, blued S&W M27-2. This one was made back in 1976 and so it has the pinned barrel and recessed cylinder chambers. Although I wanted ss for durability, the high polish blued finish and checkering detail made it just too cool to pass up. The extra weight over the security six should help with recoil. They are considered one of the finest revolvers S&W ever made so resale values should remain strong.

If you are happy with your security six, like other have said there is no compelling reason to sell it. They are just great guns. But if you decide to look further into a S&W, be sure to check out the model 27 or the sister model 28.
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:01 PM
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I have several Colt Pythons, several K,L,N-frame revolvers, and many Security/Service/Speed-Sixes! Although I love all of these guns for different reasons, I've always had a special place in my heart for the Ruger Six series revolvers! You cannot judge these revolvers because their prices haven't caught up with Smith-Wesson. The Security-Six and the other Six Series revolvers are reliable, and as tough as nails! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I disagree that the six Series revolvers are not as pretty as Smith-Wesson revolvers! This is true in terms of blue finished revolvers but, comparing them with stainless Smith-Wesson revolvers I find that the Rugers are as pretty or prettier! The fact that these revolvers aren't made anymore is just icing on the cake! Remember, reliability and durability, was Bill Ruger's middle name(aka: Bullet proof)!
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:18 PM
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i wouldn't get rid of a gun i love just to be all s&w. i like variety. lots of good guns out there. i'd wait til i could just buy a s&w. then if you love it you can sell one. ruger makes a tough gun.
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:25 PM
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my security six has a place of honor in my safe. thousands of rounds of .357 have gone thru it. know how many times it has failed to fire? none. i love my smiths and will never give any of them up. that said i have owned my ruger for a loooong time. keep it, you will regret selling it for sure!
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:34 PM
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I'd look into a model 28. An N-frame .357 mag will never die. Ruger makes a great product, but they are just not my "style" outside of a Blackhawk and a Super Blackhawk. If you like your Security Six, then I say keep it also.
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:37 PM
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Of course you should both get the 686 and keep the Ruger!

I have a 686 and GP-100, which I don't know how it compares to a Security Six. I like the 686 is much more than the GP-100.

I'm not really a fan of the full lug either. It is ok on a 4", but too heavy for a 6". I would like a 6" with the partial lug.
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorj357 View Post
Lol, no that came out wrong. I'm saying my favorite wheel gun, which is pretty hard to beat since I only own one, is my Ruger. I personally like S&W better, but never felt they had the same durability. Which I'm recently learning is incorrect.

But only L frame I'm familiar with is a 686. And not a big fan of a full lug. So I'm asking people to educate me what other L frames there are with a half lug barrel. And if they think that is a good, neutral, bad idea to swap the Ruger for the S&W?


Thats all

If you dont want a full lug in the smith line-up, its the K frames and the N frames. K frames reportedly had some issues with certain full house .357 loads. N frames no problem. The L frame solved the k frame issue.

Now, at the risk of kicked off the board flamed into the next county - its my humble opinion that Rugers are the most durable, stoutest, most reliable factory firearm for the dollar on the market. They just never measure up to a Smith in the weight (heavier), style (they have their own), and feel (Smith actions beat a Ruger any day IMHO) departments. I prefer Smiths over Ruger (excepting of course the single action Rugers....)

Now - regarding your contemplated Smith purchase, do your research here to see what will fit your needs. An L frame has the durability thing all wrapped up!

Just my $0.02,

Shooter686
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:49 PM
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I say keep the Security Six, but then I have 6 of them.
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:10 PM
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I love my 686, but if I were you I would keep the Secutiy Six.
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:29 PM
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I have all three mentioned. A 686, GP100 and a Ruger Police Service Six. To me the Service Six handles better. My Service Six is close to my K frame magnums in the way they handle.
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:59 PM
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Variety truly is the spice of firearms. I also own a 686, GP-100, Security-Six and Police Service Six. I would definitely keep the Security-Six and save up for a 686. The Security-Six has a good balance to it, good trigger when worn in a bit and in my opinion is the optimum Ruger DA revolver. Not too big, not too heavy and very durable.
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Old 09-30-2011, 09:48 AM
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Like you, I don't much care for the look and feel of a full lug revolver. That is why I picked up a 4" 586 on which the previous owner had cut down the lug. I do have a regular 4" 686, but the modified 586 just feels better to me.

Here is a picture of my two L frames, though I have since replaced the cherry grips on the 686 with Ahrends cocobolo retro bananas:

Smith & “Friend” picture thread

I'll join the consensus and urge you to keep the Ruger if at all possible. My father-in-law has a 1976 model 4" Police Service Six that is great fun to shoot, and he promised it would be mine one day (if I outlive him, that is). A 2.25" SP101 is one of my regular carry guns. All will be passed down to my son, and I have no doubt will still be excellent shooters for his children as well, should he be blessed with a family.

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  #28  
Old 09-30-2011, 09:58 AM
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I would get the 686 if you plan to feed it an abundance of .357.
I personally got rid of mine because I preferred the more ergonomic 66.
I did realize before making this decision I shoot more .38 in the weaker K frame.
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  #29  
Old 09-30-2011, 11:07 AM
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Bill Ruger designed the Security-Six from day #1 to fire the .357 magnum rounds continuously. So the larger S&W L-frame isn't required for durability.
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Old 09-30-2011, 09:48 PM
stantheman86 stantheman86 is offline
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+1 for a lot of the above, I would keep the Ruger, it won't bring you enough in sale value to justify getting rid of a good gun you are attached to. Ruger made over a million of the Six series, they are rising in price but are not rare, except for some less common variants.

It's a fact that the Security Six is a little more durable than the L-frame. Rugers may not be as "slick" as a S&W, but like was said above, Bill Ruger marketed them as duty guns that would take the light .357 that were tearing up the k-frame magnums of the early 70's era, and to offer the gun at a lower price point than the S&W.
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Old 09-30-2011, 09:57 PM
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I have a seriously finish challenged SS Service Six Ruger.....it is accurate, rugged, reliable, and it ain't for sale....
It ain't gonna win any beauty contests, and I don't get it out and admire it like I do my Smith revolvers, or some other handguns I own...in fact, to me it is the Glock of the revolver world....it ain't pretty, but it works...and I can fix it without tools, and it will shoot most anything you can stuff inside of it....but if I lost it, I would replace it....
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:08 PM
Muley Gil Muley Gil is offline
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Keep the Ruger. If you still want a M686, save up or trade in something else.
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  #33  
Old 09-30-2011, 11:11 PM
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I'm behind all the K frame bashers 100%! I have several of those ******, weak things and I know they are going to break for sure just like everyone says! I have been putting .357 loads down them and I am sure they will fail any day now...but it has only been 25 yrs so maybe I haven't given it enough time....
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  #34  
Old 09-30-2011, 11:25 PM
ColbyBruce ColbyBruce is online now
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"I have a seriously finish challenged SS Service Six Ruger"

My feelings are hurt. I put a good bit of time into bead-blasting that sucker to clean it up. I felt like Leonardo Di Vinci when I was done. I thought I had created a masterpiece.

Oh well, I still have my day job.
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  #35  
Old 10-01-2011, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben1 View Post
Keep the Ruger. I had my 4 inch stainless out last night changing grips. I have many Smiths but have never been without a Security Six for over thirty years. It has never let me down.
couldn't agree more...

keep the Ruger 6, you'll regret it if you part w/ it...
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  #36  
Old 08-08-2013, 11:30 AM
Worn_Holster Worn_Holster is offline
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I was reading this old posting, and I am amazed that on this S&W forum, there are so many members that hold such high regard for the Ruger Security-Six.
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  #37  
Old 08-08-2013, 11:35 AM
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I would buy the S&W first. Then either keep them both or sell the one I liked least. Or sell them both and buy something else. That's how life is; you never know what's gonna happen.

Edit: just noticed this is an old thread - oh well.
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  #38  
Old 08-08-2013, 01:52 PM
sac-gunslinger sac-gunslinger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhump1961 View Post
The common response to trading off a gun from most people is,"I wish I still had it!"
lhump has it right. I regret selling so many of my guns over the years, wish I still had most of them. Keep the Security Six no matter what, it will never fail you. You will miss it if you sell it (do not ask me how I know eight times over).

The 686 is a nice gun (but I prefer K over L frames). Buy it, you are sure to enjoy it.
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  #39  
Old 08-08-2013, 10:47 PM
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I would never part with my ruger revolvers, never. The ruger has no screws to retighten up after they shoot loose. That's all I'm going to say about that.

I like my S&W because of the American history about them. There still fine revolvers

But I can hammer my rugers with stout loads.
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  #40  
Old 08-08-2013, 11:07 PM
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Keep the Ruger!!
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  #41  
Old 08-08-2013, 11:18 PM
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If you can trick someone into swapping your Ruger for a S&W Model 627, maybe you should go for it.

But 681/686's are pretty common, and it's easy enough to find one later on down the road.
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  #42  
Old 08-08-2013, 11:52 PM
shawn mccarver shawn mccarver is offline
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The Security Six is a very good revolver. It is out of production and they are relatively hard to find because everyone who has one loves it.

You can get an L frame anytime you want. Keep the Security Six.
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  #43  
Old 08-09-2013, 05:28 PM
L Pete L Pete is offline
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My two cents work....Keep the Ruger Six Series.

I cruise the pawn shops and will buy any I find in good shape.

I'm a Smith guy, but I like the Sixes series of Rugers as they're strong, accurate, and carry like a Model 19....

If one is going to "carry" a 357, one could do a whole lot worse than the Security Six.
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  #44  
Old 08-10-2013, 04:46 AM
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If it is just for range use maybe you would prefer the extra weight, but for actual use I would take the Ruger.
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  #45  
Old 08-10-2013, 11:11 AM
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He asked the question 2 years ago, I wonder how he made out. Ed
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