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  1. #1
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    Favorite .357 Revolver?

    Looking to pick one up in the next few months. I have been looking pretty hard at the S&W 686 and the Ruger GP100/SP101.

    What revolvers have you liked? Personal experience with either of these?

    Would use it just for fun and carrying in Cat country as I do not have any plans for bear country as of now, although I guess I would be open to looking at a .44 or bigger. I initially was looking at the .357 because I am a smaller frame guy with baby hands, don't want to buy more than I can comfortably and accurately shoot!

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  3. #2
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    I have a S & W 686 4" barrel. I also have a Ruger Vaquero. I really like the 686, it's stainless, has adjustable sights and is very reliable. Great gun....can't go wrong with a "wheel" gun. My concealed carry gun is a S & W 638 with a 3" barrel in .38 Spec. It is rated to handle the hot leads too.
    Colorado Cowboy
    Cowboy Action Shooter; Endowment Life Member-NRA, NRA certified Range Safety Officer, Pistol Instructor, Rifle Instructor, RMEF, Boone & Crockett Club.
    The Original Rocket Scientist-Retired
    "My Father always considered a walk in the mountains as the equivalent of church going."
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  5. #3
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    I have the Taurus knockoff of the SW. I have no complaints with it.

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  7. #4
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    Strangely I've never owned or even fired a .357.
    That said I have 2 Smith's that I love. A 625 mountain gun in .45 Colt and a .32 H&R mag model 16-4
    No experience with the ruger but great reputation.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

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  9. #5
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    Having smaller hands myself, I found the sp101 to feel amazing in the hand. The GP was just too bulky. I didn't purchase one yet but when I do it'll most likely be the sp101 just based on how it felt.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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  11. #6
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    If you want one that will take whatever you shoot through it and then ask for more go with the GP100. Rugers are the tanks of handguns. Place a S&W next to a Ruger and you will see what I mean. I haven't picked up a SP101 but knowing Ruger's I would suspect that it is also built quite well. I have a Ruger Security Six that I believe that the SP was based on and it is a fine firearm.

    If you want to look at 44's take a good look at the Ruger Redhawk. It is also a tank and can take more punishment than most other handguns.

    Big thing is get what fits your hands. You can get grips that are going to allow the handgun to fit them but you should also be able to find one right out of the sellers case that will. Both Ruger and S&W make fine handguns.
    If you don't care where you are, you are not lost....

  12. #7
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    I carried a S&W 686 on the job for a couple years before buying a Colt Python 6". What a sweet piece that is, and the street price has turned it into a heirloom. I may use it on a cougar someday, but in brown bear country a .44 or 10mm would be my go-to handgun. Go to a gun store that has a large stock, and handle them all. Find one that fits, and you can practice to perfection with .38 loads, and carry the .357 in the bush. I have a .454 Taurus, so a .357 is a plinker in comparison. I did shoot a black bear with a Ruger .357 (range-6 feet; my age 17), I survived and the bear didn't. If it had been a griz he probably would have chewed my face off before he died though.

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  14. #8
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    I have a fair ammount of exposure to the 357 and wheel guns. I carried a M19 or a M686 for 8 years, the M19 was a 2-3/4"in a shoulder holster and the M686 was a 4" in a duty rig.
    The S&W was a great gun, I would suggest you find an original with a hammer mounted firing pin and pre action lock. They are far better quality, in my opinion. The company sold out to the alarmists and now makes guns for the California market, at one time cali bought 50% of the S&W production....
    The Ruger is a great gun. Some of the S&W management migrated to Ruger years ago and that is probably why you are seeing so many models in the line up. The Grip options are better with S&W if you have small hands. Some of the old model S&W guns have a round butt frame and this is a big deal as you have many grip options because of that. I would look for a 2-3/4" S&W M66 , M19 or even a S&W 686 or 586 in 3" as they have round butt configurations. Shorter bbls are easire to pack as well.
    As to the round itself ....mag loads give you a wide range of options, the best defense (human) load has always been the 125 gr JHP and the bear loads for field use from Buffalo Bore or HSM are a handfull! The option to practice with 38 spl loads is a very valuable and lower cost option as well.

    The Ruger Wiley Clapp series is worth a look, a 44 spl and 357 mag versions are really very practical for a defense and field gun.
    As far as the Taurus, they do make interesting guns, my industry sources tell me they have a huge backlog or repairs and warranty work. They may be getting products to the market too fast and suffering QC issues as a result. I have a Taurus from 30 years ago, I would not consider current production for any defensive arm now because of a friends bad expreiences with 3 trackers (44 mags) in 4 years.
    Last edited by 280ackimp; 01-18-2019 at 10:24 AM.

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  16. #9
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    I actually have both as well as a couple of other .357s. I have a Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 too. My current non grizzly carry is a S&W 340PD. Five shot 2" .357. Weighs in at 12 oz empty. As for my take on the Gp100 vs 686. The trigger and action on the Smith is like butter. The Gp100 was a little rough from the factory. I had a gunsmith polish the action and it is way better and ok but still not as smooth as the Smith. I have never fired the 686 as it was a presentation gun in a wooded case. The 686 now carries 7 shots so that is a plus. I love the Gp100 and you can't go wrong with it. They are both HEAVY though.

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  18. #10
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    Have had a Ruger SP101 for a long time in .357 Mag. It is by my bedside. Added a CT laser and love the combo. Rarely carry it, but it’s one of my primary home defense guns and my backup woods carry gun. I find it easy to shoot.

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