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Posted: 5/19/2002 10:38:21 PM EDT
This is what I need to know. Of these three brands which do you like and why. I am especially interested in 1)trigger pull weight, smoothness, etc 2)Out of the box accuracy and 3)Durability.

The three i'm considering are 1)Colt Python (IF they EVER become Cali legal), 2)S&W 686, 3)Ruger ???

I want a 6" barrel and it must be a .357

I was seriously considering the Python but am rethinking things especially since its not California legal, yet.
Link Posted: 5/19/2002 10:45:36 PM EDT
Hands down the Smith wins on all accounts.
Link Posted: 5/19/2002 10:48:46 PM EDT

Hands down the Smith wins on all accounts.

Ditto. Not even close, IMO.
Link Posted: 5/19/2002 10:55:44 PM EDT
I've got a GP100, but I don't think you can lose with any of those.  I can tell you that when my wife  loaned a guy at the range my Ruger he asked who did the work on the trigger.  It's the factory trigger.  The only thing I've done to it is replace the front sight.  Having that interchangeable front is pretty cool, serated black for slow precision, and Millet orange for general purpose.
Link Posted: 5/19/2002 11:48:50 PM EDT
The Smith and Wesson, no doubt. In fact the 686 is my favorite of all .357 revolvers. The Model 66 comes in second. Hard to beat them.
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 4:05:31 AM EDT
I generally like S&W revolvers. However I have an old 6" Python that has a superb trigger and is very accurate. Nice range gun, little big and heavy to carry - also the royal blue finish is too nice to let a holster wear it off.
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 5:34:27 AM EDT
I compete in Police Pistol Combat.  My open class, distinguished, service and off duty revolvers are S&W L frames. The open class is built on a 581, blue fixed sight.  The distinguished is a 586, blue adjustable sight.  The service and off duty are 686s.  I've tried the Python and didn't like the way the trigger stacked.  It's also too expensive.  The Ruger is too heavy.  For me, Smiths beat them hands down.  


Link Posted: 5/20/2002 5:37:43 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 6:05:55 AM EDT
For the $200 price difference between a 686 and a Python, you could have a very nice trigger job done on the 686.
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 6:15:41 AM EDT
The S&W 686 is a great gun, thats why its the first revolver in my new collection:

Link Posted: 5/20/2002 6:15:58 AM EDT
I've got a 6" blue Colt Python that I love.  It is one of the sweetest shooting revolvers I have ever tried.  The trigger is extremely smooth and fires just as well using double or single action.  Very accurate pistol as well.  I don't know about the S&W, as I will never buy one.  
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 6:40:16 AM EDT
I would have to second the GP100.  I have one in stainless 6" .357  If you ever run out of ammo you could just beat them with it!

I couldnt find a SS pic so here ya go:
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 7:24:02 AM EDT
Buzzgunner, Striker, and Bill3508 have it right on the Python. Have a blue 6", sweetest trigger on ANY handgun I have ever fired. In fact, my wife has "commandeered" it, as she likes it so well. Shoots full power loads through it, also (158 @ 1450 fps), without flinching...she's 5'2". Why is the Colt not legal in Cali?

Link Posted: 5/20/2002 8:09:12 AM EDT
Can't go wrong with any of them.  Pluses/minuses?

Colt - excellent trigger and finish.  Extremely expensive and IMHO not worth the premium.  Can be hard to find.

S&W - Excellent finish.  Trigger normally good.

Ruger- Built like brick shXthouse.  Trigger can be good, but can also be hit or miss.  Finish is probably the poorest of the three but still good in my book.  Best price by far, especially on used market.  Best factory grips.  Probably well hold up to full house loads better than the other two, but unlikely you well ever wear any of them out.

Accuracy on all three should be about the same.

Own Rugers and Smiths and will buy more.  Don't own Colt and never will unless the price comes down.
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 8:11:58 AM EDT
(1.) Colt Python: The Colt Python is a wonderful and accurate .357. It has a very nice trigger. It is very expensive and it is very delicate.

(2.) The Smith and Wesson L frame Revolvers: such as their 686. are cheaper and a little sturdier than the Colt Python. They have a very good single action trigger pull.

(3.) Ruger GP100: is by far the most DURABLE .357. Its trigger is not as nice as the Colt or S&W. But it will NEVER wear out. To remedy the trigger on it..you can send it in to a smith for a trigger job.

(4.) Dan Wesson makes the most versatile .357's. You can remove and replace their barrels in about 5 minutes.

Link Posted: 5/20/2002 8:14:47 AM EDT

Yeah, I just noticed that forum. I think i'll copy and paste this post over there too!


You have a good point about the $200 savings and using it toward a trigger job.


I guess i'll eventually have more than one revolver. I was thinking of just one, so that i'd have at least one but the S&W and Python are both nice. I may even get the ruger too - I guess i'm going to end up collecting revolvers too now.

The Python isn't legal yet because California requires handguns to be submitted for testing before they can be sold here. Colt hasn't done that with the Python but they have with the Anaconda and Police Positive. I'm waiting to see what. You can check here to see the approved handguns.

I don't know if i've narrowed it down or just like more than one . This would be my first revolver (and I guess not my last).
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 9:13:09 AM EDT

I've got a GP100, but I don't think you can lose with any of those.  I can tell you that when my wife  loaned a guy at the range my Ruger he asked who did the work on the trigger.  It's the factory trigger.  The only thing I've done to it is replace the front sight.  Having that interchangeable front is pretty cool, serated black for slow precision, and Millet orange for general purpose.

The RangeMaster checked out my Ruger GKGP-161 and said it had a nice trigger...totally stock; no work done on this gun.
It was accurate in his hands, too.
Durability vs. S&W is undoubtedly in favor of the Ruger (there aren't any "S&W only" handloads in the manuals...).

Ruger GP-100 series.
If you must, a trigger job can be performed on these.
3 for 3 on the Ruger.
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 10:18:43 AM EDT
I have 2 Smith revolvers and 2 Ruger revolvers.  

My impressions for Smith:

1.  The Model 60 is a superbly accurate snubnose capable of 5-6" groups with .38 Special +P at 150 yards (that's right 150).  The gun is small and light, so I would recommend .38 Special +P for target shooting and defense.  The trigger stinks.  It's very, very smooth and the single action is crisp with no take-up and very little overtravel, but is so heavy.  Trigger job will fix that up, but as it's a carry gun for me I don't want any kind of mods for liability reasons.

2.  My 686 (which I just bought) is very accurate, 1.5" 5-shot group at 25 yards with el-cheapo Blazer .357 loads (haven't tried any target loads or any of my handloads, and have tried longer distances yet).  Has the best trigger I've ever felt on any revolver.  The person who owned this revolver before obviously did a trigger job to it.  Double-action pull is about 6.5 pounds and butter smooth.  Single-action is 1.5 pounds on the money, zero take-up, zero overtravel.  Only negative is that it is kind of heavy and polished stainless steel (I prefer blued).  It was much cheaper than any Colt available.

My impressions of Rugers:

1. [Edited to add that My impressions of a .44 would probably apply to all Ruger double-action revolver as they are all pretty much the same]  My Redhawk .44 Magnum is very strong.  Stronger than any revolver out there, except maybe a Blackhawk.  The piece is very accurate with a scope, capable of 2" groups at 100 yards.  The trigger downright sucked when I first got it.  I sent it to a credible gunsmith for a trigger job and it's good, but nowhere even close to comparable to my 686.  Kick is relatively mild (for a .44) even with really hot handloads (loads I made up in my more exuberant less experienced days; they actually sprang the bolt on a Winchester rifle and bulged out the chamber, didn't do anything to the Redhawk).  Overall strong, accurate, and aesthetically appealing.

2.  .357 Blackhawk (which nobody has recommended) is one of the sweetest revolvers I own.  The trigger was good when I got it and after I slicked up the action with some careful stoning it became butter smooth.  It is superbly accurate with great adjustable sights.  Mine is an old pre-saftey crap Blackhawk that is unmodified.  Only difference is that I can't carry 6 rounds safely.  I'm down to 5, whoopty-shit.  I like the 5-shot thing a little better as it evenly goes into a box of ammo.

If you are new to sixguns, the Blackhawk can serve you well.  The single-action trigger pull is sweet and it is very accurate.  The added benefit is that you have to perform 2 actions before the gun will fire (first cocking the hammer, then squeezing the trigger).  Try considering single-actions too.  If you must go double-action, the 686 is the sweetest gun available.  The Ruger will never have the trigger that a Smith can have no matter what you do to it.  The difference between the strengths of actions really doesn't apply to the .357 (I've never seen "Ruger-only" handloads in .357).  Frankly, I don't think that there is a difference in strength between the 686 and the Blackhawk, much less any of the double-actions.  Also, the appearance of a 686 may be more appealing; that seems really flaky, but it is truly important.
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 10:36:23 AM EDT
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