A good 357mag for beginner

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by Chilly, Jan 16, 2004.

  1. Chilly

    Chilly New Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    Right now I'm shopping for my first handgun, and have decided that I want to get 357 revolver that'd last me a good while. Currently looking at a Ruger GP-100, but due to my ignorance in the subject, want to ask yall around here what other choices I have in this. My price range is about 300-500. thanks for all your help in advance folks.
  2. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2001
    Here at TFF
    Welcome to TFF.

    For an accurate, well made .357, check out a S&W 686.

  3. Smoky14

    Smoky14 Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Nowhere NM
    Hello there mate: The GP 100 is a fine gun if you want bang for the buck and a gun that will last a lifetime. I have one in stainless with 4" barrel.

    It runs and Ruger has the best factory out there. I have a Smith and if something goes wrong they are nowhere to be found. I have sent 3 different guns back to S&W for repair and none of them work right since they've come back to me. I think Smith has a better works design but no service. My 2cents

    Smoky the opinionated
  4. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

    I like several the older models rather than today's newly manufactured items.

    I would opt for a older but nice S&W 686 or an older Colt Python, made prior to the down sizing of Colt under the old management.

    I once had a 686 dating from the early days of stainless steel, which was fine but stolen in a break-in. I replaced with a very nice 6" S&W 629 with the older style wooden grips, which my son and I love to shoot.

    If one carefully shops, they can often come by a fine piece in one of the older models at a very reasonable price.

    Just my feable 2ยข worth this morning.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2004
  5. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    Either the Ruger or the Smith are excellent choices. The Smith is more finely finished and has a better trigger while the Ruger is STRONG, has a utilitarian fit and finish, and has a rather heavy trigger compared to the Smith.

    Don't fall for the new small carry guns. Don't get anyting shorter than 4 inches or longer than 6 inches as a first, general purpose revolver. I like the handling of the 4 incher but some like the 6 incher better. Try them in the store for feel before you buy.

    I have owned both and both were excellent. You won't go wrong with either gun.
  6. frosty

    frosty New Member

    Mar 4, 2003
    I have both brands.

    Model 66 combat SS DA from S&W 6" chambered for .357. Excellent weapon.

    .45 long colt in SS SA from Ruger 4 5/8's barrel. Excellent weapon.

    Comparing the two side by side I would go for the Ruger. The Ruger company makes very

    STRONG weapons that will out last all of us.

  7. Welcome to TFF Chilly! How about the Colt "Cobra"...seems to shoot better than I do...;)

    Attached Files:

  8. Bullseye

    Bullseye New Member

    Jun 29, 2003
    I have owned four 686s and a GP100 as well as a used Python. I still own a Smith 686 as my only 357 revolver. There seems to be a belief that the 686 or Smiths in general are inherently weak or not designed strong enough. When I owned Smiths and the GP100 at the same time I fired the same loads through both guns and both shot them well with no ill effects. I never tried to invent my own loads and just relied on data in reputable reloading manuals like Hornady.

    The main advantage of the Smith was a crisp creep-free trigger pull in the single action mode. I find creep to be the most distracting annoyance when trying to achieve precision accuracy. The Ruger can be made to have a creep free trigger as well but a spring kit will not do it. Spring kits do nothing for the hammer sear-notch/ trigger engagement. In our club pistol leagues I have noticed time and time again nearly everyone shoots a Smith - mainly because of the trigger. Also during my accuracy testing the trigger of the Smith allows me to shoot the best revolver groups I have fired. The targets were shot when I had a scope mounted.

    The GP100 fit me very well - the grip for my hand was excellent. The cylinder on it and the 686 used the exact same speed loader. The GP100 was capable of outstanding accuracy. I had the 4" version. It was a good revolver - would make a good choice for a 357.

    Attached Files:

  9. Chilly

    Chilly New Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    Thanks all. Went to a local gunshop today and tried out both the 686 and GP-100. Both felt great in the hand (and due to my size, concealing these would actually not be much of a problem :D ) Decided on getting the GP-100 for cost reason after much thought (ex-GI in college, not that much $$$ lying around). About how much would be a fair price for a new GP-100?
  10. Bullseye

    Bullseye New Member

    Jun 29, 2003
    About how much would be a fair price for a new GP-100?

    One "local" dealer has his stainless priced at $375 which is about as good as I have seen recently. Have seen them as high as $439. At the last show I was at they could be found for around $389 or so. At least in my area I would not expect to pay over $400 for a NIB GP100. I should be going to a big show today or tomorrow - I'll check out the GP100 prices.

    Edit to add: went to the show today - the GP100 prices ranged from $359 for a blued adjustable sight heavy barrel version to $399 - $409 for the stainless versions of the same gun.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2004
  11. Tony Mig

    Tony Mig New Member

    Jul 5, 2003
    The Sorprano State
    I have the GP-161...(GP-100, blued, 6" barrel)....and I paid $429.00 for mine, and that was the best price I could find in this area for the Ruger GP.

    I like mine so much, that I'm seriously thinking about getting another one with a 4" barrel to go along with it.

    As stated in other posts here, they are strong, well made guns that will last you a lifetime, great factory service if you should ever need it, and priced much better than the S&W.....( and way better than a Colt Python)

    As for the trigger, get yourself a set of .38/.357 snap caps, and dry fire it. I pulled my trigger assembly out, and placed a couple drops of Lucas' gun oil in the works, then dry fired the hell out of it, and the trigger smoothed right out.

    You'll be happy with it, and the money you saved by not paying more for the S&W can go towards ammo......;)
  12. Chilly

    Chilly New Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    Update (as if people care :p ) Went and got me a blued GP-100 with 4 inch barrel. Did some dry firing and just generally learning about this fine babe. Will be heading down to the range soon and see how this lady perfroms.

    Assessment so far: I'm making this thing a family heirloom, and it damn feels like it'll outlast me in this world.
  13. Tony Mig

    Tony Mig New Member

    Jul 5, 2003
    The Sorprano State
    Good choice Chilly, you won't regret getting the Ruger GP. I'm hoping to hit the range with mine on Sunday, it's supposed to be cold, but sunny and no wind, so I just might make an afternoon of it, and test fire a bunch of reloads I made.

    Personally I find shooting revolvers much more enjoyable, and I don't burn through as much ammo as I do with semi-auto pistols.
  14. Yep Chilly!...Y'all might as well, 'cuz that feller is gunna be around for awhile...;)
  15. Taurus_9mm

    Taurus_9mm New Member

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