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wyotimberghost 05-17-2008 04:01 PM

Which one should I buy?
I've been looking at pistols for quite some time now and I think I've finally got it narrowed down to two guns that fit my budget. I'll be using the gun for target shooting, backpacking in cougar and bear country, and possibly shooting does at close range. I'd like it to be pretty accurate and affordable for target shooting and sturdy enough to handle some abuse. I'm just getting in to reloading so the limitations of factory loads are not a concern. Here's what I've found:

Used Smith and Wesson 686-6 357 mag with a 6" barrel, good condition for $495.

New Ruger Super Blackhawk SS 44 mag with a 5.5" barrel for $480.

Which one do you guys think I should go with?

starhunter21 05-17-2008 04:10 PM

RE: Which one should I buy?
I like the fit, finish and feel of the S&W, but I have heard that the Ruger is rock solid.

700xcr 05-17-2008 04:18 PM

RE: Which one should I buy?
The gun is going to be your choice what fits you the best. Two different style handgun frames. The best way is to close your eyes and bringeach gun up to shooting position then open eyes. then determine which gun has their front sight lined up with rear sight. Both guns will be different. Each individuals hands are different. Which one handles and feels right to you.You will have to make that choice.

Swampdog 05-17-2008 04:40 PM

RE: Which one should I buy?
I would have said the S&W in .357.But since you added bear into the picture I would go .44.I like my Smiths ,But I believe the Rugers are a bit stronger gun especially if you are going to be shooting stiff reloads.JMHO

salukipv1 05-17-2008 05:04 PM

RE: Which one should I buy?
for a game stopper, I'd say bigger the better, my choice would be the .44mag. Both would be good/decent choices, but if you're buying one, I'd get the .44

Knightia 05-17-2008 05:41 PM

RE: Which one should I buy?
Final choice is up to you & what fits you& your needs of course.
But if its me -im not going to buy a used gun when i can have a compariable new one for less then the used one.

Id go with the/ a Ruger myself.

Did ya check out& price a compariable( to the S&W above) ruger Gp 100 357.mag? Or a redhawk? We have those 2 & the super black hawk & like all 3 a lot. Dont have to much personal experence with the smiths( had/owneda fewof there38.,s in the past- (always noticed they(S&W) where a bit pricey compared to the rugers we bought instead)

homers brother 05-17-2008 05:51 PM

RE: Which one should I buy?

Says they're pending Gov Dave's signature, but looks like there are some changes to how the "legal calibers" have been described before.

Looking at the latest General WY hunting regulations, CH 32, Section 4(b), it appears that any cartridge of at least 35/100" (.35) generating at least 500 ft/lbs of energy at 100 yards is legal. Bouncing that off the standard ballistics website, it appears there's only one factory loading, with a 160-grain bullet, which meets that standard. Seems it used to specify which handgun calibers were legal, and that list included the .357 Maximum, but not the Magnum. Not all of our fish cops are friendly when it comes to handguns.The janitor in the building I used to work in accompanied his son and friends after filling his own tag, carrying a 9mm "for protection". G&F didn't buy it, gave him a citation. That was a number of years ago, though. He was going to fight it, but I never heard the final outcome.

Contrast that with the .44 Magnum, which easily meets that criteria in most loadings. Meeting that standard with a .357 is probably going to require stiff handloads, which may reduce the service life of the revolver as well as push you toward less-than-safe conditions.

Since you mentioned shooting does (where you become subject to the big game laws), I'd say you really have just one choice - the .44 Magnum. I have a Super Blackhawk in .44 Mag (blue) with a 5-1/2 inch barrel and it really gets your attention, would definitely recommend you put something other than wood grips on it or it rolls in your hand under recoil.Great gun, but I much prefer my Redhawk.

Reloading-wise, you might compare the cylinders the next time you can put a Smith next to a comparable Ruger. Though the Rugers often don't seem to be as "refined" (trigger, etc.) as the Smiths, as an example, my Redhawk has considerably thicker cylinder walls than my buddies' Smith and Wesson M629 and Dan Wesson. I think the Ruger will stand up to stiff handloads more safely - at least I didn't worry as much asmy buddiesdid.


Checked the old regulations and it indicates a "general" standard of .45 caliber, 240 grain bullets, but specifically allows .44 Mag, .41 Mag, .50 AE, and .357 Maximum, but not the .357 Magnum.

Edcyclopedia 05-17-2008 06:48 PM

RE: Which one should I buy?
Both are good...
I like the .44 mag Ruger 10"

game4lunch 05-18-2008 07:44 PM

RE: Which one should I buy?
I don't know if you're aware of this, but the .357 is not a legal caliber for hunting any game in Wyoming.

"In addition, the Commission authorizes any other cartridge fired from a firearm that has a barrel bore diameter of at least thirty-five hundredths (35/100) of an inch and the cartridge generally delivers at least five hundred (500) ft-pounds of impact at one hundred (100) yards and cartridges used are loaded with a soft, or expanding point bullet."

A 180 gr.357 only has about 402 ft. lbs. at 100 yards.

Seif5034 05-18-2008 07:56 PM

RE: Which one should I buy?
my vote is for the ruger

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