Ruger SP101 vs Taurus 617 vs S&W 686 snubnose in 357 Magnum
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Thread: Ruger SP101 vs Taurus 617 vs S&W 686 snubnose in 357 Magnum

  1. #1
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    Ruger SP101 vs Taurus 617 vs S&W 686 snubnose in 357 Magnum

    What are users experience with Ruger SP101 vs Taurus 617 vs S&W 686 snubnose in 357 Magnum for EDC.

    i have a S&W Model 60 Pro but it is not recommended to fire a steady diet of 357 Magnum in it.

    Any thoughts from users who own these?

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    I had a Ruger SP-101, and it was my first gun in 1991 when I turned 21.

    It’s very heavy, the stock grips are horrible, and the trigger is the worst of the Ruger Line. I like the trigger of the GP100.

    It only has 5 rounds.

    I own a few S&W revolvers but never the 686. I have the S&W 640 357 Magnum 5 Shot, have owned the 442, have the S&W Performance Center 586 L-Comp 7 Shot 357 Magnum , 500 S&W in 4” and 6”, 629 3” and a Performance Center 629. The S&W is the best of the best. The 686 is a revolver I recommend for most people.

    I have 6 Taurus revolvers. The Taurus Model 66 357 Magnum 7 shot is the closest to the 617 but mine is a 4”. I have had nothing but positive things to say about a Taurus revolver. Their trigger is close to a S&W. The finish isn’t perfect but I’m a shooter, not a collector.

    The 617 is what I wanted but I acquired the 66 on a trade in town. I still would love to have a 617. 7 rounds for a small size. There aren’t too many revolvers that compact with a 7 round capacity.

    If it’s for carrying, that is what I’d choose.

    These are what I carry

    S&W Performance Center 627 2.5” 8 Shot 357 Magnum
    S&W 640 357 Magnum 5 Shot
    Taurus 605 5 Shot 357 Magnum




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    I and a lot of other folks opt for .38 Special +P when carrying a snubbie .357. Mine is currently a Taurus 605, which I like quite a bit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyP View Post
    I and a lot of other folks opt for .38 Special +P when carrying a snubbie .357. Mine is currently a Taurus 605, which I like quite a bit.
    The Taurus 605 5 Shot 357 Magnum is a great revolver.


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    Made for the very serious business of self-preservation - the 605 is built to the Taurus Zero Tolerance standard - in design, fabrication, fit and performance.

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    I have the Ruger SP101 and the Taurus 617. Very different guns. 5 rounds versus 7. The Taurus is definitely prettier! I probably have more rounds through my 617 than any other gun I own. Wonderful shooter. I got the SP101 because it was a really good deal but honestly just haven't found a niche for it. For a pocket gun I vastly prefer the Ruger LCR which is so much lighter and has the XS Big Dot tritium front sight. The Taurus 617 is usually a weakside OWB carry gun for me. YMMV.

    Comparing triggers between manufacturers is very difficult. They use different spring styles and thus "feel" very different. Sure, you can get trigger pull weights in DA or SA and compare hard numbers but that's only part of the story. Travel can be quantified, too. But stackability and grittiness are totally subjective. Smith guys like Smith triggers. Colt guys like Colt triggers. Et Cetera.

    In the end you should try handling and shooting as many of them as possible. If you have a S&W 60 Pro and are used to it I would practice with lots of .38 and just run a cylinder load of .357 at the end of every range session to remind yourself of how it kicks with those. If you are absolutely set on "steady diet of full-house magnums" then the Ruger SP101 will tolerate it better than most any other 5-shot you can name but it will weight noticeably more on your belt.
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    I've got a Ruger, but it is in .327 Federal magnum. There are six shots versus 5 for the larger calibers. Buffalo Bore .32 H&R, +P (yes, there is no SAAMI +P designation for this caliber) which give me enough power and velocity to make the gun and cartridge relevant. There is a bit less recoil and noise to go with it. A great combo. Less recoil than a .357 magnum.

    The Taurus 65 I have is a 2.5" barrel snub revolver. It carries easier than the 4" barrel models. It is a however bulkier than the Ruger SP-101.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CDR_Glock View Post
    I had a Ruger SP-101, and it was my first gun in 1991 when I turned 21.

    It’s very heavy, the stock grips are horrible, and the trigger is the worst of the Ruger Line. I like the trigger of the GP100.

    It only has 5 rounds.

    I own a few S&W revolvers but never the 686. I have the S&W 640 357 Magnum 5 Shot, have owned the 442, have the S&W Performance Center 586 L-Comp 7 Shot 357 Magnum , 500 S&W in 4” and 6”, 629 3” and a Performance Center 629. The S&W is the best of the best. The 686 is a revolver I recommend for most people.

    I have 6 Taurus revolvers. The Taurus Model 66 357 Magnum 7 shot is the closest to the 617 but mine is a 4”. I have had nothing but positive things to say about a Taurus revolver. Their trigger is close to a S&W. The finish isn’t perfect but I’m a shooter, not a collector.

    The 617 is what I wanted but I acquired the 66 on a trade in town. I still would love to have a 617. 7 rounds for a small size. There aren’t too many revolvers that compact with a 7 round capacity.

    If it’s for carrying, that is what I’d choose.

    These are what I carry

    S&W Performance Center 627 2.5” 8 Shot 357 Magnum
    S&W 640 357 Magnum 5 Shot
    Taurus 605 5 Shot 357 Magnum


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    Any time CDR_Glock makes a post about revolvers, you can bank on it. I do have the S&W 686 Plus 3" and for me it's the cream of the crop. Taurus 605 is definitely not a slouch but I'd have to go with the Kimber K6s as my second pick by a nose at the finish line and an extra round even though it wasn't listed in the OP.

    Btw to the OP...what is your desired method of every day carry?
    Last edited by Iluvrevos; 12-09-2019 at 10:27 AM.
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  9. #8
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    I've had the 617 for about 6 months now. I work it into my carry routine more often as of late. I did change out the grips for larger wood ones, which makes it more of an open carry by default. I like the size and weight, shoots great and goes bang everytime

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    My own experience with two of the three (Ruger SP 101, S&W 686 snub nose), and others, is this:

    SP 101: If you want, IMHO, the strongest 5 shot true .357 Magnum small framed revolver that can handle anything you want to throw at it as far as cartridges, this is the one to get. Yes, it has a trigger that needs some "refining" as far as springs and cleaning of mating srfaces, but for the most part it is the toughest small frame .357 magnum you can get. I also would recommend a Houge monogrip upgrade when you do the trigger job, and maybe an XS small dot sight while the gunsmith is working on it. My own, with the trigger work, an XS small dot sight, and the Houge monogrip improvements, is the sweetest OWB small frame carry pistol I have. I would not trade it for anything.

    686: L frame S&W that is a distant second to my GP100 revolvers. Sorry, that "Hillary Hole" in the side is a constant reminder of what S&W did to gun owners in the 1990's. Also, I have seen quality control on Smiths going downhill recently to the point that I meticulously scrutinize every one I look at with a very fine tooth comb, and usually pass on them. As a carry piece, they are too heavy for what you get, IMHO. But, if you are outdoors, and can open carry, and weight isn't a consideration, then I would carry ANY of my GP100s in 3" or 4" barrels, and be very happy. A 686 just doesn't do it for me anymore. S&W, IMHO, has treaded on name recognition for far too long, and has let their quality control slip recently.

    Taurus 617: I have not had much time with the Taurus 617, only in brief sessions, but I was not really impressed with it. Not a 7 shot revolver fan for the most part, just seemed to be an answer to a question that I never asked, IMHO. Just never saw the need for a 7 shot revolver.

    Taurus 605: Recently picked up one of these. They are a close second to the Ruger SP 101. The frame is not as strong, and the front sight is fixed, but it will handle 38+p, and some lighter .357magnum loads like the Remington Golden Saber or the Hornady American Gunner loads that I use very well. More powerful 357 magnum loads are a handful in this revolver, but could be done in a pinch if necessary.

    In conclusion, I love the SP101, am not a fan of the 686, and have very little experience with the 617, as it just isn't something I like or need.
    Last edited by Desperado; 12-09-2019 at 10:37 AM.
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    I've a SP101 in the black Cerakote. It is an accurate hefty little beast. Yes the trigger isn't the best, but replacing the factory grip with a Hogue rubber one allows for better trigger control.

    The 686 has a good trigger and very accurate. It's hard to beat the trigger on a Smith.

    Now I do have a 3" 692 that I've become very fond of. It had been very accurate and the double action is fairly nice. I've been seeing the 692's around the same price as the SP101's.

    Maloy
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