The Ruger GP100-series revolvers are different from the Smith & Wesson 686s, but both guns were introduced to provide more durability than previous models.
The Ruger GP100 replaced the Security Six revolver in about 1986 with innovations such as stronger lockup built into the cylinder crane rather than at the tip of the ejector rod. Another feature that adds strength to the GP100 design is the lack of side plates in the construction of the frame.
Accuracy results were very close to the Smith & Wesson’s. The Black Hills 148-grain lead wadcutters were best, measuring an average group of 2.3 inches. The Remington 38 Special +P ammunition printed 2.4-inch groups on average. The 357 Magnum rounds expanded to 2.7 inches per five shots, putting the Ruger behind the Smith by only a computed 0.03 inches for all shots fired.
In deciding between these handguns, we would like to make it clear that we’re going to call the rankings based purely on the guns as delivered, without consideration for the potential of each gun after spending time in the hands of a match-grade gunsmith. Watch the full video below: