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Most durable revolvers

This is a discussion on Most durable revolvers within the Handguns forums, part of the Gun Forum category; The Security series are the best DA revolvers Ruger ever built. Too bad they didn't take the Security action and just slap the full lug ...

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Old July 17th, 2010, 04:14 PM   #16
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The Security series are the best DA revolvers Ruger ever built. Too bad they didn't take the Security action and just slap the full lug barrel on it because that front cylinder latch on the newer series Rugers can get gunked if you shoot lots of cast bullets. They're good guns but the old Security's get my vote as the best of the Rugers. These days, being a revolver man at heart, I depend on a 686 when I'm really serious about burning powder or packing with a purpose.

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Old July 17th, 2010, 06:00 PM   #17
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Cool Sure S&W is great...

but I guess time heals all wounds. Not too long ago there were alot of people (not including me) who were down on the company about their business decisions. I have a little collection of S&W revolvers...Mods. 10, 686, 29. The 686 is the favorite firearm in my safe. They are by no means junk! My Rugers, Clark Custom MkII, Security Six, and Super Blackhawk, will be passed down along with the Smiths to my four children when my time has come and gone. Never had any buyer's remorse when I picked up these firearms.

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Old July 17th, 2010, 06:12 PM   #18
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S & W 686 and a .38 J-frame Chief's Special - carry both every day because thay make meel feel prepared. If I could comfortably/practically carry my 4" model 29, I would.

I always wanted a Security Six.

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Old July 17th, 2010, 08:11 PM   #19
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I have to be truthful up front, I have always perfered S&W revolvers over Ruger or Colt revolvers. But having said that I think the Security Six line were the best DA revolvers that Ruger ever built. Lighter and easier to carry than a GP-100, the only thing that Ruger makes today to come close to it is the SP-101. Anybody remember the S&W /Ruger ad wars of the late 80's. Ruger's was thicker was better and S&W's was the only time thicker was better was with milk shakes....

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Old July 18th, 2010, 05:40 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Hgunner View Post
Anybody remember the S&W /Ruger ad wars of the late 80's. Ruger's was thicker was better and S&W's was the only time thicker was better was with milk shakes....
I remember those ads! I got a kick out of them, but I have always liked both brands....I do remember being upset with S&W when they made that deal with the Clinton Administration, but they were British owned then. When U.S. owned Safety Hammer bought them, and started turning things around I forgave them.

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Old July 18th, 2010, 09:44 AM   #21
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I'll take an N frame S&W M27 or M28
Still the best.

I carried as M28 for years before the SA trend caught on. The only downsize was the weight. Perfectly suited to the task. The M66 was tried but the early models were not the best. Built poorly and the action was far from smooth. S&W was one of the first using SS and I think they had a bit of a learning curve.

Switched to a 686 which was a great compromise.

A million rounds. Using lead the barrel might actually survive except for the throat erosion. But the internals would probably take a beating.

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Old July 18th, 2010, 05:11 PM   #22
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I think the old Rugers are solid, reliable handguns that are a great value.
But I voted S&W.
I have an original M66 2-1/2" barrel S& first handgun.
It's been "tweaked" and the trigger is as smooth as glass. It's an incredible piece of craftsmanship, that feels like a "bank-vault solid" swiss watch.

This kind of quality and functional design never goes out of style.

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Old July 18th, 2010, 10:47 PM   #23
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Different Systems

I would say... Having fired a Security Six many times, a magnificent Colt Trooper Mk. III, and a Smith & Wesson 27-20...

The Ruger was built like a truck. Not particularly elegant, but very strongly for rugged service.

The Colt was a masterpiece of precision and design.

The Smith is built like a watch--a Swiss watch designed to survive just about anything.

Love 'em all. I'm finally getting it about the Smiths, and appreciating their elegance and function.


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Old July 19th, 2010, 04:59 AM   #24
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Are there any other .357s that can match it's durability?

Just kidding, but that additional cylinder lock in the front has to be good for something. Top strap flame cutting erosion from high-zoot .357 rounds might be something to consider also throughout a brand comparison.

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Old July 19th, 2010, 04:14 PM   #25
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I agree that the security six is a stout durable design. I think a million rounds of .38 might be possible based on my experience. I work in a state owned armory that has 55 S&W model 64's which as most here know is a K frame. These revolvers have had a steady diet of 158 grain +P ammo for the last 20 plus years. There are probably ten of these that have had over 350,000 rounds put through them, and probably been dry fired over million times. There are another ten or so that have had around 250,000 through them.

These have had so many rounds through them you can pick out the high mileage ones based on how easy it is to put a new brush down the bore...some are still snug, some barely have resistance. A couple of observations....there is no flame cutting visible (with the naked eye) in the top strap even though we ONLY shoot +P ammo through these. There have been a few timing issues with these but they were easily fixed, and even the loose barrels still shoot very well at 40 to 50 yards. When I say a few I mean three out of 55 guns had timing issues. Another point is that being state guns they have not been pampered...ever!

We have had two that the pins broke off (hammer,trigger, cylinder stop) I think this was more to do with the total lack of maintenance (prior to me doing the job) than any flaw in the gun itself. All in all with the difference in physical size of the ruger I could see it lasting potentialy two to three times as long as a smaller not quite as sturdy Smith.

On a side note we also have two that apparently at some time in the past have had at least one round in the barrel that had another fired into it, as you can feel with a bore brush a bulged spot. You can't see anything with the eye. We fired these for years before I started working with them so never knew it happened. The state used to use a supplier that sold us some very unreliable ammo that often had underpowered loads. I have personally seen two that had several rounds jammed into the barrel (one had five, the other had six). After removing the rounds (an interesting excercise, done while doing a recert class for the armorers course by the S&W guy). They looked very bad but functioned and fired accurately!! So again I would guess it might be possible for the sturdier ruger to go that many rounds. And of course Smiths are, or were good quality guns. The current replacement I don't (nor anyone else in the state) think much of. Stick with an older non locking one and they are GTG. YMMV. HTH

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Old July 19th, 2010, 11:05 PM   #26
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Cool Security Six & Speed Six

After side by side comparisons, the most striking differences between my 686 and my Security Six are the extended frame before the grips and the off center cylinder stop bolt of the Security Six. The location of cylinder stop bolt really makes sense, and I wonder if this has led to some timing problems. The long "goose neck" frame really gives the Six series a unique look.

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Old July 20th, 2010, 06:41 AM   #27
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A Colt Python is the ultimate 357 hands down.

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Old July 20th, 2010, 09:41 PM   #28
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I'm passionate about S&W revolvers, but always liked the Security Six/Service Six, etc. And I've tried a few that had decent DA triggers.

And I agree with TacticalRifleman. Most range reloads are really light loads and it seems reasonable that several hundred thousand to a million or more rounds would not flame cut the frame.

But I'd bet the revolver in question did see some rebuilds in its life, along with regular maintenance.

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Old July 21st, 2010, 06:33 AM   #29
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I'm a die-hard fan of Smith & Wessons, at least the ones of "traditional" manufacture rather than the current production with their two-piece barrels, MIM parts, and the lock.

"Built like a tank" is a worn and hugely overused cliche used for the Ruger revolvers. I particularly don't want a tank as a daily driver and particularly don't want a clunky revolver for shooting purposes. Yeah, Rugers may be able to be slicked up until they are as smooth as a Smith & Wesson but one won't be hearing how a Smith & Wesson revolver feels as slick as a Ruger after and action job.

There are 4 Smith & Wesson revolvers around here that have seen very heavy use: silhouette competition and practice with heavy handloads, experimental handloading, hunting, concealed carry, and just plain ol' high volume shooting. Three were purchased new 30 years ago and one was purchased used 35 years ago. They've not been babied but have been kept scrupulously clean and properly lubricated. They all have given perfect satisfaction and have never required the services of a gunsmith.

The thick, "built like a tank" Ruger couldn't have served any better.

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Old July 21st, 2010, 06:49 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
The thick, "built like a tank" Ruger couldn't have served any better.
Here we go the 1980s all over again, I think Ruger and S&W advertising went down this road a long time ago...

Last edited by Hgunner; July 21st, 2010 at 09:16 AM.
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