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Smith vs. Ruger prices

This is a discussion on Smith vs. Ruger prices within the Pistols & Revolvers forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; I have a bunch of old P&R Smiths, newer Smiths and a lot of Rugers in my revolver assortment and my take on it is ...


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Old April 8th, 2017, 04:04 AM   #16
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I have a bunch of old P&R Smiths, newer Smiths and a lot of Rugers in my revolver assortment and my take on it is that is has more to do with the collector interest than substantive durability or serviceability. The Model 19 (got a couple) is an attractive gun - generally very nice bluing, nice lines, balanced and just looks good. Many would argue a much nicer looking gun than the Security Six equivalent from the same era. You can't beat how tough the old Six series is however, and common wisdom says you should limit how many stout 357 Magnum rounds you put through the 19 so the Six series gun may be the most practical of the two while the Model 19 may look nicer. We can debate aesthetics and durability - personal preference will play a big part in the argument. But the old Smiths are gonna fetch more because the market supports it. The collector interest in S&W is huge and thriving, in part because S&W makes it much easier for collectors to parse the variations, track production numbers and get factory support in documentation and details. S&W has kept better records and has a staff historian - they support the collector interest in their products. Ruger on the other hand does not readily document engineering changes (externally anyway), will not divulge production numbers on anything, provides very scant details in their letters and generally seems somewhat indifferent to collector interest. That's not to say people don't collect Rugers - they do and there is the Ruger Owners and Collector's Society and Red Eagle News Exchange that passionately support Ruger collecting. But I think collector interest in S&W products is far greater and that drives up pricing on the older Smiths. In the end I think it has less to do with quality or durability and more to do with simple supply and demand. More people are lured into the collectability appeal of the old Smiths and that keeps the prices up on them.



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Old April 8th, 2017, 05:00 AM   #17
 
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When it comes to collector's interest, the Smiths hold the upper hand. S&W has existed far longer than Ruger, they support the collector's market a bit better than Ruger (As Waveform pointed out) and they have a far more diverse product line that has a deeper timeline.

Ruger on the other hand, has always taken a more utilitarian approach. Ruger guns tend to be robust and less expensive (not cheap). Ruger captured a lot of market share with that business model. Ruger was very smart to pick a path to compete against S&W without playing into S&W's strengths. William Ruger was not stupid.

As for pricing, the value of something is only what someone else is willing to give you for it. Smith & Wesson enjoys brand name recognition (well deserved for the most part) and Ruger often enjoys a price advantage.

I have owned, shot and worked on DA Rugers and Smith & Wessons over the course of many years. Both companies make good revolvers.
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Old April 8th, 2017, 05:19 AM   #18
 
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Keep in mind that Smith dropping some models, and the addition of the H. Hole to models they kept has raised the price of used Smiths. Many people are told the hole models are no good, which is not true. So they go looking for used Smiths even when they are not collecting, this drives up prices.

While the hole is useless, unless a person is careless around children it does not affect function. Plus the trigger pull out of the box on both my hole Smiths are better than the triggers on my issued K frames from years past. The triggers on my issued guns were good, but they were police designed triggers, 12 to 15 pounds. It might be me but the triggers are still smooth, and appear to be lighter.

I have handled one model 29 though that had a horrible trigger, must have slipped by quality control. But the rest I have handled have been better than Ruger, but I have no complaints about Rugers trigger. If a gun goes boom when I pull it I call the trigger good.
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Old April 8th, 2017, 10:06 AM   #19
 
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I never looked at any of my Ruger's and thought how nice the blue is only a Dan Wesson looks better. His 19-5 and Hers the 66 is a 1 of 124 Sheriffs 1985.
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Old April 8th, 2017, 11:08 AM   #20
 
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I like them both,so I guess if I was shopping around I'd go with Smith &Wesson if I was looking for a 3", 4" or 5", barrel.Only because I don't have a Smith & Wesson in that barrel length and do have that in Ruger.. For close to equal price.
Most of the time I have looked at a S&W they are usually more dollar wise but very smooth action & trigger pulls etc. I looked for over 2 years to find a nice GP100. When I found the one I wanted it has been great, but man the rough stuff I looked at new it was kinda disappointing. I think Ruger's QC is in need of improvement. But being the largest Firearms Mfg in the USA might be the reason. But when you find a good Ruger it really can be a outstanding revolver!!!
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Old April 8th, 2017, 12:54 PM   #21
 
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I have a S&W 19-6 2.5 inch and a GP100 MC.

The GP100 MC is my choice. The trigger may be slightly better in the S&W, I actually feel safer shooting the GP. I have heard many times not to shoot a steady diet of 357's in the S&W and cannot remember reading or hearing that about the GP100.

I inherited the S&W from my dad who maybe had 50 rounds through it.....maybe. I put maybe 100 rounds through it. Back in the original box with the original sales receipt.....where it will remain.

It's all preference.
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Old April 8th, 2017, 01:13 PM   #22
 
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Not saying Smiths aren't more aesthetically pleasing

They are, beyond a doubt. Lay a 29 next to my Redhawk and the difference is readily apparent. That's certainly one reason people collect them. But, like fancy cars, you get a lot of the two-parking-spaces mentality with a pretty S&W, whereas you can easily park a Ruger in the bad part of town. I will say, however, a nicely blued Bisley can just about hold its own at the dog show. Classy, yet mongrel tough. (Sorry, too many metaphors, LOL). There is a very legitimate point made about triggers. An S&W usually is good to go, out of the box, while a Ruger will need a bit of work to bring it up to near that level.

You know, guys, discussions like this only serve to drive up used Ruger prices. I've added a good many Rugers for a fraction of the cost for equivalent S&W's and then there's the P series pistols. I don't know how many of you are familiar with the old Mossberg 22's. As one person said, those are like the girls you really have fun with but wouldn't want to bring home to mother. "More gun for the money" and, yes, they will shoot. I always felt that Ruger leaned at bit more in that direction than towards to more expensive lines. But a whole lot nicer looking.

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Old April 8th, 2017, 01:50 PM   #23
 
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I have a S&W 19-6 2.5 inch and a GP100 MC.

The GP100 MC is my choice. The trigger may be slightly better in the S&W, I actually feel safer shooting the GP. I have heard many times not to shoot a steady diet of 357's in the S&W and cannot remember reading or hearing that about the GP100.

I inherited the S&W from my dad who maybe had 50 rounds through it.....maybe. I put maybe 100 rounds through it. Back in the original box with the original sales receipt.....where it will remain.

It's all preference.
That is true with K framed S&W's but not so with the L framed S&W which is actually heavier then the GP100.
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Old April 8th, 2017, 02:31 PM   #24
 
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I have an equal amount of Smiths and Rugers. I like em all. All Rugers I bought new except one. All Smiths I bought used except one, my 617 which is at the mothership
as I type this due to a timing issue. It did shoot very well and clean for a 22 but on a slow trigger the stop was just short of locking the cylinder.
I'm now in the market for a steel snubby and narrowed it down to a Smith 640 or an SP101. The Ruger is almost $100 cheaper new so if I don't find something used, it will be a Ruger.

Good thread Ditto!
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Old April 8th, 2017, 02:49 PM   #25
 
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Just had my hands on a 640 Pro Series and saw the 360 PD , went with the 360 but may go back for the 640 Pro. Every performance center S&W we get is outstanding. She has a 60 Pro Series that rocks.
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Old April 8th, 2017, 03:38 PM   #26
 
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Around here, both Rugers and Smiths in good condition have asking prices for current models damn near what you can order the same for from Davidson's new at LGS's with the "buy online" feature.
Older models are different, when Ruger sixes pop up, it's usually a matter of whether or not the seller knows what he has-I've seen $300(always when I'm broke, of course) up to $450-500. Older Smiths are usually being sold by Smith guys, and their prices usually reflect their owner's fondness for them.
For 38/357, I've actually (gasp) gotten a couple Taurus old model 66's that made great shooters for $250-300.
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Old April 8th, 2017, 06:07 PM   #27
 
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LOL, I was going to mention my 1990 4" Taurus 66

I actually edited it out. Was going to say the SA is as good as any Smith I've owned.
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Old April 9th, 2017, 08:50 AM   #28
 
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Yeah, a S&W is better than a Ruger. Was back then still is. The older Smiths are better than the new Smiths, either is better than Ruger. Not to say Ruger is a bad gun, it isn't but it ain't no Smith.
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Old April 9th, 2017, 09:13 AM   #29
 
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Yeah, a S&W is better than a Ruger. Was back then still is. The older Smiths are better than the new Smiths, either is better than Ruger. Not to say Ruger is a bad gun, it isn't but it ain't no Smith.
Not sure about better, different though. I have both, and like them both. They each have good points, and not so good points, depending on individual tastes. I find the lack of half cock on SA Ruger revolvers annoying, but some people like it. Some people may actually like the Hillary Hole that have children, and no safe.

Smiths are more expensive, but I was able to get what I wanted in the Smiths I bought. Ruger does not make a fixed sight classic 44 spl, and the reviews on their 45 acp Redhawk were not that good, and I could not even find one available. That is why I ended up with Smiths on those two models.

The GP100 is a very good gun, I was lucky enough to find a half lug 4 inch, otherwise I would have gone with a Smith model 10. I am not so fond of the 6 inch GP though, just too heavy for EDC. I am keeping my eye out for a 6 inch model 66 to replace it.

There are people who will argue all day on which is a better gun, they both go boom when the trigger is pulled, they both do their part to get the bullet to where it is supposed to go.
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Old April 9th, 2017, 11:08 AM   #30
 
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Brand mystic.
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