I have given up on S&W. I used them for years as duty weapons and have purchased them for recreation but they are not what they were years ago.
BFR Revolvers are much higher quality and they are much easier to handle than the X-frame S&W.
Is BFR offering the same lifetime warranty? I thought it was pretty cool when I saw they chambered the 30-30 and 45/70. I think I'll stick with the 38 and 357 though. I'm actually looking to purchase a new revolver next year too. I was able to try the new S&W 686 7 shot. I was impressed. I have never had the luxury of using an older model though, so I wouldn't be able to judge it against earlier models. For what ever reason though, I am still torn apart between that and the Ruger single action Black Hawk. I don't know what it is, but I've always enjoyed the single action revolvers.
I am not impressed by brand names on guns anymore. Craftsmanship and durability as well as whether a company stands behind their product is what I look for. In the last 3 years I have returned more firearms for poor quality issues than in the previous 25+ years. The 2 brands of revolvers that I am interested in are Magnum Research BFR and Taurus. They both stand behind their products, make durable products and in my opinion sell for reasonable prices. I recently purchased a S&W 629-6 Classic 6.5" .44 Mag. revolver. I chose that revolver for sentimental reasons. I soon regretted the purchase. Accuracy and finish are poor. This is my second .44 Mag. My first was a Ruger. I traded the Ruger for a rifle.
What does "gauge" mean anyway? As used here gauge means the number of round lead balls the same diameter as the inside of the barrel (aka the bore) that it would take to weigh one pound. It takes 12 lead balls the same diameter as a 12 gauge barrel to weigh a pound. The smaller 20 gauge would require 20 balls of that barrel diameter. The larger bore 12 gauge would require 12 lead balls of the bore diameter to weigh one pound.
In general the number of pellets in a shotgun shell...