Sorry I'm late to the party. I'm looking at getting a wheel-gun for the first time in 20 years, so I started picking through this part of the forum.
I have a ton of experience with the 686 from back in the day. Always will be one of my favorites. I started as a LEO carrying one of these back in the 80's before we switched t semi-autos. Personally I'd go with the Smith. Just a beautiful and perfectly functional piece. The Ruger is OK, but Ruger has never done anything for me. It's the same as the Sig -vs- HK debate. You really can't go wrong with either.
U.S. Army vet.. NRA Life Member.