Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Ruger GP100; Just the Facts



Ruger GP100, double action revolver, 357 Magnum, 4.2" barrel, 40 ounces.

I never fail to find one person in every crowd that questions the merits of 19th century technology in today's modern age of plastic frames and semi automatic handguns, but revolvers continue to soldier on and provide good service to shooters, this GP100 being no exception. 

The GP100 is more an evolution of the Security Six than a revolutionary change. Ruger' primary aims with this model were to control cost through heavy use of Cast parts, and to beef up the strength sufficiently that the GP100 could thrive on a steady supply of full power 357 magnum, something that often shortened the service life of other similarly sized 357 magnums from other manufacturers. The use of "triple locks" also guarantees firm lockup of the cylinder, and a nice thick top strap and generous cylinder dimensions promise the ability to swallow some very stout pills. 

This extra beef comes with a weight penalty. My GP100 weighs in right near 40 ounces, quite a porky gun if we're being honest, but that mass can also be a positive attribute where recoil mitigation is concerned. Experienced shooters and novices realize fairly early that heavier guns result in less perceived recoil. A 40 ounce gun filled up with stout 357 magnum beats my hands up less than my wife's lightweight 38 special. Add to that Ruger's "tang grip" which provides more rubber between the steel and your palm, and this gun will kiss your hand rather than punching it. 

All that strength and comfort I've alluded to points to the most polarizing reason to choose a revolver over a semi-automatic; the cartridge itself. 357 magnum presents a sizeable muzzle energy advantage over 9mm and most other semi automatic defensive rounds. A 125 grain bullet at 1400+ fps compares pretty favorably over a 124 grain bullet at 1000 fps. Semi automatics that can tolerate this round are larger, heavier, and often less reliable. A GP100 with a cylinder full of 357 magnum provides excellent protection against nearly any two legged or four legged predator in North America. 

So, if you're looking for a defensive gun, you've found a willing partner. If you want a range toy, a GP100 will put a smile on your face with noise and fireballs. If you want bear repellent, we've got you covered. If you want a reliable, affordable, no muss no fuss revolver that will deliver the goods without complaint, a Ruger GP100 should be in your collection. - Phil Rabalais

6 comments:

  1. I have used an open top Eagle holster on mine for years. The gun goes all the way in so the hammer and trigger are covered.

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    1. I got the Bianchi because I wanted a retention holster. The thumb break gives me some peace of mind for a woods gun/open carry situation, otherwise my IWB holsters don't have retention.

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  2. I am new to the GP100 Wiley Clapp 3" bbl, but it is fast becoming my "go to" concealed carry. I have carried everything from a .22 to a 44 magnum, and the .357 magnum is be far my favorite caliber.

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    1. My EDC is my Canik C100 (CZ75 Compact clone). If I were to put a revolver in the carry toolchest I'd probably look at a subcompact 357 mag for times when a double stack 9mm wasn't a workable option.

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  3. I have the GP100 with the 6-inch, full lug barrel. The only modifications I've made to it are adding Hogue grips and I installed lighter main and trigger return springs from Wolff, but even out-of-the-box the GP100 performed flawlessly and easily.

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    1. I debate on tweaking the main springs. I'm always wary of light primer strikes because I use CCI primers and they tend to be a little harder than most.

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