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Thread: Firearm Review: Ruger GP-100
06-09-2010, 02:36 PM #1Senior Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2009
Firearm Review: Ruger GP-100
Christmas came early this year, courtesy of my wife, in the guise of a brand new Ruger GP-100. Herein are my observations and opinions regarding the same.
As it sat in the box it was shod in a one-piece rubber grip with finger grooves which I despise. Iím sure that finger grooves work for some folk, but I ainít one of Ďem. Because of my small hands the grooves tend to lock my grip with the muzzle pointing a bit left of where I think the point of aim should be, requiring some adjustment to actually get on target. Fortunately the boys at the gunshop were more than happy to swap out the grooved grip for a smooth one with inserts from another, used, GP in the case. Ahhhh, much better! It still feesl a bit fat in the backstrap for me, but a little practice has me throwing the gun up with sights fairly well lined up. Itíll do until I get round to making a custom wood grip that fits me.
Cosmetically I got no whines. The satin brushed finish on the stainless shouldnít flash in bright sun, but for preference I wish it was duller, kind of like the Taurus revolvers. While Iím a traditionalist and mostly choose blued steel guns it is almost de rigeur out here in the Pacific Northwest to go stainless if you spend a lot of time out in the slop, which I do. The 6" barrel has a full length under-lug which adds beef to the piece at 2# 12oz unloaded, but it should help moderate muzzle flip with full-on magnum loads. The replaceable front sight is a plus, and when I get around to it will swap out the stocker for something with an orange insert. Until then a little yellow paint on the ramp improves sight acquisition.
I had looked at Taurus revolvers previous to this purchase but was unimpressed with the action. The Taurus wheelguns tend to a very light and smooth double-action pull, and the single-action pull was so light and mushy I was concerned about unintended touch-offs. Not so with the Ruger. Double-action pull is smooth and feels a bit lighter than my Smith&Wesson 38. Single-action is also lighter than my 38 and is nicely crisp with only a hint of slack. I wouldnít mess with this stock set-up by trying to give it a trigger job, it donít need it.
Field stripping, while easy in intent, turned out to be a little harder in practice. The grip, mainspring, then hammer, all came out of the frame no problem. The disassembly latch on the trigger group however was very tight and required a bit of muscle to push in. I DO NOT RECOMMEND that you use the mainspring strut to push in the latch as stated in the manual. If you have a tight latch youíll just bugger up the ball end of the strut. It took a few tries to get the latch pushed in, but when successful the trigger group pivoted down and out very nicely. Inspection showed a few burrs left over from milling operations that needed attention from a jewelerís file, followed by a light sanding with some 400 grit paper.
With everything looked at and de-burred I went to throw the trigger group back in. A couple notes here. With the gun upside down you may need to push in on the cylinder latch to ensure that the transfer bar doesnít get hung up on the latch. Also, the transfer bar can get hung up on the milled recess for the hand in the right side of the frame. So, if you canít quite get the trigger group to go in, odds are the transfer bar is hung up. The only other issue I had in reassembly was, of course, the trigger group latch. That needed a little push to get it started in its tunnel before the trigger group would finish swinging up into place and locking. I figger thatíll break in over time and several cleanings to where things will just pop in & out like theyíre supposed to. One other note here, the gun was pretty dry as it came and rapidly developed a squeak on cocking so field stripping & lube should be done on a new one before playing with it overmuch.
Overall Iím liking the thing. Canít wait to get up to my buddyís and blow stuff up with it! The plan is to get dialed in with some 38 +P ammo which should make her decently accurate no matter what I feed her, target rounds to full-on mags, which is why I bought it. Iíll post again after I get some trigger time with it.
Last edited by USMCsean; 07-01-2010 at 01:38 PM. Reason: Pic added
06-10-2010, 07:17 AM #2
Congrats on your GP-100. Mine (4" blued version) serves as a nightstand home defensive weapon. Looking forward to your range report. Your wife has excellent taste in .357 Magnum wheel guns.
06-10-2010, 08:50 AM #3Senior Member
- Join Date
- Dec 1969
i have had mine since the late 90's (SS 4") tough as nails last a lifetine
06-12-2010, 03:22 AM #4Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2009
IMO the Ruger GP100 is one of the best .357 revolvers ever made, the other one is the Ruger Six series. A very close second is the S&W 586 - 686. I love my S&W's but a Ruger will take many tens of thousands of hot .357's, Rugers have survived into round counts that would send a S&W 586 back to the factory for a re-tune, while the GP would keep spitting out those hot magnums without skipping a beat.
One GP100 will last several generations, good thing I have 9 GP100's of various flavors, some chambered for .38 Special,a 3",a few 4",6" both half and full lug, fixed sight, blue, SS etc. etc.....along with nearly a dozen various Six revolvers.......Ruger revolvers are like Pringles, I guarantee you can't have just one!
Taurus......well, I won't bash, but there's a reason why I own nearly 20 Ruger DA revolvers, about 15 S&W's and 1 older Taurus .38 I got so cheap it was almost free. I am one man, with only one opinion, but I let the firearms I choose to buy speak my opinions. Once a man owns 1 Ruger GP100 he no longer has any need to mess with a Taurus.
06-12-2010, 11:52 PM #5Senior Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2009
TRIGGER TIME, GP-100 Range Report
Well now, THAT was FUN!
Started off by getting the gun dialed in with 38 +P ammo at approximately 30 yards on a 3" circle target. Initial cylinders full consistently shot high and left about 8" from the bullís eye.
A few clicks down and some more right had it shooting OK, but not exactly tack driving.
Ran the gamut of my ammo from target rounds, to 38 special, and finally the magnums. She did OK until I got up to the magnums which once again kept shooting left. WTF??? My buddy Art was watching as I shot off the bench and said he could tell when I was getting ready to touch one off as the muzzle would twitch ever so slightly. This ainít a flinch. Iíve shot 44 magnum and nailed a steel T-post from that very bench at the same range. Only thing I can figure is that the grip, which doesnít fit my hand quite right, is causing a slight shank to the left as I touch off a round. Bugger.
With the sights fairly well set we proceeded to a little free-hand blasting. A small chunk of two-by-four was chucked out into the pond, the object being to either nail it or get a round just under it and make it bounce out of the water. I got over it, under it, nailed it twice, and got a couple good bounces. Free-handing the magnums in single action nailed the board and put two rounds into a head-sized terrorist target at about 25 yards. OK, so Iím not a great pistolero, but for me, this gun will reliably get torso hits out to 30 yards, and head shots are definitely a possibility at anything under 20 . More than adequate for close encounters of the violent kind. Once I get a grip that fits me right it oughtta be dead on.
The targets tell the tale. The first two, 38 target and Special, respectively, are 1 Ĺ" bulls that I could barely see, but got close enough. The other two are 3" bulls, and as you can see the magnums gave me trouble off the bench. I should note that all the bullet weights were equal at 158 grains.
Only a couple minor issues to report.
I had one 38 +P that felt a bit light on the recoil so I stopped and checked the barrel, all good. Not the gunís fault, I have no idea how old this ammo was.
A couple times after reloading the cylinder stop apparently didnít come back up all the way as the cylinder would click a couple stops then lock up as normal. I always rotate the cylinder to a notch after reloading just to make sure the stop is working right. It only did this twice, so I suspect new gun/fouling given that we put about 160 rounds through it today.
The only other issue is that one chamber didnít always eject cleanly, so I suspect a slight burr on the extractor, or possibly a bit of fouling would sometimes get in there. I couldnít tell if it was always the same chamber or not since it only happened 3 or 4 times.
There were no issues with indexing, firing, or leading up, nor is there any signs of chipping at the forcing cone rim.
My only problem now is that I may need another one so I can try some two-gun mojo with a matched pair!General Mattis to tribal leaders in Iraq: "I come in peace. I didn't bring artillery. But I'm pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you f__ck with me, I'll kill you all."
06-23-2010, 07:06 PM #6