Monday, January 11, 2016

Guns and Gear Review #22: Ruger GP100

Hey folks, 12-Gauge Chimp here.

Today I'm reviewing the Ruger GP100 .357 Magnum revolver

I got this gun in February of 2015 and have had some trigger time behind it. Enough to give y'all my honest opinion of it.

The GP100 has been around for thirty years now (production began back in 1985), so the gun's been around about as long as I have. Which I find pretty neat. Mine, however, has only been around since 2014 (or so the sticker on the box says). Either way, I like the gun. It's got some hefty recoil, but not enough to make shooting it a pain. I mean, we're not talking about .500 S&W Magnum here, folks. Anyway, I had ordered a stainless steel model, but ended up with a plain blued model instead. Mostly because the shop I ordered it from was having a hard time finding a stainless steel model for me. This was right around the time SHOT Show 2015 ended and Ruger was trying as hard as they could to fill orders. So, I took the blued model, filled out the paperwork, talked to my friends at the shop while waiting for the background check to finish and left about ten minutes later with my shiny new gun.

My particular gun sports a 6 inch barrel with the aforementioned blued finish, which is kind of mottled in some spots, but it's fine. So long as the gun works, I could care less about the cosmetic flaws. I mean, I won't purposely let the finish get beat all to hell, but I'm not going to give it the white glove treatment like some folks might. It's a gun, not a priceless work of art. Unless Bill Ruger himself touched this gun (which is highly doubtful since he's been gone for a long time. And well before my gun was built.), it's getting used and the finish won't stay pretty forever. It had a Hogue monogrip on it, but I swapped it out with another rubber grip awhile after the first range trip.

I got the chance to take my GP100 out to the range soon after purchasing it and I have to say if you've never fired a .357 magnum before, it is an eye opener. The first shot (which was a 158 grain Hornady XTP hollow point, by the way) took me by surprise and I was shocked. Well, I was for a brief few seconds and then I emptied the cylinder into my target and reloaded. After I shot the speedloaders of .357 mag ammo I had, I moved onto .38 Special (also made by Hornady). The .38 Special ammo was a lot easier to shoot than the full power .357 magnum stuff, which is not surprising since it was made to be. I have plans to buy some of those "Ruger Only" Buffalo Bore .357 mag loads and see if they recoil as badly as some have told me. I suspect they probably will and will probably gather dust in my ammo cans after one cylinder full.

I swapped some parts out for ones that I felt worked better for me after awhile. The factory Hogue monogrip was tossed aside in favor of a Pachmayr Diamond Pro grip (which feels so much better than the Hogue grip) and the hard to see factory front sight was switched with a Hi-Viz fiber optic set up. I did have a red ramp sight on it prior to the Hi-Viz sight, but I forget the brand name of that one. It may have been from Ruger, come to think of it.

Both the Hi-Viz sight and Pachmayr Diamond Pro grip were Christmas gifts, so I'm not entirely sure how much they cost. A quick check to some online retailers has the Hi-Viz sight at around 26 dollars US and the Pachmayr Diamond Pro grip at around 22 dollars US. So they're not too expensive and worthwhile upgrades to the factory grip and sight if you like to switch out parts on your guns like I do.

After the upgrades, I need to get out to the range to see if my work was worth it or if I'll be going back to the factory parts. I'll be sure and let y'all know what happens.

I personally like the Ruger GP100 and may add another to my collection. I wish they made a .22LR version like they do with the SP101, but maybe someone at Ruger will read this and decide to make my dream gun a reality. Fat chance of that since I'm sure no one at any of the gun manufacturers read my stuff. Ah well, I can dream, can't I ? 

As always, this is 12-Gauge Chimp signing off.

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