Ruggedness and reliability are the first things that come to mind when handling the Ruger GP100, a trait shared by many other Ruger firearms as well. The GP100 handles well when firing and maintains accuracy when shooting at distance using single or double action. This highly versatile tool is a great value when considering cost and is very low maintenance.
The GP100 has a modular frame with three subassemblies including the trigger, grip, and cylinder. It can be completely disassembled with a pin provided by the factory or with a screwdriver and a punch. The larger models come standard with an adjustable rear sight for windage and elevation. There is a full-length rib running atop of the barrel adding weight and providing a dovetail groove for the front sight, make it easily changeable.
The front site comes from the factory with a standard black ramp site providing minimal interference and resistance when drawing the pistol from its holster. Many avid shooters may prefer to replace the factory site with a fiberoptic or other site. Various models do have some subtle differences that can be observed. For example, the 3”-barrel model have a fixed rear sight and a pinned front sight. These fixed rear sight models are designated by an “F” suffix model number.
The GP100 resulted from the redesigned of Ruger’s successful Security Six series and introduced to consumers in 1985. The GP100 sports a medium to heavy peg-style stainless steel frame that was designed to withstand repeated firing. The grip is large enough to enclose the hammer spring and strut. The factory stock grips are made of Santoprene, a rubber-like compound that helps absorb the recoil of firing.
Goncalo alves wood (Brazilian Tigerwood) or rosewood are used to provide contrast to the flat black Santoprene. Current models have Hogue rubber grips that are assembled standard from the factory. This design is helpful in absorbing much of the recoil and allowing the shooter to stay on target when firing the revolver in double-action mode.
The stainless .357 caliber model with a 4-inch barrel is among the more popular configurations and weighs in at 40 ounces largely because it provides good balance for the shooter. This heavier weight significantly reduces recoil. The 4 lb. trigger breaks clean in single action, and the double action trigger pull is quite smooth.
The cylinder has a front, rear, and bottom locking mechanism (triple locking) resulting in perfect alignment, stability, and reliability of the cylinder position that does not degrade over time from powerful load discharges. In redesigning this firearm, Ruger engineered the locking notches on the cylinder in a thicker and stronger area of the cylinder avoiding the weaker and thinner portions to enhance the ability of this pistol to withstand high pressure loads.
The full-length ejector shroud adds some additional weight to the revolver further reducing muzzle flip and increasing speed for reacquiring target for repeated shots. The firing pin of the GP100 is mounted inside the frame. Standard with all Ruger double action revolvers, the patented transfer bar mechanism provides an additional level of security preventing accidental discharge.
With the transfer bar directly connected to the trigger, the revolver only fires when it is in position between the hammer and the firing pin. The transfer bar assumes the proper position when the trigger is pulled completely. The crane lock was borrowed from the Redhawk in an earlier redesign of that model. When the revolver is readied to fire, the cylinder crane is locked into the frame at the front and rear of the crane and by the cylinder lock at the bottom of the crane opening. Absent in the GP100 design is the side plate—a feature eliminated by the new design of the firearm.
The Ruger GP100 comes in a variety of calibers and barrel lengths. Blued or stainless-steel versions are available. The stainless-steel model numbers contain a K-prefix.
The Ruger GP100 is a rugged and reliable tool that has been adopted for home defense, law enforcement, competition, survival, and an all-around “take-along” utility tool when in the field hunting, camping, hiking, or fishing. It handles a wide variety of ammunition including any factory loads as well as rat shot, or snake shot when dealing with pests. The GP100 is a solid Ruger product designed for a lifetime of hard use.