Sturm Ruger GP100
More information can be found here.
The GP100 revolver, made by Sturm Ruger, is available only in one caliber: .357 Magnum. Since the cartridge size of the .357 Magnum is identical to the .38 Special it makes the revolver effectively a dual caliber gun.
The GP100 comes in two finishes: Stainless and Blued. Our test gun was Stainless.
The workmanship and finish are excellent. The gun operates smoothly and flawlessly.
Type: Double Action revolver
Caliber: .357 Magnum, .38 Special
Barrel length: 3" / 76 mm, 4" / 102 mm or 6" / 152 mm
Capacity: 6 rounds
Weight: ~ 41 oz / 1150 g with 4" barrel
Grip: Hogue Monogrip
Rifling: Twist 1:18 3/4" RH
Safety: Transfer Bar Operating Mechanism with Cylinder Interlock
California Approved: No
Massachusets Approved: No
The GP100 is actually a double/single action revolver. The hammer can be cocked (using the thumb) and the gun fired by squeezing the trigger. In this mode trigger travel is very short. It can also be fired in full double action mode, with a much longer trigger pull.
The design is different from a classical revolver in that the hammer does not strike the chambered round directly. The impact is transferred to a firing pin which, in turn, fires the round. This can be achieved only by pulling the trigger. If the gun is cocked and dropped on the hammer with a round chambered it will not fire
due to a steel block in front of the firing pin. The block is moved out of the way when the trigger is pulled. The GP100 is not approved for California and Massachusetts because if the hammer is not cocked there is no firing pin block and it may fire if dropped on its hammer. This possibility seems extremely remote if at all possible. The geometry of the design makes an impact on the hammer at the right angle extremely unlikely
and even if this happened the force necessary to fire a round would require a drop from a significant height - more than human stature.
A transfer bar insures that the hammer can not be dropped and the gun fired by any means if the cylinder is not properly seated.
The GP100 is accurate with groupings of 1.5" easily achievable at 15 yards in Single Action mode. In Double Action mode the groups open up.
The sight picture is clear in reasonable lighting and the design makes it easy to aim. In low light against a dark target the front sight tends to disappear. On the other hand the gun aims naturally and it is easy to hit a silhouette at 15 yards without using the sights.
.38 Specials have a very mild recoil in this heavy revolver, which contributes to its accuracy. If you shoot .357 Magnums it may be a good idea to hold the gun with both hands and be prepared for a serious blast.
Our female testers liked this gun due to both its balance and ease of aim as well as mild recoil with .38 Special ammo. The .357 didn't bother them either.
Our test gun shot to the point of aim. If need be the rear sight can be easily adjusted by turning a little screw in its right side.
The GP100 has closed frame - a strong and sturdy design. It has a cylinder release button on its left side and an ejection rod that becomes accessible when the cylinder is swung out.
In our tests this arrangement worked well with no resistance or stickiness.
The only variations are in finish. Several different kinds of stainless and blued finish are available.
The GP100 is a reliable, accurate and powerful (if used with .357 ammo) handgun. It is too heavy and large for concealed carry, but will make and excellent home defense gun. Judging by how much our female testers liked it we highly recommend it for women. We also recommend it for plinking - it's a pleasure to
shoot with .38 Specials. Shooting .357 Magnum entails more serious recoil and blast, though the recoil is still manageable and not painful.