Ruger GP100, The Best Revolver You Can Buy? A 2 Minute Review: Although not the oldest firearms company in the United States, Sturm, Ruger & Co. nonetheless enjoys a reputation for high-quality firearms. The company, more commonly known simply as Ruger, makes a wide array of firearms including single-shot rifles, semi-automatic pistols, and shotguns, though their revolvers are of particular note.
Ruger’s GP100 made its debut with the company in the mid-1980s as a newer and updated addition to Ruger’s revolver lineup. The GP100 is a sturdy, robust revolver, most of which are made of brushed satin or blued stainless steel.
While most of Ruger’s GP100s are chambered in the venerable .357 Magnum cartridge, there are several revolver variants in the GP100 lineup chambered in .44 Special as well as 10mm Auto, allowing for some diversity in terms of chambering. While most of the GP100 lineup features fluted cylinders, there are also several standard, unfluted cylinder options available.
GP100 revolvers chambered in .357 Magnum also offer shooters some ammunition flexibility, as they can also fire .38 Special P+ cartridges which are slightly shorter than the .357 Magnum and produce less recoil — ideal for new shooters, those who want cheaper ammunition, or plinking enthusiasts.
On the other side of the power spectrum, Ruger also offers a GP100 chambered in .22 Long Rifle. Despite the rather diminutive chambering, the GP100’s cylinder is large — and can accommodate a full ten .22 Long Rifle cartridges, compared to the 6 or 7 cartridges most other revolvers are equipped for.
There are quite a few barrel lengths available in the GP100 lineup as well, from snub-nosed 2.5-inch short revolvers, with several other barrel lengths available including 3, 4.2, 5, 5.5 and up to large 6-inch variants. A number of different grips are also available from the company, including wooden, synthetic, and cushioned rubber with hardwood inserts.
In addition to the standard GP100 lineup that Ruger offers, the company also offers several different revolvers under the GP100 Match Champion designation that feature several improvements or optimizations for better accuracy. The Ruger website explains that “polished and optimized internals,” as well as a “centering boss on the trigger, and centering shims on the hammer produce a smooth double-action trigger pull and a crisp and consistent let-off,” and overall more accurate platform.
When considering Ruger’s very diverse GP100 lineup, there are few offerings from other firearms companies that offer the same level of options as well as quality. Regardless of what you could want in a .357 Magnum revolver, you’re likely to find what you’re looking for in the GP100.
Caleb Larson is a Defense Writer based in Europe. He holds a Master of Public Policy and covers U.S. and Russian security, European defense issues, and German politics and culture.