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Ruger’s Super GP100 Just Might Be the ‘Cadillac’ of Revolver-Style Guns

Ruger GP100
Image: Creative Commons.

Ruger’s Super GP100, A Short Review: Sturm, Ruger & Co. is not one of the United States’ oldest gun manufacturers but the company has established itself as one of the best, known for durable, common-sense firearm designs that are both high-quality builds, as well as accurate. The company offers a wide variety of semi-automatic pistols, as well as single-shot, bolt-action, and semi-automatic rifles.

Ruger’s revolvers are especially noteworthy and are loved by gun enthusiasts. Here is one that stands above the rest: The Ruger Super GP100 is the Cadillac of revolvers.

Ruger Super GP100: The Facts

The Super GP100 is a visually striking revolver. With hand-finished hardwood grips, as well as an aggressive frame and barrel, the revolvers are clearly special. They take their name from Ruger’s GP100 lineup, a very diverse line of mostly .357 Magnum revolvers that are considered by some to be an industry standard and are known for their reliability and ease of use.

Like the GP100, Ruger’s Super GP100 comes chambered in .357 Magnum, a powerful rimmed pistol cartridge that enjoys a good reputation as a cartridge that balances stopping power with recoil. And like virtually all revolvers chambered in .357 Magnum, the Super GP100 can also safely chamber and fire .38 Special P+ ammunition, as the slightly shorter cartridge’s bullet is the same diameter as the .357 Magnum.

As it is a dimensionally shorter cartridge, the .38 Special offers shooters a more affordable cartridge that also produces less recoil, and is therefore ideal for inexperienced shooters, or those looking for a cheaper plinking alternative to the larger .357 Magnum. However, one Super GP100 is chambered in a totally different pistol cartridge: the iconic 9x19mm.

Interestingly, this Super GP100 opts for a rimless pistol cartridge rather than a rimmed magnum cartridge thanks to moon clips. It also has a slightly longer, 6-inch barrel. This Super GP100 combines the classic revolver design with a more manageable pistol cartridge in an interesting blend of old and new.

One of the Super GP100’s more significant improvements is its cylinder. Unlike most revolver cylinders which feature some or no fluting, the Super GP’s cylinder is very extensively fluted. While this is a more expensive design from a manufacturing standpoint, it offers the shooter a more lightweight cylinder for easier and smoother trigger pulls, which can aid accuracy.

In addition, the revolver’s internal components are “polished and optimized,” with a “centering boss on the trigger, and centering shims on the hammer,” which results in a even smoother and more consistent trigger pull.

It Is Not Cheap

Considering the Super GP’s superior features, it is hard to find a higher-quality revolver out of the box. These features come at a cost, however — the Super GP 100 retails for nearly $1,600 according to the Ruger website. Still, it is easy to see why Ruger’s revolver is so pricey — it’s the Cadillac of American revolvers.

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.

Written By

Caleb Larson, a defense journalist based in Europe and holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy. He lives in Berlin and writes on U.S. and Russian foreign and defense policy, German politics and culture.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Rassilon the Revenant

    November 24, 2021 at 6:20 pm

    Enh, Cadillac of American revolvers? Maybe Cadillac of Rugers. Since there are grand total of four American makers (maybe five, depending on the day) of double action revolvers, there isn’t a lot of competition. That being said, this one isn’t even all that expensive compared to performance center custom shop versions of S&W revolvers. Unless they’ve radically reinvented the lockwork, the Ruger GP100 can’t hold a candle to the action of a tuned S&W revolver, particularly in single action mode. This isn’t a matter of opinion. No amount of polishing or shims or “centering bosses” will replace the crispness of a .005” deep hammer notch engaged by the knife edge of the trigger sear. Double action works largely the same, so it’s possible to get it “close-ish”. The MSRP isn’t far off from the rebooted Colt Python and Anaconda models. Ruger also traditionally exaggerates their MSRP by several hundred dollars.
    I’m honestly surprised that a German would mention these American revolvers at all without at least mentioning the high dollar revolvers that are available to those Europeans still trusted by their masters to handle firearms, such as Korth, Manurhin, and Janz. Those designs incorporate advanced features such roller bearing actions, quick change cylinders, and caliber swappable barrels that American shooters drool over and are only available on custom built or discontinued models. The cheapest of these Euro models start at double the MSRP of the Super GP100 and you could buy roughly eight of the Rugers for the same cost as the base model Janz. If this Ruger is the Cadillac of revolvers, the $42,000 Janz Ultimate model, capable of swapping between seven calibers ranging from .22LR to .454 Casull, must surely be the McLaren F1.

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