An 8-shot 357 and the .44Spl returns to Ruger’s wheelgun line
Ruger announced Wednesday they will produce their well-loved double-action wheelguns in some new offerings including a 5-shot GP100 in .44 Special and an 8-shot .357 Mag Redhawk.
The GP 100, as detailed in the above video, has been around in a bunch of .357/.38 and .327 loadings, but that was about as beefy as it got. Now, some 30 years after its introduction, is being offered in a 5-shot .44 Special with a three-inch barrel.
I’ve always been a fan of the .44Spl and for about half a decade carried a Charter Arms Pug as my CCW piece.
The once-vaunted .44 Special dates back to before World War I but fell out of favor after Elmer Keith campaigned successfully for his hard-hitting .44 Magnum in the 1950s. With just a few manufacturers marketing new revolvers chambered in the easier handling but still effective .44 Special by the 1990s, the round seemed to be staring into the abyss. Now, with modern self-defense loads (Hornady Critical Defense, Speer Gold Dot, et. al) upping the ante on what the near cult-status round brings to the table, the new Ruger offering will no doubt be popular with .44 Specialists.
MSRP is $829 but you can expect prices at your dealer or online to be closer to $700, and if I like how it handles at SHOT Show, I may be a huckleberry.
Another new entry from Ruger is a .357 Magnum variant of the Redhawk, which hasn’t been offered since 1991. Best yet, the cylinder has been reworked to accommodate 8 cartridges, which brings a whole new element to the famous “Feel Lucky Punk?” scene.
The new 8-shooter, which still fits in standard Redhawk holsters, comes with 3 full moon clips for its relieved cylinder and a 2.75-inch barrel. MSRP is a respectable $1079.
More info (including vids) are in my column at Guns.com.