When Ruger introduced the GP100 in 1986, they emphasized the tough new double-action revolver’s modern design with a full-frame and thick top strap, attributes it still has today.
“Strength and design separate an ordinary .357 from the Ruger GP100,” the company said of their newest DA wheelgun installment, a revolver intended to replace the company’s popular Six series guns (Security Six, Speed Six, Service Six) which had been around since the 1970s.
And some people just like ’em thick, as the line is still going strong nearly 35 years later.
More in my column at Guns.com.
In the summer 1988 issue of American Handgunner magazine, Ruger hyped their then-new GP100 revolver as being thicker and beefier than “an ordinary .357,” showing their frame next to that of a Smith & Wesson Model 686. The argument being that thickness= strength.
Smith, on the other hand, fired back in the next issue, complete with a Ruger-shaped burger including the company’s distinctive grip panels.
For generations Ruger’s lines of double-action six shooters, from the Security Six and Service Six to the Redhawk and GP100, have been some of the best bargains in the wheel gun market. Well it seems that Sturm, Ruger has decided to keep giving the public what they want and now has an upgraded version of the GP100 built plinkers, small-bore target, and small game hunters in mind.
Ruger has been making modern wheel guns since 1971, which means they have had over forty years behind them to get this thing right. Up until 1988, Ruger’s best-selling double action revolver series was built around the Speed Six and Security Six model wheel guns. The company made these for military, police, and security forces around the world as well as for private sales for home defense and sporting purposes.
Although sweet, the entire Speed/Security/Police Six line by 1988 when the new GP-100/SP-101 was firmly established. The beefy GP100, designed from the beginning to fire .357 Magnum loads, was a new take on Bill Ruger’s massive .44 Magnum Ruger Redhawk and used the same effective crane-lock cylinder. The grips, of smaller size than the Six series, used a hybrid grip of Santoprene– a soft and shock absorbing rubber type of material– inserts and plastic or wooden (goncalo alves wood or rosewood) outers, giving these pieces a very distinctive look.
In the past three decades, Ruger has been churning out these GP100s in .38/357 while augmenting that uber popular six-shooter loading with .327 Federal.
Now the company has thrown a new chambering out just in time for Christmas.
Read the rest in my column at Ruger Talk