Sturm, Ruger & Co. introduced a new GP100 revolver chambered for the classic .22 LR. The new rimfire wheelgun will operate much the same as the other current production GP100 revolvers, but with a few changes and an increased price tag.
The new guns will hold 10 cartridges in the cylinder, which is fairly easy to accomplish in a full size revolver like the GP100. Compared to the other guns in the line, the new GP100 has a unique barrel length: 5.5″. All of the other guns are chambered for .357 Magnum and have barrel lengths shorter and longer than this one.
Also unique to this gun is the use of a front fiber optic sight. Other guns use a traditional ramp front sight. An adjustable rear sight is standard. Although Ruger has had some problems with the rear sight holding zero in the past, I believe the problems have been corrected. Recent GP100 buyers, feel free to sound off in the comments on this issue.
All of the other standard GP100 revolvers have gone to a rubber Hogue grip with the pebble texture and Ruger logo. This rimfire variant uses a set of cushioned rubber stocks that have a hardwood insert to give them the classic GP100 look. These are similar, if not identical, to the grips used in the past on some of the guns in this line. It appears these are the same grips the company sells as an accessory for $45 on its online store.
The frame, cylinder and barrel are all made of stainless steel, and they have a satin stainless finish. Total weight on this handgun is 42 ounces.
As with the other GP100 revolvers, this model locks the cylinder at three points: front, rear and bottom. However, many people have pointed out the bottom lock doesn’t necessarily help keep the cylinder in the frame. Ruger ships the gun with a lockable, hard plastic case.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price on this gun is $829. This places it at the high end of the line. The other centerfire guns run from $725 – $779 depending on the model. Compare the new GP100 to the Smith & Wesson’s Model 17 Masterpiece that comes in at $989 with a carbon steel frame, blued finish, wood grips and a 6″ barrel topped with a Patridge sight.
Earlier this year, Ruger introduced a specialized GP100 Match Champion that had adjustable sights. These guns are a bit more expensive with a MSRP of $100 more.
Introduced in the mid-1980’s the GP100 line of revolvers are considered by many to be nearly bulletproof when it comes to reliable operation. The guns were built with the .357 Magnum in mind, and use fairly heavy frames to ensure a lifetime of service. The .22 LR cartridge should be a real pussycat in this gun. It certainly looks a lot better than the recently shown 3D printed revolver.