Ruger GP100 in .22 LR

Ruger GP100

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.

Ruger GP100

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.

Ruger GP100

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.



Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is http://www.gunsholstersandgear.com/.


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  • Edeco

    I like this trend toward full-capacity 22 revolvers, as opposed to 6-shot. Not just the capacity itself, but swinging the cylinder through a shorter arc makes sense.

    OK, now do a GP100 in 41 magnum, 5-shot, with 6.5-7″ short-lug hose. Gary Reeder (house cat as moose-bait T-shirt, lol, that guy is a national treasure) I think does ’em, but yanno, costly.

    • gunsandrockets

      Why not a 5-shot .44 magnum GP100? S&W did it in the L frame Model 69.

      • Edeco

        Well I could see it being more popular since more common ammo and the 44 Spl option. I’m thinking 41 though first because of the zeitgeist of the cartridge; it’s all 70’s and is used in a novel I like (The Final Programme). Also slightly lower range of recoil which I think would be just right. Slightly lower ME/bullet weights/recoil which I think is more appropriate for martial use, not that I’d really want it for defense, but it fits with the nature of the GP100.

        Finally Mr. Reeder rechambers to 41 Mag or 44 Spl, not 44 Mag, apparently. So I vaguely get the idea 44 Mag would be too much, somehow. Very vaguely; could be mistaken about Reeder’s options or his reasons, or even if not maybe the factory could make 44 Magnum work. If an L-frame can hack it a GP100 should be able to, so I dunno.

        • A.D. Hopkins

          I will never again buy a gun that shoots an unpopular caliber. Had a 20-year love affair with .38 Super. Never again. I could buy ammo only in FMJ, and a lot of stores didn’t have even that. Paid more for .38 Super than 9mm or .45 cost at the time, with no selection of bullet weights, velocity, etc. Only way I could get ammo that fulfilled the potential of the caliber, or ammo that was dead accurate for my gun, was to load it myself. And once I had worked up a good load, I often could not get the same bullets again. So if I had my choice of a .44 or a .41, I would buy the .44 even if I were going to load it to power levels less than .41 factory.

          • Edeco

            Hmmm, yeah. I’ve been avoiding the various surplus guns in 9×18 Mak even though they’re low-priced and interesting, since the ammo supply is questionable. Not that it’s that much trouble to buy online, but time/effort liabilities and underutilized capital can add up quickly, not worth the risk.

            41 in a medium revolver would be spectacular though 😀 would be worth paying $1.50 for ammo online.

          • A.D. Hopkins

            Would be spectacular for sure. I shot a .41 in a medium S&W once. First shot blew the leg off my target stand, which was impressive, but the hit was three feet from the bullseye, which was not. I still wanted one, though. I’m a lot more willing to buy a gun of oddball caliber when it’s priced at $189 than when it’s priced at $650. I think a Mak is worth more than the money you risk on it. I don’t know many other guns that size, and no other that cheap, with which most people can learn to make head shots (allbeit on paper on a target range when under no stress) at 25 yards.

        • eric ellquist

          I recall a novel from the ’70’s (?) called “The Evil That Men Do” in which the main character used and touted the .41 Magnum, I believe Charles Bronson went on to play the role in the film version. While the story was interesting with regard to the qualities of the round, (apparently a very flat trajectory) the guy’s workout routine was amazing. He would habitually strengthen his grip with the valve spring from a diesel truck engine. At one point he demonstrates the effectiveness of the regimen by squeezing some wise guy’s yarbles. I still laugh when recalling the episode. Good book. E

          • Edeco

            Nifty, I’ll dial that book up in my next amazon order!

          • eric ellquist

            Hope you like it. The guy is what’s called a “troubleshooter” as I recall. Takes care of bad things for good people. I read it in ’75, maybe? Might be still in print. E

      • Giolli Joker

        They just did the math.

    • Art out West

      I like the idea of the .41 mag as well. Of course a .44 mag would also be acceptable.

  • Griz

    Same classic look, same bullet proof design, but oh wait, let us make it in a different barrel length and different sights. So now it’s not “exactly” the same to train with and now my 4 inch .357 holster doesn’t fit this… I love it, but Ruger missed the point, when people buy a .22 copy of a full size it is usually to save money on the training due to using same gear and a cheaper cartridge!

    • gunsandrockets

      Let me see if I understand this then. To save 23 cents per shot, the difference between cheap 22 and cheap 38, you would spend over $600? That means you would break even after firing 2,600 shots. Strange economy.

      • TSA_TheSexualAssault

        Breaking even in 90 days sounds okay.

        • Paul White

          how the hell do you shoot 1k a month?!

          • Laserbait

            It’s not hard. I do between 500 and 1K per month, and that’s just target practice with my buddies. Not all one caliber, mind you, but when you reload, it’s all a lot cheaper.

          • Swarf

            How do you not?

          • TSA_TheSexualAssault

            4 mornings a month, after breakfast. Twenty-two has been getting short from drought of past 3 years. 250 rounds of bulk .22lr in 1999 was only $5, now $15 if you can get it. Rimfire doesn’t have the decades-long shelf life that centerfire cartridges have: shoot it!

      • Griz

        I have thousands of rounds through my buckmark, don’t understand how this would be different? Im finding .22 lr for less than 10 pennies each, plus I still 3 penny bulk from before 2012.

      • Laserbait

        You act like 3000 shots is a lot. It’s a mere drop in the bucket over the life of a gun. I wore out the pawl, star and forcing cone on my 4″ Ruger Redhawk at 15,000 rounds (Ruger fixed it for free, including the new barrel – Thanks!) after about 6 years. I’ve probably put another 4K through it since I got it back.

    • James

      Not just the barrel and sights… the trigger would be MUCH different on a 10 shot .22 vs any of the larger caliber guns. I’m of the opinion that you should train with what you carry even if it costs more.

  • M.M.D.C.

    “It certainly looks a lot better than the recently shown 3D printed revolver.”

    A backhanded compliment if ever there was one.

    I like Ruger. I own several Rugers. But their GP and SP revolvers are just as pretty as a mud fence and every bit as nicely finished. I keep waiting for them to update these guns and finish them like they do their Vaquero single actions.

  • MrPotatoHead

    Why Ruger??? You already have the SP101 in .22lr, which is over-priced for what it is. Now you’ve decided it would be a good idea to make a GP100 in .22lr that cost more than any other GP100? Why the 5.5″ barrel? Why not make it match the 4.2″ .357 model?

    You guys would have been better off offering the LCRx in .22lr with a 3″ barrel; or even better .22lr/.22mag conversion. Leave the GP100 a full size cartridge gun.

    • gunsandrockets

      Maybe Ruger did it because a 5.5″ barreled .22 SP101 would be too ugly to sell?

    • Laserbait

      Because people have been flooding them with requests for it. Look at both Ruger forums, and you’ll see that. Ruger listens to their customers, the CEO even has a section on the web site to email him.

      • MrPotatoHead

        People have been flooding Ruger with requests for the GP100 in 10mm for years. They haven’t listened. I can find 10mm a lot easier than I can .22lr right now. This GP100 is not going to sell well for them. Not at that price. They couldn’t even offer it with a .22 mag conversion cylinder.

        • Laserbait

          But not in anywhere the same numbers as 22LR. And I think it’s going to be a huge seller, as my LGS told me he already has 12 people call today to put in orders for one.

          I’m not saying that 10mm is dead, but even guns that are designed to shoot it are slow sellers. It’s a niche cartridge, like 41 Mag. At least 41 Mag has a rim for easy extraction in a revolver.

          And a conversion cylinder is not a easy task for a DA revolver, like it is for a SA. I can’t think of one DA revolver offered today that offers a conversion.

          • lazyshooter

            Taurus offers one, nice gun, I use it in bullseye matches. Haven’t tried the magnum cylinder yet.

    • Art out West

      The LCRx .22 with a 3″ barrel would be a lot of fun.

    • Annpu Vicerpu

      I think it’s been said, but yeah, people ask for it. Ruger is pretty good to listen, but there are those (often me) that kind of scratch their head. For instance “another .22 LR pistol?” I mean don’t get me wrong, I embrace new firearms, it keeps interest up, and I know .22 LR is a great way to get new shooters involved. And true, a 10 round revolver is always cool, but the price point on these 101’s is a big bite. Me, I’d like to see the SP101 in a 3″ barrel for .327. They used to make it, but now if you can find one, it’s nearly twice the original selling price. Also 3″ barrel or 4.2″ barrel in 22 WMR, that would be nice. But as far as the 5.5″ barrel for the .22 LR, my guess is to add more firepower and accuracy to the tamer .22 LR round. And cosmetically, that longer barrel does make it seem more formidable.

    • spencer60

      I firmly believe the SP line is going the way of the dodo.

      The last two guns that made that line unique was the version in 327 Federal Magnum, and in 22LR. Otherwise the GP-100 already covered all the bases in the SP lineup.

      About a month ago they released the LCR in 327 FM, a much better choice (and design) than the SP-101 version. An obvious winner for those who like that cartridge, much better than the SP option.

      Now they announce the GP-100 in 22LR. It’s the same price as the SP-101, and has to have a better (i.e. lighter) trigger pull, simply because the SP-101/22LR had the heaviest known to mankind since they started making guns out of metal.

      So that’s it. No reason to keep the aging, expensive and redundant SP line around anymore.

      The LCR is a better defensive revolver than any of them, and the GP is a better steel revolver if that’s what you want.

      Turn that plant space over to the new Ruger Lever Action in 357/20 (Ok that last is just a dream).

  • 9mm plz

    • MrPotatoHead

      Even better….10mm!

      • Swarf

        I want one that goes to 11.

        • William Taylor

          Well done, Senor Swarf……….. 😉

    • Amanofdragons

      They made a few sp101s in 9mm.

      • I want a longbarrel 9mm revolver in a casual speed of waiting, and right now it loks like Jerry Miculek’s 1000 recegun replica, or well, that is about it in quantity. Some Charter Arms one, but they’re rare as piss.

        • Edeco

          Hey, you know about the Czechpoint/Alfa-proj revolvers right? They look like k-frames, apparently there’s a 9mm version.

      • 2 years, I believe. Few and far inbetween on Gunbroker.

  • Peewee Sierrafour

    So so sweet. Santa please. Price tag a bit high but I want this so much.

  • MrEllis

    I like my .357 version, thanks though. At this rate make a .44 special I see more of that on the shelf than .22 LR it seems.

  • Fred Johnson

    I like it. It’s barely heavier than Ruger’s own Single Six and Single Ten in stainless, yet you get swing out cylinder and double action/single action goodness.*

    Now, I’d like to see one of these new GP100s in .22 Magnum.

    *Yes, I’m ignoring the SP101 for now.

    • Raymond Charles Hill

      I agree. The first thing I thought of was “wouldn’t this be great in a 10 shot 22 magnum”!!!

  • smoke

    I’m content with my SP101 in 22lr, 8-shot cylinder, 4.2″ barrel, & about 12 ozs. LESS WEIGHT. And 2 less cylinders to clean. But I am also yearning for the LCRx in 22lr with 8-shot cylinder & 3″ barrel with even LESS WEIGHT than the SP101.

    • Cymond

      My thoughts exactly. If I were going to buy one, I would definitely choose the SP101.
      On the other hand, options are good.

    • spencer60

      The problem with the SP-101 is that it’s unusable as a trainer.

      That ridiculous 200lb trigger pull means it’s literally impossible for younger kids to shoot it, and makes accuracy tough as well.

      I never understood how Ruger could sell regular centerfire SP’s with a very nice factory pull, and the 22LR version with such an abominable one, but they pretty much ceeded the market for 22 revolvers to Smith and Taurus.

  • Paul White

    heck I wish the 357 came in 5.5″; it’s a great length for balance

    • Laserbait

      It’s available in 5″.

  • Art out West

    Looks like fun, but honestly my $115 NEF R92 9 shot .22 lr with a 6″ barrel would be just about as much fun. $800ish is a lot of cash for a .22, but on the other hand, this gun is a beauty.
    I still need to get my first GP100 in .357.

    • At out West

      Also, the larger frame of the GP100 should allow even more than 10 rounds (my J-frame sized NEF cylinder holds 9 and the Ruger single 10 holds 12). The GP should hold a dozen or so.

      • Swarf

        Is that NEF worth it? Reliable?

        I can see spending $150-200 on a fun-gun, but not $800, or whatever the street price ends up being.

      • Cymond

        The Ruger Single-10 cylinder holds 12 rounds? I thought they held 10.

    • 25986

      Agreed. My heritage arms rough rider at $150 has both 22lr and magnum cylinder. Yea it’s ugly and only 6 shots ,but shoots just fine and I saved $650 to buy another carry gun kahr 40 and still have cash left over

  • HenryV

    I have just turned a nice seasonal shade of green.

  • Jeremy Star

    Few hundred rounds through my .357 4″GP100, no issue with sights going off zero. Of course, the first thing I did to the gun was replace the stock sights with Meprolight night sights, but it’s the same spring and screw for the rear sight as the stock ones.

  • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

    Seems strange that they went with a dovetail front sight instead of the plunger sight that the Super Redhawk and normal GP100 both use. There are already plenty of aftermarket front sights that are compatible with that installation method.

    Other than that, I like it. It’ll be right at home with my Super Redhawk, SP101, and GP100.

    When I can buy .22lr again, that is 🙁

  • Swarf

    It’s beautiful… and it’s a f’ing $800 .22lr revolver.

    Maybe if it came with a .22 mag cylinder… or two. Maybe.

    If you’re reading this, Ruger, I will buy a compact 9e the very second I am able to, should you produce one. I have the SR9, and it is a fantastic pistol, but a compact version with the simplified controls of the 9e would be my ideal carry gun.

    Also, when are you going to get around to perfecting Kel Tec’s PMR-30 and selling it like you did with the P3AT? The LCP has made you a boatload of money, and I would buy your version of the PMR-30, too.

  • William Taylor

    With the SP-101 available in .22 LR, what is the point of this behemoth?

    • Laserbait

      2 extra shots, higher velocity from a longer barrel, longer sight radius, the ability to use full size grips, etc.

  • Vizier

    I wonder what the trigger is like. The DA trigger on the .357 GP100 has a 14 lb pull and a huge stack up. That would be insane on a .22lr.

    • Laserbait

      I have 5 GP100’s, and none of them are that heavy, and almost no stacking.

  • nevadan99

    22 ammo. is to hard to find.

  • dltaylor51

    I have a Ubertie cattleman SAA revolver that’s a 12 shooter and it works great, Ruger did good on this one but for $830 you think Ruger would throw in a 22 mag cylinder.

  • BigFED

    Ruger could do a “giant killer” and make the GP100 and/or the SP1010 with a 3″ barrel and chambered in .22RF (S, L, LR) with a second cylinder in .22MRF (.22 Magnum)!!! THAT IS MY WISH!!!

    I have no questions that the .22RF (S, L, LR) are the best general purpose survival rounds, BUT those RF rounds are among the LEAST reliable, especially when exposed to the elements. The .22MRF is MUCH more resistant (actually on even better footing than centerfire ammo) to the exposure to real world issues that happen in the boonies!!! I say even better since there is no primer pocket that could fail. And the .22MRF is a viable self defense round, especially when compared to the other RFs. Near .38SPL HP wound characteristics.

    • Laserbait

      I suppose one could rechamber some of the 10 chambers to 22 Mag. Maybe the 1st 5 chambers leave as 22LR, and the other 5 as 22 Mag.

      • BigFED

        As a 50+ year gunsmith, there are enough dimensional differences between the standard .22RF (S, L, LR) cases and the .22MRF that would cause problems trying to convert the chambers, any number, to .22MRF. The larger diameter of the .22MRF case would affect the chamber/cylinder timing, the rim diameter and thickness of the .22MRF would also be a problem with rotation/case binding against the recoil shield and various other issues. If you get a chance, compare a standard .22RF cylinder with one for the .22MRF that are for the SAME FRAME/MAKE/ and MODEL! Do not use a Ruger single action as they are designed around to have the CYLINDERS swapped, not just some chambers modified.

        • Laserbait

          Looking at the cartridge drawings for both the 22LR and 22 WMR, there is only a 0.01″ increase of the rim thickness, and the rim diameter is only 0.022″ greater in size. Neither of these should cause a problem with interference or timing (as long as it was still on the same bore axis). The only possible issue that I can see is if the resulting chamber wall thickness can still contain the 24Kpsi pressure.

          • BigFED

            Trust me, it is more difficult than just reaming out the chambers. While the pics of the GP don’t give a clear illustration of the chamber dimensions, one can readily see the in the pic of the GP-100 there is little/no room for the larger rim diameter of the .22WMR. Besides, if one were to ask me to do the job, it would cost them more than it would cost for a revolver already so chambered. Taurus already makes a revolver with interchangeable cylinders (Model 992 Tracker).

            A short review on the internet will show that “conversion” of a revolver from .22RF to .22MRF is NOT a good idea, and in most cases (no pun intended) not plausible. Going the other way (.22WMR to .22RF) in not that big an issue, but there are still some minor points. A .22RF has bore dimeter of .222 while the .22WMR has a bore of .224. Shooting the higher pressure .22WMR could cause “issues”!

      • Edeco

        Ah yes, Dutch-boring. Used to be popular with stinebok hunters in Rhodesia in the 70’s, due to regulations.*

        *I made all of that up. It never happened that I know of.

  • Winter

    I was looking forward to the release of this gun but at that price point I think Ruger shot themselves in the foot. I know some folks prefer the partial underlugs but this gun especially just doesn’t look good without a full underlug in my opinion.

    I’m sure it’ll appeal to some but I was hoping for a something with a 5ish inch barrel with full underlug and extremely accurate. Then it might be worth more but still not more than every other GP100.

    I’ll get back to wishing for a stainless Ruger Super Blackhawk Bisley (with a round trigger guard) .44 magnum with a 5.5″ barrel. *sigh*

  • James Madison

    Just what we need to go along with overly expensive 22 ammo are overly expensive 22 revolvers.