Ruger GP100 .44 Special : Elmer Keith Would Have Loved It

The Ruger GP100 .44 Special comes at a rather opportune time since the .44 Special turns 100 this year. In this episode of TFB TV, Patrick takes a revolver to the range that would have pleased Elmer Keith or any.44 special devotee. The GP100 is a tried and true design that has been around since 1985 and has been chambered in .357 Mag, .38 Spl, 327 Federal Mag, .22lr and now .44 Special.

Why .44 Special? With the rise of cowboy action shooting and many outdoorsmen realizing that a .44 Magnum can be a bit overpowered for many situations while hunting or exploring the woods. On the flip side, the .44 Special is just about perfect being easy to reload for as well as having fine accuracy.

Thanks to our sponsors:

 Ventura Munitions – Retailer of quality ammunition.

Proxibid – Track Down Your Perfect Rifle On Proxibid.com

 

Please subscribe!!! Click here.

Please subscribe!!! Click here.

 

Transcript ….
[coming soon]



Patrick R

Patrick is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and TFBTV Host. He likes guns and has liked shooting guns for as long as he can remember. You can follow Patrick on Instagram @tfbpatrick, Facebook, or contact him by email at TFBpatrick@gmail.com.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


Advertisement

  • Anonymoose

    Needs moar .41 mag. They brought out a Super Blackhawk Hunter in .41 Magnum recently, too.

  • SP mclaughlin

    1907 to 2017.
    110 years.

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      Newborn induced sleep deprivation can make math much harder than it is.

  • jonp

    I’m waiting for the true all around magnum in the GP100. The .41Mag

    • Nandor

      I’d say skip the .41 and bring back the 10mm revolvers. Having a caliber that’s not limited to semi-autos or revolvers is the best of both worlds.

      • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

        I have one of the ’90’s-made Ruger Blackhawk Buckeye convertibles in 38-40/10mm.

        It’s a dream to shoot.

        I’d kill for a GP100 in 10mm auto. Hell, I’d probably buy a pair (3″ and 6″).

        • jonp

          I just bid on one of those but dropped out. Had the Buckeye on it.

      • Edeco

        Not optimized for ejecting tho, I’d rather a purpose-built revolver cartridge.

      • Stuki Moi

        That would mean foregoing one of the revolver’s main advantages: Being able to use bullet shapes and recoil levels that won’t work reliably in semis. From full wadcutter bullets to soft, subsonic, don’t-wake-the-neighborhood-loadings.

        • gunsandrockets

          I wonder… a revolver specific handload for the 10mm might get it past .357 magnum levels and approaching .41 magnum power.

          • Stuki Moi

            Certainly if it’s loaded as a Super Redhawk Only load….

            Still don’t see the point. Why not just use an established revolver cartridge? The demand for 10mms seem to be mostly semi shooters who want to carry their familiar manual of arms into the woods. Those already comfortable with a revolver, are definitionally already familiar with their cartridges.

            At the opposite end of the spectrum, snubbies, commonality is arguably more beneficial. A grounds up design for 9 or .40 (shorter barrel -> shorter overall length) would be a nice compliment for those usually carrying a semi, but who sometimes find themselves in situations where they’d prefer a little wheelgun.

          • gunsandrockets

            Moon clip reloading

          • jonp

            In a Red or Blackhawk no doubt it might. Be very useful but I think the recoil would be harsher than the 41Mag.

    • ExMachina1

      Camera doesn’t move so 99.9% certain it’s on a tripod.

    • ExMachina1

      Isn’t 357 magnum a “true all around magnum “?

      • Yes for the most part—

      • jonp

        Sorta, I have shot a 180lb Whitetail with a GP100 in 357Mag at 35yrds and it worked fine but I wouldn’t consider it a black bear gun. I also thought the recoil from a 41Mag Blackhawk was more of a push than the sharp rap of the 357mag.
        Darn, now I’ve gone and talked myself into looking for a used 41Mag and considering Henry just released a 41Mag lever I’m going to be out a few bucks

    • Paul White

      Right there with you.

      Ruger, gimmie. This and and LCRx with a 3.5″ barrel in 22 and I will buy both ASAP

      • James Peterson

        Ruger has an lcrx 22lr 3 inch barrel.

        • Paul White

          it was announced a few days after my comment. My LGS doesn’t have one yet 🙁 But I’m buying pretty much as soon as they’re in stock

    • It’s a remote camera. Nobody else in front of him.

      • jonp

        I thought as such but wanted to point it out as something in the future that might be mentioned. Not everyone is as gun savvy as those on this blog and knew what he was doing

  • gunsandrockets

    Why .44 Special instead of .44 Magnum? Ruger looks like they are making the same mistake S&W made with the Model 296 revolver which flopped in .44 Special.

    But look at the success S&W is having with the .44 Magnum Model 69.

    • Jared Vynn

      The gp100 frame may not be able to handle 44 Magnum to Rugers specifications.

      • gunsandrockets

        Maybe. But I’m extremely doubtful of that. The GP-100 frame seems very much the equal of a S&W L frame.

        • Jared Vynn

          They may be doing testing on 44 Magnum and release it on the GP-100 later. I’m wondering if they could do a 45 long Colt or 454 casull in the GP100 as well.

          • gunsandrockets

            .45 Colt would have made more sense than the .44 Special. I would think they could squeeze that into the GP-100 cylinder.

          • Jared Vynn

            I figure at least 4. Assuming roughly .1″ cylinder wall between chambers.

          • jonp

            Might not be enough metal between the cylinders to do that. A 45LC is a pretty big piece of brass

          • They could certainly do it in 45 Colt.

        • Brian Fulmer

          Have a 686, bought a GP100 to shoot heavy 357 Mag handloads I don’t want to abuse my Smith with. The new build (2017) GP100 I got has a surprisingly good trigger – SA is 4lb just like my no-dash well loved 686. The GP100 is a bit beefier than the Smith and plenty strong enough for 44 Mag 5 shot. I think Ruger is doing a Glock and releasing 44 SPL before the 44 Mag (think 380 ACP before 9mm Luger).

        • Stuki Moi

          Ruger does have a “problem” (of their own making 🙂 ), of “Ruger Only Loads” in .44mag and .45Colt……… Stuffing those into anything resembling a medium frame, probably won’t end well, as Ruger’s lawyers are no doubt aware.

      • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

        The frame should be able to handle 44mag, but the cylinders probably don’t.

        • gunsandrockets

          Because a five shot cylinder has offset cylinder stop notches, I would be very surprised if an SP-100 unfluted cylinder is too small for five shots of .44 Magnum.

          • Edeco

            Hmmm. One reason I’ve been skeptical is that it appears Gary Reeder will do 44 Spl or 41 Mag, but not 44 Mag.

            Tho, Ruger themselves could maybe add a few thou diameter, raise the axis of the assault-barrel accordingly and/or use that good expensive steel from the 454 Super Blackhawk…

          • Stephen Paraski

            Or bring back the original Super Redhawk.

          • Yale Eliot Johnson

            The cylinder is a little short for magnums.

          • Edeco

            Hmmm, well, I’m not a reloader and would’t be thinking to try to run over-spec 300 grainers anyway…

          • gunsandrockets

            It would be very interesting if someone would provide a measurement of the thinnest portion of the .44 Special GP-100 chamber wall. That should tell us if the GP-100 could handle the dimensions of a .44 Magnum.

      • PersonCommenting

        I think it is because they dont want it to compete with their Alaskan line.

        • Jared Vynn

          Good point.

          • PersonCommenting

            *Redhawk line too. I dont think Ruger is ready for overlapping lines like Smith does. If you notice anything that Ruger does there is very little overlap in any type of gun. Does Ruger even have a 22 semi auto rifle other than 10/22? I dont think they have an AR series 22 and I dont think they ever will. I will say there is some overlap in bolt guns but even then its more of a features/quality thing between lines.

          • gunsandrockets

            One could say there is overlap in the .22 Ruger pistols.

          • PersonCommenting

            You are right! SR22 and and Mark 5. Even still though one is a traditional gun and the other is a target version. But good catch! You know your Ruger.

          • PersonCommenting

            My only repsonse to that would be is they are trying to capture the 22 training pistol market where they want a normal looking gun. Not a giant target. There is probably people that would never buy a mark 5 or a vicotry but would buy an M&P 22 and Sr22.

    • ExMachina1

      44 special is overlooked because everyone is magnum obsessed. Fact is that–especially in a gun this size–a magnum would be overkill. Ballistically, I’m not even sure that a magnum will get you that much more velocity, just more blast.

      • You can handload the 44special to high velocities approaching the 44 mag. Not a good idea to shoot that kind of load much but for hunting it would work just fine.

        • ExMachina1

          And it does! I have worked up hot hunting loads for my 44special Freedom Arms (300gr @ 1300fps) but most of the shooting that gun does is more moderate velocity rounds (which is how most people shoot their magnums anyway I think). Payoff is that the gun is a good bit lighter and more compact than a magnum rated gun.

        • Stuki Moi

          +1.

          In a shorter barreled gun, you benefit from the magnum’s added pressure, but not so much it’s added capacity.

          If this sells well, BuffBore et al, will likely offer highly potent GP100 specials in short order.

      • gunsandrockets

        I agree. But by the same ballistic logic the .44 Special doesn’t give you anything in a three inch barrel revolver that the .357 Magnum doesn’t do better.

        • James Peterson

          The 44 special gives you markedly less recoil.

    • James Peterson

      Ruger’ s gp100 44 special is 8 oz lighter than their 44 magnum. That is a significant difference for cc, or for just everyday carry.

      • gunsandrockets

        The Ruger .44 Special GP-100 is all of 1 ounce lighter than the S&W Model 69 in .44 Magnum.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    Really enjoyed this video. Nothing like a big bore wheel gun. I’d love to see them introduce the SP101 in 44 Special bringing a quality modern offering the bulldog concept. Was the hammer chamfered at all? My one complaint with Rugers is the hammers are often very sharp.

    • gunsandrockets

      A four shot .44 SP101? Err…

      • Harry’s Holsters

        good point.

    • Marcus D.

      Nothing a fine file won’t fix. A very light touch is all that is needed. I’ve done it to all of my single action clones that were also very sharp.

  • PersonCommenting

    I just dont get it… Why not just chamber it in 45 with moon clips or 44 mag… 44 mag would be one thing and I think the only reason they didnt would be that it would compete with other revolvers but yeah. I dont get it… I do love that smoothe cylinder

    • MrPotatoHead

      Ruger makes the Redhawk in .45ACP/.45 Colt. It uses moonclips for .45ACP.

      • PersonCommenting

        Yeah forgot about that one. Another competition thing. I think the only reason they didnt make this in 44 mag is that it would compete with redhawk and ruger isnt ready to have overlapping lines of product. Who knows though, maybe GP100 frame cant take 44mag although I would think it could.

  • DunRanull

    I was impressed- at first. Being a .44 spec-lover, this looked like a real deal.. until- only FIVE rounds? Sorry, deal-breaker. Seriously. They couldnt squeeze six in there? SOMEhow? Unless/until I can handle one of these and fall head-over heels as a carry gun… I’ll stick to my Redhawk and not have a .44Spec “primary”…
    JonP posted his wish for a .41mag in this revolver… I still have all my .41 reloading stuff, I’d be tickled with something like this in .41, if it were six rounds not five…

    • gunsandrockets

      No medium frame revolver holds more than five shots of .41, .44 or .45, how could you not know that?

      • I’ve heard of 6-shot conversions of the GP100 and S&W L-frames for the wildcat .41 Special. Austin Behlert even did a couple of revolver conversions in .41 Action Express.

        • gunsandrockets

          That’s interesting, but when I wrote .41 I was using shorthand for .41 Remington Magnum.

      • James Peterson

        You forgot the SP101 327 magnum. Six shots, and purposeful!

    • Yale Eliot Johnson

      Just buy the Redhawk in .41 if that’s the cartridge you want. I don’t think the cylinder is long enough for 41mag on a GP100.

  • Big Daddy

    The ammo is very expensive for what it is. I’d stick with .357 magnum which can shoot cheaper 38. If you reload not an issue.

  • Blake

    My Dad has a Ruger Super Redhawk in 44 Mag. Absolute beast of a revolver. However, we hardly ever shoot full-power 44 Mag loads out of it.

    Most of the time, we cast up a bunch of bullets & load them to 44SP power levels. Reloading a big-bore straight-walled revolver cartridge is about as easy as it gets, & the low power level means the brass last forever. If you get a couple of these dual bullet molds, the casting goes really fast: https://www.dixiegunworks.com/product_info.php?products_id=8065&osCsid=hmoac910jnp9ogj2rc52mq27k0

    The nicest thing about this setup is that this huge revolver has very little recoil with these loads, & thus is *very* easy to shoot *very* accurately (easier IMHO than a semi-auto pistol where the recoil impulse of the slide slamming back is fairly abrupt. That’s just not there with the .44; it’s more of a “push” than a “slam”).

    • Stephen Paraski

      I loved mine until it was stolen in 2004.

  • ExMachina1

    Hot dang that’s sweet!!!

  • Marcus D.

    Nice looking gun, but I think I’ll stick with my six shot 1873 in .45 Colt.

  • Elmer shot Colt SAA single actions with hot 44 special handloads. He also shot his S&W N frame in 44 special.

  • Stuki Moi

    Any chance of a side by side comparison between this and the new 2 3/4 inch 69? Neither are exactly in abundant stock at rental ranges right now, to put it mildly…..

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      Probably not. I don’t much like doing versus videos.

  • Yale Eliot Johnson

    Weird Yale checking in.

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      Yale!!!!!!! I have seen the light!

      • Yale Eliot Johnson

        LOL. It’s still not for everyone.