Author Topic: Ruger GP100 - 4.2" or 6" Barrel  (Read 6908 times)

Offline Sturla Snorrison

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Ruger GP100 - 4.2" or 6" Barrel
« on: June 06, 2016, 12:06:52 AM »
I am looking at a Ruger GP100 Stainless in .357 caliber. I am leaning toward the 4.2" barrel because it could be carried less conspicuously than the 6" barrel version. However, since it is already a fairly large handgun, not really concealable, should I just go with the 6" barrel for increased accuracy and less recoil?

Interested in folks' opinions, thanks.

Offline Carl

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Re: Ruger GP100 - 4.2" or 6" Barrel
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2016, 05:01:41 AM »
I would go with the 4 inch for better balance abd faster draw...the longer barrel does enhance sight picture a bit,but it is not a sniper weapon and the faster draw is more important...what little weight the longer barrel has will not markedly effect recoil....unless a MAGNAPORT or similar porting is involved. Under stress you will not even notice recoil.

I suggest a recoil reducing RUBBER ,aftermarket ,GRIP as a better recoil option.

Offline armymars

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Re: Ruger GP100 - 4.2" or 6" Barrel
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2016, 09:13:07 AM »
  For years before the police switched to autos and revolvers were king, cops in patrol cars whore guns with 4" barrels because the 6" would push up on the seat of the car. Foot patrol would carry 6". Some of this was for the intimidation factor. Lets face it, a S&W 38 sp on an 6" N frame is a big gun.
  I know I was impressed as a kid in Detroit.

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Re: Ruger GP100 - 4.2" or 6" Barrel
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2016, 09:39:29 AM »
I used to have a 4". One of my favorite guns ever and one I'm sorry I ever sold. I could draw a smiley face on my targets at 50' with that gun, so I see no need for the 6" unless you're into slower burning powders for huge magnum loads. Accuracy-wise I suspect the difference is negligible.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Ruger GP100 - 4.2" or 6" Barrel
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2016, 09:54:56 AM »
Years ago I got a sweet deal on a 6" GP100 in blue.  In hindsight I wish it was 4", but even then it'd be a lot to carry.
I have a decent custom OWB holster, but it takes a proper gun belt to handle the weight. 

It's one of my favorite range guns, and a backup home defense firearm.  It's also the firearm I learned to hand load for.
While you should always be cautious with handloading, the sheer mass of the GP100 inspires some confidence with very hot, slow burning powders like H110.

Grips are another consideration.  For my described uses, I like the Hogue "tamer" grips mine came with (circa 2009).  However it's "sticky" and slows down the draw, especially if you carry with an untucked shirt.  I experimented with harder/slicker Pachmyr grips, but those weren't as comfortable for the magnum recoil.  Since it's not an ideal carry gun, I put the rubber Hogue monogrip back on.

If I had the funds and found one, I would personally grab a 3".  Could be a good backpacking/woods gun.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Ruger GP100 - 4.2" or 6" Barrel
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2016, 11:13:18 AM »
I have a short version of the GP100, this one http://www.gunblast.com/Ruger-GP100WC.htm, whiley clapp. I wish I had the cool holster in that link !

For me, the grip is a little bit big and the trigger too long or heavy -- but, I am a small woman. It is a very nice gun. everyone I have let shoot it, loves it. I have bought a new spring set, but havent messed around with getting a lighter pull yet. And, I am used to large for my hands grips.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Ruger GP100 - 4.2" or 6" Barrel
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2016, 12:02:24 PM »
I have a short version of the GP100, this one http://www.gunblast.com/Ruger-GP100WC.htm, whiley clapp. I wish I had the cool holster in that link !

For me, the grip is a little bit big and the trigger too long or heavy -- but, I am a small woman. It is a very nice gun. everyone I have let shoot it, loves it. I have bought a new spring set, but havent messed around with getting a lighter pull yet. And, I am used to large for my hands grips.

I swear after a few thousand rounds, my trigger feels lighter.  It's broken in so sweet, in double action I can pause my pull right when the SA engages.
It's like a 2-stage rifle trigger. A couple years ago I lightly polished the mating surfaces of the trigger group, but didn't mess with the springs.

This is a gun I load up powder puff cast lead 158gr LSWC .38spl with Trail Boss and will shoot off 200+ during a range trip.  Perfect for ringing a steel gong 50 yards away.  I can't recall how the trigger was new, but absolutely love how it is today.




Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Ruger GP100 - 4.2" or 6" Barrel
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2016, 12:26:27 PM »
I swear after a few thousand rounds, my trigger feels lighter.  It's broken in so sweet, in double action I can pause my pull right when the SA engages.
It's like a 2-stage rifle trigger. A couple years ago I lightly polished the mating surfaces of the trigger group, but didn't mess with the springs.

This is a gun I load up powder puff cast lead 158gr LSWC .38spl with Trail Boss and will shoot off 200+ during a range trip.  Perfect for ringing a steel gong 50 yards away.  I can't recall how the trigger was new, but absolutely love how it is today.

It has not had a fewthousand rounds, at all. So, you aresaying, I should go out and shoot it a whole lot more ?

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Ruger GP100 - 4.2" or 6" Barrel
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2016, 12:27:45 PM »
It has not had a fewthousand rounds, at all. So, you aresaying, I should go out and shoot it a whole lot more ?


Yes.  Dry fire it - a lot.  It's free and will strengthen you fingers.

Offline Knecht

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Re: Ruger GP100 - 4.2" or 6" Barrel
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2016, 01:20:42 PM »
I had the 3" version but sold it, as it had non-adjustable sights and I couldn't find any ammo that would hit where it aimed. Other than that, it was very well made gun. I wished I had the 6" versionback then. But it's true that it would be somewhat big and heavy for everyday carry.

Offline machinisttx

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Re: Ruger GP100 - 4.2" or 6" Barrel
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2016, 10:15:58 PM »
It has not had a fewthousand rounds, at all. So, you aresaying, I should go out and shoot it a whole lot more ?

Definitely go shoot it more, and dry fire it a lot. The rugers really need to wear in. You may also be better off with a different, smaller grip. The Ruger SP and GP revolvers have more of a "stud" than a grip frame, and can be fitted with smaller stocks than a comparable S&W. It's also fairly cheap to buy a lighter mainspring(less than $10 when I last looked), which would reduce pull weight a bit. The mainspring can be something of a pain to install, especially if you have very limited hand strength. Different strengths are available, and depending on which one you used, it might cut several pounds of weight off the trigger pull. Made a huge difference on my SP101, but I also did a lot of deburring, smoothing, and polishing while I had it apart.

Here's what the Ruger looks like with the grip off. The grip is held on by a single screw from the bottom. The coil mainspring is easy to see.


Here's what a S&W K frame(or the L/N/X) frames look like with the stocks off. These all have a leaf mainspring. The J frames use a coil spring.



As for the original question...what exactly do you want to do with it? A 4" gun is a lot more pleasant to carry, for more miles, than the same gun with a 6". I have a lot more 4" revolvers than 6", and most of the time I will grab the shorter gun. Nothing I can do with a 6" that can't be done with two inches less barrel. On the other hand, if it's strictly going to be used for taking game, then you're better off with the longer barrel. Not necessarily for the extra velocity, but more because it's easier to shoot well than anything shorter...and an 8" plus barrel is easier still. Even with that being said, I don't remember the last time I took my 8.375" barreled S&W 586 out of the safe. Lots easier to hit with at 50+ yards, but it's heavy and unwieldy to carry. 
« Last Edit: June 07, 2016, 10:25:08 PM by machinisttx »

Offline shadowalker_returns

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Re: Ruger GP100 - 4.2" or 6" Barrel
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2017, 09:31:07 AM »
4" BBL is the way to go for all around use. 6" IMO is for more specialized use. I have a lot of revolvers. the ones I used to EDC were always between 2 - 4" BBL. My 6-10" BBL handguns I've always reserved for hunting and other special occasions. The lighter weight and shorter BBL add much more utility to a handgun. For a general purpose all around use handgun its hard to fault a 4" BBl.

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