Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Ruminations on Ruger Revolvers

As it happens, most of my defensive sidearms have been semi-autos. I was drawn to the capacity advantages more than anything else, which is why the first one was the Ruger P89, with its 15-round capacity. I eventually discovered the joys of the revolver, though, and even in this day and age, where the high-tech high-capacity polymer autopistols seem to be popping up everywhere you look (even Wilson Combat's gotten into the combat tupperware game), there's still much to be said for a good wheelgun made of American steel (or any steel, for that matter). Engineered to handle much more powerful cartridges (though I've said before that I would not feel undergunned with full-house 10mm), and about as complicated as a stone axe, just to name a couple of things.
So a few months ago I picked myself up a medium-frame .357, a stainless-steel Ruger GP-100, with the 4" barrel. Everyone says Smith & Wesson is more or less the gold standard for revolvers; indeed, over at THR not long ago, this thread discussed how a couple of guys at one range made fun of one shooter because he had a Ruger and not one of the aforementioned S&Ws. I don't have any personal experiences with the S&W revolvers, but I'm here to tell you that the GP-100 is surely nothing to be ashamed of. Like all Ruger guns, it's built like a tank. Most revolvers wil eat anything you feed them, of course (it's just the way they were designed), but I seem to recall a story of a Ruger GP-100 actually surviving a double-charge. Based on my experience with the gun, I'd believe it, too, though I surely don't want to test it!

I've put about 400 or so rounds through it, equally divided between 125-grain .357 softpoint and 130-grain .38 Special fmj. Recoil's not quite as bad as a snubbie, though it's still pretty sharp. My accuracy with it still leaves a lot to be desired, but I love that gun. Something tells me my great-great grandkids will, too.