Ruger GP100 .44 Spl
Ruger GP100 .44 Spl by Pat Cascio – Survival Blog
Ruger just introduced their GP100 revolver in .44 Spl. I still remember the very first .44 Spl handgun I ever owned and shot. At that time, it was the “new” Charter Arms .44 Spl Bulldog. And, if I recall correctly, back then the only factory ammo available was some lead round nose ammo that wasn’t very accurate. I couldn’t hit the target very much. When I did, the round key-hole went through the target sideways. Still, I kept that gun for a good long time. I don’t know why!
My long-time friend, confidant, and fellow gun writer, John Taffin, is probably the biggest proponent for the .44 Spl caliber that I’m aware of. He has written tens of thousands of words on the virtues of the .44 Spl caliber, not to mention a book on the .44 Spl/Mag subject. When John speaks, my ears perk up and I listen, intensely. Taffin has promised to leave me one of his .44 Spl handguns in his will, too. I don’t expect one of the fancy custom guns. Nope. I’ll take whatever he cares to leave me.
I used to be a huge fan of the .44 Magnum caliber. I still like it for medium to bigger game hunting, but I don’t much care for it as a self-defense round. It’s just too hot and will over-penetrate the human body, with most of the ammo available. That’s not a good thing. However, when stoking the .44 Mag with .44 Spl ammo, it’s a whole different ball game.
John Taffin has probably forgotten more than I’ll ever know when it comes to reloading the .44 Spl round. He has devoted his life to experimenting with this round. It is good for self defense. No! I take that back. It is a great self-defense round, with the proper bullet. It will also take medium and even some big game. I’d have no problem taking a black bear with a well-placed and properly designed .44 Spl bullet. Plus, one of the great things about the .44 Spl is that it doesn’t have nearly the recoil and muzzle blast that the .44 Mag has. That’s outstanding!
Ruger’s GP100 .44 Spl has taken everyone by surprise and by storm. It is a very hot-selling revolver. The GP 100 usually comes in .357 Mag but can be found in .38 Spl too. And, to be sure, the GP 100 is a very sturdy revolver. It will handle all the .357 Mag ammo you care to put through it. So, I was curious about the .44 Spl chambering. Well, to start with, it is only a 5-shot revolver, instead of the traditional 6-shot version. I don’t have a problem with that at all.
A quick run down is in order on the GP 100 in .44 Spl. It is manufactured out of stainless steel and has a nice brush finish to it. The barrel is only three inches long, but I’m hoping Ruger will come out with one with a 4-inch barrel for just a little more velocity gain. The grips are rubber from Hogue and have a nice soft feel to them. Plus, they easily absorb the recoil from the .44 Spl load. The rear sight is adjustable for windage and elevation. The front sight is a large, green fiber optic version, which is very easy to see. It’s very, very nice.
Weighing in at only 36 ounces, the GP 100 in .44 Spl is not a heavy-weight at all and makes for easy packing all day long. It’s a great trail gun, if you ask me. Of course, it all depends on the ammo you have loaded in the GP 100. Some ammo is great for punching paper, some for taking small- to medium-sized game, and some are useful for medium to bigger game.
I have a very difficult time getting new shooters to understand this very simple fact. You don’t want a light-weight, low velocity target round loaded in your gun if you happen to be in black bear country. It’s not going to stop a charging black bear. So, stop and think about what kind of threats you may have to face. Will it be four legged dangerous game or are you looking to fill the pot for dinner, in which case small game will be your intended game. The ammo makes a huge difference!