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GP100 - 6 or 4.2?

This is a discussion on GP100 - 6 or 4.2? within the Ruger Double Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; I had a chance to shoot 357s through the GP100 with the 6 inch barrel, and loved the way it felt. Much more comfortable than ...


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Old February 25th, 2017, 11:18 AM   #1
 
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GP100 - 6 or 4.2?

I had a chance to shoot 357s through the GP100 with the 6 inch barrel, and loved the way it felt. Much more comfortable than shooting 357 through my LCR snubbie. Unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to try the GP100 with the 4.2 inch barrel.

I'm shopping for my GP100 on Gunbroker.com and am in a quandary as to whether to buy the 4.2 or 6 inch barrel.

Question for those of you who have fired either or both, does the 4.2 inch barrel feel as comfortable (recoil wise) as the 6 inch? Does that extra 1.8 inch in the barrel make a huge difference?

Thanks!

Pam



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Old February 25th, 2017, 11:53 AM   #2
 
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Pampurrs with the weight of the GP100 in either 6 inch barrel or 4.2 it's not too bad of recoil based on the loads you use. I do have a Ruger GP100 Wiley Clapp II in Hawkeye Blue in .357 magnum with a 3 inch barrel. This has become my favorite .357 extremely accurate. I know that it's not the same barrel length you are looking for. But I was shooting some of my .357 reloads using 158 grain jhp bullets with 13 grains of 2400 the recoil wasn't bad at all. I was also using the Ruger Compact Grips I got from a forum member. You might want to rethink buying a revolver off of GunBroker. I much prefer looking at what I buy & be able to look the revolver over closely. Working the action etc doing so can help you get a better feel for what you want in your GP100. I looked for 2 years before I found the one I wanted. I ran into several new GP100's with rough actions burrs etc. I am just suggesting this to you so you can avoid problems. Good luck to you!!!
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Old February 25th, 2017, 01:01 PM   #3
 
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I've owned both the 6" and the 4.2" and the barrel length makes no noticeable difference in recoil.

The 6" has a longer sight radius and is therefore a bit easier to aim. Many say for hunting a 6" barrel is needed to develop the necessary muzzle velocity.

The 4.2" barrel is much more convenient to carry and a good compromise in terms of ease of carry and performance. It is what I currently own.

The 3" barrel is best suited to conceal carry and lacks the sight radius of the other models. In other words, it's not as fun to shoot at the range. Many say this barrel length is too short to get the benefit out of the 357 magnum caliber.

BBTI - Ballistics by the Inch :: .357 Mag Results

Of course, the only real answer is to get both!
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Old February 25th, 2017, 01:06 PM   #4
 
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I prefer the 6 inch for its balance and for me easier sight picture. But my eyes are 60 years old.
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Old February 25th, 2017, 01:17 PM   #5
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Pam, what will be your major use? I have shot several of both barrel lengths, not to mention some of the 3" versions and have no issues with any of them, BUT I am a shooter with a ton of experience with much harder kickers than the 357. My best guess is that you won't find the 4.2" to be that much worse in the recoil department.

The 6" is going to be the better range gun or dedicated hunting gun, but the 4.2" can also do, nicely, for those uses and be nicer gun to handle and carry in the bargain. A 4.2" barrel 357 is about as do everything as it gets.
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Old February 25th, 2017, 01:18 PM   #6
 
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Or try a 5" barrel. I had a 3" and a 6" and liked the 6" better, but always felt a 5" barrel would be optimum.
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Old February 25th, 2017, 01:25 PM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gqucool View Post
You might want to rethink buying a revolver off of GunBroker. I much prefer looking at what I buy & be able to look the revolver over closely. Working the action etc doing so can help you get a better feel for what you want in your GP100. I looked for 2 years before I found the one I wanted. I ran into several new GP100's with rough actions burrs etc. I am just suggesting this to you so you can avoid problems. Good luck to you!!!
This is some very good advice. I also have handled a good number of GP100 revolvers at gun shows, and there is a huge difference in action between one GP100 and another like model. Not saying that the ones with rough gritty action cant be corrected with some TLC, but why take the chance when you can buy one that is very nice out of the box. My 5 inch GP100 had the nicest trigger out of the box that I had ever seen on a stock model. To me, the longer barrel on a GP100 has more to do with having a longer sight radius and making it steadier on the target than it does with reducing recoil. Even the 3 inch bbl GP100 soaks up recoil pretty well.
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Old February 25th, 2017, 01:56 PM   #8
 
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I was going back and forth too on whether to get the 4 or 6 GP100. Then I had a chance to shoot the 5" and it felt perfect and I was hooked. Ordered one immediately.
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Old February 25th, 2017, 01:57 PM   #9
 
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Get the one that feels best to you and balances best for you

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Old February 25th, 2017, 01:58 PM   #10
 
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I prefer 4" revolvers over longer barrelled ones. I primarily use them in thick woods, in steep terrain, so something a little shorter on the belt works better for me.
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Old February 25th, 2017, 02:11 PM   #11
 
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A GP100 6 inch or 4.2 inch should be easy to find at the LGS. One thing to consider but it might be a Talo model the Ruger GP100's in a 5 inch is really a nice balance between a 4.2 & 6 inch revolver.
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Old February 25th, 2017, 03:09 PM   #12
 
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I personally find the 4.2 to be very well balanced and it soaks up the recoil just fine.

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Old February 25th, 2017, 04:49 PM   #13
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Pampurrs, GP 100 357 Mag .... now you're talking!!!

I have a 4" Stainless (full lug, high polish) and a 6" stainless (full lug). My 4" was made in 1995, long before Ruger changed to 4.2" for Canadian compliance. I have to say, NCG nailed it ..."A 4.2" barrel 357 is about as do everything as it gets." I enjoy shooting both barrel lengths but I mostly shoot 38 target loads (148gr LHBWC with 3.0gr of Bullseye). Once in a while I'll get a wild hair and run a batch of magnums through one or the other. I don't recall ever doing a side-by-side comparison for recoil but the 6" will be just a bit more mellow with full magnum loads. I really like 140gr JHPs with a healthy dose of W-296. If you don't hit the target, at least you will singe it from the huge muzzle flash.

I'm with gqucool concerning Gun Broker or any of the other on line sources. I like to see and feel what I'm spending my money on. Workmanship on Ruger DAs seems to be hit and miss. The most common issues are harsh gritty trigger pull .... which can be remedied easily with a little fluff and buff and a set of reduced power springs. One of the issues I have seen quite often is barrel indexing where the front sight leans left or right .... some are so far off the adjustable rear sight doesn't have enough adjustment to zero the sights. Of course that means a trip back to the mother ship for repairs.

A couple years ago, I was roaming around a gun show and found a private seller with a 6" GP100 stainless full lug. I really didn't need it but the price was to good to turn down. The gun was filthy but I checked it over .... almost no endshake, tight B/C gap, decent trigger pull and it had a Hogue rubber grip installed with the new factory "Lett" type grip still in the factory box along with the papers. When I got home, I cleaned up the GP 100 and it looked like it was brand new. I took all the measurements and found them all to be well within specs. A few days later I took it to the range and ran it through its paces. It turned out to be an excellent specimen and a fantastic shooter ... more accurate than my 4" but not as convenient for carry. Fact is .... my 6" GP is the only revolver I own that does not have a holster and probably never will.

Here's my 6 inch GP100:



Here's my old nasty 4" GKGP141 (high polish). Not bad for a 22 year old gun!

Last edited by Iowegan; February 25th, 2017 at 05:01 PM.
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Old February 25th, 2017, 05:12 PM   #14
 
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I like the 4.2 I own four, GP 100 .357 Mag.MC ,Redhawk 44,Taurus 65 & 66 .357 Mag's.
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Old February 25th, 2017, 05:34 PM   #15
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I've owned far more GP100s than I care to admit - 6", 5", 4.2", 4", 3", 2.6", stainless, blued, Wiley Clapps, full lug, partial lug, etc.. Most have been sold down the pike leaving me with a bunch of my own FrankenRugers and one nearly stock example, a six incher in stainless steel. That one is a keeper and for simple range enjoyment is a real pleasure to shoot. I don't think I ever really noticed much difference in recoil between the 6" and the 4.2" but I seem to shoot the 6" better.

Unless you're inclined to do some tinkering I would agree that a personal inspection may be best prior to purchase. Ruger fit, finish and action can vary widely, although most issues can be fixed yourself if so inclined.

You can't go wrong with either and will likely be happy either way you choose. Good luck and enjoy the decision process (or just buy both as some have already suggested...)
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