As a person who carries a 357 Mag GP100 revolver at work and when out in the surrounding wooded areas, I was glad to see Ruger release this high capacity rimfire version. It provides a small game and pest solution, it makes for fun recreational target shooting and its heft and form make it a shoe in for general GP100 proficiency building. Built on Ruger’s beefy 357 Mag frame, recoil with the 22 rimfire cartridge is negligible, accuracy is high and this is not a rimfire that is going to wear out or shoot loose.
Ruger GP100 .22 Rimfire
|Manufacturer||Ruger, Newport, NH|
|Type Action||Double/Single Action Revolver|
|Caliber||22 Rimfire; Shot, Long, Long Rifle|
|Weight – Actual||42 Oz.|
|Trigger Pull DA/SA||11 Lbs 8 Oz. / 5 Lbs 6 Oz.|
|Grip Construction||Black Rubber/Rosewood Inserts|
|Front Sight||Green Fiber Optic – Dovetail Mount|
|Rear Sight||Adjustable W/E|
|Increment of Adjustment||3/4″ @ 25 Yards|
The concept of marrying a larger than typical double action revolver frame with a .22 rimfire has been a tradition with American firearm manufacturers for some time. In 1927, Colt introduced its medium frame Officers Model Target in 22 rimfire 1). In the early 1930’s, Smith & Wesson introduced the .22/32 Target as a rimfire built on the company’s K Frame 2).
The 5 1/2″ barrel Ruger GP100 is 2 oz. heavier than the alloy steel, 6″ barrel, 6 shot S&W Classic Series Model 17 Masterpiece and 2.2 oz. less than the stainless steel S&W 6″ barrel, full underlug, 10 shot Model 617.
Matching barrel length and underlug configurations would find the Ruger GP100 to be the heaviest of the three by a couple of ounces, all of which reside in the GP 100’s more substantial frame. Stated in the S&W vernacular for the sake of context. the S&W guns are built on K frames, the Ruger is an overbuilt L frame equivalent. The Ruger has a very good feel when shooting.
Why ten shots? Why not?
Anticipating the questions, “Who needs more than six shots?” “Why not eleven or eleven and one half shots”, the answer is simple, ten fits the GP 100 cylinder’s approximately 1.550″ diameter with lots of wall thickness surrounding chambers. Reducing to six shots would just add weight to the cylinder with no upside in performance or handling.
The Ruger locks at three points; front latch, cylinder latch and center pin lock. It also shares the same solid sided, modular design found in the 357 Mag versions of the GP 100 as pictured below.
The GP 100 series firearms are easy to disassemble and maintain, the peg grip frame invites freedom of grip design from compact for concealed carry to full size and target. In actuality, there are ten unique part numbers that apply only to the rimfire version: cylinder, ejector, frame, barrel, transfer bar, hammer, firing pin, ejector rod, mainspring, and front sight.
The grip on the GP 100 rimfire is comfortable, shaped for good balance. The .22 caliber bore doesn’t take much weight out of the 3/4″ diameter barrel. Fortunately, Ruger decided on a partial under lug, just enough to shroud the ejector rod and to house the third cylinder locking point, so the overall result is a slightly muzzle heavy revolver that yields a very steady sight picture. I always pull up on a target, rather than dropping down, and the GP 100 rimfire goes precisely to the target and remains. The Ruger tracks well to moving targets and the muzzle barely rises on discharge. Even the muzzle blast is softened… more of a loud pop than a sharp crack.
I went through a lot more rimfire ammo than intended for this assessment. The long sight radius of 6 5/8″ helped me to shoot a lot more accurately than typical and it is hard to put a gun down when it is shooting well. Performance wise the Ruger GP 100 looked about like this…
|Winchester Super Speed||40||1300||1055||1.1|
|Remington Golden Bullet||40||1255||1036||1.2|
The groups were shot, two hand hold, from a steady stack of shot bags. After shooting several groups of each ammo type, I would say those on the table are typical. There were no misfires and all empties dumped out easily with a light push on the ejector.
I like the light pipe front sight however, my preference would be a couple of red light pipe dot in the rear sight… which is how I have my personal GP 100 357 Mag set up. I never understand why manufacturers don’t mass produce to my personal preferences. Yes, sarcasm.
The trigger pull is smooth, but a bit heavy. I would normally fiddle with spring rates and a clean up of the trigger on a GP 100 or Super Redhawk, but I would want to check further before making any modifications to see if it is reliable rimfire ignition that requires the heavier mainspring.
Overall, this rimfire version of the GP 100 is consistent with the rest of GP 100 product like; tough, reliable, accurate and a good looking firearm at that.