Friday, April 11, 2014

Some Thoughts on the Ruger GP-100 Match Champion

As you guys know I've had one for a while and have out some rounds through it, but it was only this last week at GUNSITE that, between filming the ultra-slow motion videography for GUN STORIES Season 4, I had a chance to run it.

Also as you know, the Match Champion is a stainless steel 4.2 inch barreled .357 with really nice Hogue wood grips revolver, the newest addition in the venerable GP-100 line. That said, I've always been an S&W guy when it came to revolvers...more specifically, a big bore S&Ws...44 Specials, .44 Magnums, even the occasional 38-40 all rung my chimes. The .357 seemed...puny...although I certainly knew it wasn't. It just wasn't big.

So we're going to film the ICORE Revolver World Championships, a match I've shot in the past with a totally trick Apex Tactical 629 running .44 Specials. Not a gun to take me to the winner's circle (although I suspect that's a matter of skill as opposed to hardware...LOL!), but an absolute blast to shoot.

For this year I thought I'd do something I'd never done before...go Ruger. They're good friends as well as sponsors, and Ken Jorgensen knows revolver as well as any living human. I had a 6-inch GP-100, which I sent off to Cylinder & Slide. Right about when the Match Champion arrived. Synchronicity, I thought. I'd practice with the MC while the 6-inch gun was in the shop.

This week I've been shooting ARMSCOR 158-gr .38 Special FMJs. I did lots of different drills on steel, but what really caught my eye was yesterday at 25 yards. I did a couple of cylinders of warm-up, then decided to roll off a quick 6-shot group. Two inches high and 2 inches right for the Novak-sighted gun at 25 yards, but a 3-inch off-hand DA group, which I'll take every day of the week and even Saturday.

I moved back to 50 on 12 inch plates for a while, then shifted to movement drills at 25, 15 and 10 yards. Very pleased with the gun! Expect to be even more pleased with the C&S 6-inch.


Anonymous said...

Are you all going to make the match in Boulder tomorrow? Seems like I have seen you in years.

- Grizz

Overload in Colorado said...

What did you think of the trigger pull? This week's Shotgun News had an article on it saying it was heavy. When I dry fired one a few weeks ago I found it very smooth, but slightly heavier than the revolver I ended up buying. That said, if I owned both, I might end up using the Ruger more as the grips are superior.
Second, do you find the sights precise enough? It seems that many revolvers seem to come with big, wide, front blades that seem to make precision shots very hard.

Michael Bane said...

Grizz... mwill be in Boulder tomorrow, hopefully. Been a while!

Overload... gun reviews generally suck, but lately they've moved into a whole new kevel of suckiness. I've seen stuff in the last couple of months that reaches new levels of stupid.

The Match Champion's trigger pull is heavy but smooth. About the same as my S&W M24. As smooth as my Apex Tactical? No way! Better than most out of the box triggers? Yes.

I like the green fiber optic front...that's what I've spec'ed for the C&S GP-100. Not crazy about the Novak fixed sight system on a revolver...would, rather have green fiber front and Hamilton Bowen Rough Country rear. Novaks may be A-OK on the Wiley Clapp model I have at Gemini Custom. Will going to use it for GUNSITE 250 Crimson Trace class in Nov.

The grips are excellent. I have a set of the Hogue "Big Butt" wood grip s for the competition gun when it comes home.

Been fun working with a revolver!


Anonymous said...

Michael, any way you could tell us what the single action and double action pulls actually weigh on this revolver out of the box? I've read wildly divergent pull weights on the match champion from others on the internet.

Michael Bane said...

It'll take me a couple of days to run down that trigger pull for you. I apparently packed my trigger pull gauge in a box I took to storage in anticipation of The Move. I think I know exactly where it is, give or take a few zip codes...


Anonymous said...

Is there anyone who thinks Patriots wouldn't have shot back?

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Michael, I'll be checking back on the trigger pull weights after you've had time to unpack!

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