GP-100 4" or 6"?


April 9, 2007, 04:10 PM
I am wanting a workhorse .357 that will be a range, home defense, sometimes hunting and sometimes truk gun, but it will never be a "carry" gun. I have a 4" Model 19, but don't want to subject it to thousands of hot .357 rounds or alot of field abuse. I plan to shoot alot of hot and heavy loads through this gun, so I want one that can stand abuse. I was tempted by the 7-shot Taurus, but decided I don't want a potential "lesser" quality gun. The S&Ws are nice, but I don't like the locks and frankly I think the Ruger will get me what I want, namely ruggedness and durability, for a lesser cost.
I am thinking I might want a 6" for increased velocity, sight radius and decreased flash and bang. I don't know if I like that full underlug on the 6" though, did they make one without it? The 4" is fine, but I have a 4" Model 19 and Model 10 so dont think I really need another 4", but is there really much gained with a 6"? I'll never pack this gun except for hunting, so extra legth won't really hurt in that area.
Suggestions? Pictures of your 6" GP?

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April 9, 2007, 04:31 PM
I had both a 4" and 6" GP100. I kept the 6" for the increased velocity. I have killed a feral hog and deer with mine. I would recommend the 6" for your described usage. Mine is very accurate. It can take some abuse. The extra barrel length and full lug tames the recoil. You can usually find a used one in excellent condition for a bargain price.

My 6" GP100 with a Hogue rubber grip and new Millet front white bar sight.

April 9, 2007, 04:31 PM

Five pages of info re the GP 100 I have a 6 in in Blue.
Join the club!!!

April 9, 2007, 04:36 PM
Whatever you get, be sure to put in a Wolff reduced power main spring and trigger return spring for a major and instant improvement in trigger pull. I put in the springs that are just two lbs. lighter than the factory. Amazing difference.

April 9, 2007, 05:26 PM
Either the 4" or the 6" barrel would be good, but I've wanted the 6" model for more than a year.

April 9, 2007, 06:17 PM
Funny I had a 6" 7 shot taurus and I dumped it to get the 4" SS GP-100. I'm glad I did it. I love my 4" but If you're like a lot of guys I know, you'll probably eventually own both barrel lengths. I think each serves a different purpose. If size doesn't matter, get the 6". It makes for a great all around field gun.

Jim March
April 9, 2007, 06:56 PM
Yeah, there were half-lug 6" barrels made, but are now out of production.

I handled one once. Damned if it didn't have the same "pointability" feel as the 4" full lug that I compared it to. Sweeeet gun.

You shave the full lug yourself if you're careful. To really do it right you'd need both a mill and a slack-belt grinder to get the bottom of the barrel rounded. And you'd have to be slow as hell and do it no-gloves so you could tell if the metal was overheating. Big job but I've seen pics of home-lug-chopped specials.

April 9, 2007, 06:58 PM
I have a 4", great gun...i sometimes carry it. If you're not gonna carry, go with the 6" has better manners at the range and the extended sight plane will make it a bit more accurate. Can't go wrong with either though

April 9, 2007, 06:58 PM
Nice pic GunAdmirer!
I do think I want the 6", but the only thing that gives me doubt is the full underlug putting too much weight forward. I wish Ruger would make one with a half-underlug.

April 9, 2007, 07:29 PM
If you check various auction sites you can find a 6" GP-100 with partial underlug barrel.

I prefer the appearance of the 6" barrel with full underlug though, felt pretty good the one time I held it too. It'll help tame the recoil of those hotter .357 Magnums that you're just itching to fire from what may be the strongest .357 revolver ever built.

Jim March
April 9, 2007, 07:31 PM
You know what'd be neat?

Take a full-lug, mount it upright in a drill press, drill right down through the lug and hollow it out :).

Mount a small flashlight in the end, or a laser, or...something :).

OR, turn it into a percussion front-stuffer smoothbore barrel of about .30cal?

April 9, 2007, 08:37 PM
I checked the gun auction sites and the only partial lug GP100 was a 4" fiixed sight model.
I did find a stainless Security Six though with a 6" bbl and partial lug. What do I give up to the GP100 if I went with the Security Six (besides it not being new)? Is it less tough in any way? I see the grip frame is different, but looks fine to me.

April 9, 2007, 09:30 PM
A few months ago I couldn't find a Ruger anywhere. I found my 4-inch Redhawk a couple of weeks ago, and today I found a brand new 4-inch GP100 that I just couldn't pass up. IMO the 4-inch .357 is the perfect all around handgun, especially in the Ruger format " ROCK SOLID ". Now I'm just waiting for my Hogue monogrips to replace the butt-ugly stock ones.

April 9, 2007, 09:32 PM
I've owned a few Ruger GP-100's with 4" barrels; I currently own one with a6" barrel; I've also owned variants of Colt King Cobra, Colt Peacekeeper, S&W 19, and S&W 686 with 4" & 6" barrels;

I've decided to stick with my latest 6" stainless Ruger GP-100 for heavy duty usage including as a hunting sidearm; my "in-between" magnum revolver is a 3" stainless Ruger SP-101;

I like the pair of Rugers that I have and don't see a DIRE NEED for a 4" barreled revolver, but a 4" revolver is a good all-in-one for someone that doesn't have a budget for another handgun or won't be needing the longer barrel (target, hunting, etc);

even though I don't NEED another revolver, I DESIRE to get a S&W 520 which is a discontinued model that testbedded a few ideas for them like titanium cylinders, barrel shroud & liner, Hi-Viz front site, and 7 shot "plus" cylinder and its proprietary trigger system...not sure WHY they did it, but it makes for a good looking package

April 9, 2007, 09:32 PM
I shot my 6" better than the 4". If I HAD to chose, its the 6".


April 9, 2007, 11:37 PM
Mine is a 6".
Might as well get all the inherent velocity from the .357 Magnum that you can! (If Ruger made an 8" or 10" barrel on their GP100s, you'd do even better, but 6" is the current maximum.)

April 9, 2007, 11:57 PM
I did find a stainless Security Six though with a 6" bbl and partial lug. What do I give up to the GP100 if I went with the Security Six (besides it not being new)? Is it less tough in any way? I see the grip frame is different, but looks fine to me.

You'll be giving up a little bit of structural integrity with the Security Six instead of the GP-100. But the Security Six, unlike the S&W Model 19 was built and designed for .357 Magnum use, so it's gonna be a tank regardless.

April 10, 2007, 12:10 AM
Note: I only have extensive experience with a Security Six. I've shot a GP a few times, but that's it.

I don't think you'd be giving up anything at all. The Six series were more expensive to make than the GPs are. That may or may not mean "better," but's true for whatever it means.

The Sixes are stronger than anybody'd ever need them to be. Perhaps the GPs have a slight edge here, and the MkIII/MkV Colts certainly do, but if the difference makes a difference, you're doing something stupid at the loading bench.

The only issue I have with the Security Six is, that with real barn-burner loads (110 grain JHP over a Sierra-manual max load of H110), the gun rings like a bell after each shot. Even with my more-sedate 158/Blue Dot loads, (.3 grains less than Alliant max load) it kicks harder than my 4" Trooper MK III. The Six is lighter, and you can't really argue with Sir Issac. But it's not the recoil, it's the vibration that bothers me, and only with certain loads. Bullet weight could play a part in this, too, I don't know.

The triggers on the Sixes I've shot have all been pretty good. Not Python-good, but good. Add in the fact that they're about as inexpensive to buy as quality revolvers get, and you've got a pretty convincing argument.

I've never met nor heard of an unhappy Six-series Ruger owner. They're great guns.


April 10, 2007, 07:30 AM
Several years ago, after drooling at them for a year at the pusher's, I bought my second .357M - a new 5" Stocking Dealer Exclusive half-lugged 686+, complete with Ahrends square conversion cocobolo f.g. stocks, V-notch rear, and HiViz front sight. Great pointing handgun. It is nearly the same as my first .357M - a new 6" 66-6 bargain bought from CDNN a year or so earlier and immediately fitted with the same HiViz and Ahrends. Nice package. I still want a 4" - probably a new 620. Of course, the 2.5" 686+ looks nice - as does the newly re-released 3" 686+. And, that short a barrel, my "partial lugs only" dictum could be forgotten. Maybe I could get a quantity break on those Ahrends grips and HiViz sights.

The moral to this story is simple. Rationalize the appropriate size, 4", 6", or mid-point 5", as you must.... resistance is futile. You will eventually have them all. Just start with whichever one fits your most current 'needs' (aka 'desires'). I know of no cure for revolver gluttony. Feel free to sub the Rugers for my S&W's. Hmmm, didn't they have a run of 5" grey GP100's for Davidson's a few years back? Were they partially lugged??


April 10, 2007, 07:35 AM
since you are not going to carry, the 6" is better. that extra length on a pistol makes shot placement so much easier. velocity of the 357 is very good so why not get the most out of it.

April 10, 2007, 04:03 PM
The extra weight of the full lug on the 6" model does make it slightly front heavy, but it doesn't bother me at all. It tames the recoil of hot .357 rounds nicely. Shooting .38 special wadcutters through it is like shooting a .22 pistol.

April 10, 2007, 08:56 PM
Well I just handled a Stainless 6" at Cabela's ($529) and it really isn't very forward heavy at all like I thought it would be, so I will probably go with one of those. Now to shop for the right price. :D

April 10, 2007, 09:07 PM
I agree with sanson1. if your not going to carry it the 6 in. Ruger makes sence. I will have one someday.:)

April 10, 2007, 10:17 PM

I would watch the auction sites and pawn shops for a lightly used bargain. I bought mine for $300 from a local pawn shop. I did a little cleaning, changed to lighter springs, replaced the front sight and put a Hogue grip on it - maybe another $50 total. The spring replacement, as mentioned above, gave it a very light but reliable trigger pull. It was an easy installation.

Millett makes a very visible and nicely contoured white or orange bar replacement front sight. You can also get a bright fiber optic front sight from Marble's. It is for another Ruger model but works perfectly on the GP100s. The front sights can be changed out in seconds by depressing a spring loaded pin.

I really like my 6". It was a blast to hunt and kill a feral hog and a deer with it. I load 180 grain Hornady XTP's for hunting.

If you don't get in a hurry and are willing to shop around, I am confident you can find one that you will be happy with at a very good price.

April 11, 2007, 03:39 PM
I don't own a GP-100, but thanks to friends, I have shot most of the variants. I prefer the 4". The one 6" I have shot had the full under-lug, so it seemed just a bit muzzle-heavy to me...maybe the 1/2-lug 6" would feel better in my hands than the full-lug version.

Now, if I was looking for a hunting DA .357, I'd have to go 6" in the GP-100. Ohio "Game-N-Fish" laws require .357 or larger bore, minimum 5" barrel

April 11, 2007, 06:55 PM
I would suggest the 6". Mine is the KGP-161 model, 6" barrel, stainless and is exactly what you are looking for, I believe.
Mine is accurate with a very nice trigger in both SA/DA.

April 11, 2007, 07:01 PM
Where can you find cheap Gp 100's? AZhunter. ☻

Black Knight
April 11, 2007, 07:44 PM
If you are set on a Ruger GP100 I would choose a 6 inch in Stainless Steel.
Since you are already used to the S&W 19 might I suggest a 6 inch S&W 686. They have the same grip frame. Don't get me wrong I have nothing against Rugers. A friend of mine carried one in the early 1990's as his duty weapon in private security. They are top notch. It just depends on your personal preferences.

April 11, 2007, 08:40 PM
AZ Hunter,

Check out Mark just listed a stash of LNIB 4" stainless GP-100s for $339. I bought one to keep my blued 4" company.

I thought about getting a 3" from another source, but fixed sights are far inferior to adjustable sights IMO. And a 6" barrel is way too front heavy for easy handling, also IMO.

I think this is the best revolver being sold at this time.

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