GP100 - 38 Special ONLY, not 357?


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Harpo
February 20, 2008, 01:18 AM
I've been offered a Ruger GP100 4" that is factory marked "38 Special". I thought all GP100s were 357... Anyone aware of this model? What's it worth?

TIA,
Harpo

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arflattop
February 20, 2008, 01:26 AM
Yep, they do come in 38 special only. Local shop has a 4" blued model they've had for sale since December. It's roughly $100 less than the comparable .357 model. I'm hoping they'll get tired of having it in inventory and reduce the price........

M1 Shooter
February 20, 2008, 01:36 AM
Yup, I've seen a couple. It is my understanding that this model was primarily offered to PD's and security officers that must use .38 Spl. revolvers. At one time the 4" fixed sight GP100 in .38 Spl. was an approved NYPD issue revolver. Could be that it still is, and there may even still be some NYPD officers carrying them now.

The value would depend on the condition of course, but I saw a brand new blued 4" fixed sight one recently for $369.

RON in PA
February 20, 2008, 05:07 AM
I bought one last year, part of a canceled overseas police department order. Like most Ruger DA revolvers it was rough at first but lots of shooting has smoothed it considerably. Also put in a reduced power hammer spring. With the GP100's excellent grips and mass it is a real pussycat to shoot, also accurate. The last time I visited the Ruger homepage the 38 special GP100 was not offered.

MortalWombat
February 20, 2008, 12:28 PM
I saw a used one in my local gun shop (stainless, 4", fixed sights) for $310.

Technosavant
February 20, 2008, 12:28 PM
SOG (Southern Ohio Gun) has had them (new in box, a canceled PD order) in their catalog for the past few months. They would be a quite good gun for self defense. I thought about buying one, but wanted one with adjustable sights so I went a different route.

LeonCarr
February 20, 2008, 12:40 PM
Get one...easily the toughest straight .38 Special made.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

Z_Infidel
February 20, 2008, 01:00 PM
I have one and it's a very good, solid revolver. The trigger needs some work though...

strat81
February 20, 2008, 01:20 PM
Minor hijack: Could a .38sp GP100 have the cylinder modified to accept .357 mag cartridges safely?

foghornl
February 20, 2008, 01:20 PM
Not sure if it is a currently 'catalogued' model, but yes Ruger has made a bunch of the .38Spl GP-100's.

Darn nice .38Spl revolver...get one and just TRY to wear it out...I'll wager your great-grandkids will still be shooting it.

gunnerh
February 20, 2008, 02:56 PM
strat81 The reaming of .38sp Rugers and K frames to .357 mag was big busness in the 70's. Doing the cylinder in GP100 is a simple job. You would void the warrentity from Ruger but little ever go wrong with the GP100's any way. If you want to do the job yourself Midway has the reamer. Get the one for cylinders not barrels. Uses lots of cutting oil and take your time while cutting.

Z_Infidel
February 20, 2008, 03:05 PM
I'm not sure I understand that conversion process. Wouldn't the length of the chambers and distance from the back of the frame to the forcing cone be the issue?

Technosavant
February 20, 2008, 03:21 PM
I'm not sure I understand that conversion process. Wouldn't the length of the chambers and distance from the back of the frame to the forcing cone be the issue?

Not necessarily. Ruger wouldn't have made a special shorter windowed frame for special contract runs of .38spl GP100s. It makes no sense to spend the money to do that when they can just make a different cylinder. Very likely, the cylinder is the same one they use on the production .357 model, just only bored for a .38spl length round.

The frame is strong enough to handle the .357 magnum, it is pretty much just an issue of getting the rounds to fit in the cylinder. A little reaming and you're there, assuming the rest of the gun is the same as "normal" production. I'd bet it would be.

strat81
February 20, 2008, 03:30 PM
Not necessarily. Ruger wouldn't have made a special shorter windowed frame for special contract runs of .38spl GP100s. It makes no sense to spend the money to do that when they can just make a different cylinder. Very likely, the cylinder is the same one they use on the production .357 model, just only bored for a .38spl length round.

The frame is strong enough to handle the .357 magnum, it is pretty much just an issue of getting the rounds to fit in the cylinder. A little reaming and you're there, assuming the rest of the gun is the same as "normal" production. I'd bet it would be.
This is why I thought of it. It makes no sense for Ruger to have two bins for each part on a GP100 for .38sp and .357. Just bore the cylinder less than the .357 version and, voila, .38sp cylinder.

Technosavant
February 20, 2008, 03:50 PM
I should probably mention, though, that before you have a .38spl revolver of any make and model converted to .357 magnum, have it checked out by a competent and qualified gunsmith. Preferably one familiar with the model so they can tell you for certain that it can handle things.

Z_Infidel
February 20, 2008, 03:55 PM
Ahh, now I see... thanks.

Harpo
February 20, 2008, 05:27 PM
Thanks guys!

You've even answered a question I haven't asked yet, about conversion to .357. :)

Given that this conversion is possible, is it safe to assume that 38+P and 38+P+ are ok as-is?

deercop
February 20, 2008, 06:09 PM
FYI, a certain national distributor has/had NIB Ruger GP100 .38 Specials, blued, for $359.95.

Harpo
February 20, 2008, 06:31 PM
Is it acceptable to mention that national distributors name?

ArchAngelCD
February 21, 2008, 03:37 AM
Minor hijack: Could a .38sp GP100 have the cylinder modified to accept .357 mag cartridges safely?
Like said above, I think it's as simple as having a .357 Magnum Cylinder fitted onto the revolver.

Old Fuff
February 21, 2008, 10:05 AM
Like said above, I think it's as simple as having a .357 Magnum Cylinder fitted onto the revolver.

Not so simple. Ruger will only re-cylinder a revolver in its original configuration - in this case .38 Special. And they don't sell cylinders to the do-it-yourself crowd.

A .38 Special cylinder could be rechambered to .357 Magnum, but I wouldn't do it. Manufacturers don't always use the same steel alloys and heat treating procedures on .38 cylinders that the do on Magnum ones, even though they are otherwise dimensionally the same.

The GP-100 will handle any .38 Special load on the market. If one is determined they must have a .357 Magnum, go buy one. That simple solution will solve a lot of issues.

ArchAngelCD
February 22, 2008, 04:07 AM
I know Ruger won't sell parts to a end user but what about a Gunsmith? If not you can always find parts on the auction sites and have your Gunsmith install the cylinder, no?

Old Fuff
February 22, 2008, 09:34 AM
When it comes to being assembled the Ruger double-action revolvers are not necessarily a drop-in thing. Cylinders and their associated parts are fitted. You may be able to pick up a cylinder off one of the auctions, but it may or may not fit up on another frame. You could gamble, but it could be expensive if you lost.

Just for grins - if you could buy the necessary parts, and then add the labor to have the work done, it would likely be cheaper to sell the .38 and buy another equal .357.

From the Old Fuff's perspective, one of the true, high-end .38 Plus P or equal handloads would come close enough to Magnum performance for government work. :scrutiny:

Elvishead
February 22, 2008, 11:19 AM
That's a $100 question.

If you want a 38? Buy it!

If you want a .357? Look elsewhere, and be done with it already.:D

Z_Infidel
February 22, 2008, 05:54 PM
I agree. In fact, I bought my GP-100 simply because it IS a .38Spl.

ArchAngelCD
February 23, 2008, 03:38 AM
Old Fuff,
As usual you have made good points which are hard to argue with...

Old Fuff
February 23, 2008, 09:44 AM
As usual you have made good points which are hard to argue with...

Of course, but ya' know there are an awfull lot of folks that think otherwise... :rolleyes: :D

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