Coonan or GP-100 .357


October 12, 2012, 04:31 PM
I have eyeballed the Coonan for a while and was thinking about selling my GP-100 to fund one. The 5" barrel of the Coonan will give a velocity jump in addition to no cylinder gap. The Coonan will will be easier to clean but don't know which will hold up longer. I'm reading the GP will need some pretty major overhaul when shooting Magnums only. What's the pros/cons of one versus the other?

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October 12, 2012, 05:05 PM
Where are you reading your GP will need an overhaul? Rugers are built pretty stoutly and everything I've read says they'll last a very, very long time.

October 12, 2012, 05:19 PM
I would like to hear more about this needed overhaul.

October 12, 2012, 05:23 PM
The ruger is cheaper and will outlast the coonan round for round.
But the ruger is not nearly as cool as the coonan and wont hold the colectors value that the coonan will.

October 12, 2012, 05:39 PM
The ruger would surely outlast the Coonan in my humble opinion, especially if the recoil spring etc in the coonan is not maintained well. It is embarrassing for me to say it though considering I am the revolverguy that if I had the money. I would surely purchase the coonan because I believe either one will outlast you.

October 12, 2012, 05:46 PM
The GP100 will last with a diet of nothing buy magnum loads. Unlike many

This overhaul sounds like a sales pitch by someone trying to get you to buy something else.

The Coonan is cool.
However don't let doubts of the Ruger handling full power loads non-stop influence your decision. Unlike with some manufacturers that design a sleek firearm that can handle some .357 but is expected to mainly shoot .38s that they label a .357 magnum, the GP-100 is a bulky gun that is designed to shoot them. It just so happens it can also shoot .38 specials.
Few other .357 Magnum revolvers are built as tough.

In fact it is so durable some people load rounds that other .357 magnums couldn't handle and that are over saami specs. They might experience some problems after awhile. The strong rugers tend to attract the type of people planning to do such things just because they are so strong.

October 12, 2012, 05:46 PM
The revolver will be much more versatile with it's ability to use any .38 or .357 ammo.
The Coonan would be a fun range gun, but I wouldn't give up a GP100 for it.

October 12, 2012, 05:54 PM
I don't own a Coonan but when I was considering one I was told by an owner it is a high maintenance gun, finicky about ammo and jam-prone. Any one of those properties outweighed the perceived coolness factor for me.

October 12, 2012, 06:24 PM
On the Ruger Forum. It was a question someone asked about end-shake. Iowagean (think that's his name) layed it out what would need attention. Seemed like a decent bit compared to springs and possibly a barrel at some point.

October 12, 2012, 06:32 PM
I wouldn't put too much stock into one internet opinion.
The vast majority of opinions I've read suggest that the GP100 will never need any attention.

October 12, 2012, 08:11 PM
I was just checking out their website. They sell some novel stuff: "Each vampire stake comes with eight Coonan 99% pure silver zombie bullets".
I'd bet money the Ruger would give more uninterupted service before needing "some pretty major overhaul" or part breaking, or falling off, or not working with only one pet load. Probably shoot those werewolf bullets better too.

October 12, 2012, 08:28 PM
As much as I enjoy my Coonan, I just put 100 rounds through it yesterday, it is a fun novelty, not something I would use as a self defense weapon, even though it has been 100% reliable. Given your two choices, the Coonan for fun, the gp-100 for work.

October 12, 2012, 08:38 PM
The GP100 is one of if not the most durable 357 on the market, with the exception of possible the blackhawk. The Coonan is a sweet weapon for sure but I would not trade the GP100 for it. That is a decision that you will be sure to regret and I know all about regretting trade decisions. Stick with what works if your only going to own one.

October 12, 2012, 09:06 PM
The Coonan is cool ... but for the same money ($1350?) you could have the GP 100 and a decent .45 ACP 1911 ... One thing that turns me off about any gun is an expensive proprietary magazine (Coonan mag is $60). I like to have at least 4 extras per auto pistol, and more than that is preferred. But for a gun that is mainly a 'non-standard' range gun, I guess I wouldn't need that many extra mags.

I do understand the allure of wanting an auto in .357 MAG though ...

Black Butte
October 12, 2012, 11:37 PM
The 5" barrel of the Coonan will give a velocity jump.

You can get a GP-100 with a 5" barrel.

October 12, 2012, 11:53 PM
A 4" revolver has a longer effective barrel length than a 5" auto and velocities will run neck and neck with the auto despite the gap.

October 13, 2012, 12:01 AM
True on the 5" GP but that means another revolver. Maybe the Coonan is a bad idea for a rimmed cartridge.

October 13, 2012, 01:49 AM
Is this just a range gun or a hunting/defensive gun? Seems like velocity jump would not be great to begin with, why is this such a selling point to you? Either way the Ruger will handle more full house loads than 99% of other guns

October 13, 2012, 09:58 AM
The Coonan is a really neat pistol, but was conceived before the 10mm, .45 Super and 460 Rowland existed. Today, there is little point beyond the cool factor.

October 13, 2012, 10:07 AM
If I seriously was considering a Coonan, and I was. I think I would go with a Delta Elite 10mm, and I am considering that now.

The Coonan seems cool, but I like several here feel it is more of a fun and novelity gun.

October 13, 2012, 10:20 AM
It's a fun gun. I saw a video review of the construction, fit and finish and was impressed.

highlander 5
October 13, 2012, 10:42 AM
I fired a Coonan many a moon ago and 2 things stood out on the pistol. The grip is larger than your run of the mill 1911 and 2 the gun had feeding problems,granted the pistol was new but the owner had clean off what ever lube was on the slide/rails and it would fire 3 or 4 rounds and have a failure to feed. A bump on the rear of the slide solved the problem.
Don't know what Coonans are going for but I suspect you could get 2 GP 100s and have the actions cleaned up and still have money left for ammo.

October 13, 2012, 11:01 AM
The slide hang is par for a new 1911 style pistol. I did near the same thing with my Dan Wesson the first outing and it locked up every shot. In fact I wanted to throw it down the range because of this and it finally just locked up solid. I had to take it home and take it apart with a rubber hammer. Then I worked it by hand for about 30 minutes with a ton of lube until it moved freely. It shoots so well now though!

October 13, 2012, 11:19 AM
On the Ruger Forum. It was a question someone asked about end-shake. Iowagean (think that's his name) layed it out what would need attention. Seemed like a decent bit compared to springs and possibly a barrel at some point.

Do you have any idea how many magnum loads you would need to shoot through a GP100 before you would get any appreciable amount of end shake? Even if you reload, the cost of that quantity of ammo would FAR outweigh the cost of a new gun.

FOR ME (and I realize that just because it's my opinion doesn't mean it's for everyone) I would stick with the GP100. Easier to find parts and accessories, more reliable, more versatile (you can shoot any .38spl or .357mag through it), more durable, etc...
The coonan is neat for its uniqueness, ingenuity, and the fact that you can have that kind of power in a semi-auto without bumping up in size to something like a Desert Eagle. The GP is just infinitely more practical.

October 13, 2012, 11:20 AM
The new Coonan is an awesome gun and I fully blame you for putting it back on my money to spend list!!!!

I say have both. Get the NEW Coonan (not used older model) after saving up, and keep the GP-100 while you save.

October 13, 2012, 12:23 PM
In this case it was an SP-101 which may be slightly less of a tank. Here is the thread if you want to read along but looks totally shot at 2,000 rounds. That's 40 boxes and I bet I have put 3/4 of that through mine already. Maybe I am reading wrong into what is being said in that but one statement reads it will need replaced out.

October 13, 2012, 03:24 PM
Regarding the logic posted in that : it leaves a lot to be desired. Too much misplaced theory, based on no facts.

And what, pray tell is so desirable about a Coonan? The fact that it will shoot .357? Being a semi-auto, one instantly sacrifices the adaptability of any .357 revolver. One can shoot so many different loads in a revolver .357, which would either never have the energy to work the slide of a semi, or be too powerful for the semi. Or get stuck during chambering.

October 13, 2012, 03:49 PM
In this case it was an SP-101 which may be slightly less of a tank.
Yeah, the GP100 is far larger than the SP101. It's like comparing a J frame Smith to an L frame Smith.

October 13, 2012, 03:52 PM
In there he talks about the wear piece being larger on the GP-100. If the SP-101 went at 2k rounds double it for a GP-100? Wish someone knew or had some data on it. This was my first revolver so don't know much about what goes.

October 13, 2012, 04:55 PM
Here's a better Ruger forum. Do a search for GP100s there.
If GP100s were having problems at 4,000 rounds, it would be front page news on every forum and at every gun store.
If I were you I would worry more about your EAA 10mms.

October 13, 2012, 06:01 PM
The 10's have been solid with Nukes. I need to check my end shake because I think I have some on my GP.

October 13, 2012, 06:20 PM
I think you're hand wringing over a non-issue. If you read the interwebs too much you'll think every one of your guns is a lemon.

October 13, 2012, 07:10 PM
True. I think the part that caught my eye the most was if the pawl didn't engage the notch due to end shake sending the bullet somewhere other than down the pipe. Yea I want to keep my digits a little while longer so yes it does raise a brow.

October 13, 2012, 07:27 PM
^ There's a lot of ifs in the world, that's for sure.

October 13, 2012, 07:30 PM
No doubt. Supposedly the guy from Iowa is a retired gunsmith who has a book out on revolvers. I do take what he says a little more to heart than someone who tinkers.

October 13, 2012, 08:13 PM
And what, pray tell is so desirable about a Coonan?
Ah, nothing much...except that it is essentially unique in design and execution, and based on the 1911, which is almost enough reason right there. IMHO it is a beautiful design, dang-near masterfully executed.

Anyone who remembers Dirty Harry and his AutoMag can relate on some level. I wanted one for years and years, had a chance to buy one at a semi-reasonable price about ten years ago (.357, ~1200 IIRC). I think I might have even had the money on me at the time, which gives me another reason to kick myself in the pants every time I think about it.

The AutoMag was a unique design, and perhaps somewhat flawed...but the attraction of a semi-auto pistol that fires the .357 (or .44Mag) round is undeniable. There are definitely some engineering challenges involved in making a powerful, rimmed cartridge feed and function in a semi-auto...and the AutoMag suffered through most of them.

The Coonan (in its original iteration) overcame most (but not necessarily all) of those challenges, but suffered some other issues as well. The fact that it is a 1911(-ish) design makes it far more desireable (to me) than the original AutoMags, which look like a stainless Ruger MkII on steroids...not that there is anything wrong with that. the demise of all of the semi-auto Magnums was premature and unfortunate.

I watched as the re-invented Coonan went through its pre-introduction tease, the initial reports, to the current. I looked at a NNIB A model about a year ago, but I am thinking I will go for one of the new ones...when I find one locally that I can actually see before I buy. In the meantime, I read everything I can find.

All of this is a long-winded way of saying that I am very happy that the Coonan has re-emerged, and I look forward to owning one some day. I am hoping that they re-introduce a 4" model, but as is a steel frame, I do not necessarily view it as a carry pistol.

So...I am not selling my K or N-frame S&Ws to finance a Coonan. If you have a Ruger .357 revolver that you like and it serves you well, I would keep it and save up for the Coonan. That is exactly what I am doing.

BTW, I believe I read that once-upon-a-time, the "old" Coonan company experimented with a .41 Mag auto pistol. Now that is something I would really be interested in. :)

I own a 1911 in 10mm and a 4" S&W N-frame in .41 mag. So is a .357 or .41 Mag semi auto pistol really a step up, or just an interesting diversion?

Only you can answer that question. FWIW, I think it would be a unique and enjoyable ownership experience.

Good luck in your search.
Best, Rich

October 14, 2012, 02:28 AM
the demise of all of the semi-auto Magnums was premature and unfortunate.

You mean except for the one that has soldiered on to idol status in pop culture?

(And also happens to be a supremely accurate hunting handgun)

October 14, 2012, 06:17 AM
little off topic but the AutoMag M-180 didn't use .357 mag or 44 mag ammo, they used .357 amp/jmp, .41amp/jmp and .44amp ammo, and IMHO buy the GP-100 over the Coonan, i have nothing against the Coonan, in fact if i found one at a good price i would jump on with both feet, but the GP-100 is a tank and will outlast your grandkids will a little TLC.

October 14, 2012, 12:02 PM
This seem to easy coonan or gp-100. GP-100 of course. 110gr to to 200gr full house 357 mag or 38 sp. One solid well made revolver.

October 14, 2012, 06:47 PM
For $1350 you can get a DE .357 and a GP 100.

October 14, 2012, 08:16 PM
I had an Coonan for a time, i ordered it with the 38spl. kit. That way i could shoot full power 357's or 38spl's out of it. It was accurate and reliable.

I sold it to a friend many years ago, and last i asked him, he was still shooting it.

I had two 44 automags and one 357 automag too. Glad to see them gone!


October 14, 2012, 08:19 PM
I think the GP 100s are more than a little stout! I often hear of them called the tank of .357s due to Ruger over building them.

Dain Bramage
October 14, 2012, 10:19 PM
The Coonan is a high quality gun, and oodles of fun to shoot. Given that, it is a semi-automatic, and the limitations on load and bullet profile are true. It's probably not the best choice for your first or only .357 magnum. Having wrung mine out, I would have no problems using it for self-defence or hunting, if I stay within its limitations.

Coonan recommends factory JHPs. I've had zero malfunctions, out of about 500 rounds of full power JHP, TC, RNFP, both factory and reloads.

The only issues occurred when I tried to stretch the envelope with low power reloads and LSWC profile bullets. These failures were expected, but I had to try.

If you want to shoot anything that you can stuff into a cylinder, choose the GP. I have several .357s, including the Coonan and a Ruger Blackhawk, and I like them all.

October 14, 2012, 10:22 PM
The OP already has the GP.

As I stated, just save for the Coonan. "Problem" solved.

October 14, 2012, 11:09 PM
I'm keeping my GP. I will eventually get the Coonan just to tinker with. Maybe one will drop to me on a good deal like the others.

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