Ruger GP100: Buffalo Bore HC LFN-GC 180 Velocity and Jug Test


September 21, 2013, 02:59 AM
Hello fellow citizens! The purpose of this post is to report on the performance of Buffalo Bore's Hard Cast Lead Flat Nose Gas Check 180 Grain .357 Magnum round out of a Ruger GP100 KGP-141.

10 shots were fired at approximately 10' from the chronograph. The temperature was exceptionally hot Florida summer weather! Here are the results:

String: 1305, 1317, 1314, 1325, 1341, 1289, 1302, 1274, 1250, 1243

Descriptive Statistics:

Buffalo Bore advertises this load as traveling at 1375 ft/s out of a 4" S&W L Frame Mt. Gun. Today's test used a 4.2" barrel from the Ruger GP100.

We can visualize the spread of the distribution via boxplot with whiskers:

The shaded area is the interquartile range, which is inclusive of 50% of the shots fired. The dark line in the shaded area is the median. The dotted line represents the mean. The median is the preferred measure of central tendency for this figure, however given that there were no outliers I chose to visualize the mean here as well.

A single round of this ammunition was shot through a 2.25" Ruger SP101 and clocked in at 1158 ft/s (not pictured).

Using the GP100, a single shot was fired into a row of one gallon water jugs. No denim or other material was used.

The round penetrated completely through 9 water jugs and kept going. Needless to say it was not recovered! I imagine it still looked like this:

But we may never know...

I won't extrapolate penetration into these water jugs to predict performance in other ballistic media - but it is my opinion that this round can't help but penetrate most anything you might be pointing at with a .357 Magnum. In previous limited experiences, I have seen hardcast rounds penetrate 5 or 6 jugs and then veer off course into the unknown. It was notable that it plowed right through all 9 jugs in a relatively straight course.

This Ruger is sighted in for heavy hardcast lead. I stocked up on BB 180's and Corbon 200 Grain Hunter Hardcast before and determined that my preference was toward this load based on accuracy and design.

These shots were fired from approximately 10' and were the same used to record data on velocity. The hole at the top is a puncture that was used to hold the target up against wood.

I am not sure if it needs minor tweaking on the adjustable sights... it is more likely that the slightly left skew and up skew of this target is due to my technique but I intend to test it again for point of aim and impact when I get a chance.

By the power invested in me by Bill Ruger...

Discussion: In this particular gun, the Buffalo Bore 180 .357 mag load measured lower than BB's published velocities. The range and standard deviation from this string were greater than any other shot today, but not unreasonable. This load does seem sensitive to barrel length.

However, given the accuracy and expected penetration characteristics of this bullet design, and for my personal use, I am not sure that having it any hotter would benefit me. I use this gun mainly as a hiking companion in the south-east and in Appalachia.

I like this round for what it is, and I will continue to use it based on these tests and others. I will report back on this thread if I am able to compile more data.


-Triple T

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September 21, 2013, 09:26 AM
that's a good hog cartridge. I used a 180gr hard cast for most of 20 years as my hig stopper. Loaded some at 1400fps and found when a one handed shot was needed recovery for a follow up was slooow. Drop the fps down to 1150 and still got head to butt penetration but with you all the snap of the faster round. Like you never recovered a 180gr hard cast. Try to load some of speers 170gr sp. Real good all purpose hunting round.

I see they have factory loads now.

September 21, 2013, 02:11 PM
I ran it through my Henry Big Boy and was averaging in the low 1900 fps. Plenty good enough. I posted some on the rifle forum a while ago.

September 21, 2013, 02:28 PM
Nice test. At BBTI, they found that their 4" 686 gave an average of 33 fps *faster* than a 5" 627, so the difference between what you got and their claimed average seems more-or-less within the range of honest variation. My near-new GP100 has a rather generous 0.006" cylinder gap, so when I get around to putting it over a chrono, I expect to find it's a bit slow.

I wouldn't fault BB for choosing a relatively fast gun for their tests, unless they deliberately tightened the gap until you could barely close the cylinder and fire-lapped the bore 200 times.

September 21, 2013, 03:27 PM
From my readings, I agree that variation exists between firearms that will impact velocity. Published at 1375 and reaching a mean of 1296 and a median over 1300 is perfectly acceptable for what I envision the purpose of this cartridge to be. Thanks for the link and the resources. 1900 ft/s sounds absolutely destructive... I have an unopened box of these 180's and I'll run another string of them through next time I'm at the range for fun and for validation.

September 21, 2013, 06:22 PM
Looking at BB's velocity data shows rounds sometimes shooting faster out of a shorter barrel, and sometimes shooting faster out of a different gun with the same barrel length.
My guess is that there are many factors at play, B/C gap, rifling depth, rifling twist, number of grooves, throat diameters, and choke at the frame.
All issues with the particular gun or brand of gun, nothing that would indicate any type of M&S shenanigans.

September 21, 2013, 09:07 PM
Thanks for posting this test information! I've often thought about getting some of these and getting out to the range in preparation for hunting season. I can see that they would handle anything I am likely to encounter in the northeast, easily! My 4" GP100 anxiously awaits...

September 21, 2013, 09:39 PM
The wonderful thing about the GP100 is that full powered. 357 rounds like these have negligible recoil. At least that is my perception, and in the context of my time spent with some lightweight revolvers.

I like to keep mine OWB in a Simply Rugged sourdough pancake at 3:00.

September 25, 2013, 03:22 PM
What would you add, if anything, to velocity and power if shot out of a rossi m92 or similar, i wonder?


September 25, 2013, 03:30 PM
Buffalo Bore advertises 1851 ft/s for this round out of their 18.5" Marlin 1894.

September 26, 2013, 02:39 AM
im curious to see results from a 4" security/service six [gp100 predecessor], i wonder what, if any difference there would be in comparison

October 25, 2013, 01:16 AM
M92 20" Octagon barrel 2000fps.

Black Butte
October 25, 2013, 01:53 AM
By the power invested in me by Bill Ruger...


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