.44 Special GP

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by DPris, Nov 29, 2016.

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  1. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I got lucky. A THR member found one cheap, bought it, didn't like it, and sold it to me for what they had in it. That was several years ago. It has a great DA and I shoot it well that way. A near perfect revolver for carry if you like revolvers for that, and the mid size doesn't bother you. A 3" GP-100 would be very similar.
     
  2. farm23

    farm23 Member

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    I think it will be a 4.2" so they can sell in Canada and will have adjustable sights.
     
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  3. Blacksmoke

    Blacksmoke Member

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    That makes sense.

    I just wish they would stop with the full underlug barrel.
     
  4. Merle1

    Merle1 Member

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    But that full underlug will help dampen recoil if you crank up the loads a bit..... :eek:
     
  5. Poohgyrr

    Poohgyrr Member

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    One of the advantages of the Special is the much gentler recoil & muzzle blast (vs magnums). For in town, Skeeter's load should handle things fine.
     
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  6. Rangersedge

    Rangersedge Member

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    Ok. I have several Rugers and Smiths -including a SW 69. Serious questions...

    Can anyone explain to me how a GP100 in .44 spec is as desirable as a SW 69 in .44 mag when they are approximately the same size?

    Also, why can't Ruger make the GP100 as a .44 mag instead?
     
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  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    .44 Spl fans? :)
     
  8. DPris

    DPris Member Emeritus

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    Ruger more durable.
    Ruger no lock.
    Ruger no electro-chemical rifling method.

    Ruger no desire to make it in .44 Mag.
    Denis
     
  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I have a Redhawk in .44 Mag (.41 too), and love it/them, but I don't want a GP-100 in .41 or .44 Mag. I can see where some folks would want one, just not me.

    I am fascinated with the thought of a GP-100 in.44 Spl. I guess one either gets that, or they don't. But heck, I like the .38 S&W too. :)
     
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  10. Rangersedge

    Rangersedge Member

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    If the Ruger is more durable, why not rate it for .44 mag?

    I understand the desirability of the .44 special, but you can just shoot .44 special in a .44 magnum if you like and you have the assurance that it can handle the hot stuff via the .44 mag designation.

    I don't care about the process used to make rifling unless one is more accurate / fouls less / etc. Please explain why one process is better than the other.

    Without counting, i'd guess I have roughly the same number of Rugers and Smiths so obviously a fan of both. Just trying to understand the GP 100 .44 situation better. I may need one, but I'm just not getting the benefit of a GP100 .44 spec over a SW69 .44 mag. Hopefully, you can help me understand.
     
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  11. DPris

    DPris Member Emeritus

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    Like the .38/.357 situation, repeated .44 Specials through a .44 Mag with lead bullets, which is what I'd use, leaves a ring of burned carbon at .44 Special case length that can inhibit loading of .44 Mags & requires extra efforts to clean.

    I don't shoot .38s through my .357s for that reason & have no interest in shooting .44 Specials through .44 Mag chambers.

    The durability concerns timing & other internal parts wear, in which the Ruger will run farther & longer.
    Durability isn't always synonymous with strength.

    The Smith method of electro-chemical rifling leaves a bore that many have found slightly less accurate with lead, which again is what I'd be shooting.

    I don't know if any of this helps you understand, but many of us feel the Ruger GP in .44 Special would be nicely sized, shipped without a lock we refuse to own, more durable over a longer lifespan before needing work than the Smith, and doesn't have any need to be a .44 Mag in that package.

    If you prefer the Smith, buy the Smith.
    Denis
     
  12. Rangersedge

    Rangersedge Member

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    That does help. Thank you.

    P.s. already have the smith 69. Debating if need the Ruger GP too!
     
  13. Drail

    Drail Member

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    The current S&W rifling has a problem with "some" cast lead bullets depending on their shape and whether the base is beveled or square, but not all lead bullets. My 696 which has the current type rifling does better with certain cast bullets than others - I don't see this with any of my old S&W guns. I really wish they had stayed with the standard old style broach cut rifling which left nice sharp 90 degree corners between the lands and grooves. It seemed to work with a much larger variety of bullet styles. I will be interested to see how Ruger deals with the problem of mounting a big bore barrel into the frame of a revolver designed for .357 cartridges. That will be the biggest challenge. S&W resorted to a sleeved barrel. I really don't see Ruger going that route but if they do not they will end up with a pretty thin forcing cone just like the 696. As to durability and strength - with the .44 Spl. cartridge that won't cause any problems IMO. In the end the S&W will still have a nicer DA trigger.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016
  14. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    A carry gun should not be heavier than necessary, nor should it look a little goofy.
     
  15. Drail

    Drail Member

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    To me a full lug barrel looks less "goofy" than the half lug and the extra weight does make it nicer to shoot in rapid fire. The only S&W I own without the full lug is an old Model 57 but it has enough weight without the lug because it is a N frame with a smaller bore which gives a thicker barrel and chamber walls. I have never considered a revolver to be too heavy to carry if used with a quality belt and holster.
     
  16. MaxP

    MaxP Member

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    Then why do folks carry Glocks? :D
     
  17. huntsman

    huntsman Member

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    Ok but you have to admit you're part of a niche market, this offering lacks the crossover appeal to a casual gun buyer. The guy who just walks into WW for a box of ammo, isn't a reloader and isn't going out of the way to buy ammo.
     
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  18. eldon519

    eldon519 Member

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    What is electro-chemical rifling?

    Also I do think it is odd how most people regard a .357-chambered weapon over a .38-chambered weapon given the same size, but somehow this is reversed for the .44. A little cleaning is no big deal, and unless you are extremely wealthy or devote a large portion of your disposable income to shooting, you are going to have to reload for either to shoot it much. And of course if you are going to reload, you can just make your .44 mags as mild as you want, similar to what many folks do with .357s. I just can't see the added flexibility or performance capability as a bad thing no matter how hard I try.
     
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  19. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    I think a big part of the S&W 69 in 44 mag, vs GP100 in 44 special issue folks asking "why" miss is that a 44 special in this configuration is meant as a full sized self defense gun, not something to be slinging magnums at an animal you want to eat.

    Ruger has the Redhawks, Super Redhawks, and Super Blackhawks for that purpose, and they are far more suited for slinging magnums based on their size and weight.

    S&W has the 29, 629, and various X frame revolvers for killing food, which again, are more suitable for that role than the model 69. Based on that, I have to assume the model 69 is meant to be a trail, defense or backup gun.

    For self defense against humans, I see no reason a 44 mag is necessary. It seems like using a hammer to swat a fly to me. Will it get the job done? Yes, but it sure seems like overkill. However, on the trail or as backup while hunting, the 44 mag in a small package makes a lot of sense. There are a lot of folks though, who feel the 44 special offers plenty of performance, and enough to handle any threat they may encounter. The biggest predator I have in my neck of the woods is mountain lion, and a 44 special would certainly handle a cat. People and dogs are a bigger issue for me.

    So while I like the notion of having magnum capabilities, I don't know that it would serve a purpose for me. I already have a 460 magnum if I want to hunt big game. I don't really NEED a 44 anything for that matter, but "need" became a nonissue for me about 8 guns ago.

    IMO, S&W and Ruger are both targeting the defense market with their L frame sized 44 offerings, not the hunting market. Ruger recognizes that a 44 special GP100 will be a well balanced gun for it's intended use, and won't require some of the design features the S&W 69 employs. They also recognize that 44 mags out of an L frame sized gun will not be pleasant or necessarily desirable to a large portion of the market. So they are offering an alternative.

    As Denis said, if you want to shoot 44 mags, buy the Smith. If you can appreciate a 44 Special, buy the Ruger. There is room for both in the market.

    I am curious to see if Ruger offers a 5 shot GP100 in 44 mag at some point.
     
  20. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    To make a gun capable to safely shoot 44 Magnum in any volume, you need more gun than you would to just shoot 44 Special exclusively. Versatility is nice, but an optimized gun is always best. Pushing a GP to its dimensional and safety limits would seem optimal to me for any big bore carry gun that I think most would consider a practical size and weight.
     
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  21. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    I will post a picture of the breech of my 41 Special GP and let you speculate how much more material the barrel fitting and frame can spare.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016
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  22. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    The 69 and the GP100 are both optimally sized for the specials, the 69 just has more versatility. I don't see that being a bad thing.
    The 69 with more (and possibly better) grip options and being slightly smaller and lighter would be even better for packing makes it a no-brainer for me, the only thing the Ruger has going for it is price.
    If I picked one up, since it'll be mostly a "toy" for me the lower price of the Ruger makes it a bit more likely to end up in my safe. If this was to be part of my carry rotation, I'd find a way to pony up for the Smith though.
     
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  23. eldon519

    eldon519 Member

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    I am betting that for the same barrel length, the 69 will be trimmer and lighter than the GP, so I do not expect a size or weight penalty for the added .44 magnum capability of the 69. I guess that is an interesting question for those solely thinking of self-defense: if the 69 and the GP were both offered in the same 3" barrel length and offered comparable configurations (sights, barrel profile, etc) but the 69 were lighter and trimmer than the GP, would you still prefer the GP over the 69?

    Regarding intended use, they both will serve admirably in self-defense roles against humans, so there is no knock on the 69 there. However, the 69 will serve pretty well against anything in North America, regardless of leg-count. Again, can't see it as a detriment.

    I am also guessing a lot of people talking about the recoil of .44 magnum in the L-frame and GP package have not shot a 69 or similar package. It is a handful, but it isn't probably as bad as one might imagine. It isn't a 329PD. It is also interesting how the smaller frame handles recoil compared to a N-frame with less muzzle rise and more of an into-the-palm recoil. I'd recommend trying one before writing it off. I also have a 5-shot Freedom Arms 97 in .45 Colt with a similar weight and same barrel length, and with similar .44-mag-like performing loads, the 69 is much more comfortable than the FA which really surprises me because I prefer a Bisley over a 29. With a 300gr load, I don't even want anything to do with the FA, but with the 69, surprisingly not that bad.

    Just some observations based on actual experience shooting the smaller 5-shot mags.
     
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  24. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    The 696 does have a great DA, but when slicked up the Security Six and the Redhawk have very nice ones. IMHO of course. I would think the GP-100 would slick up nice as well.
     
  25. ST1959

    ST1959 Member

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    An excellent analysis. Well done.
     
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