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Ruger GP100 vs. Ruger GP100 Match Champion

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Skribs, Apr 20, 2016.

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  1. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    I'm planning on getting a full-frame revolver in the very near future, and my usual default when getting a revolver is Ruger. This one will be mostly a range toy, especially something light shooting with .38s for bringing new shooters to the range. Of course, I may find other uses for it down the line.

    What is the advantage with going for a Match Champion over the regular GP100? Personally, I prefer the aesthetics of the full-length barrel lug. I don't think I want wood grips for my purpose over rubber, but I don't like the stock grips on the regular GP100, either.

    What would I get for the extra $120 or so the Match Champion costs that I wouldn't get with the GP100?
     
  2. herkyguy

    herkyguy Member

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    I own the 6" GP100 and have handled the match champion.

    Nice front sight on the match. I like the aesthetics of the wood.

    Problem is, I've shot thousands of rounds throug my GP100, which is essentially a trigger job. So not sure I could tell a difference in the internals.

    I suspect the match champion may be tuned a bit at the factory.
     
  3. Milkmaster

    Milkmaster Member

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    I recently bought the GP100 after looking at both the Rugers plus the S&W 686. I wanted something full size that would not hurt my hand to shoot. The Match Champion is a fine pistol for sure, but it does have some weight trimmed off it. I chose the little bit heavier GP100 pistol and it costs less money. I am sure you will be happy with either choice. Good Luck and let us know what you bought and why after the deed is done :)
     
  4. MIL-DOT

    MIL-DOT member

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    I was just reading some internet posts somewhere earlier today, where a couple Match Champion owners said they could barely tell any difference at all in the precision and quality of their MC, versus their standard GP100. In fact, they said, while not a total train wreck or anything, the finishing did leave a little to be desired.
    Then add to that the undeniable fact that the Match Champion is just plain BUTT UGLY !!!
    Disassembling and polishing the internals, and replacing the springs, on the GP is LEGO/Lincoln Log-simple. I'd save the money, and go with the better looking pistol (as I already did ;)).
     
  5. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    Be careful what you call simple. I managed to damage a drop-in trigger kit on my M&P handgun and had to have a gunsmith fix it and install it.
     
  6. roaddog28

    roaddog28 Member

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    If I were you, I would buy a standard GP100. Check the revolver closely and dry fire the revolver with snap caps. The trigger will be somewhat heavy but as long as the trigger pull is smooth, then I would buy the revolver. The price on the match model is high and in my opinion not worth it.
    On a side note. Ruger did make a six inch half lug revolver for a while. Look on gunbroker and other sites or gun shops. These were great revolvers and less expense in most cases.
    Good luck,
    Howard
     
  7. Manny

    Manny Member

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    I've got both a 4.2" Match Champion and 6" standard. The trigger on the 6" is actually better than the MC, but it's was noticeably better than average when I first handled it at the dealer. I think I just lucked in to an exceptionally nice one by happenstance. I much prefer the grips on the MC and the fiber optic sight as well, enough so that the 6" now wears the MC grips and I'm planning on ordering a set of Badger boot grips for the MC as I think the trimmer size will work nicely on the it.

    Is the MC worth the extra? To me it was as I really like the balance, front sight & slightly lighter weight.
     
  8. MIL-DOT

    MIL-DOT member

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    Be careful what YOU call simple (or complex). I've already been inside the GP100 and SP101. No trips to the gunsmith yet. They actually ARE pretty much Lincoln Log-simple. :neener:
     
  9. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    The Match Champs come with more features, one of the coolest ones are the oval-shaped lightening cuts on the cylinder. The standard GPs come with boring straight lightening cuts.
     
  10. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s Member

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    I think the MC cylinder lightening cuts are the same as on the GP100. But the MC cylinder is also tapered and rounded off slightly towards the front, so the edge line where the lightening cut intersects the surface of the cylinder looks oval. You can see the tapered/rounded off cylinder shape in a side view, underneath the top strap.

    Andy
     
  11. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Member

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    I like the balance of the Match Champion. Never liked the full lug GP100.

    Deaf
     
  12. Mosbyranger

    Mosbyranger Member

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    Well, the MC does have quite a few features that the standard GP does not. Fiber optic front sight, chamfered charging holes, tapered cylinder, half barrel lug, wood Hogue stippled grip, 11 degree target crowned barrel and an improved (according to Ruger) shimmed trigger. Is it worth the extra coin? Only you can make that decision. I can honestly say I've been very happy with mine.
    MR
     
  13. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    What benefit does the tapered cylinder provide?

    What are chamfered charging holes (to be clear, that's 2 questions: what are charging holes and what is chamfering), and what benefit do they provide?

    If I got the regular GP-100 I'd replace the grips, probably with a non-grooved hogue rubber grip, and I'd replace the front sights with the orange sight post. I'd probably want the rubber on the MC anyway. So in terms of the sights I would spend maybe $25-30 and get a decent enough sight for my purposes, or I would stick with the fiber-optic on the $120-200 more expensive gun.
     
  14. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    NOTE THAT I HAVE NOT HANDLED A MATCH CHAMPION, AND THE BELOW COULD BE WRONG IN ONE OR MORE RESPECTS:

    IIUC, the "match" that the Match Champion was intended to make you champion of is IDPA in Stock Service Revolver division (as a 6-shot .357, it wouldn't be competitive in USPSA Rev). Many of the distinguishing features are things deemed useful in such a competition, such as weight savings and balance points intended to speed up transitions, or fixed sights that are less likely to de-adjust themselves through thousands and thousands of rounds of practice and competition. Chamfered chambers are intended to make loading (with a speedloader) faster.

    These things may not be desirable for a gun intended for use at the square range. The weight savings may come at the expense of more apparent recoil with full-power .357 ammo. The fixed sights may not be well suited to using the same gun to launch .38 wadcutters at 700 fps and 1400 fps .357 bombs with precision. Chamferring of chambers may make the gun less forgiving of short-stroke or horizontal ejection.
     
  15. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator Staff Member

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    See link for a photo of (aggressively) chamfered charge holes (post #2; see also my caution below). Chamfering helps speed up your reloads by making it easier to insert fresh rounds. In effect, you're adding a small funnel to the opening of the charge hole.

    http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/outdoor-sports-recreation/1965121-moon-clipping-gp100.html

    That's been my impression as well - that it was offered in response to S&W's "SSR" version of their 686.

    As a turn-key IDPA or general range revolver, the MC (or the SSR) wouldn't be a bad choice. The "tuning" is pretty conservative, though, and I find the light weight from the partial underlug makes it less forgiving gun for the shooter when things speed up, even when using non-magnum "gamer" loads. The supposed faster transitioning is much overrated, IMO. Ironically, it also makes it easier to overrun the target, so at best, it's a wash.

    If one were looking to buy a gun specifically for IDPA, I'd recommend buying the standard version, and spending the difference on some good tuning by a 'smith who knows what they're doing. Whether for competition or general range shooting, you're likely to get a better shooter going this route. Again, though, if you want to avoid the hassle of having it tuned, the MC or SSR variants aren't bad choices.

    An important point to be made about chamfering: Unless it's going to be a dedicated moonclip gun, don't chamfer the ejector! Only chamfer the cylinder holes themselves! Chamfering the entire charge hole (e.g. the ejector) is what leads to badness during a reload with loose cases (i.e. non-moonclipped gun). At most, only the sharp edge of the ejector might be taken off. When done correctly, chamfering itself shouldn't increase the chance of cases getting hung up.
     
  16. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    And is the GP100 MC done correctly?

    Everything I'm seeing points to me wanting the regular GP100.
     
  17. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator Staff Member

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    Dunno - I haven't looked. My guess is that you'd be okay, though, as any factory chamfering I've seen is pretty conservative - far less aggressive than the chamfering in that link.
     
  18. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    We may be going into another topic here, but I have a follow-up question on the GP100.

    Let's say I put a weaver mount on top and wanted to put a red dot on. Is there any disadvantage to having a full-size red dot like you would put on a rifle (i.e. an Aimpoint Comp M4 or the 42mm Trijicon Reflex) as opposed to an RMR?

    I understand the weight will be different, but aside from that.
     
  19. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Well, the pistol red dot is likely to be a bit further away from your eye than a rifle-mounted dot. Things like dot size and viewing angle come into play.
     
  20. Mosbyranger

    Mosbyranger Member

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    Well, ok. MrBorland seems to have put forth the definitive answer to chamfering. As far as the tapered cylinder question goes, my reading of other boards and general scuttlebutt seems to indicate that the "improvement" associated with it is a slight lessening of weight and easier reholstering. YMMV on that one. The (imho) big improvement on the MC is the target crown on the end of the barrel. This allows the propellant to escape very evenly behind the bullet and helps to allow a more accurate path to the target. YMMV on that too. Accuracy is more dependent on the shooter than anything else, but the crown does help. I would not be too worried about recoil with full house .357's. It's recoil is tolerable. With all this being said, if you walk into your LGS and stroll out with a GP 100, you should shed no tears. You will have purchased a hell for stout revolver that will probably give you 4-5 lifetimes of use. So plan on living to be 450 yrs old. And enjoy whichever one you decide on.
    MR
     
  21. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    I have a 6" GP-100 I bought back around 1990. I used to shoot it in falling plate matches. Its a really smooth, accurate gun but has always seemed heavy.

    I won a used 4" GP just a few days ago off GB and what a difference 2" less barrel makes. My new to me gun has the original ruger grip that a prefer. This gun only weighs a few ounces less but it feels so much better in the hand.

    I considered the MC because it is lighter in weight. But by only 2oz. And I don't care much for fiber optic sights. So the original is what I bought. Here is the link to my gun if it works.

    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=550383118
     
  22. biquer

    biquer Member

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    I was prepared to bring home the MC, assuming no need for trigger work. The price difference was about the cost of a trigger job.
    The triggers were different, but both needed trigger work to satisfy my sensitive right index finger. The extra $$ for the prettier MC was better left in my pocket.

    The blue 4" is waiting for my 'smith to do his magick.
     
  23. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    Biquer you should have done the trigger job yourself. These guns are easy to work on and smooth up. I plan on doing a trigger job on the GP I just bought.

    I have done the trigger work on my SP 101 and 6" GP-100. They are smoothe as glass. I can lay a penny on the barrel of the Sp and dry fire it double action over twenty times before the penny will fall off.

    Before I bought the new GP I had considered the MC mainly because it was listed as weighing 38oz as opposed to 40oz for the GP. Well guess what? I weighed my new 4" GP and it only weighs 37oz. I am really pleased with my new gun. I have six 357 revolvers and this is my favorite of them all.
     
  24. jame

    jame Member

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    I went to my LGS to buy the MC they had on the display rack, but when I got there, a 5" GP100 was sitting right next to it.

    I saved the $120 and stuck it in Altamont grips, a fiber optic sight, and Simply Rugged Cattleman holster, and the few beers and hours that were required for me to smooth out the trigger.

    I now have the ability to carry a revolver on my hip that shoots like a rifle. I'm happy.
     
  25. sequins

    sequins Member

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    I have both a 6" GP100 and the 4.2" MC. Both are excellent, I got the MC in a trade after already having and liking the regular GP100 that I had. You can definitely feel the work they put into improving it, although it's hard to say if it's worth the $120. If you like the stock MC grips and a fiber optic sight it kinda just makes sense to get it but if you don't then maybe not as much.
     
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