Tell me about the 44 special GP100

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Antihero, Aug 20, 2020.

  1. Antihero

    Antihero Member

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    In the market for a 3 inch barreled 44 special and since Taurus 431s seem to go for way more than expected,Rossi 720s aren't easy to find and s&w 696 are expensive.....that leads me to the gp100.

    How are they? I like my older 357 gp100 a lot but have read that they aren't quite all that anymore.

    Expected use is woods carry and probably some winter concealed carry. It needs to be able to handle some hot loads for woods carry so Charter Arms is out here
     
  2. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    My 44 Special GP100 is well made and shoots fine. But I only shoot 44 Special level loads in it.

    If you want to be able to shoot hotter loads, I'd look into an S&W Model 69. It is about the same size as the GP100 and chambered in 44 Magnum.

    Yes, the S&W 696 is difficult to find and a bit pricey. Model 624's are easier to find even in 3" barrel version but they are N-frames.
     
  3. Sneakshot92

    Sneakshot92 Member

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    I'll second the smith model 69 mentioned above.
     
  4. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    I've got a 5" and run the Skeeter loads thru mine exclusively. Not as hot as some rounds, but a 240 at nearly 1k (from my gun) hits with some authority.
    The gun itself feels good, points well and with a little polishing and a spring kit, has a really nice pull.
     
  5. Typetwelve

    Typetwelve Member

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    I want one of these in the worst way. Every time I got to get one, I talk myself out of it and get something else.

    Not much to add besides that.
     
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  6. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Member

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    I don't have one, but I want one in a strangely persistent way.

    I am aware of two minor negatives - the twist rate is not quite fast enough to stabilize the really heavy bullets, and they probably should not be loaded too far above standard pressures. Of course, this describes most other .44 Specials as well.

    The good is that GPs are tough, tunable, can be disassembled without tools (use a cartridge rim on the grip screw) and aftermarket grips and holsters are plentiful. About ideal for a working outdoor gun.
     
  7. Typetwelve

    Typetwelve Member

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    Yeah...I bet that GP 100 can probably take a beating. I have a Charter Bulldog and I adhere strictly to the "not over 15K PSI" load for it (and often load well under that). First off, it stings with hotter loads, second, its just not built for that.

    I have an old Brian Pierce article on the 44 spcl where he breaks down loads into three categories. 15.5K, 22K, and <25K PSI. For that GP100, I'd feel safe using his 240g XTP "cat three" load that will hit 1000-1100 fps. I wouldn't run them often, but I'm sure it could handle it.
     
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  8. RugRev

    RugRev Member

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    I guess one factor is how hot are the "hot loads" you are considering. Also, a 3" bbl. will have a bit less velocity than a 5" bbl. Seem to recall that in American Rifleman a while back the really hot Buffalo Bore loads ran about 934 fps in a 3" GP. Also, time has passed since the original Brian Pierce article in Handloader. In a more recent article,
    as an instance, the 696 was downgraded from Catagory 2 loads to Cat 1. Too bad Brian has not done an article now that the .44 Sp GP has been out a while. Also, besides the S&W 69 Taurus has or had the Tracker in .44 mag that is also a medium frame gun.
     
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  9. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    The GP 3” .44 Spl. Is a stout gun, one that can be a CCW option with the right belt, holster and cover garment (or in a shoulder rig under a jacket.)

    The factory Hogue grip is a bit long, but it does give a good amount of space to hang onto the gun. The “compact” grips for the GP also fit, I ordered some and will post my impressions when they finally arrive.

    I bought mine fairly soon after they were brought out and I’ve put a few hundred hand loads through it. Most of my loads are “sub-Skeeter” in power, as the gun isn’t as large as my 629 6.5” and the recoil can quickly escalate to flinchable if you’re shooting a box or more at a session. (I’m sorta prone to a flinch, I try really hard to watch myself so I don’t ;))

    The 7.5 gr Unique/ 250 gr SWC load is a bit of a thumper on both ends in the GP, if you need more than that buy the S&W (I doubt you ever would though.)

    It is a great gun, with hell-for-stout construction and its easily operated on should you want to change springs or grips.

    F3533BBC-270F-4C12-ADB7-DCE213AF4BE9.jpeg

    200 gr Eggleston RNFP over 5.5 gr Bullseye at 10 Yds,. 20 shots fired 2-hand DA @ 1 shot per second.

    Stay safe.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2020
  10. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    if I lived in cold, rural but neighborly America I'd consider a 5 shot .44spl as a primary belt gun. I'd prefer the S&W 696 because of the superior trigger reputation over similar sized Ruger, but the GP100 .44spl would probably be far easier to find and pay for. If I'm going to have a bbl. longer that 3" I might as well go to a six shot gun, I mean it is cooler weather so concealment isn't difficult at all.
     
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  11. Antihero

    Antihero Member

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    You pretty much described where I live
     
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  12. Antihero

    Antihero Member

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    And as for how hot a 44 special I'm looking at, I'm more going for an Underwood load level. I do handload but I'm not going into magnum levels.

    Basically I want what the 44 special is, not the weak 700fps almost cowboy action loads that apparently charter arms needs
     
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  13. 357smallbore

    357smallbore Member

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    I own a Rossi 720. It is the Covert model (circa 1994) with fixed sights. I didn't like it being hammerless. So I put a hammer on mine.
    It is a great shooter, beyond reliable. Loaded it weighs 29 oz. It and my Shield are my CCW.
    K frame gun with a J frame grip. Perfect for concealability. I keep mine loaded with Underwood 200 grn full wadcutters and carry a speed strip of Blazer 200 grn JHP.
    Looked at the GP when they came out. Not interested in them. The S&W 696 was pretty much a copy of the Rossi, just in an L frame design. And they are selling for a ridiculous price. I paid $350 for my 720 back in 2007. And I got it new from an estate seller.
     
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  14. Olon

    Olon Member

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    Tell you about it? I want one, and thats about all I got. Also have no idea why there's just something about the cartridge.
     
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  15. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    Just comparing frame sizes and cylinder sizing, the gps no slouch. Where the weak point seems to be is the forcing cone. If i did manage to crack mine, id probably have it opened up and a custom barrel fitted if possible. I dont know if thats a possibility, as im not real familiar with revolvers, but it seems like a "long term" fix if it is.
     
  16. Antihero

    Antihero Member

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    I handled a gp100, 69 and 329pd back to back.

    I really liked how the 329 felt.....like a whole lot. There may be a new thread
     
  17. Olon

    Olon Member

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    I figure a 329 must be a real punisher on both ends
     
  18. Antihero

    Antihero Member

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    I have no doubt you are right.

    I'd basically use it as a 44 Special thpugh
     
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  19. Crazy Horse

    Crazy Horse Member

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    Typetwelve, I'm right there with you. I look at it and the price and talk myself out of it. I have a S&W 629, A Taurus 44 tracker, and a Charter Arms Bulldog. LOVE, yes LOVE the 44 special. I just love the way it feels and it is in the big bore category.

    What others say is technically correct, why get a 44 special only revolver, when you can get a 44 magnum and shoot two calibers. Yes, they are correct, but honestly, I really only shoot 44 special rounds. I bought new 44 magnum cases to reload some not too hot magnum loads, but have yet to do so. In all honesty, I've only shot a handful of Critical Defense 240 grain magnum bullets in an indoor range..... Yeah, it'll scare the bejesus out of folks around you. Not to mention it is a stout load on the person firing the magnum.

    So I go back to 44 special, and am content and happy firing that round.

    Good luck on your decision.

    CH
     
  20. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Unfortunately, the S&W 696 came and went during a period of time that I was not actively shooting else I would have purchased one. If I ever stumble into one, I'd probably buy it but I understand a good percentage of the 696's made were abused.

    I shoot mostly hot 44 Special loads in 44 Magnum cases in my S&W Model 69. It is a good alternative to the Model 696 and stronger as well.
     
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  21. critter

    critter Member

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    I have a 3" model and love it. It is a really accurate gun and a lot of fun to shoot. Likely would take care of business if asked to.
     
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  22. Sneakshot92

    Sneakshot92 Member

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    It certainly would get the job done. I had one I used alongside my old Taurus m66 on pest control chores for a few local farmers. It worked great with skeeter loads but ended up being more than I needed most of the time. I ended up trading it off for a Mossberg 100 ATR 30-06 and a lightly sporterized 1916 BSA Lee Enfield. Both of those rifles have turned out to be great shooters. Now lately i've been thinking of a longer barreled M69 Smith or perhaps a 5.5" Redhawk for "up north" duties. Namely as a camp gun while on fishing trips.
     
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  23. Necessary_Nutrient

    Necessary_Nutrient Member

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    im a little confused about posts like these related to .44 SPL and not sure how this is different than posting a grossly over-SAAMI handload. Does Ruger indicate in its manual or documentation that standard .44 SPL pressures can be exceeded?
     
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  24. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    What bullets could you possibly use that the twist rate would be too slow for?


    Posting what is possible and posting data are two very different things. Ruger is going to take the liability-conscious route. According to them, the Redhawk .45Colt is only good for 14,000psi mouse fart loads, not the 50,000psi monster mashers that they can actually handle. This is no different, except the Tier 3 loads outlined in the article, which you obviously have not read, are suitable for more than just Rugers.
     
  25. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    any commercial load sold by Underwood or Buffalo Bore will be just fine in a S&W 696. if those loads aren't enough for you, you don't want a .44 special, you want a .44 magnum and should just buy one of those instead.
     
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