A Ruger GP-100 22 Exclusive
A four-inch version of the Ruger GP-100 22 is exclusively available from Davidson's. Shown here with the Brownells Pistol Screwdriver Set for the Ruger MKIV.
A Davidson's Exclusive – available from their Gallery of Guns
-- this is Ruger's popular GP-100 revolver in .22 Long Rifle with a four-inch barrel. The currently standard production 22 GP-100 double-action revolver has a 5 ½ inch barrel. The Davidson's Exclusive comes in at two ounces lighter. If you have the standard 22 GP-100 revolver, you could perhaps tell the difference. I'd been working with a much lighter Ruger 22 DA revolver – the LCRx 22 -- which weighs in at 17 ounces. The Davidson's Ruger felt very heavy.
"I don't want to hear you whining about recoil," said the proprietor at Highland Crest Pawn.
Both of the 22 GPs feature a ten shot cylinder, more terrifying to the average legislator than the LCRx 22's eight round cylinder.
The rear sight is the standard Ruger revolver adjustable sight. A currently fashionable fiber optic front sight, green, is atop and slightly to the rear of the muzzle. This shortens the sight radius, something I didn't measure. The front sight is in a dovetail, not the older style front plunger of the original GP-100. The muzzle is recessed and crowned.
The stocks are of GP/SP style, rubber with hardwood inserts. The barrel has an ejector rod shroud but has no under lug all the way to the muzzle as some versions of the centerfire revolvers do.
The current GP-100 22 guns are fabricated of stainless steel and that includes this exclusive model. The trigger has no serrations; the face of the trigger is smooth. This makes me believe they want me to shoot it double-action.
The single action trigger breaks clean and is service weight. The double action trigger can be staged, drawing the trigger and hammer back to a "pause," confirming the sights and pressing off as a single action. It is weighty, my trigger pull gauge couldn't manage the measurement.
Before there are any complaints, the LCRx 22 I had for a sample didn't have the grandest trigger-cocking action ever – but the one a friend bought was pretty nice out of the box. As a result of the "Claude Werner Ball & Dummy" trigger control drill, done on every range trip since the LCRx arrived, the LCRx 22 factory sample now has a smooth "roll" back to fire. I expect the four-inch GP-100 will do the same.
Unremarkably, the gun didn't move when firing 22 Long Rifle high velocity rounds. I did notice a very light round – it was old ammo indifferently stored – and I ceased operations to ensure the round actually left the barrel.
Using premium ammo, the GP-100 did quite well – except I couldn't zero for windage. I found that the first group I fired was consistently right of the point of aim. I was going to use the Brownells Pistol Screwdriver Set for the Ruger MKIV
, and I did – but I noticed the rear sight leaf was all the way to the left already.
Note to self: look the gun over before shooting it.
The front sight appeared centered, so I was forced to apply "Kentucky windage" for this first range trip.
After a little range work on paper and steel – a dueling tree with 6" plates for centerfire and another with 4 ¼" steel paddles for rimfire – I decided on trying a test. Modifying Hackathorn's "Test," normally shot at ten yards, I accounted for the light recoil of the gun by backing up. The Rimfire version I tried was ten rounds in ten seconds from fifteen yards using Federal Premium Hunter Match. Still tending right, there was one hit outside the black part of the target. Scoring it showed a 94/100.
I may have to back this particular test up to 20 yards with this gun.
Shooting from a "hasty" bench rest at 25 yards, the short GP-100 22 shot a 2 ½" group with ELEY action 40 grain ammo and a 1 3/8" group with Federal Premium Hunter Match. Taking the best three of five – something I first learned from friend and pro Massad Ayoob – generally helps weed out the human error and gives you an idea of how the gun would fare out of a machine rest.
The ELEY action clustered into 1 7/8" and the Federal Hunter Match had the best three inside ½" – good shooting.
As to the problem with centering the point of impact with the sights? I called Ruger Customer Service. We'll see how that works out.
-- Rich Grassi