Ruger GP100: How It’s Made

There’s something Fishy about this video, which shows how Ruger assembles their righteous GP100 revolver. I’ll leave it to you to figure it out. Meanwhile, one of the main reasons we like Ruger’s more expensive products (as well as FNH-USA’s not-so-terribly-pricey-anymore pistols): the people who make them take pride in what they do. When it comes to manufacturing quality guns, there’s no substitute for employing well-trained, well-paid, highly-motivated, closely-supervised factory workers. At the same time . . .

you want a firearm from a company that operates on one simple principle: if a gun doesn’t meet spec, if it doesn’t function exactly as it should, it doesn’t go down the line, or out the door. As for companies that don’t, well, the R51 died for that sin. So now you know.

comments

  1. avatar jwm says:

    Lots of hands on work needed to make a decent revolver. It’s not the same as squirting cheezwhiss into a mold and letting it harden.

    Hopefully, next month I will start my search for my new magnum revolver.

    1. avatar LC Judas says:

      New magnum? I’m on a mobile device and can’t see the video but I’m getting the impression you are saying you need a new magnum to replace a GP100 based on the video? Or…another magnum occasion?

      1. avatar jwm says:

        Been mulling buying a new magnum revolver. It’s between the ruger and a smith. Leaning towards ruger.

        1. avatar LC Judas says:

          Everything I’ve read says if you want a tank go Ruger. My gunsmith, a man with much love for Smith, will tell you he only runs his reloads out of Ruger magnums for safety reasons. Buffalo Bore also advises on their ultra high pressure 44 magnum load that it isn’t to ever be shot in a Smith. Not tough enough.

          But…out of the box trigger matters too. So, depends on what you really want from it.

        2. avatar Franko says:

          I just bought one one in a 3 inch barrel and I love it.

        3. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          If you’re going to run really hot loads in a revolver, Ruger’s heavy double-action (GP100’s, the Redhawk, Super Redhawk) and single action centerfire revolvers are the revolvers to use, or you have to step up to a Freedom Arms.

          If you look in reloading manuals today, you will see mention in several chamberings (eg, .45 Colt) that are for only Ruger revolvers. There’s enough room in a .45 Colt case to easily duplicate hot .44 Magnum muzzle energies, but you’d better not ever allow one of those loadings to find it’s way into a Colt SAA or similar revolver.

        4. avatar jwm says:

          Both have their pros and cons. Was a reloader in the day and am well aware of the toughness of rugers. Smith does have a slight edge in smoothness, but they’ve got that built in lock.

          Still leaning towards Ruger. Need a 4 inch barrel in case I carry it hunting. CA mandates a 4 inch tube for hunting.

        5. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

          My suggestion;
          http://www.ruger.com/products/gp100MatchChampion/specSheets/1754.html
          http://www.gunblast.com/Ruger-GP100MC.htm

          Can be had for less than $700 (cheaper than any S&W), and has a trigger job (3.75lb SA). Light enough for carry. The grip looks a little funky IMHO, but the stippling is nice and I’ve read from multiple sources that it’s a damn comfortable grip.

        6. avatar B says:

          Bought an old pre-lock Taurus .357 65. I freaking love it. With 125gr .357 defense rounds its smoother shooting than my (admitted lightweight CCO) 1911. Too bad its too honking huge for me to conceal and there’s no open carry here yet.

        7. avatar Accur81 says:

          The Smith XVR and .460 / .500 Revolvers are incredibly strong. I believe they are still the most powerful production revolvers in the world, with maybe the BFR as an exception. Ruger makes tank-like .454s, .480s, .45s, .44s, .41s, and .357s. There isn’t much reason to go above a .44 or a heavy .45 Colt for most folks. Good luck.

        8. avatar lolinski says:

          Also you can easily remove the lock from S&W revolvers. There is a bunch of tutorials online and IIRC it doesn’t leave much of a mark either.

          Then again I am not an aesthetics guy or revolver guy so maybe I should just stay on the sidelines in this discussion?

        9. S&Ws are insanely expensive and no online dealers have the one you want in stock.
          Are Rossis crap? They sure are affordable.

        10. avatar jwm says:

          Michael, it’s not that Rossi’s are crap. My wife wanted one in .38 cause it fit her hand right. Tried to talk her into a Smith but she liked the feel of the Rossi. It goes boom every time you pull the trigger.

          My concern with the Rossi is how well will it hold up long term? Maybe I’m being too citical but I have to believe a Ruger or Smith will give trouble free service for a longer period of time.

        11. avatar ggrimes2 says:

          .44 or .357?
          I have both and used to shoot comp in AZ. I carried a GP100 for years moved too a Colt Python for carry, expesive, fragile and over priced but, by far the best .357 I still own it. Always kept the Ruger for plinking and everyday use cause the Python was too pretty!
          For silhouette we all used the Ruger, I also used a Dan Wesson for durability you would never see a Smith because of their inability in handling hot loads for long periods of time. I still own a Dan Wesson which is now out of time and cannot be fixed for a few thousand of those loads (figure between 100-200 rounds every weekend in practice plus a monthly match all with heavy loads so I cannot complain after 7 years of shooting that way) The Blackhawks and those Super Redhawk’s all hold up extremely well. I currently have a pair of Modle 29 and a pair of Redhawks. The blued Smith is by far the best looking and has the best trigger but gets less use than the Ruger because of the lighter frame. I prefer the Ruger for shooting.
          Get a ruger and a trigger job it will outlast you and cost a lot less money.
          I reload and shoot a lot if you a lot if you need a heavier bullet or more power Get a bigger gun why abuse an excellent firearm? I’ve met too may foolish people who just keep loading until it breaks or they get hurt.

    2. avatar CarlosT says:

      Yup, that’s the complete manufacturing process for a polymer pistol.

  2. avatar Scrubula says:

    That was pretty fishy… I don’t know how they missed that when editing the baby killer machines out of the video.

  3. avatar Geoff PR says:

    Besides the employee with ‘FISHY’ on the back of the t-shirt?

    1. avatar Rosetta Stone says:

      Crap, how’d I miss that the first time? Musta sneezed. Yeah, that’s it, I musta sneezed!

    2. avatar Drew says:

      At the :58 second mark an employee dose something I have always been told never to do.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        It would be real tough manufacturing guns without at least some muzzle sweeps…

        1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          It is also pretty tough to be a gunsmith without looking down bores directly as well. When I’m repairing revolvers, I look straight down the bore to check cylinder timing on lock-up.

        2. avatar B says:

          With that bore check you even pull the trigger to put it in full lock. Though you don’t really need to be staring down the barrel when you do it.

        3. avatar Drew says:

          Was actually talking about spinning the cylinder Russian roulette style. Have always end been told that’s second only to snapping the cylinder in place with a flick of the wrist in ‘donts’ for a revolver. But yeah, lots of muzzle sweeps in that short vid. Enough to give an Internet safety nazi a siezure.

        4. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          The spinning of the cylinder they’re doing is making sure there’s nothing dragging on the cylinder rotation, which could lead to a failure to carry up.

          The practice of the “russian roulette” spin is one where you have the cylinder out of the frame on the crane, you spin the cylinder and slap it into the window. Two things tend to happen: One, you tend to bend the crane when slapping the cylinder into the window, whether it is spinning or not.

          The second thing that tends to happen with enough abuse is that you start deforming the head on the bolt, as well as putting marring onto the outside of the cylinder.

      2. avatar dracon1201 says:

        And this is where gun safety turns people into ridiculous morons. Ammo never crosses that line. They are safe.

        1. avatar CarlosT says:

          Yeah, I’m all for passionate adherence to the four rules, but let’s actually understand what they’re about. Since this is a Ruger PR video that actually mentions how safe their manufacturing processes are, I doubt they’d toss in video of someone who could accidentally kill themselves at any second.

        2. avatar Drew says:

          ‘Twas a joke, a simple joke.

  4. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    This gets me thinking, I don’t own any Ruger revolvers.
    A bearcat is on my want list though.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      I have the Single Six with LR and mag cylinders. Not as svelte as the bearcat, but a really good revolver.

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        My dad has one. I’m looking for extreme light weight and a shorter barrel. Leather cross draw holster and bird shot.
        Perfect for fishing on the snake river in the summer. Seems to be a rattle snake every hundred yards there!

        1. avatar DippyPower says:

          Handle the Bearcat “shopkeeper” if you can. It is as small and as lightweight as a current Bearcat is going to get. Mine patterns snakeshot very nicely and is just plain fun to shoot with whatever non magnum 22 you have laying around.

  5. avatar Roger says:

    I own a wiley clapp gp100 in stainless steel. It’s awesome. And beautiful.

    1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

      Almost went with the stainless, but I liked the gold bead front sight better than the fiber optic. Now I’m just hoping the finish holds up to EDC. So far so good. The bead blasted stainless is about the most attractive stainless I’ve seen though.

      1. avatar Independent George says:

        Ha! I settled on my stainless for the exact opposite reason. I thought the blued finish was gorgeous, but I preferred the fiber optic front sight to the brass bead. Want to switch?

        1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

          I compared them side by side in a store. Didn’t think the fiber optic would be much better in low light, there’s not enough open space to gather enough light, or at least that was my thinking. The other thing to note is that it’s Novak’s gold bead, not their brass bead which is a nice touch. Anyway, if there’s any back light at all it really shines.

  6. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    I couldn’t be happier with the GP100 Wiley Clapp (blued) I bought last year. I’ve been carrying it daily for 7 months now in a leather holster and there’s no perceptible wear on the finish yet (hopefully that continues for a few years). The Novak gold bead front and black rear sights are the best sights I’ve come across yet IMHO. I wouldn’t mind a bit lighter trigger pull for target work, but for carry I probably wouldn’t want a lighter DA trigger pull, and a spring kit can be had for $10 or $12 if I did. Hands down more accurate than any auto I’ve ever fired – I usually do my paper punching at 50 yards. I started a pistol fan, but between my Blackhawk and the GP, Ruger’s made me a die hard revolver man.

    I’d also add that their service is no joke. I also bought a Mini-14 last year that had an issue with failures to eject. So I called up, they sent me an email with a shipping label and 2 weeks later I got my rifle back with a new barrel, slide and bolt. I have no idea why all that needed to be replaced, but no one can accuse them of not being thorough.

  7. avatar John Thomas says:

    kinda neat. i thought it was gonna be a segment from the tv series on the science channel. i love that show.

  8. avatar Smoke Jensen says:

    I watched that video twice and still did not see ‘FISHY’ on any ones shirt.
    I did notice that they sent those pistols to the range without grips. The range master must have hams for hands.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      0:50 into the video, man on left side.

    2. avatar JoshuaS says:

      He doesn’t hold it when it fires. It is remotely fired. Ruger probably has a more advanced set up, but a simple method is putting it in a vise and using a drawstring, while you stand behind a barricade. The overpressure proof round is meant to ensure the gun won’t blow up or break. If the former case, you wouldn’t want to hold it 😉

  9. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    I love my GP100. I went with the 6 inch barrel as it was the only one I could find and it’s really what I wanted. It’s fun to shoot and it’s nice dumping the brass into a box from the cylinder rather than trying to sweep it all up from an auto. Now I need some dies for reloading.

    1. avatar Tim says:

      Agreed. 6″ makes the recoil less than the 3″. Have the 6″ and a Super Blackhawk with a 7.5″ in 44 mag. Bought an LCR with the less than 2″ barrel and the 38+P killed my hand compared to the GP-100 and Blackhawk. I did the 38+P to work my wife and daughter up to the full 357 loads. Now resorted to light reloads for the LCR, 10% less than the 38 special load.

  10. avatar cmeat says:

    i’ve never fired my stainless security six. given to me when a dear friend passed, it’s now carried by a korean war vet i’ve known since i was ten. loaner. not loner. i like the video where joe security six shows how to disassemble the damn thing with no tools.
    my first handgun still is my super blackhawk 7 1/ 2″ three screw. the transfer bar conversion was done when i bought it so the white box is now yellowish. and it was already magnaported. the ports help hold down some .44mag kick and let loose some wonderful v- flames. truly stout, my willingness limits what i load. the frame has handled it all. built in ’70, countless rounds, you wouldn’t know.
    i remember an ex crying after accompanying me to the range and trying to fire a magnum. i wouldn’t do that to anyone nowadays. the range officer offered her some .44special loads and she went back at it. much better.

  11. avatar DaveinLA says:

    Still contemplating between three new Rugers I want…. GP100 in .357 Mag, , SBH Convertible .45LC/.45ACP, or SBH in .41 Mag. Really is a tough choice…

    My current SBH in .44 Mag has served me so well in the 30 years I’ve owned it, 7-8,000 rounds and the only issue I’ve ever had was resolved with a drop of blue Locktite,,, one screw would invariably work loose (half a turn or so) after a box or so heavier magnum loads…

  12. avatar Shawn says:

    My EDC is a GP100. I shot it at a MAG 40 class two years ago and was one of 5 students to walk away with a dollar signed by Mas for tieing his score on the qualification run.

  13. avatar Mike says:

    Aside from the t-shirt the video starts out with the assembly of a Redhawk and magically changes to a GP100 later in the video. Check the underlug at beginning and later in the video.

  14. avatar NJGUNGUY says:

    I love my GP100. It’s built like and tank an shoots great. It’s my range and defense gun. Just too bad I can’t carry in NJ.

  15. avatar Al Bondigas says:

    Rugers are like lawnmowers. You run them year after year and ignore them until they blow…except they never blow so you run them decade after decade until they blow, but they never blow so………………

  16. avatar Yngvar says:

    Awful. Guns individually ‘adjusted’ during assembly makes fitting replacement parts a nightmare later on. Nah, the gun manufacturers should learn from the car manufacturers: “When it comes to manufacturing quality guns, there’s no substitute for using Japanese industrial robots.”

  17. avatar Phil says:

    Everytime I hear about Ruger GP100, now I think about the .327FM…

    I never owned one, nor even tried one, I actually missed the wagon (some now would think it’s a good thing), but now when I look back, it seems like a very interesting cartridge and I’m sad it didn’t really catch and than even Ruger didn’t even keep it in their product range.

    1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

      Ruger is still making a .327 magnum revolver out of the single six platform called the single seven (7 chambered cylinder). It’s a distributor exclusive, comes in 3 different barrel lengths. I think they’re the only .327s left in production. Personally I always thought the SP101 was a perfect mate for the .327.

      http://www.ruger.com/products/newModelSingleSixDE/models.html

      1. avatar Phil says:

        You’re right… I didn’t even think about to include the single six platform on the product range since it’s not really what I’m looking for 😉

        Anyone, I hope they will get it back for the SP101. As said, I never fire a .327FM, but on paper it seems to be very interesting cartridge.

  18. avatar bontai Joe says:

    Great video to watch! I liked the part where the assembler uses a mallet to tap in the trigger assembly. That be some close tolerances. I own a couple of Ruger single action revolvers, I didn’t care for the esthetics of the early Ruger double action revolvers and I haven’t bought any handguns since they prettied them up, but they would be on my list were I in the market for a new hand gun.

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