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After presenting Ruger with their TTAG Editors Choice Award for firearm of the year (for the Ruger Mark IV) we checked out two of their latest revolvers on display. Because we just love us some wheel guns. First up was their GP100 chambered in .44 Special. With its Hogue monogrip and 36 oz heft, we’d expect it to handle that big boy caliber with ease.

The other beauty to catch our eye: the 2.75-inch, eight-round Redhawk in .357. That’s a full 44 oz. of stainless steel get-the-hell-out-of-my-house. Both revolvers will soon be on their way to TTAG central command for the full review process. Don’t touch that dial.

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  1. I like the direction these are going with smaller revolvers in larger calibers and larger revolvers in smaller (but still substantial) calibers. Also, the GP100 is definitely as strong as an L-Frame. Probably the only reason they didn’t make that GP100 in .44 MAGNUM is because “Ruger-only” loads would be too much for that Ruger product.

    • You’re probably right, but it’s a safe bet a lot of handloaders who buy it will push the loading manual to the edge and beyond just because (with this particular gun) they can.

    • I can appriciate them putting big calibers into smaller revolvers and small calibers into big revolvers, but I think the real money for Ruger is making the lightest revolvers that they can with polymer frames. All steel revolvers are like all steel pistols; they’re going out of style.

      I hope Ruger looks into expanding the LCR line with longer barrels and possibly starting a larger size frame made of polymer so the cylinders can be larger and hold more cartridges.

      • Although polymer, aluminum, and scandium framed small revolvers are enjoy good sales in the concealed carry market, there will always be a need and a market for high-quality steel revolvers. It is not a matter of “style”. Steel revolvers are great for home defense, bringing in your car, motorcycle, or boat, range use, training new shooters, competition, and, in certain calibers, hunting. Quality steel revolvers are meant to be shot a lot and with good care can last a lifetime. Lightweight polymer revolvers are meant to be shot only a little and who knows how long they and the shooter’s hand would last after thousands of rounds.

        • My S&W Model 10 is on it’s third owner, having been willed twice. It’s on its third lifetime.

      • They are working on the LCR X 3″ in .22 LR. I bet they couldn’t keep up with demand for this one. Somewhere around a 12 oz 8 shot 22 would be hard to beat, but I do not know if a 22 mag is planed.

  2. The .44 special is one of the most pleasant handgun rounds I’ve ever fired. That was from a .44 mag blackhawk so the heft soaked up most of the recoil. Just a slow pleasant push.

    • “Just a slow pleasant push.”

      That’s the beauty of a hefty lump of metal, it tames the savage beast.

      The 8-round .357 seriously interests me. If I have to, I will shoot a lightweight .357. I’d much rather shoot a magnum that has some heft to it…

    • The felt recoil from a big .44Spl revolver like getting hit in the palm with a powder puff. It’s just delightful.

  3. You can never go wrong with a Ruger & they LISTEN to their customers. These two guns are a result of customers asking for them. Well done Ruger.

    • I wish they’d start making a .22 WMR 10/22 again. Plenty of people are asking for it, arguably far more than those who asked for yet another AR, so here’s to hoping that they listen and make that a reality.

      • I am a huge Ruger fan & I do not dislike, but do not own a Savage. If Savage can figure out the complexities to bring a semi auto 17 HMR & 22 Mag to market, maybe Ruger will respond.

  4. I already did the schoolgirl squeal over this
    announcement a few days ago, no need to repeat it.
    How about you, Gov?

    • It ought to have a five or six inch barrel, though. Get some mass out front, tame the recoil and lengthen the sight radius. An 8-shot revolver is not going to be a concealed carry gun anyway, so put an honest-to-God barrel on it so you can hit something past ten yards.

      • I’ve got a Ruger Security Six, stainless steel, with the 2.75″ barrel (a GP100 before the peg-grip) and it’s quite accurate out to 50yrds, even DA. I dare say it’s far more accurate than I am, because the best I can honestly get out of it AT 50yrds is all 6 rounds in an 8″ paper plate, and that’s off a bag. The specs on the 8-shot aren’t any larger than the same revolver in its 6-shot 44mag configuration, and I have one of those that I have EDC’d off & on for several years. It’s difficult, but not insurmountable, to conceal.

      • +1 to Curtis in IL

        Put a 5 or 6 inch barrel on that .357 Magnum with its 8-round cylinder and you have a SERIOUS home defense firearm. In fact I would dare call it the truly perfect home defense and woods defense revolver … and the second-best possible home defense and woods defense handgun, second only to ultra-reliable semi-auto handguns chambered in 10 mm with 10+ round magazines.

        Of course .357 Magnum and 10 mm are insufficient to reliably stop dangerous game — thus I am not referring to dangerous game when I say “woods defense”. The best handgun for dangerous game, in my opinion, is a 50+ ounce revolver with a 6 inch ported barrel chambered in .454 Casull, with the same revolver in .44 Magnum a moderately close second.

        Having opened up the dangerous game can of worms, I suppose you could argue that a .454 Casull revolver with a 6-inch ported barrel (weighing 50+ ounces) is the best all-around home defense, woods defense, and dangerous game handgun. If your application is home defense, you can load it with .45 Long Colt rounds to minimize recoil. If your application is woods defense, load up to .45 Long Colt +P and get darn close to .44 Magnum ballistics. If your application is dangerous game, load .454 Casull and be in decent shape. But, while you gain “dangerous game” status with a revolver in .454 Casull, you give up two rounds and only get a 6-round cylinder, thus giving up two additional rounds as compared to the .357 Magnum platform.

      • Ohio requires at least a 5″ barrel for handgun hunting (Deer season), so a shorter barrel than that is a real drawback here. As someone else said, a gun that big isn’t a concealed carry revolver. I suppose it’s an OK open carry revolver for bear country, but that’s a pretty selective market.

  5. Ruger, since you’re in the business of granting wishes by making awesome rugged products, can you make a lever action rifle with side eject chambered in .357 magnum. It’d compliment my GP100 quite nicely.


    • Well…
      They did dabble with a lever carbine years ago in .44 magnum… can’t remember if they made a .357 as well.
      Oh well, just find the .44 somewhere on Gunbroker and upgrade your revolver. 🙂

      • No, no .357 was made. Did make a .357 No.1 believe or not for, I think, the CA Highway Patrol. Wouldn’t mind one of them.

        • Webley-Vickers .50-80. .88 Magnum. 7.62×42 PSS. 11mm Mauser. .333 Rigby Flanged. .35 Maynard. .40-60 Winchester. .577/450 Martini-Henry. .41 Swiss. .50-115 Bullard. There could be more. . .

    • Could somebody please explain to me why .357 lever guns are so hard to find these days.

      The problem with the Ruger lever guns is they tried to redefine a lever gun when the original didn’t need to be redefined. They scrapped the 8-10 round tube magazine for a 4 shot rotary one. Dumb idea. If they do it again they need to limit it to subtle refinements like they did with the Blackhawks.

      • Gov, I imagine the difficulty depends upon one’s location. The .357 lever rifles are common in my LGS. (Perhaps because I live in an out-of-the-way northern region where people just love the lever.) Same with the .44 mag lever rifles.

        • I’m not talking about the LGS, I’m talking about the internet. Henry’s the only one making them these days in the sub $1000 range. Marlin quit back when Rem ington took them over and haven’t started making them again. Just searched Gun Broker and Gun Watcher and couldn’t find a single Rossi in .357. But Marlin and Rossi .44 magnums are all over the place.

      • Rossi Model 92s are really easy to find, last I checked. I bought one this past summer and had no problem finding a dealer.

        • In .357? From Rossi I’d like their Ranch Hand, preferably in .357 but .44 would work. 99% of the ones I’m finding are .45 Colt, 9/10% in .44 magnum and 1/10% in .357. More or less.

      • Had a.357 lever gun & also got the Ruger77/357 rifle. The Ruger bolt gun was so far superior to the lever gun I sold it. Now the 77/357 is out of production. .357 rifles are a true pain to find, both the lever gun & Ruger had to be hunted for. At one time Ruger could not make enough 77/357s due to ‘unprecedented demand’; did the demand run out? The accuracy of the Ruger is truly unbelievable, can pick off golf balls & smaller objects from 50 yards every shot with 4 or 5 different types/brands of ammo without adjusting scope (Redfield 2-7). Love it.

  6. First off, I like Ruger. Own a couple or more. But the gp100 is a large handgun. If I’m going for such a large handgun, might as well be a magnum.

    I’d rather see ruger come out with a smallish .44 special along the lines of the charter bulldog. A big bore carry gun.

    • That’s kind of what I’ve been thinking. I don’t know how complicated it would be to make, but a 5 round .44 special SP 101 would be pretty cool (still heavier than a Bulldog though). And it probably wouldn’t get that specific warning from Buffalo Bore that their am mo is NOT intended for use in the Bulldog. (Although I think it was mostly the second Charter incarnation Bulldogs that gave the rest a bad name.)

      Still, .44 special will never be as potent as .357 magnum.

      BTW, my carry gun is a 3″ GP 100 Wiley Clapp.

  7. I used to own a GP100 (.357 Magnum) with a six-inch barrel. Sold it to pay off a car repair. Big mistake! Ruger revolvers are superb guns.. this new eight-shot carry Ruger .357 is a must-have for me. I suspect it will take a year or more to find a vendor who has them in stock though… these will be in great demand.

  8. Have owned several Ruger wheel guns and still own a couple. Never could get any accuracy out of most of them including a 3″ GP100. Have a 6″ that is very accurate. Everyone should own a 6″ GP100. Ruger should offer all their magnum revolvers with at least the option of an unfluted cylinder. If for no other reason than the way it looks.

    • Your wish has come true!
      Go check out the SP101 in .327 magnum.
      Okay, that wasn’t the answer you really wanted, was it?

  9. The 8 shot .357 is tempting, but I want a little more barrel length. An 8 shot, 4″ Ruger .357 revolver with some trigger work would be an awesome gun. I like the 8 shot Smiths, especially the trigger, but want a little more meat on the frame for Underwood and Buffalo Bore.

    • J frame refers to SW, not Ruger. Do you have a SP101 or LCR? Both of these are tremendously superior to a J frame Smith.

  10. S&W Model 69, a 5 shot 44 Magnum. I wonder how long before te new Ruger cylinder is bore a 1/10 inch longer?
    The SP101 38 Special was soon bored for 357 Magnum. Eventually Ruger increased the size of the window and lengthened the cylinder so a 160 grain 357 would fit. Before that the guns were roll marked 125 grain for over-all cartridge length.

    • That is what I am waiting for. I got really excited when I saw this on their website before I realized it said special after the .44 and not Magnum.

  11. Seriously considering the 8 shot Redhawk for a winter carry gun. I have a GP100. My wife is probably getting an SP101. A Redhawk in .357 would go nicely with those. Maybe a Redhawk 45/45 acp to go with all of that.

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