What I’m Carrying Now: A Ruger GP100 and Hornady Critical Defense

DesertDude writes . . .

I am retired and living in rural New Mexico, so I don’t fear crackheads, gangbangers, or terrorists, but there are a few methheads around. Folks out here tend to be self-sufficient, so I’m not worried about anyone invading my home looking for toilet paper.

This setup has served me admirably for several years. I open carry around the house and property, when hunting and fishing, and for trips to the gas station, but the Ruger revolver can easily be concealed under a jacket or untucked shirt for trips to Sam’s Club in the larger population center nearby.

Ruger GP100 .357 4.2″ barrel with Williams fiber optic sight

-Hornady 125 grain Critical Defense

Speed Beez speed loader in a speed loader pouch.

-Cheap Mtech folding knife.

-Sourdough Pancake holster and 1.5″ wide leather belt from Simplyrugged.com

 

This post is part of our series, What I’m Carrying Now. If you’d like to submit a photo and description of the gun, holster and gear you’re carrying in the new world in which we live, send it to us at [email protected] with WICN in the subject field.]

comments

  1. avatar Bitter says:

    DesertDude sounds like you and I might be neighbors,
    how’s that speedbeez loader and pouch working out for you?
    I’ve considered one for my Security six but so far have been happy carrying my HKS in a desantis second six pouch.

    1. avatar Cloudbuster says:

      I don’t know about him, but I find the Speedbeez far superior to the HKs. Much easier to manipulate.

      1. avatar Bitter says:

        Thank you Cloudbuster.

    2. avatar DesertDude says:

      The speed loader works great. You push in to release the rounds, rather than twist, which can make reloading faster. The nickel plated Hornady rounds slide into and out of the cylinder easily.

      The pouch works well enough, but is annoying when I drive my ATV, so I need to remove it. The tension is adjustable, allowing a firm grasp on the speedloader.

  2. avatar AD of the Hinterlands says:

    Good call on the Williams sights. Have them on my own GP and they’re a huge improvement over the factory sights.

    1. avatar DesertDude says:

      The Williams sights are an inexpensive but excellent upgrade.

  3. avatar MtnDewey says:

    like it

  4. avatar MouseGun says:

    I love the GP100, and it started my love of double action wheel guns, but always considered more of range and trail gun, just due to its weight and size, but more power to ya.

    1. avatar DesertDude says:

      I wear it at 5 o’clock most of the time, which eases the burden. I’m to the point I don’t notice it when I carry, but really miss it when I don’t.

  5. avatar Bobsuruncle says:

    nice setup, I carry something similar on occasion. My gp100 is a 3 inch stainless with modified fixed sights. Put a bright green epoxy wedge in the front and blacked out the rear notch. DeSantis high ride owb holster, Benchmade folder, streamlight mini USB pen light.

  6. avatar Tsay Nguyen says:

    I have a 6 inch GP 100. Not real practical for EDC, but fun to shoot. I kind of wish I had picked a shorter barrel, but I guess that’s an excuse to buy another. The 6 inch barrel is nice for shooting full bore 357 loads.

    1. avatar Bobsuruncle says:

      Still a great gun. My 3 inch gp100 carries well, shoots straight at the range if I do my part. It’s still heavy enough to tame full bore load, but not a target gun. It’s always fun to mix a full bore load in with some 38 specials for a range buddy to shoot.

      1. avatar Curmudgeon says:

        Haha, yes. I do the same trick. Sometimes to myself to make sure I’m not too flinchy.

  7. avatar Peter Gunn says:

    This has me missing the GP100 in 38 SPL I used to carry as a duty weapon back in the early 90’s. Now you’ve got me researching a GP100 in 327 FED- thanks, DesertDude.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      The .327 Fed is on my “someday” list.

      1. avatar Peter Gunn says:

        My research has me leaning towards an “odd” GP100… 3″ barrel, 5 cartridge choices, 7 shots. I’m really starting to dig this idea.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          I bought the 7 shot stainless .357. Only managed one range trip before the lockdown. I like it. A lot.

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      I have been trying to find a GP100 with a 5-inch barrel. They exist, although they are rare.

      In my opinion the four-inch barrel is a bit too short and the six-inch barrel is a bit too long. Hence I would love to get one with a 5-inch barrel.

      Note: I sometimes carry a GP100 for woods defense and want the longer barrel lengths for increased velocity and longer sight radius if a long shot becomes necessary. If I was going to carry it for everyday defense, I would probably want the version with a three-inch barrel.

  8. avatar enuf says:

    Good gun. It’s on the list being considered for a young lady in the family tree who wants to buy her first hand gun. Hard to go wrong with a Ruger!

    1. avatar DesertDude says:

      I agree!

  9. avatar Widdler says:

    I have the exact same model, 1702. I prefer the blue finish, and absolutely love that gun. Put a set of mepro’s on mine, the only revolver i own that glows in the dark. Kind of expensive, but worth it IMO. Been running a bianchi cyclone for a while with no complaints, thinking about getting a shoulder rig for it eventually. I kept the hogue grips on mine also, fits good in my hand and never felt the need to change it.

    1. avatar DesertDude says:

      I tried both smooth and textured wooden grips, and the smaller Ruger grip with the wood inserts, but none fit my big paws. The larger Hogue grips can print, especially if you’re just concealing under an untucked shirt, but people just don’t notice. Or if they do, they just don’t care. I suspect it’s the latter, since they themselves are probably carrying.

  10. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Solid carry, but it needs a light. I prefer the Security Six to the GP 100. GP is too heavy for my taste. But that’s just me.

    1. avatar DesertDude says:

      I used to carry a small, cheap penlight, but it didn’t worr out. I am currently reviewing suitable carry lights. Any suggestions?

      1. avatar Peter Gunn says:

        I use a knuckle light- it does exactly what I need it to do. Being wheelchair bound, I need my hands to multitask as much as possible. A knuckle light gives me illumination without losing the ability to grasp an object. For example: a knuckle light on my right hand serves the same purpose as a flashlight attached to my handgun- it illuminates wherever I point my right hand, with the added bonus of working whether I’m holding my handgun or not. I can switch the light to the other hand if needed, and I can hold the light away from body if I need to put space between myself and the light source. I keep a charged knuckle light beside me at all times- it is an extremely valuable tool for my personal safety.

        https://www.amazon.com/Knuckle-Lights-Colors-Black/dp/B0728C5255/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=knuckle+light&qid=1590770597&sr=8-4

        1. avatar DesertDude says:

          Interesting. Thanks for the info! I will definitely research it.

    2. avatar DesertDude says:

      At 6’3″ and 220, I can carry this revolver with little difficulty. I wear “tall” clothing, so the barrel end of the holster isn’t exposed, unless I really reach above my head.

  11. avatar CarlosT says:

    I’m not a giant fan of revolvers, but I have a GP100 Match Champion that I really enjoy. I put in spring kit, and the trigger is quite nice, both in double and single action. Hopefully I’ll be able to get to the range this weekend, and if I do, it’s definitely coming out with me.

    1. avatar Dave G. says:

      I have a GP100 Match Champion too. It has the best double action trigger I have ever experienced right out of the box. Can’t imagine having to put aftermarket springs into it.

  12. avatar Charlemagne says:

    A 4″ double action revolver in .357 Magnum is the most versatile handgun you can get. If I could only have one it would be a tough choice between a GP100 and an SP101 in this configuration.

    1. avatar Chris. says:

      Yeah, the 686+ needs to be a contender in there too.

    2. avatar DesertDude says:

      I keep a SP-101 2.25″ .357 magnum in the glove compartment of my pickup.

  13. avatar Mostofmymygunsareoutofproductionnow says:

    Worth considering when my Sig P239 in .357 sig wears out.

  14. avatar FAW says:

    My GP 100 is exactly like yours except I carry Remington R357MI loads—125 gr. fullhouse. Carry it in a Galco VHS system. Carry a 357 LCR on occasions with Speer 135 gr Short Barrel loads in a VHS system. Both are great combinations.

    1. avatar DesertDude says:

      I find the Hornady loads very accurate. They also do not have as much flash in low light. I have shot the Remington loads, and like them.

      1. avatar FAW says:

        You are sure correct about muzzle flash for the Rem R357M1. Same for the Federal 125 gr personal defense C357B. I always figured that if I didn’t hit them, I could blind them. Both these loads are wicked.

  15. avatar cgray says:

    Ruger revolvers might be a tad…overpriced.

    1. avatar Ranger-Danger says:

      Thanks for letting us know.

      1. avatar cgray says:

        Hey, no one else was mentioning the elephant in the room.

        1. avatar Peter Gunn says:

          That elephant is obscured by the pachyderm of pricing for most ALL revolvers these days- which have escalated by elephantine proportions beyond any semblance of logical reasoning.

        2. avatar jwm says:

          What elephant? Gas is no longer a quarter a gallon. Everything has gone up.

          Buy what you can afford.

  16. avatar PTM says:

    Everyone has to assess his/her own risk tolerance. Me? For an EDC? I’m sticking with a semi-auto with a 17 round magazine.

    1. avatar Peter Gunn says:

      If a full-size 7 shot 357 Magnum can be considered “high risk” as a carry proposition, then I imagine one would have to be downing Valium like Tic Tacs if they found themselves having to go somewhere unarmed.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Well, that depends on the threat profiles that you want to equip yourself to handle. If you are only concerned about a single attacker or maybe even two attackers looking for an easy score — and you are really accurate/proficient with a revolver — then a full-size seven-shot revolver in .357 Magnum fits the bill quite nicely. On the other hand, if you are concerned about a group of attackers or a really determined lone attacker, then you might come up short with that revolver and would improve your survivability with a semi-auto that carries a 17-round magazine.

        1. avatar Peter Gunn says:

          I guess it’s an age thing, and everything’s relative- but for at least half of my life being proficient with 5 to 8 shots of 38 SPL or 45 ACP was unquestionably “well armed” for typical “threat profiles”. Hell, 357 MAG was “overkill”, and 44 MAG was just plain Dirty. I do not in any way want to suggest that having “lots and lots” of rounds at your disposal is anything but good- but it may not be absolutely necessary.

          Necessity can sometimes be a mind game that limits personal proficiency. I do not honestly feel “disadvantaged” by having 7-9 rounds of .32, 38 SPL, 380 ACP, 9mm, 357 MAG, 40 S&W or 45 ACP. Would I turn down more rounds? Possibly. I believe perception has changed more than practical reality. People repeat what they see, hear and read- that’s typical cultural phenomenon. But does that mean reality has changed that much? Maybe- but it’s all relative.

          I know I am not the only “old guy” that feels that capacity is FAR less important than proficiency. Sure, proficiency AND capacity is great, but capacity can be a mind trap. Why does this even matter? What is this codger going on about? It’s about proficiency with the most effective tool you have- your mind. Mental discipline and mindful training translates to less dependency on capacity for perceived survivability. What used to be “too much”, is now “woefully inadequate”. But is it really? Somehow we survived being “ill equipped”, and guess what- we’re still doing it. Successfully, I might add.

          Your results may vary.

        2. avatar jwm says:

          Peter. I think the perception has a lot to do with the 24 hour information cycle. When I was young we had tv and newspapers. The tv had news at certain times and went off the air at midnite. We had no internet. Al Gore hadn’t invented it yet.

          The world has always been violent and dangerous. We just have it pushed into our faces more these days.

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