Ruger 357 Magnum Revolver Review
By Dan S. Defense
The 357 Magnum is known for being powerful and deadly.
The 357 Magnum is also known for kicking like a mule. A
good 357 Magnum revolver must therefore be built to
handle the massive pressure generated by the 357 Magnum
cartridge. In addition, a good 357 Magnum revolver must
be built in a manner that helps control and tame recoil.
The Ruger 357 Magnum revolver can be one of many types,
but regardless of what 357 Magnum model you select, each
and every Ruger 357 Magnum revolver meets the
challenging demands of the 357 Magnum cartridge. In this
review we will look at a Ruger 357 Magnum revolver that
can be used for self defense and hunting small game.
The Ruger 357 Magnum that we will examine here is the
Ruger GP100. This revolver comes in various barrel
lengths of 3", 4" and 6". Since I wanted a 357 Magnum
that I could carry, I selected the GP100 with a 4"
barrel. This Ruger 357 Magnum is a double action
revolver. The GP100 is made from stainless steel, which
is resistant to rust, and even more importantly for a
working gun, easy to clean and maintain.
After a range session with 357 Magnum rounds as well as
38 Special +P rounds, the GP100 can seem more grayish
black that stainless. Most of the powder accumulates on
the cylinder and barrel. With good (smelly) cleaning
solution and hard scrubbing, most dirt and powder can
made to go away but some will remain on the GP100. For
me that's not a problem because this is a working 357
Magnum and not a pretty toy.
This Ruger 357 Magnum has a good double action trigger
and very good single action trigger. I haven't measured
the trigger pull in a while and since my GP100 is very
used, it may differ from the factory setting.
Regardless, it was and still is very good. The GP100
uses a transfer bar, as most modern revolvers and it's
safe to carry with all six chambers loaded.
This Ruger 357 Magnum has nice adjustable rear sights
and a fixed front sight. The sights are easily
adjustable to your eyesight and load of choice. I added
a bit of while paint to the front sight, to make it more
visible but it works properly without any modification.
I used it for quick draw competition when I lived in
North Carolina, as well as bawling ball pin shootouts
and bull's-eye work. By changing the ammunition from 357
Magnum to regular pressure 38 Special, I was able to win
quite a bit of beer and bragging rights.
The 357 Magnum cartridges build significant pressure and
gives a nice kick every time you send a bullet out of
the chamber. It has an effective range (in a revolver)
of about 100 meters, which is quite impressive. The
Ruger GP100 has excellent grips that help tame the
recoil and protect your palm from too much punishment. I
like the smoothness of this grip, which differs from
other smooth grips, which are pretty and useless. I
appreciate the fact that I can grip it really hard and
maintain control of the GP100 even with hot CorBon load.
This Ruger 357 Magnum is well built and there's nothing
lacking about any of its parts or overall performance.
This Ruger 357 Magnum has proven itself over years of
hard use. It was carried in many different, low quality
holsters, dropped and dragged in sand and mud, sat in a
safe once, without proper lubrication, for many months
and it fired countless rounds of ammo of all sorts and
quality levels (I was younger and foolish). Despite all
of that, my GP100 can pass for a good quality handgun.
Back then, I bought the Ruger 357 Magnum for self
defense and range work. I lost count of the 357 Magnum
rounds I fired long ago, but the GP100 still shoots well
and it even retained some of its shine. The grip is well
designed and helps in controlling this 357 Magnum, while
the adjustable sights keep you on target. In fact, I
often use the Ruger GP100 with light 38 Special loads,
while teaching new shooters the basics of marksmanship
and trigger control.
If you are looking for a solid 357 Magnum that will last
for years and land your bullets accurately, I highly
recommend this Ruger 357 Magnum.
Until next time, stay safe by staying alert
More Self Defense Articles
A handgun laser offers a tactical advantage in a threatening
situation, as well as a great training tool. We'll review
different types of lasers, discuss their applications, and see
how to get the most out of them.
In-depth handgun reviews ranging from pocket guns to combat
revolvers and full-size semi-automatics.
We'll evaluate each gun for accuracy
and reliability and look at pros and cons, with the goal of
giving you the information you need to make an informed decision
when buying a gun.
© Rational Self Defense, 2010