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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

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