GP100 at the Range

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Joined
Nov 5, 2007
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7,687
Location
Dallas, TX
I bought this GP100 back in June, and it's been so blazing hot, I've only managed to make it to the range maybe 3 times this summer. The first time I took it, I only had a chance to fire one cylinder, (7 shots.) Mostly to see if it works. The second time, I was getting very elongated vertical groups. Even at 10 yards, the groups were about 18 inches from top to bottom. Isn't that called "stringing" I think I've heard that term before.

Anyway, today at the range, I had 3 or 4 different loads of 357. I usually try to make different loads to see what works best. It's very interesting to me, and also interesting to see how different guns like a specific load, etc. Today I had some loads with 2400 using small pistol primers. All according to the Alliant Loading Data, but this gun doesn't like light loads. For example when I tried 10.5 grains I had some "ok" groups, but shot about 3 inches high at 10 yards. Moving up to 11.5 grains tightened up the group considerably and moved it down to about an inch high at 10 yards. Same sight picture and standing shooting using two hands, single action. (All the loading data can be found on Alliant's website, so it isn't a hidden secret.)

I'm wondering what is the best distance for a 3 inch revolver? At 25 yards, I was on the paper, but that's not saying much, it was a big sheet. I guess I'm going to have to find the perfect load for this gun, then see how it performs at various distances.

Here's the gun in question.
KXaxPNHl.jpg


Oh, and after this, I tried some 38 wadcutters, WOW! The weight of the gun makes them feel like 22's from a single six. And, the gun seemed to really like the 38's. What a pleasure to shoot.
 

Luckyducker

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 18, 2007
Messages
199
Location
Ft. Morgan, CO
I have found that guns like what they like. I have found also that an accurate load is better than one that is a lot faster, well unless the target requires being hit with more energy. My only 357Mag revolver is a Taurus M66 4", and though it will shoot 357s fairly well, it will shoot nickels at 40' if I hold the gun steady with a load of 4.0 grains W231 under a 158g LSWC in a 38spec. for a muzzle velocity of 775 ft/sec. I had a load for the 158g LSWC for the 357 case using 14.8 grains of 2400 but the superior load for that bullet and case is 10.0 grains of BlueDot, but don't have any notes on velocity.
 

sjs

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 22, 2016
Messages
178
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SC
It sounds like you only shot offhand. To really determine what loads your revolver likes you need to try to use a rest if at all possible.

A 3" gun can be as accurate as one with a longer barrel but they are more difficult to actually shoot accurately. The smaller the handgun the more difficult to shoot accurately. I often shoot one of my snub nose revolvers out to 20 yards and they are very accurate but I need to shoot it regularly. If it has been a while since I shot a snub nose it does not go well until I get the rust out.

You might try to shoot just 38's for a while, and only at close range; as close as it takes to regularly shoot tight groups, and then extend the distance gradually. Eventually you will shoot it as well as your longer barreled revolvers.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Messages
7,687
Location
Dallas, TX
Sis: Thanks, I might try that. 38 wadcutters are so fun to shoot anyway.

And yes, luckyducker, 14.8 grains of 2400 is the published load data, but for me the 11.5 was accurate enough, I doubt I need to go up to 14.8. I have some Viht. N340 powder I want to try as well.
 

Ron IL

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 29, 2016
Messages
85
Location
Southern Illinois
My 4" GP100 is my favorite range gun. I haven't put but a couple 357 in it to try. My main diet is 148 gr DEWC (double ended wad cutters) or BNWC (button nose wad cutters). And my powders I use are Unique and Bullseye. I did a lot of tests with other powder too. CFE pistol did really well and was very clean to use. And 231 was a really good powder too. Those 38 wad cutters are probably one of the best things to reload. Almost anything works good and not much physical labor. It usually hits what I point at. It is the best pistol I have ever owned.
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2008
Messages
2,187
Location
Orange County, CA
I have an old 6" blue GP half-lug that was my "deer rifle" for many years when I hunted from a tree stand in NYS. It liked Speer Gold Dot 158gr softpoints very well (and the deer didn't....). But, like many .38/357s, it likes the old standard 148gr hollow base wadcutters best of all. My 2 3/4" blue Police Service Six does too.

Speaking of short-barrelled guns, I once had an FN "Baby" .25ACP, which isn't the post-WWII Browning "Baby," but is identical to a Colt 1905 .25. I could hit a human torso silhouette every time at 10 yards with factory ammo one-handed, but the hits were all over the place on the black. But sitting at a bench, using two hands and trying to get identical "sight pictures" (hard on a pistol that has virtually no sights!), I could get about 4" groups of three every time once I got used to the trigger and grip safety and keeping my skin out of the way of the slide--not a gun for big, fat hands!
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2006
Messages
9,347
Location
Woodbury, Tn
Kevin unless they have changed the GP100, isn’t it a six shooter? I shoot reloads in my SP 101 with a 3 inch barrel, 158 gr lswc over 13.5 grs 2400. Accurate and sufficiently powerful. Good luck! Your GP 100 is a beauty!
gramps
 

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