Review: Custom Shop 9mm GP100

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I've had this gun for a while now. But I've only been to the range with it three times, just because of weather and time etc. But man, what a great gun! I've never been able to shoot a DA revolver well at all. The trigger on this Custom Shop revolver makes double action easy peasy. I'm still not very good, but that is me, not the gun. I can at least hit the target in double action. I see what all the reviews mean about the double action trigger not stacking. It's just a smooth pull from start to finish. In Single Action, the trigger is also very smooth, and not heavy at all. No complaints from me either way.

So far, my gun has around 300 rounds through it. I had it out today, and would have shot it more, but I left the tool to remove fired cases from the moon clips. Which is my second point. The moon clips. This is my first experience with them. I bought a loader and some extra clips from TK Custom. They work great...when you bring all the tools to the range. It's all but impossible to get a fired case out of a moon clip without one of those special tools. Anyway, I'm still getting used to them, I can see how they will be nice, once I get accustomed to how they work.

My gun doesn't like my reloads. They work fine in my other 9mm semi autos, but this revolver has pretty tight tolerances. I think the reloads just fire dirtier. I'm using 5.5 grains of HS-6. But with the reloads, I have to brush out the gunk with each new moon clip. With factory ammo it works just fine. I might just save this gun for factory ammo, and use the brass for reloading in my 9mm semi-autos. Not a big deal.

Balance: This gun is spectacular. The grips are very comfortable. I shot it today next to my Bisley 41 Magnum. I think the grips are pretty similar. There is enough grip to have a good two handed hold for a steady aim. As far as balance, with the cuts in the barrel shroud and the fiber optic front sight and the shortened and contoured, cylinder, the gun has exceptional balance. It just doesn't feel heavy at all (Ruger says it weighs 45 ounces). No forward weight, either. The barrel is set back because of the shortened cylinder which helps also. This shortens the overall length of the gun, while still having a 6 inch barrel.

Se35GQxl.jpg

I love fiber optic sights. The front sight is a very clear "dot" which is bang on the point of aim. I'm not sure if it helps with accuracy, but they are also much closer to the barrel than the Blackhawk, which you can see in the picture.

The fit and finish are both very high grade. I don't think anyone could complain about machine marks or tool marks. Often I see people talk about poor quality control, but nope, not here at all. The Custom Shop earned their money with this gun. It is a great revolver and hopefully it will stand out in the competitions.

And it is a fabulous looking gun in person. It will stand up well, in looks, next to those race guns.
5WrhDDVl.jpg
 
Joined
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Here's another picture.

I kind of wished they went with either Micarta or G10 for the grips. Something besides wood, just because wood is more traditional like in a Single Action. This gun is most definitely NOT traditional.

zAcopsil.jpg
 

contender

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Good review!
I personally like the feel of the wood grips. And,, competitors like a good feeling grip. There are a few upcoming accessories for this gun to make it even better as a competition gun. (I was told at SHOT it would be 6-9 months!)
 
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I apologize for my long review. I thought about it driving home from the range yesterday.

Awesome! A few accessories would be nice. Hopefully not just some kydex holsters though.
 

contender

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Well, a good competition holster made just for that gun will be nice. But the accessories are different grips,, and an extended cylinder release button. At least that was a couple of things I was made aware of at SHOT.
 

brutus

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Kevin: I agree with your review on the Super GP100. I've had mine for a couple of months now and it's smooth double action trigger pull as well as quick target acquisition make for a sweet competition revolver. Now if it would just stop snowing and warm up more I would be able to use it more.
 
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Looks like the trick for the "race gun" crew, and an obvious sample of what Ruger can do when it sets out to do something.

I cannot help but wonder how long it will be before Ruger offers us a more "conventional" gun, perhaps without the "ventilated" barrel shroud and a cylinder configured for more ammo selections like .357 or even 10mm or whatever else would fit the frame. And a blue version would be nice, as well.

I see this model as becoming the successor to the Redhawk without all the mass associated with the Super Redhawk, but it's too big to replace the "duty size" GP100. JMHO :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:


Edited 5/11/20 to add, I see that Ruger has already started in the direction I mentioned, offering a blue version with a more conventional cylinder chambered in .357 magnum. It still has the "ventilated" shroud, but it's headed in the right direction IMHO.

https://www.ruger.com/products/superGP100/specSheets/5065.html

:shock: :mrgreen: :shock:
 

tulsamal

Blackhawk
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I have a S&W .45 Colt Mountain Gun that has been converted to use moon clips. I shoot .45 ACP in it all the time. I took a single round of .45 ACP to the hardware store and tried sticking it into various sizes of PVC pipe. One would just accept it... bought several feet of it. Took it home and cut it into several pieces maybe 6-8 inches long. Then cut away the end leaving a notch in the end of each one. The pipe slides over the loaded round or fired case. The protruding notch gives it a lock on the outside of the moon clip. A simple twist of the hand can insert a loaded round or remove a fired one.

Not only does it work, it is dirt cheap and simple. I ended up with like half a dozen of them. Put them in range bags, on the ammo shelves next to the .45 ACP ammo, even one in the glove box of the car. Can’t forget them if you have half a dozen all over the place!
 

contender

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Sugar River, what he did was make his own "de-mooning" tool. Many of us who use moon clips have one & often we make our own.
PVC can work for a while,, but it's better if you use a metal pipe/tube.
I have a few,, and I made them all. I used aluminum tubing. I found that for my .40 S&W,, I had an old golf ball retrieval tool. It was a series of aluminum tubes that collapse into each other, and extend out to allow you to reach into the water & recover a lost ball. Well, the handle of the gb tool, already had a molded rubber handle, so I cut it about 5"-6" in front of the handle. That gave me a total OAL of about 9"-10". Basically a tube with a handle,, and the .40 cal bullets or empty case fit inside the tube.
Now,, all you do is take the end of the tube, & cut away 2/3rds of the circumference, down about 3/32". It gives you an extended lip about 1/3 of the way around. The cases slip deeper into the tube,, and the edge of the moon clip mates to the 1/3rd extension. Insert an empty case, while still on the moon clip, into the tube. a simple twist,, using the 1/3rd extension as a leverage point,, flips the empty case off the moon clip, and the empty case slides inside the tube. You can empty a whole moon of empties easily into the tube, then invert it, & the empties slide out into a bucket.

If you need a picture,, look up de-mooning tools.
 

SteelBlue

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So far, all we have read here is adoration. OK, it is a cool piece from the Custom Shop. But I have never understood why someone would want a rimless semi-auto round like the 9mm in a revolver. Second issue is that Ruger shortened the cylinder, but not the hole in the frame, so now there is a big air gap in front of the cylinder that appears unusual to say the least. I can relate to this gun in a .357, but not in the 9mm rendition.
 

contender

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Ok, I will quickly agree that not everybody wants or even likes the idea of a "someone would want a rimless semi-auto round like the 9mm in a revolver."
But a little history here.
For many decades,, people HAVE wanted a handgun to match their long gun in caliber. Still do. But when city law enforcement went to mostly carrying handguns as their only forearm, (vs. rural & old timers, carrying a rifle or shotgun everywhere,) they ALSO carried a back-up CCW handgun. They wanted that gun to be in the same caliber as their primary handgun. When LEO's went to 9mm as the primary,, a back-up was desired by many to be in the same caliber. And it's a well known fact that not JUST LEO's want that sort of set-up.
Hence,, that's one reason there are revolvers in 9mm.
Next,, let's look at the current market. The 9mm is one of, if not the most popular caliber handgun. Yes,, it's in a semi-auto mostly,,, but again, popular also relates to more widely available ammo, as well as lower cost of ammo purchases. So revolver fans also want a firearm that can benefit from the popularity and lower expense. So, there is another reason to own a 9mm revolver.
With the low cost, the popularity, etc,, competition shooters want the same things,, but when the game involves speed,, lower powered calibers allow for quicker times. So,, the 9mm has become THE caliber in USPSA as the most popular. In USPSA,, revolver shooters were mostly left with one basic option, the .45 acp as a speed competition caliber. Then USPSA started the "8 round rules" where stages were being designed around the round count of 8 rounds. Example; A Virginia count stage, can requires you to fire a string of 8, perform a mandatory reload, and fire 8 more. Well a revolver shooter has to fire 6, reload, fire 2, reload, fire 6 reload & fir 2 more. VERY SLOW!

Enter S&W,, with their 8 shot 9mm.
For ICORE, & USPSA,, that handgun has exploded in popularity.
So, enter Ruger into that market.

As for the frame window, the short cylinder & all.
The frame is the same frame as the other GP's. No added expense of building a separate frame.
Shorter cylinder, makes the accuracy better because you want a bullet to be leaving the cylinder, AND engaging the rifling w/o any smoothbore portion. on the entire driving area of the bullet.
So, Ruger built a shorter cylinder, added the barrel through the frame, which cures the accuracy issue, AND it gives a longer barrel in a shorter package, which aids in accuracy.

And as for moon clips. I figure I'll address that too. Moons are NOT as "bad" as some think if you want to carry reloads & have a QUICK method of reloading. I have personally witnessed several revolver shooters with the rimmed caliber speed loaders almost always be slower than the moon clipped guns. In the competition world,, speed is one of the key components we want. Faster means better scores.

But, for a non-competitor type,, I can understand your questions. but you can still look at the first reasons I mentioned, and maybe see why some want a rimless caliber revolver.

Oh, and if you look at history,, S&W had a rimless caliber handgun in the .45 acp almost a century ago. While not everybody's cup of tea,, some folks do enjoy them.
 
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More adoration here :D
The open frame window also helps with balance. By setting the barrel into the frame and allowing the whole gun to be shorter, it isn’t as front end heavy as another gun with the same barrel length.

I don’t compete, I just like the style of competition guns and I’ve shot enough I can appreciate a nice trigger and good balance. Anyone can if they’ve shot even a reasonable amount.

I don’t think this is the ultimate 9mm competition gun, but it certainly is close to the top.

Revolvers are just cool. And if this gun gets the younger crowd excited for a revolver, well, they just might start a single action hobby. Keeping those guns around is important.
 

SteelBlue

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Kevin said:
Revolvers are just cool. And if this gun gets the younger crowd excited for a revolver, well, they just might start a single action hobby. Keeping those guns around is important.

Why would a double action revolver start a single action hobby? And as to the barrel length justification for a short cylinder stuck into a frame that is too large for it, I'm not buying it. The big window in the frame looks horrible and cobbled together from parts that don't fit.
 
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SteelBlue said:
Kevin said:
Revolvers are just cool. And if this gun gets the younger crowd excited for a revolver, well, they just might start a single action hobby. Keeping those guns around is important.

Why would a double action revolver start a single action hobby?

I was thinking revolvers vs. semi auto's. Wheel guns in general. As I'm sure you know, the recoil is different in a revolver, without the slide, either double or single action. Personally, I can shoot revolvers better because of this.
 

contender

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SteelBlue,, you are quite acceptable in your opinion. Yet,, others have different opinions. While I admit the gun looks "different" it also reminded me of the early PPC handguns, with a modern twist. So, you may not like the looks of the cylinder/frame area,, it WORKS!!!!!! I'll shoot an accurate ugly gun any day over one that looks pretty but fails to be accurate.
But having discussed the GP-100 in 9mm directly with the designer/engineer, I can appreciate why he did certain things. The result,, Kevin has found it. Balance & accuracy.
And as noted,, it's not the "perfect" competition revolver,, (as I've made a few minor suggestions for improvements for competitors,) it's designed to give the S&W 9mm revolver some competition,, for those of us who prefer Rugers!

And if it gets younger shooters to take a look at revolvers in general,, many may find they LIKE SA revolvers as well.
 

SteelBlue

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I do know that others have different opinions, in fact, I am the ONLY one here that questions why the gun was made to be expensive, hard to look at, and using a semi-auto round in a revolver necessitating moon clips. I am in the minority with my opinion for sure.
 

contender

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You may be the only one who has POSTED your questions,, but I'm sure others have had similar thoughts.
No problem with that.

As for the expense,, each of those guns are made a bit differently than the normal assembly methods. More time is applied, and fewer are produced. As such, they cost more. And while I know he's not a revolver shooter,, Ruger's team Captain of their competition group, Doug Koenig considers himself an expert, & most likely his input costs them. He's a paid employee.

As far as hard to look at,, pictures do make it appear uglier than when seen in person. Quite a few folks found them attractive at SHOT by all accounts. I watched several folks handle, discuss, and such this exact gun. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. My worker has different "beauty standards" than I do when it comes to ladies. it's the same with everything.

And the moon clip thing,, it has been discussed often & in many different threads for years. Again, it may not be something YOU like,, but a LOT of folks do enjoy it. And it is a quick method of reloading. We had a few revolver shooters yesterday at my match. All were using moon clipped revolvers. (2 S&W's and a Ruger) Nobody was using the type of speed loaders others carry or employ. No H&K, no SafariLand, no speed-strips, etc. And none of the revolvers were using a rimmed caliber.

Again, we get it, YOU don't like it. That's perfectly ok with those of us who DO like it. We are all allowed our own opinions & likes & dislikes.
I like Chevy over all other makes of autos.
I like steak over tofu.
I like Brunettes over Blonds, over redheads, over weird hair colors.
I like Ruger handguns over most others.
I like Over & Under shotguns vs Side-by-Sides.
I like to collect & keep safe queen guns as well as shooters vs having to shoot all my guns.
I like steel guns over plastic ones.

And I happen to like the Ruger Match Champion Custom Shop 9mm revolver over the S&W 9mm revolver.

It's all a matter of personal likes & dislikes. None are wrong.

But it's impolite to bash another person's preferences. (Well,, I do give my worker a lot of grief over his choices of females. But we've known each other long enough & I have history to prove my points. he is getting better though.)

It's all good,, just accept the fact that some of us DO like the Custom Shop 9mm AND there ARE reasons it was made the way it was.
 
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Hey, it's a "gamer gun" and they appeal to a select group of folks who want exactly what Ruger has offered. That Ruger was able to provide an "unusual" combination of parts satisfies the gamers with a relatively inexpensive tool for their exclusive use. Note that I said "relatively" inexpensive. Compared to having a gun completely custom built up for the games it's probably quite a bit less costly.

The other version I linked to illustrates where Ruger will most assuredly have a larger market for those who want a more conventional gun for more conventional chamberings. I'm pretty sure their marketing guys hashed this all out going in.

As far as the use of rimless rounds in a revolver . . . meh. I like the classic rimmed stuff, but won't begrudge anyone wanting whatever they like. It's their money. All JMHO. :mrgreen:
 

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