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John Van Gelder
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Posted: February 08 2009 at 8:54am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

I have a Ruger GP 100, it is in stainless and has the 3" barrel and fixed sights. It has been my standard carry gun since I purchased it in 1990. It is very "portable", easy to maintain and goes with me most of the time, except when I am serious about hunting big game and then I take one of my .45s.

I was never too keen on fixed sights, but this little gun shoots right on. I have to do a little elevation guessing when I change bullet weights. I shoot every thing through the gun from 77gr. wadcutters, that I use for birds, up to 173 gr. SWCs, and shot shells, which seem to work much better in a short barrel.

As I recall the sights are regulated for the "high intensity" 125gr. loads.

This is a great little gun, and I am sure that most of this is "Preaching to the Chior", and once again I have said a lot to finally get to the point.

I have never chronographed my GP, and thought that it might be an interesting project to run some of my favorite loads through the "screens" and publish my findings, unless someone else has already done that.

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lovesrugers
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Posted: February 08 2009 at 9:26am | IP Logged Quote lovesrugers

I have the Sp101 in .357 with a 3 inch barrel and have chronied some of my loads through it. I was impressed at the velocity this little gun can put out. Just off the top of my head if I remember right 158 grain bullets hit close to 1,300 fps with top end loads.

I would love to try the 173 gr SWC but I think the Sp101's cylinder is to short to fit that bullet. 158 gr LSWC just barely fit.

Jerry
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lovesrugers
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Posted: February 08 2009 at 9:39am | IP Logged Quote lovesrugers

John, I went ahead and looked up my chrony data for the Sp101. Here are two loads that I have tested:

Gun: Ruger Sp101 .357 mag, 3 inch barrel.

Load #1:
Warning the following load is only safe in a .357 magnum firearm. It operates at .357 magnum pressure.
158 gr LSWC
13.5 grs 2400
.38 special case
Average velocity: 1,243.2 fps

Load #2
158 gr LSWC
17.5 Hodgdon Lil Gun
.357 magnum case
Average velocity: 1,226.8 fps

Jerry
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John Van Gelder
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Posted: February 08 2009 at 9:43am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

I had a SP 101 in .38 Spl. and used to shoot the heavy Keith bullets (173 gr.) in that gun, it had as I recall a 2 and a fraction length barrel. Since it was a 5 shooter there was no cylinder stop notch right above the chamber and I was not concerned about the heavy loads. But it sure was a hand full. I liked the GP better, just a bit more to hang on to. My wife liked the SP so she ended up with that.

I have some loads that I have used for a bit of everything over the last 40 years and I was just curious to see what sort of velocities the GP would give me. As I continue on with the project I will publish my results for anyone who might be interested.

John
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John Van Gelder
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Posted: February 08 2009 at 9:47am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

Jerry

It is a bit amazing just what the short barrel guns will do.

One of my goals for this year is to put some venison in the freezer with my GP, using a cast bullet handload.

John
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lovesrugers
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Posted: February 08 2009 at 10:27am | IP Logged Quote lovesrugers

John, if you are looking to maximize the velocity of your short barreled Gp than Lil Gun would be a great powder to try. I believe it is handloads forum member Mike Goldstein that has a two and a quarter inch barreled Sp101 in .357 mag. Using Lil gun he gets nearly the exact same velocities I got with a 158 grain bullet out of my slightly longer barrel. Ok I admit I think he went slightly higher on the charge weight, but not much.

Jerry
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John Van Gelder
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Posted: February 09 2009 at 7:59am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

Jerry

My intent is not to maximize my loads.   I just have some that have worked for various hunting tasks, and am curious what sort of velocities they produce.

I have a load that utilizes a 77gr, wadcutter over 4gr. of Bullseye, that has accounted for a great quantity of small game. This was back in the days when I was concerned over how many bullets I could get out of a can of powder and a pound of lead.

A load that works very well in my GP is 3.5 gr of BE or Red Dot behind a 115gr. wadcutter. This load seems to shoot point of aim in my fixed sight GP, and works very well for grouse and ground squirrels.

These are for all purposes indoor target loads that work well for small game and pest control without being overly loud, or destructive on small game for the pot.

The advantage to slow moving bullets is that you can eat right up to the hole, back in the days when I could just shoot the heads off of grouse, then full magnum loads were fine, but as I have gotten older and my eyesight is not as good, I tend more to the center of mass sort of shooting...my Model 28 S&W now wears a scope!!

john
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joed
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Posted: February 09 2009 at 4:11pm | IP Logged Quote joed

lovesrugers wrote:
I would love to try the 173 gr SWC but I think the Sp101's cylinder is to short to fit that bullet. 158 gr LSWC just barely fit.

Jerry

You have to seat the bullet deep and crimp over the front driving band. I used these bullets enough to know that if you don't do the above sooner or later you're going to be in trouble.

JoeD
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John Van Gelder
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Posted: February 09 2009 at 7:15pm | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

You can use the 173 gr Keith bullets seated to the crimping groove if you use .38Spl. cases.
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John Van Gelder
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Posted: February 13 2009 at 5:43am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

I finally had the opportunity to set up my chronograph and do a little shooting.

I shot some hand loads as well as some factory ammunition. These velocities are from the fixed sight 3" barrel GP-100

Federal 158Gr. JSP 1180 fps / ave.
Federal 125Gr. JHP 1400 fps / ave.

Cast     158Gr. SWC 6Gr. Unique   1160 fps/ ave.
Cast     115Gr. WC 3.5Gr. Red Dot   880 fps/ ave.

The Federal 125 Gr. loads have a great deal of muzzle blast in the 3" inch gun, but these should be very adequate for self defense.

This is the same load that I carried in my service revolver.

The 158 grain federal load has considerably more muzzle blast and felt recoil than the cast bullet over 6 Gr. of Unique.

I have a number of other loads that I am interested in testing and will publish that information as the project progresses.

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Rex
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Posted: February 13 2009 at 6:20am | IP Logged Quote Rex

Mr. Van Gelder,
Was your 158 gr. bullet, 6 gr. Unique load put up in a .357 case or a .38 Special?
Rex
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John Van Gelder
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Posted: February 13 2009 at 7:58am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

The 158 gr. cast load was in a .357 case.

I have always been partial to the 173 gr. Keith bullet I am quite curious what the 13.5 gr. 2400 with that bullet will produce in my GP. However at the moment I don't have any of those loaded up to try.

I also have the same bullet in the hollow point version, I was going to run some of those through the chronorgaph, but at the moment cannot find my load data for those...
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Rex
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Posted: February 13 2009 at 8:02am | IP Logged Quote Rex

I load 173 gr. Keith in a 357 case with 13 gr. 2400 per the Lyman #45 book. It really shoots nice. The hot Keith load in a 38 case gets sticky in my L frame Smith. I haven't run the above load over my chrony yet but wouldn't hesitate to take our local deer with it.
Rex
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John Van Gelder
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Posted: February 13 2009 at 8:16am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

Back when I had the SP 101, I loaded some of the 173 gr. Keith bullets into .38 spl. cases over 13.5 gr of 2400, they shot nice, but were not any fun to shoot. I had no extraction problems, but did not shoot very many of them, they were just "incase" loads, in case the SP was all I had and I ran into a bear, this was back when I was still in Alaska.
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Paul5388
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Posted: February 13 2009 at 8:59am | IP Logged Quote Paul5388

About a year ago I shot .38 Special with 12.5 gr of 2400, a 158 gr LSWC and got 1000 fps out of a 2" barrel. I don't see where I clocked any 35429s out of that gun, probably because they don't fit its short cylinder in .357 brass.

I've been concentrating on the 358477 in .38 Special lately, but I've about finished that project. Now I can move on to the 358429.
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lovesrugers
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Posted: February 13 2009 at 9:32am | IP Logged Quote lovesrugers

John, thanks for doing that. The 158 LSWC over 6 grains of Unique is my standard .357 plinking load. Surprisingly I have never run it across my chrony. Your gun appears to be delivering ballistics very close to my gun. I bet the velocity of the 158 grain Unique load out of my Sp101 would be very close to the numbers you got. I am actually surprised that it is going that fast.

Jerry
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Rex
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Posted: February 13 2009 at 10:06am | IP Logged Quote Rex

Paul,
I would think the 12-12.5 grain range in 38 Spec. brass would be a nice load in my 4" L frame also.
A revolver doesn't have to shoot just as hard as it can be driver and the arthritis in my wrist says that 4 grains of Bullseye with a 158 grain bullet in 38 Spec. brass is a nice load and takes most varmints at pistol range.
Rex
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farmall
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Posted: February 13 2009 at 10:54am | IP Logged Quote farmall

"A revolver doesn't have to shoot just as hard as it can be driven"

Rex....you are truly wise! Everyone thinks I'd like the 500 S&W and such, but I'd rather shoot all day. Give me the 38 special or 1000-1100fps type 158gn 357 loads.
Noone will ever mistake me for Elmer Keith!

+1 on LovesRugers load, I use just about the same at 6.5gn, and over a Lee 158gn round flat point bullet.
(I must be more like Elmer that him)

Rex, you snowed in yet?
Andy

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If it dosent burn gunpowder, diesel fuel or gasoline, it's of no interest to me!!
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Rex
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Posted: February 13 2009 at 11:22am | IP Logged Quote Rex

Andy,
We got about 4 inches give or take, the sun is out right now and it is trying to melt if I'd just go scoop a little.
Andy, I cast the same bullet you do. They shoot pretty nice don't they.
Rex
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Paul5388
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Posted: February 13 2009 at 11:38am | IP Logged Quote Paul5388

It's 68 degrees here today, so I don't think we'll get snowed in anytime in the near future.
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