Ruger Super GP100 9mm Review By: Caleb Giddings

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Right off the bat, I have to make one thing clear: the Ruger Super GP100 9mm is exceptionally hard to get your hands on. Ruger makes limited runs of these each year, and they sell out basically instantly. But as we pass the 2 year anniversary of Ruger’s entry into the 9mm competition revolver world, let’s take an in depth look at this gun.

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Origin of the Ruger Super GP100 9mm

This revolver was third offering from the Ruger Custom Shop. Before it Ruger offered the same gun in 357 Magnum/38 Special, and the Doug Koenig limited edition 1911. The Custom Shop offerings have expanded to include the Ruger Precision Rifle and several models of the 10/22 rifle. Custom Shop firearms are produced in limited numbers each year, and represent the top of the line in quality and engineering available from Ruger.

The Ruger Super GP100 9mm is no exception. The appearance is striking. The vents cut into the barrel sleeve look like go-fast stripes on a car. Then there’s the black cylinder, contrasting against the stainless frame. The cylinder itself is a sticking point in the appearance for some. Because the 9mm Super GP100 uses the same frame as the 357 Magnum model, the stubby 9mm cylinder and long forcing cone look a little out of place. But the whole look does come together, and the end product looks like a revolver designed to go fast.

Ruger Super GP100 9mm Features

Starting at the tip and moving to the tail, the Super GP100 9mm starts off with a green fiber optic front sight. This sits on top of a six inch stainless steel barrel. The barrel features an 11 degree target crown as well. Importantly, the barrel is a true 9mm barrel. This matters, as some early attempts by other manufacturers to produce 38 Super and 9mm caliberrevolvers used 357 Magnum barrels as a cost saving measure. Unfortunately, this meant that most factory 9mm rounds wouldn’t properly engage the rifling.

The Ruger Super GP100 9mm has none of those issues. Moving on, the rear sight is Ruger’s standard adjustable white outline rear sight. This gets us back to the grip, which is a nicely checkered Hogue hardwood grip. I’ve gone back and forth with this grip. For a while I took it off the gun and had a VZ Grip instead. Recently I’ve made the switch back to the Hogue checkered grip. Important note, any grip designed for the regular GP100 will fit the Super GP100.

The chamfer on the Ruger Super GP100 9mm cylinder is tasty

In addition to providing quite the visual experience, the high strength stainless steel cylinder has a great competition feature. Each of the charge holes are lightly chamfered. This aids in the all important revolver speed reload. If you shoot matches with this gun, you’ll be glad for that chamfer. 

What’s in the Box, Man?

The gun we’re reviewing today isn’t new. I’ve had it since 2020; the serial number is 00134, so it’s pretty earlyproduction. Mine shipped in a wonderful Pelican case with the Ruger custom shop logo. It included a de-mooning tool for removing spent brass from the three included moon clips. It also included a Ruger challenge coin, and a letter of authenticity.

A note on the moon clips which is important. I found the factory provided clips to be a bit flimsy and they’d have trouble retaining rounds. The Super GP100 has the same hole pattern as its rival, the S&W 929. That means you can go to TK Custom and stock up on moon clips, which you’ll want to do, because 3 clips isn’t enough. You need at least 10 to shoot a match of any size.

Modifying the Ruger Super GP100 9mm

I’ve had this gun for so long I don’t remember what the factory trigger pulls were. Because it uses the same spring lock work arrangement as a Super Redhawk or GP100, the first thing I did was install a Wilson Combat Spring kit. Unfortunately, that caused some problems with the gun’s ability to reset the trigger, so off it went to Cylinder and Slide for a quick action job. 

My Ruger Super GP100 9mm now has a 7-pound smooth double action trigger pull that reliably cracks American Eagle and CCI primers. The single action pull, while completely irrelevant cracks at 2 pounds 2 ounces.

I mentioned above I had switched to VZ Grips for a while on this gun. I like the VZ grips, but for this application they weren’t quite right. I’ve settled back on the factory grips for competition work. They’re slightly longer than the VZ Grips, which offers me better opportunities to apply pinky pressure to help keep the gun flat in recoil.

Maximum recoil with the Ruger Super GP100 9mm isn't a lot

Shooting the GP100 9mm For Almost 3 Years

I’ve had this gun since February 2020. In 31 months I’ve only managed to run 2276 rounds through it, which isn’t a lot for a competition gun. Part of that is because I never really got deep into USPSA revolver shooting, which is what this gun is clearly designed for. The nature of USPSA revolver division basically demands an 8 shot gun at this point. 

Honestly, I’ve had some real struggles with this gun. I LIKE shooting it, but I can never seem to wring the level of performance out of it than I feel like I should. I’ve hit a couple of personal bests on Steel Challenge stages with it. But I’ve also totally eaten it on some Steel Challenge stages with it. 

For a while, I legitimately thought it was cursed. I was shooting a USPSA match and the 150 grain Federal Syntech rounds were tumbling at random distances. Two keyholed misses into hard cover on a classifier stage tanked my day. I never did discover why this gun hates Federal Syntech so bad; I fixed that issue by never shooting those rounds out of it.

Wait, the Ruger Super GP100 9mm Tumbles Rounds?

Yes and no. I’ve shot a bunch of different stuff through it. Only the 150 grain Federal Syntech Action pistol won’t stabilize. It shoots 2 inch groups with everything else like it’s no big deal. Just today at the range I shot this group standing unsupported double action at 15 yards with Speer Gold Dot 124 grain +P JHP. I have a number of theories as towhy it didn’t stabilize the Syntech, but no real evidence. Like I said, the easiest solution is to just shoot 124 grain FMJ. 

Speer Gold Dot 124 grain JHP from the Ruger Super GP100

Super GP100 9mm vs S&W 929

If you’re in the market for a competition 9mm revolver, these are basically your two choices. Both have features that recommend them. The S&W 929 has a wider array of aftermarket accessories available. This is because S&W has been the KING of the competition revolver space forever, there’s just more stuff out there for their guns. 

However, the Ruger Super GP100 9mm is more durable than the S&W offering. It’s also easier for a novice to get a good trigger on a Ruger than it is on a 929, since both guns need help in that department.

I’ve owned both. I sold my 929, but even after three years and the gun being possibly cursed, I still have the Super GP100. I don’t know if that means it’s better than the S&W offering, but I like it better. Of course, both guns are difficult to find right now and expensive when you do find them.

Final Thoughts

You don’t need to compete in the shooting sports to buy one of these, but it certainly helps. The Ruger Super GP100 works for USPSA, ICORE Limited, and Steel Challenge. It’s accurate, and while I had issues with mine at first, I’ve not heard similar reports from other owners. Most importantly, it is absolutely fun to shoot. It’s probably more fun to shoot if you’re not obsessed with improving your scores and just want to blast 9mm rounds out of a nearly 3 pound revolver, though.

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