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Thread: GP100 44 special strength .

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    GP100 44 special strength .

    I believe the gp100 is a strong gun.
    how strong is the question?
    please don't waste my time and yours with posting - get a 44 mag.
    Ross ,Elmer, and Skeeter pushed the 44 special. Oops forgot Brian.
    I read somewhere th 44 cylinders were as thick as the 357s.
    I am thinking wide metplate , 250 to 280grains pig load.
    with enough speed to push that bullet.
    decided to buy now in case ruger only does a short run of these.
    so 25000?

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    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    I don't know but someone has to find out... Just be careful...

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    25,000 psi might be stretching things, I am not sure. What we need are some measurements, Specifically, cylinder chamber wall thickness at the thinnest point, forcing cone thickness, top strap width and thickness. With these in hand we can get a better idea of what we are looking at.

    I have a S&W M-69 which is rated for 44 magnum and the relevant measurements are: cylinder wall, .067"; forcing cone .076; top strap .657 w x .144 h (at edge). I am sure that the same metal and heat treatment goes into the 44 special GP 100 frames as goes into the .357 ones. If so, then the 44 specials should be amply strong for Brian Pearce's 22,000 psi, level 2 loads.

    I'm thinking the Skeeter load, which runs about 18,000 psi from a revolver and gives about 950 fps with the 429-421 would be an excellent match for this gun. (Ive run hundreds through my BH flat top where it is my most favored load.) I also suspect that Power Pistol at the same pressure might give another 50-70 fps. 15.5 grains of 2400 might also be pretty good with the grand old 250 grain SWC. All of these would be in the 900-1,025 fps range from that short, 3 inch barrel and would serve as an excellent all purpose load. I dare say that something along the lines of a 429-667 would do about as well.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    It's going to be impossible to know the limits you seek. Ruger might know the answer but surely won't disclose that. Measurements of the cylinder and frame would be a start but without know the exact materials used and the heat treating used the safest guess would be to stick to .44 Special loads.

    I wouldn't be surprised if 25000 loads were perfectly suitable and would provide reliable long term use. I'd even bet that the gun could see limited use of mid-range Magnum loads without damage, however I'm not going to recommended trying it. Any answer I give or anyone else gives is only a guess.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Walkingwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1944 View Post
    I believe the gp100 is a strong gun.
    how strong is the question?
    please don't waste my time and yours with posting - get a 44 mag.
    Ross ,Elmer, and Skeeter pushed the 44 special. Oops forgot Brian.
    I read somewhere th 44 cylinders were as thick as the 357s.
    I am thinking wide metplate , 250 to 280grains pig load.
    with enough speed to push that bullet.
    decided to buy now in case ruger only does a short run of these.
    so 25000?
    I believe both Skeeter, and Kieth blew up a few N Frame 44 specials. My understanding is the barrel threads are the same size as the 357 making for thinner forcing cone. Smith intentionally made the threaded portion thicker on the 69, compared to the 696 which had problems with split forcing cones. Another problem is the GP six shot has offset cylinder stop notches, which in a five shot the notches are over thinner cylinder than the 357. The Smith 686 six shot the cylinder notches are over a thin area of the cylinder, but not on the 69 because of the odd number capacity. Now enter the 686 plus, which is probably stronger than the 686.

    If you blow up the GP Ruger will probably warranty it. Fingers, and eyes do not fall under warranty. IMO hot 44 special ammo should be used on a limited basis, hunting, or self defense.

  7. #7
    Boolit Mold
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    need measurements of 357 and the 44.
    Even if we took 15 or 20% of the 357 what would that leave us.
    In looking at the 45 colt to 44 mag, they took 10%

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Walkingwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1944 View Post
    need measurements of 357 and the 44.
    Even if we took 15 or 20% of the 357 what would that leave us.
    In looking at the 45 colt to 44 mag, they took 10%
    I pulled this from Handloads.com, not sure if it can be verified without digging through the writings of Kieth, or Skeeter.

    I have read that when Speer tested Keith's load it measured 27,000 PSI. That is well above the 15,500 PSI specified by SAAMI for a standard 44 Special, but still only approximately 2/3 the pressure that maximum level magnum loads generate.

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    Boolit Mold
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    I agree with limited use. For me pigs only
    250gr at 1200
    I believe Ross S. Got 300 gr at 9 something

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Forrest r's Avatar
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    Interesting reading to say the least.

    The keith/27,00spi thing you got going on is all dis-combobulated. What it should read is when they tested the "LOADS" for the old style balloon headed cases in modern cases they found that the Keith load was 27,000psi.

    That same Keith load in balloon headed cases is 20,000psi.

    There's a link on this website that has been here since 2012 that has the nra test data from the 1950's showing the Keith load data along with the pressures of the loads using both modern and balloon headed cases.

    Good luck getting 1200fps from a 250gr bullet in a 3" bbl'd revolver. I can see why your asking how strong the rugers are.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forrest r View Post
    Interesting reading to say the least.

    The keith/27,00spi thing you got going on is all dis-combobulated. What it should read is when they tested the "LOADS" for the old style balloon headed cases in modern cases they found that the Keith load was 27,000psi.

    That same Keith load in balloon headed cases is 20,000psi.

    There's a link on this website that has been here since 2012 that has the nra test data from the 1950's showing the Keith load data along with the pressures of the loads using both modern and balloon headed cases.

    Good luck getting 1200fps from a 250gr bullet in a 3" bbl'd revolver. I can see why your asking how strong the rugers are.
    X 2

    Geez...does this insanity ever end?

  12. #12
    Boolit Mold
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    Think I may need a 5.5 bisley and a gp100

  13. #13
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    To put some perspective onto your "250 @ 1200" idea, I have chronographed Elmers load of 22 grains of 2400 under his 250 out of a three inch 629 (.44 Mag of course). I got just over 1250 fps average.

    With some recoil too.


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  14. #14
    Boolit Master dougader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forrest r View Post
    Interesting reading to say the least.

    The keith/27,00spi thing you got going on is all dis-combobulated. What it should read is when they tested the "LOADS" for the old style balloon headed cases in modern cases they found that the Keith load was 27,000psi.

    That same Keith load in balloon headed cases is 20,000psi.

    There's a link on this website that has been here since 2012 that has the nra test data from the 1950's showing the Keith load data along with the pressures of the loads using both modern and balloon headed cases.

    Good luck getting 1200fps from a 250gr bullet in a 3" bbl'd revolver. I can see why your asking how strong the rugers are.
    You're comparing balloon head cases to balloon head cases here. Typo?

    Pearce included the 696 in his 25k psi data, but in a later article mentioned the thin forcing cone that might crack with continued use of these loads. While the Ruger GP100 44 spl might be stronger than the 696, but looking at the forcing cone you'll see it's a bit thin, too.

    I'd tone the loads down a bit, and use them sparingly.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Walkingwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1944 View Post
    I agree with limited use. For me pigs only
    250gr at 1200
    I believe Ross S. Got 300 gr at 9 something
    I am throwing 300 grain at 1200fps out of a 4.75 barrel Taylor's/Pietta 1873 using W296. You should be able to get 1200fps easy using a 44 mag at 5.5. I carry the model 21 for SD open carry with a plus P 200 grain load, but the 1873 is used for woods.

    Something to keep in mind is that balloon cases have higher volume than later style cases, but they are weaker. Less volume means one should use less powder than for balloon cases. Much like 38 super cases compared to 9X23 cases, powder charges must consider the volume change of the case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walkingwolf View Post
    I am throwing 300 grain at 1200fps out of a 4.75 barrel Taylor's/Pietta 1873 using W296. You should be able to get 1200fps easy using a 44 mag at 5.5.
    Whoa that is a LOTTA pressure on that Italian clone! You are most definitely over any 25kpsi by now. You are fully into the Ruger Only loadings for 45 Colt with 296. Is this a 44 magnum Pietta?

    He is talking about a 3" 44 Special, how did 5.5" 44 magnum get into the convo?

    OP I had another thread asking for cylinder measurements and we got to the point where the 5 shot GP100-44 cylinder is actually thicker than the 6 shot Flattop Blackhawk 44 Special so going by the fact that a Flattop Blackhawk, medium framed Blackhawk in 45 Colt is good to 23kpsi (45 ACP+P pressure) and the 44 Special is slightly smaller so cylinder measurements are slightly thicker for the 44 as compared to the 45, it would seem that the 44 Special in the flattop would be good to 25kpsi, and if the GP100-44 cylinder walls are actually thicker, then I would say 250gr @ 1200fps from a 5 1/2" barrel would be doable and still under the 25kpsi pressure ceiling, but I don't know about reaching 1200fps from a 3" barrel and still staying under 25kpsi.

    I have a medium framed Vaquero with 5 1/2" barrel chambered to 45 Schofield, very similar in size to the 44 Special, and I got a 250gr LBT WFN to 1200fps over 21.5gr H110 and QL said the pressures were under 23kpsi, shooting it seemed to confirm what QL said, recoil was snappy and quick but not sharp, brass extracted easily and no pressure signs on the primers. This would be a good load for deer, black bear, or hogs up to 300lbs.
    Last edited by DougGuy; 02-12-2017 at 01:39 AM.
    Got a .22 .30 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  17. #17
    Boolit Mold
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    Even 1050 to 1100 would make a pig load.

  18. #18
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    Bill1944,

    My father had a really nice K38 S&W when he was alive. He always wanted a 357. He used to push the limits of that S&W with every round trying to get close to the velocity and power of the 357 that he didn't have. He was a great reloader that could see pressure signs and thankfully didn't blow up the gun dispite some of his loads being on the do not do list in todays world. What I'm getting at is don't rely on how good that little Ruger may or may not be because it only takes one round to separate you from your Ruger. Forget about your quest to see just how good the Ruger is unless you have enough funds for another Ruger laying around. My suggestin that you won't want to hear is purchase a different gun that will actually fit your needs for what you have in mind.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1944 View Post
    Think I may need a 5.5 bisley and a gp100
    Why yes you may. The short GP100 in 44 special is a good holster carry SD gun, that if needed would work with a bullet going out at a reasonable 9-950 FPS for encounters with 4 legged as well as 2 legged targets. Sometimes we want a gun to do everything when in fact you may only use it for hunting once or twice. That is still a lot of punch on a 2 legged target at close range and your getting into the noticeable recoil range of that gun although I have yet to fire a GP100 44 special. If I were to purposely hunt, the bisley 44 special or mag. would be better with the longer sight radius and the fact that I prefer the grip for absorbing recoil. Just my .02.

  20. #20
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    ive got an old model Blackhawk 357 punched out to 44 special that eats keith level loads for lunch. My guess is that its not a lot stouter then the redhawk. I would think that ruger knew darned well that 44 special guys are experimenters and that this gun would surely need to stand up to keith level loads. I know a 357 gp100 is a bull strong gun. that all said a 250 at even a 1000fps will kill about anyting you poke it into.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

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