Handguns > Revolver

Wiley Clapp/TALO Ruger GP100

Wiley Clapp follows up on his highly acclaimed Commander-size M1911 rework with an all-purpose double-action .357 Mag. revolver.

1/25/2012

The term “workhorse” seems almost to have been coined for the Ruger GP100. First appearing in 1985 as a replacement for the older line of Ruger Security-Six, Speed-Six and Service-Six revolvers, it was purposely overbuilt to handle some of the hotter .357 Mag. loads then appearing on the market.

As it comes from the factory, the GP100 is available in blued and stainless versions, in several barrel lengths, chambered for .357 Mag./.38 Spl. or .327 Federal Mag./.32 H&R Mag./.32 S&W Long/.32 S&W. It has a fully shrouded ejector rod, an in-frame firing pin and a transfer bar. The double-action/single-action trigger mechanism is well-thought-out, rugged and reliable.

On the other hand, the GP100, as issued and despite its attributes, is never going to win a beauty contest. It is simply one homely, solid piece of equipment, designed to come through with no fuss when the chips are down—and that’s a particular kind of beauty all in itself.

Since its debut, the GP100 has been a staple in the Ruger line, and has been sold to many thousands of satisfied customers. As a defense handgun this double-action is tough to beat; but, that doesn’t mean the piece couldn’t use a bit of a going over. American Rifleman Field Editor Wiley Clapp figured he could recommend a few changes to make the gun even more ideally suited to defensive and field use.

Before we go any further, in the interest of full disclosure, I have to acknowledge that Wiley and I have been friends and associates for a number of years, going back a couple of decades or so to when we were both staff editors at another gun magazine. At that time, Wiley quickly established his expertise in handguns within the staff—an enthusiasm that has grown stronger in the passing years. I feel pretty justified in saying that he is currently one of the pre-eminent handgun experts extant—an opinion shared by others, and one that can be more than justified, if not only in his writings, but more recently by some semi-automatic pistols and revolvers that he has had a hand in developing.

His take on the Colt Commander (“A Modern Day Classic: Wiley Clapp’s Colt,”) received instant acclaim for its common-sense modifications, and it’s a good bet his GP100 is going to be no less highly regarded. The nice thing about Wiley’s no-frills approach is that he only changes things he feels will appreciably improve a particular gun’s utility. That means the basic, time-tested platforms are changed or embellished only as-needed.

Developed in conjunction with Bob Coyle of TALO Distributors and Sturm, Ruger & Co., the GP100’s operating mechanics and makeup have been left pretty much alone. What Wiley wanted to accomplish was to improve the GP as a general utility, rough-service carry piece suitable for an outdoorsman’s backpack, holster or vehicle glovebox (where legal, of course). As the gun already has a pretty good start in that direction, all that was really needed was an informed tweaking or two.

First, the gun’s barrel length was limited to 3 inches. As there was plenty of meat in the GP’s topstrap to allow for a dovetail notch, the standard fixed rear sights were abandoned in favor of a Novak wide-notch Lo-Mount rear and a fiber-optic front. Ruger’s factory-issue Hogue rubber grip was replaced with one featuring Altamont Diamondwood inserts. The inserts have been beautifully laser-cut in a triple-finger pattern reminiscent of a design developed by Walter Roper in the 1940s. The back of the rubber grip has the Ruger logo molded into it, along with a discreet, small oval encircling the initials “WC”—something I vividly remember as the distinctive way Wiley would sign off after editing a magazine layout.

The gun has also been subtly sculpted—with contouring, tapering and beveling of such parts as the barrel, trigger guard and front circumference of the cylinder—to allow for better general handling and for ease of insertion into a holster. The matte-finish frame is pleasing to the eye and exhibits significantly less glare than a standard GP100.

Shooting the Wiley Clapp Ruger GP100 is a delight. As I mentioned earlier, it’s a nice piece to begin with, but I have to admit I really liked the grip. It fit my small-to-medium-size hands wonderfully and gave superior control and recoil absorption. The wide notch of the Novak rear sight allows for a bit of daylight on either side of the front sight, providing for quick and easy target acquisition—even in low light. While the action did not appear to have been tuned much, if at all, the revolver performed extremely well both in single-action and double-action operation, the trigger pull being crisp on the former and smooth and unglitchy on the latter. Bottom line: It was simply a lot of fun to shoot, and I did about as well with it as I can with any short-barreled .357. In addition to the standard 25-yard testing protocol, the gun was also tested at 7 yards, double-action, with spreads coming in pretty much the same as those at the greater range, give or take a half-inch or so in a couple of strings.

Clapp has done a great job with this piece. The GP100 was an apt choice for the transformation, and he was the guy to make a good gun even better. We used to call him “The Wiley One” in the editorial offices, and with this GP100 he has more than lived up to that estimation.

Manufacturer: Sturm Ruger & Co., Inc.; (603) 865-2442; www.ruger.com
Distributor: TALO Distributors, Inc.; www.taloinc.com
Caliber: .357 Mag./.38 Spl.
Action Type: single-action/double-action center-fire revolver
Frame: matte-finish stainless steel
Barrel: 3"
Rifling: five-groove, 1:18.75" RH twist
Cylinder Capacity: six
Sights: Novak wide-notch Lo-Mount rear, fiber-optic front
Trigger Pull: single-action, 4 lbs., 4 ozs; double-action, 8 lbs., 12 ozs.
Overall Length: 8.5"
Width: 1.54"
Height: 5.57"
Weight: 37 ozs.
Stocks: one-piece synthetic rubber with Diamondwood inserts
Accessories: plastic case,
trigger lock
Suggested Retail Price: $829

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22 Responses to Wiley Clapp/TALO Ruger GP100

Eric Johnson wrote:
August 10, 2013

'This gun with a 5 shot .44 special loading would be my dream carry gun.' AMEN! Ruger, are you listening? (no, dang it)

Mark Adkins wrote:
June 26, 2013

Ok, I got one on layaway 06252013. Plese someone tell me about durability of finish on the blue one. I understand 2500 blue and 2000 satin were made. Thanks and I sure hope I am liking this as I took a 10 day thought process to do so

RMF wrote:
June 23, 2013

Drove about an hour this past Friday and Picked mine up, Wiley GP100 Stainless, at a fair $699.99 with a really good discount on the Ammo. This gun is so beautiful I had it in my lap staring at it all night while watching TV. Sexy to the Max and feels perfect in the hand, I mean perfect. Yesterday put a hundred rounds through her. 10, 20, and 30 yards, man, I thought I was on candid camera, from the first to the last pull, perfect shots. Kick is minimal, had some 38 plunkers, Rem 38 sp+p 125 gr, and Rem .357 Mag 158 gr. I think I'll only buy .357 for here, really fun. Sights are sweet. For the little powder residue I just cleaned the gun inside and out with Silicone spray and a soft cotton cloth. Cleaned up perfect. Really glad I got this revolver. I'll let my semi's sit in the safe for now. Thanks Wiley, nice work.

JM wrote:
May 15, 2013

Picked up a GP00 back about 06-07, paid like 300 bucks, was amazed at how expensive they have become. Great shooter.

Marine2541 wrote:
May 05, 2013

While buying a S&W 686 plus 2 1/2', I saw the blued model of this gun with the brass bead front sight. I like the 3' barrel better than 2 1/2', the front sight better, and the coup De' Ta, the wonderful grip! I bought the Smith AND the Willie Clapp! I've since sold the Smith to a good friend for a loss, but I am happy as a pig in slop!

James wrote:
March 04, 2013

Got the W/C yesterday.. First wheel gun on 25 years.. What a great gun to shot! Got it in the blk matte finish .. Shootstrait in Casselberry fl.. Nice gun, nice deal.. Very happy.

raymc wrote:
January 25, 2013

Just got one today. Saw it at lgs and love at first sight. My first .357 mag. I'll shoot tomorrow and see if it's as good as it looks. Don't see me carrying this as I've got an XDs , P229, timber solo and a couple compact Blocks as we as an LCR , but it will make a good backpack gun I believe.

choy wrote:
January 19, 2013

Saw this today and wow this revolver is a beauty, put it on lay away and should get it next few weeks. Hard to find.

PawPaw wrote:
January 15, 2013

Purchased mine on 01/10/2013. Waiting for it to arrive. Can't wait. Seller bwoutfitters, 680.00.

gunner300 wrote:
January 12, 2013

Got mine today, looks much stronger than a S&W. Shot 6 just fun, nice. Will give it a workout latter. Got it for $770 tax and all OTD.

TiwiMon wrote:
January 08, 2013

I happened to be picking up another gun I had delivered to my local FFL when I saw the Wiley Clapp GP100 in their case, I immediately asked to see it and purchased it on the spot. Been looking for a 357 revolver for some time, just didn't see one that struck my fancy, now the search is over. Smooth as butter and looks great, my favorite of all, even more than the one I ironically was there for and had delivered that I had been searching months for!

Jeff Page wrote:
December 22, 2012

Just purchased the Ruger GP100 Wiley Clapp Limited Edition this past week. A first time handgun owner, I was at first intimidated by it, but after my first range visit yesterday, I am in love with this gun!! Soon to have a laser grip installed.

Bill Osby wrote:
December 13, 2012

This gun with a 5 shot .44 special loading would be my dream carry gun.

Steve Smith wrote:
November 27, 2012

cannot find one where can I find one

Para13man wrote:
October 30, 2012

Love this smooth shooting and handling weapon.

NJDave wrote:
August 28, 2012

NJFrank, I just received a new replacement GP100 from Ruger. We'll see if the front site problem is resolved. Ill post after shooting.

Scott wrote:
August 17, 2012

Just got mine and couldn't be happier. Aesthetically pleasing and capable of dropping your largest zombie. What more could an enthusiast ask for!!

NJFrank wrote:
August 11, 2012

I love mine too... NJDave, i had the same issue with the front site drifting. Sent it in to Ruger and they replaced the barrel as well. Did it happen again after ruger replaced the barrel?

NJDave wrote:
August 09, 2012

Bought this for my wife a few months ago and loved it...until the front sights kept moving on me. Three times the sight drifted after factory centering, twice left then once right and after Ruger changed the barrel and sight. They are a bit perplexed and I am more than a bit annoyed. Its at the factory now. certainly a tolerance or design issue.

Tom wrote:
June 04, 2012

Just saw this gun in a LGS and after a close examination purchased it. What the pictures don't show is the sculpting and finish on the weapon, superb! Action the best on any GP I've ever owned. Look forward to firing 1,000s of 357 through this gun.

Rob wrote:
April 10, 2012

This is my first wheel. I absolutely love this firearm. From the finish to the feel it is just awesome. I am lucky to have been able to acquire one as well.

Brian Emmerson wrote:
March 14, 2012

I love this gun! I was a fan of the GP 100 before and when I saw this unique style I was impressed. Wiley Clapp has made a great firearm that is by far my favorite 357 to shoot! i am lucky to own one before they were all sold!