We here at the magazine are 100 percent behind Ruger CEO Mike Fifer’s “Million Gun Challenge” to benefit NRA. Ruger has pledged to donate $1 million to NRA if 1 million new Ruger firearms are sold between the 2011 and 2012 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits. Fifer recently came to NRA HQ to meet with Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox to drop off the first $300,000 installment.
My boss, John Zent, asked me to write about which Ruger I plan to buy (one must do one’s part, after all), and to be frank, I have quite a few Rugers already. I was leaning toward a No. 1 in 7x57 mm Mauser, but now that rifle will simply have to wait.
My friend and American Rifleman Field Editor Wiley Clapp has some very firm and well-founded ideas on what handguns need and what they don’t. I’ve spent countless hours discussing pistols and revolvers with him, and learn something nearly every time I see his number on the caller ID.
Before he even began working quietly with Colt, Smith & Wesson and Ruger on a line of “WC” handguns, Wiley asked if it would be OK with me and the magazine if he designed a line of handguns from different makers made “his way.” Because he is a gentleman and a professional, Wiley wanted to make sure there would not be any problems for the magazine. Of course, there was no issue, and I was delighted for him. All gunwriters have opinions—it is the raison d’être of the vocation—but some are actually worth implementing in a factory firearm. That is certainly the case when it comes to Wiley Clapp.
Wiley told me about his friendship with Bob Coyle from TALO Distributors and then went over some of the guns he wanted to customize with his ideas from the factory. The WC Colt Combat Commander appeared first, and now thanks to Coyle and Ruger’s Chris Killoy, there’s a “WC” Ruger—the gun I wanted all along.
The WCGP is a matte Hawkeye stainless, six-shot .357 Mag. GP100 with a 3-inch fully shrouded barrel. Wiley is a big fan of the sights made by his friend Wayne Novak, and this wheelgun has a “Genuine” Novak low-profile rear sight seamlessly dovetailed into the top strap as well as a Novak green fiber-optic front dovetailed into thebarrel’s top rib. Only one dot, not three, as there is less likely to be confusion in a high-stress environment as to which of those dots is really your front sight. This is the only GP100 with dovetailed sights, and the only 3-inch with the Hawkeye finish.
The stocks are rubber with a thumbrest in the top left, but there are panels of checkered “Dymondwood” inset into the rubber. Like those on his Commander, the panels taper and are wider at the back, and have “fingerprint checkering” only at the front where the fingers interface with panels.
The production run is limited to 2,000 guns, so I have already placed my order. A practical trail gun for the backcountry that could be carried concealed in a pinch, this is the WC gun I wanted all along. Get your own, but get in line behind me.