On Wednesday, Ruger announced they will begin some changes, starting with producing some of their customer favorites in new versions. The double action wheel guns will now include a 5-shot GP100 in .44 Special and an 8-shot .357 Mag Redhawk.
The GP 100 has been available in a number of .357/.38 and .327 loadings but nothing much more than that. Now, they will be offered in a 5-shot .44 Special with a three-inch barrel.
The heavily doted .44 Special dates back to before World War I, but lost popularity after the .44 Magnum took a front seat in the 1950s. Very few manufacturers were marketing new revolvers chambered in the easier handling, but still effective, .44 Special by the 1990s.
Now, with the focus back on modern self-defense loads (Hornady Critical Defense, Speer Gold Dot, et. al), the new Ruger line will no doubt be popular with .44 Specialists. MSRP is $829.
Keep an eye out for another Ruger gem, the .357 Magnum variant of the Redhawk, which hasn’t been offered since 1991. The cylinder is now able to accommodate 8 cartridges, upping the ante substantially. The new 8-shooter still fits in standard Redhawk holsters and comes with 3 full moon clips and a 2.75-inch barrel. MSRP is $1079.