Revolver Tour #9: Ruger Match Champion

Ruger GP100 Match Champion

You knew this one was coming. The Ruger GP100 Match Champion – the gun I’ve dedicated more pixels to writing about, and trigger time behind on this blog in the last two years than anything else. Ruger’s answer to the 686SSR, and one of the best all around 4 inch revolvers on the market.

This was the gun that Ruger needed in their line-up, and not just because S&W was the king of the IDPA revolver space. Ruger needed a fresh look on the GP100, which has been around for 30 years and really hasn’t seen any sort of cosmetic freshening in that time. The half underlug slab-sided barrel, the wood Hogue stocks checkered just right, the fiber optic front sight, it’s obvious to me that someone in Ruger’s product development department was paying attention when they made this gun. In fact, the only thing I wish they’d done right off the bat was offer it with adjustable sights, an oversight that was fixed at this year’s SHOT Show with the announcement of the new adjustable sight GP100 MC.

Ruger GP100 match champion adjustable sights

Adding the option for adjustable sights firmly sets the GP100 Match Champion in a class with the S&W 686SSR Pro. If you’re looking for a 4 inch revolver that is going to eat magnums all day long, have good sights from the factory, and other competition/shootability touches that “stock” wheelguns don’t have, your choices are one of these two guns. And either will do just fine, although in this instance my choice is the Ruger. I think when you really get down to it, I prefer Rugers because they’re easier for an ape like me to work on. I’ve pulled the sideplates off probably a dozen S&W revolvers, and I’m still to this day slightly intimidated by what I see in there. Rugers on the other hand? That I can deal with. I feel like they’re designed with guys like me in mind. Guys who are “good with their hands” but not really gunsmiths or engineers. I can change my own oil, but I can’t rebuild an engine kind of guys.

Ruger GP100

Maybe that’s what I like about the GP100 Match Champion the most. It has this sort of blue-collar, muscle car appeal to it. Even in its competition ready trim, it’s not pretty or refined; it’s like they took a Dodge Charger and stripped everything but the driver’s seat and the go-fast bits, installed a roll cage and some drag slicks and said “yes, this will do quite nicely.”

And I love that.


  1. If there was one thing I wish they had done originally, it would have been to include 2″ of red fiber rod for those who prefer that over the green. Beyond that, I love both of mine. I actually like the novak sights. If I could put adjustable novaks on, I suppose that would make the gun perfect, but I’ve had so much fun with this gun over the past year. It kinda makes me sad to be leaving the division. (There’s no competition at the local level, and at a certain point, beating everyone by 30 seconds just isn’t fun anymore)

  2. Sounds like you’re saying, one is like 1914 and the other is 2014, but which is which? Doesn’t really matter; what matters is which one, each of us (that owns one) likes better and shoot better. Thank goodness for Choices. One day I may own a Ruger Classic, maybe a Bearcat or Single Nine in the future.

  3. Now that the Match Champion has adjustable sights, it is on my Short List.

    I recently picked up a Ruger Super Redhawk in 44 magnum with the 7.5″ barrel. Really, no need for it other than “fun gun”. I like it, the weight and grips make shooting full power loads relatively comfortable. And it is accurate.

    Do you have any 44s?

  4. “S&W was the king of the IDPA revolver space. ”

    I’m imagining a guy on an abandoned island, wearing a cardboard Burger King crown.

    “I’M THE KING HERE,” he yells to the waves and circling vultures.

  5. Caleb
    How much better is the match champion then the regular GP 100 ? Would a beginner revolver shooter notice the changes?

  6. I liked my SSR quite a lot, for a revolver. Sold it to raise money for a Stock ][.

    IMO the S&W is betterer than the Ruger in every way other than cost.

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