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Old December 3, 2012, 10:06 PM   #1
Theophilus
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GP100 - What's the verdict on DAO?

Hey, I've been looking around for the "perfect" .357 for home and range use. After giving it some thought, I figured that I'd like something at least a little out of the ordinary, and had pretty much settled that what I really want is a GP "Wiley Clapp" with a 3" barrell - though they do run about $650 or higher if/when they can be found (gunbroker). Then today, I stopped by my favorite local shop and looked at a 4" GP that's double-action only, with half lug and fixed sights. It's matte stainless just like the Wiley edition, and has the same wood-insert grips which I like. The half lug makes it feel more balanced, IMHO. I've looked around and it seems these were issued to Canadian police departments for a while.
Here's my question: what's the advantage to the user in DAO? I know I could slip it in my pocket when I answer the door... which might be useful. Is DAO uncommon because it's basically undesirable outside of the pocket gun market?
The shop wants $429 for it, which is $170 less than a new GP, and over $200 less than the W.C. edition. How is that for today's market? Right around a fair price? I should add that it's in excellent condition, with only minor signs of use.
Thanks in advance for any advice... I've told myself not to rush this next purchse, but I don't expect this particular (and unusual) gun to sit there for long!
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Old December 3, 2012, 10:15 PM   #2
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A GP100 is not a revolver that you're going to slip in to your pocket.... it's just too heavy and bulky.
DAO revolvers are usually only used on revolvers you plan to conceal carry. You DAO a revolver so the hammer doesn't snag on anything while drawing it.
For a fun range gun, you'll want a GP100 that you can shoot single action & double action.
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Old December 3, 2012, 10:33 PM   #3
Theophilus
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Sure, I know it's too big for any kind of pocket carry, but I did drop it in my pocket at the store and the grips just stuck out an inch or so. Seemed to work for answering a late night knock. Unless I'm in my underwear. So is the DAO is more a function of police work/holster draw that doesn't offer much for home and range use?
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Old December 3, 2012, 11:00 PM   #4
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If the price is right, snag it. I have a 2 3/4" Speed Six that's spurless/DAO and it's great. I only shoot DA wheelguns DA anyway...
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Old December 4, 2012, 12:28 AM   #5
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There are several reasons for DAO revolvers.

Eliminating the SA capability forces the owner to use the gun in DA mode which is most likely how it will be used in a true crisis. This forces the owner to practice in a way that will actually help learn to use the gun the way it will be used if it is needed to extract the owner from a jam.

Eliminating the possibility of your cocking the gun in an emergency means you will never be faced with the choice between decocking a loaded revolver with a full load of adrenaline coursing through your system and putting away a loaded and cocked revolver to deal with later.

In addition, it reduces the chance that you will be accused of firing accidentally in a situation that you claim is self-defense.

As mentioned, since the gun can't be cocked, a hammer spur isn't necessary and that makes the gun more snag proof.

I'd try to talk them down a little. $429 for a used DAO GP100 with fixed sights seems a little bit expensive to me. I used to see these guns for well under $300. Prices vary from one location to another and admittedly I'm talking about prices a few years ago, but $429 still seems high.
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Old December 4, 2012, 02:31 AM   #6
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My new GP100 shoots very, very well in DA. I shoot about an inch smaller at 25 yards in SA than I do in DA, hardly worth cocking the hammer.
I'm hoping to get a 3" GP. If I do it will get DAO and a bobbed hammer.
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Old December 4, 2012, 07:26 AM   #7
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I'm not nuts about DAO revolvers (which have been made DAO via a de-spurred hammer), but I do own a S&W 64 snubbie in this configuration and it's a nice carry gun.

I like the 3" fixed-sight GP100s (I have two of them) and think that the half lug and de-spurred hammer make this gun look pretty cool. With a set of Uncle Mike's "combat" grips, they look all business.

I'd jump on that gun. In today's market, that price is the going rate at a store, and you'll probably never run across one like that again.

Here are mine:
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Old December 4, 2012, 08:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
what's the advantage to the user in DAO?
JohnKSa summed it up pretty nicely. Here's another good read on the subject:

http://www.grantcunningham.com/blog_...e_for_dao.html

I'll just add that the lighter hammer also allows one more flexibility in tuning the gun in that one can lower the DA pull weight some without loss of reliability.

Quote:
Is DAO uncommon because it's basically undesirable outside of the pocket gun market?
It's uncommon in factory service-sized revos because people generally want the option of shooting SA. In contrast, conversion to DAO is very common among IDPA/USPSA/ICORE competitors.
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Old December 4, 2012, 04:11 PM   #9
Theophilus
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Thanks for the responses... DAO makes sense for the reasons a few of you have described. I choose revolvers for their simplicity and relative safety. DAO seems to take that one step further.

My 10 year old son is learning to shoot with my double-action 22 and he shoots it single action. Even though I have him totally safety trained, and I keep my guns locked up most of the time anyway, I could imagine him finding one out and thinking "I could just cock the hammer" before he would think "I could just pull the trigger". Again, I've trained him thoroughly, but he's fallible like the rest of us. DAO would eliminate that level of risk for a home gun.

But I gotta admit, I think a hammer looks a little bit sharper on a GP than no hammer at all... If I can get past that aesthetic I might buy this thing.
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Old December 5, 2012, 10:31 AM   #10
Theophilus
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...and so here it is...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 100_7560.JPG (86.7 KB, 60 views)

Last edited by Theophilus; December 5, 2012 at 12:00 PM.
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Old December 5, 2012, 12:48 PM   #11
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Ya John did a good job of pointing out the plus' for a DAO gun for HD/SD. Fact is he only hit the mark SD/CC. For me and many other shooters that gun is on the verge of being a great paper weight. 4" .357 revolvers are great because they are so versatile and by bobbin a hammer, DAO and fixed sights you just killed about 90% of that. I'd run away gladly for I have no use for any full size firearm so limited. Buyer/owner of 4" DAO .357 is basically throwing up his hands and saying this gun is only for HD.

Edited to add: Didn't see where you already bought it. Good luck with it.

Last edited by L_Killkenny; December 5, 2012 at 01:00 PM.
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Old December 5, 2012, 09:35 PM   #12
Theophilus
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L Killkenny, I appreciate the warning... of course, it did come late. If I'd read that earlier, it would have given me pause. But you still have made me think about it....

Here's where I am. I first got into guns for one main reason, to be able to better protect my family. And as it turns out, I do like to shoot the gun(s) too. Which so far is always at an indoor range. While I would like to have friends with farms where we could shoot pumpkins or whatever, right now that's not going on.

I do lots of stuff outdoors, but mostly it's hiking and canoeing. I'm not riding around on a horse. So I don't think I'd be taking my GP100 outside a whole lot, no matter what kind of action it had, unless to walk the dog at night.

When people talk about the marvels of being able to shoot SA, I'm sure they know what they're talking about, even if I don't really do it. So I don't think I've lost 90%, in my situation I've retained 90% and don't have to worry about the hammer causing any defense-scenerio problems.

As an aside, I've noticed that this gun's trigger stages really nicely just before it lets the hammer drop... I'm interested to see if this will mean I can effectively get of some more hair-trigger shots when I want to.

Thanks for your advice though, it's definately been food for thought.
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Old December 6, 2012, 02:37 AM   #13
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Congrats on the GP.
You can always add a 4" or 6" adjustable sight model later.
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Old December 6, 2012, 03:10 AM   #14
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How expensive/tough is it to install a DA/SA hammer on one of these guns ?

I recently bought a used S&W 64 online. Its DAO. I'll try it for awhile as it came to see how I like it. Later, if I decide to do so - I can get a new hammer for about $50 or so and install it.
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Old December 6, 2012, 07:00 AM   #15
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Theophilus,

Nice score! Nothing wrong with a 4" medium-heavy framed .357 Magnum revolver.

Don't stress about the lack of a DA option. Practice shooting the DA, including dry-fire if/when you can and it will be fine. I honestly can't remember the last time I shot any of my S&Ws in single action and they've had plenty of rounds through them. With time and proper technique even 100-yard targets aren't safe from a DA shot.
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Old December 6, 2012, 08:10 AM   #16
MrBorland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theophilus
I've noticed that this gun's trigger stages really nicely just before it lets the hammer drop... I'm interested to see if this will mean I can effectively get of some more hair-trigger shots when I want to.
My opinion, of course, but staging a DA trigger is a bad habit, so I'd be fixing any stack in a DA trigger, and learning to pull the DA trigger with a smooth constant pull. As P-990 pointed out, DA shooting can be plenty accurate. It doesn't get that reputation because most just don't enough practice with it.
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Old December 6, 2012, 10:53 PM   #17
Theophilus
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Quote:
My opinion, of course, but staging a DA trigger is a bad habit, so I'd be fixing any stack in a DA trigger, and learning to pull the DA trigger with a smooth constant pull.
That's interesting... I'm curious, do you consider it a bad habit because
a) it's dangerous (risk of ND)
b) it's bad for the action
or c) it's just bad technique?
And when you say "fixing any stack" - does that mean addressing the internal mechanisms, or just shooting enough that it smooths out?
Thanks, I'd really like to know.
I'd always considered it a reasonable option, although I've never really bothered to do it.
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Old December 7, 2012, 12:46 AM   #18
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Many consider staging a DA trigger to be poor technique. As far as I know it doesn't hurt the action, and I can't think of any way that it would increase the chance of an unintentional discharge.
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Old December 7, 2012, 08:25 AM   #19
MrBorland
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Stacking = something the trigger does.
Staging = something the shooter does, whether or not the trigger stacks.

As far as staging the trigger, JohnKSa got it. Though you might see a Jerry Miculek vid demonstrating the technique, it's bad technique for 3 reasons:

1. It essentially amounts to timing the shot, which is largely futile.

2. One has to re-start their pull to complete the shot, giving one a 2nd chance to misalign the sights. And when also trying to time the shot, it encourages one to yank the trigger now!! when everything suddenly appears to align.

3. One stages to make an accurate shot. But as ironic and counterintuitive as it may seem, because of the above, staging isn't as accurate as a good proper consistent DA pull.

Staging a trigger can quickly become a habit, and a tough one to break. People typically stage triggers because they haven't mentally committed to the shot before they start the DA pull. Their subconscious knows damned well they're going to stage, so they pull, stage, commit, yank. Make a conscious effort to commit to the shot before starting the DA pull. You can abort if anything from this point on isn't right, but mentally commit to a single smooth pull.

A gun with a smooth consistent action is necessary for a stage-free DA pull, and actions that have a lot of stack pretty much require the shooter to stage, which is why I'd have the action tuned and stack removed, if possible.
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Old December 7, 2012, 08:34 AM   #20
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Congratulations on the GP100 !!

I have a few DAO revolvers & I don`t consider fixed sites a hanicapp, but do consider it a limiting factor as to what loads will hit to poa though.
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Old December 7, 2012, 09:21 AM   #21
Theophilus
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re - staging the trigger

Got it. Thanks guys.
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Old December 7, 2012, 09:48 PM   #22
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I started with a 6" GP 100 and decided I wanted a shorter barrel.

I saw the price difference and jumped on a canadian gun.

I didn't like the double pull. I switched springs and such to lighten it and it became better, but I never got as accurate as I was with the DA/SA. As mentioned above it really limited the options for the gun. I called Ruger about replacing the hammer and they wanted $150, which probably isn't out of line.

I ended up selling it at a gun show and will likely buy another in the future.

If I was going to go DAO I would probably go with an old colt. THe Ruger is great for really stout hunting loads. I would only fire those single action. Not sure if there are any DAO Colts around, so you'd probably have to permanently ruin one.
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Old December 8, 2012, 10:59 AM   #23
Theophilus
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For what it's worth, I was looking around on Grant Cunningham's blog last night (thanks to MrBorland above), and was somewhat gratified to find that he has a write-up about working on one of these guns:
http://www.grantcunningham.com/gp-100_100906.html
He even uses a picture of it for his "ad" on Rugers:
http://www.grantcunningham.com/ruger-gunsmithing.html
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Old December 8, 2012, 12:53 PM   #24
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Yup - ol' Grant likes him some Rugers. Here's are a few more of his Ruger vignettes in case you haven't yet read them:

http://www.grantcunningham.com/blog_...91d8b-116.html

http://www.grantcunningham.com/blog_...cf49a-383.html
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Old December 10, 2012, 09:04 AM   #25
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Quote:
Staging a trigger can quickly become a habit, and a tough one to break...
Great post, MrBorland. I formerly tried to stage my first shot in RF Bullseye because you only get 10 seconds for five shots and I thought it was some kind of advantage to do so. I found that I consistently pulled that first shot off target, so now i consciously keep only the lightest pressure on the trigger until the target turns. Once you get the smooth and consistent pull worked out it's easy to take all your shots in the allotted time.
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