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A Guide to Cleaning and Disassembling the Ruger GP100

In this article, you will learn about how to clean and disassemble the Ruger GP100, along with some historical context about this firearm. You will find step-by-step instructions and a helpful video that will guide you through the process of taking apart and cleaning this particular model. Whether you are a seasoned firearm owner or new to gun maintenance, this guide will provide you with the necessary knowledge to keep your Ruger GP100 in excellent condition.

A Guide to Cleaning and Disassembling the Ruger GP100

Introduction to the Ruger GP100

The Ruger GP100 is a popular revovler that is known for its durability and reliability. It is a double-action revolver that has been in production since 1985. Designed as a successor to the Ruger Security Six, the GP100 has become a favorite among gun enthusiasts and professionals alike. In this guide, we will discuss the process of cleaning and disassembling the Ruger GP100, ensuring its longevity and optimal performance.

Overview of the Ruger GP100

The Ruger GP100 features a solid frame and a robust cylinder that allows it to withstand the harsh recoil of magnum calibers. It is available in various barrel lengths, ranging from 2.5 inches to 6 inches, catering to different preferences and purposes. The GP100 is chambered in popular calibers like .357 Magnum and .38 Special, offering versatility to its users. Its ergonomic design and adjustable sights make it comfortable and accurate to shoot.

A Guide to Cleaning and Disassembling the Ruger GP100

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Brief history of the Ruger GP100

The Ruger GP100 was introduced by Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. in 1985. It was designed as a replacement for the Ruger Security Six revolver, which was discontinued in 1988. The GP100 was initially offered in a stainless steel finish, with a fixed rear sight and a ramp front sight. Over the years, Ruger introduced various enhancements and models of the GP100, including different barrel lengths, grip options, and special editions.

Understanding the Parts of the Ruger GP100

To effectively clean and disassemble the Ruger GP100, it is important to familiarize yourself with its different parts:


The barrel of the Ruger GP100 is where the bullet travels through after being fired. It is an essential part of the revolver and must be cleaned regularly to maintain accuracy and prevent corrosion.


The frame of the GP100 holds all the internal components in place and provides structural support to the revolver. It is made of stainless steel, providing durability and resistance to wear and tear.


The cylinder is the rotating part of the GP100 that holds the ammunition. It contains chambers where the cartridges are loaded and fired. The cylinder must be cleaned and lubricated to ensure smooth rotation and reliable function.


The grips of the Ruger GP100 are the handles that allow the shooter to hold and control the revolver. They are available in various materials and styles, providing comfort and customization options.


The sights of the GP100 consist of a front sight and a rear sight, which aid in aiming the firearm. They can be adjustable or fixed, depending on the specific model of the revolver.


The trigger is the mechanism that releases the hammer and fires the revolver. It must be regularly cleaned and inspected to ensure smooth operation and a consistent trigger pull.


The hammer of the GP100 is responsible for striking the firing pin and igniting the primer of the cartridge. It can be manually cocked back for single-action firing or used in double-action mode.

A Guide to Cleaning and Disassembling the Ruger GP100

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Preparing for Disassembly

Before starting the process of disassembling the Ruger GP100, proper preparation is crucial to ensure safety and organization. Follow these steps to get ready:

Gathering necessary tools

To disassemble the GP100, you will need a few basic tools, including a flathead screwdriver, a clean cloth or patches, a cleaning rod, cleaning solvents, lubricants, and a gun cleaning kit. Make sure all the tools are clean and in good condition.

Ensuring firearm safety

Safety should always be a top priority when handling firearms. Before disassembling the GP100, ensure it is unloaded by confirming that there are no cartridges in the cylinder and no ammunition in the vicinity. Remove the grips for better access to the internal components.

Clearing all ammunition

It is essential to remove all ammunition from the area where you will be working on the GP100. Keep the ammunition stored in a separate location to prevent accidental loading and discharge during the disassembly process.

Step-by-Step Guide to Disassembling the Ruger GP100

Follow these step-by-step instructions to disassemble the Ruger GP100 properly:

Removing the cylinder

To remove the cylinder, make sure the revolver is unloaded and the hammer is in the half-cocked position. Hold the revolver with one hand and push the cylinder release, located on the left side of the frame, forward. This will allow the cylinder to swing out. With the other hand, gently pull the cylinder to remove it from the frame.

Taking off the grips

Removing the grips will provide better access to the internal parts of the GP100. Using a flathead screwdriver, carefully unscrew the grip screw located at the base of the grip on both sides of the revolver. Once the screws are removed, gently lift and slide off the grips.

Disassembling the frame

With the cylinder and grips removed, you can now proceed to disassemble the frame. Start by locating the mainspring assembly, which is located on the backstrap of the frame. Use the flathead screwdriver to push the mainspring assembly forward, releasing it from its position. Carefully remove the mainspring assembly from the frame.

Detaching the barrel

To detach the barrel from the frame, locate the barrel mounting screw located on the underside of the frame, just in front of the cylinder. Use the flathead screwdriver to carefully unscrew the barrel mounting screw, ensuring not to damage the threads. Once the screw is removed, gently lift and slide the barrel forward to detach it from the frame.

Removing the sights

The sights of the GP100 can be removed for thorough cleaning or replacement. To remove the rear sight, locate the set screw on top of the frame, just in front of the rear sight. Use the appropriate tool to loosen and remove the set screw. Once the set screw is removed, gently lift and slide the rear sight forward to detach it from the frame. To remove the front sight, use a screwdriver or a sight tool to unscrew and remove it from the barrel.

Dismantling the trigger assembly

To dismantle the trigger assembly, locate the trigger spring located on the underside of the frame, just behind the trigger. Use a flathead screwdriver to carefully push the trigger spring forward, allowing it to disengage from its position. Once the spring is released, gently lift and remove the trigger assembly from the frame.

Removing the hammer

To remove the hammer, locate the hammer strut pin near the bottom of the frame, just above the grip area. Use a punch or a small screwdriver to carefully push out the hammer strut pin. Once the pin is removed, gently lift and slide the hammer forward to detach it from the frame.

A Guide to Cleaning and Disassembling the Ruger GP100

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Cleaning the Ruger GP100

Cleaning the Ruger GP100 is an important step to maintain its performance and longevity. Follow these steps to clean each part of the revolver:

Choosing the right cleaning solvents

Selecting the appropriate cleaning solvents is crucial to effectively remove fouling and residues from the revolver. Ensure you have a gun-specific solvent, a bore cleaner for the barrel, and a degreaser for removing built-up lubricants.

Cleaning the barrel

Start by attaching a bore brush to the cleaning rod and applying a small amount of bore cleaner to the brush. Insert the cleaning rod with the brush into the barrel and push it back and forth, ensuring the entire length of the barrel is covered. Repeat the process with clean patches until they come out clean. Finally, apply a light coat of gun lubricant to a clean patch and run it through the barrel for protection.

Cleaning the frame

Using a clean cloth or a cleaning brush, remove any dirt, debris, or fouling from the frame. Pay attention to hard-to-reach areas and crevices. Apply a small amount of gun-specific solvent to the cloth or brush for stubborn residues. Wipe down the frame thoroughly and ensure it is clean and dry.

Cleaning the cylinder

To clean the cylinder, use a cleaning brush or a cloth soaked in a gun-specific solvent. Scrub the chambers and the front face of the cylinder to remove fouling and residues. Make sure to clean the extractor and the star ejector as well. Once the cylinder is clean, dry it thoroughly and apply a light coat of gun lubricant to ensure smooth rotation.

Cleaning the small parts

Clean the small parts, such as the sights, trigger assembly, and the hammer, using a cleaning brush and the appropriate solvent. Ensure all surfaces are thoroughly cleaned and free of dirt, grime, and residue. Dry the small parts and apply a light coat of gun lubricant for smooth operation.

Lubricating the firearm

After cleaning all the components, apply a small amount of gun lubricant to the moving parts of the GP100, such as the hammer, trigger, and cylinder. Use a clean cloth or your fingers to spread the lubricant evenly. Avoid applying excessive lubrication, as it can attract dirt and debris.

Reassembling the Ruger GP100

Follow these steps to properly reassemble the Ruger GP100:

Putting the hammer back

To reassemble the hammer, align it with the frame and carefully slide it back into its original position. Make sure the hammer strut aligns with the hole in the frame. Insert the hammer strut pin through the frame and the hammer to secure it in place.

Assembling the trigger assembly

Slide the trigger assembly back into the frame, ensuring it aligns correctly with the corresponding slots. Push the trigger assembly forward until it locks into place. Make sure the trigger spring is properly engaged and seated.

Attaching the sights

If you have removed the sights for cleaning or replacement, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to attach them securely. Ensure they are aligned properly and tightened according to the specified torque.

Reassembling the frame

Align the barrel with the frame and slide it back into its original position. Insert the barrel mounting screw into the underside of the frame and tighten it securely, ensuring it is not over-tightened. This will hold the barrel in place.

Installing the grips

Slide the grips back onto the frame, aligning them with the screw holes. Insert the grip screws and tighten them securely, ensuring they are evenly tightened to avoid any imbalance.

Reinserting the cylinder

Hold the GP100 with one hand and align the cylinder with the frame. Insert the cylinder pivot pin through the frame and the cylinder, ensuring it is secure and in place. Close the cylinder by pushing it back into the frame until it locks into position.

A Guide to Cleaning and Disassembling the Ruger GP100

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Safety Checks and Functionality

After reassembling the Ruger GP100, it is important to perform safety checks and ensure proper functionality:

Inspecting all components

Visually inspect all the components of the GP100 to ensure they are properly assembled and aligned. Check for any loose screws or parts. Ensure the sights are properly aligned and tightened.

Verifying proper reassembly

Double-check that all parts are correctly reassembled and in their respective positions. Pay attention to the trigger assembly, hammer, and cylinder, ensuring they function smoothly and without any binding or interference.

Checking trigger and hammer function

Check the trigger pull and hammer function to ensure they operate smoothly and consistently. Assess the single-action and double-action trigger pulls, making sure they feel consistent and have a crisp break.

Performing dry firing tests

Make sure the GP100 performs a dry fire reliably without any issues. Check for proper cylinder rotation and lock-up. Ensure the trigger reset is consistent, and the hammer cocks and releases smoothly.

Tips for Maintenance and Longevity

To keep your Ruger GP100 in optimal condition and ensure its longevity, follow these tips:

Regular cleaning schedule

Establish a regular cleaning schedule based on the frequency of use. Clean the GP100 after each use or at least every few hundred rounds fired. Regular cleaning will prevent fouling and corrosion, extending the lifespan of the firearm.

Proper storage techniques

Store the GP100 in a safe and secure location, away from humidity and extreme temperatures. Consider using a gun safe or a locking cabinet to prevent unauthorized access. Use a gun sock or a silicone-treated cloth to protect the revolver from moisture and dust.

Avoiding common mistakes

Avoid using excessive force or improper tools when disassembling or reassembling the GP100. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and take your time during the process. Ensure you have a clean and clutter-free workspace to prevent any accidental damage or loss of small parts.

Seeking professional help if needed

If you encounter any difficulties during the disassembly or cleaning process of the GP100, or if you are unsure about any specific steps, it is recommended to seek professional help from a certified gunsmith. They have the knowledge and expertise to assist you and ensure the proper maintenance of your revolver.

A Guide to Cleaning and Disassembling the Ruger GP100

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Common Issues and Troubleshooting

Even with regular maintenance, you may encounter some common issues with your Ruger GP100. Here are a few troubleshooting tips to address such issues:

Misfires or failure to fire

If you experience misfires or a failure to fire, ensure the ammunition is of good quality and appropriate for your revolver. Check that the firing pin is clean and undamaged. Make sure the hammer strikes the firing pin squarely and with sufficient force.

Difficulties with cylinder rotation

If you encounter difficulties with cylinder rotation, ensure the cylinder is clean and properly lubricated. Check for any debris or fouling that may be obstructing the rotation. If the issue persists, consult a gunsmith for further inspection and adjustment.

Problems with trigger pull

If you experience problems with the trigger pull, such as a gritty or heavy trigger, ensure the trigger assembly is clean and lubricated. Check for any worn or damaged parts that may be affecting the trigger pull. If necessary, consult a gunsmith for assistance.

Addressing timing issues

If you notice timing issues with the GP100, such as the cylinder not locking up properly or the revolver not indexing correctly, it is best to consult a gunsmith. Timing issues are complex and require specialized knowledge and tools to diagnose and fix.


In conclusion, cleaning and disassembling the Ruger GP100 is an essential aspect of maintaining its performance, reliability, and longevity. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can effectively clean each part of the revolver and address any issues that may arise. Remember to prioritize safety throughout the process and seek professional help if needed. By properly maintaining your Ruger GP100, you can ensure its optimal function and enjoyment for years to come.