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Old 07-08-2013, 18:43   #1
Restless28
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Ruger SP101 .357 Magnum

I'm thinking about picking up a Ruger SP101 .357 with a hammer and 3 inch barrel.

This will be the primary home defense handgun, occasional carry gun, and hiking companion in the fall.

I really dig the looks and feel of this revolver. I've only seen one around here for $550. Is this what they sell for now?

Thoughts on this revolver?
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Old 07-08-2013, 18:55   #2
Redstate
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I've got the 2 1/4, and it is a great little snubby. It handles .357 magnum fine. Built like a tank as well.
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Old 07-08-2013, 18:59   #3
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I have one with a 2.25" barrel and a bobbed hammer. It was my truck gun for a while. It's pretty heavy to carry but would be great for the home. I don't know prices, but $550 sounds good. should last a lifetime.
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Old 07-08-2013, 19:18   #4
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I have one in 2.25 hammerless and I carry it occasionally in the small of my back.

Great little gun that I only paid $400 a few weeks ago.

Love it.
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Old 07-08-2013, 19:55   #5
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Yup the three inch is a nice nice gun.

I Carried it today appendix in a Remora holster and almost forgot I was packing.

I also have a El Paso Saddlery OWB that rides high and carries the Sp101 really nice.

Shot some reloads in it over the weekend and am always impressed with it.
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Old 07-08-2013, 20:07   #6
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NIB at local shops in my area they are going for $525, so the price is not too bad.

The SP101 is a great little gun, I love mine. They make a great little OWB carry gun. They are built tough and will last a lifetime with a steady diet of full power loads. The extra weight compared to the jframe Smiths will tame the recoil as well.
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Old 07-08-2013, 20:19   #7
NEOH212
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Great gun. Solid, locks up like a bank vault and is dead nuts reliable. For the money, it's the best compact revolver period.

Snag one up!

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Old 07-08-2013, 20:23   #8
FLIPPER 348
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Originally Posted by Restless28 View Post

Thoughts on this revolver?


I liked everything but grip angle. After trying the factory and 2 other aftermarket options I sold it off.
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Old 07-08-2013, 21:28   #9
glock2740
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Personally, I prefer a GP100 if it's a 3" and prefer the 2.25" in a SP101, but, to each his own. Also, I would HIGHLY recommend against a short barreled .357 Mag for HD. VERY loud and muzzle blast is incredible in low light conditions. Especially when your eyes are adapted to the dark already. Flash blinding yourself and having your ears ring so loud that communications within your home are broken down, are lose-lose situations in a HD situation. Just my .02, but that's all it's worth anyway.

Last edited by glock2740; 07-08-2013 at 21:29..
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Old 07-08-2013, 23:53   #10
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Suggest you get the 4.2" Bbl. SP-101...

Ruger Four-Inch 357 Magnum SP101 Double-Action Kit Gun



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Old 07-09-2013, 00:18   #11
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Love the look and feel, great gun. Classic design. Unfortunately the only time I've ever fired one, a few years ago, was with .357 factory loads and wow was it loud, muzzle flash was like a mini version of a .308 out of a 12" barrel. Too much for me -- its just too much bang for me to control on a 2nd shot. It was daylight but the muzzle flash was noticeable. In dark of night my guess is you'd be blinded for the 2nd shot.

My recommendation is to take it out and test fire a few rounds to see if its really something you want to rely on in a HD situation. For the size and weight, and price, I can think of a few I'd rather own (and do) and which are more practical for HD...like a Glock !
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Old 07-09-2013, 00:37   #12
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Originally Posted by glock2740 View Post
Also, I would HIGHLY recommend against a short barreled .357 Mag for HD. VERY loud and muzzle blast is incredible in low light conditions. Especially when your eyes are adapted to the dark already. Flash blinding yourself and having your ears ring so loud that communications within your home are broken down, are lose-lose situations in a HD situation. Just my .02, but that's all it's worth anyway.
Gotta agree. 4" is the right compromise for me. Good balance and performance, not bad to carry. I'm not that concerned with flash (but it is an issue), but the speed difference between a 3" and a 4" barrel can be upwards of 200 feet per second, or roughly the same difference as going from 4" to 6" barrel (gotta love late blooming powders). Anyway, when you look at the numbers from 3" barrels, it just seems to be a really noisy and extra obnoxious 9mm.

Also, while I really like Ruger's single action revolvers, the DA guns always seemed clumsy to me compared to L and N frame Smiths. I also don't think anyone would argue the Smith trigger is going to be better out of the box.
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Old 07-09-2013, 04:11   #13
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Thanks for the replies. Good things to think about.
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:33   #14
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I had a 2 1/4" model for years. It shrugged off the hottest mag loads, I did not. Not much fun at the range unless you were shooting 38spl., but what small revolver is. For what you want it for it should be a great little gun. I did some polishing and replaced springs. Huge improvement on the trigger but it will never be like a K or L frame Smith.
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:27   #15
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Gotta agree. 4" is the right compromise for me. Good balance and performance, not bad to carry. I'm not that concerned with flash (but it is an issue), but the speed difference between a 3" and a 4" barrel can be upwards of 200 feet per second, or roughly the same difference as going from 4" to 6" barrel (gotta love late blooming powders). Anyway, when you look at the numbers from 3" barrels, it just seems to be a really noisy and extra obnoxious 9mm.

Also, while I really like Ruger's single action revolvers, the DA guns always seemed clumsy to me compared to L and N frame Smiths. I also don't think anyone would argue the Smith trigger is going to be better out of the box.
Interesting. I know you're a revolver guy, so I know that you're knowledgable.
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:49   #16
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Interesting. I know you're a revolver guy, so I know that you're knowledgable.
Well, I appreciate the vote of confidence. I've owned and shot a bunch of them.

This might help illustrate what I was talking about.

http://ballisticsbytheinch.com/357mag.html


That 6" Python they tested obviously had a huge cylinder gap or something. That was the only one that stood out to me as unreasonable results.
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:57   #17
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I have a spurless sp101. Its a great gun, very well built. Only issue I have is the DA trigger pull. Its getting better but its a lil heavy til it starts to break in.

Would I own another. ..... Yes.... without hesitation.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:28   #18
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I like my SP101 for all of the positives others have posted, especially it's well-built frame.

The only thing I would suggest you test for before buying one is smooth trigger reset. When operating mine in double action, a quick second shot is delayed by making sure the trigger moves ALL the way forward into the reset position; the trigger sticks if reset isn't complete. My S&W revolvers are smooth in double action, but my Ruger has this little idiosyncrasy. I've read Rugers sometimes have this problem out of the box, but the fix is fairly simple. Mine will be going to a gunsmith or back to Ruger soon.

Last edited by PhotoFeller; 07-09-2013 at 12:19..
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Old 07-09-2013, 13:42   #19
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I like my SP101 for all of the positives others have posted, especially it's well-built frame.

The only thing I would suggest you test for before buying one is smooth trigger reset. When operating mine in double action, a quick second shot is delayed by making sure the trigger moves ALL the way forward into the reset position; the trigger sticks if reset isn't complete. My S&W revolvers are smooth in double action, but my Ruger has this little idiosyncrasy. I've read Rugers sometimes have this problem out of the box, but the fix is fairly simple. Mine will be going to a gunsmith or back to Ruger soon.
When I first got my SP101 about 13 years ago, I was wearing shooting gloves to soften the recoil of the full-power .357 loads ("a hand-grenade going off in your hand").

I noticed the trigger reset problem right away. I thought there was something wrong with the gun (brand new), or maybe it was the glove interfering, but then I concluded that that's just the way this gun is: it requires the full distance forward for the trigger to re-set.

I have decided that, given the physical limitations the aging process mandates, I'm going to sell the Ruger, and probably acquire either a S&W Shield, or, more likely, an XDs9. The 9mm I can manage, no problem; the .357 magnum, not.

AK
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Old 07-09-2013, 13:46   #20
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I had a 2 1/4" model for years. It shrugged off the hottest mag loads, I did not. Not much fun at the range unless you were shooting 38spl., but what small revolver is. For what you want it for it should be a great little gun. I did some polishing and replaced springs. Huge improvement on the trigger but it will never be like a K or L frame Smith.
Knowing the inevitable punishment the .357 magnum in a small package brings to your body and your senses, I've decided to part company with my SP101 forever.

Gotta jones for either a Shield, or, if I can scare up enough greenbacks, the XDs9. Those are more my speed. No more magnums for this old bird. (I should also consider the Glock 26; reportedly a fine carry gun).

AK

Last edited by Arnold Kuhl; 07-09-2013 at 15:34..
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Old 07-09-2013, 14:38   #21
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Originally Posted by Arnold Kuhl View Post
Knowing the inevitable punishment the .357 magnum in a small package brings to your body and your senses, I've decided to part company with my SP101 forever.

Gotta jones for either a Shield, or, if I can scare up enough greenbacks, the XDs9. Those are more my speed. No more magnums for this old bird.

AK
I agree, AK, the recoil is harsh with many .357 rounds fired at paper. The beauty of these guns is the ability to practice with milder .38 specials.

Recoil probably won't be an issue when adrenaline is flowing (never noticed recoil from a hunting gun when a critter was in the sights). I just don't like the idea that my SP101, unlike S&W, requires a precise trigger reset before a second shot can be fired.
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Old 07-09-2013, 15:17   #22
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for a house gun I would be looking at a 4'' barrel. I think there are better guns and calibers in that price range for a house gun. I wouldn't want to fire a .357 snub in a house.
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Old 07-09-2013, 16:06   #23
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I'd go for the GP100 3" over the SP101 3", especially for your intended purpose for the gun. A 3" GP100 with Lett style compact grips is an absolut workhouse, and shoots more like a 4". Carries well, and tames recoil more than the 3" SP101.

I've got the 2.25" and 3" SP, along with a 3", 4", and 6" GP100 and the 3" GP is my favorite of the bunch.

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There's a great vid of Hickok45 putting one through it's paces on YouTube.
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Old 07-09-2013, 16:39   #24
Bruce M
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No question that the SP101 is a very solid revolver. I like S&W triggers a bit better, but that is just me.
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Old 07-09-2013, 18:39   #25
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I love shooting full power 357's out of my 2.25" SP101 with a Hogue rubber grip. I can shoot a hundred rounds in a session with no problem. I love the blast and fireball.

And anyone who says 357's out of a short barrel is a waste and is no better than 38's out of a short barrel is misinformed.

But a man needs to know his limitations. Some people aren't in to that much power, noise and blast in a revolver. And that's cool. Put 38+P's in it and you'll be able to control it better.

The SP101 isn't a lightweight revolver. It'll handle whatever you give it. It's also not a pocket gun, but excels as an IWB or small belt revolver.
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