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Old 07-24-2012, 17:46   #1
C J
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Sp101

I looked at a S&W 686 today. Then I picked up a SP101 in my hand. Very nice. Besides the obvious weight difference, it just felt better in my average size hand. I like the pinned front sight also. I came home and looked at an XS Big Dot and a few different holsters to carry it. 2.5" barrel is perfect too. I would prefer a 3" or better, but for EDC, I think the 2.5" is sufficent. I found it at the local Gander Mtn. The price was decent compared what I've seen around. So I'm heading up there in the morning. Anyone else have an SP101?
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Old 07-24-2012, 18:17   #2
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Had the 2.5" hammerless. Loved it, but hated it. I couldn't shoot it worth a damn, and the trigger was flat out awful. I got to the point that after 50 rounds of .38 & .357, I literally could NOT pull the trigger. My finger was so fatigued. In that, I lost all confidence in being able to shoot the gun in a SD situation.

Great guns with modifications or a LOT of break-in.
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Old 07-24-2012, 18:19   #3
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I like mine.
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Old 07-24-2012, 19:10   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C J View Post
I looked at a S&W 686 today. Then I picked up a SP101 in my hand. Very nice. Besides the obvious weight difference, it just felt better in my average size hand. I like the pinned front sight also. I came home and looked at an XS Big Dot and a few different holsters to carry it. 2.5" barrel is perfect too. I would prefer a 3" or better, but for EDC, I think the 2.5" is sufficent. I found it at the local Gander Mtn. The price was decent compared what I've seen around. So I'm heading up there in the morning. Anyone else have an SP101?
I just today bought a used one, serial number says it was first sold in 2001. I took it to the range and put 80 rounds through it (40 .357 Blazer and 40 .38 spcl American Eagle). Zero problems and no fatigue, and very accurate. 2.5 inch barrel it appears to be. I love it.

Last edited by Glockworks; 07-24-2012 at 19:11..
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Old 07-24-2012, 19:22   #5
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I have a 3" Sp101 & love it! Now, that said, it is easier for me to find holsters for EDC in the 2.25" barrel version. Why? Well, I don't know... does 3/4" make any difference that I can notice out to 25ft? Nope.

A 686 is a nice firearm too, but less easy to conceal... especially in summer weather. JMHO
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Old 07-24-2012, 20:50   #6
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My SPS-101 is a 357 Mag/38 Spl with the 3" barrel. It's a great shooter but is quite different from my GP-100 or my Security Six which would be closer comparisons to the S&W 686.
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:34   #7
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I recently bought a 3" SP101 .357. Shoots nicely, the trigger is stiffer than the one on my GP100, but all in all it isn't bad, just heavier. Very nice looking too IMHO.
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Old 07-25-2012, 18:20   #8
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SP 101 is a heavy revolver for its size, just saying.......
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Old 07-25-2012, 21:36   #9
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They're great revolvers.
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Old 07-26-2012, 03:38   #10
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Yep, a bit heavy, but a great shooter. Wouldn't give up mine.
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Old 07-26-2012, 09:01   #11
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Sp101

I carry my SP101 every day. It rides AIWB. I installed the XS Standard Dot Night Sight, and wood inserts on the Grips. I have also shaped the trigger making it thinner to better fit me. I gave the Gun a polish job with Flitz Metal Polish. After Thousands of Dry Fires and a few thousand rounds of 357 125g. JHP, the action is nice and smooth. It is the 2" version or 2. whatever, anyway I seam to shoot it OK and feel I could hold my own if I needed to defend myself. The Stock Grips work for me and the overall size of the gun makes it comfortable to carry in my belt all day. I carry the LCR357 in my off hand pocket to back it up. Two Speed Loaders and Two Speed Strips carry my Reloads and hopefully I will never need to use any of it other than to practice at the Range or my Camp.

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Old 07-26-2012, 18:16   #12
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I carry my SP101 2 1/4" everyday that I am not carrying a 1911. I like the weight. Thats why I like 1911s. I use a Galco Concealable when it is my primary carry or the Galco Ankle Glove when it is my BUG. I like that I can shoot 38 spl as well as .357 mag. Finger groove Hogue grips made it much nicer to hold.
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Last edited by Tank44; 07-26-2012 at 18:17..
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:55   #13
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Quote:
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Anyone else have an SP101?
YUP!! I've had mine since 1998. It's a keeper. I put Pachmayr grips on mine.
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Quote:
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Yep, a bit heavy, but a great shooter. Wouldn't give up mine.
Agreed.
Both of my Ruger revolvers shoot more accurately double action than they do single action. I prefer the SP101's extra weight (compared to a S&W Model 36) when I'm shooting the gun.
I've never had a problem with fatigue with this pistol. Although, in a gun this small, I much prefer .38 Special rounds over .357. I can't imagine what .357 is like in an alloy J frame revolver.
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Old 07-27-2012, 23:37   #14
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I like how the sp101 feels in my hand. Mine has a 2.5" barrel. I agree, the trigger is heavy and gritty. I spent $20 on a Wolff spring kit, and another $100 for a local gunsmith to install it and smooth out the action. It's definitely better now, but I think there is still room for improvement.
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Old 08-03-2012, 06:41   #15
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I took my SP out to see how I shot with the New XS Sight installed. I like it. The only thing is I am so used to the Grip on my LCR357 that I am thinking of the Hogue Grip for my SP
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Old 08-04-2012, 21:03   #16
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I am thinking of the Hogue Grip for my SP
Do the Hogue grips have padding on the backstrap?
I use the Pachmayr's because they do.
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:19   #17
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I have the SP-101 probably the 2.5" bbl (never measured). It's a brick but I sold my 686 15 yrs ago and now the price went up $300, 7 round cylinder, and I said the heck with that!

I also bought the Wold spring kit and after joining a certain forum, got the pdf download that has detailed instructions with pics of taking the SP-101 down, what to file, sand, buff etc. replaced the factory springs with 9 or 10# mainspring, cleaned the firing pin spring chamber and left that spring alone.

When re-assembled the revolver fires double action way smoother than my stock 686 was and I can shoot soda cans all day long - double action. Buttery smooth!

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Old 08-14-2012, 19:59   #18
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I have had my oldest SP101 since 1997 or 1998; it was worked-over by Jack Weigand, when he still did custom 'smithing, with his Tame the Beast package. I got myself a second Tame the Beast SP101 about 2002 or 2003. Mine are not ported. Gemini Customs does the Tame the Beast packages today.

I later started looking for a 3" SP101, patiently, by handling as many as I could, to find one with a really smooth trigger. (Yes, with patience, one can find amazingly smooth Rugers.) I happened to handle a 2.25" with a hammer spur, that had the smoothness I wanted, so I acquired it, as I wanted to experiment with single-action shooting a bit, anyway. (My existing SP101s were spurless.)

A few years ago, I finally found my fairly smooth 3" SP101, and bought it. I had been holding onto a factory spurless hammer for a number of years, that I had acquired through evil-bay, and it dropped right in, resulting in an even sweeter trigger pull.

Somewhere along the way, I picked up a 4" SP101, in .32 H&R. Ruger had stopped making them, and I figured I might want one eventually, so I bought it and stuck it in the safe. Someday, I might need that lighter recoil.

I reckon I like the SP101; just a little, anyway!
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Old 08-14-2012, 20:08   #19
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I forgot to mention that I carry at least one SP101 daily, virtually everywhere. It is clearly a back-up weapon, by definition, on police patrol. Off the clock, it may be the smaller weapon, or an equal as it rides with another SP101. Yes, I normally carry two handguns. A broken part, in my S&W duty sixgun, 'way back in the 1980s, has made me fairly religious about it.

Why the SP101? Well, the grip shape and angle are perfect for my hands, mitigating recoil very well, and I can get all of my skinny fingers onto the gun, making it easy to control. Small enough for quite deep concealment, yet large enough to shoot like a service revolver; what's not to like?
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Old 04-20-2013, 16:26   #20
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Changing to a 10lb. hammer spring and careful dry firing has made my 3 inch a real shooter. It is heavy for its size but I rarely see any used ones for sale. Hogue nylon grips fit my hand making it a great all around revolver. It is a jack of all trades and master of none but it will be the last one to leave my safe.
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