Question about Ruger SP101 2 1/4 inch versus SP101 3 1/16th inch......

Discussion in 'GSSF' started by Airborne Infantryman, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. Airborne Infantryman

    Airborne Infantryman Nuclear Trunk Monkey

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    I've decided to go with a Ruger SP101, and the PX on base has the snubby SP101 for $470, no tax. My local gun shop has the 3 inch for $500 plus tax. Is that small of a difference with the barrel length really going to make a difference? I plan on possibly making it a carry gun, and am leaning toward the snubby 2 1/4th in SP101 not only for the lower price, but the fact that its a snubby. I mean, in the end, your still getting hit with a .357 Magnum- I doubt 350 FPS will make a difference when combined with proper shot placement at 7 yards. I will admit I love the way a good snubby looks. Anyone have a picture comparing a S&W J-frame with a SP101 snubby? The SP101 looks a lot bigger than my S&W 438 Bodyguard. Thanks guys!
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
  2. FLIPPER 348

    FLIPPER 348 Bigfoot enthusiast enthusiast

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    If you have not already, try to shoot one first as IMHO the SP 101 grip is not good for folks with larger hands. And the Hogue grip, while bigger is not much of an improvment. I've owned two over the years, one of each barrel lenght and sold them due to the grip. The extra weight longer one did help with follow-up shots when using +p 38s, notsomuch with .357.
     

  3. G26S239

    G26S239 NRA Patron

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    The 13/16" does make a noticeable difference in velocity. The 3" is 27.4 ounces empty and recoil is stout but manageable with Remington 125 grain SJHPs.
     
  4. jmb79

    jmb79

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    The 2 1/4" barreled SP101 makes a great carry gun. I often carry it as a BUG. It is noticeably larger and heavier than a j-frame Smith & Wesson. In my opinion this is a benefit when shooting .357 magnum rounds.

    I don't care so much for the factory grip or the Hogue grip. The two grips I like a lot on the SP101 are the Pachmyer Compac grip and the Crimson Trace LG-303 rubber overmold grips. Both do an excellent job absorbing felt recoil and fit my hand well. The Pachmyer runs around $30 and the Crimson Trace runs around $250.
     
  5. Ruble Noon

    Ruble Noon "Cracker"

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    3/4 of an inch won't make much difference. I am loosing around 70fps in .45 acp from a 3 inch barrel as compared to a 5 inch barrel.
     
  6. Airborne Infantryman

    Airborne Infantryman Nuclear Trunk Monkey

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    Outstanding. As another poster mentioned the Laser Grips; I will definitely be getting some. If Crimson Trace makes a laser for a gun I have, odds are, its on there. = )
     
  7. carbofan21

    carbofan21

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    both guns will be easiest to carry on the belt, so IWB or OWB won't make much difference with either barrel. i've owned both the 2-1/4" and the 3-1/16". the 3" had more recoil and was more accurate for me.

    honestly, i wouldn't buy a new one as you can find a good used one for $325-$375 cash and carry quite easily. these guns are tanks, so the odds of finding a used one that is shot to hell is practically nil. the 3" will be harder to find used, as they don't make as many.
     
  8. MacG22

    MacG22 CLM

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    The difference in barrel length you will notice, for sure, at the range. I've shot both, bought the shorter of the two, and I've recently started carrying it. But it's tough dial in for shooting. Especially with that factory grip.

    For a snub I think I've come to the decision that I need CT grips on them, personally. Just makes it much easier, all things considered, to get consistency out of it when shooting at any speed.
     
  9. Eyescream

    Eyescream hates you

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    Put some DoubleTap ammunition in it for your EDC and you'll have all the speed you want out of a .357 Magnum round; but, honestly, you're not gonna lose enough to worry about, and you'll still have plenty of energy left to mushroom the round even with standard velocity stuff from the big name manufacturers.

    I carry a 2.25" SP101 almost every day in my right front pocket. It might possibly be my second favorite gun to shoot after my 1911.

    Get some Trausch grips for it instead of Hogues. Carbofan21 turned me onto them and it's a totally different gun after swapping the stock grips out.

    Here's a picture of mine:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. DonD

    DonD

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    I don't think that is right, the .45ACP, particularly in non +P form is a very low pressure round. The .357 operates at far higher pressures and few .45ACPs have barrels as short as 2 1/4" You'll lose much more velocity.

    For the OP, it is as always, a compromise. The shorter barrel is easier to carry, the longer gives more sight radius for better accuracy for the shooter and more velocity.

    I have an SP101 and have moderately large hands. The Hogue grip works just fine for me. Recoil with the heaviest Buffalo Bore rounds is no issue although it does make followup shots slower than with some powderpuff .38 Specials as handloads. Don
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
  11. Ruble Noon

    Ruble Noon "Cracker"

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    Between a 2 1/4" and 3"? I don't think so. Neither barrel is long enough to utilize the the powder burn of the .357.
     
  12. rjm

    rjm

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    IMHO, the 3" barreled version is a much better balanced revolver than the smaller barreled version.
     
  13. mitchshrader

    mitchshrader Deceased

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    Get the 3". Seriously. Do the trigger job. Then shoot +P 158gr .38's in it, a lot.
     
  14. Eyescream

    Eyescream hates you

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    This is true. Very impressive mess coming out the muzzle. :supergrin:
     
  15. craig_o

    craig_o CLM

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    I like my 2.25". I have a 3" GP-100 as well.

    Either gun is loaded with Rem Golden Sabres (or Sabers, whatever). They perform well out of short barrels, and I think they're less neutered than the Speer GD SB .357 in terms of velocity. I wouldn't lose sleep over the ammo selection, but that and just plain WWB 110gr HPs are what I'm comfortable with. Plus any .38 out there.

    Makes for a great pocket gun if you wear relaxed fit jeans or something along those lines.

    ETA - major difference between the Smith lightweights (6xx/4xx) and the SP101 is barrel length and a bit on the grip in terms of length (and I'd guess in width since the grips are what prints, but I don't recall checking that when I was shopping). The biggest difference between the two is weight of course.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
  16. motorcyclist

    motorcyclist

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    I own the 2 1/4" barrel model. Keep it loaded with Speer gold dot .357mag 135 grain short barrel. They advertise velocity at 990fps vs. 1290fps for the regular load. Still a big boom but less muzzle flash. Mine definitely prefers 158 grain though and shoots low with any other wieght bullet. It is very accurate if you are. I have a Hogue wood grip on it now and like it alot, but if this becomes a carry gun it's gonna have to go as it's to big. I've heard nothing but good about the Trausch grips, but don't know how they compair size wise to the Hogue's. A spring kit and a little polishing make for a nice trigger.
     
  17. Berto

    Berto woo woo

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    You can't lose either way. I see the sp101 as a belt gun, and like the longer barrel better. If you don't mind the weight and pocket carry, you'll want the shorter bbl.
    Rugers have 'fast' barrels from what I've seen, and the 3" gets similar velocities as a 4" S@W revolver in same calibers.
     
  18. Airborne Infantryman

    Airborne Infantryman Nuclear Trunk Monkey

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    Hmm.....upon doing further research, it seems I won't be getting a very staggering difference in power between .38 SPL +P from my J-Frame, and .357 loads in this 2 1/4 inch SP101. I think I may hold on the .357 Mag until I can put some money with it to get at LEAST a 4 inch barreled revolver.
     
  19. DonD

    DonD

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    True, you won't get full powder burn but the 3" is 33% longer and that will show a real difference. I had a 3" GP100 that clocked 1400 fps with Buffalo Bore 158gr JHPs, my 2.25" SP only goes 1200 fps. Don't think that is a coincidence. Don
     
  20. Berto

    Berto woo woo

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    You'll get quite a difference if you use real .357 loads vs the more often watered down or medium velocity stuff. It's just a question of what you want and how much recoil you are willing to tolerate.
    Full power .357mag in a snubby sp101 will still push 158gr over 1300fps and 125gr over 1400fps....but it will be loud, and recoil will be stout.