SP-101, 38 Spl

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Jun 17, 2022
There are a couple local auction houses in my area that sale firearms on a weekly basis. The auctions are on the Internet, but the auction warehouses/offices are in my immediate area. I am able to inspect the pieces before bidding on them. In the past three years all but one of my acquisitions have been through these auction houses. I like older guns and it seems (at least in my corner of Idaho) that the number of older guns for sale in brick-and-mortar stores have dried up in the past decade. The auctions have become a great source for me. It was my wife who suggested them whne she grew tired of my constant griping about the lack of selection. I now own two Security-Sixes and they were both purchased from one of the local auction companies. If one is careful with bidding (and lucky) the prices are often better than what one will pay in a store.

Seventeen years ago, I briefly owned an SP-101. I remember letting it go after just a few months. In the past few years, I've become a fan of Ruger double action revolvers and realized I shouldn't have let that SP get away. I started looking for a used one and couldn't find one for sale. Then, during the peak of the Covid Panic, I decided to buy a new one instead. Well, we all remember how difficult it was to acquire almost anything, so I decided to sit back and wait. This SP came up for sale a few weeks ago. I checked it and was surprised to learn that it was literally "new in the box" (with all the documents and lock included). Looked up the serial number on Ruger and learned that it was shipped last year. It is in 38 Special only, but I like 38 Special and own many revolvers in that caliber. My winning bid was $390. After I paid the sales tax and the buyer's fee it came out to $477. 14. Considering that the best price I can expect to pay for a new SP in my area starts at $650 and goes up from there (not including tax) I feel that paying $477.14 for a new SP was a good deal. This SP isn't getting away from me.

I switched out the black plastic panels for the old wood panels that came with my 3" GP100. I bought new wood panels directly from Ruger a couple years ago. I like the look of the wood panels.


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May 8, 2006
Congratulations on the recent acquisition!

That is interesting about the 38 special, looking at the Ruger website it shows it as a 38 Special +P - Model 5737

I have one of the very first offerings of the SP101 and back then they were only 38 Special. Shipped 1989. I just checked Ruger Website for a ship date and it said this is a 38 Special +P ,,, never knew that.
I also stumbled into the same gun (3") in 357 Magnum, I like it, but find myself shooting the 38 more often.

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Staff member
Mar 28, 2001
Colorado native, Vermont transplant
G2, if you still have the original grip for that 01882 gun, check the inserts. They used dark green ones for a short period on a few thousand of the early guns and yours is in that range. Now those green insert guns are pretty scarce and collectible. They look dark enough at first glance to appear like later black ones, but they are the same green used for grip/forearm inserts on the old boat paddle rifle stocks.

Apr 4, 2009
China Spring TX
IMHO, the Ruger SP101 3" 38 Special is one of the best house guns for a woman that's out there. Not to heavy but heavy enough to mitigate the recoil. My wife likes hers.

The SP101 I have is 3" in .357 Magnum. Back when you could get it I stocked up a bit on the Remington Golden Saber load for the caliber. It is not a full power load but at about 1150 or 1200 FPS depending on barrel length, so potent but not excessive.
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