sp101 2" or 3"

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fwellers

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
5
Hi,
I am seriously considering an sp101 real soon. Trying to make up my mind on which one and just have a couple of questions for some experts here.

Is there a significant or appreciable difference in accuracy to about 10-15 yards between the 2" or 3" barrel models ?

What is the difference between the 30sp+p sp101 and the 357 one ? Is the only difference a slightly shorter cylinder on the 38 one ?
I am thinking I may wind up only using 38sp and +p rounds even for defense load, and wondering if I should possbly consider the 38sp model.

Thanks in advance.
Floyd
 

GaryA

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 27, 2001
Messages
230
Location
Belleville, IL, USA
Others will chime in but I don't believe there is any difference in the cylinder length between the .38 version and the .357, just a difference in where the shoulder is cut inside the cylinder. The original SP was chambered in .38 and was then offered in .357 but only up to 125 grains only because the cylinder was short. It was later slightly redesigned with a longer cylinder and cylinder window to accept all factory .357s. I believe the current .38 versions use the same platform. I"ve owned an SP in .38 but have opted for the versatility of the .357 version.

As far as barrel length, there is no clear answer. I've had both and have settled on the 2.25 inch version because it fills more roles better for me. The 3.06 inch version is a slick revolver which is still compact, quite strong, and gives a bit more performance and makes a dandy field gun. It used to be the 3 inch was the more rare, less desired version. In the past several years it has gained quite a following and there are many posts extolling its virtues and I see quite a few more of them on dealer shelves than I used to see. Depends strictly on your uses and your preference.
 

maxpress

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
1,280
Location
Central Washington
i find that it is just as easy to conceal either one. i like the 3" because i carry it when i go fishing in the low lakes and i feel that velocity drops off to far with the 2" rendering a full power .357 to little more than a +p .38 . or at least thats what my crono tells me.
 

jowfist

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
2
if you are going to pocket carry, get the 2" version...i am just as accurate with the 2" barrel as i am with the 3" at 15yards. like martyj said I personally would get the .357 version because you can always shoot .38's through it. nothing wrong with 38+p still a power full round, it would be the smallest round i use for edc
 

Bear Paw Jack

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 19, 2001
Messages
9,594
Location
Alaska, Idaho USA
The 357 gives you more versatility in what you carry, as has already been said. I much prefer the 3" barrel just seems more all around useful for personal defense or woods carry. If you want a short barrel gun to conceal go with the LCR.
 

Knuckles

Buckeye
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
1,217
I went through the same decision process you're going through right now.

Take my advise... save yourself a bunch of time and just buy the .357mag... your gun won't care what you shoot in it. I never regretted having the .357mag... I only regret selling it to pay bills.

Like you've heard... just keep the cylinders clean after using .38spl ammo, then you won't have to think about a thing when you want to shoot .357mags.

I absolutely loved my DAO (double action only) SP101. I have some "Uncle Mike's" Grips ready to go on my next SP101 .357mag. :wink:
 

Knuckles

Buckeye
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
1,217
Here's a glimpse of the one I sold... like i said, I have some Uncle Mike's "Boot-Grips" ready to go on a replacement SP101 DAO... "The Bee's Knees"

Picture156-1.jpg


Picture052.jpg
 

lfpiii

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 16, 2006
Messages
632
Location
Illinois
The only negative I see with the 3 inch is finding a good holster. If it will be for pocket carry you do not need to worry. On the plus side is that you should be able to get an additional 20% if you ever sell.
 

widgeon

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 11, 2008
Messages
6
i have the 2" with Crimson Trace grips. makes it accurate well past normal self defense distances. also have a meprolight front sight on it...a pretty nice arrangement for an older guy whose eyes aren't what they used to be
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2009
Messages
5,432
Location
China Spring TX
Hi Floyd and welcome to the forum. I have a SP101 3" .357 that is my carry gun. I load it with .357 Remington Golden Saber hollow points. They are kind of a mid range load between .38 + P and full power .357. This is what I carry:


IMG_0771.jpg
 

Snobal

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 25, 2008
Messages
40
Location
Arizona Wilderness
I currently have both the 2 1/4" and 3 1/16" .357 SP101's.

First and foremost, I love them both, but they are too heavy for me to use as a "pocket" pistol. I have a small S&W .38 Special that serves that duty.

They do however work well for CCW in a small holster or a jacket pocket. :D

Shooting off sandbags at 25 yards, they both shoot great groups with my target .357 Mag loads. But for me shooting off-hand, one or two-handed, the 3" is far easier to shoot well.

Just for fun, I used the 3" SP101 at our local Bullseye match last week and my score was above the average score I've been shooting with my favorite GP100. :roll:

Now, at a "normal" belly-gun range of say....7 to 21 feet, they both shoot about the same (but I sure like the 3" if I'm going to use the sights).

BTW, all you can shoot with a .38 Special is .38 Special, but with a .357 Mag, you can shoot either caliber ammo.

JMHO - YRMV
 

fwellers

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
5
Thanks all for the responses. Appreciate it. As you know, making decisions about these things is fun, but hard too. :)

The only real reason for thinking about the 38 instead of the 357 is my laziness in not wanting to clean the cylinders after every time I shoot 38's to prevent build up, in case I want to use 357. Talk about lazy right ?

I am waffling between a real light lcr or J frame, and the sp101. I am thinking that if I get an sp101 it will not be for the pocket, so I'll have to find some other way to carry it. In that case, the 3" won't be any harder ( except as I'm told, to find the right holster ). I would go with the 3" for the better sight picture.

I've heard good things about the stock grips, but the uncle mike boots are even better ? I went to uncle mikes site and couldn't find grips there.

Thanks again.
Floyd[/quote]
 

Merlinspop

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 16, 2009
Messages
72
I'm still in the grips of my old Army training which forces me to clean any weapon I hold, say "bang" while within earshot of it, or even think about shooting whether or not any rounds are actually fired.
 

Knuckles

Buckeye
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
1,217
fwellers":3om649na said:
Thanks all for the responses. Appreciate it. As you know, making decisions about these things is fun, but hard too. :)

The only real reason for thinking about the 38 instead of the 357 is my laziness in not wanting to clean the cylinders after every time I shoot 38's to prevent build up, in case I want to use 357. Talk about lazy right ?

I am waffling between a real light lcr or J frame, and the sp101. I am thinking that if I get an sp101 it will not be for the pocket, so I'll have to find some other way to carry it. In that case, the 3" won't be any harder ( except as I'm told, to find the right holster ). I would go with the 3" for the better sight picture.

I've heard good things about the stock grips, but the uncle mike boots are even better ? I went to uncle mikes site and couldn't find grips there.

Thanks again.
Floyd
[/quote]

Dude'... you have made your choice... buy the .38spl DA SP101... be aware, it only comes in 2 1/4" bbl.

"Uncle Mike's" is out of SP101 grip business... you gotta find them used.

look at Traush Grips. www.trausch.com


"You must trust your feelings Luke" ........ "May the force of the SP101 .38spl / .38spl +p be with you"
 

ShakyJake

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 6, 2005
Messages
19
Location
sarasota,fl,usa
Hi fwellers,
There is no problem with your philosophy on cleaning. When you get your SP 101 if it has factory grips, make sure you put a fair amount of ammo down range before you decide to change grips. I went through boot and Hogue grips and ended up back using the Ruger grips. As far as barrel length goes, I found that as long as the holster is open at the barrel end, you should be fine with any holster that fits the shorter barrel. You should enjoy the SP a lot regardless of configuration. Have fun!!!
TaKe CaRe
Ted
 

fwellers

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
5
I was looking at the online manual for the sp101 on Ruger's site.
It actually shows a separate part number for a 38sp cylinder and or a 357.

Cylinder KW00100 SP101 - .357 cal. or .38 Special
* Cylinder KW00116 SP101 - .357 cal.

Also shows a 3 1/16th barrel for a 38sp that is a different part# than the one for the 357.

Barrel, 3 1/16” KW00602 SP101 - .38 Special
Barrel, 3 1/16” KW00626 SP101 - .357 cal.

Being that they apparently don't sell a 3 1/16th barrel for the 38sp I wonder why they have those parts listed ?
 
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