SP101, or LCR? I need opinions and advice please

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billccm

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 24, 2009
Messages
62
Location
Tucson
Hello All:
I am a relative newbie to revolvers. I used bolt action 22s and 12 guage shotguns as a kid in rural Kentucky 30 years ago, and have some experience with a friends auto loader Mark III, but for the most part, that is my firearms experience.

I have a single six that I target practice with that I bought last summer. I love that revolver both in looks and how it feels and shoots.

I just got my CCW, and want to buy a 38 caliber revolver. On paper, I really like that LCR. Most of my research reads favorable about this little high tech gun. I have to say as an engineer, I am impressed with the design and choice of materials for the LCR!

Some people have recommended the SP101, but I see very little in print about this gun? It seems to be solid design firearm, and I like the stainless steel. I have noiced that prices for this gun are all over the map, wheras LCRs are fairly stable price wise.

I have read many post in this forum about the LCR, and it seems I get both equal good and bad replies.

So, I welcome you comments and opinions. Let 'em fly!

Thank you for your advice, and take care, Bill
 

clayflingythingy

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 4, 2007
Messages
360
Location
ky
I have two SP101's, a 32 & 38, both with 3 inch barrels. The SP's are easy to shoot due to their weight holding down recoil. They weigh more than I want to carry in a pocket. If I get out of practice I find that I short stroke the trigger on the SP, thus tying the gun up. SP's have typical Ruger triggers-they suck bad.

I have handled an LCR but not shot one. The gun was a tad larger for pocket carry than I like but it should make a dandy belt gun.

My carry guns are an Airweight Chief Special and Centennial by Smith and Wesson.
 

paul s

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
68
Location
TN.
The 101 is still usefull as a weapon after you shot all the bullets, you can throw it at your attacker and still inflict some damage!
 

revhigh

Hawkeye
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Aug 31, 2005
Messages
5,590
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PA
I'd suggest neither ... the SP101 is way too heavy to carry concealed, and the LCR is an as yet unproven entity from a company that has had a REALLY bad reputation for new releases.

If you want a revolver, get yourself a Smith lightweight J frame, or a Taurus 85 variant. Personally I'd go with a KT380 or an LCP. Believe me, there's nothing worse than having your pants weighed down by a heavy gun. My KT380 has become my number one carry gun ... you don't even know it's there. My Glock 26 is now cold weather carry only.

REV
 

gregs45auto

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 26, 2005
Messages
491
Location
utah
What is the best flavor of ice cream!!!!! I prefer the sp101. Rugged and reliable. I know it will do the job. jmho greg :p
 

pisgah

Buckeye
Joined
Apr 17, 2006
Messages
1,633
Location
Upstate SC
Unfortunately, until you've been carrying for a while you will have a tough time making the choice. Most folks eventually compromise to the extent that they end up with something just a bit smaller and lighter than they started out with.

The SP101 is an excellent gun. Get one in .357 and you are well-armed, indeed, but it's size and weight are such that you will likely find it less than ideal for anything but belt holster or IWB holster carry. This may be just fine for you and, if so, good.

OTOH if you are one who eventually decides that pocket carry is more convenient and comfortable, you will end up either buying something like the LCR, or trading in the SP101 to get one.
 

nn

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 22, 2008
Messages
427
Location
NC
I have both, I favor the SP 101. I use the LCR for inclement weather carry. I shoot the SP 101 often, do not plan on shooting the LCR much.
IMO the LCR is good for carry, but, not for extensive shooting.
 

revhigh

Hawkeye
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Messages
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pisgah":3eadusqb said:
The SP101 is an excellent gun, but it's size and weight are such that you will likely find it less than ideal for anything but belt holster or IWB holster carry.

Exactly .... it's too big, and too heavy, for non-LEO carry. When you've been carrying for a few years see if you don't agree. Of course NO GUN is too big to carry, it's whether it's too big to carry comfortably, like the KT P3AT or LCP.
 

roaddog28

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
260
Location
Winchester, CA
For carry I would still go with the SP101. They are proven and probably the strongest small revolver made. Now their triggers are a bit heavy but as typical with any Ruger the more you use it the better the trigger becomes. Sure the LCR is small but I don't believe it is a revolver that is good for shooting a lot. Opinion only. Plus Ruger has had problems and I believe a recall on some of the LCR.

Good Luck,
roaddog
 

billccm

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 24, 2009
Messages
62
Location
Tucson
Thanks for all of the opinions, but I guess I still can't clearly decide.

I borrowed a friends GP100 today, and shot 50 rounds of really cheap re-load 38 through it quickly. I actually liked the revolver, but it is a bit large for concealed carry.

My fellow gun buddies at the range all raved about the LCR. When they have a rental unit, I am going to try it out. I'll report back what I think from a newbie prospective.

Price wise everthing around is about $500 new for these guns, so I will decide on what I think at the range, and still consider some inputs, so keep those coming.

BTW, the gunsmith at the range claimed he heard that the LCR was recalled due to 'flashing damage', but said he had no formal notice from Ruger?

Thanks again for the advice, Bill
 

billccm

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 24, 2009
Messages
62
Location
Tucson
BTW, does the LCR have a 'shelf life'? I have read that the LCP has a 'shelf life', which I assume to be how many times it can be fired?
Take care, Bill
 

RugerDog

Bearcat
Joined
May 16, 2005
Messages
2
Location
Southeast Florida
Interesting all the comments that the SP101 is too heavy for concealed carry. I'm relatively short, and have carried a 357 SP101 for 5 years now - in hot southeast florida. For the first 3 years, I carried it in a Tommy's GunPack, and I now carry it in a Smartcarry. It has over 6,000 rounds thru it, and still looks and fires like new...

The weight difference isn't much, when you compare it to the extra 10-15 pounds we're all probably carrying around ...
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2008
Messages
7
Location
Georgia
For concealed carry you'll do fine with the LCR. I have both the LCR and a SP101. The LCR, I actually carry in a pocket holster in my pocket. For me, the SP is a tad too heavy for that. That is why I bought the LCR. In the seasons I wear a jacket I carry a GP100 3" on my hip. In the summer, it is just more convenient to put a LCR in my pocket. Also it is more resistant to the effects of sweat.

HH
 

Tommy Kelly

Buckeye
Joined
Apr 24, 2008
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1,045
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MISSISSIPPI
I have a sp101 in 357 and love it. I have never handled a lcr at all but my sp101 is the perfect pistol in my opinion. Mine is a natural it shoots the 38 ammo to poa and very little recoil my wife loves it also. Load it with 357 and it is a handfull with pretty good recoil but still shoots to poa out to about 25 yds. I believe this gun would last a lifetime even with the 357 ammo but with the 38's its a sweet shooting pistol that's as accurate as possible this gun is built like a tank. I liked it so well I bought it a big brother a alaskan 454. The sp is like a carbon copy of the 454 just smaller. I haven't tried it yet but the 45 colt is the 38 of the 454 like the 38 is to the 357. I personally think I would go with the sp101and you will never regret it. Yes the lcr is a little lighter but the lighter weight is giving up strength the sp101 is a proven gun the lcr is new and may turn up with problems later with use. Or even better find someone that has a sp and shoot it you will be sold it is awesome and small.
 

DGW1949

Hunter
Joined
Apr 10, 2005
Messages
3,652
Location
Texas
Might sound crazy to some folks, but.....
In all of my years of living, I've had to pistol-whip a lot more bad guys than I've had to shoot. I've also noted that a heavier gun is easier to shoot well than the light weights, particularly if ya need to shoot a few rounds, real fast.

So the way I see it, an alloy 'n plastic pistol might be fine for carrying around, or if a guy just needs something to make him feel safer. But it aint much of a fighting tool.

No offense meant to anyone.

DGW
 

bub

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Messages
245
Location
NE Ohio
While I've never handled, let alone shot, an LCR (a situation that will hopefully be remedied next weekend!), I own an SP and have shot an alloy S&W, which is similar in size and weight to the LCR.

I carry my SP all the time if I am awake. It is a chunky little beast, but I definately don't feel it is too heavy to carry. I carry it on my body armor for backup when I work at the PD and carry it strong side IWB off duty. It is a TANK and I can't see it wearing out within my lifetime, even if I shot a lot of .357 ammo out of it (Dept regulations limit me to Winchester 125gr +P Silvertips on or off duty; I KNOW I'll never wear it out with that ammo!). The weight helps with the "shootability" of the gun and I can shoot my SP almost as well as my GP100. The downside is also the weight. I can't comfortably pocket carry it if necessary and it is a heavy gun, meaning it isn't the most comfortable thing in the world if I'm on my feet for a while when it is real hot out. However, I'll take the small discomfort to know that I can shoot the gun as well as I do.

The alloy revolvers are a DREAM to carry. They are so light that it's possible to forget that you are carrying them. The downside to this is that they can be a real handful with decent self defense ammo; heavy recoil, lots of muzzle flip, pain on firing with some ammo. This can be overcome to an extent with more practice. I would like to try pocket carry on occasion, so I am going to look for either an LCR (depending on my experiences next weekend) or an S&W alloy snubbie when the income tax return comes in this spring.

Basically, it all boils down to how you want to carry. If you will carry mostly IWB, the SP is real hard to beat. If you want to mostly pocket carry, I'd try the LCR or something similar. Either is hard to beat for the intended purpose and will work well for you. You just need to decide how you will carry. Try them both, if possible, and make your decision from there. Good luck.

Bub
 

maxpress

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
1,280
Location
Central Washington
i think the sp101 is alot more versatile in the 3inch and i carry one conceled no problem. stocked with .357s it makes an excellent "fishing gun" in a hip holster.

i hate to say this but if you decide on the lcr for the price point i would get a smith 442, about the same weight, caliber, smaller, and will probably hold up longer.i see used ones for 325$ or so and the new ones for 450$. i just think the grips are a little oversized and funky on the lcr
 

revhigh

Hawkeye
Joined
Aug 31, 2005
Messages
5,590
Location
PA
THe only truly comfortable way for a civillian to carry is in the pocket, IMO. I've tried IWB, SOB, and about every other method. I even pocket carry my Glock 26 when I don't have the KT P3AT. Once you start pocket carrying, you'll find that you are NEVER without your gun, if it's light enough, like the P3AT at 14 ounces loaded. Even the Glock 26 is too big and too heavy for summer, but just fine for winter. Nothing beats a gun like the P3AT or LCP for civillian carry, IMO.
 

pisgah

Buckeye
Joined
Apr 17, 2006
Messages
1,633
Location
Upstate SC
revhigh":17cu8xv9 said:
THe only truly comfortable way for a civillian to carry is in the pocket, IMO. I've tried IWB, SOB, and about every other method. I even pocket carry my Glock 26 when I don't have the KT P3AT. Once you start pocket carrying, you'll find that you are NEVER without your gun, if it's light enough, like the P3AT at 14 ounces loaded. Even the Glock 26 is too big and too heavy for summer, but just fine for winter. Nothing beats a gun like the P3AT or LCP for civillian carry, IMO.

Couldn't agree more. My main pocket-carry gun is a Glock 36, with a S&W 34-2 for when the occasion calls for something really light and compact.
 

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