SP101 questions

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ADawg

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Messages
4
Hi Ruger enthusiasts,
I just found this forum. I am fairly new to guns and have been coveting an SP101 and I would like to ask the opinions of some more experienced gun owners. I would get the 101 in .38/.357. My questions:

2" or 3"? I might like to use it for carry at some point so that favors 2". 3" would shoot .357 better and be more powerful generally I imagine with less recoil. Anyone carry a 3"? I have a 4" GP100 in blued (too big for me to carry concealed) so maybe the 3" is almost a duplicate.

Hammer or hammerless? Am I going to miss having SA option if I get the hammerless? Is there any durability/reliability issue with the mechanism that favors either?

There is no internal lock on any SP101, right?

Than you very much for you time.
 

maxpress

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
1,280
Location
Central Washington
mines a 3" and i have no problem carrying it and the velocity loss isnt as dramatic as the 2". recoil is the same, the massive fireball that i get from the 2" is tamed down a bit in the 3". i seem to hit targets better/faster with the 3".

now if you want one for deep concealment like front pocket then i might skip to a lighter gun altogether.

i normally carry my sp101 pretty loosely such as small of the back in the waist band or a jacket pocket when colder. i have also just slipped it in my back pocket running into a store.

my best advice is to go rent both or find freinds with both. if you get one and dont like it then just trade it. it will cost you about 50 bucks but just consider it gun rental for 6 mo.
 

jazzman

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 5, 2004
Messages
126
Location
Southern Ohio, United States
I just picked up my new sp101 yesterday. I went with the 3" with the hammer. I figured it would be a better all around gun and I could still conceal it if need be. It's not a pocket carry gun but I have a strong side owb holster on order for carry. A little more velocity and better sight picture for my aging eyes.

Jazzman
 

deac45

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
398
Location
NW Georgia
Welcome to the Forum, ADawg! SP's are lock free. My preference is for the three inch but my main use is as a light field gun. For me, one conceals as easy as the other with a good holster. As for as durability, I've never heard of any problems with any models...they're not described as "built like a tank" for nothing! :)

For a little more info check out this thread from a while back...

http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=67888

deac45
 

LTB45

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 23, 2009
Messages
52
Location
CT
I had considered the SP months ago. I talked to a friend that has one. His advice to me was that, it is easier to find a good holster for the 2" model than the 3".
I ended up with a GP100 4" and do carry it often. But then I do OC with it so concealability was not an issue.
 

Landric

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 2, 2008
Messages
90
Location
North Carolina
I have both the 2 1/4" and the 3" SP101. I really like them both, but if forced to choose, I'd go with the 2 1/4" DAO. I pocket carry mine regularly, and while the 3" version also works for that almost as well for me, its not available as a DAO from the factory, and therefore not as pocket friendly.

The 3" version does have less felt recoil IMO, and if purchasing as a belt gun only, I'd go with the 3". With my 158 grain magnum handloads the 3" seems to average about 50 fps over the 2 1/4", not that much change there.
 

ADawg

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Messages
4
Hi everyone,
Thanks very much for the replies. deac, thanks for the link to the old thread. This forum is so active I wouldn't have found it myself. Looks like the 3" has slightly more fans, but no negatives on the 2" either. People were about even on the hammer vs. hammerless, a choice I realize only applies to the 2". The ideal, as maxpress pointed out would be to try them both but the nearby range here in Seattle doesn't have either. So I have to give this some more thought......
 

Swampbilly

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 29, 2007
Messages
235
I chose my SP101 for strictly the up close and personal self defense firearm it is meant to be, and have the 2-1/4" barrrel DAO model. If your concern is only for self defense use, then I wouldn't think loss of single action cocking would be an issue.

I wanted it as small and light as it could be and with the bobbed hammer it is more likely to be quickly deployed without snagging on garments, etc.
I also like the option of having the 357 caliber, but most often load it with 38 +p.

For the gentleman who mentioned the large fireballl 357 rounds make from the 2-1/4" barrel SP101, there are reduced recoil - reduced flash magnum rounds available.


Regards,

MD
 

Sassi

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 22, 2008
Messages
24
I love my SP101 with the 2 1/4 inch barrel. It is in my pocket most all day long. It is easy to shoot and points well. So it is heavier than many J frames but so what. I know I can hit what I aim at with my SP101 and have trouble hitting well with my light weight J frame. I suppose some of that is because I practice more and enjoy shooting the SP101 more.
 

cwegga

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 6, 2008
Messages
87
Location
Helena, MT
ADawg":q2hrkpam said:
Hi everyone,
Thanks very much for the replies. deac, thanks for the link to the old thread. This forum is so active I wouldn't have found it myself. Looks like the 3" has slightly more fans, but no negatives on the 2" either. People were about even on the hammer vs. hammerless, a choice I realize only applies to the 2". The ideal, as maxpress pointed out would be to try them both but the nearby range here in Seattle doesn't have either. So I have to give this some more thought......

I have the 3" and really like it. If you are only using it for people defense I would probably recommend the 2" hammerless. I chose the model I did as a compromise because I use it for concealed carry and for open carry when I'm out hunting and hiking. The 3" conceals as well as the 2" in a holster but sometimes when I'm sitting the barrel hits the seat and pushes up on my holster/belt/pants and can be a little uncomfortable. I would have the hammer bobbed on mine but I have decided that I require positive retention on my holsters so I have holsters with thumb breaks. They wouldn't fit with a bobbed hammer.

You might try local gun forums to find people who would let you shoot their gun. I'd be happy to let you try mine if it wasn't so much of a drive. You should check out http://www.northwestfirearms.com/ and try to find some locals with SP101s.
 

bub

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Messages
245
Location
NE Ohio
ADawg, you need to decide what your requirements are for the gun. Is it going to be a Self Defense gun? If so, a 2 1/4" DAO is optimum for that. Is it going to be a lighter utility gun? If so, a 3" with traditional DA/SA would be more fitting.

When I chose my 2 1/4" SP, I chose it for a dedicated SD gun to fit a rather narrow niche- it had to be compact enough to wear on a holster on my body armor when I work at the PD, which ruled out a 3" barrel. The 2 1/4" is BARELY short enough to fit in my armor holster and not get pushed out of the holster by my rather bulky duty belt when I sit. For me, a 3" just would not have worked out at all, so I chose the 2 1/4". If you plan on IWB carry when you carry it, a 3" shouldn't be any more trouble than a 2 1/4", since the additional length is barrel, which will be in your pants.

DAO or SA/DA is another personal choice. I initially got a traditional hammer spur, but found that the spur would catch on clothing during a rushed draw, so I hacked the spur off, effectively making it DAO. It also made it very snag-proof, which is exactly what I was after. For defensive use, I feel that DAO is best, anyway, so no problem for me at all. If the gun is for utility use, SA might be a good thing to have.

Do some thinking and see what your planned primary use is. It's hard to go wrong with either, it's all in how you plan to use it/carry it.

Bub
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2009
Messages
9
Location
RALEIGH, NC
Reality check...I have a 3" .38 sp101...I bought this gun to carry right after I got my NC CCW permit. Since I'm a good shot and only wanted to use .38 ammo anyway because of the lower recoil, plus the secure knowledge that if I ever had to shoot an assailant, they'd wouldn't be more than 5 feet away from me. The gun has proved to be accurate from 5-7 feet at my buddies backyard range. He lives in the NC woods. We shot some orange tipped super frag ammo. I highly recommend it because all the energy goes into what you hit first and then there's nothing left to go through a wall or someone in the immediate background. When you shoot a round through a gallon of water, the jug explodes and powder residue flew out the back onto a paper plate. But, back to my buddy...he's a much better shot than me and he could hit 8" round steel targets from 20 feet away with my 3" .38 SP101 which only proves that these guns are for close up personal protection when you need to have good fast reaction timing and most of all, be willing to put someone down in defense of your own life! Not having an adjustable rear sight might be a big clue to this fact too.
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2006
Messages
9,397
Location
Woodbury, Tn
Bob,
You need some practice with the gun or work on the gun. I have a 3 inch sp 101 and am able to keep .357 mag rounds on an 8 inch plate at 25 yds. all day long.
gramps
 

deac45

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
398
Location
NW Georgia
I agree with Gramps. I've known a few men who I wouldn't want to be on the fifty yard line with them shooting at me. I've personally hit the 100 yd gong three out of five on occasion with my 3" S&W M60.
A two inch barrell can be just as accurate at any distance as a ten incher...mechanically. It's the shooter that limits the range of that accuracy.

deac45
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2009
Messages
9
Location
RALEIGH, NC
I'm sure you're right...however, his inability to hit targets from any distance is of no consequence to me...I carry the gun for the possibilty of a closeup confrontation which I hope never occurs...at 5 feet he couldn't miss either!
 

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