Gun show score!! (wifes, for now...) SP-101

This is a discussion on Gun show score!! (wifes, for now...) SP-101 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am relatively new to hand gunning (bought my FM Hi-Power a few months ago, but I read and researched for going on 2-3 years). ...

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Thread: Gun show score!! (wifes, for now...) SP-101

  1. #1
    Member Array HiPower9's Avatar
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    Gun show score!! (wifes, for now...) SP-101

    I am relatively new to hand gunning (bought my FM Hi-Power a few months ago, but I read and researched for going on 2-3 years). I REALLY wanted an SP-101 as my first handgun, but I could never find one for less than ~$500 locally.

    Interestingly enough, I rented one a while back and my wife (who enjoys shooting my Hi-Power) LOVED the wheel gun. She has been considering taking a ccw class with me. She understands gun safety very well and immediately decided that her firearm should have no manual safety. When I showed her a few guns with safety's she looked and me confused and said, "Why would they do that? Why would you ever put your finger on the trigger if you didnt want to shoot someone? That seems silly. My brain probably works better than some little lever". :D Its funny how she usually GETS IT before I do. (I was somewhat nervous about leaving the BHP cocked and locked for a while).

    We went to the show on Saturday and she handled a few LCRs (I went there looking for a Kahr CW9) before seeing 2 used .357 mag SP-101s in a case. One had a 3" barrel with a hammer and the other 2 (1/8)" which was bobbed. She held each and dry fired them and, much to my surprise, she preferred the DAO version. Again she surprised me by saying "If I had to shoot someone, I wouldnt want to pull the hammer back anyway, plus it could snag on something. I should just practice with this one" :) Haha she even made the gun salesman proud.

    The trigger was indeed smoother on the DAO (though heavy) and despite being used on the tag, the thing looks brand new with the exception of a very slight drag mark. We ended up getting it for $380 with a little haggling. We immediately put a hogue monogrip on it.





    We bought a few boxes of cheap 158g HC SWC 38 specials($10/50) and a box of Blazer 158g .357mag JHP. We made to the range yesterday and she shot it EXTREMELY well with the 38's- about a 3" group at 7 yards right through the COM. The .357s were impressive but somewhat uncontrollable for her- large muzzle flame and recoil to match. She decided she would probably carry 38's as the .357s were a bit much for her 5' 110lb frame (she did get a big smile every time she shot one, though!).

    I ended up shooting a ~2" group with it at 15 yards slow fire, and every round in the chest rapid fire with .357's. It made my 9mm BHP feel like .22 :p

    I will say that the .38's we had were very DIRTY loads. After 50 the cylinder began to get gritty and difficult to turn. A quick spray of CLP loosened it right up, however. I'll try to stay away from that particular brand.

    Anyway, im very happy with the purchase - as is the lady. She is very excited to have a gun to call her own and more importantly, something she is completely confident in deploying if she needs to.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array GoBigOrange's Avatar
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    Nice choice! I love the SP101. It will probably be the next gun I purchase.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Array JohnLeVick's Avatar
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    Congratulations! These are awesome little revolvers. Your wife is very astute. The DAO and slick hammer are the only way to go with this gun. It is really easy to put a super-nice trigger on the SP-101. I have one, and I gave one to my daughter, as well. I slicked up the triggers on both, and they rival a good K-frame Smith trigger. My daughter, who is quite petite and doesn't have a lot of upper body strength, can really make the little Ruger walk and talk. I put a Crimson Trace LaserGrip on hers, though she shot it pretty well without it.

  5. #4
    Distinguished Member Array Spec's Avatar
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    You picked a winner, and I'm not taking about the gun... but I guess the gun is a good find too.
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  6. #5
    VIP Member Array Old School's Avatar
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    Cool

    I purchased a SP-101 a few months ago after selling my S&W 686 to a friend to hunt with. My wife took my S&W 638 a while back so I thought I could use another snubbie for me. Great weapon.You paid a very fair price for it. Enjoy.

    P.S. There is a product on the market called Lead-A-Way that makes cleanup especially the front of the cylinder and bore alot easier after shooting dirty ammo.

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  7. #6
    VIP Member Array tkruf's Avatar
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    Order a wolff 8 lb main spring for it. It's easy to switch out, and the trigger will be much lighter (but not too light). Congrats on the new SP101.
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    Member Array HiPower9's Avatar
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    Thank you for the tips! I'll definitely pick up some lead away.


    I would like to lighten the trigger a bit for her. It doesnt bother me much, but she was struggling to finish the trigger pull near the end of the range session (im sure the gritty cylinder had something to do with it as well). I was curious though, about what Mr. Ayoob would have to say about such a thing on a defensive gun? It perfectly justifiable - small girl struggled to pull the trigger, so it was modified to make it safer for her to shoot control-ably. I can already hear the attorney talking about how it was a "custom tuned, extra accurate killing machine" in the event she needed to use it on something other than paper.

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array tkruf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiPower9 View Post
    Thank you for the tips! I'll definitely pick up some lead away.


    I would like to lighten the trigger a bit for her. It doesnt bother me much, but she was struggling to finish the trigger pull near the end of the range session (im sure the gritty cylinder had something to do with it as well). I was curious though, about what Mr. Ayoob would have to say about such a thing on a defensive gun? It perfectly justifiable - small girl struggled to pull the trigger, so it was modified to make it safer for her to shoot control-ably. I can already hear the attorney talking about how it was a "custom tuned, extra accurate killing machine" in the event she needed to use it on something other than paper.
    Believe me, the 9 lb main spring (trigger) is "not" a hair trigger. It will make it easier for her, but my Ruger LCR with it's stock trigger is a "much" lighter/faster trigger than any 9 lb trigger on the SP101.

    I believe the stock spring in the SP101 is a 14 lb trigger according to Wolff's website. I mentioned before an 8 lb trigger, but I double checked. They lightest that Wolff goes for a main spring is 9lb. They have an 8 lb trigger return spring, but I didn't put one of those in my gun. Just the 9 lb main spring is all you need to lighten the pull. Then put some rounds through it to smooth it up some. She will like it much more and it won't be so light as to insight any investigation into it being super tuned. After all, it is DAO.
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  10. #9
    VIP Member Array Old School's Avatar
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    Cool

    I had the wife's S&W 638 trigger pull reduced to 10 lbs. Glocks come from the factory with a 5.5 lb trigger as stock. The most important thing to remember in a self defense shooting is that the reason you had to use deadly force is that you or someone else was in eminate, immediate danger of death or great bodily harm. Eight pound double action trigger is court defensable. I respect and have read Massad's books and articles for two decades now. I believe he is refering to ultra light single action triggers especially on semi auto's. Just my $.02.
    "Violence is seldom the answer, but when it is the answer it is the only answer".

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  11. #10
    Member Array HiPower9's Avatar
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    I planned on replacing the recoil spring in BHP - so I went ahead and got the "shooters pack" from Wolff. I'll try each combo and do some light polishing/deburring while its apart.

    Thank you

  12. #11
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    Congrats on the new 'tank'...
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  13. #12
    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    very cool !

    Looks like you scored in the wife department, too

    My next wheelgun will be the SP101 as well
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  14. #13
    Senior Member Array JohnLeVick's Avatar
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    As to concerns about possible legal ramifications of smoothing or reducing the trigger pull, I'd not sweat it. If you shoot someone justifiably, your legal exposure to that person or his estate is minimal; in Texas, it would be pretty much nonexistent. On the other hand, firearm mods that help the shooter to shoot more accurately and effectively lessen the likelihood that an innocent bystander might get hit, so legal exposure is at least theoretically lessened by the modifications. The truth is, a skilled cross-examiner can turn most anything against you, whether it is something you did or something you failed to do. That's what good expert witnesses are for, to make that skilled cross-examiner look like an ass for doing so.

    My usual carry gun has a 3.5 lb. trigger, and was pretty heavily modified from factory configuration, by me, including converting it to a different cartridge than that for which it was originally chambered. If, heaven forbid, I ever have to shoot someone with it, I expect to have to explain why it was modified. I can do that. But that is Problem 2. Problem 1 is surviving the lethal encounter, not the legal encounter. Gotta solve 1 before 2 matters. Best to not get the cart before the horse.

    Don't just change the springs, stone the contact surfaces. Smooth makes more difference than does light. SP-101s are typically fairly rough internally, until they are fired several thousand rounds or are stoned. Stoning is faster, and cheaper.

  15. #14
    Member Array good2go's Avatar
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    Congrats,the sp is a sweet shooter

  16. #15
    Member Array HiPower9's Avatar
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    Can anyone give me some tips as far as stoning surfaces? Where can I buy a decent, affordable set of stones? I planned on using 600 grit sand paper and wet sanding + polishing with a light rubbing compound, felt wheel, and dremmel tool. Then buffing it out.

    I am pretty handy- built several project cars, motors, transmissions, rear ends, did some light body work.. etc.

    It sounds like a fun project. I already found the IBOK guide - I need to order one.

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