Sp101 2.25"

This is a discussion on Sp101 2.25" within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I shot my first revolver in 1963 and I was 14 years old. It was a 9 shot double action revolver made by Iver Johnson(?) ...

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Thread: Sp101 2.25"

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    Member Array Goldy49's Avatar
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    Sp101 2.25"

    I shot my first revolver in 1963 and I was 14 years old. It was a 9 shot double action revolver made by Iver Johnson(?) and I didn't shoot another handgun until I went in the army. In 1971 I started shooting a 1911. I backpack with a single action Ruger Vaguero as a rule (occassionally with my '92) but since 1985 I have carried a 1911 as my primary gun (a Springfield Champion but I also have a 3" Kimber). I have used and have carried a Beretta 92 which I really like, but I always end up with a 1911. I never thought I would consider another gun and I always thought that "a man who owned one gun, knew how to use it."
    Ok, I have several guns now, but my carry gun has always been a 1911 of some sort. I bought an SP101 with a 2.25" barrel this winter because I could and I love it. It is like going back to 1963 with my uncle and that old .22 pistol. With the SP I can hit my target (7-10 yards) with it regulary and shooting as fast as I can, I can hit all five rounds in a paper plate at seven yards using double action only(using .357 ammo). I feel guilty not using my 1911, but this SP101 is such a good gun, I find myself carrying it everywhere, anywhere.
    I usually carry an extra five rounds in my pocket and quite honestly, I think a total of ten rounds should be enough. Anyone else switch from an auto of any kind to a quality revolver and also feel comfortable with what they are carrying? It may be a dumb question, but this SP has really caught me by surprise as to how good it is and how accurate it is and how well I shoot it. I know there are a lot of "if's" and "maybe's" but what do the experts have to say. Thanks for any of your replies.

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    My EDC is also a 1911. But I do carry a S&W Airweight in a front pocket once in a while. I really do want an SP 101. Kinda leaning toward the .327 Mag version. Since they are no longer in production the prices are steep. Either one seems like a really nice carry gun. Congrats on your new piece.
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    I wouldn't call myself an expert, but I love my .357 Ruger LCR. I keep looking at little autos, but I can't imagine carrying one instead of my revolver. And for what it's worth, Massad Ayoob IS an expert, and he likes 'em.

    I think the trick is to get some snap caps and practice reloading quickly. The only "fighting" disadvantage of a revolver is ammo capacity, and with speed loaders or speed strips and some practice, this can be mitigated substantially. Again with the 'yoob:

    037 Massad Ayoob Demonstrates the "Stressfire" reload for the Revolver - YouTube
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    The Ruger SP101 is one of those guns that just seems to draw you to it. Built like a tank that you can carry in a pocket, it provides a whole lot of power for its size. I carried one very often in my police officer days, and honestly ended up carrying it as an off-duty/back up gun for a long time. I would not in any way feel feebly armed with one, as you can just about load it as hot as you can control. Masad Ayoob was the one who persuaded Bill Ruger to chamber it in 357 Magnum, and it has been a huge seller for them ever since. Lots of old gun hands here carry them, many carry them as a EDC even when they have expensive autoloaders sitting around. There is a ton of excellent reading on them by some very notable gun writers who have nothing but good things to say about them.

    Of the loads I have tested and used in the SP101 there are (3) Magnum loads that I could recommend. The first is the PMC Starfire which hits POA and every SP101 I have owned. At a 154 grains it is a thumper and will take the spunk out of even the nastiest villian. The second is a Remington, Federal, or Winchester 110 grain JHP which, while not quite as accurate as the Starfire, groups well and expands quickly. For social engagements it is less likely to over penetrate like many other loads. The last is the Hornady Critical Defense 125 grain. The CD load is a fast stepping and proved to be nearly as accurate as the PMC load. It expanded well, and I would carry it as quickly as I would the PMC. In the SP101's that I have had all performed best with the heavier loads, but some like the Critical Defense, surprised me.

    Being kind of an older guy myself I really enjoy the ole' wheelguns. They are what I cut my teeth on as a police officer just starting out in the "Dark Ages" of yester years. However, they are just as capable now of doing the job as any autoloader out there. As I like to say, "they are not out of date, just out of fashion". If you like that SP101 and can score fast hits with it using stout loads, then I would holster that pocket-cannon and not think twice about it.
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    ...I haven't talked to one of them EX-spurts lately, but I like mine a lot...it's the factory bobbed-hammer DAO...I carry it as backup to my .45...and have 4 speed strips for reloads...if it had to be my primary, that'd be fine...I only shoot the .38Spl 158grLSWCHP+ P in it...plenty of power and controllable...

    ...I ordered Pachmayr Compac grips from Midway for mine...fits my paw better than the factory grips and still concealable...
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    I was revolvers only for 20+ years, got into semi-autos about 5 or so years ago, and now go back and forth about 50/50. I too have a SP101 2.25" and also a S&W 442. Handy dandy little revolvers. I carry the 442 a lot, and never feel under gunned with it. The airweight snubs are so easy to carry.
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    My normal EDC is my Glock-36, but my 'sometimes' EDC is my SP101 (3"), and with it, I do not feel under gunned. I agree the thing is a tank, and instead of hauling around with my Glock and 'mags', a simple strip of six rounds (holds six, so I might as well fill it) is in my pocket. Tucked IWB, I hardly know it's there...I share your your enthusiasm for this fine revolver.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snub44 View Post
    ...I haven't talked to one of them EX-spurts lately, but I like mine a lot...it's the factory bobbed-hammer DAO...I carry it as backup to my .45...and have 4 speed strips for reloads...if it had to be my primary, that'd be fine...I only shoot the .38Spl 158grLSWCHP+ P in it...plenty of power and controllable...

    ...I ordered Pachmayr Compac grips from Midway for mine...fits my paw better than the factory grips and still concealable...
    To be honest I kind of like the DAO a little better than the spurred versions. For carry work that to me it is about as ideal as I could want. I didn't mention 38 loads before, but of the two I did use my primary was the 158 grain LSWCHP +P from Remington. It may not be the youngest bullet design out there, but when it hits it mushrooms out like a rattlesnakes jaws.
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    VIP Member Array Snub44's Avatar
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    ...several companies make the round, but the Remington's a tad softer and yields better expansion...I don't need .357 magnum rounds with that one...it's street proven...
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    VIP Member Array tdave's Avatar
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    I have the SP 101 and carry it often. It will do it's part if I do my part.

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    Senior Member Array palmgopher's Avatar
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    I just recently picked up a used SP101 2.25". Amazing revolver! It has become my new EDC weapon. 5 in the gun and 5 in the pocket. More than enough unless I go where I have no need to be.

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    Distinguished Member Array Once's Avatar
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    Not the 101 but I carry my LCR or 686+ on occasion. Nothing wrong with a good wheel gun

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    I have a S&W 640. Conceals like a dream. The only problem is it shoots way high from point of aim, and I am not too terribly accurate with it. I too regularly carry a 3" Kimber 1911, and with that I can shoot circles around the 640. I have the 640 in at the local smith doing a trigger job and putting in night sights, but if that doesn't help with the accuracy issues I may to have to put it up for sale. I have an XDs on the way that will likely take the place of the 640 in my rotation.
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    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    I've got an SP101 and a 442 that see time in my carry rotation

    Very nice pistols. Snub nose revolvers will always have a place in concealed carry, they're just too easy to carry and shoot.
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    Senior Member Array Haywood's Avatar
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    I carry a SP101 AIWB and the LCR357 backs it up in my pocket. Love the SP. I am trying not to let my Wife shoot it. I'm afraid she will want it.
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