RUGER SP101 review

RUGER SP101 review

This is a discussion on RUGER SP101 review within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Took the new RUGER to the range and put some rounds through it yesterday. After a couple hundred rounds of .38 +P and 25 or ...

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Thread: RUGER SP101 review

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Thumbs up RUGER SP101 review

    Took the new RUGER to the range and put some rounds through it yesterday. After a couple hundred rounds of .38 +P and 25 or so of full house .357 magnum, all I can say is wow, what a revolver!



    ACCURACY:
    I must say that this thing really is a beast shooting the .357 Magnum round. The weight really makes the round doable, but just barely. As for accuracy. At fighting distances no issue could be found, all rounds fired DA fit in a four inch plate COM with ease. Single action allows for a much longer distance and is not really practical for self defense, but as for accuracy, the rounds outta the 2 1/4" barrel spread out a bit, but easily kill shots on their own. The .38 Special +P round was a pleasure to shoot and could be shot all day long for that matter. Accuracy was again excellent using both DA and SA with a steady rate of fire. All rounds fired hit exactly to POA.

    BUILD QUALITY:
    What really needs to be said. Anyone who has ever handled one of these revolvers will attest to the build quality. When folks refer to the SP101 quite often the term "Tank" is bandied around. I must say that I whole heartily agree with the analogy. For a pistol that's roughly the same size as the S&W J frame, the SP101 is one beefy example of a J Frame on steroids. Roughly the same weight of a fully loaded Glock 26, the SP101 is quite heavy. Load up the five rounds of .357 magnum, and you're pushing the 28-29 ounce mark of the scale. However, when you look at the fact that you are packing "one" of the best handgun rounds out there should add a degree of comfort; it does for me anyway.

    The DA trigger IMO is perfect as is. Right outta the box, the SP101's trigger is one of the easiest triggers to stage I have seen so far. Mind you, I have only carried and used revolvers for the past couple of years. But during that time, I have purchased several revolvers including the LCR and S&W's .38 Special Body Guard. I've even had a trigger job done to my S&W 638 which made for a very nice trigger in DA. My point, the SP101 trigger is not the finest by any means, but it just feels clean and crisp with a very distinctive break. three quarters of the way through the pull you hear the audible click of the cylinder lockup, and then just add a tad bit more to it, and ( BOOM!). Needless to say, no trigger job is in the future for this baby.

    The recoil with .357 is stout and will let you know when you relaxed a little too much on your grip. The .38 Special is sheer pleasure to launch, and in quantity. My use of this firearm is a simple one, as I'm sure it is with most. Practice with .38 Special and carry .357 magnum for defense. My carry load of choice is the 125gr .357 Golden Saber. Now I know some will say the .38 Special +P might be a better option there. That being said and acknowledged, I feel that, only having five rounds on board before a reload is needed; I'd rather send the baddest round possible downrange and see if the BOOM factor coupled with killing potential dissuades any further action by the intended target. My reload is in fact the 125gr .38 Special +P, but the moron that forces me to pull my weapon deserves the magnum load.

    CARRY METHOD:
    I'm carrying the SP101 in a Desantis Crossbreed style holster, or my favorite carry style pictured below.
    While the weight is significant, as stated earlier the RUGER fully loaded is a couple ounces heavier than the loaded G26. Easily doable IMO. The biggest hurtle for most will be the firepower. Twelve rounds and up, verses the five. Again, my way of thinking of it is; 5 .357 magnum rounds will in most situations be 4 more than was needed to settle the altercation. If not, I'll go outta this world doing what makes me happy, but I'm sure I'd have taken a couple with me along the way.



    CONCLUSION:
    The RUGER is a fine example of a snub nose powerhouse. With the build quality involved, this revolver should last a lifetime and then some. If anyone is looking for a woods, truck or carry revolver, and a little weight is no problem, you really owe it to yourself to check one of these out. They come in three or four barrel lengths and calibers and sport a build quality that's hard to beat for the coin spent. I'm sure I missed some good talking points, but if anyone wants my take on anything not mentioned feel free to post or PM me and I'll offer it up.

    That's it for now. Next up, the S&W 442.
    Last edited by gottabkiddin; September 22nd, 2013 at 11:59 AM.
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Easy8's Avatar
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    Great gun carry it daily a joy to shoot. image.jpg when your at the range try only reloading from strips or speed loader you will be amazed how fast you get
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  3. #3
    VIP Member Array old grunt's Avatar
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    Great write-up !! I'm looking at my SP101 right now and it is one fine revolver.
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    Quote Originally Posted by old grunt View Post
    Great write-up !! I'm looking at my SP101 right now and it is one fine revolver.
    Ditto - my LGS has a factory new one with Hogue grips for $500.
    gottabkiddin likes this.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    What holster is that?
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array Diddle's Avatar
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    In my opinion the SP-101 is probably the best all around revolver out there.
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  7. #7
    VIP Member Array blitzburgh's Avatar
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    Can't say I expected anything other than a positive review. The SP101 is a revolver that I'm a bit embarrassed of not owning (yet).

    ETA: No matter how many times I see them, it never gets old seeing your works of beauty, Easy8.
    gottabkiddin likes this.
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  8. #8
    VIP Member Array tdave's Avatar
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    SP 101 the only thing better is two of them.
    gottabkiddin and Eric357 like this.

  9. #9
    Distinguished Member Array grouse's Avatar
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    SP's are sweet! They have a cult following for a reason.
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  10. #10
    Ex Member Array DetChris's Avatar
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    RUGER SP101 review

    I don't carry my SP101 anymore since it now serves as my wife's HD pistol but it's by far my favorite revolver. Handles stout .357 loads reasonably well and .38 are well controlled. Handsome and accurate to boot!

    Glad you like yours too! It's a looker!
    gottabkiddin likes this.

  11. #11
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    gottabkiddin...GREAT review!

    I love my Glock-36, but my Ruger SP101 3" is right up there...what a tank.
    I pull the trigger on my 'empty' SP101 many times every night, then load it back up to set on the table next to me.
    My Glock-36 is already on the table next to my pillow, and the Ruger is on the table next to my TV 'clicker'...
    gottabkiddin and GhostMaker like this.
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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array ShooterGranny's Avatar
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    Doggone it - why did you have to write this review?

    Now I might have to buy a little SP101 like yours also.

    My "new" recently purchased old S&W 60 has to go back to the gunsmith who did the action job because it is sticking where it ain't supposed to stick, resulting in an occasional misfire. When we went in to pick it up this darling young fellow showed me the long barrel Rugers they had in stock.

    I have a heavenly S&W 686 2" barrel. I don't really NEED 3 snubbies, do I?
    gottabkiddin likes this.
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  13. #13
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    What holster is that?
    I got it from MidwayUSA over a year ago. I checked it over but couldn't find anything identifying it by the maker. It's a pretty good one though. Unlike another one that I've had for even longer, this one has a comfortable fabric liner that touches the skin, so it doesn't itch like some others; obviously the leather piece is something I added as a shield against perspiration.
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

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  14. #14
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gottabkiddin View Post
    I got it from MidwayUSA over a year ago. I checked it over but couldn't find anything identifying it by the maker. It's a pretty good one though. Unlike another one that I've had for even longer, this one has a comfortable fabric liner that touches the skin, so it doesn't itch like some others; obviously the leather piece is something I added as a shield against perspiration.
    Very nice mod to the belly band!

    I had a 2 inch SP101 that I sold off a few years ago. Bought it after having so many issues with an early Kahr P9 that I was turned off to semi autos for quite a while. Liked it, but was heavy for the capacity...if I'm gonna carry that weight, it'll be my G26. The LCR, however, makes more sense to me...less capacity, but also much less weight than the baby Glock. Prints less, too.

    I will agree that if you insist on the .357, then the heavier steel revolvers are the way to go.

    I am sure you will enjoy it...until the next new thing you buy!
    gottabkiddin likes this.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Array Haystacker's Avatar
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    good write up. I really like the SP101 DA trigger too. It gets better with use.
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