This is a discussion on Ruger SP101 CCW opinion within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Background (long): I know the SP101 is a fine gun and has a very loyal following, and I've read many reviews on this firearm. I've ...
Background (long): I know the SP101 is a fine gun and has a very loyal following, and I've read many reviews on this firearm. I've bought and sold many Ruger revolvers in the past and purchased an SP101 .357 2 1/4" several years ago, put it in my gun closet and have left it there since, having never fired it (bought it with the intention of getting my CC license but never did).
Among other shotguns I own, I have a S&W model 66 .357 with a 4" barrel that I have used for home defense and shot sparingly over the last several years. I am now getting my CC licence and intend on carrying a firearm on my person, most of the time. Wearing dress shirts and slacks most days, I intend on using an ankle or IWB holster. I have decided to get active in shooting again and researched heavily the purchase of my first personally owned pistol; a .40 cal M&P, which I bought and will now be my primary home defense weapon.
While buying my M&P 40 I spent quite a bit of time handling a Shield 40 and really liked its fit, feel and finish. Having several friends who own this weapon and use it as their primary carry weapon, I have heard nothing but good feedback from them. Knowing that I will be getting personal opinions here, this is my question; what are your thoughts on selling/trading the SP101 and replacing it with a Shield 40? I understand the revolver vs pistol issues and the general pros and cons of each. If I do go to a compact semi-auto, it will be the Shield because I'd want to keep it as similar to my full size .40 as I can.
I was hoping to hear from someone who has possibly had carry experience with both guns and what you would recommend. General personal experience info on either gun would be appreciated as well. I would like to read some input before I fire the SP101 knowing its value will go down once I put it in use.
Lastly, I have owned strictly revolvers up until the purchase of the M&P a short time ago, and love the feel of both the SP and the Shield, but every time I dry fire that SP and admire it's "linebacker" feel, it makes it harder to consider getting rid of it. I will be ready for a CCW in approximately 2 weeks. (BTW, I live in Florida so please consider in the concealment factor and... keeping the SP and buying the Shield is not an option at this time). Thanks in advance.
Here is my take.......
I carried a ruger LCR for a while, and while it was a great gun, it just was not my style of gun. It conncealed great, was lightweight, and looked spiffy, had a great trigger.... it was an all around great gun. However, I didnt shoot it nearly as accurately as my semi autos, I couldnt get past the dangling pinky factor ( a no no for me), and my range was very very limited for accuracy ( 5-7 yds tops) which I was not comfortable with. The revolver pros are obvious, and the the only con was limited rounds ( 5 in the .38 spcl). Honestly, capacity wasnt really a big deal for me though so not much of a con. My biggest complaint was the lack of accuracy at enteded ranges. Im not a fun of a get off me gun.
I now carry a M&P shield in 9mm. It too is lightweight, easily concealed, and a joy to shoot. I also use it as a "HD" gun when I travel and stay in a hotel and such, or stay at friends house. If it were my situation, I would keep the SP101, and trade in the model 66. You said you got a M&P 40 for home defense, and you dont shoot the 66 but rarely, so it would be the perfect trade in to get a shield. The Sp101 is a great carry gun, and if you are getting a CC permit it would make more sense to me to keep the carry gun and get rid of the gun you wont really use. This would also allow you to have a carry revolver and a carry semi.
Side not..... I have not shot a shield in .40 cal, but I would shoot one before you buy one. For whatever reason, there is a plethora of .40 cal shields in local gunstores and on armslist, both new and used. 9mm shields are hard to come by though. I can attest personally to the easy shootability of the 9mm shield, others will have to chime in on the .40 shield, but there are alot of guys and gals here who own them. Just food for thought.
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Your points are shallow... my points are Hollow....
Welcome to the forum, Doc!
I don't own an SP101, but don't be reluctant to shoot it because its value may decrease from "NIB" condition. It's a gun that's still in production, there are scads of them around, and they are in high enough demand (they get a lot of praise right here on DC) so that they retain a pretty high resale value. It's not a Colt Python. I'd encourage you to shoot it and get familiar enough with it to see if that meets your carry needs.
If nothing else, the SP101 is simple to start with and it's been around long enough that there are no "teething pains" which accompanied the Shield in its first couple of years on the market. I don't think I've even ever heard of an SP101 going back to the factory for repair, although I'm sure it's happened. It's a very rugged gun.
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I love my SP101. It's a great little pistol and my favorite hiking gun, I have the 2.25" barrel and DAO bobbed hammer. I wouldn't get rid of that pistol even though I rarely shoot or carry it.
I had a SP101, if you sell it you will always wish you hadnt. I do. I dont think ankle carry with the SP would work so great but IWB its a concealable as about anything else unless you go to mouse guns. 5 full house 357s out of a 2 1/4 barrel has the punch and the fireworks to go with it. Heck you can probably set the BG on fire as well as shoot them
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I think you are on the right track. I am a huge 357 magnum fan, however, with full power ammo the snubby really brings nothing to the table over the 40 shield besides blast and recoil. The shield is lighter, has more capacity, is easier to reload and has a nicer trigger. Not to mention the logistics of sticking with 40 for your main defensive guns. I would keep the 66, they are not made anymore and it is a nicer gun than the SP101.
My rifle and pistol are tools, I am the weapon.
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I have the shield in 9 mm great little shooter, but I carry the SP101 2.4 image.jpg most days, would never sell it. Great gun in 125 gr short barrel low flash buffalo bore. Carry it either owb or milt sparks summer special it disappears on your side. When you need it it will feel awesome reaching down feeling that revolver grip an knowing its going to work.
I have a sp101 in 3inch. I love it. I have CC it before . I dont cc on reg basis due to still getting things lined out here in IL. Now its been years since I CC on regular basis. But when I use to live in IN many years ago I regularly CC'd a 4 inch .357. While not as easy as smaller guns it can be done. I honestly don't what I would do if I was in your shoes. If you can afford to keep them all I wouldn't personally let one go. But I have a soft spot for revolvers.
I've carried a SP101, LCR and Sub compact auto. I can say this - While I know that in 95 percent of situations a 5 shot revolver will be more than enough to get the job done I still prefer the higher capacity and faster reloads of a (RELIABLE) auto.
Edit - I am by no means saying the 101 or the LCR are bad guns. I love them both.
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I bought a "like new" 3 inch SP101 from a friend three years ago for much more than he paid for it originally, but under current msrp. It had been in his safe the entire time, and he couldn't remember if he ever shot it .... if he did, it wasn't enough to show any signs. The factory lube had turned to shellac on the internals, so I detail stripped it for a thorough cleaning before shooting. Within a week, I ordered leather and reloading tools for the first time in my 50 years of actually owning firearms. It has been my daily "field gun" ever since, and I have no reason or desire to ever change that. I have no idea how many thousand rounds (mostly cast) I've run through it, but I do know there's only been two boxes of factory ammo through it in the last three years.
Of all the guns I've ever owned, or still own, that SP101 and my old 1973 Marlin 336 are the ones I'll go down with.
Shoot it and love it. Both are easy to do.
Mr surveyor, your a man after my own heart. What could be better than a good .357 revolver and a good lever gun.
First welcome to the forum! Like some of the OP said you WILL REGRET selling the SP-101! They are very hard to find in my area and command a premium price. Carry and use the SP-101 you will learn to appreciate it! Good luck!
Retired Police Lieutenant, Former MH-53 Pave Low Gunner, Retired USAF Reserve, Glock Armorer, AL Retired LEO Pistol Permit, NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, LEOSA Qualified
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I've been through a couple autos and an airweight. I found my ideal EDC pistol and carry it everyday. :)
That's a 3" SP in a Remora. If I'm only wearing a T shirt cover garment I have it in a homemade leather IWB, it pulls the grip into my side better.
This pic was before the Hogue grips.
I will be honest I have looked at the Shield in 9mm, really like it. But nothing will replace the SP, I love it! :)