Ruger SP101 .357 3" vs. GP100 .357 3" for CCW

Ruger SP101 .357 3" vs. GP100 .357 3" for CCW

This is a discussion on Ruger SP101 .357 3" vs. GP100 .357 3" for CCW within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Howdy Gents, I am hoping to get a lively little discussion going on the virtues of these two pieces for CCW. The SP101 is smaller ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array jsmosby's Avatar
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    Ruger SP101 .357 3" vs. GP100 .357 3" for CCW

    Howdy Gents,

    I am hoping to get a lively little discussion going on the virtues of these two pieces for CCW.

    The SP101 is smaller and, therefore, more concealable.

    The GP100 can handle heavy loads with less recoil; can be fitted with an Millet orange front sight for low visibility; and offers an extra sixth shot. It also has, however, a larger grip and a larger cylinder, which undermines concealability. In a hot climate, it might be difficult to conceal a GP100 under a t-shirt, without printing or dragging.

    SP101s are so small that a CCW holder could carry a pair IWB for a "New York reload". That would give him 10 shots. The GP100 is so large that a CCW holder could probably not carry a pair IWB comfortably. That would give him only 6 shots.

    Which do you think is the better CCW choice, and why?
    Last edited by jsmosby; August 13th, 2007 at 09:25 AM.


  2. #2
    Member Array Rivers's Avatar
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    SP101 feedback

    I only own the SP101, having purchased the .38 before it was even offered in any other calibers. But since the dimensions of the gun haven't changed, I think my comments are pertinent.

    First, about the sights, I'll offer that my .38 (2.5" barrel) is very accurate for a snubby. Second is that, as a CCW firearm, you're not very likely to have the opportunity to deliberately sight in on your target. Further, your shooting distance will most likely be within 15 yards. I know when I take my time, at that distance, I can put all five rounds into a very small group. Double action is not "that" tight but is still very respectable. And that goes for a variety of ammunition, new and reloads.

    For CCW, the SP101 is excellent. Mine has been extremely reliable, easy to maintain, very easy to hide, and certainly one weapon that I actually enjoy shooting. I know I won't set any records with it, but in a self defense situation, I feel very confident that it will do all I ask of it.

  3. #3
    Member Array samtechlan's Avatar
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    Check out these folks, I've read they do an awesome job on the Ruger sp-101. http://www.geminicustoms.com/

    They will even provide the basic gun if you don't already have one.

    I vote for the 101 with the Gemini package for CCW.

  4. #4
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    Ok, here's my 2 cents... I own two SP-101's and have for over 18 years. Both are DAO in 2.25" barrels and one is .38 Spl (wifes gun) and one is .357 mag (my gun).

    While I don't own a GP-100 I do also own a Stainless Ruger Speed Six 3" .357 for the six round gun with Hogue Combat Grips that was a precursor to the GP-100 so I will use that for comparison.

    As far as I'm concerned the SP-101's can handle any Hot +P or +P+ round just as easily as the GP-100 as far as frame strength goes. And the stock rubber grips on the SP's really help soak up recoil as well as the weight of their all steel frames so I think your point of the GP-100 handling hotter loads better really doesn't wash. JMO. I shoot full power .357's just fine in mine.

    As far as the accuracy goes. Those little 2.25" SP-101's are extremely accurate and I have hit 8 inch steel plates consistently at 50 yards and can hit 1 or 2 out of 5 rounds at 100 yards with some practice.

    I have carried both my gun and my wifes as a NY Reload on many occasions and that is a sweet combination.

    I have also carried my SP-101 as a BUG (NY Reload) along with the Ruger Speed Six and that is a great combo as well. The 3" six shot as primary and the 2.25" five shot as back-up.

    Compared with the two I think there are not very many situations where a GP-100 would be much harder to conceal than the 5 shot SP-101's. (except for pocket carry... the SP-101's go nicely in a front pants pocket where the 3" six shot Speed Six just won't quite make the fit) But for OWB, IWB, Belly Band type, or Chest Mounted... either one conceals nicely!

    I really don't think you can go wrong with either of them. I think they are some of the best revolvers made. Good accuracy, strongly built and reliable.

    Also, you can fit Crimson Trace Laser Grips to the SP-101's and they are even available from the Ruger Factory as an option on them.

    Note: I have always believed the SP-101's were 2 1/4 inch barrels as opposed to 2 1/2 inch, but I could be mistaken about that, I'd have to go check to be 100% regarding that aspect. (so don't hold that against me)

    JMHO... YMMV
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  5. #5
    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Personally, IMHO, the only place a 5 shot revolver belongs is on the ankle or in the pocket.
    To me the weight and size of the SP make it a holster gun to be carried like the GP100. Therefore I would go with the GP 100 and have that extra round. I carry a 5 shot J-Frame "Airweight" in my pocket or on my ankle.
    The 3" GP 100 is a fixed sight gun. Nothing wrong with that IMO. Both of my daily carry revolvers are fixed sight guns. One is an N-Frame and the other is the J-Frame. It's not that hard to "adjust" the sights on a fixed sight gun once you figure out what load you want to use and have a competant gunsmith handy.
    That's my $0.02 on the matter. I would select whichever gun you think will work for you and then look at getting a good holster/belt combo. Holsters and belts are designed to work as a team.

    Biker

  6. #6
    Member Array jsmosby's Avatar
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    BikerRN,

    Did you carry the N-frame with fixed sights in order to ensure a snag-free draw?

    Thanks for catching the error on the GP 100 .357 3" having adjustable sights. I have since edited this out of the thread.

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    While there's ALWAYS the exception to both statistics & realistic rules of thumb, I'll still say it anyway..."You'll Run Out of Time BEFORE You Run Out of Ammo".

    My personal preference between those two selections is therefore the SP101 (3").
    There are only TWO kinds of people in this world; those who describe the world as filled with two kinds of people...and those who don't.

  8. #8
    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsmosby View Post
    BikerRN,

    Did you carry the N-frame with fixed sights in order to ensure a snag-free draw?

    Thanks for catching the error on the GP 100 .357 3" having adjustable sights. I have since edited this out of the thread.
    I prefer fixed sights because it is something less to go wrong. Also, it doesn't eat my jacket lining up either. The Hammer is also "Bobbed" and it's been rendered DAO.

    Biker

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array sass20485's Avatar
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    I'd vote for SP101 for CC. It is smaller & simply will be far easy to carry concealed. Being made by Ruger, both are fine guns. Not a question of one being better than the other, simply a matter of their size. The GP100 being larger and fatter will be harder to conceal. I would also bet you'd find more holster options for CC for the SP101.

  10. #10
    New Member Array ihatenewyork's Avatar
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    ditto what he said. i have owned and carried both the sp101 and gp100,the sp is much easier to conceal..for me anyway...i guess your body shape and size will dictate whats good for you but..i found that that sp with full power 357 rounds becomes a little "punishing" but i cant recall any 357's of that size that werent. all in all....if your set on a wheel gun for ccw,you cant beat the sp101.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array LoveLeather's Avatar
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    At 25 ounces, the SP is no pocket gun and needs a holster...so carrying two of them is not realistic...but one on the belt will do you fine...it may have one less round but it is much more concealable than a GP...if round count is more important to you, you can get a 9 shot autoloader that is lighter and slimmer than both of them....

  12. #12
    Member Array jsmosby's Avatar
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    LoveLeather,

    I think that you raised some good points.

    The only 1911 that I would trust, in terms of reliability, is Colt, and, as you know, new Colts can no longer be sold in California since they don't have a load indicator. Hence, my preference for revolvers. One jam at the wrong moment, and it's over. It won't matter if you are carrying a .50 cannon with 10 rounds. Your opponent is not going to politely wait for you to clear your action. It's going to be fast and furious at 2-5 feet.

    Pistol weight is relative to the individual. I used to carry a .45 Blackhawk 7 1/2" barrel (40 ounces) with a Hunter holster/ammo gunbelt when I went pig hunting. Carrying that set-up in the mountains all day was HEAVY.

    One way to offset the auto magazine advantage is to carry a pair of revolvers (an old Confederate guerrilla tactic) IWB. In my case, based upon body type (thin), climate, and appropriate seasonal dress, the SP101 would be the correct choice. The full-size grip on the GP100 would print. A peace officer who prints gets scolded. A civilian who prints may lose his CCW license or accidentally be shot by the police.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array LoveLeather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsmosby View Post
    LoveLeather,



    The only 1911 that I would trust, in terms of reliability, is Colt, and, as you know, new Colts can no longer be sold in California since they don't have a load indicator.
    Not to go off topic JS, but there are no other 1911's you trust? I assume you mean in the sub 1000 arena....Ed Browns, Baers and Wilsons, to name a few of the high end customs. are known to be super carry guns...and even my sub 1000 Kimber TLE has been flawless in just over 750 rounds...I'm sure if you wanted to get back to a 1911, you could find one that you could trust...

  14. #14
    Member Array jsmosby's Avatar
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    LoveLeather,

    You're quite right. I couldn't see spending more than $1,000 on a 1911. I think that the gunmakers are taking gun owners to the cleaners on these pieces.

    As far as Kimber goes, you're one of the lucky ones. These forums are littered with Kimber owners having problems. I don't see as many problems with other brands.

    IMO, a reliable CCW gun should fire right out of the box without jamming. Kimber has a "break-in" period of at least 500 rounds because they have departed from Browning's original design (translation: Kimbers may jam every other magazine until the magical mark of 500 is met). In military trials, Kimber came in a distant third behind Colt and Springfield (an import made in the Third World with glued-in extractors).

    Given the current choices of .45s under $1,000, I would probably go with a Colt .45 Vaquero. You're only going to get one or two shots off defensively any way. At least it's reliable, and reasonably priced.

    JSM

  15. #15
    Member Array jpedone76's Avatar
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    Sp101 2.25"

    I bought my wife an sp101 2.25 inch barrel 357mag. She loves it and is deadly accurate with it. She does prefer the 110grn loads, but still can handle 158grn loads. Also I use the gun on occasion and it is very easy to conceal in a Glaco IWB.

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