Should I swap my SP101?

Should I swap my SP101?

This is a discussion on Should I swap my SP101? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have a DAO Ruger SP-101 (a 5-shot 357) with a short barrel, a bobbed hammer and a lightened trigger (~8.5 lbs). I am wondering ...

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Thread: Should I swap my SP101?

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    Sep 2007

    Should I swap my SP101?

    I have a DAO Ruger SP-101 (a 5-shot 357) with a short barrel, a bobbed hammer and a lightened trigger (~8.5 lbs). I am wondering if it might be wise to move to a 9mm (or bigger) pistol for the greater capacity. I would prefer to avoid spending much beyond what I can sell my current gun for, but I'm not keen on exchanging an extremely well-built, reliable and durable gun for something less so (I wouldn't think it likely that I could stay in the same quality class when trading).

    Background: I'm 51, lead a quiet life, do office work in a moderately quiet town, and we live out in the hills. Home invasion and such is unheard of here, and the riskiest thing I do is visit WalMart after dark. Still, I see personal and family defense as my responsibility, and wish to discharge it well. I'm huge (400#), and don't even notice the weight of the SP101 in a homemade smartcarry-style holster (so a larger gun may be OK). My hands are large, but I don't really like a huge grip (forget Desert Eagle, of course, as well as some of the fatter double-stack pistols).

    My wife and I have been remiss in training, but we have another class coming up and I recently bought a Beretta Neos 22LR pistol (plan: every few weeks we each shoot ~100 rounds of the cheaper 22 and a clip or two with the carry gun to improve/maintain skills). My wife will be carrying a Bersa .380CC, and my 18 y/o daughter is stuck with OC spray (or open carry, which she may choose to do when out for walks - after proper training).

    Here are my questions:
    • Keep the snubbie or trade?
    • If keep, suggestions to address capacity concerns (strips/quickloaders/etc)?
    • If trade, suggestions for make/model/capacity while staying near the selling price of the SP101?
    • Anything else I need to hear, but didn't think to ask?

    I realize, of course, that I should get a big pistol for primary carry, and keep the SP101 for a BUG. I'll lobby for that, too.

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array maclean3's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    Chances are, if you get rid of the Ruger you'll regret it. Those are sweet guns and built like tanks plus the .357 chambering is a great all-around choice (.38spl. for plinking and .357mag for carry).

    Unless you really HAVE to have an auto now I'd suggest keeping the SP and either stashing a few bucks away each payday or finding a local gunshop with a good layaway plan to get yourself into an autoloader (my favorite dealer charges 20% down and unlimited pay off time).

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array Rhome's Avatar
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    May 2006
    I agree 100% with what maclean3 said. I have traded many a firearm and regret everyone now. Keep your Ruger and save some money for another firearm.
    Politicians are like diapers, they should be changed often and for the same reason. ~ Robin Williams ~

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  5. #4
    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
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    Keep the SP101 is my vote.

    The "average" Non-LEO type gunfight in a true self defense scenario does not require a "Hi-Cap" gun. I carry my S&W Revolver and a reload when I'm Off-Duty. I also carry a BUG because I like having a gun accessable to either hand.

    I have my choices for what I carry Off-Duty. On-Duty I carry the "bottomfeeder" they issue me, but would gladly carry a revolver if they let me. I really don't think you will be better served by a 9mm unless recoil is a problem for you. If recoil is a problem there are many good SD rounds in 38 Special that you can load in your SP101. I like having the versatility of the 38/357.

    If you want a 9mm, I own two, that's OK. I do not think you should sell a gun to get another unless the one you are selling is unreliable. "Hi-Capacity" isn't all it's cracked up to be. Like I said, I own two 9mm's and they are not my first choice for a fight-stopper, but they will work.

    OK, it's late and I'm rambling. Let me just say, you will probably find the revolver easier to hide over any "bottomfeeder" of similar size due to it's "roundness" and curves. I hide an N-Frame S&W Revolver pretty easily along with a J-Frame BUG. I also carry a reload for each gun.


  6. #5
    Senior Moderator
    Array RETSUPT99's Avatar
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    Keep what you have...if possible, add to your collection. You may very well regret getting rid of something you already feel comfortable will NOT get much for your trade in if you choose a gunshop for a trade...they have to make money, too!
    Proverbs 27:12 says: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”

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  7. #6
    Senior Member Array Rustynuts's Avatar
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    May 2007
    I'd try to sell on Gunbroker or FTF at a show to make the most cash.

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Keep the SP101

    I agree with those who advise you to keep your Ruger SP101 snubby. You are familiar with it and comfortable shooting it, and the chances of needing more than 5 shots of .357 are probably slim in the situation you describe. I think you should carry spare ammo in a speedloader or speed strip, however. And I would practice the reloading until you are good at it.

    But there is nothing wrong with adding a second gun to your mix, and a semiauto is always a good choice. If you want something similar to the Ruger in being DAO, very concealable and all steel to handle recoil, you might consider a steel Kahr such as the K9 (9mm) or K40 (.40 S&W). These would give you more rounds in the gun (eight 9mm or 7 .40s) and a much faster reload. They cost between $500 and $600 depending.

  9. #8
    Member Array mike28w's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    My 2 cents..... Keep the Ruger, buy a speed loader and spend any extra change on ammo.... and then shoot it a bunch !!
    If you can tolerate the weight of a SP 101, It's hard to beat a 357 !!
    I wish that I had never sold my 3" SP101....... mike

  10. #9
    Senior Moderator
    Array bmcgilvray's Avatar
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    51! Wow! What must it be like to have attained so many years? I wouldn't know as I'm a much younger '57 model.

    If I were you I'd "dance with who brung me" and stick with the familiar.

    There have been some occasions where my revolver was a comforting presence over the past 30-some-odd years and I was always confident that its ammunition capacity was sufficient should I have needed to draw in those situations. Even if I tote an automatic it only has a six or seven round capacity as it's either a Colt 1911 or a little Kel Tec .380.

    Then there was the time I was confronted by over thirty people when I went to a residence to repossess a pickup. The owner was having a big party and everyone came out in the yard to surround me and threaten me away. In Texas one may exercise self-help repossession as long as one doesn't commit a breach of the peace. I indeed backed off but still felt comfortable with my choice that day of a S&W Chief's Special which was an ace away from being drawn. Even with that many potential adversaries I figured that someone would have to be the first to wade in there to get a piece of me and I didn't expect any of them to want to be the first to volunteer to get shot.

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array MNBurl's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Keep it and buy another gun. Then carry both.

    Most people will never need higher capacity than a revolver but carrying two gun has a major advantage.

    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking" - George S. Patton.

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array Air,Land&Sea's Avatar
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    A Newly Red State
    The SP101 isn't the end-all answer to everything gun, but all things considered it's the best gun ever made, IMHO.
    Last edited by Air,Land&Sea; October 28th, 2007 at 06:03 PM.
    Freedom of speech does not excuse those who are free from thought.

  13. #12
    Senior Member Array Sarge45's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Keep the Ruger. Such a nice revo. Compliment the Ruger with a Glock 26 or 27 if you want more capacity and excellent concealability.

    Edit to add: I don't own a SP101 but I do own the GP100. I would like to have a 101 some day.

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array swiftyjuan's Avatar
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    If you get rid of the Ruger, be ready to regret it forever. I know an elderly gentleman (mid eighties) who is VERY wealthy, and has 12 of the largest gunsafes made completely full of weapons. He carries a Ruger that sounds a lot like yours every day. It is really hard to beat.
    Assault is a behavior, not a device.

    "Don't never take no shortcuts." Patty Reed, Donner Party

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  15. #14
    Senior Member Array fatboy97's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    Land of 10k Lakes
    Keep it... I love my GP100 and will NEVER part with it. Right now, I'm giving serious consideration to buying an SP101 for my next gun purchase.
    Be Observant and Be Safe.

    Current: DW V-Bob 1911, S&W 442, Springfield XD9sc, XDm9,
    and Glock G26, G19, G23C, and SIG P226-40 TT, and Ruger GP-100, and Beretta 92FS
    Former: Taurus 92SS, SIG P220 TT, S&W 360, SIG P239-40, Ruger 22/45 MKII

  16. #15
    Member Array greyhound1's Avatar
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    Philadelphia suburbs

    keep the sp101

    The Ruger SP101 2 1/4" .357 is presently my main ccw. I can't say enough about it. It's sturdy; reliable; concealable; durable (it's made of stainless steel); and can handle 38s, 38+Ps, etc., and .357 ammo. My advice: do not get rid of it. I agree with those who stated that you should retain your Ruger and save up for an additional weapon that suits your needs.

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