First carry gun, SP101?

This is a discussion on First carry gun, SP101? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Before I go any farther, let me just say, I've been reading this forum for a little while and I'm impressed; you guys keep it ...

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Thread: First carry gun, SP101?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Pete Zaria's Avatar
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    Question First carry gun, SP101?

    Before I go any farther, let me just say, I've been reading this forum for a little while and I'm impressed; you guys keep it quite clean and you seem to have a nice online community here. I moderate on two other forums so I have respect for well-moderated forums, and I'll do my part to keep it clean.

    I'm a network administrator in my twenties. I grew up around guns (thanks, Dad) and have shot some competitive skeet and silhouette before. I've never really carried a weapon on my person regularly (though occasionally in my car). Due to some changes in my living arrangements and work location, I'll be filing for my CCW soon.

    Although I own several guns, none of them are well-suited for concealed carry; the smallest is a Beretta 21A (.22 mouse gun), and the next smallest is a 6" barrel revolver. I'm a reasonably small guy at 6'0 / 160lbs, so hiding a 6" revolver on my person without a winter coat is a virtual impossibility. Thus, I'm looking for a carry gun. Although I am on a bit of a budget, I understand that a good piece will last me a lifetime and am willing to shell out some bucks for a real keeper.

    I'm comfortable with both semiauto's and revolvers, but I lean towards revolvers. I figure that especially in a high-stress adrenaline-override panic mode, I should go with what I know best.

    I went to the local range and tried out a few weapons, including a Springfield XD in .45, a Glock 9mm, a Walther 9mm, two variants of 1911, and a few revolvers. Of the semi's, I think I liked the XD the best.
    But the gun that really caught my eye was a Ruger SP101 .357 Mag with a 3" barrel. It felt solid in my hand, was very "pointable", and .357 Mag has the knockdown power I'd like with recoil I can manage.

    My only real concern about is it the 5 shot capacity. After reading a few books (In the Gravest Extreme, Armed Reponse, etc...) I've learned that most civilian combat happens in a 3-7 yard range, and usually concludes with less than five rounds, but there's always that "what if" question.

    I guess my question to you all is, in my position, what would you recommend for a CCW weapon? I'm partial to that Ruger but am open to suggestions.

    I understand that carrying a firearm is probably the biggest responsibility any of us will ever undertake next to fathering children, and I've seriously considered all of the moral, legal, and ethical aspects of it.

    I appreciate any input, and hope I haven't rambled too much.

    Peace,
    Pete Zaria.

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  3. #2
    B52
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    Senior Member Array B52's Avatar
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    My first was an SP101, which I still have and love. I am now carrying a Glock30. I like the automatics more because of the higher capacity. I think 5 rounds of 357 will suit you fine, but a little more can never hurt. SA XD45compact and Glock 30's are an excellent choice. I also carry a SA 1911 Champion in the winter, trust me once you start your collection you will want to add a good 1911.

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    Member Array ENSANE1970's Avatar
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    I'm not a huge wheelie fan, but I'm getting there. Taurus has a .357 in 3-6 inch range, with an 8 shot cylinder, in around the 450 price range. I know alot of people think Taurus is junk, but I've had nothing but good experinces with them. I believe it's the model 608, a bit more chunky than the 101, but alot of bang for the buck. Just my 2 cents though, good luck and welcome to the forum.
    If you want a battle of the wit's, please come armed.

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    Member Array skippythenurse's Avatar
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    Taurus 85 - 38spl. isn't so bad. I bought this revolver for $200 at a pawn shop complete with original case. Brand new will probably be close to $300 to $350 if you look hard enough.

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    Member Array S3ymour's Avatar
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    I love the reliability of revolvers, but I don't want to get into a situation and have to say, hmm I'm out....wish I had carried and auto...So I went with a XD 9mm SC 10+1 and an extra mag with 16. I'm also hoping to get a good BUG sometime soon.
    "All war is deception" --Sun Tzu
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    I carry a Taurus 605 whenever I can (my wife has claimed it). I love snubbies and shoot revlovers better than I do autos.

    Get the SP101 you will regret it if you don't
    Sometimes I wonder who the old man in the mirror is....

    Lord, Grant me a good sword and no need to use it.

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    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    One of Hoffner's IWB holsters and you might be able to carry that 6" revolver...

    I think the SP101 is a good choice. Did you shoot it at the range? The XD wouldn't be a bad choice either - assuming you are confident in manipulating a semi-auto under stress. I just ordered one of the S&W 327 Performance Center .357 Magnums for my wife. Its an 8 shot 2" barrel gun that uses moon clips - she'll probably carry .38 +Ps in it - possibly the Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel .357s. Anyhow there are a lot of choices out there but you're doing the right things and asking the right questions.

    Austin

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    Member Array xsquidgator's Avatar
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    The SP101 is a good carry gun, I have one and carry it often. I had the same likes and concerns you did, that is want something concealable, something powerful, might be a little concerned about only having 5 shots though. In my case (lots of places I can't carry and can't avoid) I unload my pistol and lock it in a car safe/lockbox. Because of the loading/unloading every day, I like the revolver, don't have to worry about bullet setback from constantly loading and unloading an autoloader. 357 is plenty powerful too.

    I also have two small semi autos that I can pocket carry in the same holster that carries the SP101, one's a Kahr CW9 with 7+1 capacity, and the other's a Bersa T380CC with 8+1 capacity. Something along those lines or one of the other small pocket-carryable semiautos could work for you too, especially if you won't be unloading and reloading the firearm. Faster reload times certainly if it were necessary, at least for me.

    If I could dress casually with my fishing shirt as a cover garment all the time, my main carry would be one of my full size high-cap service pistols in 9mm or 45. But until then, these smaller guns are I think ok compromises.

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    Member Array dagor2k's Avatar
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    Hi Pete - I have been reading awhile too - excellent forum and I have been learning tremendously as a new ccw holder. I recently purchased an SP101 and it is great and has a nice consistent trigger pull. My wife handles .38 specials with it just fine and I have tried some .357's in there (what a ride!).. I need much more practice with it however before I feel confident. In the meantime I am using a Beretta mini cougar .40 for carry. I personally really enjoy the .357 (have a GP100) and its stopping power is outstanding. If you need to end something bad 'right away' , the .357 magnum is a solid choice. I don't worry about the hi-capacity issue much, but heh, I must admit I am saving for a G23 .. :-)

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    Senior Member Array Pete Zaria's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the uber-quick responses! I think I'll stick around this forum :)

    Quote Originally Posted by pgrass101 View Post
    I carry a Taurus 605 whenever I can (my wife has claimed it). I love snubbies and shoot revlovers better than I do autos. Get the SP101 you will regret it if you don't
    I've looked at the Taurus line, and only shot one once. I've read that they sometimes have lockup problems, but I'm not opposed to them. I'll try to shoot one before I make a decision, but I do like the feel of that SP101.

    Quote Originally Posted by aus71383 View Post
    One of Hoffner's IWB holsters and you might be able to carry that 6" revolver...

    I think the SP101 is a good choice. Did you shoot it at the range? The XD wouldn't be a bad choice either - assuming you are confident in manipulating a semi-auto under stress. I just ordered one of the S&W 327 Performance Center .357 Magnums for my wife. Its an 8 shot 2" barrel gun that uses moon clips - she'll probably carry .38 +Ps in it - possibly the Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel .357s. Anyhow there are a lot of choices out there but you're doing the right things and asking the right questions.

    Austin
    Though tempting, carrying a 6" .38 Spl isn't my cup of tea - I don't think it would feel very good after a long day. I'm glad I'm asking the right questions, anyway.

    The XD in .45 is the only big contender in my mind with a small-frame .357. I'll try a few brands of revolvers and try to shoot the XD .45 again before I make a final call. It'll probably be after Christmas before I'll be laying out the bucks on this one. Luckily, I have a close friend with an FFL license, which should make acquiring the gun a bit easier.

    How long does it generally take to actually get your permit after you file for your CWP?

    Thanks again, everyone.

    Peace,
    Pete Zaria.

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    Member Array dagor2k's Avatar
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    Couple weeks here in MN. That was the easy part - then there's the whole 'getting used to carrying' phase (wondering if I will set off alarms at wal mart :-)) (didn't). XD 45 is getting rave reviews - can't go wrong with that choice either.

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    Member Array xmenspidey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Zaria View Post
    My only real concern about is it the 5 shot capacity.
    You could always carry two of them. That way you would have 10 shots.
    There’s an old and true, military motto, “Si vis pacem, para bellum” - “If you want peace, prepare for war.”

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    Member Array sharpetop's Avatar
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    Hi Pete!

    Although I'm fairly new on this forum, I've been carrying handguns for 30+ years. The SP101 is a bit large and heavy for pocket carry, but a good IWB holster and good belt and you're good to go. Don't let the five round capacity discourage you from the SP101. If you like the feel and you shoot it well, go with it. FWIW, I have probably 10 concealable handguns in my safe and the five-shot, S&W 642 revolver is the one usually with me.

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    If you like the SP101, go for it. Its a good solid gun that will last longer than you will.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Member Array Para82's Avatar
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    I have both the SP101 in 3" barrel 357 mag and the XD45 4" service .Both are excellent firearms.The Ruger is a little big for my taste for pocket carry but really comfortable OWB in a good pancake holster. It is probably one of the last guns I would ever get rid of.You can't go wrong with either one. I pocket carry a S&W 637. Hope this helps you.
    Ron

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