SP101 : Hammer or Hammer-less???

This is a discussion on SP101 : Hammer or Hammer-less??? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; So I've done a lot of research, reading, and handled an SP101 and have come to the decision that this is the revolver I want ...

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Thread: SP101 : Hammer or Hammer-less???

  1. #1
    Member Array MBtech87's Avatar
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    SP101 : Hammer or Hammer-less???

    So I've done a lot of research, reading, and handled an SP101 and have come to the decision that this is the revolver I want to buy. It seems to have a flawless reputation, built to last, easy to manage recoil, all around good gun! I've developed somewhat of a thing for wheel guns lately, hmmm. I will buy it chambered in .357, I have good ammunition variety, I can handle the caliber, and the weight really isn't an issue for me.

    Today I went and looked at one, and although I was set on a hammered version (mostly due to the fact when you think revolvers, you think hammers, and its nice to be able to cock back trigger). All they had was one hammer-less, I really liked it, a lot. Besides obvious reasons of being able to draw without snagging, it looks a lot better aesthetically to me personally.

    How many of you guys have hammer vs. hammer-less or vice versa? Your opinions would be appreciated, and Pro's/Con's of going either way. Just trying to make that last decision before purchasing it. Thanks!
    Kimber Pro-Carry II .45 w/ 230gr Remington Golden Sabers
    Ruger SP101 DAO .357 w/ 125gr Speer Gold Dots

    "Try and fail is the manner of losers; try and learn is the way of the strong."

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  3. #2
    Member Array FLDXT's Avatar
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    I have a SP101 hammerless, in .357. I carry it concealed and love it. I kind of missed having a hammer for pinpoint shooting but I put a Wolf spring kit in it and love it. Great gun and built like a tank.

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    I grew up and became a LEO for a couple of years, so revolvers are very much part of my stash. In fact, as I age I find myself using these more often. Now, I get the whole hammer thing’ quite well, and yes, they are fun on the range. Still, for carry use I would recommend a shrouded (unexposed) hammer. There are a lot of reasons for this as I’m sure you'll find out as this thread unfolds. In fact, there is a good reason your gun shop only has that version in stock. Things like’ autonomic response, civil case histories, safety, stress, etc.
    Regards,
    Last edited by Saber; August 12th, 2009 at 06:09 PM. Reason: slew of typos'
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    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    All SP101s have hammers. Presumably, what is meant here is SPURS on the hammers. I have five SP101 revolvers, three with spurs, two without. Two of them with spurs have longer barrels, which makes sense, as they are the ones most likely to be used for general utility, which may include the desire for cocking the hammer on occasion.

    The absence of a spur is good for an absolutely snag-free draw from concealment, somewhat better concealment, and nothing to eat holes in your clothing.

    Some holsters have retention devices that fasten around a hammer spur. One reason I have one snubby-length SP101 without a spur is because I have an Andrews horizontal-style shoulder rig I occasionally wear, that has thumb-break retention.

  6. #5
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    MBtech87, if you want to shoot spurred and spurless SP101s, let me know via PM. I live in Bellaire.

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    Senior Member Array Danimal's Avatar
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    I like mine without.


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    Member Array glock45's Avatar
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    DAO
    G21SF, G30, G36, Ruger SP101 DAO, S&W 642

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    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    Just to be technical again, some early spurless SP101s are not DAO, and can be cocked. If the hammer looks like the one in Danimal's photo, that is a factory spurless DAO hammer. If there is a little valley, or dip, in the contour, it could be a spurred hammer modified by a 'smith, or it could be one of the early spurless factory hammers than can be cocked.

    Cocking such a hammer in the heat of battle would be a very unlikely thing, as the shooter must partially pull the trigger to allow the thumb to hook the top of the hammer itself.

  10. #9
    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    I have a 3" version w/Hammer and LOVE IT and I too agonized over which version to get. Having a collection of snubbys and the SP101, I believe it's simple:

    If it's a dedicated CCW pistol get the factory bobbed hammer version in the shorter barrel length. Install a Wolf reduced power spring and you're good to go.

    If the gun might also be used in the woods, fishing, etc. then I recommend the 3" version w/the hammer.

    I must say I feel a constant desire to get the 2" version w/bobbed hammer and have it customized by Gemini Customs for a dedicated CCW gun and just leave my 3" plain jane for a rougher gun. I wear mine when I work in the yard or woods and I don't mind if it takes a little bit of a beating.


    I will warn you that aftermarket grip selection for the SP101 guns is a bit more limited than other revolvers but there's still enough to make it interesting.

    I've tried 4 or 5 other grips but always come back to the stock OEM grips. They're not the best looking grip but one of the most functional.

    It's a good choice and seriously, consider the $8.00 wolf spring kit. Takes 10 minutes to change the main spring, it's easy to do and it dramatically improves the trigger. I've shot nearly a 1000 rounds since I did of all brands and it's proven 100% reliable.

    I'll blow your mind by telling you that when I bought mine, it actually locked up the first time I took it to the range. It started binding after a few cylinders of .357 and then locked up tight after some more. Fortunately no ammo was in it.

    I sent it back to Ruger under warranty and had it back in under 10 days door to door and it's sweet! When I sent it in I also mentioned how sharp the back of the trigger was and they worked that over too.

    You'll love it.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Array wormy's Avatar
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    I have a 3" SP-101 with the hammer. To me a revolver without a spur is missing something. I like having the hammer to shoot SA. (Snakes etc.) All my revolvers have spurs and I dont have snagging problems.
    Glock 22, 27 Gen 4
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  12. #11
    Senior Member Array crue2009's Avatar
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    the SP-101 was my first gun,well built great gun.however,i would NOT ever consider the hammered version.for concealed carry you want hammer-less!!

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    Senior Member Array Landric's Avatar
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    I have both a 2 1/4" DAO and a 3" DA/SA. Both are great and have their strong points. The 3" is a better belt gun, the 2 1/4" DAO is better for more carry options. I pocket carry mine pretty regularly. I got the DAO version first and I am completely happy with it. I don't think you can go wrong with either, but if I had to choose one, it would be the DAO.
    -Landric

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    Member Array Cloudpeak's Avatar
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    I bobbed the hammer on mine (along with doing the IBOK) "clean up" on internals on my 2 1/4 SP101. I also removed some sharp edges, especially on the trigger which, after a box of heavy loads, was painful. When working up loads, I like the ability to shoot it single action.

    Cloudpeak

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    Senior Member Array Danimal's Avatar
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    Cloudspeak,

    I likey those grips. What kind are they?

    I would have to second what others have said, and I recommend taking some 400 or finer sand paper to the back of the trigger. It has a tendency to pinch your trigger finger.

    I also changed out the mainspring housing spring as well....made it much smoother. There is a cool step by step video here:

    YouTube - Off the rack...Ruger SP101 Disassembly

    and then the re-assembly here:

    YouTube - Ruger SP101 Re-Assembly

  16. #15
    Distinguished Member Array pirate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wormy View Post
    I have a 3" SP-101 with the hammer. To me a revolver without a spur is missing something. I like having the hammer to shoot SA. (Snakes etc.) All my revolvers have spurs and I dont have snagging problems.
    I am with you on this. I have a SP101 with spur hammer and I like it that way. I have other options like the S&W 642 for "snag free" pocket carry if I choose too. I have never had any issue at all drawing the SP101 or any other revolver with a hammer spur for that matter from a holster IWB or OWB. If a revolver carrier is having snag issues, you just need to practice more and get comfortable making your presentation. A clumsy draw is usually a bi-product of lack of practice, and/or poor choice of clothing and holster.
    When I leave the home port:
    S&W 642 Airweight, Ruger SP 101, Colt Detective Spec., CZ RAMI, Kahr PM9, Kahr CW40, S&W Model 10-7, Glock 30, 19, and 26, Browning Hi Power, CZ82, Colt Commander, Dan Wesson PM7, Ruger LCP

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