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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The SP-101 is (in my opinion) one of the best concealed carry revolvers ever made. It’s pretty much perfect just the way it is. The three most common modifications to the 101 are the addition of front night sight, changing the springs and probably the MOST common is changing the grips. There are 4 common types of SP101 grips The stock, the Hogue, the Pachmyr and the Badger or Eagle (secret service) boot grip. There are a few others but they are not as common. For example the Uncle Mikes boot grips and the Crimson Trace laser grips. My aim here is to give a run down of the pro’s and cons of the grips I own. I will also rate the grips in 4 categories.

Concealability - How well do the grips conceal? Are they “grabby”?
Comfort - How do the grips feel in hand while firing full house .357 loads
Control - How much control do the grips afford the user while firing the 101
Aesthetics - How do the grips look?

I will use a simple 1-10 rating scale with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best.



First up lets start with the Original

The stock SP-101 grips are good grips without a doubt. As far as I am concerned they set the baseline for all the others. You could buy a 101 and never change the grips and I don’t think you would be missing much. They have the nice added bonus of being able to change out the side panels for various looks and feels (well, looks more then feel). There are quite a few people out there on the Internet making custom grip inserts.

Stock.JPG

Concealability - 7 -

Comfort - 8-

Control - 8 -

Aesthetics - 7 -


Hogue Mono Grip
Hogue Monogrip Grips Ruger SP101 Rubber Black - MidwayUSA

If I was going to open carry a 101 I would probably choose the mono grip. It affords the best control and comfort of any of the grips. They are however EXTREMELY “grabby” meaning that clothing has a tendeny to stick to them. I do not recommend these for a concealed carry SP-101 as not only will your shirt stick to them the added length can make printing a issue. If control and comfort are your primary concerns the Mono Grip might be the way to go.

Hogue.JPG

Concealability - 6 -

Comfort - 10-

Control - 10 -

Aesthetics - 6 -


Pachmayr Compac Grip
Pachmayr Compac Grips Ruger SP101 Rubber Black - MidwayUSA

I apologize, I do not have a picture of my 101 wearing these as I gave them to a friend a few months ago. I did however test them out. These are good grips. All categories are good. They are less grabby then the Hogues but also a tab bit less comfy and not quite as easy to control as they are made of of a less spongy material. Personally I think they are a bit ugly. On a side note some people (not myself) have reported that they have issues with the way they fit. Maybe a bad batch made it out of the the factory. They are a bit more concealable then the stock 101 grips because they are slightly more rounded. Other then that I don’t consider them to really excel in anything.

Pachmayr.jpg

Concealability - 8 -

Comfort - 8 -

Control - 8 -

Aesthetics - 6 -



Badger Boot Grip / Eagle Secret Service Grip
Ruger Pistol Grips
Ruger SP101 Secret Service Grips - Eagle Grips Inc.

I grouped these together as they are the same basic design. First let me say these are the prettiest grips I have even seen! I know I know... Looks don’t matter on a defensive gun... That may be true but it doesn’t change the fact they are pretty! They are also highly concealable. The steeper grip angle + the slick material + the very rounded design make these the most concealable grip out there. On the downside the same material slickness that contributes to their great concealibility also detracts from controllability because with very dry hands the gun is a bit more difficult to grip. On the other hand though these grips gain a point in controlablity because the steeper grip angle automatically places your hand very high on the grip and close to the bore axis of the gun. Anyone that shoots revolvers will generally tell you this is good as it funnels the recoil back instead of up (muzzle flip). Also, hard wood is not very comfortable for extended range sessions with .357 however it’s fine for .38’s. Keep in mind that if you purchase these grips you need to let them know to shave them down for speed loaders or else they won’t work.

Badger.JPG

Concealability - 10 -

Comfort - 6-

Control - 8 -

Aesthetics - 10 -



Uncle Mikes Boot Grip
<No longer Produced>

It sucks these aren’t made anymore because they are pretty nice grips! The smaller form factor makes them conceal well. The material they are made out of makes them comfortable to shoot and offers good control. If you can find a set of these used they are worth picking up. They are nothing special to look at but aren’t unpleasing to the eye either. All in all I would say they are the 2nd best grip for the SP101. If something ever happens to my Badger's I will put these on as a replacement.

Uncle Mikes.JPG

Concealability - 8 -

Comfort - 8 -

Control - 8 -

Aesthetics - 8 -


I have not tried either of the crimson trace laser grip available for the SP101 so I can not comment on them other then saying I am not a huge fan of lasers. While I am by no means a expert on 101 grips or the 101 I would by happy to try to answer any questions anyone has about the subject.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Darn good review, Rollo.

Do all of the grips allow equal speedloader access?
They all do except for the Badger's which you can request to have shaved down to accommodate them. I am not sure if Eagle offers the same service or if they work out of the both with loaders.
 

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Very informative, a revolver is just what a gun should be!
 

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They all do except for the Badger's which you can request to have shaved down to accommodate them. I am not sure if Eagle offers the same service or if they work out of the both with loaders.
I guess that's one of the advantages of using speedstrips,..no need to worry about grip girth and indentation/access for loading. But THAT'S a discussion for another Thread.. :wink:

The Badgers do make the Piece more compact, for sure.
 

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Great review, Rollo. I started out changing to Pachmayr and the grips just didn't fit right. I had to shim the grip screw to try to keep them tight. I went back to the stock grips and could never get comfortable with them and decided to give the Hogue Monogrip a try. The Hogue grip is still on the 101 and I'm happy with it. It isn't pretty and extends the length of the grip a little, but it is secure, fits my hand fine, accepts a speed loader, and is at a price that is hard to beat.
 

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I am currently using the Pachmyr Compac on my SP101. For me it's the best for comfort and control. It's easily concealed and looks great IMO.

2nd choice for me would be the original grip. I have several sets of panel inserts and they look pretty good to me. Comfort when shooting mag loads is not as good as the Pachmyr.

3rd choice would be the Hogue. I could live with it.

I really dislike the looks of the Badger Grips on any gun. They are uncomfortable, gaudy, and slippery in my not so humble opinion. They wouldn't be an option I would consider.
 

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Great assessment Rollo, and I agree with your ratings. I'm glad that you have found your comfort zone with the SP101. I know you went through a lot of different firearms with various issues before you found the one that really fit your needs. I'm not at all surprised that the SP101 was the one. To me, it's the ultimate carry piece.

My SP101 still sports the factory grips with the factory inserts. I've shot it a lot with them on there, they're fairly comfortable and I'm able to be accurate with them so I've not felt the need to change them out. I'm looking around for a pair of nice wooden inserts to give it a little more of a classic revolver look, but just haven't gotten around to it yet. If I ever find a pair of old school looking classic wooden revolver grips made to fit the SP101, those will be the ones I would consider switching to.

I've got 15 handguns (I think), and if I had to pick only 1 to keep for all of my needs, it would be my SP101. They're awesome carry pieces. All stainless steel with no MIM parts. Durable, reliable, and versatile. Between the two barrel lengths, two hammer options, spring kits, various loads in both .38 and .357, and various grip configurations it can be set up to fit anyone of any ability level without impeding function. That's pretty cool in my book.
 

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The original factory grips were one thing that really impressed me about shooting the SP101 with full-power .357 Magnum loads. Really nice in my view.
 
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The Badger grips are wonderful, but the set I had split out along the backstrap after about 100 rounds of hot Remington 125gr. loads. They look great, feel great and work wonderfully, and Jim Badger is a great guy, but if my set is a representative example, I'd suggest getting them in Corian, rather than wood.
 

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Very nice review. I would only disagree with the stock grip. IMO it sucks. I dont like the way it feels or looks. I use the mono and have been happy with it. I wear a undershirt so its not to grippy IWB. Thanks for the review.
 

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Rollo - Thanks for the great review. Your review included the Badger boot grip. Could you please comment/review the Badger full grip using the 4 criteria? Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Rollo - Thanks for the great review. Your review included the Badger boot grip. Could you please comment/review the Badger full grip using the 4 criteria? Thanks!
I wish I could but I do not own the full grip. From looking at the two however I would guess that controlability would go up a notch (the increased length would provide a more secure grip) and concealability would go down a notch as the increased length would likely print a bit more. Comfort may gain .5-1 point as well from the increased length. That's just my guess though.
 

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Wow Rollo! Great review! I agree with your assessments as well. I tried a set of the Badgers and they are great grips but they just didn't work for me. I stuck with the factory grips and like them the best. Now I just have to sell the Badgers and find a set of fancy schmancy inserts then I'm good to go. I also enjoyed your 3 months with the sp101 review!
 

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My choice are shown below . For me they are the best combat grip though not the most pleasing to the eye. View attachment 24309

Click to enlarge.
Actually it was a picture you posted some time ago that inspired me to try the Pachmyr compacs on my SP101. I find they soak up recoil better than the originals I was using and fit my hand just as well. As an added plus I do think they are pleasing to the eye.
 
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