SP-101 .357 magnum durable with "hot" rounds?


Southern Shooter
September 24, 2005, 08:40 PM
I understand that the Ruger GP-100 .357 magnum is able to digest many, many hot rounds. But what about the smaller SP-101?

Is the Ruger SP-101 .357 magnum with a 3 1/16" barrel capable of shooting hundreds maybe even thousands of heavy duty .357 ammunition? For example 180 grain rounds, etc..


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September 24, 2005, 08:45 PM
If talking factory loads then I'd say yes - possibly more so than any other make of small .357. I guess tho all guns can eventually ''shake loose'' but the Ruger is one tough gun.

If talking hottest homeloads then I still think the SP will outlast most other platforms comparable - but maybe eventually showing some signs of strain! :D

Old buddy from way back loaded 180's for his Blackhawk over a compressed charge of Blue Dot - HOT was not in it - but his gun was still in one piece last time I knew. :p

September 25, 2005, 01:35 PM
Your hand will wear out well before these guns do.

September 25, 2005, 02:11 PM
Try it. Let the rest of us know what happens. I suspect you'll loosen the gun up a bit, but it'll still be tighter than most other makes. I've never seen an SP101 that had been shot loose. Seen decent numbers of used ones. Seen a couple that had been blown, but these were reloader warning guns - double or more charges and some people who thought Ruger was invincible.

Old Fuff
September 25, 2005, 06:58 PM
First of this year I had a discussion about HEAVY .357 Magnum loads in snub-nosed or small revolvers, with an engineer from one of the smaller ammunition company's that turn out top-end loads.

He allowed that he was much more confortable when folks used them in larger framed guns, but otherwise the Ruger SP-101 was the ONLY smaller .357 Magnum he'd recommend to someone that planed to shoot any quantity of such ammunition.

September 26, 2005, 01:26 AM
I have the 2 1/4 inch and have fired well over a thousand rounds of 357 heavy loads with no problem.

Optical Serenity
September 26, 2005, 04:37 AM
Never had a problem with a SP-101 and factory loads, ever....

September 26, 2005, 06:05 AM

Thanks for another informative thread.

I'm in the market for a .357 revolver, and the Ruger SP101 is on my list of options, recommended by one of THR's newer members last night on another thread about .357s (and 9 mm) (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=157804).

Also on my list of .357s to consider: SW 600 series (686, 620) & 520; Ruger GP100.

If I may, I'd like to ask a question about another .357 proposed as an alternative to the SW 600 series and the Ruger GP's: revolvers. I'm curious about the similarities between it and the Ruger SP series.

In particular, I've got my eye on this revolver (http://www.taurususa.com/products/product-details.cfm?model=627SS4&category=Revolver).

My main interest in the Taurus Tracker's is its stainless steel, "compact frame" (implicitly smaller than their medium frame, which I assume is smaller than the SW and Rugers). I have small hands; therefore, the medium-sized Ruger GPs and SWs don't quite fit me. Clearly they're fine guns; but they're just slightly too large for comfort for me. The trigger pull distance (LoP?) doesn't feel right for me. Too long.

Taurus also produces an appealing option called Triad: compact frame .357 that accepts not only .38 spl, but even 9 mm.

I'd enjoy reading opinions about those Taurus pistols compared & contrasted to the Ruger SP101.

I'm most curious about these questions:

1) does either maker recommend a restricted diet for hot rounds?

2) do owners find good quality in those guns? If not, what needs fixing?

Information about any other characteristics of the Taurus Tracker or Triad v. the Ruger SP101s are welcomed.

Thanks in advance for opinions.



Brian Williams
September 26, 2005, 08:21 AM
The Taurus compact frame is the same size as a K frame and it only uses taurus grips with IIRC no aftermarket grips made. I had 2 and that is one of the big reasons I sold them.

One more thing all of the differences between a K and a L frame are all above the trigger. They use the same grips and triggers.

IMNSHO, Taurus are cheap copies of S&W

September 26, 2005, 10:55 AM
The Rugers, either the GP or SP, have a grip stud vs. a grip frame. Because of this the length of pull using custom grips can be reduced quite a bit. Herretts ( http://www.herrett-stocks.com/ ) will make custom grips to fit your size hand. You send them a hand tracing. It is not cheap but not much more than the Hogue exotic custom wood grips. Even with a grip frame it made quite a difference for me with a Ruger Redhawk as I have medium hands with short fingers. Width of grip also affects your trigger reach. Narrower grips may work for you. Compared to autoloaders there is a lot one can do in fitting a revolver to one's hand using different size and shape grips. Also, not all custom grips are the same relative to width, finger grooves, palm swell, etc. Size of gun, while having an effect, is not the only factor in length of pull. Various models and makes differ. The Colt Python, a medium frame, has about the longest pull of any revolver even exceeding a large frame S&W N frame. On the other hand the Colt Anaconda is significantly less in pull being a large frame to either the Python or N frame. The pull length was done sometime back by John Taffin over at sixgunner.com comparing a number of different guns.

As I mentioned the width of the grip affects trigger reach. Both the Ruger SP and GP have relatively wide grips around the back. By reducing both width and trigger reach with custom grips a major change can be made.

Ben Shepherd
September 27, 2005, 07:59 PM
Gentelmen If I may:

My sp101 has run over 50,000 rounds now of full power 357 loads(90% my handloads consisting of a 158gr HCSWC with enough 2400 to hit 1300 in it's 2 1/4" barrel). It's still tight, still accurate, forcing cone is fine.

Barrel tried unscrewing itsself around the 15,000 round mark. Ruger fixed it for free. No problems since.

So I say "shoot all you want, then go make more" :D

September 27, 2005, 08:03 PM

P. Plainsman
September 28, 2005, 02:58 PM
I like the design and size of the Taurus Trackers, and I like their "ribber" grip. But they're almost all ported, which is a deal breaker for me. Ports in a titanium .41 Mag, okay. I don't need, or want, ports in a steel-frame, holster-sized .357.

Taurus did a run of handy five-shot Trackers in .45 ACP and .45 Colt recently; a great concept for a defensive revolver. What spoiled them for me was the ports. So I didn't buy any.

September 28, 2005, 05:47 PM
About 3 months ago, I bought a new Taurus 455 (.45ACP) Tracker with a 2 inch barrel that didn't have the ports. I believe CDNN has some on closeout also. I really like the gun. Even more so without the ports. I don't know how widespread the nonported guns are throughout the line, though.

September 29, 2005, 07:11 PM
i've always liked the look of Taurus' Trackers

years ago when i looked at them and asked around, i heard some complaints about the quality of some of their products

in addition, the fact that they are not a domestic company was often brought to my attention

i have a limited amount of space and a couple of S&Ws which fit the bill, so i never looked into them again

as far as i know the quality control issues may have been resolved, i just haven't had the motivation to check them out with so many smiths and rugers out there which i would like to purchase first

it follows that i would go with a Smith and Wesson or Ruger before i would get a Taurus


September 30, 2005, 03:01 AM
so, from reading the above posts, i can say the following:

* porting is out. just say no to pistol ports.

* taurus is less appealing to me now.

* of sw v. ruger, ruger appeals most. has nothing to do with quality. clearly both are.
has everything to do with the way the GP100 fit my hand v. the 686. for others, it may be different.

* can't wait to fire a .357 at a target with concentric circles on it.

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