Ruger SP101 .357 Mag


November 17, 2006, 07:59 PM
I'm considering getting Ruger SP101 .357 Magnum as my first revolver.

Please give me your oppinion on this handgun. Your experience with it.

Pictures would be great as well!

Thank you all!

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the pistolero
November 17, 2006, 08:09 PM
Great little snubby, built like a tank as all Ruger wheelguns are. It's a bit on the heavy side, though, maybe a little cumbersome for CCW. As for it being your first revolver, you might not want to go that route. Full-house magnum loads through that gun are a good way to get into the habit of flinching. It's not so bad with .38 Special, though, but if I'd had it to do over again my first wheelgun would have been something bigger, like the 4" GP-100 I have now. I think it would have been a better way for me to get used to the .357 Magnum cartridge, but to each his own, though. Again, though, it's a great gun.

November 17, 2006, 08:13 PM
No firsthand experience with them, but I knew folks that carried them, and the shop back home I used to work for sold quite a few of them. Unlike a S&W J Frame they're a bit big for front pocket carry. They fall about halfway between S&W's J and K frames. If I didn't have my S&W M66 snubby (6 shot 357 Mag K Frame), or couldn't find a good used one (K-Frame 357 Mags are discontinued), the SP-101 would be my next choice. They're a sleek and tough gun. Their slighly larger than J frame dimensions make them a better choice for 357 Mag in my opinion. The little bit extra size and weight goes a long way. The size would make them easy to carry and conceal IWB. For an all purpose carry revolver I think it's one of the best options out there. Just a darn good proven gun that's real hard not to like.

November 17, 2006, 08:17 PM
Pictures would be great as well!The search function is your friend:

November 17, 2006, 08:22 PM

Mine has been great. I've had absolutely no problems with it of any kind. It's tough as nails and very dependable.

I'd give it a "highly recommended" status.

Hope that helps.

Take care,

November 17, 2006, 08:25 PM
I admire your spunk. I started with a .38spl (S&W m37 airweight) and with .38+P I get a pretty lively ker-pow out of it :D The thing about the S&W airwieghts is they are so concealable without warping your clothing...that is, they don't pull down one side of your slacks (or skirt, in my case):neener: and they just DISAPPEAR under even a lightweight shirt, top, or sweater. I wear the m37 during Houston summers when a tee shirt and capri pants or lightweight denim skirt is my usual clothing and I've never been made and it never shows. Literally it shows no more than a small cell phone.

Now, they're not target pistols either, LOL, but they will do.

I can't speak to the 101, but I'd offer the S&W airweight snubbies as an alternative. My $.02, highly overinflated as always. :D


November 17, 2006, 08:50 PM
Have had one for 9 or 10 years now. Great little revolver and real fun to shoot, even with the hotter loads. It's quite managable and pretty darn accurate.

Working Man
November 17, 2006, 08:54 PM
Man I want a 2 1/4" one!!!!
I may have to break down and get it at the market hall show on the 25th.
That'll make the 5th gun this year. :eek: No wonder I can't save money. :rolleyes:
Help I'm afflicted.... thank the heavens I don't have a C&R yet.

PS... I have shot one.... :D :D :D nuf said.

November 17, 2006, 09:18 PM
It was my first gun and in all the "if you had only one (two, three, etc.) it usually manages to make the list. Like the round itself it can do a little bit of everything and do it pretty well.

November 17, 2006, 11:08 PM
The SP-101 is a good carry revolver, but a GP-100 would make a better first revolver IMO, if you're not going to carry it. It's easier to shoot with all types of ammo and has a better trigger.

Stephen A. Camp
November 17, 2006, 11:15 PM
Hello. If interested, here are some observations and photographs of a 3 1/16" SP101:

Since the GP100 was mentioned previously, here are similar observations on a 3" version:


November 17, 2006, 11:26 PM
Very good gun. You'll probably want to get the Wolff spring calibration pack for it. Dry fire a couple thousand times with the normal springs to break in the internals, then mess with springs until you find a combination you like.

November 17, 2006, 11:36 PM
I carry one IWB daily and find it very easy to conceal. A bit too heavy for pocket carry and the recoil is noticible. If you need a gun for concealed carry NOW then I say go for it. Some practice with other full size revolvers first will help you be a better shooter though. Good luck with whatever you decide on.

BTW for its size I can't think of anything more pleasant to shoot .357 out of.

November 17, 2006, 11:38 PM
They're a great little .357mag, a tad heavy for CCW but definitely doable.


November 17, 2006, 11:52 PM
I've also been looking at them. They're downright beautiful IMO.

But I'm 18, so untill I happen upon a guy in FL who wants to sell one, I'm out of luck.

So I hope you like it, and if you don't, let me know.

November 18, 2006, 01:56 AM
I've got three of them and can't speak highly enough of them. For simply home defense and range use I'd get a GP-100 but if you plan to carry concealed then the SP is the way to go. It's about the only snubbie I can actually enjoy shooting.

November 18, 2006, 03:26 AM
I have been concealing one for over 6 years now. I think it would make a fine choice as a first revolver.

Beware. I currently have zero semi-autos now. Revolvers can become addicting.

November 18, 2006, 08:18 AM
If you plan on carrying it go with the 2 1/4", holster for the 3" are hard to find.
That said I have a 3" and love the thing. Added the Wolf springs and a Trijicon night sight.

November 18, 2006, 10:34 AM
i have a 3" SP101 & i L O V E it. as far as holsters go, almost any custom maker can make a holster for a 3". i have one coming from Tucker soon.

November 18, 2006, 10:36 AM
just get it, you'll like it and they're inexpensive too.

Ben Shepherd
November 18, 2006, 12:27 PM
I carry one daily, have for 7 years now. Here's my take:

Yes, it's a little heavy. This is a good thing though, as the weight helps tame the 357s recoil.

You will most likely find that full house 158 grain loads match up POA/POI.

Get a good belt and holster.

Mine is appraoching 70,000 rounds, still just fine. If anything it's better than new, as the trigger has smoothed out quite a bit with use.

Also reccomend houge mono-grips. Having my pinky on the grip, rather than under it helps speed up rapid fire quite a bit. MUCH better control of recoil.

November 18, 2006, 03:50 PM
I have one in my pocket know. One of my favorite carry guns. I have only shot full house 357mag. in it and its no problem.

November 18, 2006, 05:06 PM
Mine is appraoching 70,000 rounds, still just fine.

HOLY BULLETS, BATMAN! :what: :what: :what:

Did you really mean 70,000?????? How long have you had it? And I have to ask...what have you had to replace along the way?


Ben Shepherd
November 18, 2006, 05:19 PM
Yep, 70,000. Had it about 7 1/2 years. Barrel tried to unscrew once around the 20,000 mark. Since then no problems.

I have noticed the front sight is actually worn down and rounded off a little though. It's on its third set of houge mono grips. Wore the other 2 pair out.

One other thing:

Other than about 4 boxes of 38, all of them have been full snort 357 rounds.

November 18, 2006, 05:32 PM
I carry this one every day, IWB. I love this gun!

November 18, 2006, 07:14 PM
Ordered mine today. $395 spurless. I thought that was a little pricey.

All I need now is a good IWB hoslter for 1 oclock carry. ANy sugestions?

November 18, 2006, 07:23 PM
Kramer Gunleather makes an excellent IWB for up to the 3"bbl version of the SP 101. In fact, I have similiar holsters for my 1911/G19/686+, they're that good!

November 18, 2006, 07:31 PM
If you want a snub nosed .357 that you can shoot full house loads through without having your hand feel like you slammed it in a car door, the SP101 is the ticket.

Very good concealed carry piece. With a good belt & holster, you'll forget it's there.

November 19, 2006, 01:06 PM
They are built like a tank!! A gun to have for a lifetime and then hand down! Can't say enough good things about the SP101s.
Here is the first one - I made a mistake and sold it. Bought my next one a couple of months later

November 19, 2006, 07:51 PM
I bought one secondhand a couple of weeks ago. Shot it for the first time a couple of days ago. It packs quite a punch compared to my smaller cal. autos. I have been carrying it in a Desantis pocket holster and a IWB/SOB holster. I really like this gun.:)

Any other specific recommendations for IWB holsters?:confused:

Anybody have any easy way to clean the cylinders? Mine had a serious build-up that came out with a .40 bore brush wrapped in a lead-away patch, but it took a lot of work.:banghead:

November 19, 2006, 11:39 PM
bulbboy, who makes those grips?

Ben Shepherd
November 20, 2006, 03:08 PM
Most of my leather comes from Eric over at

Stand up guy, high quality work. Posts here on THR under the handle PCRCCW.

November 20, 2006, 07:03 PM
Curious if anyone else with a Houge grip on a 101 finds it a tight fit when using speed loaders. I've had this gun/grip combo for 10 or 12 years (and love it except for that) wondering if they changed it or not. Thanks.

Ben Shepherd
November 20, 2006, 07:18 PM
They are just a touch tight. But the pros far outweigh the cons easily in my book.

November 21, 2006, 12:23 AM
Wonderful gun - built like a tank!! I made the mistake of selling my first one so I bought a new one a couple of months later!! You won't have any regrets!!

November 21, 2006, 04:12 PM
Nice grips!
I've been looking to trade my GP100 for an SP101 .357 for pocket carry.

November 21, 2006, 05:55 PM
Carry a spurless daily and have for several years. Shot it alot too. .38s feel about like .22s to me, .357s are far more controllable than those exotic metal revolvers. I've tried shooting those and they are no fun. I had mine ported to speed up second shots with full house .357s and it helps. The trigger was a little stiff, but it has greatly improved with use. I wouldn't be afraid to buy one used, I can't imagine wearing one out.

November 21, 2006, 06:41 PM
What a great gun. I have one and will never part with it.

The weight is great for magnum loads, but not too heavy when a good holster is used. Current leather artists that excel at their craft include Brommeland, DelFatti, Kramer, Bulman, Sparks etc.... I'm sure there are others that I have failed to mention.

If you want a custom gun, check out Gemini Customs web site. Mark Morganti has turned a lot of SP101's into works of art.

Good luck.


November 22, 2006, 12:56 AM

Can't say enough about how good this SP-101 handles .357 rounds. Marc does great work!


November 22, 2006, 06:43 AM
I have a SP-101 w/3" barrel, finest small frame revolver I have ever handled. Would not trade it for anything reasonable. I had, at one time, a S&W J-frame model 60-15, it was not near the revolver the Ruger is, in my opinion.

November 22, 2006, 09:42 AM
You'll never regret getting the .357 SP101.
However,the factory grips were too small for me. I searched the various forums and Hogues were considered by some folks too big and sticky for CCW, I considered Pachmayr for a while also. Since I wanted some recoil surpression, wood was out. I put a pair of Trausch grips on and they fit my hand perfectly. That was the only modification I made.

November 22, 2006, 11:24 AM
The SP-101 is not too heavy for CCW. It is much lighter than my daily carry (1911A1 loaded with nine 230 gr JHP).

It's the best concealable revolver I've ever owned. I've had it for 13 years. It's not a target revolver. You'll appreciate how it's built when you pull that trigger five times in 1 seconds at ten feet.

I don't get my knuckles bruised with the SP-101.

On the other hand, a Scandium will always be unpleasant.

November 22, 2006, 01:18 PM
I've had my 3 1/16" for over 3 years and it's exremely accurate for it's size. It doesn't matter whether I use 357s or 38s, it still shoots very accurate at close range and isn't that hard to handle.

November 22, 2006, 04:38 PM
I have an order into Gemini Customs for a SP101 2.25" will be my first revolver. Getting the bead-blasted finish, tritium night sights and Hogue grip. Kind of pricey but I'm SGJNK (single, good job, no kids). There are worse things to spend my money on. All interactions with Marc have been great; he's been terrific explaining all the details to a relatively new shooter. Can't wait for my early Christmas gift! :)

Ed Ely
November 22, 2006, 07:13 PM
What else could one ask for that the Ruger
SP-101 does not have?! A must have for
every CCer.


November 23, 2006, 12:46 AM

November 23, 2006, 09:08 AM

What a nice looking gun. I've had Marc do some work on a S&W 625, and it was outstanding. I can't wait to acquire a 3 inch Ruger and send it to Marc.

Great looking weapon. Did Marc hybraport yours?


November 23, 2006, 07:31 PM
I have both the 2.25" & 3.25" versions that I carry. The 2.25" version is hammerless (Double Action Only).

I carry them both IWB in a Tucker Heritage

or OWB in a Don Hume 721 OT

November 23, 2006, 08:19 PM

Congrats on a great lookin' pair of 5-shot 6-shooters! And the leather is nice too!

Can you elaborate on the 'carry' difference between the 2.25" and the 3.25" SP101? Does the extra inch get in the way when sitting down in the car, i.e. hitting the seat or seat belt, etc.? I generally carry a S&W 60 [2.25" barrel] OWB in a Simply Rugged Pancake holster and it is a nice fit and doesn't get in the way at all, just curious about the extra bit of length.

Also, does the hammer of your SP101 ever 'poke' you in the side? Or is that one reason you also have a hammerless version?

I have two of the S&W 60 .357 snubbies and love them, but every time I see a good lookin' example, like yours, of the SP101, I get the bug to add one of those to my collection. I do not like the stock Ruger grips; rather I am a fan of wood grips or other smooth grips that do not 'stick' to clothing when carrying.

November 23, 2006, 09:33 PM
My first handgun was a NIB DA only SP-101 .357magnum. It had a hammerless design that worked well for protection/CC.

I paid about $330.00USD in 1993. Now the same SP-101 runs around $450.00USD in some gun shops :rolleyes: .

I highly support the Ruger SP-101. It's heavy for a small frame revolver but strong. CrimsonTrace makes lasergrips for the Ruger SP 101 and you can get custom work from gunsmiths like Clark Custom Guns and .


November 24, 2006, 08:01 AM
WHW - Thanks for the compliment - I absolutely love the work Marc did and I am sure you will too when you get the 3". I had Marc source the 3" SP-101 when I was deciding on the package to be done. By the time you factor in shipping and taxes back and forth, the price he gave me made it a no brainer.

PottyDoctor - I was somewhat surprised to see that my SP-101 in a Matt Del Fatti LP holster (I have the 3" and Crimson Trace grips) was the same overall height as my Kimber CDP Pro (4" 1911) in the same LP style holster. From a concealability standpoint, it's a wash. I bought the SP-101 initially for my wife's HD weapon, but I have no problem carrying it for myself - the porting really helps to control the recoil and with the right loads, the blast coming from the gas escaping through the ports is not noticeable.

November 24, 2006, 08:32 PM
Where'd you guys get your Ruger SP101's?
I'm on the lookout for one and am having a hard time finding a .357 2.25" barrel model for under $400. Even used guns are up in the mid-high $300's. Kinda hard to swallow on my budget.:confused:

November 24, 2006, 08:47 PM
My first choice for CCW is the S&W640 - it's a bit smaller and I like the concealed hammer design.

However, the SP101 will easily handle .357 loads that will make your hand sting with the 640.

I sold my first SP101 and regretted doing so shortly thereafter.
I've recently bought another, and it's breaking-in nicely.:)

The SP101 must be among the most durable of all revolvers.

November 25, 2006, 10:40 AM
Where'd you guys get your Ruger SP101's?
I'm on the lookout for one and am having a hard time finding a .357 2.25" barrel model for under $400. Even used guns are up in the mid-high $300's. Kinda hard to swallow on my budget.

NIB for $390 at a local gun store for a 2.25'". Check at

Ruger SP101 .357 Mag 2" Satin Stainless (KSP-321XL) Buy Now $366.09

good luck

November 25, 2006, 11:47 AM
I love my SP101 with 2.25" barrel. :p

You couldn't force me to sell it!!


November 25, 2006, 06:35 PM (

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