RUGER SP101 .357M vs. SP101 .38+P


August 27, 2007, 02:15 AM
Ruger is offering the SP101 and GP100 series either in .357 Magnum or .38 Special +P chamberings.

I always thought that you could fire .38 Special +P through a .357 Magnum without an appreciable difference in accuracy. There must be a material difference in accuracy, however, or they wouldn't be offering .38 Special +P as a separate chambering.

Is my reasoning correct?

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August 27, 2007, 02:35 AM
Both are accurate guns and yes, you can fire the .38 Special +P round in a .357 Magnum revolver. I feel the reason they still offer both is some people want to buy a .38 Special, not a .357 Magnum. If you are using your revolver in PPC or other competitions you are probably firing light .38 Special loads. You can get some carbon build up in the front of the cylinder if you fire a lot of .38 Special rounds through a .357 Magnum.

August 27, 2007, 02:36 AM
Maybe you'll get groups that are a fraction of an inch smaller with the 38 but I doubt it. Besides these aren't target guns, they are defensive firearms and while you won't notice the difference in accuracy you will notice the extra power of the magnum loads if you decide to carry them. There's no reason not to have the .357 option that I can come up with.

August 27, 2007, 03:22 AM
Some private security companies and their armed guards are limited to no more than 38 Special revolvers either by corporate policy or in some cases state law. There are also some foreign countries who similarly limit chamberings of privately owned firearms. Then there are folks not restricted by law who still fire large amounts of .38 Special exclusively and do not care to have the 357 Mag length chambers. Whatever the reason Ruger must sell a good number of these .38 Special only revolvers since they remain a regular catalog item.

August 27, 2007, 09:51 AM
My SP101 shoots about 3" groups off bags at 25 yards with its best 38s and about an inch to a half inch better with it's favorite .357 loads. For a self defense revolver, that's very accurate with either round and the difference is moot. You're more the factor in placing the bullet at defense ranges than the gun is in either case. Just get the .357 and if you don't like the flash/bang or find yourself flinching, try .38s in it. It's a real sweet shooter with .38s and a fire breathing monster with the hot .357 stuff.

August 27, 2007, 03:42 PM
+1 on the 357 if you have a choice. Generally speaking, the 357 would also have a higher resale/trade value if those are possible future options (However, I'd never sell/trade my SP).

August 27, 2007, 08:33 PM
I got an SP101. I figured, when I was buying it, well, i might as well get a .38SPL, because i won't shoot mags in it anyway. But I ended up getting the .357mag verison because, what the hell, i might as well and that way I am not limited. BOY AM I GLAD I GOT THE 357!!!!! It turns out 357 mag is easy to shoot out of this gun (with hogue grips), and I really like having them for defense!!!! The versatility cannot be rivaled. This is my "if i could only have one" handgun.

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