Little Help - Ruger Sp101


June 22, 2008, 09:32 PM
Price being the same, is there much of a difference in the 2 1/4" and 3 1/16" barrels? Accuracy is my only real question. I carry a full size S&W M&P40 in "cool weather" when jackets or bigger clothes are needed. So, which SP101 would you all go with, and is a SP101 to heavy for a warm weather CCW? Any and all thought are welcome. Thanks All.

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June 22, 2008, 09:41 PM
I don't know about the difference in barrel length being a factor, but the 2 1/4" SP101 I carry is as accurate as it needs to be. I don't do any worse with it than the 4" revolvers I have. As for carry, it's not a pocket gun. Your weather is probably a lot like here, and the SP101 is what I carry. I used to carry either a M&P9, or a Cougar. The SP101 is a lot easier to conceal, at least to me.

June 22, 2008, 09:47 PM
I went with the 2.25" barrel. In an AKJ Concealco IWB holster on a Beltman belt it easily carries under an untucked shirt in the summer time. If I need smaller than that, or a backup to the SP, then the LCP is in the pocket.

June 22, 2008, 10:04 PM
I had a 3" that was really easy to shoot, even with some hot .357 load. Lots of fire out of the end of the barrel. Anyway, now that I carry, I would have to go with the 2.25" barrel and the bobbed-hammer of the DOA. The 3" isn't much longer, but I think the 2" would be a tad lighter and shorter, a plus with carry. For a house/car gun, the 3" is perfect. I have since traded my 3" and have a lighter j-frame, but it's .38 only.

the SP101 is a tank, easy to maintain, work on, and easy on recoil. good gun.

June 22, 2008, 10:19 PM
I bought one of those long barreled SP101's for CCW last winter. My next buy will be 2.25" model. A little too much for me to hide, and holsters are harder to find. Mine is great for glove-box and nightstand duty though.

June 22, 2008, 10:24 PM
I'm a huge fan of the 3". Holsters really aren't all that hard to find (they are a little harder than the 2" but not by much), They carry same as the 2", and I find accuracy to be much better.

My 3" points very nicely, so I can get accurate shots on target faster.

June 22, 2008, 10:55 PM
The 3" length gives you more sighting radius and a full length ejector rod. One of these days I'll get around to replacing my 2.25" with a 3", which is what I wanted when I bought this one--I just couldn't resist buying it for the price they wanted.

June 22, 2008, 11:42 PM
My daughter and daughter in law each have a 3", both chosen by them, not by me. The only SPs I have shot have been 3" guns. My experience prior to that has always been that 3" guns are much more forgiving and easier to shoot than 2" ones.

I am happy with what I have in that category, but would definitely opt for a 3" every time, save for a pocket weapon.

For that the S&W 442 is king.

June 23, 2008, 02:36 AM
there will be a major difference in accuracy

June 23, 2008, 03:33 AM
I have a 3" SP101.
Since they're too heavy for pocket carry (IMHO), barrel length isn't really too important.
I carry my SP101 in either an IWB holster with a shirt drapped over it, or in an OWB holster if I'm wearing a covering garment (sports coat, for example).

The 3" barrel is a nice shooter. Never shot or even handled an SP101 in the 2.25" barrel, so I cannot comment on that one.

June 23, 2008, 04:19 AM
There's very little inherent accuracy difference between two barrels of differing lengths unless one does not impart proper spin to the bullet.

The primary advantage of a longer barrel is longer sight radius, which makes it much easier to put said piece of lead where you desire it.

June 23, 2008, 10:25 AM
I had a 2.25". If I get another , it'll be the 3" version. It's not a pocket gun and the extra barrel, while it really helps the sight radius, is just as concealable IWB and only an ounce difference in weight. the 2" wasn't that hard to shoot, though, but the 3" in my experience is quite a bit better. I'm pretty decent with snubbies, but only choose that short barrel in a pocket or ankle holster gun where concealment is at issue.

June 23, 2008, 10:36 AM
Also, I think that 3" barrel is purtier. A small(ish) frame .357 w/ 3" barrel is just dead sexy, IMO. :D

June 23, 2008, 12:24 PM
Many sworn LEOs and gun writers have said that the 3" is better for a carry/duty .38spl than a 2 or 2 1/4" barrel. I would say for the heavy weight of the Ruger SP-101 the 3 1/16" barrel makes it worth it. ;)
2" barrels are good but I'd get a airweight or lightweight framed Taurus or S&W J frame for that size.


June 23, 2008, 12:56 PM
I have carried both the 2.25" and 3.06" SP-101s in an IWB holster on the hottest of days (temps around 100 degrees F and humidity above 60%) with no issues. I now have two of the 3.06" versions after learning that the added barrel length is not an issue in carry, is easier to shoot with accuracy, and provides a bit more velocity.

The SP-101 needs a bit of work to soften the rough edges before being ready to carry. The biggest issue is the sharp edges of the trigger need to be broken or radiused.

June 23, 2008, 01:13 PM
What he said, ... but I would add that, if you shoot much SA, then the hammer checkering might need just a tad of softening. On mine, as issued, a hardened steel thumb would not slip on it. There does seem to be some variance from one to the next though; for example, my trigger was fine. So go for the 3"; also Simply Rugged ( makes a great handmade leather pancake holster that can be IWB or out; mine is a nice example of American (Alaska) made handwork.

June 23, 2008, 07:42 PM
The three incher looks better. I do have a 2" 10 I will relate some 'accuracy' examples with. Once you learn the bullet drop for the particular round, if you do your part, hitting a 12"-16" steel plate at 100-110yd with the 2" 10 hand-held is do-able. It really aggrivates the hunters at the range who have spent all day trying to hit those plates with their scoped rifles - from a rest!

The longer barrel, in theory, will help tighten up your groups - but, more importantly, it affords a longer sight radius, making greater precision with your targetting.

The biggest problem - with most new SP101s - is the rough and stiff trigger. The lockwork is easily improved - much of the required work is simply removing burrs. Weaker springs help - the trigger return also securing the trigger group to the frame. A weaker spring there really helps the subsequent trigger group removal. The hammer spring can stand some lightening, too. I cleaned up my 4" .32M SP101 - and put the lightest Wolff springs in it - it still popped every primer I tried - and had a great trigger, too - really sweet - but, after all, it is just a smaller scale copy of the excellent GP100/SRH lockwork - and that from an S&W fan!


June 24, 2008, 11:11 AM
I carry and SP 101 3 1/8" bbl version in a thin Kramer IWB leather holster in shorts and an untucked shirt - gun just disappears. It should no problem unless the shirt is kinda tight.

June 24, 2008, 09:49 PM
I carry a 3" GP100 off duty in a Milt Sparks Summer Special II.

If you are going to carry IWB then I would suggest the 3" gun. If you are going to carry OWB then go for the 2 1/4". My second gun is a 2 1/4" SP101 in a Milt Sparks PMK on the weak side, behind the hip. The J-Frame is on the ankle, or in my weak side pocket if I'm wearing shorts. The GP100 is behind the strong side hip.

My recommendation, depends on how you are going to carry it. :)


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