Gentlemen, your words of wisdom


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def
July 5, 2008, 02:27 AM
I've been looking to buy a revolver for quite some time now and I'm down to two options: 1) Ruger SP101, or the 2) Ruger New Vaquero (357 mag). Now, I know what you're thinking "Those are very different revolvers." Well, I know. However, I don't know which one I'm going to get.

As for the SP101, I like the fact that if I do go for a CCW (which I am very seriously considering), I'll have a CCW gun already. I also like the fact that I can run over it with a Peterbilt and it'll still work fine.

As for the New Vaquero, I've always wanted a single action revolver and it's like my dream gun. However, it's not very useful for CCW. However, it'd work just fine to help me GET my CCW, it just wouldn't be that great to carry (except in the winter, I suppose it'd be okay...). Also, my next gun will be my FIRST gun and something is telling me that this gun might be better for a beginner than the Sp101. But the Sp101 is just so much more practical.

The easy answer is "get both." Unfortunately, I'm a grad student who only make $1100 a month and my rent is over half of that a month, so expendable income is a luxury that I can not afford. I could, and probably would get, both if I got the New Vaq first. I can see me getting good with it, getting my CCW then needing a smaller gun for it (i.e., the Sp101). However, because I don't make much money at all, it'd take me a good while to get the Sp101. On the flip side, I could get the Sp101 and take my sweet time getting the Vaq, but I'm afraid that if I get the Sp101, I won't need the Vaq. Sure, I'll want it, but I won't need it because, for my practical purposes, the Sp101 would have it all covered.

Now, I'm not asking anyone to give me a definitive answer, per se, but I'd like to hear your input. I'm about 60% leaning toward the Vaq, but I'd like to hear from those who know guns and can give me helpful advice (i.e., you).

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freakshow10mm
July 5, 2008, 02:47 AM
I say get the SP101. It is better to fill a CCW role than the Vaq. The single action revolver takes more practice to be proficient with than the double action.

Let me know what you decide and I can help out with the price.

sm
July 5, 2008, 03:07 AM
Sp101.

MVF
July 5, 2008, 03:32 AM
If money is an issue,doesn't it make more sense to cover practicalities first? Also, dreams are sometimes more enjoyable in their anticipation.

With that said, you should know that the SP101 is not a "pleasure" gun. So what is more important to you- your dream gun that you can enjoy at the range, or a defensive gun you can carry?

MVF
July 5, 2008, 03:42 AM
double post- sorry

def
July 5, 2008, 03:45 AM
"With that said, you should know that the SP101 is not a "pleasure" gun. So what is more important to you- your dream gun that you can enjoy at the range, or a defensive gun you can carry?"

This is the one million dollar question. When simplified like this, the answer is definitely the SP101. I mean, defense over pleasure any day. Unfortunately, I know that if I get the Vaq first, I WILL end up getting the SP101 (but it'd probably take a year to a year and a half), but if I get the SP101 first, I don't know that I'd get the Vaq. But if I clearly should get the SP101 first, then I might go that route regardless. I've been going back and forth for several, several months. I wish I could with a $1000 lottery and just get both easily.

C-grunt
July 5, 2008, 04:59 AM
Thats a hard one right there. I just bought a SP101 and I love it. But I too want a single action...probably in 45 Colt though. Why dont you try to find them used. My 3" SP101 only had a box or two through it when the guy came back into the store and bought the 2" model. I only paid 395 for a gun that I would have believed to be new if they told me.

loneviking
July 5, 2008, 06:06 AM
I've been looking to buy a revolver for quite some time now and I'm down to two options: 1) Ruger SP101, or the 2) Ruger New Vaquero (357 mag). Now, I know what you're thinking "Those are very different revolvers." Well, I know. However, I don't know which one I'm going to get.



Don't take this wrong, but threads like this leave me scratching my head and saying 'huh'?.

Look, with a DAO revolver you can fire them single action or double action. The only thing you're missing with a DAO is having to shuck shells one at a time through a loading gate---that and a different shaped handgrip that can be very uncomfortable.

I'd suggest looking at a Ruger GP100 with a 4" barrel, which is the big brother to the SP101. You can slip it into a Uncle Mikes Gun Runner pouch, or wear it in a shoulder holster with a vest over the top, or an IWB Crossbreed holster. It's big enough for a range gun, small enough to carry and you don't have to load it O-N-E S-H-E-L-L at a time.

freakshow10mm
July 5, 2008, 08:21 AM
The GP100 is also available in a 3 inch model.

Stainz
July 5, 2008, 08:52 AM
I would look at a CCW first. I would also consider this - your first thoughts should be on how to carry it everywhere. An SP101 requires a belt holster - consider that. A lighter and smaller alternative, like an S&W 642/442 Airweight, can fit a pocket holster and be carried in nearly any pants you own. There will be times you can't use a belt/waistband mountedholster. Remember, a CCW does you little good left at home because it was inconvenient to carry it.

I would also suggest the S&W because of it's .38 Special +P caliber - you really don't need .357 Magnums for self defense. A new 642 will be nearly the same cost as that new SP101, too. Ammo wise, both can load and shoot .38 Specials - and I'd suggest either the Speer 135gr +P .38 Special Gold Dots or the Remington R38S12 158gr +P LHPSWC (The old 'FBI' load.). Both are optimized for effectiveness from a short barrel, ie, a defensive 'snubby'. Consider Robert Mikas' pocket holster for the 642, it really hides it pretty well, while allowing quick retrieval. Check out the threads on '642 Club' here, too... you'll learn a lot about the 642,

Get a good used 4" S&W 10 or 64 (SS version of the 10), like a security/LEO trade-in, for a plinker/home defender (same ammo) and plinker - and you'll be set. Get a CCW first - and make sure it's something you can and will carry regularly. Below are both my 642 and my 64:

http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u307/Stainz_2007/642-8IMG_0556.jpg

Good luck - and keep us apprised.

Stainz

PS The 442/642 are true 'DAO' revolvers, as they have hammers fully enclosed within their frames. That is better for pocket carry, as their is no hammer to snag on clothing, etc.

Virginian
July 5, 2008, 10:18 AM
Get a used SP101, or an S&W 65 (lots available, very good gun), and that will put you that much closer to a Vaquero down the road.

bestseller92
July 5, 2008, 11:41 AM
Go for the SP101 now and the Vaquero later.

It's always good to have just oneeeeeeee more gun that you want to get....

def
July 5, 2008, 12:13 PM
Well folks, many of you have convinced me to steer toward the Sp101. As a note, I have looked at the Airweights, but I've always been more keen on the Ruger's heavier weight. However, I may give them another look.

kcshooter
July 5, 2008, 12:32 PM
I'm afraid that if I get the Sp101, I won't need the Vaq. Sure, I'll want it, but I won't need it because, for my practical purposes, the Sp101 would have it all covered.I agree with everyone else about getting the sp101 first. But what do you mean by "need" the vaquero? I can't imagine a "need" for a single action revolver. They are nice, and a great gun, but I don't really see them filling a need, while a sp101, a concealable defensive firearm, I do consider a need.

22-rimfire
July 5, 2008, 12:48 PM
I think you, like many of us when we were younger, are trying to fill too many niches with one revolver. Go with your dominant priorities....

If CCW is what you want to do, go with a lighter 38spl revolver such as the Smith 442/642. That is what I use. A little pistol may be good too like the new Ruger.

If you want to shoot a 38/357 for shooting sake, go with a 3" or 4" GP100. But if you prefer, the SP101.

As far as I'm concerned, the SP101 is one of those "in-between" guns that is not good for either purpose; shooting at the range or concealed carry.

Go bigger for for shooting and smaller/lighter for carry. Your two choices are entirely different guns. Go with a double action first and get the single action later. Having several guns is not a bad thing. You have time. Things aren't going to change that much in two years when you likely will be working a regular professional job at a good salary.

But honestly, I think you would be better off buying a 22 double action revolver first to develop skills and do it at an affordable price. The Smith 4" 617 is the one to choose there unless you want to carry it, then go with a 3" Smith 317. You can carry that much more easily than the SP101 and it still is a pretty practical shooter. And yes, you can defend yourself with a 22 no matter what many say here. It is done all the time.

sixgunner455
July 5, 2008, 02:07 PM
Protection first, recreation second. And that SP101 should be pretty fun anyway, especially if you get a 3" barrel and load it with .38 specials.

2ndamd
July 5, 2008, 03:03 PM
I can relate to your money woes. I remember being a grad student as well.

Get a Used SP101. Check "gunbroker", register and bid. Remember though that you have to pay shipping and then a transfer fee of $25-35. But sometimes you can get a SP101 for $300-320 + $25 shipping +25-35 for the transfer fee = $350-380. A new one will cost you about $425 plus tax so about $450.

The SP101 will do everything the vaq will do plus more. The vaq will be a nice graduation present to yourself. SA revos are what you get yourself to play with. DA revos are for business and still fun.

Good luck with school. Let us know what you ended up with.

def
July 5, 2008, 03:04 PM
"I agree with everyone else about getting the sp101 first. But what do you mean by "need" the vaquero? I can't imagine a "need" for a single action revolver. They are nice, and a great gun, but I don't really see them filling a need, while a sp101, a concealable defensive firearm, I do consider a need."


Let me rephrase. I might not get the Vaq, rather than I might not need that Vaq.


Anywho, thanks for all the input guys and gals. Most of you have said what my common sense had been saying.

def
July 5, 2008, 03:13 PM
"I can relate to your money woes. I remember being a grad student as well.

Get a Used SP101. Check "gunbroker", register and bid. Remember though that you have to pay shipping and then a transfer fee of $25-35. But sometimes you can get a SP101 for $300-320 + $25 shipping +25-35 for the transfer fee = $350-380. A new one will cost you about $425 plus tax so about $450.

The SP101 will do everything the vaq will do plus more. The vaq will be a nice graduation present to yourself. SA revos are what you get yourself to play with. DA revos are for business and still fun.

Good luck with school. Let us know what you ended up with"


Hey, thanks for the post. It's especially nice to see someone who is familiar with my situation. I think that pretty much seals the deal for me. Also, good idea about the Vaq being a present to myself ;)

2ndamd
July 5, 2008, 06:51 PM
Sure. No problem.
Remember, your young and have alot of time to build a nice collection. I can be impaitient and want what I want now also. But practicality wins when it is your first and/or has a need to fill. The fun guns come just little later......but doing it right (financially) makes it worth the wait.

And I totally understand filling a "need" with te vaq. That need in your soul or gut that "needs" to be filled by a quality SA sixgun. I'm with ya. Just, not yet......but soon. :)

See you on the boards.

19-3Ben
July 5, 2008, 07:04 PM
Sounds like the SP101 is a need, and the Vaq is a want.
Fill needs first. then wants.

I've wanted a Vaq since I got into guns 4 years ago. But you know what? I still don't have one. Why not? I was filling the "need" niches first. So I first took care of duty sized/learner gun, CCW, HD shottie, fighting rifle, pocket gun, etc... I have actually just filled all my needs. Now I can get to wants. It's taken me 4 years to get here, but now I'm at the point where I can start going for guns "just because I want it."

Edit to add:
I'm in law school right now, so trust me, I know what you're talking about. That's why it took 4 darn years for me to finally cover the basics!!!

def
July 5, 2008, 11:23 PM
I'd like give my sincerest thanks to all those who have replied. I'm definitely getting the Sp101 first. As Ben says and all others have said in various forms, I suppose I really ought to fill the "need" niche first. Thanks again to everyone!

ArchAngelCD
July 6, 2008, 01:30 AM
def,
Are you buying a 2" or 3" SP-101? You said something in your first post I'm not sure about. You said, "However, it'd work just fine to help me GET my CCW" when referring to the New Vaquero. I'm guessing where you live you have to qualify to get your CCW and you meant the longer gun would help you qualify. If that's true you might want to consider a 3" SP-101 since the longer sight picture will help with accuracy. If weight doesn't bother you then a good used 3" S&W K frame, a 3" GP-100 or a used Ruger Six Series revolver would be a fine carry too.

In any event, I like carrying a S&W M638 because it's so light. I know many who like a heavier revolver like the SP-101 or S&W M60, M640 or M649. All those revolver are good choices and it comes down to price and what you like. You won't go wrong with any I mentioned and I'm sure you will enjoy shooing a SP-101...

God luck finding one that's in good condition at a reasonable price.

Elvishead
July 6, 2008, 05:21 AM
In any event, I like carrying a S&W M638 because it's so light. I know many who like a heavier revolver like the SP-101 or S&W M60, M640 or M649. All those revolver are good choices and it comes down to price and what you like. You won't go wrong with any I mentioned and I'm sure you will enjoy shooing a SP-101...

I too carry a M638, but have the option to carry my SP101 3" also. In the SP I have mainly .38 +Ps in it, with the last shot a .357, or a Lawman 38 +P 158g FMJ.

def
July 6, 2008, 11:18 PM
"If that's true you might want to consider a 3" SP-101 since the longer sight picture will help with accuracy."

Yes, I live in Ohio and we have to take tests for safety and shooting (no complaints here. I think that's perfectly reasonable. Makes sense that I ought to know how to safely and accurately use my gun before I can carry it around). I was actually planning on the 3". From what I hear from some people, it's a bit easier to shoot and reduces muzzle flash a bit.


I do have another question for you good folks. I know that the SP101 in 357mag can shoot both 357 mag and 38 special. My question is, can it also shoot regular 38? I was reading up on it and one of the articles the guy says something like "Shooting 357s is fun, shooting 38sp is a lot of fun and shooting 38 is a TON of fun." Can 357mag chambered guns (specifically the sp101) shoot regular 38?

loneviking
July 6, 2008, 11:23 PM
Yes, a 38/357 can shoot regular 38's. I have done it with my Colt and there is NO felt recoil. It's like shooting a 22.

def
July 6, 2008, 11:26 PM
Thank you Viking, I really appreciate your help! I did not know that. As one can assume, I know very little about handguns and much of what I "know," I've learned here from you wonderful folks! Considering this will be my first handgun and the first one I've shot in years (long while back, I shot my friend's dad's Walther PP7. An experience I don't remember too well, except that I was a pretty bad shot). I think I'll consider starting with regular 38s and moving up when I get used to them. I'm glad to hear that the sp101 will take 'em!

machinisttx
July 7, 2008, 12:38 AM
I'm somewhat confused.... I have absolutely no idea what a "regular" .38 is if it isn't .38 Special.

There are two commonly known .38 revolver cartridges. One is the .38 S&W and the other is the .38 special. The .38 S&W cartridge is obsolete, difficult to find, expensive, and uses a slightly larger bullet and case diameter than the .38 Special. It doesn't do anything the .38 Special can't do better, except cost more. I believe .38 Special is about $12 per box of 50 now, while the shorter .38 S&W is at least double that price and probably more.

There isn't any reason not to buy and use .38 Special in an SP101. My SP101 is pleasant to shoot even with .357 magnum loads.

For a first handgun, I would suggest something in .22 rimfire.

Matt-J2
July 7, 2008, 01:30 AM
A 'regular .38' could be a non +p .38spc. Only thing I can think of.

ArchAngelCD
July 7, 2008, 03:33 AM
def,
Like said above, there are many names for the .38 Smith & Wesson Special. You can fire a .357 Magnum, .38 Special and .38 Special +P round in that revolver but NOT a .38 S&W. The .38 S&W (without the Special) is a shorter, wider round that won't fit correctly in the chamber of a .38 Special and is dangerous to shoot because the bullet is sized to .360", not .357" or .358". Be careful what you load in your revolver.

loneviking
July 7, 2008, 05:06 AM
Yes, a regular 38 is a non '+P' load. I didn't mention the old 38 S&W as I haven't seen one of those in years--is it even still being produced?

Brian Williams
July 7, 2008, 03:07 PM
Get a 3" SP101
Then get into reloading so you can shoot more.
Then save for the Vaq

machinisttx
July 7, 2008, 03:56 PM
A 'regular .38' could be a non +p .38spc. Only thing I can think of.

Makes sense I guess. They're all .38 Specials to me.

machinisttx
July 7, 2008, 03:58 PM
I didn't mention the old 38 S&W as I haven't seen one of those in years--is it even still being produced?

You can still buy ammo, but I don't think a gun has been chambered for it in the last 40 years....

def
July 7, 2008, 08:44 PM
I'm not sure what the man meant when he said (er... typed) it. Thanks, gents.

Harve Curry
July 8, 2008, 12:12 AM
It sounds like you'd have more actual shooting use with the new model Vaquero. They are not that big anymore, a 4 5/8th inch would be nice. It can load and carry safe on 6 rounds.

def
July 8, 2008, 01:22 AM
I've not seen a New Vaq in person. How easy/difficult would one be to concealed carry in a shoulder holster (with a jacket, of course)?

loneviking
July 8, 2008, 01:42 AM
I've not seen a New Vaq in person. How easy/difficult would one be to concealed carry in a shoulder holster (with a jacket, of course)?

Should be easy with a good vertical rig. Someone might catch a glimpse of the straps over the tops of the arms, but those could be suspenders. The length of the barrel is going to be influenced by the length of your torso. Long waisted folks like me have no problem concealing a 6" barrel. Folks with a shorter waist might want a 4" barrel. A good vertical rig pulls the gun in tight to your side and adds very little to your width.

I have a thread on the holster area on living with a shoulder holster that has some good pointers in it if you decide to go with a shoulder holster.

ArchAngelCD
July 8, 2008, 04:16 AM
Def,
You really don't want to carry a single action revolver around for SD especially in 38/357. If it were in .45 Colt and you were going to use it as a woods gun that would be different. In these times of everyone wanting 15+ rounds in a semi-auto a single action revolver would be impossible to reload with any speed at all if you needed to in an emergency. At least with a DA revolver you can use speedloaders and reload fairly quickly with a little practice. I'm a big fan of short barrel DA revolvers for SD but IMO a large SA revolver is impractical for Urban SD carry. (I carry a S&W J frame all the time)

Nematocyst
July 8, 2008, 04:43 AM
As a guy, I'm going to step OT here for a minute to address a bit of THR protocol that no one else seems to have addressed.

(I've already p****d off a bunch of people today; what's a dozen more?)

Please remember that THR is a forum composed of men AND women.
If you're going to ask for wisdom, invite the women, too.
Using the salutation "gentlemen"
exclusively in your subject line
does not invite the women.

Yes, words matter. Consider, for example, how you'd feel if someone wrote,
"Ladies, your words of wisdom". Sort of leaves you out, don't it?
__________

Aside from that, I'd agree with a few others.
Buy a SW 64/65 and call it good.

def
July 8, 2008, 12:55 PM
""Ladies, your words of wisdom". Sort of leaves you out, don't it?"

Let's face it. A LARGE majority of the users here are men. If I were at a forum or convention or whatever that was predominantly female and someone said "hey ladies," "all you ladies," etc. I'd certainly understand and not give a damn. For example, Let's say I was on a cosmetology website, if someone addressed the board as "I need your help, ladies!" I'd understand and not think twice about it. However, point taken, although a moot one at that.


Anyways, if it matters at all, my gun would more than likely be used for woods carry every now and again.

Nematocyst
July 9, 2008, 03:01 AM
Def, fair enough. I just like to acknowledge our women members.
Some complain from time to time (understandably) about being left out.

kcshooter
July 9, 2008, 11:41 AM
Gentlepersons....



:D

saltydog452
July 9, 2008, 11:45 AM
Ruger 101.

Other 'Words Of Wisdom' would include: Never order fish at a steak house.

salty

researchdoc
July 9, 2008, 12:18 PM
Without a doubt.. SP first..
then come back and get the Vaq.

def4pos8
July 12, 2008, 03:32 PM
Apologies for missing this thread for so many days.

Start with the SP101. Start reloading -- immediately. That will require additional patience with your budget but will "pay back" immediately. .38 Special is not a difficult cartridge to figure out. Almost every local gun shop worth the name will have cast, 158 SWCs available. Load those over anybody's primer, in anybody's brass, over 4.5 grains of Unique or a bit less of Bullseye and you'll learn that you can actually afford to practice! --and it will be FUN!!

Otherwise, you'll become another half-baked shooter, whining about ammunition prices on this blog!:evil:

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