SP101 vs S&W 640


February 23, 2011, 03:43 PM
I am seriously considering trading my 642. I am trying to decide between the above two. Would appreciate comments especially from those that own both.

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February 23, 2011, 04:24 PM
I think the SP-101 and the S&W all stainless steel S&Ws - 640 and 60
are close in performance - THe S&Ws being a couple of ounces lighter
in empty weight, and with the forged steel a bit more compact. The
640 2 1/8" Bbl. with the enclosed hammer offers a feature not avail in an SP101 model but isn't the 640 DAO?

I have a Model 60 3" Bbl. which has the adj. rear sight. in .357 Mag. nice balance, handy but usually for SD/HD load .38Special +P double Tap
125 gr. Gold DOt JHPs. Quicker recovery for a follow up shot compared to
.357 Magnum - firing a full cylinder of .357 mag full house load and that's
about it for me for a range session whereas with 38 special just keep banging away.


February 23, 2011, 06:19 PM
Have the SP101. It is TOUGH. Ruger backs up their product if anything does go wrong (which I honestly have never heard of, other than when I got my first one and it had a casting flaw/fissure I noticed before I ever fired it. They promptly replaced it with a new gun). The trigger may not be as nice as the Smith out of the box, but trigger pulls and or work can fix that in short order. It is the only revolver I have ever owned and although I do not plan on owning another revolver, if I change my mind then the Ruger GP100 is top of the list due to my experience with the SP101. If you do get an SP101, I recommend getting the Hogue grip for it...and maybe some sights.

Couple of negatives: it is heavy and in my opinion (I am a semi-auto man) it is not really all that small.

February 23, 2011, 06:33 PM
I own both the standard S&W 642 and the Ruger SP-101 (DA/SA with 2-1/4" barrel in .357 Magnum).

My question is, why do you want to trade in your 642? Is it to have a more powerful "pocket" revolver? Because in size, weight, and material the j-frame Airweights and the SP are not even close. The SP is not a pocket gun in my opinion, and the 642 is the quintessential pocket gun.

Or do you just want to step up to a .357 Magnum for all the other obvious reasons? If this is the case, I can't say enough about the SP-101. It's small enough to be a good belt gun with the right belt and holster, but still hefty and solid enough to shoot a constant diet of the nastiest .357 loads.

If you are strictly talking about using this revolver for concealed carry for defensive purposes against human targets, I'm not sure there are enough benefits of a .357 vs. .38 Special +P out of a sub-3" barrel. When you start talking about heavy hard cast lead bullets for "trail" duty, that's where I believe the SP-101 really shines against S&W Airweight j-frames.

February 23, 2011, 07:03 PM
I have a 640 which I like a lot. Prefer to my old 442 (same as 642). However, 640 is still no fun at all with .357. It is fine with .38+p. If your plan is for purpose of shooting/carrying with .357, go with the Ruger. Otherwise, stay put. OregonJohnny nailed it.

February 24, 2011, 01:26 AM
I just want to consolidate ammo so that my pocket gun (640?) can shoot whatever my M13 shoots. In a pinch, I don't want to be searching for 357's for one gun and 38's for another. Other than that I am fine with the 642 as my EDC pocket gun but would prefer that, like I said, in a pinch, could also fire 357 if that was all I had. Simply put, it is an exercise in logistics.

February 24, 2011, 02:43 AM
I own both a M642 and M640 and really like them both. I've shot several SP101 and while they are very good revolvers they are slightly larger and heavier than the S&W J frames. The M642 and M640 are the same size so you would be using a revolver you are "used to using" with the M640. It is of course heavier but not as heavy as the SP101. I shoot 145gr Winchester Silvertip .357 Magnum ammo in the M640 and I can easily fire a follow up shot so control is not an issue. I mostly carry the M642 but I do like that M640 without a doubt.


February 24, 2011, 08:12 AM
I carry a 642 in a pocket holster in my pants pocket. I don't like carrying my heavier SP101 and 640 in my pocket. However both carry very nicely with IWB or OWB holsters and are much for fun to shoot with .38's than the 642.

February 24, 2011, 09:53 AM
sp101 ... because if you need to use your empty weapon as a bludgeoning device nothing compares in such small package.

February 24, 2011, 11:04 AM
Just load the .357 and put all reloads .38+p. That way reloads work with either gun.

The Lone Haranguer
February 24, 2011, 07:25 PM
I've owned both, and the SP101, although a little larger and heavier, was a shooter's gun. There is a spurless (but not concealed, as the 640's is) hammer version available.

Hondo 60
February 24, 2011, 08:31 PM
The SP101 is built like a tank.

I think it's too heavy for pocket carry, but that's just me. YMMV

(but for shooting? I'd take the 101 ANY DAY!)

February 24, 2011, 09:23 PM
I have a 640-1


2 Ruger SP 101's ,short barrel and 3 + " barrel.

The 3+" barrelled is the one that I like to shoot and yes its a bit heavier.

But easier to control even with 180 grain rounds.

I would NOT shoot those through the 640-1 as it will loosen up [ had to send one back ].

February 26, 2011, 02:08 PM
Thanks for the replies.

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