Ruger LCR or Ruger SP101


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ruger9315
July 15, 2011, 09:59 PM
I need some help.. I do not or never have owned a revolver, but want something for home defense that I can pick up without worrying about slides and or safeties.. Something to pull trigger and it goes bang.. :mad:
I would also need a firearm for a couple times a year where I walk in places that black bear may be. I know that a snub nose is not a great bear defense gun, but I will probably never even run across a black bear in the woods but just in case I want to have at least a chance..:banghead:
So I have decided on a revolver in 357 magnum.. Now I can not decide between the Ruger LCR or SP101.. I will use 38 specials 95% of the time so the times that I do load 158 fmj 357 loads they will hopefully never even be fired from the gun. :barf:
Just a little more information.. I want easy to carry, light, and as small as possible... Yes it sounds like I already answered what I want the LCR, but I also want something that can handle heavy 357 loads just in case, and something that will last a long time. ( SP101 ) :confused:
Additional question: Can the LCR handle Buffalo bore 180 grain hard cast ammo ? :evil:

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ball3006
July 15, 2011, 10:16 PM
Have you considered a Glock? No levers, just pull the trigger to make it go bang. S&W makes a small revolver such as you are looking at. Taurus too. They will all handle 357 ammo. The small Glocks are easier to shoot accurately though.....chris3

The_Shootist
July 15, 2011, 10:29 PM
I'd go with the SP 101 - I wouldn't say it EASILY handles the heavier stuff. But being a heavier all steel snub it will soak up the recoil when practicing better the LCR. I have had the 3 1/8" bbl version for 10 years and think its the best in its class.

Its not hard to conceal or carry IWB, accurate - built like a tank, whats not to like? :D

Kliegl
July 15, 2011, 11:27 PM
The Ruger SP-101 is awesome. Do yourself the favor and get the one WITH the hammer. The trigger is dead sexy on those in single action, and you can get a lot of accuracy out of a short barrel. I recommend the 3.1" barrel.

Unless you are carrying it a LOT, and it sounds like you plan to leave it at home, and take it to bear country, I'd get the SP101 and a good holster. It will be a lot more fun to shoot than the LCR as well, more accurate, less recoil.

JVaughn
July 15, 2011, 11:32 PM
On all counts except concealment, the SP-101 wins everytime. I wouldn't count on either to bring down a bear however.

Wolfeye
July 16, 2011, 12:17 AM
I own a 2" SP101 and a S&W model 642, which is about the same size & weight as a .357 LCR. The 642 only fires .38 special, and its recoil is pretty lively. I think firing magnums out of a gun that light would be quite unpleasant.

It sounds like you want a do-it-all gun. I'd suggest a 3" SP101 or a 3" S&W model 60; they're a good compromise between packability & power. There's also the Charter Arms Mag Pug if you want something a little cheaper.

If you go too light with your first revolver, you won't shoot it much because of recoil. Steel is your friend. I find that a gun can't way more than 26 ounces or so to enjoy carrying it on a daily basis.

Frozen North
July 16, 2011, 12:34 AM
Looks alone, buy the SP-101. :D

The LCR has to be the second ugliest gun on the market right now.

Dimis
July 16, 2011, 12:40 AM
Hmmm I would like to tell you to get the LCR but I cant say for sure how heavy of a load the 357 models handle
I guess I would have to say the SP101 because for the extra weight you also get the extra strength to fire the heavy stuff
the one thing I know absolutely nothing about is bear defense so I would ask if 357 out of a snub is even enough otherwise I would ask about a heavier caliber

ExAgoradzo
July 16, 2011, 12:46 AM
Firing magnums out of my 101 IS unpleasant. I got a friend to handload some lighter 38s and it is much nicer to shoot. However, that takes some of the stopping power.

To be honest, as a home self defense weapon I'd rather use my P89. It has a hammer, my wife can shoot it if I'm not home and size (relative to carrying) is strictly UNimportant when using for home defense.

Buy a Super Blackhawk 45/45colt convertible for your home protection gun and you'll never look back. That and my 38/357 convertible Ruger are by far my two favorite pistols period.

bikemutt
July 16, 2011, 12:51 AM
If you plan to shoot it much at all, as in practice, I'd suggest the SP101. I own both and really the LCP (mine is the .38 +p, not .357) is very unpleasant to practice with, even with target load .38. I would not subject myself to an LCP in .357, that's just plain torture.

HARV6
July 16, 2011, 12:58 AM
I've had both. The sp101 in .357 with a 2.25" barrel, and LCR in 38. Love them both. The only advantage the LCR has is size and weight for concealed carry. It sounds like what you're looking for though is a gun to stash in the house and wear openly in a holster while out in the woods. If that's the case, between the two you suggested, I'd get the sp101 in a 3" barrel. It's still not that big, I carried one concealed for 4 years.

Shaky
July 16, 2011, 01:04 AM
I'll throw another vote in for a 3" sp101. If a bear encounter is possible and you have to shoot it with a .357, you'll need every foot per second you can muster, and the .357 really wants 4" of barrel to get cookin.
You may also want to consider some bear spray.

Han Tzu
July 16, 2011, 01:20 AM
My LCR 357 is a handful when loaded with personal defense magnum cartridges. When shooting 38 +P the recoil is very manageable with the Hogue Tamer grip.
I bought it for conceal-ability and the smooth trigger. I am not disappointed on either issue.
The LCR is not ideal for handloaders. The manual recommends only factory cartridges. I think the reason is the cylinder has tight tolerances on the diameter of the cartridge.

WNC Seabee
July 16, 2011, 01:50 AM
I currently own both, 3" SP and .357 LCR. Between the two I'd go SP101. But given how you intend to use it, I'd pick up a GP100, S&W 64 (.38spcl) or S&W 66. That extra inch of barrel is huge for .357 and the recoil will be considerably more manageable. HD guns don't need to be concealable, and when woods walking a good belt holster can be easily covered with an untucked shirt.

WNC Seabee
July 16, 2011, 01:51 AM
The LCR is not ideal for handloaders. The manual recommends only factory cartridges. I think the reason is the cylinder has tight tolerances on the diameter of the cartridge.

600+/- rounds of my hand loaded 158gr hard cast loads would disagree.

griz1
July 16, 2011, 01:53 AM
I live in Alaska and shoot S&W Model 65, S&W Model 640 (38 Special ) Glock 26 but my favorite gun to carry in the wilds of Alaska is the Ruger Sp101 3 inch version. I have Cor-Bon 180 and 200 grain hard cast and feel well protected in grizzly country. If I was hunting I would carry my Bowen Bisley in 45 Long Colt, but its heavy. For just hiking the trails and personal defense you can't go wrong with the Ruger Sp101. Probably my favorite gun of all time.

KJS
July 16, 2011, 05:07 AM
Additional question: Can the LCR handle Buffalo bore 180 grain hard cast ammo ?

I'd love to see somebody put that torture test up on YouTube. Still not as extreme as S&W that makes 12 ounce .357s for the uber-masochist.

ruger9315
July 16, 2011, 09:32 AM
I would like to thank everyone for their replies. Some great advice. :uhoh:
I went to sleep last night and kept thinking about the LCR. ( There is just something about it that I like ). Then I woke up read the post and realized that i need to go with the 3" SP... I guess I will put the LCR on the back burner for a while.. I will purchase one next year sometime in 38 special for a glove box and or pocket backup .:fire:
Other advice : S&W ( Great guns . I am also looking at them .. Slightly out of price range ) Taurus ( Mixed reviews.. not to get anyone upset. they just scare me... My family all own Taurus simi auto's and none of them have ever had any problems ) Glocks: Great guns.. I considered the 29 ( 10mm ) They are just very hard to find..:eek:

wheelgunslinger
July 16, 2011, 09:43 AM
out of your choices, I'd say I agree with your pick of the SP.
For the woods, add a spear as a walking stick and you'll have a better chance with Fozzy. :p

Otherwise, I'd say to get a shotgun for hd and woods walking, but that's not on the table. :)

ruger9315
July 16, 2011, 09:44 AM
Update:
Last comment.. I ordered bear spray today from amazon ( $ 28.00 ) .. Great advice..
Called local dealer .. They have the 2.25"SP.. I am going over to hold it and because of all the comments I will also look S&W but will order the 3" SP if it comes down to that. Thanks

bikemutt
July 16, 2011, 11:08 AM
FWIW, I sold my 3" sp101 mostly because I found it too big to conceal easily, not quite long enough for a fun range gun, and if I have no need to conceal (like in the woods), I'll take something with more rounds and size. I tried for a while to trade it for a 2.25" and couldn't get any traction.

BTW, Fobus makes a nice passive retention holster system that fits both the sp101 and the LCR, a nice bonus.

jawn
July 16, 2011, 09:36 PM
Well, the .357 model of the LCR has the same cylinder steel as Ruger uses in their .454 Casull revolvers. The frame is also steel (minus the polymer grip parts).

I think it should be able to handle the 180gr Buffalo Bore loads, but it will be rather punishing to shoot. I've put 100 rounds of commercial .357 through my LCR in a range trip, but it was not particularly comfortable. .38 special is surprisingly soft-shooting though, even in +P.

jad0110
July 16, 2011, 10:07 PM
I went to sleep last night and kept thinking about the LCR. ( There is just something about it that I like ). Then I woke up read the post and realized that i need to go with the 3" SP... I guess I will put the LCR on the back burner for a while.. I will purchase one next year sometime in 38 special for a glove box and or pocket backup

That'd be my plan between those two choices if in your shoes. The SP101, IMHO, isn't too too bad to shoot with your average .357s. It'd probably be a bit painful with stout 180s though. I don't even want to try a sub 20 oz revovler with .357s, I'll stick to .38 Special.

As for black bears, I'd be more concerned about 2 legged predators. Blackbears are generally pretty skiddish creatures. Infrequently, they do bluff charge, but they tend to stop about 20 feet or so shy, lower their head and turn around as if in shame. :D

Though I'd certainly carry a firearm (again, mainly for 2 legged types), I'd also bring bear spray with me. The problem with shooting a bear is that if you only wound it and it escape, chances are he'll wander into a town looking for easy food where he (remember he's injured) will be a greater threat to people. Not to mention the legal hassles that go along with shooting one.

Strahley
July 16, 2011, 10:07 PM
Don't buy one gun and expect it to do everything. The same gun that would be smart for home defense isn't going to be a good option for fending off a big bear

Bulldawg55
July 16, 2011, 10:14 PM
3" sp 101

goon
July 16, 2011, 10:15 PM
Sounds like you need the LCR and the SP-101.

Seriously, one handgun just can't do everything.

kludge
July 17, 2011, 09:29 AM
1. Bear spray
2. Heavy hard cast bullets loaded for bear. (check out Buffalo Bore)
3. Something with a 4" barrel. Ruger Security Six. If it's not for CC, don't handicap yourself.
4. Would rather have bigger heavier bullets for bear -- Take a look at 4" Ruger Redhawk in .45 Colt or .44 Magnum... Buffalo Bore .45 Colt +P, 325gr @1325fps, probably less from a 4" though. Almost double the ME of .357 Mag.

Trad Archer
July 17, 2011, 10:34 AM
Sp101

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