Why an SP101 in .22 LR


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bushmaster1313
September 28, 2011, 12:05 AM
Saw an add for the SP101 in .22 LR as a "trusted companion"

Why would someone buy this gun?

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Rollis R. Karvellis
September 28, 2011, 12:08 AM
Seems to me it would make a great kit gun. Also depending on the size of the grip, a lot of range time can be spent with it.

bushmaster1313
September 28, 2011, 12:14 AM
Seems to me it would make a great kit gun.

What do you do with a "kit gun"

masterofchaos
September 28, 2011, 12:30 AM
I see it as a great companion on the trail against snakes, esp. in this wet weather in Pennsylvania. Ammo is cheap. 8 shot is a +2 over other revolvers and I prefer the lower weight compared to the beasty 9 and 10 round competitors, plus as a revolver it will handle CCIs shotshell.

Manco
September 28, 2011, 12:52 AM
What do you do with a "kit gun"

As a kit gun it's supposed to be handy either for taking along on a hike as part of your trail kit or stored as part of an emergency kit of some kind. Generally, a kit gun would be small-framed, lightweight, and chambered in an inexpensive, ubiquitous caliber such as .22 LR. Some concealed carry revolvers fit the profile, although those are usually snubbies while kit guns typically have longer barrels (but still short enough to be sufficiently compact for a backpack or tackle box, say 3").

As for what you're supposed to do with it, well, it's a gun, so you would shoot things with it. ;) The point is that like an undersized spare tire, I suppose, it is physically convenient to pack in a kit for emergencies, as a backup, or light usage (e.g. for some cheap impromptu shooting fun if you like). That said, in a pinch it could still help put meat in your belly or lead in a bad guy's belly, even if it's not the most ideal gun for such purposes. I guess one of the implications is that you don't really expect to use it for a specific purpose, otherwise you'd carry a larger, heavier, more powerful gun--aside from plinking, kit guns are carried around just in case you unexpectedly need a gun (or an additional gun).

tubeshooter
September 28, 2011, 01:08 AM
People have wanted good .22 revolvers for at least a century now.

Pickings are slim... and have been for awhile. Have you tried looking for a well built, reasonably priced kit gun nowadays?

They used to make them up until 2003. They were generally well-regarded and missed once they were gone.


I'd say it's a good call.

WNC Seabee
September 28, 2011, 01:18 AM
I'm really enjoying mine!

Gary A
September 28, 2011, 01:23 AM
My LGS has not seen one yet and he is usually pretty tight with Davidson's. Davidson's still shows them as allocated. Who is distributing them? Not like I can't wait for one but I'm curious and do plan on getting one.

CajunBass
September 28, 2011, 01:30 AM
Why not? It's a small, lightweight, eight shot, double-acton, 22 revolver.

KAS1981
September 28, 2011, 01:36 AM
.22 is dirt cheap and DA revolvers are fun.

bigfatdave
September 28, 2011, 01:40 AM
Why would someone buy this gun?
+ to shoot
+ to have a cheap trainer for a larger-bore gun
+ to have a cheap trainer for new shooters
+ as a toy
+ because they like smallbore wheelguns

nobody is making anyone buy one, and it doesn't need a practical purpose. Some guns are just toys, some fill a very small niche, and some are just for the hell of it.
Hell, half the guns in my cabinet are "toys", and what better cartridge for a "toy" than cheap, available, and diverse .22LR? I can stuff a .22LR "toy" gun with :
- hyper-velocity screaming fast exotics (Stingers, Velocitors, various Aguila, etc)
- super-accurate standard velocity (CCI SV, SK match, Wolf match, etc)
- quiet CB shorts/longs (CCI CB shorts, various Aguila, Remington C-Bee, etc)
- cheap bulk ammo (blazer, Fed550 bulk, Win555, etc ... anything but Rem550GB)

Stainz
September 28, 2011, 09:30 AM
Of course, S&W has made a 5" J-frame, very slightly smaller than the SP101, that carries 8 rounds of .22 LR in the model 63. They started delivery nearly a year ago of the 3" 63 - with a HiViz fiber optic front sight. Both of mine below sport the '60 Pro' wood grips, $43 + s/h from S&W Accessories. I added the green HiViz to the 5" 63, but don't look too close - it's too long!

http://s171.photobucket.com/albums/u307/Stainz_2007/IMG_4606.jpg

I mention this in the SP101 thread just to illustrate a point - the new offering doesn't fill a void - it just adds another choice. Both are great ideas in firearms - a short enough barrel to be easily toted, thus the 'kit' moniker, and an inexpensive to shoot caliber. While Davidson's has neither one in stock, they offer the Ruger at $506 and the S&W at $660. Is the S&W worth that much more? That's up to the individual, but to me, one SP101, a new 4" .32 H&RM, was enough - it changed my mind - once a haven for Ruger revolvers, I now have fewer in number - but they are S&W's, my only remaining Ruger being an 'Old Army model black powder C&B. YMMV.

Stainz

Rollis R. Karvellis
September 28, 2011, 10:09 AM
The kit gun concept is already well covered, but another aspect is that with it being on a smaller frame let's smaller people use it more easily. My wife is pretty small, and has trouble getting her hands around the grips that my gorilla paws fit around. Also the recoil turns her off. But even a .22 does not intimidate her. Also it is a small frame, good looking .22. When it come with blue, and wood I, will have one.

EMC45
September 28, 2011, 10:10 AM
I have a few .22LR pistols. I can load and shoot .32 S&W-L cheaper than I can shoot quality .22LR ammo. I will be hard pressed to buy a .22LR for that kind of money.

PapaG
September 28, 2011, 10:22 AM
I'm on the list to buy one. Why? Because I have a SP101 in 357 and love it. Because I have a s&W 63, my second, and still get frustrated with how it fouls or galls and I can't get more than 18 shots without cleaning/lubing. (both of them did that..but again, both were early models and I've heard the later ones didn't). Because I like Ruger. Because I can.
What will I do with it? No clue other than take it to the farm, carry it around and maybe shoot a rabbit or squirrel or a can or two.

Stainz
September 28, 2011, 10:31 AM
I guess it depends on your definition of 'quality .22's', but the excellent quality, for plinking, Federal 550 packs of 36gr plated HP's will cost you less at WallyWorld than the same number of any small primers today. Then you have to at least find the lead and pour it - or buy commercial bullets - and clean and load some existing brass - and amortize your reloading equipment's cost. Sorry, cf ammo cheaper than 'quality' .22's... only if your choice is Eley Match, etc!

I left the .32 world when the 96-115gr LRNFP lead became as costly as .38's - and a lot more difficult to find. You can't beat .22's for max shooting fun/min cost - go to .38's if you like to drop steel plates.

Stainz

PS PapaG - send that 63 to S&W! I tried to see how nasty I could get my S&W .22's and they'd still work 100%. I topped 400 rounds in the 63's and 550 in my 4" 617 when vanity caused me to clean them. All ammo was the aforementioned WallyWorld Fed 550 packs - and some 325 packs of AutoMatch. Sadly, I've started carrying dirty cf guns back to the range... a slovenly result of that test last winter!

Fishman777
September 28, 2011, 11:45 AM
This is an ideal trail gun. It's relatively inexpensive, but the quality is off the charts.

SP101 revolvers can take a beating with heavy .357 magnum loads. Take that same all stainless design, give it a longer half-lug barrel, give it quality sites, and an 8 shot cylinder. This gun is the perfect .22 lr handgun, in my opinion.

I sold off my .22 lr handgun a while back and was going to buy a rifle instead. Not it seems that I need this SP101 AND the rifle.

22-rimfire
September 28, 2011, 12:55 PM
This new offering from Ruger fills a price void between the S&W offerings and the Taurus offerings. That has been Ruger's niche in the maket for a long time and what helped position the company where it is today.

Why buy it? You want a dependable double action 22 revolver and don't want to spend the money for a S&W product or you are concerned about the quality of a Taurus product. Up until now, for new DA 22 revolvers, the choice was either buy a S&W or buy a Taurus. Price matters as does perceived quality.

I have not handled one yet. I may well buy one even though I have little need for it. So, I am not rushing to the store to get my new SP-101 22 now rather than wait for the dust to settle a bit and look at one with a clear head. I will compare it against a Smith. If it does not come close, I won't buy one because I have Smith's and Colt's already. I doubt that I am the targeted buyer.... this revolver is for someone who does not presently own a good DA 22 revolver who just can't "justify" the price of a new S&W regardless of what they really want. Up until now, the answer was to buy a used Smith or save up some more for a new or used Smith.... :)

sixgunner455
September 28, 2011, 01:02 PM
I would buy one, except that I got a Single Six earlier this year and can't justify getting another .22 revolver at this point with the way our budget is going. Doesn't keep me from wanting one! Still, it's cool, it'd be a neat gun for just about anybody to have fun with, it's an inexpensive to shoot understudy for the .38 and .357 carry guns, etc.

rcmodel
September 28, 2011, 01:26 PM
Why would someone buy this gun? Because the world would be full of better pistol shots if everyone had learned to shoot with one?

You simply can't beat a .22 Kit Gun for teaching kids handgun shooting basics.

And as others said, they are a great training tool if you already own a centerfire SP101.
And .22 revolvers are FUN!

rc

CraigC
September 28, 2011, 01:44 PM
Because the world would be full of better pistol shots if everyone had learned to shoot with one?

You simply can't beat a .22 Kit Gun for teaching kids handgun shooting basics.
Ain't that the truth!

Time spent with a good .22LR revolver is never wasted.

Gary A
September 28, 2011, 02:35 PM
Folks, you have to admit that Ruger has succeeded extremely well in the first phase of introducing any product, they have gotten people to take notice and talk about it in a big way. If the quality is commensurate with the interest, they are likely to have a big winner.

WNC Seabee
September 28, 2011, 03:33 PM
My LGS has not seen one yet and he is usually pretty tight with Davidson's. Davidson's still shows them as allocated. Who is distributing them? Not like I can't wait for one but I'm curious and do plan on getting one.
mine was a Davidson's gun. The LGS I got it from is fairly new and not particularly well stocked normally. He (the owner) acted like he had no idea what it was he had in the case. "Oh, that? I think that came in a week or so ago. What is it again?"

ForumSurfer
September 28, 2011, 04:41 PM
Folks, you have to admit that Ruger has succeeded extremely well in the first phase of introducing any product, they have gotten people to take notice and talk about it in a big way.It isn't hard to do these days!

Step1: Make a website page for your product. It doesn't even need details, just a teaser picture and a description.
Step2: Send out a "Coming Soon!" email to people already subscribed to your mailing list.
Step3: (Optional) Send samples and journalists to training facility for a range day and free Ruger paraphernalia. (Worked for the ruger scout rifle! I'm not hating, I'm just jealous.)
Step4: Delay release while internet rumors and accusations run wild.
Step5: Release product once you see it appear on several blogs and plastered all over THR so often that multiple threads are merged and/or deleted.

Gary A
September 28, 2011, 05:35 PM
mine was a Davidson's gun.
That is really interesting.

Gary A
September 28, 2011, 05:37 PM
Steps 1 through 5 seem to have worked quite well.

bsms
September 28, 2011, 08:54 PM
I'll just add that I LOVE my 22/32 Kit Gun from S&W. Had it for 30+ years now. And it is the only gun I've ever pulled against a human...

I was returning from a hike, and 8 guys were drinking on top of my car. Without a word, they got off and started fanning out around me. I remembered my 22/32 Kit Gun, pulled it out, and raised it about 30 deg and stared at the closest guy. I had fired uncounted thousands of rounds thru it, and wasn't going to miss.

No one said "Hey, it's just a 22!" or "8-6=2!" They just stopped fanning out. I got in my car & left. It was several miles to the nearest paved road, and maybe 30 to the nearest cop. It was also only a couple of years after I bought it.

But I'd give serious thought to buying a .22 SP101. After all...8-8=0!:D

.22M.R.F.
September 28, 2011, 08:59 PM
I saw one last week for the first time and am impressed by the fact that is compares very favorably to the M-63 S&W. Had the Fiber Optic front sight, I did not operate the action as it was being sold and the individual who bought it was nice enough to let me hold and inspect it very briefly. If it shoots as well as it looks, its a winner!

EMC45
September 29, 2011, 09:22 AM
"I guess it depends on your definition of 'quality .22's', but the excellent quality, for plinking, Federal 550 packs of 36gr plated HP's will cost you less at WallyWorld than the same number of any small primers today. Then you have to at least find the lead and pour it - or buy commercial bullets - and clean and load some existing brass - and amortize your reloading equipment's cost. Sorry, cf ammo cheaper than 'quality' .22's... only if your choice is Eley Match, etc! I left the .32 world when the 96-115gr LRNFP lead became as costly as .38's - and a lot more difficult to find. You can't beat .22's for max shooting fun/min cost - go to .38's if you like to drop steel plates"


I cast all my own bullets and reload for every caliber I shoot, shotguns included (I cast slugs and buckshot). A brick of off the shelf Blazer CCI ammo, locally, is more than 20 dollars. I have found this ammo to be the most consistant in all my rimfires. I WILL NOT shoot Remington ThunderDuds in my guns. They are unreliable, vary from round to round and are JUNK in every experience I have had with them. I can load a mag of them and it will have varying recoil and report. This is not a one time phenomenon. It is just poor quality ammo. Having said all that I will say this....I can reload .38 Ammo with my home cast bullets (158gr. RNFP) with a charge of Bullseye (3gr.) primer, brass etc for about $2 a box of 50. That is on par with the aforementioned CCI Blazer .22LR ammo. Now the .32 S&W-L is about $1.50 a box. The .32 can double as a defense weapon (uh oh what have I started?) and is a dandy trail gun. The energy and FPS are more suitable for taking potable game animals in my opinion.

Stainz
September 29, 2011, 09:41 AM
You quoted me - but didn't read what you quoted! I never mentioned the cheap Remingtons... I won't use them. You need to update your reloading cost - primers alone are >$30/1k - well over delivered (hazmat fees, s/h) these days - that's $1.50+/50 before you put powder, bullet, amortized equipment costs, etc, in the equation.

Stainz

CraigC
September 29, 2011, 11:42 AM
I keep some Federal around for when I run out but nearly all I use is Remington "junk". Not that much though, only around 2000-3000rds a month.


I cast all my own bullets and reload for every caliber I shoot
Do your bullets cast themselves or do you just put zero value on your time??? How long does it take to cast, size and lube 550 cast bullets? I have my Dillon 650 setup for .38Spl and it takes me about 15mins to load 100rds. So figure a good 1.5hrs to load 550rds. Adding up just powder and primers, that's roughly 4 cents per round or $22.16 per 550rds. So that's $4 more than Remingtons and $6 more than Federal when I buy it by the case. Then we have to figure the time and costs involved in casting 550 bullets. I'm gonna guess it has to take at least 3-4hrs to cast, size and lube those bullets. If I shoot 2000-3000rds a month in just rimfire, that's gonna be at least $80.58-$121 plus up to 30hrs loading and casting. Not to even mention whatever cost/effort is involved in procuring free lead. Which not everyone can do.

My commercial cast handloads cost me roughly $63.41 per 550rds.

Yeah, I think I'll keep buying bulk rimfire ammo and commercial cast bullets. :rolleyes:

bigtubby
September 29, 2011, 01:41 PM
I am sure the .22 is great if you live rural, I got a 6 shot S&W 17-5 4" took it to the range yesterday shot 4 or 5 cylinders and was pretty bored. I reported this on S&W forum and you think I questioned someone's patriotism. I got to drive 45 minutes each way to shoot it is a 110 degrees in the summer I don't shoot 3 or 4 thousand rounds a week I probably don't shoot that a year and I do reload. I know there great training aides but they aren't fun to shoot paper with so for me the cost of ammo is not a issue.

CraigC
September 29, 2011, 01:46 PM
Shooting anything at paper is boring.

bigtubby
September 29, 2011, 01:50 PM
CraigC , I agree especially .22 but i live in a city we don't have a dump we got a landfill and you don't shoot there. It is also a desert so no varmints to shoot at. I may set up a indoor range in my garage for the .22

sixgunner455
September 29, 2011, 02:00 PM
tubby, what desert city do you live in that doesn't have an indoor range closer than that outdoor one you spent 45 minutes getting to?

If you're in the U.S. southwest, there are varmints. You just have to find them. :D

ForumSurfer
September 29, 2011, 02:12 PM
I know there great training aides but they aren't fun to shoot paper with so for me the cost of ammo is not a issue.

I can agree. I shoot paper with mine, but I also take a break and shoot reactive steel or bouncing targets with my 22's. Take away the steel and reactive targets and my 22 spending would go down drastically.

bigtubby
September 29, 2011, 02:22 PM
SG445, I am in LV but don't shoot indoors the one's around here are not ventilated very well. I guess you could consider pigeons a varmint but not realistic to be shooting at them on the neighbor's house.

EMC45
September 29, 2011, 02:32 PM
Whoa nelly!......I think I got up someone's nose?... Stainz my apology for the misquote on the .22LR ammo. Last time I bought primers I paid $15 thousand. That was a month and a half ago. I look for deals and strike when I see them. I bought 6000. In Feburary of this year I bought 4000 for $20 a thousand. All these primers are Wolf BTW (Uh oh I may have started something again). As far as "how much my time is worth to me"?......Well I will tell you this-- I have been shooting for 30 years, reloading since 98 and casting since 99. I have sent 10s of thousands of rounds down range. I load all my ammo on a single stage press (GASP!). That's right a single stage press! I also render and smelt all my own lead into bullets. No they do not cast themselves, but I enjoy casting and reloading ammo. To me it is not a "chore" and I don't see how many rounds an hour I can crank out. I do it because I find it relaxing. I have 20+ 5 gallon buckets of Wheel weights at my house awaiting smelting. I pay nothing for wheel weights and I never have. I will keep collecting them as long as I can. They way I see it I have a supply that will last my life time (I got a few more years in me). Commercial bullets are fine if that's what you like. I will not begrudge anyone for buying them. Keep the shooting sports rolling hooray! (and by all means leave the wheel weights alone for me to pick up). I have found that commercial bullets are either too hard or undersized for my applications. I have tried many by several different makers at that. With casting my own I can vary the alloy hardness (I have a SAECO tester) and also size them to the correct bore fit diameter. For example I have a MK3 BHP and the groove diameter is .357. Shoot a commercial .356 cast or swaged bullet in it and you will get leading and substandard accuracy. I size my home cast bullets (there I am wasting time again:rolleyes:) for the BHP @.358. They chamber and fire quite well. I cast for handguns, rifles (uh no) and shotguns like I previously stated. I can shoot for a very small amount of money. I cast for everything from .32 revolver to 45-70 rifle and 12ga. slug. .308, 30-30, 7.5 Swiss, 8MM Mauser, 38/357, 44 Sp/Mag, 9MM, .380, etc. etc. etc. Also a good bit of my gear is used (SHOCK/HORROR!!!) I have an RCBS Rockchucker Supreme Master kit I bought new from Cabela's and a Lee Classic Cast (that was new, never mounted when I bought it second hand) That I bought for $30. At the time it retailed for $100 plus shipping. I just had an RCBS Rockchucker 2 given to me by my brother that was given to him that I had RCBS send me a new ram and 7/8-14 die bushing for it(which was all shipped and sent for free). I rebuilt it (wasting all that time again) and now have 3 quality steel/iron presses. I also have multiple 5 gallon buckets of brass to chose from. I am all about economy.

sixgunner455
September 29, 2011, 04:04 PM
Bigtubby - rabbits and coyotes. Yeah, you don't want to be shooting in the neighbor's yard, but if you're already having to drive out into the desert to shoot, might as well find something to shoot. :D

Stainz
September 29, 2011, 05:25 PM
Hey, leave my nose out of this - it gets picked on enough! (Sorry...)

Where can you get any kind of primer for $15-$20/1k? I'd be afraid of Wolf - they might be steel!

Seriously, I don't skimp on primers - Federals only here. Powder (Titegroup - my fav!) & primers run me $.04+/round - then I have to top them with something - 125gr JHP Montana Gold run ~$.07, making my .38 plinking ammo cost $5.50+/50 - before I add in the equipment share. Nine years ago, I bought my first - and only - press - a new Dillon 550B. I had >2,700 mostly Starline .45 Colt brass cases from my shooting amassed and thought reloading it would make shooting cheaper. Wrong! Sure, by the time I got 2,000+ reloaded, I had 'paid off' the equipment - and further .45 Colts were 'cheap' to reload. Then I added .45 ACP, .45 Scoffield, .454 Casull; .44 Russian/Special/Magnum; .38 Spec/.357 Magnum; .32 S&WL/H&RM; and even 7.62 Nagant for my 1895 revolvers. It became a passion... a new hobby... a vast new expense.

One day - I added a 4" 617 .22LR 10-shot revolver - and discovered a new shooting passion - cheap plinking - whether small metal silhouettes or paper! The fine target grade .22 ammo was saved for my CZ-452 bolt action rifles - the Fed el cheapo's for the revolver(s). My main fault? Why did I wait so late in life to do this? Sure, somedays you have to blast away with c-f ammo - but cheap rimfire shooting can be a lot of fun. YMMV.

Stainz

PS Old stock $8/1k primers don't count... you must use primers made in this millenium. Spanish-American War-era surplus smokeless powder isn't fair either - neither is 'borrowing' your neighbors' wheel weights to smelt into bullets!

Rexster
September 29, 2011, 07:20 PM
Saw an add for the SP101 in .22 LR as a "trusted companion"

Why would someone buy this gun?
I think I may have a twin, from whom I was accidentally separated at birth. This twin works for Ruger, and designed their SP101 factory grip, and the original, pre-Hogue GP100 factory grip. For my hands, the SP101 is the best compact handgun in the world. I have other financial priorities right now, but when I can afford it, I will acquire a .22 SP101.

I already have a .22 S&W model 17, which is eminently useful for training, plinking, and just being a fun weapon to own. If I manage to finally live a more rural lifestyle after I retire, a .22 revolver will increase in usefulness, taking on roles such as pest control. A stainless Ruger will get the nod at least some of the time simply because I live near enough to the Gulf of Mexico.

I already use my .357 SP101 five-guns daily. Just as my S&W .22 has served as a small-bore companion to my medium/large sixguns, when they were my daily carry and weapons, a .22 SP101 will serve that role in the future.

Now, if only Ruger would introduce a 4" or 5" .357 SP101 with the same rear sight set-up as the new .22 SP101!

bigfatdave
September 29, 2011, 08:03 PM
I think I may have a twin, from whom I was accidentally separated at birth. This twin works for Ruger, and designed their SP101 factory grip, and the original, pre-Hogue GP100 factory grip. For my hands, the SP101 is the best compact handgun in the world. I have other financial priorities right now, but when I can afford it, I will acquire a .22 SP101.I have the long-lost twin, too
He works for Walther, and has been shaping their frames & grips since at least 1938.

TonyAngel
October 10, 2011, 03:16 AM
The little revolver is on my short list of must haves. I have a single six, but loading and unloading it is a real pain in the rear.

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