GP 100 or SP 101


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Ex
September 16, 2013, 11:36 PM
Given that you may want to use either .357 mag, or .38 spl, and would want to use recreationally, which would you choose?

Have a blued GP 100, wouldn't mind another!
Have never shot and don't know much about the SP 101.

Comments, tips, opines or suggestions much appreciated!!!

Ex

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JRWhit
September 16, 2013, 11:47 PM
Sp 101 is a pretty sweet shooting little revolver. Mine is the 2 inch in .357mag.
The trigger was decent out of the box, both single action and double action. It just got better with use. It's built like a little tank and with the full force felt from the .357 in it's lighter frame. It's an absolute blast to plink with 38s. I would highly recommend it.

Ex
September 16, 2013, 11:51 PM
Appreciate it JR! Welcoming all comments here!

Tony_the_tiger
September 17, 2013, 12:34 AM
The obvious answer is: both!

http://i978.photobucket.com/albums/ae269/kiwirat33/rugers_zpsde174dbd.jpg

The GP was my first firearm and I enjoy shooting it immensely. GP stands for general purpose and it serves well for woods duty, home defense, or even in a nice OWB when you can get away with it. It is heavy, which makes it enjoyable to shoot with any load, and it has an appeal that cannot be overstated.

The SP is great for what it is - special purpose. It sees its fair share of carry duty and by any measure it is the concealable GP 100. Expect reduced power, reduced sight picture, smaller grip frame, and in the model featured above double action only... expect more recoil than its kin, which is the trade-off for its concealability.

It comes down to the purpose you are using it for, however I do not think you can go wrong with either, and if I could only keep one it would be the 4" GP - for me it is the quintessential beefy looking revolver and I dig it. In the original post you mentioned recreation - to me that means shooting ranges or out in the woods - GP wins. Unless you hike alot and are minimizing the weight on your hip, but this is probably not the case since both are relatively heavy among firearms.

If you look carefully, you can find shorter GP's and bigger SP's, but those are beyond the scope of this post.

Mooseman
September 17, 2013, 12:42 AM
I love my SP101 for concealed carry but for recreational use I'd definitely go with the GP 100 with adjustable sights.

DPris
September 17, 2013, 12:47 AM
I'm not so sure the GP & SP explanations are correct.
I've asked my contact at Ruger & he says nobody he asks knows.
I've also never seen those designations in any Ruger literature anywhere.
Denis

Ex
September 17, 2013, 01:01 AM
Man! Great responses guys! Just the kind of info I am looking for!
General or Special is interesting but not that much of a concern.
Truly for SD, I would pick my G22 or G29. Maybe my 1911.
So recreation is really the keyword here.

So, now that the CC issue has been posed, I have my G22, G29, G20 that are my woods/camping choices.

Currently my GP100 is nightstand equip with .38spl JHP. (From 10 ft at the bedroom door...)

So seeing that I may have provided a bit more info in the beginning, interest in another revolver IS recreational. It appears from info (GREAT) so far that the SP 101 may not be what I'm after. Most of my handguns are semi, and currently I only own two wheelguns. My GP100 an my beloved SingleSix .22 WMR.

Perhaps I'll modify this question... What for another revolver with now said conditions? ;)

Ex
September 17, 2013, 01:04 AM
Tony, loved your answer... "both"!

joneb
September 17, 2013, 01:22 AM
I love my SP101 for concealed carry but for recreational use I'd definitely go with the GP 100 with adjustable sights.
I am in this camp.

Dr_B
September 17, 2013, 01:35 AM
I love my SP101 for concealed carry but for recreational use I'd definitely go with the GP 100 with adjustable sights.
I am in this camp.

Same here, except I don't love my SP101 for concealed carry. Its just too heavy for concealed carry in my opinion unless you don't mind the weight. I take it camping sometimes. But the GP100 gets LOTS of use shooting steel.

Ex
September 17, 2013, 01:54 AM
I tell many people "want the best answers, go to thehighroad.org" and this thread shows why!!!

Keep it coming guys! Have a suggestion? Feel free to side track it a little.
I really like my Ruger wheel guns, that goes without saying. I'm looking for my next pistola! Will it be a SP 101? Or ANOTHER GP100? Wouldn't mind one that's for sure...

Sell me on something!!! Please! :)

788Ham
September 17, 2013, 02:18 AM
I have the SP 101, 3" for CCW, I carry it in a Bianchi pancake holster on the RT hip. Its is a tad heavy, have Houge grips on it, but the extra weight of the revolver gives me the "heft" I want to hang onto when shooting the .357 rounds, just my preference. Either one will do you good service, but I don't have a GP to compare it to.

Tophernj
September 17, 2013, 05:30 AM
Get a 3" or 6" GP and go nuts!

I have a 3" barreled gun and it is a hoot to shoot. The muzzle flash from a shorter barrel with hot loads makes the whole range come looking. The 6" will be super enjoyable with the hottest load and could make a nice hunting gun if one is so inclined.

Good luck.

ArchAngelCD
September 17, 2013, 06:17 AM
Neither are suitable for pocket carry so if you're going to carry on your belt you might as well buy the GP100 and add a round to the count. The GP100 does come with a 3" barrel.

I'm a fan of the GP100 but I do not like the SP101 at all. I don't like the trigger, the balance, the feel or the looks of the SP101.

Blue Brick
September 17, 2013, 06:55 AM
Ruger S6. I love my PS6.

MrDig
September 17, 2013, 10:10 AM
I would go with a shorter barreled GP 100 3 or 4 inch but that's me. I have a 6 inch and it shoots like a dream, cleanining out the powder burns from 38s real easy and is built so it will shoot well when my Grand Kids pass it down to their kids.

RealGun
September 17, 2013, 10:22 AM
The one that can seriously handle full up .357 Magnum is the GP100. I reload custom ammo for my SP101. My GP100 at 5" can handle anything, but I am not sure I would be a fan at 3".

DeMilled
September 17, 2013, 10:27 AM
I tell many people "want the best answers, go to thehighroad.org" and this thread shows why!!!

Keep it coming guys! Have a suggestion? Feel free to side track it a little.
I really like my Ruger wheel guns, that goes without saying. I'm looking for my next pistola! Will it be a SP 101? Or ANOTHER GP100? Wouldn't mind one that's for sure...

Sell me on something!!! Please! :)


Well then...
Since you already have a GP100 why not get a wheel gun in something a bit larger than 357?
I bet one of these bad boys would look great in your line up!
http://www.ruger.com/products/redhawk/models.html

TUBBY1
September 17, 2013, 10:57 AM
I too own both. If I had to give one up it would be the gp 161. The sp in 3" is my favorite. The 6" barrel on the gp keeps it bedside or recreational only. Both shoot great. A 4" on a gp would be my next buy. Can't go wrong with any of them. Good shooting

Tony_the_tiger
September 17, 2013, 11:19 AM
If your mind is open to other revolvers a S&W Model 10 has historical significance and in some models achieves almost perfect balance. They are chambered for .38 and can be picked up for around $300 - $400 on the used market.

However... something really fun would be a Ruger Flat-top Bisley in .44 special...

Hokkmike
September 17, 2013, 12:51 PM
Though I have a SP101 I thinking shooting the .357 mag out of a GP100 would be more fun and less painful on the wrist and fingers. I am not a fan of the .357 in smaller guns.

I AM a fan of the SP101 however but use a .2 mag.

Ex
September 17, 2013, 09:29 PM
Well then...
Since you already have a GP100 why not get a wheel gun in something a bit larger than 357?
I bet one of these bad boys would look great in your line up!
http://www.ruger.com/products/redhawk/models.html

Excellent point DeMilled! In fact your suggestion has me looking at a Blackhawk convertible. I wouldn't mind another .357 and the 9mm option would make it real cheap to shoot! BN-36X 0318 357 Mag Extra 9mm Luger Cylinder Hmmm, my curiosity is piqued!

BTW, how beastly is the .44 mag to shoot? I don't want to go home sore and get teased about "girly wrists"! ROFLOL

Ex
September 17, 2013, 09:42 PM
I too own both. If I had to give one up it would be the gp 161. The sp in 3" is my favorite. The 6" barrel on the gp keeps it bedside or recreational only. Both shoot great. A 4" on a gp would be my next buy. Can't go wrong with any of them. Good shooting
My GP is a 4" barrel and I really like it!

Ex
September 17, 2013, 09:44 PM
If your mind is open to other revolvers a S&W Model 10 has historical significance and in some models achieves almost perfect balance. They are chambered for .38 and can be picked up for around $300 - $400 on the used market.

However... something really fun would be a Ruger Flat-top Bisley in .44 special...
Am now looking at these... Don't own any S&Ws. Have always thought that any collection kinda needs at least one "Smithy"!

DeMilled
September 17, 2013, 10:06 PM
I had owned my GP100 and SP101 for about four years when I came across some police trade in S&W M64s, I bought three and gave one each to my Mom and sister, kept one for my household.

My wife loves shooting it, her 14 yr old boy likes to think it's "his" and I have spent a lot of time playing around shooting my inexpensive lead hollow point reloads.

The M64 and M10, in my opinion, are probably the most over looked revolvers for the average household.

EX, if you have a household that likes going shooting with you but does not care for the full house 357 out of a GP100 the S&W M10, or M64 should get a good hard look from you!

My wife likes my GP100 but only shoots a few rounds out of it before her wrists get tired. I have the 6" barrel with full underlug so it's no surprise.
She will shoot the M64 until we are out of ammo for the day.

Ex
September 17, 2013, 10:28 PM
I had owned my GP100 and SP101 for about four years when I came across some police trade in S&W M64s, I bought three and gave one each to my Mom and sister, kept one for my household.

My wife loves shooting it, her 14 yr old boy likes to think it's "his" and I have spent a lot of time playing around shooting my inexpensive lead hollow point reloads.

The M64 and M10, in my opinion, are probably the most over looked revolvers for the average household.

EX, if you have a household that likes going shooting with you but does not care for the full house 357 out of a GP100 the S&W M10, or M64 should get a good hard look from you!

My wife likes my GP100 but only shoots a few rounds out of it before her wrists get tired. I have the 6" barrel with full underlug so it's no surprise.
She will shoot the M64 until we are out of ammo for the day.
Thanks DeMilled! Will be over at gunbroker and others this eve looking at M64 and M10.

But again, just how snappy is a .44 mag from a wheel gun? How much more oomph would be felt over the .357? I handle full boat .357s with no problem at all. But everything bigger than that in my possession is in a semi that absorbs much of the recoil.
Just curious...

DeMilled
September 17, 2013, 10:38 PM
I'd say the difference between stout 357 mag and 44 mag is a bit like the difference between 40 cal and 45 acp.

The 44 mag is stronger, for sure, but it's more of a strong push over a sharp/snappy recoil.

Bear in mind that this is just from shooting other guys 44 mag revolvers, I don't own one.
Yet...

1858
September 17, 2013, 10:39 PM
I have the following Ruger revolvers chambered in .357 Mag.

GP100 4.2" barrel stainless
GP100 3.0" barrel stainless
SP101 3.06" barrel stainless
LCR 1.875" barrel stainless

I can comfortably shoot the heaviest magnum loads (numerous rounds) out of the GP100s and SP101 with Hogue grips. I wouldn't want to shoot too many Remington 125gr UMC loads out of the LCR but I can shoot Golden Saber 125gr ammunition out of the LCR all day long, also with Hogue grips. I use the LCR for CC and am adding another as a back up. I don't use the SP101 or the GP100s for CC because I find them too heavy. If I were out in the woods and had a good chest carry rig I'd have no problem with the SP101 or GP100 but if I were doing that I'd most likely carry my Redhawk or Super Redhawk.

Bottom line: Define recreation. What do you plan to do with the revolver. If I could only keep one of the four listed it would be the LCR ... no doubt about it. It is the single most practical handgun I've ever owned and I have a bunch. Second choice would be the SP101 followed by the 3.0" GP100 and finally the 4.2" GP100. Then again, my focus is on a defensive revolver so my opinion is just that.

beag_nut
September 17, 2013, 10:40 PM
Back to the original question:
I have both the GP and the SP. My SP is .357 with 4" barrel. Thus it is equally good at "recreational" shooting since the sights are adjustable and the front sight is fiber-optic. That said, it is better suited to .38 spl. +P loads, since the GP is so much heavier and can handle the mag loads without barking one's hand. As I have said before, I carry my SP in the boonies east of the Mississippi, and my GP west of that river. Black bear are commonly in the east, and browns are to the west. Guess which bear are larger?
I don't envision EVER trading either revolver for any type of S&W. I like rugged.

Ex
September 17, 2013, 10:46 PM
I'd say the difference between stout 357 mag and 44 mag is a bit like the difference between 40 cal and 45 acp.

The 44 mag is stronger, for sure, but it's more of a strong push over a sharp/snappy recoil.

Bear in mind that this is just from shooting other guys 44 mag revolvers, I don't own one.
Yet...
Interesting you used the term "push" and compared it to .40/.45. That is exactly the comparison I used years ago after having shot my first .45 rounds!

tomrkba
September 17, 2013, 10:48 PM
I dislike the SP101, but since this is THR, you must buy both.

But again, just how snappy is a .44 mag from a wheel gun? How much more oomph would be felt over the .357? I handle full boat .357s with no problem at all. But everything bigger than that in my possession is in a semi that absorbs much of the recoil.

That's a 55 gallon drum worth of worms. You can go from mild to insanely wild with 44 Magnum. 44 Special is pleasant to shoot out of a Ruger Alaskan. Speer Gold Dot JHP 44 Magnum at 1150 FPS is stout--you definitely feel it in your hand. Remington UMC 180 grain would seem light...but they're flashy, flaming screaming monsters that devastate paper targets and cardboard backers. I consider 1100 FPS or so (240 grains or less) to be "comfortable" with the Alaskan; anything more than that limits my shooting for that session. I found that 240 grain bullets at 1300 FPS to limit my shooting to one cylinder per session (with Hogue tamer stocks).

Pencil barrel 629s shoot differently than 629s with bull barrels. The extra weight matters. I found the 629 with 4" pencil barrel to be too much with the above ammo with any open backstrap stock. It was a 1000 FPS gun for me. We'll see about the 629 bull barrel...I have yet to shoot it. It should be a bit better and I plan upon using better stocks.

Ex
September 17, 2013, 10:49 PM
Back to the original question:
I have both the GP and the SP. My SP is .357 with 4" barrel. Thus it is equally good at "recreational" shooting since the sights are adjustable and the front sight is fiber-optic. That said, it is better suited to .38 spl. +P loads, since the GP is so much heavier and can handle the mag loads without barking one's hand. As I have said before, I carry my SP in the boonies east of the Mississippi, and my GP west of that river. Black bear are commonly in the east, and browns are to the west. Guess which bear are larger?
I don't envision EVER trading either revolver for any type of S&W. I like rugged.
For me, when camping or in woods where animals might become a problem, it's ALWAYS my G20 or G29 10mm. For me, revolvers are more for collecting, enjoying, shooting for fun. Not that I trust them more or less than other but I like having 15 rounds of 10mm in the tent or on the trail and with a spare mag.

Ex
September 17, 2013, 10:51 PM
I dislike the SP101, but since this is THR, you must buy both.
What might I ask is it that you dislike about the SP 101? To me the only obvious thing (never having shot one) is the lack of adjustable sight...

DeMilled
September 17, 2013, 10:54 PM
Interesting you used the term "push" and compared it to .40/.45. That is exactly the comparison I used years ago after having shot my first .45 rounds!

I figure most people are somewhat familiar with the 40 to 45 comparison.

Now, a big booming 44mag round is still quite a bit stronger than any 357.
I was just speaking to the "characteristic" of the recoil.

If hot 44 mag is not to your liking 44 spl rounds are always an option.

44 spl is actually very nice to shoot, from my limited experience with another guys revolver.


I really think you may want to get some range time with a 44 mag/spl before you spend that money that's burning a hole in your pocket.

Ex
September 17, 2013, 11:00 PM
I figure most people are somewhat familiar with the 40 to 45 comparison.

Now, a big booming 44mag round is still quite a bit stronger than any 357.
I was just speaking to the "characteristic" of the recoil.

If hot 44 mag is not to your liking 44 spl rounds are always an option.

44 spl is actually very nice to shoot, from my limited experience with another guys revolver.


I really think you may want to get some range time with a 44 mag/spl before you spend that money that's burning a hole in your pocket.
Always my friend! In fact there are several range/shops here that have lots of "demo" guns to rent/try in hoping you will buy from them. But you know, .44 mag and spl will be more sets of dies for me to buy! What we consider a fun advantage, my wifey sees as a nonsense "shouldn't have bought that" purchase ;)

Anyone have one of those large cal Ruger convertibles? Like the .357/9mm?

tomrkba
September 17, 2013, 11:25 PM
What might I ask is it that you dislike about the SP 101? To me the only obvious thing (never having shot one) is the lack of adjustable sight...

I have owned two in different years. Long story short:

1) Front sight must be changed to something useful with Tritium or a gold bead.
2) Rear sight should be mounted on the gun. Sunlight makes it all sparkley and pretty which coincidentally causes misses
3) Crane too short; difficult to reload quickly.
4) Too large for good concealment; it's a belt gun.
5) Grips stink and get in the way of speed loaders. Easily fixed, but cost is another $75+.
6) Too heavy for a five shooter. Make the cylinder a few millimeters larger and squeeze in a sixth round. I'd buy two.
7) The trigger was terrible on the first one, decent on the second. There goes another $75-100 for a trigger job. You can make it workable using shims and springs from triggershims.com.

Other than all that, it's great ;)

lobo9er
September 17, 2013, 11:28 PM
depends what you are going to with it.
Hiking, ccw or carrying, sp101.
Range gun and HD only GP100.

Thats my opinion.

Ex
September 17, 2013, 11:31 PM
Great info there Tom! Appreciate the candid opine. Not having shot an SP, this is all new info for me and very valuable!!!

Ex
September 17, 2013, 11:33 PM
Great info from all and many thanks! I have a lot to digest. I am "leaning" towards that Ruger convertible.

Confederate
September 17, 2013, 11:34 PM
I tell everyone who wants a GP-100 to either get a Ruger Security-Six or a S&W 686. But if you like the GP-100, at least get one in stainless steel. It doesn't show holster wear, keeps its value better and resists pressure and gas cutting more, not to mention rain! At least try out a 686 before you buy.

As for the SP-101, nice little gun. Better in the 3-inch, I think. Nice action with a better spring and it is built like a brick outhouse.

You can't lose. But if you buy a 686, you won't regret it!

Ex
September 17, 2013, 11:43 PM
You can't lose. But if you buy a 686, you won't regret it!

Interesting. Hadn't noticed this one either! 7 rounds in a .357 interests me. Choices... great but increases the homework!

tomrkba
September 18, 2013, 12:55 AM
Great info there Tom! Appreciate the candid opine. Not having shot an SP, this is all new info for me and very valuable!!!

Definitely go shoot one with 2 1/4" and 3" barrels. You may like it and can modify it to fit your needs. A heavy 357 compact revolver works for many THR members.

I think any of the choices listed will work well for you. Shoot them all. You'll likely end up buying one of each. Or two. Or three. It's an addiction. Just don't look at Dillon reloading presses.

PO2Hammer
September 18, 2013, 01:17 AM
GP100 all day long.
The SP101 is too small for my hands, especially with the factory grips. Hogue rubbers help, but it still feels like I'm trying to strangle a pencil.

skidder
September 18, 2013, 02:52 AM
I put a Wolff spring kit in my SP and it made a huge difference. The DA pull is under eight pounds and ignition has been reliable.

I wouldn't want anything lighter than an SP for 357.

People that say these new 10-18 oz plastic/aluminum/potmetal 357s are a good choice loaded with 357 magnum ammo are handing out plastic flowers. They are not fun to shoot, and do not make a practical 357 for carry. Even the 38 +P can be a handful. I recommend using 38 special for these types of guns.

My SP weighs 25 oz and my GP 40 oz. My SP gets to ride shotgun more due to the lighter carry weight. I think everybody needs a "special purpose" revolver like the SP. They can still handle the HOT 357s without wearing down the gun or your hand.

http://i1212.photobucket.com/albums/cc456/exlogger/GP100/GPSPWin_zpsba17e490.jpg

RealGun
September 18, 2013, 12:22 PM
Confederate -You can't lose. But if you buy a 686, you won't regret it!

EX - Interesting. Hadn't noticed this one either! 7 rounds in a .357 interests me. Choices... great but increases the homework!

The 686 comes in 6 or 7 shot, the latter being the "686 Plus". I have the 6 shot 4" and like my choice. For one thing, it shares speedloaders with other guns. It's a challenge finding 5 shot accessories, let alone 7 shot. The 7 shot costs more, at least when new.

mavracer
September 18, 2013, 01:23 PM
This thread needs a long pair. 3" SP and 6" GP and as others have mentioned the correct answer is both.
http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii261/mavracer/guns5_zps2620da9b.jpg (http://s266.photobucket.com/user/mavracer/media/guns5_zps2620da9b.jpg.html)

1858
September 18, 2013, 01:34 PM
People that say these new 10-18 oz plastic/aluminum/potmetal 357s are a good choice loaded with 357 magnum ammo are handing out plastic flowers. They are not fun to shoot, and do not make a practical 357 for carry. Even the 38 +P can be a handful. I recommend using 38 special for these types of guns.

This is nothing more than your opinion. I find my LCR fun to shoot and it makes an excellent carry handgun ... but that's nothing more than my opinion ... which is what matters to me.

skidder
September 18, 2013, 05:18 PM
This is nothing more than your opinion. I find my LCR fun to shoot and it makes an excellent carry handgun ... but that's nothing more than my opinion ... which is what matters to me.
What? You don't you know that I'm always right? You must have missed the memo. ;)

IMO of course. I guess I'm just getting wimpier as I get older.

MrBorland
September 18, 2013, 05:51 PM
Recreational use? GP100, no question. Never "got" the SP101, myself. Awfully heavy & clunky for a 5-shot revo, and, IMO, has the ergonomics of a 2x4.

Someone mentioned the 686. Another good recommendation, though I'd opt for the 6-, rather than the 7-shot. For higher capacity, I suggest a 4" or 5" S&W 627.

Ex
September 18, 2013, 10:37 PM
Such a plethora of good info and comments. Appreciate the comments from ALL!!!

Ex
September 18, 2013, 10:43 PM
Shoot them all. You'll likely end up buying one of each. Or two. Or three. It's an addiction. Just don't look at Dillon reloading presses.


Too late! Already drank blue koolaid several years ago. Hooked now, no going back! ;)

righteoushoot
September 19, 2013, 08:54 AM
If you get the SP101, I highly recommend getting a set of the Pachmayr grips such as these:

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/198084/pachmayr-compac-grips-ruger-sp101-rubber-black

I think they offer even greater recoil taming with not much difference in size. THey feel MUCH better too.

If you get the GP100, get the old style compact grips that take the same grip panels as the SP101. Much more concealable.

RealGun
September 19, 2013, 09:11 AM
If you get the GP100, get the old style compact grips that take the same grip panels as the SP101. Much more concealable.

If you do that, you may have to use tamer ammo. Concealing a full grip requires a forward cant holster, so the grip length goes up along your side. As long as the cylinder rides above the belt line, an OWB is good enough

amd6547
September 19, 2013, 10:22 AM
If you do that, you may have to use tamer ammo. Concealing a full grip requires a forward cant holster, so the grip length goes up along your side. As long as the cylinder rides above the belt line, an OWB is good enough
Not in my experience. I recently added the OEM Lett compact grip to my 3" GP100.
I put 100rds of commercial full power 357 ammo through it last week. Recoil was no problem at all, whether shooting slow fire single action at 25yds or rapid double action at 7yds. They worked great.

BTW, I just got a Galco Summer Comfort IWB for my 3"...very comfortable to wear, and conceals easily.

Queen_of_Thunder
September 19, 2013, 10:46 AM
I see both options as conceal carry weapons but for fun time at the range I would choose something else. Maybe a 10/22 if you wish to stay with ruger. Of course you could branch out to a 1911, a S&W model 17, 57, 58, 25-5, 25-2, shotgun,AR or whatever you fancy.

RealGun
September 19, 2013, 11:43 AM
Originally Posted by RealGun View Post
If you do that, you may have to use tamer ammo. Concealing a full grip requires a forward cant holster, so the grip length goes up along your side. As long as the cylinder rides above the belt line, an OWB is good enough
Not in my experience. I recently added the OEM Lett compact grip to my 3" GP100.
I put 100rds of commercial full power 357 ammo through it last week. Recoil was no problem at all, whether shooting slow fire single action at 25yds or rapid double action at 7yds. They worked great.

BTW, I just got a Galco Summer Comfort IWB for my 3"...very comfortable to wear, and conceals easily.

How nice for you. There are always exceptions, but you are ignoring the large club of bruised-finger, bone-bruised-thumb people who tried that grip. You can't have missed that topic.

anothernewb
September 19, 2013, 11:44 AM
I'll put in with the others. GP100 for the adjustable sights, and a slightly heavier gun to reduce recoil.

However, I have recently discovered a lust for smith model 19's

amd6547
September 19, 2013, 11:51 AM
How nice for you. There are always exceptions, but you are ignoring the large club of bruised-finger, bone-bruised-thumb people who tried that grip. You can't have missed that topic.
No doubt there are plenty of people who don't know how to hold a handgun of any type, let alone a magnum.
When I was at the range shooting my GP last week, there was a guy shooting a 6" barreled S&W Model 27. He was shooting at 7yds, sitting, using his range bag as a rest. I heard him complain that he was "all over the paper"...He was shooting a larger group than I was getting standing, offhand at 25yds with my 3". As I watched him shoot, I could see he was holding way down the grip...at least an inch below the recoil shoulder on the frame. With each shot, the barrel was rising up like a hot loaded 44magnum.
My last 357 was a S&W Model 19 2.5" snub. While it came with Hogue rubber banana grips, I preferred the small wood magnas with Tyler T-grip. No problem shooting magnums with that combo, either.

RealGun
September 19, 2013, 11:56 AM
No doubt there are plenty of people who don't know how to hold a handgun of any type, let alone a magnum.


Maybe true but it's too arrogant, considering that the standard grip on the gun is a rubber Hogue.

horsemen61
September 19, 2013, 12:02 PM
Get one of both you will be happy :D

amd6547
September 19, 2013, 12:45 PM
"Arrogant"? Not really.
When I bought my 3" GP, it had the big Hogues on it. I disliked them immediately for their looks and for the extra bulk and size they added to what is otherwise a compact revolver.
However, I did use them on my first range trip with this GP...I found they worked very well for shooting. They fit my hand well, pointed well, and handled recoil well.
Yet, they made carrying the GP nearly impossible.
The compact Lett grip is perfect for my application, and the larger OEM Lett grip would probably work great too.
The only reason Hogue is standard on the GP now is that the original manufacturer of the GP grip went out of business, or so I understand.
Over on the Ruger forum, there is a strong dislike of the Hogue and a rabid search for Lett grips. Look at eBay...OEM GP grips sell for unbelievable money.

mavracer
September 19, 2013, 01:16 PM
There are always exceptions, but you are ignoring the large club of bruised-finger, bone-bruised-thumb people who tried that grip.
Not sure exactly how large that club is since you're the only member I've come across. You ever think that maybe just maybe you're the exception;).

I've launched quite a few of the 412gr bullets pictured @ 1300+FPS with the "factory" Lett grips shown and find they are very good at absorbing recoil.

http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii261/mavracer/Gypsum-20110406-00110.jpg (http://s266.photobucket.com/user/mavracer/media/Gypsum-20110406-00110.jpg.html)

Mat, not doormat
September 19, 2013, 04:37 PM
I don't own either, but had an opportunity to shoot both just a week or so ago.

The GP struck me as a fine gun, suitable for whatever you'd use a full size, medium magnum handgun for. Range work, woods carry, close range hunting with the long barrel, general carry with the shorter barrel. It's heavy enough that it probably doesn't belong on an ordinary trouser belt, but rather a proper gunbelt. It can be made to work on a reinforced 1.5" or 1.75" heavy trouser belt, but probably not as happily as on a 2 or 3" duty belt.

The SP is something of an oddity, though. On the one hand, it's a pretty good answer to the question "How big should a .357 snubby be to be shootable?" Of course, hat basically comes down to "Not really a snubby anymore."

The SP is a fine little gun, well made, and more pleasant to shoot than any other small .357. But it's too big and heavy for the snubby's traditional home in the pocket. It really belongs on the belt. And if you're going to be belt carrying, there's a lot more bang for the bulk and for the ounce to be had than a five shooter, even if it is a .357.

To answer the question you actually asked, then, for a recreational shooter, definitely get the GP100.

Queen_of_Thunder
September 19, 2013, 04:38 PM
I'll put in with the others. GP100 for the adjustable sights, and a slightly heavier gun to reduce recoil.

However, I have recently discovered a lust for smith model 19's
I finally got my first model 19 with a 2 1/2 barrel. Really nice but the model 586 is my sweet spot. I've yet to find anything to beat it even my coveted model 610.

tomrkba
September 19, 2013, 06:53 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by anothernewb View Post
I'll put in with the others. GP100 for the adjustable sights, and a slightly heavier gun to reduce recoil.

However, I have recently discovered a lust for smith model 19's
I finally got my first model 19 with a 2 1/2 barrel. Really nice but the model 586 is my sweet spot. I've yet to find anything to beat it even my coveted model 610.

Ugh...I hated my Model 19 with 2 1/2" barrel. It needed a longer ejector rod to fully throw out the spent cases. Recoil with 357 Magnum was...not fun. If I wanted a gun in 38 Special, I would have bought one chambered for it :)

Revolver Ocelot
September 20, 2013, 12:15 AM
personally I'd say the gp100 would make a better "recreational" gun, that being said, you already have one. I personally see no reason to have two of the same gun unless one of them is a different model and has something to offer that the other doesn't.

I'd say get the sp101 and consider carrying it. I have a 3" that has been worked on by marc at Gemini customs that has been my everyday carry for 2 years now.

anothernewb
September 20, 2013, 11:18 AM
my 19-3 is a 4" version.

I will also agree with the others. if you want a range toy. GP100. if you intend to carry, the SP101 is designed a little better for that.

Ex
September 21, 2013, 01:58 AM
I have no issues with carrying a GP100. Tiny bit wider and no heavier than a G20 in 10mm which is one heck of a powerhouse. I think I have decided against an SP101 in favour of a stainless GP as mine is blued. A pair would be nice. I will also have the advantage that the stainless GP will not get rings on the cylinder.

I must say !again! that there is no limit in my appreciation to all who have responded to this thread for your input. Hearing from so many people, weighing the differences and averaging the comments is invaluable!

There simply is no substitute for this kind of information from experienced shooters and owners. I am forever in your debt! I only hope that I can offer information from my experience that helps someone else.

I have enough info to pursue/make choice/test desired steel and make a sound decision and thank you all!!!!

Ex

kbbailey
September 21, 2013, 11:50 AM
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-7WXzV9ofcEA/UiCgLKHXn1I/AAAAAAAAACQ/kS5AU4sqp1I/w878-h495-no/2013-08-15_19-24-36_380.jpg

I take my sp101 in case i have to shoot something.
I take my bigger d/a revolvers when i wnat to go hunting or shooting.

tomrkba
October 2, 2013, 09:52 PM
My vote is for a GP-141 carried in a Milt Sparks PMK:

http://i1205.photobucket.com/albums/bb425/tomrkba/firearms/revolvers/Ruger-GP100-Black/RugerGP100Black-Ammo.jpg

http://i1205.photobucket.com/albums/bb425/tomrkba/firearms/revolvers/Ruger-GP100-Black/RugerGP100Black-muzzle.jpg

http://i1205.photobucket.com/albums/bb425/tomrkba/firearms/revolvers/Ruger-GP100-Black/RugerGP100Black-PMK.jpg

Hondo 60
October 4, 2013, 11:38 AM
My GP-100 is MUCH more fun to shoot than an SP-101.

I've had 2 of the smaller guns & don't think I'll be getting a 3rd.
I was using it for EDC, but it just wasn't fun to practice with.

Some people will say, just shoot 38spls at the range & carry 357s for SD/HD.
I don't understand that mentality.
I want to practice with the exact same ammo I'll use when the situation demands excellence.

RugRev
October 4, 2013, 12:52 PM
Have both the GP 4" and SP 2.25". Time came to get another revolver and have not had a "Six" Series in a while so got a 2.75" Speed Six. The Sixes have been out of production for a while but one can find them in well stocked stores with used guns and online which I did. The Sixes are slightly smaller than the GP but still a 6 round gun. They are the Ruger "K" frame and are similar size and weight.

MIL-DOT
October 4, 2013, 02:22 PM
I also have both, a stainless 6" GP, and a 3" SP. This is my 2nd SP101, so I obviously like them, but their main advantage is that they are a bit smaller and lighter when carrying. But, as has been noted above, they're still pretty heavy guns, too heavy for EDC, in my opinion (I eventually went to an Airweight S&W.)
But my GP100 is my absolute favorite pistol. I love that thing, as do all my freinds. Fit and finish is outstanding,it's accurate, got an excellent trigger ( I HAD to install a lighter hammer spring in my SP) , and if the lock-up was any tighter, it'd be a friggin' Python,LOL!! Seriously, it's the tightest I've ever seen on one, you have to try very hard to detect any play at all. I bit the bullet an put some Hogue cocobolo grips on it, and it now looks spectacular.
My GP would be the very last pistol I own that I would trade or sell.

RealGun
October 5, 2013, 12:05 PM
My GP-100 is MUCH more fun to shoot than an SP-101.

I've had 2 of the smaller guns & don't think I'll be getting a 3rd.
I was using it for EDC, but it just wasn't fun to practice with.

Some people will say, just shoot 38spls at the range & carry 357s for SD/HD.
I don't understand that mentality.
I want to practice with the exact same ammo I'll use when the situation demands excellence.

Similar dilemma here...My SP101 3" gets a custom load equivalent to a little more than a .38 SPL +p in a .357 case. Doing the same thing for SD ammo, which I cannot buy off the shelf without being too hot, means using a light bullet like 125g and comparable load to the lead bullet practice ammo.

Actually the SP101 is usually a cross draw to a second gun on my strong side with full up .357 Magnum, my S&W 686 4".

When I carry the 5" GP100, it is usually cross draw, so I can sit comfortably with it and is concealable. It uses the serious firepower ammo because it is heavy enough to handle it.

To summarize, I think the SP 101 is better suited to someone who can load their own custom ammo.

mavracer
October 5, 2013, 12:28 PM
Similar dilemma here...My SP101 3" gets a custom load equivalent to a little more than a .38 SPL +p in a .357 case. Doing the same thing for SD ammo, which I cannot buy off the shelf without being too hot, means using a light bullet like 125g and comparable load to the lead bullet practice ammo.
If you want off the shelf ammo in that power range try either Speer SBGD 135gr@1000 fps or Remington Golden sabers 125@1220 to me the recoil of these 2 are no more objectionable than 158gr +P 38s.

RealGun
October 5, 2013, 01:15 PM
Similar dilemma here...My SP101 3" gets a custom load equivalent to a little more than a .38 SPL +p in a .357 case. Doing the same thing for SD ammo, which I cannot buy off the shelf without being too hot, means using a light bullet like 125g and comparable load to the lead bullet practice ammo.

If you want off the shelf ammo in that power range try either Speer SBGD 135gr@1000 fps or Remington Golden sabers 125@1220 to me the recoil of these 2 are no more objectionable than 158gr +P 38s.

That's good to know, but I don't buy ammo in that price range except maybe SD, which I currently make using XTP bullets. I'm good but will remember this tip.

Now I am going to check how difficult it is to find for sale, in stock.

addendum:
.357 Magnum Speer SBGD 135 gr - cursory check with Google shows lots of forums talk about it but no online merchants selling it.
.357 Magnum Remington Golden Sabers 125 (sic) - Alamo Ammo does not say Out of stock, but others say "unavailable".

I did find some stock in .38 Spl, but I don't use that in my .357 guns.

Again, $1.00 per round in .357 is not appealing to this reloader, but I try to buy my SD ammo.

Biohazard1993
October 8, 2013, 06:26 PM
I love my old man's sp101 2" model with hogue grips that will someday be mine. I have never shot a gp100 but have shot other larger 357 mags and will say that the sp101 does have a little more recoil. With that being said I do not understand the pain that some people speek of when mentioning an sp101; im no big guy but I can shoot the hell out of an sp101 all day and while I will say it would have more recoil than the gp100, I would be lying if i personally thought it was uncontrolable, uncomfortable, or inflicted any kind of pain at all. Maybe people with fair hands or arthritis may have trouble handling the sp101 with hot magnum loads but I wouldn't let that stop the average person from buying it. I would love to have both guns but if I had to choose... Id say the sp101. The sp101 is more easily carried, especially in a shoulder holster (the main point for me) and with a little practice the recoil/acuracy is not affected enough at reasonable distances for me personaly to worry about. The only drawback in my opinion is the lack of the sixth round, but if they put that in it would'nt be the tank built conceal revolver that it is.

herkyguy
October 8, 2013, 06:46 PM
Both shoot great. I have the 2" SP101 and a GP100 6". the weight is the biggest difference. obviously the size is different, but carrying my GP100 on my waist is more or less not an option. i wear a shoulder rig with it. the SP101 is concealable. some might tell you they can conceal a GP100, but it just doesn't work for me.

hardluk1
October 8, 2013, 07:00 PM
GP100 - hunting or serious range handgun
sp101 trail use, lite duty work, house gun. Buy a 4" barrel. 2" to short to perform at its best.

Hokkmike
October 9, 2013, 12:41 PM
Having fired both I prefer the SP101, but NOT in .357 mag. The larger GP is a clear winner there.

I have .32 H&R magnum and it is all the gun I need.

mdauben
October 9, 2013, 02:04 PM
Have a blued GP 100, wouldn't mind another!
Have never shot and don't know much about the SP 101.

If you already have a GP100, I'd buy the SP101 next.
If you are looking for a concealed carry weapon, I'd buy the SP101.
If you are looking for a first .357 revolver for field and/or range use, I'd buy the GP100.

Snake Plisskin
October 9, 2013, 02:51 PM
Personally I would take a look at the Wiley Clapp 3" GP100 might make a nice option of course I am biased. Just a thought.

Manny
October 9, 2013, 07:16 PM
I have a 2.25" SP101 that I used to use for CCW. However as others have pointed out it is a belt gun, not a pocket gun and I've now got a Ruger KLCR For CCW and am looking at replacing the SP with a 4" SP or a 6" GP leaving me in much the same dilemma as you. The SP appeals as a trim trail gun, the GP as a dandy range and hunting gun. Either is rare to find lately though, so I've got a while to make up my mind.

tomrkba
October 10, 2013, 10:02 PM
Some people will say, just shoot 38spls at the range & carry 357s for SD/HD.
I don't understand that mentality.
I want to practice with the exact same ammo I'll use when the situation demands excellence.

I have a class to attend at the end of the month. I found (online) 550 rounds of PMC Bronze 132 gr FMJ 38 Special for $240 shipped. I could not find 550 rounds of 357 Magnum without performing five different transactions and getting five different loads. Hopefully, this situation will change soon.

I insist upon FMJ for classes due to fast shooting and high round count. I don't want to worry about leading, though I do still check at lunch.

RealGun
October 11, 2013, 09:02 AM
I could not find 550 rounds of 357 Magnum without performing five different transactions and getting five different loads. Hopefully, this situation will change soon.

Try LAX Ammo

tomrkba
October 11, 2013, 10:03 AM
Have you done business with LAX Ammo in the past? What was your experience like?

RealGun
October 11, 2013, 03:21 PM
I have one of their ammo cans of .44 Magnum. Their bullets are all plated, so the rounds are not rockets. Received the order promptly, as I recall.

kneesus
October 12, 2013, 10:06 AM
Both! The SP101 is a great CCW weapon, I went to a Glock 33 for more capacity but the SP101 was a pleasure. I gave it to my ex-girlfriend, because she needed a good weapon. I don't want to add anymore to my collection but if it were a pistol it would be the GP100. I have glocks, berettas, 1911's, even a 627 performance center. The GP100 will never, ever let you down, period.

Ex
November 1, 2013, 02:19 AM
Both! The SP101 is a great CCW weapon, I went to a Glock 33 for more capacity but the SP101 was a pleasure. I gave it to my ex-girlfriend, because she needed a good weapon. I don't want to add anymore to my collection but if it were a pistol it would be the GP100. I have glocks, berettas, 1911's, even a 627 performance center. The GP100 will never, ever let you down, period.
Conclusion:
Very much like my stable kneesus, except the 627.

Picked up a VERY slighty used Gp 100 SS w'/6" for $399!
Makes a very fine mate to my Gp 100 Blued 4". STILL waiting for the opportunity
to take it out, but I fondle it daily! (Imply what you will!) ROFLOL

Can't wait to go shoot it!!!!
Will definitely repost on this thread with my impressions
after my trip to the desert for initial testing!!!

This turned into a great thread with LOTS of great input from so many!!!

God bless and thanks for ALL your input!!!

Ex

Fiv3r
November 1, 2013, 09:20 AM
Congrats:)

The GP is on my list for sure. It's just that I have a Blackhawk and Vaquero in .357 with 6.5" and sub 5" barrels, and for plinking I like SA.

The SP has been on my radar for years. Had a choice between it and an LCR 3 years ago. I went with the LCR in .38 and don't regret it for light carry. However, I have decided a stout .357 snub might be the best compromise for my cold weather edc. The SP fits the bill and I found one at a good price with the only thing keeping it from being 98% is the heavy carbon staining on the cylinder face...big whoop:D
IMHO while S&W and Colt have some of the most elegant lines in their revolvers, I can't think of a more "all business" looking snub than the SP101 of the 2" variety. I also love the look of the GP. Ruger's chunky under lug really gives the revolver a muscley look.

Congrats on your purchase:) Can't to wrong with a Ruger tank:D

anothernewb
November 1, 2013, 10:38 AM
one thing I have learned with my GP100 is that the throats are generally machined a bit tight for shooting lead. the bore is close to ideal spec, but the throats are tight. although I will say at mid magnum velocities, the leading still isn't that bad. I can easily complete a range session with no issues. and a copper chore boy cleans up the mess in just a few swipes. That being said, I tried some plated rounds in the same loading and things seemed cleaner. (even using unique, lol.)

they work great with plated and jacketed though. Dug through some other threads with the same issues, the GP100 can be modified to be better suited to lead by reaming them open a bit - but I have yet to be willing to do that since mine is such a sweet shooter.

mdauben
November 1, 2013, 03:33 PM
GP100 - hunting or serious range handgun
sp101 trail use, lite duty work, house gun. Buy a 4" barrel. 2" to short to perform at its best.
This would be my opinion of the uses for the two guns.


GP100 - Home defence, concealed carry, heavy trail gun, hunting, range gun
SP101 - Concealed carry, light trail gun .


IMO, in chosing between the two the only reason to pick the lighter, smaller SP101 is for concealed carry and trail use when weight is a big issue. Even for concealed carry you can use a 4-inch GP100 if you want to. Its bigger and heavier and a bit harder to conceal but it can be done with the right cover garments (I regularly carry a 4-inch S&W 686 in winter when I can use heavier cover garments).

As far as barrel length, for strictly hunting or range work the 6-inch GP gives the best accuracy and muzzle velocity. For concealed carry, I like both of them with 3-inch barrels (IMO best compromise between velocity and concealability). The 4-inch is the most popular barrel for the GP and is a good compromise and much easier to find than the 3-inchers. While the 2-inch is probably the most common SP, it gives up more velocity for only (IMO) marginally more concealability than the 3 inch. I'd really only pick the 4 inch SP as a trail gun.

Hope that helps! :cool:

Schuetze
November 1, 2013, 05:31 PM
I don't know why people always say the SP101 is no pocket gun.
I own a SP101 with a 3" barrel and my favorite way is without holster in my jeans pocket. Nobody ever noticed and I don't have to worry about exposing it when I bend down or pick something off the shelf. Sure, the draw would be slower but it beats having nothing. And if you see trouble coming you already have your hand on the grip in your pocket.
As far as shooting heavy 357 mag rounds; I reload and shoot them with the primer flattened with no problems at all (using a hogue grip). Hope this helps.

TomJones
November 2, 2013, 12:45 AM
I have an SP101/.357 that I use for canceled carry and it prints under a shirt a little more than my XDS. Now that Fall is here and jackets are back it is good pocket gun, also have an inside belt holster for this time of year. I reload and love to do heavy loads for this gun. It handles real nice even with max loads. Last time I took it to the range with hot loads I could have sworn I heard it say "May I please have some more"

gym
November 2, 2013, 10:42 PM
The only thing I don't care for is the way the grips attach with that Tang. If you put the adapter on that screws into the bottom of the butt, it's better. Otherwise there is too much wiggle at the base of where the grip touches the frame at the top. I pointed it out to a salesman for shoot straight here at a show, and he was amazed that he never knew about it.
That is the only reason I don't own that model.

Ex
November 3, 2013, 03:13 AM
Took the GP 6" SS out today with my cheap (read inexpensive) IAC .45 1911.

Both were hitting a 3" target at 60 ft consistantly, free standing, both hands. Absolutely loving it!

The front end weight on the GP with the 6" barrel makes hot .357 mags very tame and muzzle flip is almost non-existant!

Thanks to ALL who piped in and contributed to this thread!!!

;););););););););););););););)

GambJoe
November 3, 2013, 07:06 PM
Have a SP 101 in 357 2.25L for about a year now. I really like it. When I first got it all I could find was some 130 gr 38 spl. and some Winchester 125gr defense ammo. I didn't notice much difference in recoil in those. I've since been using 158 gr S & B and Monarch (?) and the recoil seemed much greater from the heavier bullet. There's some short barrel ammunition out there that promises to bring a snub nose up to par. I intend to try but I imagine the recoil will be greater with those.

It fits well in my medium hands. The sight is not much but works. Same for the trigger. Some one mentioned that you have to choke up on the grip and I agree. It stays in my hand better that way for faster recovery. To me it looks better than the GP.

The GP-100 is on the top of my list for my next revolver. It feels right in my hand. Built like tank they say. People talk about new grips, trigger work and after market sights for both guns but shouldn't they come not needing those things. So I'm thinking S&W 686 +. S&W has those things out of the box and looks count.

CSC_Saint
November 3, 2013, 07:21 PM
Picked up anSP101 with 4" barrel about a month ago, love it. I'm a small guy, with piano player hands so the smaller grips fit me much better than those with big meaty man hands. Last night shoot in at a steel plate about a foot across at 75ish yards, in twilight conditions, that green fiber optic front sight is amazing. I could put five of five shots on it with about a second or so between shots with single action. Its not even a second choice for daily carry, but for field and range play, its my favorite. With .357 magnum loads, it didn't hurt or jump much to shoot, just got that tingling in the hand from the recoil, kinda like a baseball bat with a solid hit. .38's seem milder than my wife's9mm all metal pistol.

76shuvlinoff
November 3, 2013, 07:22 PM
My wife hated all my bottom feeders so I got a beater .38 Taurus for her to try. She did a 180 degree turn about having her own house gun right then so we bought an 4.2" stainless sp101 and I did a spring job on it.

The smaller grips fit her, (got small hands myself) the 4" barrel gives a nice sight radius, the trigger is sweet plus the SP is lighter than the GP. We keep 158 grain 38s in it for her nightstand duty and when I desire to have my hand spanked I take it out and put a few cyls of heavy .357s thru it.

win win :D

RealGun
November 4, 2013, 12:00 PM
What's wrong with the SP101 is how so many people characterize it as a .38 that can shoot .357 instead of the other way around. I have an SP101 3" that I load custom .357, what I think of as "lite", but quite a bit stouter than .38 special.

To me, a proper .357 carry is my S&W 686 4". My Ruger GP100 5" is either a range gun or a crossdraw secondary carry. The GP100 is bulkier than the 686, ignoring the difference in barrel length.

tomrkba
November 4, 2013, 07:05 PM
No, the SP101 is a cruddy design that is marginally improved with a three inch barrel.

RealGun
November 5, 2013, 02:37 PM
No, the SP101 is a cruddy design that is marginally improved with a three inch barrel.

Nice bomb throwing, but what's better in the same size/weight category (5 rounds).

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