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Ruger LCR or Ruger SP101

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by ruger9315, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. ruger9315

    ruger9315 Member

    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:
  2. ball3006

    ball3006 Well-Known Member

    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
  3. The_Shootist

    The_Shootist Well-Known Member

    Sp 101

    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
  4. Kliegl

    Kliegl member

    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.
  5. JVaughn

    JVaughn Well-Known Member

    On all counts except concealment, the SP-101 wins everytime. I wouldn't count on either to bring down a bear however.
  6. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. Frozen North

    Frozen North Well-Known Member

    Looks alone, buy the SP-101. :D

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

    Dimis Well-Known Member

    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
  9. ExAgoradzo

    ExAgoradzo Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. bikemutt

    bikemutt Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. HARV6

    HARV6 Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. Shaky

    Shaky Well-Known Member

    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.
  13. Han Tzu

    Han Tzu Active Member

    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.
  14. WNC Seabee

    WNC Seabee Well-Known Member

    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.
  15. WNC Seabee

    WNC Seabee Well-Known Member

    600+/- rounds of my hand loaded 158gr hard cast loads would disagree.
  16. griz1

    griz1 Well-Known Member


    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.
  17. KJS

    KJS Well-Known Member

    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.
  18. ruger9315

    ruger9315 Member

    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:
  19. wheelgunslinger

    wheelgunslinger Well-Known Member

    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. :)
  20. ruger9315

    ruger9315 Member

    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

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