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Why an SP101 in .22 LR

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by bushmaster1313, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. bushmaster1313

    bushmaster1313 Well-Known Member

    Saw an add for the SP101 in .22 LR as a "trusted companion"

    Why would someone buy this gun?
  2. Rollis R. Karvellis

    Rollis R. Karvellis Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. bushmaster1313

    bushmaster1313 Well-Known Member

    What do you do with a "kit gun"
  4. masterofchaos

    masterofchaos Well-Known Member

    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.
  5. Manco

    Manco Well-Known Member

    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).
  6. tubeshooter

    tubeshooter Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. WNC Seabee

    WNC Seabee Well-Known Member

    I'm really enjoying mine!
  8. Gary A

    Gary A Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. CajunBass

    CajunBass Well-Known Member

    Why not? It's a small, lightweight, eight shot, double-acton, 22 revolver.
  10. KAS1981

    KAS1981 Well-Known Member

    .22 is dirt cheap and DA revolvers are fun.
  11. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Well-Known Member

    + 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)
  12. Stainz

    Stainz Well-Known Member

    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!


    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.

  13. Rollis R. Karvellis

    Rollis R. Karvellis Well-Known Member

    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.
  14. EMC45

    EMC45 Well-Known Member

    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.
  15. PapaG

    PapaG Well-Known Member

    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.
  16. Stainz

    Stainz Well-Known Member

    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.


    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!
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
  17. Fishman777

    Fishman777 Well-Known Member

    Why not?

    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.
  18. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Well-Known Member

    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.... :)
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
  19. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Well-Known Member

    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.
  20. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    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!

    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011

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