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3" S&W 65 vs. 3" SP101

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by ddc, Dec 29, 2007.

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  1. ddc

    ddc Member

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    For those that have experience carrying both could you describe the real world differences between them?

    I realize that there are differences when you measure them with a ruler and a scale. I also realize that there is a 6 rounds vs. 5 rounds difference.

    Given that there are measurable differences I'm more interested in how they
    "feel" on your belt as well as any other "feeling type" similarities and differences. i.e. qualitative comparison as opposed to quantitative when it comes to carrying and shooting...
    (Ok, the old boring engineer is going to bed now...) :)
    thanks,
    ddc.
     
  2. Bill B.

    Bill B. Member

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    Personally I like the feel of the S&W 65 the best. The Ruger SP 101 is an excellent and durable revolver but it doesn't have the same appeal to me as a Smith & Wesson. The Ruger Speed Six was closer to the S&W and appeal to me. I always liked the fact that it was 6 shot vs. the SP 101 5 rounds. I have never tried different grips on a Ruger SP 101. This might make a noticeable improvement in how it "feels".
     
  3. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    The SP-101 always felt like an overweight bloated J Frame on the belt to me. The 3" 65 feels like a service revolver, but a really well balanced and slender one. I guess in summary you know you're carrying a bigger revolver with the 65 than the SP, but the 65 carries better because of the way it balances.

    Having owned a 3" SP-101 and currently owning a 3" 65 I prefer the 65. If I want to carry a smaller revolver on the belt I'd prefer a pre-lock 60 or 640. If I couldn't lay hands on one of those I wouldn't be at all opposed to another SP 101 though.
     
  4. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    I feel that a Ruger is a great gun and built like a tank... That said I would rather have a 6 shot S&W k frame for the little bit of extra weight that they have.
    I have a pic of a Ruger SP101 resting atop a S&W 13
    [​IMG]

    The amount of the S&W you see just in front of the SP101s trigger guard is about how much larger the S&W is overall
     
  5. hoptob

    hoptob Member

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    Well, Brian, I suppose cylinder is a little thicker on 65. Sixth round has to go somewhere... :)

    MikeR
     
  6. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    Well I've shot both. I liked the S&W 13 or 65 better than the SP101 as they fit my hand with aftermarket grips (Hogue) better than did the SP101. (I too like the speed six over the SP101).

    I would choose the one that fits your hand the best. The one that most naturally falls into place the quickest when you draw, and allows you to get on target the fastest. Then consider the one that allows you to control it and get back on target shot after shot. Which one do you shoot most accurate the fastest?

    Isn't that what you're after? Either is concealable and you can get comfortable carrying either, so perhaps go with the one you shoot best and quick. That's when your choice will matter the most.

    LD
     
  7. papajohn

    papajohn Member

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    I had both at one time, still have the M-65, so that should tell you something. The Ruger is a good gun, but the DA trigger on the Smith was infinitely better, and I only shoot revolvers DA, so there ya go.

    PJ
     
  8. BikerRN

    BikerRN member

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    Have you compared the 3" Model 65 to the 3" GP100?

    Both have 6 shots and are similar in size and function, but the GP100 is heavier. I passed on a Model 65 for off duty carry because I train a lot with what I carry and I know the Ruger will hold up better to years of "full house" loads.

    As far as a 3" Model 13/65 or a 3" SP101 I'd take the 13/65 every time. To me, niether gun is hard to hide, but I routinely carry a 4" N-Frame off duty.

    Biker
     
  9. armed85

    armed85 Member

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    I'm a big fan of Ruger revolvers. They're built like tanks and will last several generations with minimal care.

    Loyalist Dave, did you try the SP101 with Hogue grips? The Hogue Monogrip is $16 at Midway USA.

    I sold all but one of my revolvers to fund an expensive woodworking hobby.

    For Smith & Wesson, I sold a 6" 66 and a 4" 686. For Ruger, I sold a 4" GP100 and a 6" GP100. The revolver I kept is a Smith & Wesson 642 snub nose.

    Like many people here, I too think the S&W trigger is better than the Ruger, but that isn't to say the Ruger is bad. On my GP100s, the double action trigger felt pretty good while the single action was near perfect. With that said, my 642 has about the worse trigger I have ever felt on any gun I've ever handled.

    When I buy another revolver, I'll buy a Ruger.

    Reason being, the Ruger is a more modern design. The side plate and screws of the S&W seem outdated by comparison. New S&W revolvers have the internal lock while new Rugers do not. To buy a S&W without an internal lock, you have to buy used unfortunately.
     
  10. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    I had a 3" Model 65, which I sold along with several other firearms a few years ago while raising money for yet another firearm. I recently picked up another, since I missed the little revolver.

    A 3" Model 65 just feels right, kinda like a 4" Model 25 or Model 57. Nothing wrong with the Ruger, but if I wanted the Ruger, I might consider the new .327 Magnum.

    John
     
  11. ddc

    ddc Member

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    Thanks to all. Very helpful.
     
  12. S&Wfan

    S&Wfan Member

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    Both can be equally accurate, bolted into a Ransom Rest.

    In actual use, firearms with the best triggers allow better accuracy.

    Ya can't beat a Smith wheelgun trigger.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2007
  13. Hawk72

    Hawk72 Member

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    The word "slender" is the one word I'd use for the S&W over the Ruger in this case. Add in "smooth" and you'd have 90% of the ergo aspect comparison covered IMO.

    I have an SP101 with an action worked over by Gemini Customs. Along with some other really fine work, slicking up these smaller Rugers are sort of one of their specialites. That said, and with some of their best efforts, my SP101 from them just isn't quite as smooth into action (or as proper feeling) as my two near new, pre-mim/lock model 65's are.

    I really do understand that's all quite subjective and that so very much has to do with the general overall shape and mechanical aspecs of the two. But even stock, the Smith feels like the Lexus here and the Ruger - well, much more utilitarian.

    Just handling both should tell you a bunch.

    Thanks
     
  14. joneb

    joneb Member

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    I have Security Six w/a 2.75" barrel, the double action pull is quite heavy when compared to my K or L frame S&Ws . The adjustable main spring tension on these Smiths is a good thing. For my Ruger I will try replacing the factory 16 lbs hammer spring with a Wolff 14 lbs and change out the trigger return spring while I'm at it, I hope this will improve the Ruger DA pull with out effecting it's reliability.
     
  15. Trebor

    Trebor Member

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    Has anyone ever compared the 3" S&W M-65 with the 2.75" Ruger Speed Six?

    I'm just curios how the Ruger compares size and weight wise to the S&W.

    (Of course, both guns are now out of production. What a shame)
     
  16. L-Frame

    L-Frame Member

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    With my method of carry, IWB, right front, the SP-101 is just about perfect. That, and a S&W model 60 3". The K-frame is OK but the SP is better. On a straight shootability factor, the Smith wins, but not by much. For belt/duty carry, I'd go smith. But, since I never carry that way, I go SP-101/J-frame. If I want a belt/range gun, I'll go 686. So, for me, the K-frame is a little large for carry, and a little small for belt/range.
     
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