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Gentlemen, your words of wisdom

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by def, Jul 5, 2008.

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  1. def

    def Member

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    I've been looking to buy a revolver for quite some time now and I'm down to two options: 1) Ruger SP101, or the 2) Ruger New Vaquero (357 mag). Now, I know what you're thinking "Those are very different revolvers." Well, I know. However, I don't know which one I'm going to get.

    As for the SP101, I like the fact that if I do go for a CCW (which I am very seriously considering), I'll have a CCW gun already. I also like the fact that I can run over it with a Peterbilt and it'll still work fine.

    As for the New Vaquero, I've always wanted a single action revolver and it's like my dream gun. However, it's not very useful for CCW. However, it'd work just fine to help me GET my CCW, it just wouldn't be that great to carry (except in the winter, I suppose it'd be okay...). Also, my next gun will be my FIRST gun and something is telling me that this gun might be better for a beginner than the Sp101. But the Sp101 is just so much more practical.

    The easy answer is "get both." Unfortunately, I'm a grad student who only make $1100 a month and my rent is over half of that a month, so expendable income is a luxury that I can not afford. I could, and probably would get, both if I got the New Vaq first. I can see me getting good with it, getting my CCW then needing a smaller gun for it (i.e., the Sp101). However, because I don't make much money at all, it'd take me a good while to get the Sp101. On the flip side, I could get the Sp101 and take my sweet time getting the Vaq, but I'm afraid that if I get the Sp101, I won't need the Vaq. Sure, I'll want it, but I won't need it because, for my practical purposes, the Sp101 would have it all covered.

    Now, I'm not asking anyone to give me a definitive answer, per se, but I'd like to hear your input. I'm about 60% leaning toward the Vaq, but I'd like to hear from those who know guns and can give me helpful advice (i.e., you).
     
  2. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm member

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    I say get the SP101. It is better to fill a CCW role than the Vaq. The single action revolver takes more practice to be proficient with than the double action.

    Let me know what you decide and I can help out with the price.
     
  3. sm

    sm member

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    Sp101.
     
  4. MVF

    MVF Member

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    If money is an issue,doesn't it make more sense to cover practicalities first? Also, dreams are sometimes more enjoyable in their anticipation.

    With that said, you should know that the SP101 is not a "pleasure" gun. So what is more important to you- your dream gun that you can enjoy at the range, or a defensive gun you can carry?
     
  5. MVF

    MVF Member

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    double post- sorry
     
  6. def

    def Member

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    "With that said, you should know that the SP101 is not a "pleasure" gun. So what is more important to you- your dream gun that you can enjoy at the range, or a defensive gun you can carry?"

    This is the one million dollar question. When simplified like this, the answer is definitely the SP101. I mean, defense over pleasure any day. Unfortunately, I know that if I get the Vaq first, I WILL end up getting the SP101 (but it'd probably take a year to a year and a half), but if I get the SP101 first, I don't know that I'd get the Vaq. But if I clearly should get the SP101 first, then I might go that route regardless. I've been going back and forth for several, several months. I wish I could with a $1000 lottery and just get both easily.
     
  7. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    Thats a hard one right there. I just bought a SP101 and I love it. But I too want a single action...probably in 45 Colt though. Why dont you try to find them used. My 3" SP101 only had a box or two through it when the guy came back into the store and bought the 2" model. I only paid 395 for a gun that I would have believed to be new if they told me.
     
  8. loneviking

    loneviking Member

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    Don't take this wrong, but threads like this leave me scratching my head and saying 'huh'?.

    Look, with a DAO revolver you can fire them single action or double action. The only thing you're missing with a DAO is having to shuck shells one at a time through a loading gate---that and a different shaped handgrip that can be very uncomfortable.

    I'd suggest looking at a Ruger GP100 with a 4" barrel, which is the big brother to the SP101. You can slip it into a Uncle Mikes Gun Runner pouch, or wear it in a shoulder holster with a vest over the top, or an IWB Crossbreed holster. It's big enough for a range gun, small enough to carry and you don't have to load it O-N-E S-H-E-L-L at a time.
     
  9. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm member

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    The GP100 is also available in a 3 inch model.
     
  10. Stainz

    Stainz Member

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    I would look at a CCW first. I would also consider this - your first thoughts should be on how to carry it everywhere. An SP101 requires a belt holster - consider that. A lighter and smaller alternative, like an S&W 642/442 Airweight, can fit a pocket holster and be carried in nearly any pants you own. There will be times you can't use a belt/waistband mountedholster. Remember, a CCW does you little good left at home because it was inconvenient to carry it.

    I would also suggest the S&W because of it's .38 Special +P caliber - you really don't need .357 Magnums for self defense. A new 642 will be nearly the same cost as that new SP101, too. Ammo wise, both can load and shoot .38 Specials - and I'd suggest either the Speer 135gr +P .38 Special Gold Dots or the Remington R38S12 158gr +P LHPSWC (The old 'FBI' load.). Both are optimized for effectiveness from a short barrel, ie, a defensive 'snubby'. Consider Robert Mikas' pocket holster for the 642, it really hides it pretty well, while allowing quick retrieval. Check out the threads on '642 Club' here, too... you'll learn a lot about the 642,

    Get a good used 4" S&W 10 or 64 (SS version of the 10), like a security/LEO trade-in, for a plinker/home defender (same ammo) and plinker - and you'll be set. Get a CCW first - and make sure it's something you can and will carry regularly. Below are both my 642 and my 64:

    [​IMG]

    Good luck - and keep us apprised.

    Stainz

    PS The 442/642 are true 'DAO' revolvers, as they have hammers fully enclosed within their frames. That is better for pocket carry, as their is no hammer to snag on clothing, etc.
     
  11. Virginian

    Virginian Member

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    Get a used SP101, or an S&W 65 (lots available, very good gun), and that will put you that much closer to a Vaquero down the road.
     
  12. bestseller92

    bestseller92 Member

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    Go for the SP101 now and the Vaquero later.

    It's always good to have just oneeeeeeee more gun that you want to get....
     
  13. def

    def Member

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    Well folks, many of you have convinced me to steer toward the Sp101. As a note, I have looked at the Airweights, but I've always been more keen on the Ruger's heavier weight. However, I may give them another look.
     
  14. kcshooter

    kcshooter Member

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    I agree with everyone else about getting the sp101 first. But what do you mean by "need" the vaquero? I can't imagine a "need" for a single action revolver. They are nice, and a great gun, but I don't really see them filling a need, while a sp101, a concealable defensive firearm, I do consider a need.
     
  15. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    I think you, like many of us when we were younger, are trying to fill too many niches with one revolver. Go with your dominant priorities....

    If CCW is what you want to do, go with a lighter 38spl revolver such as the Smith 442/642. That is what I use. A little pistol may be good too like the new Ruger.

    If you want to shoot a 38/357 for shooting sake, go with a 3" or 4" GP100. But if you prefer, the SP101.

    As far as I'm concerned, the SP101 is one of those "in-between" guns that is not good for either purpose; shooting at the range or concealed carry.

    Go bigger for for shooting and smaller/lighter for carry. Your two choices are entirely different guns. Go with a double action first and get the single action later. Having several guns is not a bad thing. You have time. Things aren't going to change that much in two years when you likely will be working a regular professional job at a good salary.

    But honestly, I think you would be better off buying a 22 double action revolver first to develop skills and do it at an affordable price. The Smith 4" 617 is the one to choose there unless you want to carry it, then go with a 3" Smith 317. You can carry that much more easily than the SP101 and it still is a pretty practical shooter. And yes, you can defend yourself with a 22 no matter what many say here. It is done all the time.
     
  16. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Member

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    Protection first, recreation second. And that SP101 should be pretty fun anyway, especially if you get a 3" barrel and load it with .38 specials.
     
  17. 2ndamd

    2ndamd Member

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    I can relate to your money woes. I remember being a grad student as well.

    Get a Used SP101. Check "gunbroker", register and bid. Remember though that you have to pay shipping and then a transfer fee of $25-35. But sometimes you can get a SP101 for $300-320 + $25 shipping +25-35 for the transfer fee = $350-380. A new one will cost you about $425 plus tax so about $450.

    The SP101 will do everything the vaq will do plus more. The vaq will be a nice graduation present to yourself. SA revos are what you get yourself to play with. DA revos are for business and still fun.

    Good luck with school. Let us know what you ended up with.
     
  18. def

    def Member

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    "I agree with everyone else about getting the sp101 first. But what do you mean by "need" the vaquero? I can't imagine a "need" for a single action revolver. They are nice, and a great gun, but I don't really see them filling a need, while a sp101, a concealable defensive firearm, I do consider a need."


    Let me rephrase. I might not get the Vaq, rather than I might not need that Vaq.


    Anywho, thanks for all the input guys and gals. Most of you have said what my common sense had been saying.
     
  19. def

    def Member

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    "I can relate to your money woes. I remember being a grad student as well.

    Get a Used SP101. Check "gunbroker", register and bid. Remember though that you have to pay shipping and then a transfer fee of $25-35. But sometimes you can get a SP101 for $300-320 + $25 shipping +25-35 for the transfer fee = $350-380. A new one will cost you about $425 plus tax so about $450.

    The SP101 will do everything the vaq will do plus more. The vaq will be a nice graduation present to yourself. SA revos are what you get yourself to play with. DA revos are for business and still fun.

    Good luck with school. Let us know what you ended up with"


    Hey, thanks for the post. It's especially nice to see someone who is familiar with my situation. I think that pretty much seals the deal for me. Also, good idea about the Vaq being a present to myself ;)
     
  20. 2ndamd

    2ndamd Member

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    Sure. No problem.
    Remember, your young and have alot of time to build a nice collection. I can be impaitient and want what I want now also. But practicality wins when it is your first and/or has a need to fill. The fun guns come just little later......but doing it right (financially) makes it worth the wait.

    And I totally understand filling a "need" with te vaq. That need in your soul or gut that "needs" to be filled by a quality SA sixgun. I'm with ya. Just, not yet......but soon. :)

    See you on the boards.
     
  21. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

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    Sounds like the SP101 is a need, and the Vaq is a want.
    Fill needs first. then wants.

    I've wanted a Vaq since I got into guns 4 years ago. But you know what? I still don't have one. Why not? I was filling the "need" niches first. So I first took care of duty sized/learner gun, CCW, HD shottie, fighting rifle, pocket gun, etc... I have actually just filled all my needs. Now I can get to wants. It's taken me 4 years to get here, but now I'm at the point where I can start going for guns "just because I want it."

    Edit to add:
    I'm in law school right now, so trust me, I know what you're talking about. That's why it took 4 darn years for me to finally cover the basics!!!
     
  22. def

    def Member

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    I'd like give my sincerest thanks to all those who have replied. I'm definitely getting the Sp101 first. As Ben says and all others have said in various forms, I suppose I really ought to fill the "need" niche first. Thanks again to everyone!
     
  23. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    def,
    Are you buying a 2" or 3" SP-101? You said something in your first post I'm not sure about. You said, "However, it'd work just fine to help me GET my CCW" when referring to the New Vaquero. I'm guessing where you live you have to qualify to get your CCW and you meant the longer gun would help you qualify. If that's true you might want to consider a 3" SP-101 since the longer sight picture will help with accuracy. If weight doesn't bother you then a good used 3" S&W K frame, a 3" GP-100 or a used Ruger Six Series revolver would be a fine carry too.

    In any event, I like carrying a S&W M638 because it's so light. I know many who like a heavier revolver like the SP-101 or S&W M60, M640 or M649. All those revolver are good choices and it comes down to price and what you like. You won't go wrong with any I mentioned and I'm sure you will enjoy shooing a SP-101...

    God luck finding one that's in good condition at a reasonable price.
     
  24. Elvishead

    Elvishead Member

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    I too carry a M638, but have the option to carry my SP101 3" also. In the SP I have mainly .38 +Ps in it, with the last shot a .357, or a Lawman 38 +P 158g FMJ.
     
  25. def

    def Member

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    "If that's true you might want to consider a 3" SP-101 since the longer sight picture will help with accuracy."

    Yes, I live in Ohio and we have to take tests for safety and shooting (no complaints here. I think that's perfectly reasonable. Makes sense that I ought to know how to safely and accurately use my gun before I can carry it around). I was actually planning on the 3". From what I hear from some people, it's a bit easier to shoot and reduces muzzle flash a bit.


    I do have another question for you good folks. I know that the SP101 in 357mag can shoot both 357 mag and 38 special. My question is, can it also shoot regular 38? I was reading up on it and one of the articles the guy says something like "Shooting 357s is fun, shooting 38sp is a lot of fun and shooting 38 is a TON of fun." Can 357mag chambered guns (specifically the sp101) shoot regular 38?
     
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