Ruger GP-100 vs SP-101 .357 for hiking

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by wiiawiwb, Feb 24, 2016.

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  1. wiiawiwb

    wiiawiwb Member

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    I have a Ruger Toklat in 454 Casull/.45 Colt and love it. More accurate with this than any gun I own. Looking to get something lighter for hiking purposes in .357 so I'm comparing the GP-100 with the SP-101 both in a 4.2" barrel. First off, were I to get the SP, I'd put the Hogue rubber monogrip on it.

    The SP is about 10oz lighter but obviously must bite more than the heavier GP. I reload so I would shoot a lot of .38 special or light .357 loads 90% at the range. The SP trade off is 10oz weight reduction at the cost of one less round and snappier recoil.

    1) How is the recoil of the SP with full house .357 loads with the Hogue grips?

    2) Which of the two would you recommend?
     
  2. sequins

    sequins Member

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    I have a 4.2" GP100, and a 2.25" SP101. 357 is extremely manageable in the 4.2" GP100 and rapid follow up shots are not challenging relative to other weapons and calibers. It is also very heavy and I did not enjoy trying to EDC it in an OWB holster. I really don't think I'd like hiking with it either.

    The SP101 on the other hand is a bit more challenging to shoot, but honestly even in 2.25" it's really not that bad. When I first fired mine I expected discomfort but I actually got through 100 rounds before I started to fatigue my hands. It's so much lighter than a GP100... You can really feel the difference and the extra 2" of barrel on the 4.2" versus 2.25" is almost negligible so I think you'll find yourself reaching the same conclusion.

    One thing to mention is that the initial trigger pull on the SP101 was worse by a lot than the initial trigger pull on my GP100s. I even would get the trigger to "lock back" after a shot and I'd have to slightly pull the hammer back to give the trigger reset spring a little boost. I took apart my trigger group and it was bone dry! I saturated it with CLP and now the trigger is downright good, so I think they just forgot to lube it at the factory. Many others have claimed the same things about heavy / gritty triggers, so I think from the factory with no help from you the GP100 will be a better out of the box trigger, but in my case 15 minutes was all it took.

    I assume this is only for defense against small critters and 2-legged threats, right? I'd say get the lighter SP101 because it'll be much easier to carry and still quite easy to shoot.
     
  3. eldon519

    eldon519 Member

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    A 3" SP101 is a great woods gun. Enough barrel to get decent velocity and accuracy, small enough to actually carry. I have never found it to be too bad with full power loads, but some folks get really bent out of shape about that. If you are shooting any .454 or .45 Colt+P in that Toklat, the SP101 won't be a problem for you.

    For what it's worth, the Hogue grip is not bad but it is far from my favorite. Makes the gun too tall which sorta defeats the purpose. The stock grip actually is not bad either. Give it a whirl before automatically replacing it.

    Also, an S&W 69 is a great choice too.
     
  4. Apple a Day

    Apple a Day Member

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    Bear country= GP-100
    Non bear country= SP-101

    The SP-101 is an experience with full house magnum loads. I actually enjoy it from time to time. I replaced the springs on mine with Wolffe springs, worked the trigger return spring channel with a fine file gently to remove a burr. It made the trigger a LOT better. Lube makes it happy.
     
  5. splattergun

    splattergun Member

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    I think a .357 round from either one does not make a hill of beans difference to your target, bear or no. To me, weight is the critical factor.

    If by hiking, you mean in mountainous terrain, away from civilization, with perhaps a day pack of gear or more, where every ounce counts, SP101 is the obvious choice.

    If you're strolling the local forest preserve park on flat trails where you can still hear the city's noise, take the one that comes into your holster first.
     
  6. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    For defensive carry while hiking, I would choose the SP101. Weight and size would be important to me on a long hike where shooting isn't necessarily planned.
     
  7. AlfonsDeWolf

    AlfonsDeWolf Member

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    3" SP or 4"GP.....pick em....with 158 gr + non hp's of course.
     
  8. AlfonsDeWolf

    AlfonsDeWolf Member

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    Why not the new Redhawk .45C/.45acp? Yum!
     
  9. wiiawiwb

    wiiawiwb Member

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    My Toklat weighs about the same as the 45 Colt/45ACP. There's no reason to duplicate what I already have in exponentially higher power.
     
  10. AlfonsDeWolf

    AlfonsDeWolf Member

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    Oops, sorry, I forgot your original post. Sorry for wasting your time on that. Now that I know or am reminded, the SP 3" would give you something much smaller, not much less firepower (than gp 4") and something you can conceal, maybe stick in a coat pocket.....ie, broaden your uses with just the two choices. Knowing what you already have, for me, I would wonder what void would a GP would fill!
     
  11. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    Duplicate post.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016
  12. SVTOhio

    SVTOhio Member

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    I purchased a 3" sp101 for that same purpose. Love the gun owb and if needed I can conceal it with an iwb. If I did a little more research before buying I think I would have opted for the 3" sp101 in 327 mag. You get a sixth round and adjustable sights, and the 327 mag still packs quite a punch.
     
  13. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    My FiL has a 6" GP100 that I have shot often. I have a 4" SP101 in 327. My shooting buddy got a 3" SP101 in 357 not long ago.

    For my XL hands the GP101 is far superior. It points more easily, is more accurate, easier to hold onto, and the recoil is very easy to manage. It has a great trigger.

    With the largest aftermarket grips I could find my SP101 isn't terrible to hold, but it is still kind of small and the trigger sucks.

    My friend with the 3" SP101 has tiny hands, but they are fairly strong. The grip fits him perfectly and he can shoot 357's with it just fine. Follow up shots might be a little bit slow. The recoil is noticeable, for sure, but I thought it was fun and could control it even with my huge hands and the tiny grips. His lightly-built teenaged son liked shooting 38's out of it. He shot one cylinder of 357's and didn't want to shoot them anymore. My friend's SP101 has a slightly better trigger than mine.

    There are lots of factors. From what I have experienced and read, the GP will generally have a better trigger. For larger hands, the GP is better, but for small hands the SP is. For concealed carry, the GP would be a terrible nuisance, but a 3" fixed-sight SP would be great. For open carry with a good belt or a shoulder rig, either one would be fine.For hardcore hiking the GP's weight would be tiresome. For shorter hikes the weight wouldn't matter as much.
     
  14. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    GP100, great range gun or to use in shooting matches. Woods carry? SP101 any day of the week. A GP on your hip will make you walk around in circles..... :D
     
  15. Woody174

    Woody174 Member

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    I had an SP101 and I took it to the range with 357 Hydra-shok and it made my teeth rattle, I switched to 38+P, I miss that gun, but I have a GP100 and I love to shoot it, I carry in a chest rig. The SP101 was not good for pocket carry as my pants would frequently fall down, which was very embarassing, but it was good on a belt holster.
     
  16. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    One is a 6 shot larger frame (GP).

    One is a 5 shot small frame (SP).

    Take your poison.
     
  17. Monster Zero

    Monster Zero Member

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    1) I would advise having both hands on it (the SP) with full house loads.

    2) To carry just in case I don't need it, I'd carry the SP, myself.
     
  18. wiiawiwb

    wiiawiwb Member

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    I had the chance to handle both today. The SP had a very short grip and seemed almost like a toy gun. I'm not trying to be flippant but there's not much to it. In fairness to the SP, I wish I had the chance to hold it with the Hogue grip rather than the stock grip.

    The GP felt absolutely perfect. I just have to either roll the dice and hope against hope the Hogue grip will make things better or grab the GP. At 40oz, it does make me wonder whether the money is well spent given that I already have all the power in the world in a revolver I love that's just 6oz heavier.

    Gotta sleep on this one.
     
  19. NorthBorder

    NorthBorder Member

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    I have been carrying an SP for years, both as a CC and for hiking. I day hike a lot. If you want one specifically for exploring the woods I wouldn't see the extra 10 oz a problem w/ a GP100. After all, I carry an extra 40 lbs on my hips just getting outa bed in the morning.
    I load 180 gr slugs over W296. It has some kick but not uncontrollable. I just wouldn't have a marathon session with that load.
     
  20. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    The 'ol Geepster (GP100) handles them hot boy magnums real good-like.

    Soaks up up nice 'n well. Makes for good shootin' fun methinks.
     
  21. stoky

    stoky Member

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    I carry a 3" SP, hiking and backpacking, usually in a home brew OWB. I had it on a two week canoe trip in the Boundary Waters. It rained almost every day and everything got very wet. There was no special waterproofing on the handloads I was packing. Out of curiosity, I fired them all when I got back, the gun and ammo worked just fine.
     
  22. wiiawiwb

    wiiawiwb Member

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    One other thought.

    A 3" GP-100 might be a good compromise. It weighs 36oz so it comes in between the GP and SP in 4.2". It doesn't have an adjustable rear sight but I might be able to live without it. Put a Hogue Tamer grip on it.
     
  23. AlfonsDeWolf

    AlfonsDeWolf Member

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    The SP a "toy gun"?! Wow. Fits my hand perfectly. The way I see it you have a large double action revolver and want to buy a medium large revolver that gets you the pleasure of........hmm....buying different caliber cartridges that do nothing better than what you already have other than cost less. My suggestion is simple...take more time "to sleep on it". If you're buying new, take your time, they'll be around for awhile. If used at $300 buy em up.

    And, not that this helps you at all right now, but if I were in your shoes but had no gun I'd but one, just one....the new Redhawk .45colt/.45acp. It can handle crazy B.B loads in .45colt + cheap .45acp for fun, practice...... An idea might be to sell what you have and buy that? Just a thought.
     
  24. eldon519

    eldon519 Member

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    I'm not sure what you disliked about the SP, a Hogue will let you get a 3rd finger on there. The stock grips are good but probably the smallest in circumfernce compared to Hogue, Pachmayr or Badgers. Badgers also makes a grip that lets you get your pinky on there. There is also the Trausch grip which is much more of a fullsize grip:
    http://www.gunblast.com/images/Trausch/DSC02324.jpg
     
  25. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Member

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    Of the many handguns I own, a 4" GP100 and 2.25" SP101 are among them.

    For hiking, I'd take the smallerand lighter SP101 loaded with some good 125gr ammo. I've shot 158gr ammo through my SP101, but I think the lighter 125gr stuff is better suited to the shorter barrel.
     
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