Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Ruger Sp101, .357 mag. 2 1/4" or 3" barrel?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by sigbear, Aug 5, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. sigbear

    sigbear Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    221
    I was looking at the Ruger Sp101 .357 mag. 2 1/4" barrel today and liked the gun, however, I'm thinking the 3" would be a better choice for me since I would only use it when hiking in the mountains or other large wooded areas.

    The shorter barrel is much easier to conceal and would be fine for the 2 legged beast, however, I'm thinking that the extra inch in barrel length would be significant in the unlikely encounter with a large 4 legged beast. So my question's are:

    How much FPS and energy are lost from 4" to 3" to 2 1/4" barrel .357 mag.?

    I have a Ruger security six .357 mag. with a 6" barrel which is ideal for my hiking gun, however, at my age I just can't carry it anymore for long hikes, so, it looks like the Sp101.

    Sigbear
     
  2. only1asterisk

    only1asterisk member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Messages:
    2,412
    The .357 picks up a good bit of velocity in the first few inches of barrel. The 3" barrel makes a big difference in the handling and shooting qualities.

    David
     
  3. rantingredneck

    rantingredneck Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Messages:
    1,777
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I can't answer the exact question of how much velocity is lost, but for your purposes I'd go with a 3 1/16" version.

    My carry gun is a 2 1/4" SP101, but my woods gun is a 4" GP100. Sounds like you're looking for something a bit lighter than the GP though.
     
  4. jad0110

    jad0110 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    Messages:
    4,047
    Location:
    Somewhere between the Eastern Block states and Flo
    Unless you are planning on pocket carry, I'd go with the 3 1/16". In addition to the qualities already mentioned, the 3"+ barrel gives you a full length ejector rod, making spent case ejection easier.
     
  5. SAWBONES

    SAWBONES Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    520
    Location:
    The third dimension
    Can't quote numbers, but a lot less than going from an 8" barrel to a 4" barrel.
    You get the most from the .357 Magnum with a longer barrel.
    Nonetheless, even with a 2" barrel, the .357 beats the .38 Special+P by a significant margin in both momentum and energy.

    If you're willing to put up with the felt recoil shooting .357 Magum in a 25-27 oz. snubby, the SP101 is an excellent gun choice. I happen to have three of them, two with the 2 1/4" barrel (one with the hammer bobbed, the other not), one with the 3 1/16" barrel.
    I never carry the 3", but always the 2 1/4" bobbed hammer version. Maybe if I did much walking in the woods, I would choose the 3 incher, though. Most people here will recommend the 3 incher, but as one who owns both sizes and actually uses the gun for daily CCW, I like the 2.25" size.
     
  6. only1asterisk

    only1asterisk member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Messages:
    2,412
    SAWBONES,

    How do you carry, in a pocket?

    An inch of barrel means much more going from 2" to 3" than at 6", not only to velocity but also to sight radius.

    David
     
  7. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    Messages:
    4,755
    Location:
    Utah
    I use an sp101 for daily CCW duty. I have a few examples in both barrel lengths that I have carried and shot extensively. Here's my take:

    1. You mentioned age. OK, I think you are correct. You will find the extra sight radius very useful.

    2. Velocity loss? About 50ish fps slower in the shorter barrel on average. So as long as you use 357 eithier length would be good. If you only run 38 or 38+p yu'll want the extra velocity of the longer barrel.

    3. Regardless of barrel length, most folks find them too heavy for pocket carry.

    Bottom line:
    From what you said, I'd get the longer barreled one , and put it in a belt holster.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2008
  8. only1asterisk

    only1asterisk member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Messages:
    2,412
    I agree.

    As to the velocity difference. The only test I have includes 10 flavors of factory ammo in 2", 3" and 4" barrels shot on the same day. The results show velocity increasing from 2" to 3" with differences up to 175fps and as little 50 (with higher performance ammo tending to lose more). Moving from 3" to a 4" gained from 25 to 90 fps.

    The test doesn't prove anything conclusively as the sample is too small. It does fall within the range of what one would expect to find.

    David
     
  9. Gary A

    Gary A Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,497
    Regarding the ejector rod, with Ruger the rod is the same on both the 2 1/4 and 3 1/16 inch versions. Ejection will be the same with either. I have had the 3 inchers and like them, but for myself the 2 1/4 inch version is the most useful. For your use, if it were me, I would go with the 3 inch without question.
     
  10. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    18,511
    Location:
    Deep in the Ozarks
    I find the 3 1/16 inch barrel is better:

    1. Concealability is not affected. As someone else said, the SP 101 is heavy for pocket carry. For belt carry, the extra inch will not matter.

    2. The gain in sight radius is a real plus.

    3. In terms of weight, every ounce counts if you're shooting full charge .357s from a snubbie.
     
  11. texas bulldog

    texas bulldog Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Messages:
    1,013
    Location:
    Central Texas
    i carry the 2.25" version and i don't regret the choice. but if my sole purpose were woods carry and not daily CCW, i would definitely choose the 3".
     
  12. rdrancher

    rdrancher Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Messages:
    824
    Location:
    North Texas
    I carry the same, and I'll give a big +1 on that.


    rd
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page