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Ruger SP101 vs J-Frame

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Praxidike, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. Praxidike

    Praxidike Member

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    I find my self enjoying carrying revolver more and more as time passes. I currently carry a stainless Taurus 85 or a 357 Ruger LCR. I've been thinking about treating myself to something a little nicer, and the SP101 (2.25" no spur) seems to almost check all my boxes. I'm just not sure of the weight and how concealable it will be compared to Jframes.

    Has anyone EDC'd both? Is there a noticeable difference? Does anyone have comparison pictures between the two that they'd like to share?
     
  2. AZAndy
    • Contributing Member

    AZAndy Contributing Member

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    I've carried a 3" SP101, S&W 640, 642, 36, 438, Taurus 85, and Taurus 605. The Taurii gave me trouble, so off they went. The Airweights were too uncomfortable to shoot, so off they went. The Ruger is a heavy one, but it can certainly be done with the right holster. I preferred smaller and lighter, so went with the 640 for .357 for a few years. Nowadays it's a Kimber K6, which you might not want to overlook in your considerations. Well-made, 6 rounds instead of 5, replaceable (and visible!) sights, and I like the trigger better than S&W's.
     
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  3. Mark 40

    Mark 40 Member

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    I've owned all three you mentioned. Currently own the LCR and SP-101. The LCR is for pocket carry, my preferred way to carry. LCR being lighter and a bit smaller dimensions overall makes it a breeze. The SP-101 is mostly for OWB. The weight of the SP-101 makes pocket carry harder, not impossible, on occasion is goes out that way. When I had an IWB holster the SP-101 weight was no issue, and that may work well for you. As long as you have a good cover garment, IMO there is not much difference.
     
  4. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Praxidike

    I have a longtime preference for S&W J frames, with a Model 649 being my cold weather carry choice (all stainless steel), and a Model 638 (aluminum alloy frame with a stainless barrel and cylinder), for those warmer months when I like to travel light. Never cared for the ergonomics of the Ruger LCR or the weight of the SP101.

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  5. The Evangelist Cowboy

    The Evangelist Cowboy Member

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    If your going to pocket carry than the J frame style guns will be better suited for you. The SP101 is a freaking tank, and should be regulated to a belt system of some sort. If your going to carry and shoot .357s than the SP will beat about any of the J frame size guns out there.
     
  6. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    I own a couple of Taurus 85's, an LCR, and an SP101. My SP101 has the 4.2" barrel. If I understand correctly, the 85's are the same size as J-frames. They seem to be when I look at them both at the LGS.

    An SP101 is heavier and thicker than a J-frame, unless I am totally misremembering. If mine had a 3" or shorter barrel, I might carry it in an outside-the-waistband holster under a cover garment. However, I've purchased a couple of K-frame snubbies recently, and I would prefer carrying them to the Ruger. If I am going to have to carry OWB under a second shirt or something anyway, it might as well be something a little bigger that is easier to grip and shoot (and has a much better trigger).
     
  7. 340PD

    340PD Member

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    Why not go in the middle and look at a SIX shot Kimber K6s. Pretty much the same size as a J-frame with the solid build of the Ruger.
    Sideguard-3-zpsnvdu7ww6.jpg
     
  8. Boarhunter

    Boarhunter Member

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    The new 6-shot Colt Cobras would also fit the bill if belt carry is your intention.

    BOARHUNTER
     
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  9. Styx

    Styx Member

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    Only because it's just about twice as much as the Ruger lol.
     
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  10. SteadyD

    SteadyD Member

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    I agree with 340 and boar hunter. If you are going to go with the size and weight of the sp101 I would opt for the colt or the Kimber and get the 6th round.

    The only reason to drop down to 5 rounds (in my opinion) is to save weight, such as a 642 or LCR. If I’m going to carry a gun in the 23 oz to 26 oz range, I might as well have the 6th round. Good luck on your decision!
     
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  11. Jonesy814

    Jonesy814 Member

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    For carry the J frame is nicer. They weigh in ar 4 ounces below the Ruger. For shooting 357 magnum ammo the SP101 comes out on top. Those extra 4 ounces make a difference in the amount of felt recoil
     
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  12. Styx

    Styx Member

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    I plain on carrying it. I don't pocket carry. I typically carrying my J-frames concealed iwb/owb. I just wish there was a way I could try carrying one before I purchased one.
     
  13. 5-SHOTS

    5-SHOTS Member

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    I used to own a S&W 649 Bodyguard and a Ruger SP101 DAO at the same time. I pocket carried the S&W quite often in my house and in the garden around it with no problems. The Ruger was impossible to me to pocket carry. The Ruger was much more shootable.
     
  14. thomas15

    thomas15 Member

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    My advice: pick one on the flip of a coin. If it works.... great, if not try another.

    Reason: getting advice from strangers is who's circumstances may not relate to yours, is basically, the luck of the coin flip.
     
  15. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    i have had and dearly miss my sp101s. Belt guns for sure,but much more accurate in my hands due to the tame recoil. If you are carrying on a belt, the SP101 is what I would go with. However, nothing wrong with a J frame. I always carry OWB, but weight savings is weight savings. I think a CA of some flavor or 442 is on my future.
     
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  16. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    Another option, especially if want six rounds, is to get a Model 101 chambered in .327 Magnum. That's the direction I went and I'm glad I did.
     
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  17. darkcloud

    darkcloud Member

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    I carried a titanium 41 mag in bear country and carry a 638 around everywhere else I feel i should be armed and concealed. Why lightweight? because it does you no good leaving it at home or under the seat "because it is too heavy" today. Yes I shoot other much more heavier weapons for enjoyment and recreation because of the recoil factor. A little practice with a lightweight revolver is no big deal. Shooting a couple hundred rounds in an afternoon plinking or target shooting would be. A 638 goes in the pocket and no ones knows it is there. Not even me until I would need it.
     
  18. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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  19. Buckeye63

    Buckeye63 Member

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    This is a pic of my two Ruger 357 mag
    snubbies , the term ( Built like a tank )
    May seemed over used in reference to Ruger steel framed revolvers.. But , I can assure you .. The SP101 fits the bill ..
    image.jpeg image.jpeg
     
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  20. bikemutt

    bikemutt Member

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    I have a couple of S&W Airweight Ti's in 38 special, hard to beat at 11 ounces unloaded. I have tried the Airweights in .357 mag, there's no way for me. I also have an SP101 which allows .357 mag to feel OK, stout but OK. The only way to really know if a particular cartridge and revolver works is to try it, fortunately many indoor ranges let you rent so you can try before you buy.
     
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  21. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    That picture is very telling. I don't need the Kimber, but I'd like to add one to my lineup.
     
  22. Styx

    Styx Member

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    Me too, but @ $800-$1000+, it's a hard sell for me. I wonder if his SP01 had the 2" barrel , short grip, and shrouded hammer would all three handguns be about the same size?
     
  23. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Based on that picture, I'd think so. To me it's worth having the 6th round. However, I won't part with my SP101. It was my first handgun and I know I'll regret it if I give it up. I have a 3" 686+ also, but I love that gun also, so there I have 7 rounds. But the Kimber would conceal better for sure.

    Given the trigger, I'm tempted to buy one for when I'm decrepit. Seems it would be a good trigger for old hands.
     
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  24. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    Kimber or S&W would be my choice. Kimber looks especially nice.
     
  25. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    I had an SP101 for about a year before I traded it away. I liked the gun, it carried well AIWB, but I never could shoot it well. I shot my 442 Airweight much better, despite it's lighter weight and slightly shorter barrel, even when just putting .38's through it. I debated working on the Ruger's trigger, but didn't want to lighten it too much and risk light-strikes, and literally thousands of dry-fires hadn't smoothed it out nearly as sweet as my j-frames trigger is.

    It was nice having a $400 steel framed small .357 revolver. The steel j-frames are much pricier, and the Kimber even that much more expensive. Now I've pretty much decided to save up for a Kimber though, that 6th shot sounds appealing and the one's I've fondled have a pretty smooth trigger pull.
     
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