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

Should I have bought a 3" Ruger SP 101 Instead?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by ronto, Aug 17, 2006.

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

    ronto Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    639
    Location:
    Smack Dab in the Middle of Nowhere.
    I recently got the 2 1/4" Ruger SP 101 in .357 Mag. I'm having a tinge of "buyers' remorse". Maybe I should have gotten the 3" model instead. I know 3/4" makes a difference in some situations but does it really apply in this case? What's the advantage,in your opinion, of 3" over 2 1/4" and visa versa?
    Thank you for your views on the subject.
    Ron
     
  2. taz-2005

    taz-2005 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Peoples Republic of Taxachusetts
    Did you get the DAO model? I just picked one up as a CCW gun and love it. I pocket carry mine; a 3in model would have been too big. I Guess it all depends what you are going to use it for.
     
  3. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    24,953
    Location:
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    In that gun I much prefer the 3". Not only does it get more out of the .357 performance, the longer sight radius, in my experience, with three inch guns is much easier to be precise with and quicker to the eye. I consider any gun of that weight an IWB only. I prefer 15 ounces or less unloaded for pocket carry which limits revolvers to .38 special. Definitely anything over 20 ounces in my experience gets heavy after a while. I don't even notice a light revolver in my pocket during the day.

    But, there's nothing wrong with the shorter tube SP101. It'll serve well as a self defense gun. I wouldn't sweat the difference. If I get one, though, it'll have the longer tube.
     
  4. cookekdjr

    cookekdjr Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Messages:
    1,429
    Location:
    Georgia
    ronto,

    You did fine. The 2" model is faster on the draw. Really, though, you can't go wrong with either model. Enjoy what you bought, shoot it alot. If you're un-satisfied after several months, then think about something else.
    -David
     
  5. Rube

    Rube Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Messages:
    33
    I'm with you!

    I bought the same gun you did with 2 1/4" barrell. I struggled with which barrel length to get and decided on the shorter one. My justification was that this isn't a target gun. I'm going to use it for home defense or eventually CCW. The additional 3/4" isn't going to come into play in either situation. It will be easier to conceal, and besides, it looks better!
    Rube
     
  6. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    12,037
    Location:
    California
    IMO, you're fine. Just get yourself some practice ammo and dedicate some time to get use to it. Be patient and enjoy it.
     
  7. Jim March

    Jim March Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    8,732
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    A year ago I would have said the 3" was the better gun. Reason being, 38+P in a 2" barrel with 357 chambers is "iffy" - you're right on the lower edge of the velocity range needed to make the best 38+P loads work.

    Since then we've seen some very nice low-end 357 loads optimized for short barrels that bridge the gap between 38+P and "real" 357.

    A year ago the Remington Golden Saber 357 was already out, and it remains a good choice for that gun. But now we've also got the Speer 357 "lite" 135gr "short barrel speciality load" that may be a better overall slug. It will be very controllable in an SP101 of either barrel length and will perform just fine from a 2". The ones I've tried have been very accurate and felt just a bit more stout than the Speer 135gr 38+P I compared them to in the same session. The projectile is the same. As a 38+P it's expanding pretty well but clearly isn't "bottomed out"...in other words there's little risk that the extra 150fps-200fps the 357 variant does will "overcook it" and cause the nosecone to fall off. Gold Dots in general resist "nosecone failure" at speed very well and the post-expansion pictures I've seen of the 38+P tell me that it's right at the bottom area of it's performance envelope at around 850fps. Gold Dots usually work across a "spectrum" of at least 250-300fps.

    The 357 version will put you at the upper part of the slug's performance range, a very nice place to be.


    Another good choice is the Buffalo Bore 158gr lead hollowpoint doing 1,000fps. It's a 38+P but a very friggin' potent 38! It too is worthy of consideration as a carry load in a 2" SP101.

    With good loads available for the 2" you're better off having the concealability vs. the 3".

    On edit: the Cor-Bon DPX in 357 is also "somewhat downloaded" and is worthy of consideration.
     
  8. Pistol Toter

    Pistol Toter Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Messages:
    657
    The 2 1/4" is better than the 3 1/16" for CCW. Like Jim said the new short barrel ammo is out now even though I load my little pig with the mid range velocity Remington Golden Sabre 125 gr.
     
  9. Skipper

    Skipper Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2004
    Messages:
    194
    Location:
    Middle Georgia
    Use and enjoy your short one. I've had both and MUCH prefer the 3". For me it is much easier to shoot well. It makes no difference in concealed carry.
    It would never occur to me to carry something as heavy as an SP101 in my pocket. I'd have to rub my waist down with Superglue, and then put my pants on quickly!
    As I said, enjoy what you bought,it's a great revolver.

    SKIP
     
  10. bulbboy

    bulbboy Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Messages:
    353
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I've had both and I prefer the 2 1/4 " to the 3". Everyones opinion is going to be different and it also depends on what you bought it for. Just now that either one is a great pistol and will last a lifetime!

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Legionnaire

    Legionnaire Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    4,057
    Location:
    Texas
    ronto, I think you made a mistake. You definitely need the 3" model. You can send the 2.25" one to me ... :D

    Just kidding, of course, though I am looking for a 2.25" (http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=216059).

    bulboy, what grips do you have on your 101?
     
  12. Essex County

    Essex County Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Messages:
    1,247
    21/4 ! You done good....Essex
     
  13. Charles S

    Charles S Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,026
    Location:
    North East Texas
    I love my 2 1/4 inch barrel Ruger.

    You did not go wrong. The shorter barrel just gives you an excuse for more practice.

    Charles
     
  14. Ichiro

    Ichiro Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2005
    Messages:
    286
    Location:
    Minnesota
    3" would make my sp-101 more difficult to carry.
     
  15. .45 Cal

    .45 Cal Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    You'd-never-believe-where-in California
    I've never fired the 3", but I fell in love with the snubbie the first time I fired it. For me it goes where I point it. So, practice and enjoy!:)
     
  16. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    24,953
    Location:
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    A 3" gun is no more difficult to conceal or carry IWB than the shorter barrel gun. I don't get how it's any easier to carry the shorter gun. Either is too heavy for a pocket. The shorter barrel gun is just fine as a defense revolver, I just fail to see how it's any easier to tote.
     
  17. fastbolt

    fastbolt Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    2,584
    Location:
    Within the lightning
    Six to one, half a dozen to the other ...

    I've carried a 3" J-frame. I carried it mostly as a belt gun. In that particular instance I achieved similar accuracy with that 3" revolver as with my issued 4" revolver when qualifying with it on our 1-25 yard qualification course of fire at the time.

    My older 649 made for a better 'pocket carry' revolver than the 3" J-frame, though.

    I originally wanted one of the 3+" SP-101's, but had to settle for a DAO 2.25" model because of availability. I don't regret the choice. It's been a fine revolver. I originally tried occasionally carrying it as a 'pocket' revolver (w/holster) when I wore an insulated vest in cooler weather. It was still a bit too heavy for my tastes. It became mostly a belt gun back then. As such, I'd prefer it had the 3+" barrel, given my druthers. I sort of look at it from the perspective that if I'm going to carry it as a belt gun, I might as well have the slightly longer barrel for the slight advantage it offers my eyes.;)

    I think if I were going to limit myself to only a heavier, short-barreled, small-frame Magnum-capable revolver, I'd choose the 3" model. DAO versus traditional DA doesn't really matter to me when it comes to a dedicated off-duty defensive revolver, but then I've spent a fair number of years acquiring revolver skills and practicing them. Other folks might easily feel otherwise.

    I won't willingly part with my 2.25" SP-101 ... I just don't find it filling a role as a frequently carried off-duty weapon because my Airweights better fill that role, especially for 'pocket-carry' use, as well as a couple of other carry methods.

    I think the improvements offered in the medium-bore (.38 Spl/.357 Mag) defensive ammunition in recent years has blurred the lines a bit when it comes to 'performance', in some instances, but that's only a personal opinion influenced by my needs.

    If I desired to maximize the potential performance of a .357 Magnum revolver carried for defensive use, I'd go back to carrying a 4+" 'full-size' revolver ... which for me means 4-5" ...

    However, the shorter-barreled models, combined with much of the quality defensive ammunition being produced nowadays, still serves my anticipated, perceived needs well enough ...

    I suppose it really depends on how you feel about your revolver as you spend more range time with it.

    A longer sight radius is preferred by some folks ... but then the approx 1" difference you're talking about might not be much of an issue for many folks.
     
  18. 461

    461 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2003
    Messages:
    1,133
    Location:
    NE.
    I have both barrel lengths and love them both. The difference is really insignificant and comes down to personal preference. The performance is so close to equal to be a wash. Buy the other when you can afford it and then decide on your favorite, but I doubt you'll want to give up the losing version.
     
  19. mikeashurst

    mikeashurst Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Messages:
    30
    You got a great gun. Don't sweat it. Carry it with pride.
     
  20. runninmike

    runninmike Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    168
    Location:
    SoCal
    They are both hefty for compact revolvers. I have the shorter one and I don't think the 3/4" bbl diff is any improvement on velocity or sight radius. It's difference is .75" or 19mm. Looking down the bbl you won't know which is which. I like the heft, as it is small but can fire full flaming .357s and does all .38s very nice. It is a compact drawer gun, or hiking gun, or mace.
    All things said and done, I prefer the 2.75" Speed-Six because it is about the same size and has 1 more shot.
    Best-MC
     
  21. pezo

    pezo Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    711
    Location:
    Michigan
    I ccw my 2 1/4" dao .357. I like to carry .357 mag over .38 for self defense. I am looking for a pre-lock airweight .38 for shorts/pocket carry however. but I'd prefer the .357 in the event I should need it. The sp101 shoots the .357 mag cartridge very well and accurately with practice. I like the 2" barrel for carry over the 3". I have a gp100 in 3" which I love but this is not a summer carry peice, the longer barrel does not matter here however. I prefer the dao model over the spurred model sp101 for ccw as well. The trigger pull on mine is quite well though not as smooth as the gp's
     
  22. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Messages:
    1,749
    Location:
    Between TN & KY
    The 2" model is fine for CCW. I have the 3" model and consider it more of a kit type handgun than concealed carry type.
     
  23. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    24,953
    Location:
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    I think they'd sell a 4" adjustable sight version of the SP101 rather rapidly if they'd build one. I know I'd want one really, really bad. :D
     
  24. steveracer

    steveracer Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Messages:
    1,554
    Location:
    VA Beach
    They do, but it's only available in 22lr.

    I want one, though.
     
  25. GaryP

    GaryP Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Messages:
    755
    Location:
    USA
    And up until recently available in .32 H&R MAG.

    Just had the urge to be a nit picker! :neener:

    :evil:
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page