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SP101, 2" or 3" barrel?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Rival, Jan 5, 2003.

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  1. Rival

    Rival Member

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    Carry and shooting... Does it really make a big difference in either? What's the best compromise? I am only going to get one of those...
     
  2. Neal Bloom

    Neal Bloom Member

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    I have the SP101 3". I wanted a slightly longer barrel to handle the full power 357 loads. Full power loads in any snubby are a handful even the SP101. I also felt the 3" had better balance than the 2" in a heavy snubby. Carry holsters are a little hard to find for the 3" in my neck of the woods but ordering on the internet solves that problem.

    Either 2" or 3" the SP101 is a great gun. Very durable and well built.
     
  3. farscott

    farscott Member

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    I think this is really one of personal preference.

    In a good belt holster, there is no clear advantage to either the 2" or 3"; I cannot tell which one I have holstered by feel alone. If you use an IWB holster, each carries extremely well. I do have a pancake holster for the SP-101 but only carry the 2" in the pancake holster. My preferred holster is a Kramer IWB#2.

    The 3" has a longer sight radius which can help with increased accuracy, and the longer barrel seems to balance a bit better. It seems that velocity should be higher out of the 3" versions, but I have never chronographed to verify.

    The 3" versions seem to be a bit harder to find.

    My personal preference (if I could only have one) is a 3" because I carry on the belt. However, I have 3 of the 2" versions, and they are fine revolvers.
     
  4. Erich

    Erich Member

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    I agree with Neal's choice.

    The 3" tube will get you substantially more benefit out of the magnum loads, and not even a 2" tube is going to make the SP handy for pocket carry a la a j-frame. I would go for the 3" and take advantage of what the SP can offer, a small .357 magnum platform that's probably stronger than Smith's larger k-frame.

    But whichever you choose, the SP is a nice gun. Do lots of dry-firing (as recommended by Ruger in the manual) to smooth out and lighten the trigger somewhat - the trigger pull is definitely the Achilles heel of the SP and Jack Weigand (the go-to guy for SPs) isn't accepting any gunsmithing work right now . . . .
     
  5. GB

    GB Member

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    I have both barrel lengths of the is gun. I opted for the DAO version of the 2+ inch version because I figured its spruless hammer combined with the shorter barrel would allow it to be a little more concealabe than the longer one with a spured hammer. This is true for some forms of conceal carry (large pockets, fanny packs, camera bags, etc) but if you are going to carry IWB there would be little difference. I would think the best compromise would be the 3+ inch version. This the one I carry when wandering the mountains and it is still fairly conceable.

    GB
     
  6. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    Erich, for an excellent SP or GP trigger job, try Clark Custom Guns (http://www.clarkcustomguns.com/). I've got two done by them (both .357's, one 2" and one 3"), with excellent results.
     
  7. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    Get the 3.25" one for all the above reasons. I also like the 3" j frames but I like the 2" Colts, go figure (hint: the Colts are .38 spec).:D
     
  8. V-fib

    V-fib Member

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    Ditto all of the above.:cool:
     
  9. Kahr carrier

    Kahr carrier Member

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    Jack Weigard also does nice work on Sp101s.:evil:
     
  10. Sisco

    Sisco Member

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    "Jack Weigard also does nice work on Sp101s"
    Not any more. There was a notice on his website that he doesn't do any custom work anymore - apparently had so many requests that he couldn't get them out in a timely manner.
    I couldn't find the notice on the site now but he does have some custom SP's for sale.
     
  11. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

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    Another vote for the 3". It has a few advantages as mention and no real disadvantages over the 2".
     
  12. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    Amen to the above - get a 3" unless you have some unusual carry method in mind that needs a 2", such as a small fanny pack built for that barrel or you're gonna do front-pocket carry (not recommended, at least not by me).

    With most carry methods including IWB, Shoulder, fanny pack, even ankle, there's no downside to the 3". The upsides are greater recoil control, and if you want to carry 38+P hollowpoints of any sort for defense they are more likely to open up.
     
  13. Rob96

    Rob96 Member

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    I have a 2.25" for carry. Feel perfectly fine with it.
     
  14. ajacobs

    ajacobs Member

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    I have both and I think that even the 2 in is to be for pocket carry so I mainly carry the 3in in a galco holster. It is the oppisite of my preferred carry method as it has an exposed trigger guard but and a thumb break. But works well when I am doing something active in the woods or skiing.
     
  15. 106rr

    106rr Member

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    The 3 " is more practical in 357 mag. SD loads are fierce.
    It has great balance and points beautifully in the dark. You may need that last trait.
     
  16. Nick96

    Nick96 Member

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    For my needs, the 3" is just 1" too much. Just enough to stick out from a short jacket with a "pancake" holster. Just enough to "print" around the back pocket area with an IWB holster & untucked shirt. Just enough to be a bother in a brief case or glove box. In other words, enough of a bother where I would be less inclined to lug it around.

    The SP is on the heavy side for a small frame .357 - but as light as you would want to go in that caliber. If you are willing to put up with a little extra weight and length, why not go with a 3" GP100, a S&W M-13/65 or any number of other medium frame, short barrel .357's. You'd get one more round and a generally better handling gun.

    So, the long way around to answer the question - I prefer the 2.25" barrel.
     
  17. Bob

    Bob Member

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    I prefer the 2". It is more versatile in concealed carry, will handle full power loads just fine, and is accurate enough to plink at jugs and cans at the 50 yard berm. What more do you want? Put it in your pocket, on your belt, in a belly band, whatever. It fits well and does the job.
    Bob
     
  18. warriorsociologist

    warriorsociologist Member

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    My .02

    I had a 2" and ended up selling it because I longed for the 3." I am still looking for a 3"..... :) SP101's are great no-nonsense little guns.
     
  19. Tony Z

    Tony Z Member

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    Myself I like that extra 1" and it doesn't make concelment any harder. I would suggest the SP101 KSP-321X its the 357 mag with the 3 & 1/16 " barrel, with the full shroud.

    Tony Z
     
  20. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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  21. MJRW

    MJRW Member

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    I say if you are going to get a snub, get a snub. Get the 2",
     
  22. Spoonman

    Spoonman Member

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    I tend to prefer my snubbies to be stubby:D . I've never shot a 3" SP101 but I love my 2.25". You probably couldn't go wrong with either one. You may want to smooth the action a bit. About 500 rounds downrange should do the trick ;) .



    Clif
     
  23. 45-auto

    45-auto Member

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    I own both and have for years.

    My personal preference is for the 2" with a Hogue Monogrip in black rubber. It handles nicely for me and shoots just as well as the 3".

    I put a set of Wolfe springs in both of mine and love the resulting DA pull, which is smooth, light and crisp at the let off.

    In fact, I pack the 2" now more than I pack my 1911. And that's saying something.
     
  24. Fish Springs

    Fish Springs Member

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    Ruger DAO 101, 2" BBL and Remington 125 Grain JHP. This goes just over 1200 fps and is nicely carryable. If anything more is needed the it is back to the Security Six, Heavy Barrel, 4 5/8 bbl.

    The DAO with 158 Grain Corelokts is excellently accurate at 15 yards--high hit probability.
     
  25. bad_dad_brad

    bad_dad_brad Member

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    Regarding the SP101, I would go with the 3 inch barrel. It is really too heavy to be compared with the lightweight snubbies, so to conceal carry you already have to compromise to the belt or shoulder harness. The SP101 is not a practical pocket gun, so you might as well go with the longer barrel.

    The SP101 3 inch barrel makes an outstanding night stand gun.
     
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