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Posted: 12/7/2003 8:08:18 PM EDT
Just wondering if there were any downsides to these little pistols. My wife is (finally!) going to start carrying concealed and feels that her 2.5" M19 is too big and bulky. She never liked J-frame Smiths but *really* liked the SP101 when we tried a friend's. Looks like Santa's going gun shopping in the next week or two .

We played with a NIB one this past weekend and I thought it seemed just like any Ruger - well-built, reliable, simple and with a nightmarish DA trigger pull. Any problems, quirks, et cetera I should know about, though? This would be a brand-new .357 model, probably the 2 1/4" barrel with fixed-sights.
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 8:21:31 PM EDT
I am a fan of the SP101 as well. Rock solid reliable, easy to shoot, small enough to conceal. The only caveat I have about the SP101 is the fact that I don't think there is a model with a bobbed or enclosed hammer. If this is to be carried on the hip or in a shoulder rig - no problem. But if it is coming out of a purse or something similar, the hammer could snag as the gun is drawn. And, yes, that DA trigger is a bit of fun...

Ah, one other thing: it is pretty heavy compared to the titanium wheel guns out there. But it's that heft that makes the SP101 fun to shoot and the ultralights so unpleasant! Nonetheless, weight is a consideration in a concealed weapon.

Good luck with what ever you get!
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 8:22:25 PM EDT
I've got one, I love it, and have been known to carry it. The only bad thing I have to say about it is the trigger, but with practice this shouldn't be a problem. I can honestly say I have never had a malfunction of any sort with my sp-101.
I do flinch a bit with .357 mags though, and I beleive this could be cured with the right aftermarket grip.
Good luck!
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 9:29:45 PM EDT
Tough, well built, but a little heavy. The DAO is much smoother than the standard DA.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 6:46:06 AM EDT
Thanks for the feedback. Apparently, she's been perusing different models by herself on her lunch hours (<wiping tear>God, I love my wife) and prefers a standard DA/SA with a hammer. She hasn't decided on mode of carry yet but it would likely be on-body. Makes me a little concerned about the weight, too, but I think I've been setting a bad example toting my Kahr MK9 everywhere and going on about how light it is.

This might be a "personal-choice" thing but I'm debating between the .38 Special and the .357 models for her. We've always had .357 guns in the house but she's only comfortable shooting .38s through them. Even +Ps get to be a little much for her after a few cylinders (she's still recovering from an arm/shoulder injury). I would prefer to give her the option - if she never shoots Magnums, so be it - but anyone see advantages to .38-only?
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 6:53:18 AM EDT
I am not recoil adverse but the full 125gr .357 mag loads hurt a lot with the SP101 2.25" barrel.

It will make the desire to practice with it go away with every shot.

It is a fine sidearm and a first shot hit should do the trick.



Link Posted: 12/8/2003 7:37:51 PM EDT
I love the SP101 but strongly recommend the 3" barrel. It's amazing what that extra half inch of barrel length does for shootability and dampening recoil. It also does not affect concealabilty at all but does add a few extra ounces.

You really can't go wrong with the SP101.
Link Posted: 12/9/2003 11:09:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/9/2003 11:10:18 AM EDT by GTZ]
I would lean towards the .38, or at least her training a lot with .38 first. If she masters it and out grows it great. If the 357 is no fun it will be a turn off. The sp101 in 38 is sweet to shoot, I bought my mom one about 10 years ago.

Remember, she should be able to shoot a CCW gun with her weak hand only. A lot of people don't think about that.
Link Posted: 12/9/2003 8:11:31 PM EDT
The SP101 is a fine gun, but for .38 special use only, I would talk your wife into a j-frame Smith. Preferably an older one.

They are much lighter and easier to carry. The triggers are soooo much smoother. Get a good set of boot grips that fill in the area behind the trigger guard and they are much more comfortable to shoot.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 12:10:13 AM EDT
The SP-101 is an excellent snub nosed revolver. I have the 2.25" model and love it. I usually load it up with Winchester 110gr JHP or Remington 125gr Golden Sabers(medium velocity). Both of these rounds are very easy to shoot out of this gun. You really can't go wrong with an SP-101.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 12:12:11 AM EDT
The SP-101 is an excellent revolver. I have the 2.25" model and love it. I either use Winchester 110gr JHP or Remington 125gr Golden Sabers (medium velocity). Both of these loads are easy on the shooter. You really can't go wrong witha SP-101.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 12:13:24 AM EDT
Thats weird. The first time I posted, it didn't show up. I did it again, and both appear.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 8:52:01 AM EDT
I would advise getting the SP101 in .357. That way you can shoot both .38 and .357. If lighter recoil is desired, pack it with .38+P - don't limit your options with the .38 in case you ever have the need or desire to shoot the .357.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 11:51:29 AM EDT
Thanks - again! - for the responses. I placed an order today for it configured as I originally described (forgot rule #1 of marriage: If she *says* she wants blue, get blue ).

She's already very comfortable shooting .38s and - for a few cylinders - +Ps in a S&W K-frame snubby, so hopefully this won't be much a change for her. If she ever wants to step up to Mags - or if I exercise a little "firearm karma" and steal *her* gun, for a change - she'll have the option.

455SD, we used to have a S&W 649 with that exact setup, she just never really took to it. I agree re: the trigger, though. That's the one thing about the SP101 that's making me shake my head a little.

And, from my keyboard to God's ear, may she never need to use it for anything but target practice!
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 11:54:23 PM EDT
As I said, I tried both the DA and the DAO versions of the SP101 .357 2-1/4. The DAO was soooo much smoother, I got rid of it and kept the DAO. Another really bad thing (to me) that I noticed with the hammered version is that occasionally I could manipulate the hammer in such a way that it would not let me fire - I am not quite sure why that was. However, if you did buy the standard DA version, just have a smith work over the trigger, I would if I did.
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