Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Ruger SP-101

For your viewing pleasure, this is my Ruger SP-101, which I got on a good trade a month or so ago. It is a compact .357 magnum revolver that holds 5 cartridges in the cylinder. This particular design is a traditional double-action revolver, but can be fired as a single-action when the hammer is cocked back. The barrel is a whopping 2 1/4" inches long.

In the picture, you can also see two Bianchi Speed Strips, one of which is loaded with 5 rounds of Buffalo Bore 158 grain .357 magnum. The speed strips aid in fast reload, and unlike traditional speed loaders, they conceal very easily in my front pocket, strong side. Though they are slower than cylindrical speed loaders, they are much more convenient. Carrying spare ammunition is important because with only 5 shots from the gun, having backup ammo could save a life; and 10 rounds beats 5 any day.

I've had the opportunity to take this to the range twice, and have been impressed each time. The grips on this gun are really small, which helps in concealed carry. Normally, small grips are hard to handle when firing full magnum loads. Typically, larger grips are preferred. This is not the case for me with this gun. I am satisfied with the factory Ruger grips on this firearm. They are rubber with small plastic inserts. They absorb the recoil well and reduce the magnum "sting" that you get from inferior grips.

Accuracy wise, I'd say it is exceptional for this type of weapon. Bear in mind that a gun with a 2 1/4" barrel is not going to win any contests for accuracy, but anything in your corner is better than nothing. Sighting is accomplished by a simple groove machined into the top-strap of the weapon and a simple ramp at the front of the flattop barrel. Just stick the top of the ramp into the groove and you can't miss. Well, at least at 7 yards you can't miss. However, I put a 2"-3" group at 20 yards with this gun. I don't care who you are - that is impressive. Getting back down to earth, I can put a sub-1" group on the paper with this gun at 7 yards (that's 21 feet).

Carrying this gun is convenient. Its small size and light weight make it comfortable to wear all day long. Even with my cheap Uncle Mike's holster, the gun rides on my waist without "printing" against my shirt. Printing is where the firearm sticks out and one can tell it is a gun by looking at your clothes. It is illegal to "print" against your clothing while carrying a concealed firearm. As far as everything else goes, the gun just disappears. It doesn't get in the way of seat belts, fall out when I bend over, or anything like that. While the gun is too large and heavy for pocket carry, I intend to experiment with ankle carry for the times when waistband carry is impractical.

Overall, I feel that Ruger has an exceptionally well designed and built compact revolver in the SP-101. I anticipate this gun to outlast me and to be by my side always. Should Ruger ever decide to reintroduce the .22 LR version of this pocket rocket, you can bet your bottom dollar that I'll be standing in line to get one.

-James

1 comment:

  1. I'll be interested to hear how ankle carrying your SP-101 goes. When your done with that, why don't you try ankle carrying your SKS? ;-)
    My dad used to have a blackhawk. I wish he kept it because I have never shot a mag.

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