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SP101 vs LCR 357

This is a discussion on SP101 vs LCR 357 within the CCW forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Sorry about this but I'm sure that this has been asked before. I was trying to decided on the difference between these two carry guns. ...


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Old August 8th, 2010, 05:51 AM   #1
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SP101 vs LCR 357

Sorry about this but I'm sure that this has been asked before. I was trying to decided on the difference between these two carry guns. I know that the SP101 is heavier and more expensive, but which would be the best of the two. I also wanted to know a good IWB holster to use for either of these. Thanks

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Old August 8th, 2010, 07:08 AM   #2
 
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It's a very personal choice. Best to do is get your hands on one of each and see how each one feels. Better yet, test fire at a range if possible. The LCR in .357 is going to pack a strong recoil punch that's going to be too much for quite a big percentage of people. If you have strong hands... like if you've done a lot of construction or weight training, etc... it'll be OK if you're into it... but again, that's a very personal thing. I have SP101 .357 w/Crimson Trace and love it for aesthetic and practical reasons... but, truth be told, I usually CARRY my LCP.380 because it's so darn comfortable and easy.

With LCR or SP101, you can always use .38's for most of your range shooting/practice. That considered, if full-time carrying and personal protection is your primary use, you might, as I did, get burned out on lugging the heavier SP101 around (though I love it!). So, I guess... if you can't afford both... I tend toward suggesting the LCR. But it's a very personal thing.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 07:24 AM   #3
 
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I was very surprised at how similar in size the two are. I had always pictured the LCR to be much smaller than the SP101 (2 1/4") but it really isn't-they are virtually the same size.

My thoughts on the matter (as a noob that does not carry) are as follows:

I've heard about flame cutting, frame stretching and other problems associated with firing a high round count through the LCR that you'll never hear of with an SP, especially if you use .38. Since I think you ought to practice with the gun you're relying on, I would rather have one that I can send 5-10k rounds down rage without ill effect.

I don't know how much more inconvenient the heavier revolver is-I would think once you've got one strapped that 17 oz vs 26 oz would not be significant but like I said I don't carry. In perspective, 10 oz is a double quarterpounder with cheese.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 08:13 AM   #4
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My take on it is that for concealed carry, you will be served well with a SP101. I carry a SP101 almost daily, and it easily conceals. It's a bit heavy for pocket carry, but IWB or OWB is perfect. The LCR, on the other hand, may boast light weight and concealability, but remember that weight is on an empty gun. Plus, there is really nothing Ruger can do about the diameter of the cylinder. 5 rounds of .357 are just going to take some space to get into a gun; there is nothing we can do about that. For concealment purposes, the SP101 and the LCR have the same problems: width. It's not really about the grip size or barrel length at this point. They are both very small. The width is what is going to get you on CC. That being said, its not really an issue with either gun.

Pound for pound, I'd go with the Ruger SP101. It's a touch heavier, yes, but you get used to it. It's also all stainless steel, which is worth it. The other thing is that Ruger SP101 revolvers are built like tanks and can take .357 magnum loads their entire lives without failure. They are fairly accurate as well.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 08:25 AM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sp101er
It's a very personal choice. Best to do is get your hands on one of each and see how each one feels. Better yet, test fire at a range if possible. The LCR in .357 is going to pack a strong recoil punch that's going to be too much for quite a big percentage of people. If you have strong hands... like if you've done a lot of construction or weight training, etc... it'll be OK if you're into it... but again, that's a very personal thing.
Excellent summary!



Unless you really like all the fury of a very short barrel in .357Mag, I suggest the LCR. It is much lighter in weight and with the +P load will provide very close to the same punch as the .357 in a very short barrel.

I did some Chron. work with a - three - inch barrel comparing it to both four inch and six inch barrels. AMAZING how much lower velocity you get from the shorter barrel. That also accounts for why the extra fury. Try BBTI - 357 Mag for an idea. The 6" barrel (125Gr offerings) ~ 1700fps, 2" barrel ~ 900(and a little)fps. - - When the velocity is down to the .38Sp+P range, that's all the power you get, no matter what the name is.

YMMV.

Last edited by Pat-inCO; August 8th, 2010 at 08:28 AM.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 12:10 PM   #6
 
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If you wanted it for carry mostly like you said then I would think about the LCR +p. A little lighter than the new 357 lcr and would probably still do the job if you ever needed it. Otherwise, I know my SP101 is going to last a long time.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 01:13 PM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LC Scotty View Post
I don't know how much more inconvenient the heavier revolver is-I would think once you've got one strapped that 17 oz vs 26 oz would not be significant but like I said I don't carry.
Take it from me, that's quite a bit of difference if we're talking about daily carry. I take my SP101 on short multi-day trips when I go hiking, but even with a quality belt it will weigh me down if I try to carry it for a few weeks. On the other hand, I have a somewhat long-barreled S&W model 642 that weighs almost 17 oz, and by comparison I can almost forget that I'm carrying it.

Personally, I think if a person is serious about wanting the extra power that .357 magnum gives, the gun they use should have at least a 3" barrel. Out of a 2" barrel, I feel adequately serviced by .38+p. If I bought a .357 LCR, I'd only shoot .38's out of it; the gun hits the 15-17 oz sweet spot that I like in a .38 ccw.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 03:05 PM   #8
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I own both. If I were only to have one it would be the SP. I carried the SP for years both in my pocket in a pocket holster and in either an IWB or OWB holsters. It will last a lifetime. The LCR (I have the 38 SPL) at 13.5 oz is excellent for pocket carry and that is the use I give it. If I am going to carry on my belt then it's the SP. I primarily use a Cross Breed Supertuck Delux IWB holster with it. It spreads the weight out with two clips over a larger belt area and makes the carry a lot easier. It is supposed to be tuckable but with the SP I was never able to without looking like I had a tumor on my hip. I carry behind the hip with it and it does a fine job.

Good luck and let us know what you decide, with PIC's of course!
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Old August 8th, 2010, 03:19 PM   #9
 
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I too have both, though my LCR is in .38.
I used to pocket carry, first the SP, then the LCR. I thought I was in heaven with the LCR in a pocket holster.
Switched to IWB carry. Once I found the right holster and a got a good belt, the weight of the SP was no longer an issue.
As far as the holster, what works for me may not work for you, it's a matter of personal preference.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 02:59 PM   #10
 
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Only carry what you will practice with - who wants to practice with a light weight .357?
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 04:28 AM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat-inCO View Post
Excellent summary!



Unless you really like all the fury of a very short barrel in .357Mag, I suggest the LCR. It is much lighter in weight and with the +P load will provide very close to the same punch as the .357 in a very short barrel.

I did some Chron. work with a - three - inch barrel comparing it to both four inch and six inch barrels. AMAZING how much lower velocity you get from the shorter barrel. That also accounts for why the extra fury. Try BBTI - 357 Mag for an idea. The 6" barrel (125Gr offerings) ~ 1700fps, 2" barrel ~ 900(and a little)fps. - - When the velocity is down to the .38Sp+P range, that's all the power you get, no matter what the name is.

YMMV.
I find this very hard to believe. A .357 Magnum 125 grain is going to be scooting along waaay faster than 900 fps out of the LCR. Try adding about 200 to 250 fps and it is a little closer to reality.
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 04:31 AM   #12
 
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Only carry what you will practice with - who wants to practice with a light weight .357?

... have you shot one?

seriously... i think you will be surprised. i was.
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 04:49 AM   #13
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I have both guns. Both are wonderful revolvers.

I think you need to give some thought about how you want to carry. On a belt the SP is not a bad carry.

If you see yourself wanting to pocket carry, which is much more easily accomplished in more situations my experience, the LCR is probably the better choice.

I pocket carry the LCR with .38 Sp +P, and don't feel undergunned.

I'd spend some time shooting both with the ammo you what to carry. I see a lot of people pick out .357 and then decide to shoot .38.

.357 has great power, but is not a pleasant round to shoot in either frame for many people, and has been pointed out, practice is paramount.

Enjoy choosing, either way you'll end up with a fine handgun!
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 05:00 AM   #14
 
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The SP101 is a very tough built gun, so it will last forever and also be more manageable at the range with the added weight. Neither gun is ideal in my opinion for CC, but if you want ot carry a revolver I would pick the SP.
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 05:12 AM   #15
 
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I had an SP101 in .357. I now have an LCR in .38 that I just picked up yesterday. I found that the .357 in the sp101 was more recoil than I wanted and I usually shot .38's anyway. Plus, you don't get the power of the magnum loads out of a short barrel, it usually comes as a huge flash and a lot of recoil without much velocity gain on the bullet.
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