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SP101 Vs Model 640 Pro

This is a discussion on SP101 Vs Model 640 Pro within the Pistols & Revolvers forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; I have a Model 642 and have been saving my pennies for a 640 Pro to pick up more of the range duties - thinking ...


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Old February 20th, 2017, 08:18 AM   #1
 
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SP101 Vs Model 640 Pro

I have a Model 642 and have been saving my pennies for a 640 Pro to pick up more of the range duties - thinking the extra weight will be a welcome. I have aftermarket sights on my 642 that are similar to the 640 Pro which is why I was looking at the Pro and not straight 640. Intention is to have both pistols set up similarly so there is no difference in training, manual of arms, etc.

That said, I've had a few opportunities to shoot an SP-101 and really like the gun. Points well for me and certainly easier to knock out a couple boxes training than with an airweight. Although the base SP-101 has simple, integrated sights, they seem to be better than those on the J-frame. (The Wiley Clapp version is not on our "safe" gun roster). I didn't think the trigger was great, but found that if you don't dilly dally with the trigger pull, it's a good DA shooter.

My local dealer has a 2.25", very lightly used. Since I have a couple GP-100's and a Redhawk, I'm kind of a Ruger fan (probably should have gone LCR in the first place) and it strikes me that I could probably pick up the SP-101 and a used LCR for the same price as a 640 Pro (or the SP-101 and a couple hundred $$ in ammo).

That said, I've yet to find a steel frame J-frame on a rental counter out here (San Diego) much less a 640 Pro. I realize there are some nice touches on the Pro, including a factory action tune and some cylinder work.

For those of you with experience with both guns (or even a base model 640), how would you compare the action, sights, and recoil management between the 640 and SP-101?



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Old February 20th, 2017, 11:56 AM   #2
 
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I find the recoil to be quite noticeable on the standard SP101 grips. If you can change those to your liking then it would easily mitigate that. I sadly traded mine off.

I have many S&W revolvers and I prefer their action over a Ruger.

However the Ruger is built like a tank and the added weight will make it more controllable for most people.


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Old February 20th, 2017, 12:54 PM   #3
 
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Try a set of the Hogue Mono grips these well usually help the recoil.
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Old February 20th, 2017, 04:34 PM   #4
 
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I love my 3 inch sp101 in 357
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Old February 20th, 2017, 04:51 PM   #5
 
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I like my SP101. Shoots great. Nice looking gun.

But I LOVE my 640 (not pro). Shoots wonderfully and is my main off duty carry.

I don't notice much difference in recoil. I like the way the 640 with boot grips fits my hand better and I find it to be more accurate. Trigger is a little smoother too.

Just my opinion though
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Old February 21st, 2017, 03:43 AM   #6
 
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OK, here goes.......

What we're really talking about here is a tricked out steel, DAO J-frame vs. a Ruger SP101.

Both guns have excellent track records and while I don't have a 640pro, I've spent time with the 640.

Both guns are 5 shot, steel framed, snubnosed revolvers chambered in .357 mag. (why someone would want .357 mag in a snubnose is a bit of a mystery to me)

You didn't say if the SP101 was a bobbed hammer DAO model or had a spurred hammer, that would make a huge difference between those platforms.

The .357 mag 640's are a bit longer than the older 38 Spl. ones (1 7/8" barrel vs 2 1/8" ) or 1/4" longer , which puts it in the SP101 camp.
The sights on the 640pro look to be very good but for a snubnose the simple front ramp and grooved top strap will get the job done. I like snubnose revolvers to be as "snag proof" as possible, so pointy sights and hammer spurs are out. If I want a target gun, I'll go buy one. That's not to say snubnose revolvers are inaccurate; they can be very accurate but their role is SD and not target work.

The SP101 is a great gun but it's just a bit too big/heavy for pocket carry. The .357 mag, internal hammer J-frames are right on the edge of being pocket guns. The addition of sharp sights would take them out of the pocket gun category for me.

The Moon Clip capable cylinder is a nice addition but again not a real useful feature in that class. A Speed Strip is easier to conceal than a full moon clip or a speed loader and a bent moon clip will take a revolver out of the game. So no moon clips on a SD gun for me.

So, for me the 640pro is a cool gun but just not cool enough for the role that I would use it in.

Just my $0.02 worth.
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Old February 21st, 2017, 05:14 AM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrol and Powder View Post
OK, here goes.......

Both guns have excellent track records and while I don't have a 640pro, I've spent time with the 640.

Both guns are 5 shot, steel framed, snubnosed revolvers chambered in .357 mag. (why someone would want .357 mag in a snubnose is a bit of a mystery to me)

The .357 mag 640's are a bit longer than the older 38 Spl. ones (1 7/8" barrel vs 2 1/8" ) or 1/4" longer , which puts it in the SP101 camp.
The sights on the 640pro look to be very good but for a snubnose the simple front ramp and grooved top strap will get the job done. I like snubnose revolvers to be as "snag proof" as possible, so pointy sights and hammer spurs are out. If I want a target gun, I'll go buy one. That's not to say snubnose revolvers are inaccurate; they can be very accurate but their role is SD and not target work.

The SP101 is a great gun but it's just a bit too big/heavy for pocket carry. The .357 mag, internal hammer J-frames are right on the edge of being pocket guns. The addition of sharp sights would take them out of the pocket gun category for me.

The Moon Clip capable cylinder is a nice addition but again not a real useful feature in that class. A Speed Strip is easier to conceal than a full moon clip or a speed loader and a bent moon clip will take a revolver out of the game. So no moon clips on a SD gun for me.

So, for me the 640pro is a cool gun but just not cool enough for the role that I would use it in.

Just my $0.02 worth.
I agree 100%.
I feel the minimum barrel length for a 357 should be 3 inches (I prefer four).
Anything less seems nonproductive to me, little gains in velocity and big gains in muzzle blast.

Back in the early 90's I had a 640 in 38 special. Like an idiot I traded it for some other gun I really "needed".
Great gun. I found it more at home in a holster, as it was a little too heavy for pocket carry IMO.

While the Sp101 is a well made, I find it excessively heavy as a 2 in. 38, but acceptable as a 3 in. 357.

Picking a J frame for range use, that has a similar feel as your 642, I would consider a 22LR, or just shooting lightly loaded 38 spec in your 642.

A minimum size 357 IMO would be a Speed Six 2 3/4, Model 65 3 in, or a SP101 3 in.

Although it tends to be looked down on as being underpowered, the 38 special is a good round and well suited for snubbies.

I apologise for going a little off track.

Bill
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Old February 21st, 2017, 02:42 PM   #8
 
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Thanks gents, I appreciate the input. I agree on the 640 Pro, some of the "features" are not something I'm big on, e.g. moon clips.

Lighter loads is an idea, and certainly a 22LR would be an idea too. I normally carry wadcutters loaded and JHP in strips or speed loader as they are easier to reload (IMHO). Not sure 22LR would fit in my training plan for some of my drills but I do see the utility in having one. Spending a little more time finding softer training ammo isn't a bad idea.

I did not appreciate the "snagless" profile of the stock 642/640. I added a Bowen rear sight and although tiny, it still likes to snag on the seams of pocket holsters. Luckily, I have a few, like my Mika, that don't have internal seams. But definitely a downside and although I like the new sights, I'm not sure I would do it again.
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Old February 21st, 2017, 07:17 PM   #9
 
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I have a great deal of experience with snubnose revolvers and I feel they are good tools.

It's important to keep the task at hand in mind. The best gun to train with is the one you carry !!!! If you need more trigger time with your 642 and don't wish to shoot a lot of full power loads through that alloy J-framed gun - pick a target load with the same P.O.I.

Also, don't be fooled into thinking the alloy J-frames are weak - they are not weak. I wouldn't shoot thousands of +P rounds through an alloy J-frame but they will take thousands of standard pressure rounds without a hiccup. Those guns are plenty strong and can be shot for decades with standard pressure ammo. In fact, even when intentionally abused they hold up fairly well.


A 148 grain HBWC will be close enough to a 158 grain HP that you can train with it without stressing you or the gun.

Spending a LOT of money for a 640pro just to get a steel framed version of a DAO J-frame S&W doesn't seem to be a good expenditure of funds.

I had a couple of the old 38 Special 640's and I liked them better than the newer 357 mag 640's. I've shot both and I'd rather have the old 38 Spl 640 over the newer .357 mag version. The best J-frames I ever had in my hands were the 50 + year old models 40 & 42, so it's not a function of "new" & "improved".

Last edited by Petrol and Powder; February 21st, 2017 at 07:24 PM.
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