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SP101 barrel lengths

This is a discussion on SP101 barrel lengths within the Ruger Double Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; Would it be accurate to say that a 3" SP101 is the optimal length for shooting, and the only reason they make a 2 1/4" ...


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Old March 7th, 2017, 04:36 AM   #16
 
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Would it be accurate to say that a 3" SP101 is the optimal length for shooting, and the only reason they make a 2 1/4" is for better concealability?

I can stash my 2 1/4" in my back pocket with a Sticky holster and barely feel it's there. But IWB has always been my optimal place to carry, so the 3" would work perfectly.



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Old March 7th, 2017, 05:59 AM   #17
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnR2 View Post
Would it be accurate to say that a 3" SP101 is the optimal length for shooting, and the only reason they make a 2 1/4" is for better concealability?

I can stash my 2 1/4" in my back pocket with a Sticky holster and barely feel it's there. But IWB has always been my optimal place to carry, so the 3" would work perfectly.
I think so

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Old March 7th, 2017, 02:45 PM   #18
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnR2 View Post
Would it be accurate to say that a 3" SP101 is the optimal length for shooting, and the only reason they make a 2 1/4" is for better concealability?

I can stash my 2 1/4" in my back pocket with a Sticky holster and barely feel it's there. But IWB has always been my optimal place to carry, so the 3" would work perfectly.
I'm not sure I would say the 3" SP101 is the optimal length for shooting because that's a pretty broad statement. But I would say that ease of concealment is the strong point of the 2 1/4" SP101.

A 3" DA 38/357 revolver with fixed sights and a round butt grip is an incredibly effective fighting tool. It is a good balance between size, weight & power. The 3" revolver is easier to conceal than the full size 4" revolver and is a bit lighter than the 4". It gives up very little in terms of sight radius and has a full length ejector rod and a full size grip.

I've commented before and it's worth repeating here, the last revolver issued by the FBI was the 3", round butt S&W model 13. That was actually a very good tool for a combat gun that would be carried concealed most of the time. I don't give the FBI credit for much but they made a good call on that one.

Here's a 3" S&W RB model 65 (basically the stainless twin of the 3" model 13) and a 2.75" Ruger Speed-Six.
DSCN1808.JPG

They are very close in size and weight. That Speed-Six is DAO and the bobbed hammer is actually a plus for that type of weapon.

I've never considered the 5 shot vs. 6 shot cylinder to be an important issue and in some ways the 5 round cylinder may be easier to conceal.
If you're going to commit to holster carry, the 3" barrel may be the way to go. If you need deeper concealment, the 2.25" is the clear winner.
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Old March 7th, 2017, 02:57 PM   #19
 
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As a general rule the longer the barrel the more muzzle energy the cartage produces. The powder has longer time to burn.
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Old March 8th, 2017, 03:40 AM   #20
 
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I have two SP 101's, a 3 inch and the 4.2 inch. For me 3 inch is the perfect barrel length for the 101. It's very heavy for a pocket gun and I never carry that way. On a belt holster I think the 3 inch carries better than the 2 1/2. Shorter revolvers are sometimes feel top heavy on my belt.
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Old March 8th, 2017, 03:46 AM   #21
 
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Since I pocket carry my SP101 everyday and only shoot once in a while I went with the 2.5
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Old March 8th, 2017, 01:28 PM   #22
 
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Well, I'm about to find out first hand how the two differ.
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Old March 10th, 2017, 11:20 AM   #23
 
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Well, I'm about to find out first hand how the two differ.
Report back once you're done. I've had both barrel lengths in the 101 and didn't notice much difference in shooting. But I liked the 3" better for looks and the knowledge that it was slightly more efficient with a .357 powder charge.
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Old March 10th, 2017, 11:28 AM   #24
 
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Well, I'm about to find out first hand how the two differ.
I'm envious. I've owned the SP101 2.25" since 2002 but have never shot the 3" barrel version.
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Old March 10th, 2017, 04:16 PM   #25
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Quote:
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Well, I'm about to find out first hand how the two differ.
Nothing like first hand experience to find out how the two work out for you. I've had 3 different SP101s - 2.25" 357, 3" 357 and a 2.25" 38 Special. I didn't find much difference from an accuracy standpoint but agree the 2.25" conceals a little easier. I'm down to just the 2.25" in 38 Special now. Just prefer shooting 38s in the SP101.

Looking forward to hearing your take on the two lengths from your own first hand perspective.
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Old March 10th, 2017, 07:01 PM   #26
 
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I won't shoot anything revolver less than 4" in .357 mag or above. My clientele confirms.
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Old March 13th, 2017, 12:15 PM   #27
 
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First thing I did was put new shoes on both of them, Pachmayr Diamond Pro grips. I like the Pachmayr compact grips just fine, but I wanted to try these.

You can see the tapered cylinder of the new SP101 compared to the straight cylinder. Hopfully I'll be shooting them both in the next few days.

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Old March 13th, 2017, 03:35 PM   #28
 
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I won't shoot anything revolver less than 4" in .357 mag or above. My clientele confirms.
Why not? Not disputing, just curious. Underwood ammo tests one of their loads out of a 3 inch SP. According to them, it chronographed 1500fps out of that gun, and 1700 out of a 6 inch GP.
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Old March 13th, 2017, 05:14 PM   #29
 
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I have both,as noted in earlier reply,something else to add-for hip holster trail use,particularly riding in vehicle with hip holster,in fact the snub is noticeably more compact. But the three inch most often is the go-to. The four inch just too much.
Something about the balance and dimension of the three inch.
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Old March 13th, 2017, 07:51 PM   #30
 
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I tested out a 3" SP101, and ended up buying a 4" SP101 because I shot it better. If you're not talking about carrying, then the 3" doesn't really have any advantages over the 4". I preferred the 4" for the extra sight radius, fiber optic sight, and velocity increase. Not a CC gun for me, so no reason not to get the 4".
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