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SP101 Ammo

This is a discussion on SP101 Ammo within the Ruger Double Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; I love my SP; had it since mid 90's. It is my favorite gun. Built like a tank. No wear or slop after well over ...


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Old January 15th, 2011, 11:38 AM   #16
 
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I love my SP; had it since mid 90's. It is my favorite gun. Built like a tank. No wear or slop after well over 5000+ shots. For reloads I like 158gr lead in mild 38 loading and 125 XTP JHP in a 90% 357 loading. Both hit at same sighting point. I did shorten the front sight significantly (in small increments) because it shot quite low. I always shoot 357 cases to avoid fouling ring in cylinder with one exception. For defensive load I carry 125gr, 38+p Golden Sabers. They have a large sharp hollow point opening and a hard jacket, like a leather punch. In court at least one could say they didn't see the need to use a full magnum load. Winchester 110gr factory 357 are also very nice. Lost of muzzle flash with those for sure - see picture to left. For me, the recoil of 158gr 357 loads seems a bit much or at least the maximum for an SP. They are very nice in a GP-100 tough.



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Old January 15th, 2011, 02:57 PM   #17
 
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Originally Posted by Maximumbob54 View Post
Speer Short Barrel loads are supposed to be pretty top notch.
That's what I intend on using. The 135 gr Short Barrel version should be just the ticket and I get to keep most of my hearing if ever I have to fire indoors(sans my ear muffs). It has a wicked looking HP.
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Old January 15th, 2011, 05:50 PM   #18
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I always shoot 357 cases to avoid fouling ring in cylinder with one exception. For defensive load I carry 125gr, 38+p Golden Sabers.
I do the exact same thing.
I don't want the concussion, blast, and awe of the magnum round fired indoors. I consider it to be a disadvantage on recoil, noise and flash. However, I never fire a bullet less than 125gr and prefer the 158gr in this caliber. And, the larger grips I installed help to manage the heavier bullets. The factory grips were a little small and less forgiving.


Last edited by MidLife; January 15th, 2011 at 05:53 PM.
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Old January 15th, 2011, 06:39 PM   #19
 
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Hornady Critical Defense was mentioned above. I have no experience with them myself but the technology sounds good and saw their add that says, "Optimized propellants burn quickly, reduce recoil, and limit muzzle flash to protect night vision". Who wouldn't want all that? They list 38sp +P and 357.

A point to ponder when shooting light bullets in 357...
Some lightweight snubies say right on the barrel not to use bullets lighter that 125gr (if I remember correctly). I believe this is because the low mass of the pistol allows it to accelerate faster from recoil and the bullets, not yet fired, can pull out of the case from their own inertia and jam the cylinder from turning. I recall this happens with light bullets because lighter means shorter and there is less jacket contacting and holding them into the case (a crimp isn't enough). The SP is a beafy big-little gun. I have never heard about this in regards to SP and have never had problems myself even with reloads.

As far as noise...
I forgot to put my earplugs in one time and let loose a 357. My ears rang and I sure learned not to do that again. To me it seems if you ever really had to use a pistol for self defense, it would be a few shots in one encounter and probably not destroy your hearing. (If you are defending yourself more than that, you ain't livin' right). You may even be so stressed as not to notice it. For target shooting I love the earmuffs that amplify ambient noise and cut out the bang. If turned up, you can hear your footsteps crunch as you walk in gravel. I don't, but how about keeping a set with defense gun? If you have a few seconds, put 'em on and listen to the troll downstairs walking on your carpet...
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Old January 15th, 2011, 07:05 PM   #20
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I think the light weight bullets exit the chamber too quickly, resulting in the powder still burning well beyond the time when the bullet has passed into the barrel. In a revolver, what this does is powder burn gasses escape and cut into the frame area of the barrel/cylinder gap region. A slower (heavier) bullet delays this burn until the bullet is further along. i may be wrong in this assesment, but, that's my thinking on it.
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Old January 16th, 2011, 04:51 AM   #21
 
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Originally Posted by MidLife View Post
I think the light weight bullets exit the chamber too quickly, resulting in the powder still burning well beyond the time when the bullet has passed into the barrel. In a revolver, what this does is powder burn gasses escape and cut into the frame area of the barrel/cylinder gap region. A slower (heavier) bullet delays this burn until the bullet is further along. i may be wrong in this assesment, but, that's my thinking on it.
I don't see this as an issue at all, because who is dumb enough to buy a box of 25 bullets for $20 and go to the range and shoot thousands of rounds??? And, this is a stainless steel frame, not aluminum. Sight it in with the light stuff that is optimized for self defense and carry that, but shoot whatever your heart desires that is heavier, cheaper, and theoretically won't cut the frame, for plinking and practice. This is the common sense approach.

Last edited by off road; January 16th, 2011 at 10:54 AM.
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Old January 16th, 2011, 07:02 AM   #22
 
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The issue of using light weight bullets has been discussed many times here and elsewhere. Iowegan has explained it very well. Like Midlife said, the light bullets will accelerate quicker and leave the chamber before all of the powder is burned, and then as the powder continues to burn, the hot gases take the path of least resistance which is out through the B/C gap. Since the top strap is so close to the forcing cone, the gases are hot enough to erode the steel in that area. But I believe this requires extensive use of light bullets and it also appears to be self limiting and at some point will not progress any further, so I don't think it is a major cause for concern.

Last edited by harrydog; January 16th, 2011 at 07:09 AM.
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Old January 18th, 2011, 07:40 AM   #23
 
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Originally Posted by white cloud View Post
the .357 is VERY loud indoors. i like the golden sabre 125gr .357 a lot and my sp101 likes it also. that said for s.d. use i prefer 158gr +p lead 38s. i use the golden sabre load when i am hiking or knocking around in the woods.
+1
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Old January 20th, 2011, 08:38 PM   #24
 
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the .357 is VERY loud indoors. .
Yes it is. At one particular point several months ago, I had the extreme misfortune to be in the same small room as a moron, a .357, and a negligent discharge. Fortunately no one was injured (point blank to a wall) but my ears were RINGING for about 15 minutes afterwords. And it wasn't even a full house, it was a Corbon DPX 125 gr mild mag, which I was about 15 feet away from when it was set off. If a mini mag can make my ears hurt that much, there's no way in hell I will be ever setting off a .357 fullhouse in an enclosed space without some hearing protection
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 02:04 PM   #25
 
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.38 Special +P is a good round for me. I can't control .357 Magnum.

I shoot Hornady Critical Defense FTX .38 Special +P. At 50 feet, it travels at 997 feet per second and has 930 foot-pounds of energy. That's enough speed and impact for a jacketed hollow point to spread and dump maximum energy at 6 cm penetration.
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