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SP101 short barrel or long barrel?

This is a discussion on SP101 short barrel or long barrel? within the Ruger Double Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; I want to get a revolver for training purposes and learn about them. I will like a 357. I was looking at the SP101. I ...


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Old April 24th, 2012, 06:51 PM   #1
 
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SP101 short barrel or long barrel?

I want to get a revolver for training purposes and learn about them. I will like a 357. I was looking at the SP101. I can get a brand new 4" barrel one with adjustable sights for $549 plus tax. I can get an used SP101 2.25" barrel for $449 plus tax. I don't have any plans of carrying a revolver but who knows. I have heard that is better to get a 357 with long barrel since it helps with accuracy and recoil. I probably plan to use 38 sp for range practice.

Are these prices okay? What's your opinion on the barrel lenghts? Thanks.



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Old April 24th, 2012, 07:09 PM   #2
 
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If you're not planning on carrying it (CCW) go for the longer barrel.

Better (marginal) accuracy and sight radius, and the extra weight will help to fight muzzle flip. It's a fairly light gun to begin with.

Price sounds reasonable my my area.

My $0.02, for whatever the hell that's worth.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 07:23 PM   #3
 
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I really think you need to decide whether you want to be able to conceal it comfortably.If it's going to be a range,trail,home defense,or open carry gun I would go with the 4" for the reasons you stated.If you want to conceal I would go with 2".You can conceal a 4" but that's a little larger than I would want for an every day carry.

As far as prices go I bought a new 2" last month for $439+tax.My LGS had a sale and I got the last one.They are a high volume shop and now they have no SP101s of any kind.Davidson's doesn't have any and Bud's only has .327.Ruger is so far behind on production if you want one I would grab.It the prices aren't crazy for something in such short supply.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 02:24 AM   #4
 
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you are not going to be making a mistake with either barrel length. the sp101 is great gun. that price seems pretty good to me.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 03:37 AM   #5
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I have the 2 1/4" and it carries well and with practice you will be able to shoot the it accurately. As to the pricing I would check it over thoroughly before I bought. Look at BBL alignment in addition to checking out in lock up plus the bore and cylinder.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 04:02 AM   #6
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You can always split the difference and look around for a 3 1/16 inch barrel.

Added weight, balances well and still not too difficult to conceal if you decide to do so.

Great guns, you really can't go long with any of them.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 06:43 AM   #7
 
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Thanks for the replies guys. I have one more place to look. So far i have found two 4" models and only one 2" model (used). It looks like the short barrel one is not easy to find.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 07:44 AM   #8
 
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For range work you will be WAY ahead with the adjustable sight model and it also has a longer barrel to get you a longer sighting radius, which also helps with accuracy. Fixed sights just don't cut it when you start switching back and forth with different loads, especially between 38s and 357s, because your point of impact will change. The fiber optic front and adjustable rear on the 4" are a huge improvement for the sake of accurate shooting. The 4" is still plenty small enough to pack as a trail gun and will work for CCW, though not quite as well as the shorter versions. The ONLY advantage the short barreled, fixed sight models have is for CCW.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 08:05 AM   #9
 
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Like others have said. If you need it for CCW get the 2 in. If you want it for range or hunting, 4in is really going to give you that magnum power where the 2in is about the same as a pocket 9mm.

I like my 2in but it is rather hard to shoot accuractly. I have my good days and my bad days. Need to polish up the trigger still, I did the outside for a couple hours one day and it shines up really nice. Like yesterday I put a .357 through the pvc leg of my target stand because I wasn't focusing enough with it on one shot. Also new shooters seem to be terrible with the fixed sights on the 2in. None of my friends can hit anything, even ones who have shot enough by now, so I think I decent with it. Make sure you bring a light with you and check the forcing cone. Mine is terribly rough with ridges and I'm sending it back once I've shot the rest of my reloads. I checked out a 4in though and it seemed to be smooth
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Old April 25th, 2012, 09:22 AM   #10
 
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I have the 3 inch barrel so I am partial to that. However, you don't have the choice, so based on your post, I say go with the 4". Additionally, as you are new to revolvers, shooting 38 in a 357 may cause a crud ring to build up in your cylinders. You may find that you need to clean these more often than you would like, or would otherwise if only shooting 357. If you look around you can find cheap(er) 357 if the issue is $. If the issue is power, you can find many 357 loads. By the way, I don't know why folks think 38 is so cheap. I have found the prices diffs in my area to be negligible (or even more expensive in some cases). By the way, if you go for used, in addition to what another poster said here, ask or determine, if a trigger job was done. You may not like what was done to it. There are many threads here on Sp101 triggers. I would love to have a trigger job, but I dry fired the heck out of money, plus put a ton of 357 (and a small amount of 38) through it. This made the trigger much nicer (though not perfect) for free. I love my SP101, but the trigger itself is sharp, the hammer spur is sharp, and required serious force to pull it back until everything loosened up. My hands are large, so I got some Pachmayr grips and Metropol night sites (the front ramp has no color on it and is HARD to see against a dark backgrounded target). The gun shoots very accurate and will last forever. I love mine! You will NOT go wrong buying any SP.

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Old April 25th, 2012, 05:06 PM   #11
 
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I would go with the 2-1/4" It just looks sexy has hell!

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Old April 25th, 2012, 05:42 PM   #12
 
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I carry the 2" 101 all the time and have no trouble with it. On the range I only shoot .38s because the recoil can be a bit much on the shorter barrel. Like others have said, the 101 is a great gun.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 06:14 PM   #13
 
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If you don't intend to carry the 4.2 will be more accurate, controllable and efficient. If you do decide to carry it is not that much larger than the 2 1/2 and not heavy for a .357. It would also be legal to use for hunting in most states although it isn't the best choice for that purpose.

I have a 4.2" and use it for a camping/woods gun. I do occasionally carried it concealed but I am a big guy and used to carry a smith 629 mountain concealed on occasion.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 06:14 PM   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbninja View Post
I would go with the 2-1/4" It just looks sexy has hell!

Once you put some wood inserts in the grip, the sp101 is a sexy beast. Best looking snub nose in my opinion.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 07:31 PM   #15
 
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I bought my 1st SP101, a 2.25" version, in Dec. 1994...and still carry it more frequently than not to this day! A friend has the 3" version...and I'm starting to like that better...it's more accurate and has a slightly better 2nd/follow-up shot! I wouldn't necessarily recommend carrying the 4" version...but I would suggest considering the 3" version as a split between the 2 options you have listed! I have a 4" in .22lr...and older model six-shot...which my wife and I absolutely love!

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