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Tell me about the SP101 in .327 Fed

This is a discussion on Tell me about the SP101 in .327 Fed within the Ruger Double Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; I keep kicking around the idea of getting something chambered in .327 Federal. I've had a .32 H&R Single Six for a while, which I ...


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Unread January 26th, 2020, 07:21 PM   #1
 
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Tell me about the SP101 in .327 Fed

I keep kicking around the idea of getting something chambered in .327 Federal. I've had a .32 H&R Single Six for a while, which I enjoy. I'm a fan of single-action revolvers, and I thougtht about getting the Single Seven in .327, but it seems kind of redundant having the S6 already. I'd jump on oneif I could find a .327 Blackhawk at a reasonable price, but that's not likely.

The GP100 seems like overkill in the little .32 caliber cartridge. Had they put 8 holes in the cylinder, I might be tempted anyway. Ruger managed to make the Blackhawk an 8-shooter, so it should be possible in a GP as well. Especially considering that they can fit 7 in the little Single Six frame.

Don't mention the LCR. It might work great, but I can't get past how it looks. Seems a Glock and a revolver got drunk one night...

But that gets me to the SP101. I owned the 3" version in .357 from the mid-'90s to the early 2000s. It was your typical Ruger DA revolver. Built like a tank and weighed about as much. It was a bit too large and heavy for pocket carry, but it made a decent belt gun. I found it comfortable shooting magnum loads. The DA trigger was typical Ruger-heavy, but it was smooth. The SA trigger was pretty decent, if also a bit heavy. It did what it does ok. Just not ok enought to keep it around, when I could pack a K- or L-frame S&W for about the same weight and size, but with one more round and a better trigger.

Fast forward. The 4" barrel on the little SP101 frame doesn't look half bad, but for a "target" gun, it's a bit of a head scratcher. Too small, heavy trigger, still only a 5-shooter in .357 Mag. But does it make sense in the smaller .327 Fed? The gun is heavy enough that the recoil should not be a problem.

If I were to get one, I would primarily use it when out hiking around. Maybe use it for concealed carry from time to time. Or maybe just for something different to plink with. I already reload .32 H&R, so loading for the .327 shouldn't be an issue.

So, questions:
  • How well can the trigger be slicked up? My .357 had been bone stock, no work done to it.
  • Can the 4" barrel reasonably be carried IWB, or is it better off worn on the outside of the belt?
  • What kind of accuracy are you getting?
  • Overall thougths / impressions?
  • Is there something else I should be considering?



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Unread January 26th, 2020, 11:30 PM   #2
 
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What's wrong with a 3" barrel on the SP101 for .327fed? They do come in that, and that would help the weight/size issue some. The 3" barrel is 1.22" longer than the LCR/LCRx are currently offered in (they do offer it with .357/.38/larger, but not for .327fed).

Personally, a 3" SP101 would be very CCW-capable... if I always wore a loose overshirt or jacket.

The weight is not significantly greater than my Sig 938...
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Unread January 27th, 2020, 05:40 AM   #3
 
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I have experience with the .327 in the SP-101, Single 7, and GP-100; of the 3, I like the GP-100 the best.

The .327 is a 50,000 psi chamber pressure rnd and even with the .32 bullets it can produce a lot of recoil in a light revolver and does with 100 & 115 gr bullets.

After 30 rnds of 100 gr ammo from the SP-101, with the original 2 piece grip, my hand went numb for 2 days causing me to get a rubber Hogue grip which made the gun much easier to shoot..

Single 7 is not bad to shoot.

The GP-100 is very mild shooting, much so that you could classify it as an all day shooting gun. The GP-100 is the most accurate as well.

I compared the .327 to the .357 in paper bundles and got the same penetration even though the .357 had a longer barrel.
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Unread January 27th, 2020, 06:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackbat242 View Post
What's wrong with a 3" barrel on the SP101 for .327fed? They do come in that, and that would help the weight/size issue some. The 3" barrel is 1.22" longer than the LCR/LCRx are currently offered in (they do offer it with .357/.38/larger, but not for .327fed).

Personally, a 3" SP101 would be very CCW-capable... if I always wore a loose overshirt or jacket.

The weight is not significantly greater than my Sig 938...
I agree with most of what you say but there is an 11 oz difference between the 938 and the 3" SP. Two different handguns completely. I wouldn't try to pocket carry a 3" SP nor would I walk in the woods with a P938.

The Sp is a great revolver and the 327 is an interesting caliber but I already have a 2 1/4" in 357 so probably not in my future but looks like a fun revolver to own.
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Unread January 27th, 2020, 09:32 AM   #5
 
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"So, questions:
How well can the trigger be slicked up? My .357 had been bone stock, no work done to it."

My 2.25" .357 mag SP started out with a double action around 14 lbs. After a tune (polishing the innards, reducing the step on the hammer by 0.020" to get more firing pin protrusion, reduced weight springs) the double action is down in the low 8's per my Chatillon recording gauge and high 7's with the Lyman gauge. The mainspring is a Wolff 9 lb and return spring an 8 lb. With the 10 pound mainspring per the Chatillon gauge double action is 9 lbs. So, a major improvement can be made in trigger pull.

I would provide single action pull but the gun started out as double action only and I acquired a da/sa hammer. The single action is right at 3 lbs. I am sure it could be reduced some but I am content with where it is at.

Last edited by Rover; January 27th, 2020 at 09:34 AM.
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Unread January 27th, 2020, 10:12 AM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terry_p View Post
I agree with most of what you say but there is an 11 oz difference between the 938 and the 3" SP.
Huh. I guess I just don't notice the weight with the SP101... but then, I haven't actually shot one (a 3" .327 is on my "to buy" list - near the top), just handled one at the gun store. Maybe after I do I'll see the difference.
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Unread January 27th, 2020, 06:17 PM   #7
 
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Been carrying the SP in .327 for about 5 years now everyday. The 3 inch version. Don’t really notice the weight. Mine has been dry fired around 3000 times and has about 1000 rounds of full bore .327 through it. The trigger is one of the best I have on a handgun.
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Unread January 27th, 2020, 06:18 PM   #8
 
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Havenít shot mine yet, but the fit & finish are very good. The DA trigger is typical SP heavy, but fairly smooth. I did put some Altamont inserts in the grips.
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Unread January 27th, 2020, 07:19 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutty Ned View Post
After 30 rnds of 100 gr ammo from the SP-101, with the original 2 piece grip, my hand went numb for 2 days causing me to get a rubber Hogue grip which made the gun much easier to shoot..
Interesting. Thanks for the insight.

Just curious, have you shot the SP101 in .357 and if so, how do the two compare?

Thanks
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Unread February 8th, 2020, 11:36 PM   #10
 
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I have a 4" SP-101 in .327 Fed and bought it to be a woods walking gun. Adjustable sights, small light package; in a Simply Rugged Pancake; what's not to like? I reload so that allows me to tailor the load to be as mild or warm as I want . I've never had an issue with the trigger pull out of the box, but that's a personal preference and maybe I am not as picky as others, or maybe I got lucky.

How accurate is it? If I do my part it is more accurate than I am. I haven't zero'd in on a load that I think is a tack driver yet, but that's more a function of too much time at work and not enough time at the bench / range. I can tell you that with the 100 grain American Eagle soft points if I can get a sight picture on it under 50 yards, I can hit it. YMMV.

As far as an IWB carry, I wouldn't think carrying a four inch IWB would be an issue at all, but I don't know what your body looks like; curves like; what belt you are using (which makes a huge difference) nor what you normally carry IWB, if anything. I've carried a 4" Redhawk in .44 Mag IWB for a few weeks at a time and never had an issue, so take that into consideration.

If you intend to reload for the .327 Federal, Rimrock Bullets in Montana casts a 125 grain true Keith SWC for the .32 caliber and I've had good luck with them over Accurate #9. I haven't tried them over H110 or Lil' Gun, but that's on my list. I've also had good results with the Cast Performance 113 grain gas checked bullet over a case full of slower burning powders.

Last but not least, two other thoughts. #1 - Keep the .32 H & R. They are two distinctly different cartridges and I also have the 4" SP-101 in .32 H & R and am glad I do. I prefer to shoot the cartridge in the gun that the barrel is stamped for; that's my personal preference. #2 - Henry makes a lovely rifle in .327 that would be a nice companion to a .327 SP-101.

If you buy one, I think you'll come to love it. The .327 Cartridge is not everyone's cup of tea, and many want to dismiss it or trash talk it or don't see a purpose for it. For those of us that love it, that's great!!! More for us to enjoy !!
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Unread February 9th, 2020, 04:18 AM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigRed45 View Post
Last but not least, two other thoughts. #1 - Keep the .32 H & R. They are two distinctly different cartridges and I also have the 4" SP-101 in .32 H & R and am glad I do. I prefer to shoot the cartridge in the gun that the barrel is stamped for; that's my personal preference. #2 - Henry makes a lovely rifle in .327 that would be a nice companion to a .327 SP-101.
I have a Henry Big Boy Steel Carbine in .327 Federal - Henry states that it is also designed to properly load & fire the .32 H&R Magnum.

Big Boy Classic .327Fed: 20" octagonal barrel, hardened brass receiver. 8.68 pounds
Big Boy Carbine .327Fed: 16.5" octagonal barrel, hardened brass receiver. 7.76 pounds
Big Boy Steel .327Fed: 20" round barrel, steel receiver. 7 pounds
Big Boy Steel Carbine .327Fed: 16.5" round barrel, steel receiver. 6.59 pounds
All weights are from the Henry website.

Last edited by Blackbat242; February 9th, 2020 at 04:21 AM.
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Unread February 10th, 2020, 03:21 PM   #12
 
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My understanding is the 4.2-inch barrels are significantly driven by the Canadian market and the minimum barrel length rule for handguns.

I also think about the 4.2-inch .327 quite a bit, waffling between that, a Single Seven and the GP. Then I ask whether they would really be better than a Contender, and end up not buying anything.
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Unread February 11th, 2020, 08:04 AM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OlongJohnson View Post
...Then I ask whether they would really be better than a Contender, and end up not buying anything.
Itís funny you mention that. I have several Contenders, and I have looked into having a barrel in .327 Fed (or even .32 H&R) built. But by the time I have it set up the way I want, Iím at the cost of a new SP101 or Single Seven. And thatís just for the barrel, without optics.
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Unread February 11th, 2020, 10:00 AM   #14
 
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My loop goes like this:

Bullberry made their .327 Fed barrels with .308 groove diameter, so people could use spire-point rifle bullets. When you think about the advantages, it's worth it. But then you have this barrel that the manufacturer tells you can't safely fire factory ammo in the cartridge it's chambered for.

So to solve that problem, make it a .30 Carbine. A little more performance, and native .308 so you can buy factory ammo for plinking if you want, and no special instructions that aren't obvious to the uninitiated. Still a small little case you can have a bunch of in your pocket.

But for most of what I'd want a .327 Fed carbine or Contender barrel for, a .22 K-Hornet will do the job just as well, but flatter farther and with less lead in the environment. And still little cartridges you can have a bunch of in your pocket. But it can be equaled by reduced loads from a .223, so no new hardware is required.

And there's also the fast-twist, threaded .30-30; for the money of a custom .327 barrel, you can get a 1:8-twist barrel made that will shoot the new Hornady 190gr sub component bullets, and the cartridge will drive them. It will also be outstanding with 110-130gr spire point bullets. Awesomely versatile option. That's the thing to do, but I haven't decided to do it yet, so I do nothing.

Doing nothing includes the realization that a 110gr XTP out of a .357 case from the Contender or a lever gun will be stellar at pretty much anything I'd want a .327 Fed for anyway, except six shots in a tiny revolver. And with single-base powder, the same is true out of revolvers. And then there is the Kimber/Colt/Taurus six-shot little revolver pathway...
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Unread February 11th, 2020, 10:24 AM   #15
 
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I have a Ruger GP100 .327 FM & 7 shot cylinder is not a over kill there’s been enough issues with the GP 100 7 shot .357!!! Any way I like mine a lot I had a SP101 3 inch barrel .327 FM 6 shot and with certain loads it can be a real hand full!!! So reloading is the way to go to get the loads you want!!! People do not realize that the .327 FM is a very high pressure load higher than a .357 Magnum that’s why I moved up to a GP100. A .327 FM in certain loads come very close to foot pounds of energy vs a .357 Magnum. So the .327 FM is no slouch it’s a pretty decent load.
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