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I am thinking seriously about a Ruger SP101 357. But I can’t decide whether I want the 2.25 or 3 inch barrel. It might be used for CC. Also w/ hammer or hammerless? Any insight on the differences pros and cons is appreciated [recoil, fps (all else equal), accuracy, holster availability, don’t imagine cocking it in a SD situation but kinda like hammer, draw issues w/ hammer]. Thanks.
 

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I have a 2.25" hammerless SP101 that I use as a daily carry piece. No regrets. Sometimes when practicing, I wish it had a hammer, but I carry it IWB, and the lack of hammer makes it pretty nice for concealment. It is also built like a tank, as are all Ruger revolvers.

As far as accuracy, my CPL instructor claimed that if you can get all shots on an 8-1/2 x 11 paper at 7 yards, you are doing well. With my SP101, I can keep them alll on a 3x5 note card at 7 yards.

This is just my opinion. Good luck.

Tim
 

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I have a 2.25" hammerless SP101 that I use as a daily carry piece. No regrets. Sometimes when practicing, I wish it had a hammer, but I carry it IWB, and the lack of hammer makes it pretty nice for concealment. It is also built like a tank, as are all Ruger revolvers.

As far as accuracy, my CPL instructor claimed that if you can get all shots on an 8-1/2 x 11 paper at 7 yards, you are doing well. With my SP101, I can keep them alll on a 3x5 note card at 7 yards.

This is just my opinion. Good luck.

Tim
Honestly, getting all shots on an 8 1/2 x 11 at 7 yds is praying and spraying in my opinion. I guess for a new shooter with a snub nose revolver maybe?
 

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I had the same type of debate and ended up with a Smith 649 with a shrouded hammer. I don't think that 1/5 inch is a big deal as far as barrel length and CCW. Hammer or no hammer is the better question to get an answer on. Ultimately only you can decide what you are most comfortable with.
 

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Honestly, getting all shots on an 8 1/2 x 11 at 7 yds is praying and spraying in my opinion. I guess for a new shooter with a snub nose revolver maybe?
Couldn't agree more. His thought is, the paper is roughly the same size as center mass. The down side to this is, if you are aming at the whole page, you will hit all over the page. When practicing, I aim at a 1" dot stuck to the center of the page. Makes a big difference in the results.

Tim
 

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I have one myself in the 2 1/4" shorter barrel.

Pros - it's built very very well. I am very impressed with the quality of it.

Cons - it's hard for me to shoot accurately. I don't know if I am anticipating the recoil or if it's due to the shorter barrel or both.

I'm thinking of looking for a GP100 instead in a 5" barrel. Of course I wouldn't be able to use it for CC but for home defense it would be perfect.
 

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OK, here's my two cents.

I have a SP 101 with the 3" barrel, and it has the hammer. I practice out as far as 70 yards (single action) shooting at targets like pop cans and clay targets. I have no problem hitting my targets with a 158gr bullet traveling a 1250 fps. Then, at 7 to 20 yards I can rock and roll with double action proficiently. I conceal my SP101 in the summer with no problem.

As far as a hammer, this is how I view a hammer. My groups are naturally better with single action then double action. I can shoot double action well, but my single action is much more consistent. Personally I would never have a hammerless revolver because in the rare case that I would need the hammer for accuracy I would be glad to have it. As an example, the movie "The Untouchables" with Kevin Costner, towards the end when they are trying to apprehend the book keeper in the train station there comes a point where Kevin Costners Rookie has to draw a bead on the mobsters head and take a difficult shot. IMO, this scene in the movie depicts the perfect scenario for a single action shot. The rookie cocks the revolver, adjusts his eyes for sight acuisition, and settles in on his target,,, the mobster. Then, he has to hold it until Kevon Costner gives the command to shoot him. Even though it is merely a movie, and possably a crude example, it does show the importance of having the hammer feature for the unsuspecting moment. No one really knows how anything will play out but for myself I would rather have if then not.

When I shoot I usually have my SP101 on my side, just as I carry it for CCW. I practice drawing just as I would if I had to use it. I am fluid, precise, and I never snag my shirt or coat. If you practice drawing it like you carry it, the hammer will not be an issue.

3" hammer is my preference.
 

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I'm thinking about getting one when the market levels out. Mine will be the 3" hammered.
 

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I've got the 3-1/8" and man is that worth it. I would go that route vs. the shorter one, not any significant difference either way but it prints very nice velocities and accuracy is exceptional for a short barreled revolver.

Very nice trigger too, really can't do much better than the SP101's.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I “pulled the trigger” figuratively on the 3+” SP101. Are HKS 36-A Speedloaders as good as any? Thanks.
 

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HKS are junk IMO. Safariland comp-II speedloaders are 100 times better. Well, quality is the same I should say, but the compII's are of much better design.

Don't waste your time with HKS's. I have the comp-III's for my GP-100 but they don't have any for the small framed revolvers that I can find. the compII's are pretty damn good though.
 

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Another owner of the SP 101 here, mines the 2 1/2" barrel, SA/DA. I love it! I have two hammerles revolvers, and while I love them to, you have to understand that DAO will not be as accurate as SA. It's kinda like Highboy was saying, in a hostage situation, the target may be very small. DAO, of SA in such a situation? Get one with the hammer so it can be shot either way.
 

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Just my personal ideas on some of your thread posts. Even though i am new to the forum i am a 30 veteran instructor for hunter education includeing sidearm, rifle, shotgun, and a 20 year instructor for archery. I am also a 10 year NRA Certified instructor for basic pistol. as for a carry gun that you can use and featuers i say what ever keeps you on target the best and is what you should use. A .357 in 2.5 or 3.0 inches comes with some heafty recoli. ( lots of gun jump) and i think its much better to stay on target. The best gun for the range is a revolver with a hammer to keep you on target. However if you looking for a pocket or holster gun to CC well hammerless is much better because there is nothing to get caught on when drawing to save your families or your life. I also think that a 3X5 inch card is about the max spreed that is exceptable for a 7 yard distance for personal defence and that is what you should be working towards. As mell gibson said in the patriot " aim small miss small ". But the ideal gun is the one your most comfortable with and can stay on target to acheave that small hit zone.
bigdad5
 
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