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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just picked up a nice Ruger SP-101 with a 3.1" barrel from Davidson's last week. Took it out shooting over the weekend. The Davidson's trigger is nice and smooth, but boy those standard Ruger rear sights are lame!

Since Ruger does not make SP-101's with REAL rear sights, other than that small, narrow slit they call a rear sight, I looked into after market alternatives. Bowen Classic arms does nice work on SP-101's, it appears, but the prices are steep indeed.

Can anyone recommend rear sights for an SP-101? Also, can I mix, say, a J Frame Smith rear sight with a Tritium front sight for low light? Mr. Bowen says that Smith J Frame rear sights are interchangeable with SP-101's. I am looking for a sight with smooth edges that will not snag on IWB holsters, etc. I plan on practicing with 110-157 grain 357's, and then taking the 101 into the mountains with heavy Buffalo Bores just in case a bear should cross my path. I will shoot a few Buffalo Bores in practice, just to learn how to handle 5 hand-busting rounds in a row.
 

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Kirk /JP

Is the cost of retrofitting a SP-101 bringing the cost into the range of a M60 S&W, the one with a 3" bbrl?
 

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may be able to save some money

I have an sp101 in 357, and although the sights are very basic they serve me well for the intended use of the pistol. I would imagine trying to fit different sights to the sp an expensive venture. One might pick up a GP or an old security six, which came with adjustable sights a cheaper alternative.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
SP101 as a Longer Range Revolver

I have a .44 Redhawk, so I don't really want a .357 that is heavier than my SP101. However, I don't really want a "belly gun," as many call the SP.

I was hoping to take Ruger's short-sighted design, and convert it to a powerful little revolver on my belt that can take hot factory loads like Buffalo Bore when necessary.

Security Sixes are cool. My friend has one that I've shot many times, but my heart is set on using this little SP101 as my deep woods BUG when I'm hiking far from my Jeep.

I am intrigued by Mr. Bowen's work on SP101's. I just am curious if the milling on a rear sight is something that is really tricky for a local smith to pull off or not. I would love to install Meprolights on the front and rear, if they would fit (on rear).

Mr. Bowen graciously answered my emails promptly. He is asking for $295 for basic sights on the SP101 and $395 for HiViz night sights.

I also spoke with a local gunsmith by telephone here in Portland. He charges $50 per hour. He thought he could finish up my SP101 in two hours or so, with front and back sights. I can buy front and back Meprolights that are supposed to fit an SP101 on Amazon for $50. That would make the job about a $150 if all goes well, and the gunsmith lives within 20 minutes of my house, so he could help with adjustments if I need them after the main job is done. Not sure how involved this milling job would be, however. It might be fairly tricky to mill down those rear molded sights on the SP101.

Thank you for the excellent feedback so far, gentlemen. I am curious to hear what others think, as well.
 

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Sp 101

Food for thought.... why does one need to invest $100 plus on a pair of sights that may never be needed or, if needed, may possibly be asked to fire a shot of not more than 5-10 meters in distance. The manufacturers "sight groove" on the gun is accurate at those distances.... just asking..!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Distance capabilities

As I've said before, I want to improve the distance capabilities of this fire arm. Range Guy: Are you saying that, with Bowen sights, my SP101 will still only be accurate close-up? I am trying to get it moderately accurate out to 25-50 yards. That is the whole point. I am responding to your post to see if you think this is just not going to be possible. I don't see why the SP101, with proper sights, could not transcend its status as a close-range "belly gun." It seems to have more potential than that. I suspect that Ruger has kept sights off this revolver because the sights that Ruger puts on its revolvers have sharp edges and snag on clothing, for the most part. There are smoother, more expensive aftermarket sights that can overcome this obstacle. Bowen's rear sights are rounded and smooth. The front ones are kind of big, however, but they aren't much bigger than the stock front sight that comes with the SP101, at least so far as I can tell from pictures online. At any rate, I am not overly concerned with the extra bulk and heft of smooth rounded sights.

I already have a little Kahr MK9 and an M&P 340, so I did not buy the SP101 to be a close-range concealed handgun. I bought the SP101 to be a more versatile and light revolver to use with hot loads like Buffalo Bore in the woods. In this capacity, it is unique. As a "belly gun" it is less exceptional to me. Why would anyone need hot loads from a belly gun, anyhow? They will go through walls in a crisis situation and make a mess of things, possibly hurting someone other than the immediate threat. Sure, you can use specialized bullets with hollow points, etc., but I am not interested in using my SP101 as my primary carry weapon. I need it for protection against four legged threats more than two legged ones. It is light, compact, and stout. A perfect alternative to my big powerful Ruger .44 Redhawk, when I don't feel like lugging that behemoth around with me in the forest.
 

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Sp 101

Kirk...You are privelged to do whatever you want to your pistol......I DID NOT even mention the name "Bowen" in my post...!!! Please do not go that route. My post was about the sight groove on the pistol and the fact that Ruger intended the weapon for close in shooting. Now, Mr Edwards, if you want to add regular sights and try for 25-50 meters......go right ahead, but now you will be dealing with a 3" barrel and alot of "muzzle wobble"....unless you intend to shoot from a rest..!! Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you

Thanks for your response, sir. I only mentioned Bowen so you would know what kind of sights I am thinking of having installed, that's all.

I am quite interested in your assessment that the barrel would wobble. Are you saying the weight of the sights would make it wobble? That's interesting. I hadn't thought of that. I am not an experienced marksman, so any feedback is helpful. There is no "ego" in my responses, only curiosity and interest in the fine art of shooting.

If you have the time, I would be interested in hearing why you think an SP101 with sights would wobble.

Here is a link to the type of sights I am considering:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=314933. To see the pictures, scroll down to Brian Williams' post.

Perhaps my goal to create a more versatile version of the SP101 is unrealistic. I love the size and "tank-like" design of this weapon. My only regret is the way Ruger has overlooked its potential as a revolver capable of longer range accuracy.

Best regards,
Kirk
 

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Sp 101

Kirk,
My reference to "muzzle wobble" is extactly that....no reference is made about the sights. In firearms instruction, we use a term called "exceptable wobble", which refers to the amount of wobble that the muzzle traces in space that the shooter is simply not able to control. Your muzzle WILL move no matter how hard one tries to keep it still. Keeping your front sight focused laser-like on the COM will help you to minimize the wobble. Now...the shorter the barrel.. any amount of wobble will move the impact point off the intended target...!! At 25-50 meters....some shots will not even be on the paper...!! At Front Sight, I took a DHG class with my S & W Model 60 revolver with a 3" barrell ...at 35 yards...about 40-50% of my shots were off the paper. Why..?? Because at that distance..just a milimeter of movement of the muzzle .....moves the shot several inches(5-6") off the paper....all the while I was trying to hold my front sight on the COM... Yes, I did qualify, even with the problems of good accurate hits at 35 meters.
 

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I feel the same way. I like the 3" 101, but can't stand the standard "sights." Mine now has a J frame rear with a ramp front put on by Cylinder and Slide Shop. Works great.
 

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This is my SP101. I carry this when I'm out hiking around. Very good to 50 yards.I put some Millet sights on it. Had to mess with them a little but they work very well,even with my old eyes. Very nice gun and very strong.I did file them down some after this picture. You can get them on the web for about $5.00 and shipping..
Millet sights
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URL=http://img15.imageshack.us/i/millett.jpg/]
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The SP101 chambered in .327 Mag has an adjustable rear sight. Seems like that could be adapted to the fixed sight version. But, would that be better for the OP? Is it a better sight picture you are looking for or adjustability?
 
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