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Thinking about getting a 2 in SP101 in .357. I am leaning towards fixed sights as opposed to adjustable sights, but was wondering if folks had some experience or thoughts on this regarding these guns. Also was wondering about thoughts on the hammerless model.
 

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For CCW the hammerless would be a good choice. I always prefer fixed sights. Nothing to break to move out of alignment. I figure you reverse engineer your load to fit the fixed sight rather than adjust the sight to a particular bullet. I like an exposed hammer as there is no CCW here in California. I have 3" with fixed sights and exposed hammer.
 

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I'm pretty sure they are all fixed sights, but I'd prefer a model with a hammer and the 3" barrel.
 

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Agree on the 3" unless you absolutely cannot make room for it. There is a significant difference in both the ballistic performance and practical accuracy from that extra inch. I've rarely had a 2" in my hands that I could print to better than about a foot at 50 feet, but my fixed sight 3" Charter Bulldog will let me print under 2" at 25 yards. So if you want plinking enjoyment and not just self-defense, that inch will make a big difference, IME. The short sight radius and erratic muzzle velocities a 2" often exhibits, seem to conspire to prevent precision shot placement.

The hammer style comes down to your shooting technique. A hammer spur allows the crunchenticker technique in which the weak hand in a two-hand grip cocks the hammer while the strong fires it. Accuracy is substantially better than double-action shooting for most. But if you want a belly gun you won't ever shoot further than a yard away, it won't matter. Double-action can be made to work accurately with a lot of practice, as trick shots often demonstrate, but prepare to load and fire lots of wadcutters to get there.
 

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Still a pretty chunky gun, but does hide better than the L-frame.

On my old 3" version, the front sight is held in by a cross pin. If you're good at making small metal parts, can make one that's higher...or lower...or off set a bit to the left or right. Doesn't take machine tools, just a scrap of steel, drill for the cross hole, and a whole lot of filing.

Alternate for windage would be to detach the front sight...solder a shim to the side...profile the shim to match the sight blade...file the other side of the now too thick sight to get back to original thickness. Undeerstand, you won't shim or file the cross drilled base that fits into the barrel, just the partr that sticks up, so it ends up with a bit of a dog-leg.
 

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Fixed sites. The gun shoots point of aim and adj sites can snag on clothing if you carry concealed. Hammerless if you will carry concealed for the same reason. I have an early one before the bobbed hammer was available. I did the job myself. Don't hesitate on buying a used one. They are built like a tank.
 

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For a trail gun a bit smaller than an L-frame, with adjustable sights, I'd find myself a good used Security Six. Yes, the SP101 is a bit smaller, but for a trail gun this will hardly matter, and the Security Six will give you one more round in the cylinder. Also, for a trail gun, I'd prefer to keep the hammer spur. The main reason -- the spur makes it easier to find a field holster that will secure the gun, as most seem to have retention straps that loop over the spur.

Now, if my main use for the gun was going to be concealed carry, I might still go with the SS -- it's a darned nice gun. But the slightly smaller size of the SP101 makes things just a bit more convenient. And, I'd bob the hammer, too. Plenty of good, strapless concealed carry holsters out there, and SA fire with a bobbed hammer is quite easy and safe once you learn how to start the hammer back slightly with the trigger, hook your thumb over the top and front of the hammer, and haul it on back. But DA fire is the best discipline to cultivate for defensive shooting -- much faster and more positive than SA, and darned near as accurate at any range once you learn how to do it.
 

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The .357 SP101s only come with fixed sights.
I have a 2 1/4" SP101 357 with a spurred hammer. The choice between spurred or not is a kinda hard choice. For all practical matters, the spur just gets in the way, its a self defense gun, you will never NEED to fire it single action. On the other hand, my SP101 is fun to shoot, so I like the spur and shooting it single action at the range.
For a trail gun, I think I would prefer the 3" version (which only come with spurred hammers).
The 3" SP101 would make a great train gun, plenty of power or load it with mild 38spl for small, tasty critters.
The 2 1/4" SP101s also have a pinned in front sight.
The 357 SP101s are sighted for 158 grain bullets.

Andy

P.S. I really like my SP101.
 

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I've carried my 2 1/4" SP101 for several years while hunting deer and pigs. I have a good (Bianchi) thumb release leather paddle holster that fits nicely on the kidney belt of my pack. The first round is snake shot. The rest (including two speedloaders) are 158 grain Hornady HP/XTP (#35750) in front of 16.5 grains of WW296. These are my "carry" rounds. I fire a cylinder full every once in a while for practice, but not very often. These rounds kill on one end and maim on the other. I wouldn't fire these rounds in anything except a Ruger handgun or my Marlin carbine.

Unfortunately, I have to switch to non-lead rounds (condor zone) and I've been carrying store bought ammo ($$$$$). I'm working on non-lead handloads for the future.
 

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I've got an SP101 3" in 357 mag. It has the fixed sights. I would say fixed sights are the way to go here. With a 3" barrel and that small frame, I personally wouldn't gain anything from having adjustable sights. Its not meant to shoot very far.
If you want to shoot at longer ranges you'll want a longer barrel IMO. I had a GP100 357mag with a four inch barrel that did OK at longer ranges but truthfully I would have been fine with fixed sights on that one as well. Fixed sights have there advanteges for sure but not until you start trying to hit things out past 25 yards or so IME.

Regards,

Josh
 

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The main thing about fixed sights is this:

With enough work, can get them shooting the point of aim for one load. Once "on" are hard to get out of adjustment.

Better make that your favorite load as having any other load shoot to the same point of impact will be luck.

The one Ruger 101 I have hasn't been shot a whole lot in the last years. I really prefer a smaller/lighter .357 for concealment and a larger/heavier one for holster use. Bought a 3" 9mm 101 some years back, when super-cheap 9mm surplus was common (measured the way semi-autos are measured, would be a 4 1/2" barrel as semi-sutos measure from the breech fast to the crown). 1000's of rounds of crappy middle eastern, decent middle european (from some x-communist country or another than may not be on a map today), Chi-Com steel cased 9mm, and even a few 100 rounds of 1950's Canadian Sten ammo. For a time there, it as as cheap as centerfire got, and while many semi-autos would gag on this crappy corrosive stuff, the stainless ruger shot it all with no problems (yes...you do the corrosive ammo clean up or you'll find "stainless" doesn't mean "stainproof").

Doubt 9mm will ever be that cheap again, but when a range buddy complains that "x" ammo just won't work in his semi-auto, can usually pick up a box or two cheap...and the Ruger just doesn't seem to care.

Took me awhile, but most 12-124gr. "ball" ammo shoots to the point of aim.
 

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Get the 3" with an exposed hammer (only offering in 3" anyway) if your looking for an excellent trail gun. My experience, they are regulated for 158 gr .357 loads. They are somewhat gritty when new, a few hundred rounds through them smooths the action up. The last new ones I've seen have way better triggers out of the box, than the earlier ones. Can't say if they're all like this but my limited sample of two recent runs was way better triggers. If not, a Wilson trigger spring kit for 8 or 10 bucks will make an improvement.

If you handload, you can probably work up a load that will shoot to point of aim for elevation, with luck, windage will be good. Accuracy with these smaller revolvers is very good. I bought mine 12 + years ago as a handy little pocket gun. It's not pocket gun but is handy, strong, and accurate. It's become a constant companion and is used as a trail gun. A crossdraw holster works best for access if wearing a backpack, packboard, or fannypack. You're not elbowing into the pack when trying to draw. For concealed carry a IWB strong side hoslter like the Crossbreed Super Tuck works best for me. Good Luck
 

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fixed sights, no hammer. I don't care about the difference in barrel length, either one is equally decent for my purposes.

don't misunderestimate what a steady hand can hit with a snubbie. you could lose a lot of pocket change betting against some of the people I shoot around. I have proven that I can hit a deer size kill zone with a 185g bullet from a 2" smith out past 20 yards. and yes, I've shot lots of deer at 20 yards. you might be surprised how far you can bounce a pop can with a snubbie. and shooting double action isn't as hard as it seems if you use the cock and squeeze trigger technique.

Otherwise why not just get a K frame size gun?
 

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Griz you and Davy Crockett would be at it all day swapping tall tales.

But back to the question (SP101 SS 2.25 inch .357 CT laser sparless DAO), first the trigger is about a 11 pound pull, there are no rear sights just a noch in the frame and a front non adjustable blade, can only be fired in double action only, is designed and set at the factory for 21 feet shooting. It is a defensive CCW pistol only. For that purpose it works very well and does great with open sights, laser takes a lot of pratice to get use to it. Does 38 spl with no problem, but hold on tight if using 357 mags. At 20 to 25 FEET not yards groups will be about 3 inches.

Jim
 

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Buddy of mine has the 3" for a carry gun. We tested the snot out of it with 125 grain, 158 grain and 180 grain loads. Yep, the trigger was a bit gritty at first but it got better. Yes, its was a bit heavy but a new hammer spring makes a difference.

And it is minute of paper plate with all three bullet weights at 40 yards. We were able to hit 3 of 5 shots on 6 inch steel plates at 50 yards by the end of the day.

I do prefer the adjustable sights on my other Rugers to the fixed sights on the SP101 but the sights on the SP 101 are effective.

Recoil is brisk with .357 magnum loads but not painful. My right hand was stiff the next day, but we did shoot over 300 rounds.
 
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