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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am curious, What is the better Revolver in your opinion? the Ruger GP 100 or the SP 101? Also the pros and cons to each?
 

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It depends on your usage.

If you're looking primarily for a firearm you can carry on your person for self-defense, likely concealed...then the SP-101 will probably work better for you.

If you're looking more for a trail gun, or a home defense/range gun, then I'd suspect the GP-100 might be your better choice. I'm not saying a GP-100 can't work for a SD/CCW gun, it certainly can...it just takes more effort to conceal it.

The main differences are overall size. The SP-101 has a more compact frame, a smaller 5-shot (8-shot in .22) cylinder and ,generally, a shorter barrel (2.25-4 in.), and a lighter weight (25-30 oz.). The GP-100 has a full-sized frame, a 6-shot (7-shot in .327) cylinder, and longer barrel (3, 4, and 6 in.), and a bit heavier overall (36-45 oz.)

Both are obviously well-made guns, capable of better accuracy than most shooters, and are designed to stand up to a steady diet of full-power loads. The only thing I'd say is if you're looking for a purely CCW piece you might consider an LCR, or an Airweight or Featherweight alloy-framed revolver.

Good luck,
Tim
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
way to be vague...what caliber? purpose? "best" is relative
Caliber would be either .327 fed magnum or .357 mag with the option to take .38 caliber bullets, Possibly for conceal carry and as a backup for say a trail gun for hiking, camping and fishing.
 

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I own both, but in my hands, the GP100 is the better all around gun. It has the mass to handle the .357 magnum load. My SP101 requires custom loads in .357 cases to be reasonable to shoot, both practice and self defense.

As the .38 Special only version, I think the SP101 is really in its element. I am not a fan of shooting .38 Special from a .357 version. If I was going to shoot .38s, I should have bought one. I think the .357 is a reloader's gun, although I know some he men disagree and somehow are unsympathetic about recoil for smaller people.
 

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Have a gp 100 with a 4.2" barrel and would like a sp101 with a 3" barrel.

The gp100 makes a great range gun with mild .38's that barely move the gun to hot .357's that will wake everyone on the range up, dead nuts accurate with either once you adjust your point of aim or sights depending the model. Hot .357's don't hurt to fire but take a bit of practice to avoid a flinch just due to blast. If you want to carry expect to need a custom holster for it unless you like one of the few stock ones available.

Have checked out sp101's at gun shops and the trigger is very similar to the gp100 in a better carry size. The reason I want a 3" is for a better sight radius than my j-frame smith in a smaller lighter package than my gp100. Just have not had any luck finding a 3" model locally.

Pick the one you like best after holding both and deciding what your going to use it for.

Good luck and happy shooting. :)
 

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How is the recoil on the short barrel over the longer barrel? Is it manageable?
Manageable is a relative term to your pain tolerance. How manageable is hitting yourself in the squishy part of your hand with a ball peen hammer :rofl:

For CCW and Trail Gun, the 5 shot SP101 would be plenty to fend off two and four legged predators. If you don't mind the weight, I would go with the GP100, however.

One of my CCW guns is a S&W 681 4", it carries fine in Milt Sparks leather.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Manageable is a relative term to your pain tolerance. How manageable is hitting yourself in the squishy part of your hand with a ball peen hammer :rofl:

For CCW and Trail Gun, the 5 shot SP101 would be plenty to fend off two and four legged predators. If you don't mind the weight, I would go with the GP100, however.

One of my CCW guns is a S&W 681 4", it carries fine in Milt Sparks leather.
The Recoil Doesn't sound reassuring, :rofl: But i guess i will look into them asap.
 

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That's a tough one. I own them both, love them both.

The GP is hands town a tank. You could probably beat a bear to death with it and it'd still function. While it's not as tuned as an S&W, I like that it's simple. Simple means reliable. It's not as pretty either. But, again, it's a tank. It has it's own kind of luster, especially for the quality you get for the price you pay. Invest and extra 100 bucks on a trigger job (if you want it, I kept mine stock) and you've got one that is every bit a gun as the Smith is. I would reccomend sticking to 4 or 6 inch barrels though so that shooting full magnum loads remains a pleasureful experience. That being said, the GP100 6" is the only gun I would never ever ever consider trading. Shooting .38 special, as you might imagine, is a walk in the park.

The SP101, obviously, is a little more "civil" in terms of carry. It comes with more options that lend to being a good concealed/backup option. I have 2, one has 2" barrel, the other is a 3" and at one point I had a 4" that I dumped for the GP. The 2" and 3" DO WASTE the power of a magnum round. They are also not all that fun to shoot .357 out of just due to the kick. I think it's great that the lil guy can handle .357, but you'd be better off sticking with the 38 spl load. Out of the 2 I have, I prefer the 3" barrel. It's definitely more accurate. The SP101 is still kind of a heavyweight in terms of small revolvers, but you're getting a smaller tank.

So... in the end it depends on what you want. I've lugged the GP100 around concealed in a shoulder rig with a wood Hogu grip so it wouldn't get hung up n clothes. But admittedly, it's better off and an open carry gun, or a nightstand gun, or a hunting companion. The SP101 offers a good punch without all the size.

Screw it. Buy them both. HA! Either way you go, you'll end up buying the other at some point. AND, I see you are in WA? I just came back from living there not too long ago. Loved open carrying the big ol' GP100. =)
 

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I have the GP100 in 357mag stainless six inch, It's a pleasure to shoot.
I also have a GP100 in 327 Federal Mag, stainless four inch, again a pleasure to shoot.
I also have the SP101 in 327 Federal Mag stainless three inch that isnace to shoot as well. I little more recoil because it'sa lighter weight gun.

I'm in Washington State too, West side 40 miles north of Seattle. If you are close enough lets get together for an afternoon of shooting. I have other revovers we can shoot as well. You should shoot before you buy in at all possible.
 

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I have only shot a friend's GP100. It had trigger reworked and was very nice. He claimed as nice as his former Python, however if true, he had a bad python. But it was very nice, comparable to a good S&W.

I bought a used SP snubie from Cabelas. I read postings how the 357 wasn't bad, just a little snappy. I guess those saying so are behemoths or I must be a wimp. I shot factory 357 and it was most unpleasant. Bad enough to affect my accuracy (I think I'm pretty decent with my old Colt Detective), bad enough that I was flinching quite noticeably and feeling dread at the anticipated nastiness. Cabelas took it back under their 30 day policy because of a cylinder rotation issue which RUGER would have no doubt fixed. I just wanted my money back. Had to endure my brother-in-law's "I told you so!"
 

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A trigger job can be done yourself with $10 worth of springs and some 2000grit wet/dry sandpaper. youtube has several good tutorials. My SP101 has the Glass-rod smooth trigger break aftor about an hour worth of work... better than a typical S&W out of the box, IMO. I got a 3" SP101 for my wife and installed some pink hogue grips and an XS-Big dot as a nightstand gun to shoot .38spl
 

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I have only shot a friend's GP100. It had trigger reworked and was very nice. He claimed as nice as his former Python, however if true, he had a bad python. But it was very nice, comparable to a good S&W.

I bought a used SP snubie from Cabelas. I read postings how the 357 wasn't bad, just a little snappy. I guess those saying so are behemoths or I must be a wimp. I shot factory 357 and it was most unpleasant. Bad enough to affect my accuracy (I think I'm pretty decent with my old Colt Detective), bad enough that I was flinching quite noticeably and feeling dread at the anticipated nastiness. Cabelas took it back under their 30 day policy because of a cylinder rotation issue which RUGER would have no doubt fixed. I just wanted my money back. Had to endure my brother-in-law's "I told you so!"
I'm no behemoth, but I'm not recoil sensitive either. The SP's recoil with a .357 is intense but not uncomfortable.

If you want pain, shoot about 20-25 magnums from a LCR! Even I was hurting after that one. I regrettably sold that gun though.

It's hard to beat either gun. With a proper gun belt and holster both are perfectly acceptable for concealment. I have carried my 6" GP a time or two. Only problem I had was the extra length of the barrel staying hidden. The 3 or even 4" would remedy that though.

If I were the OP, for his intended purposes I'd try to find a 4" sp101. Still plenty concealable(not a pocket gun clearly,) and still plenty of barrel length to take advantage of full house magnums and a decent sight radius.
 

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ain't no "best"

I own two 4" GPs, and no SP.

I believe small guns should be short-barreled, light in weight, and chambered no larger than 38 Special (perfect example: wife's S&W M38 Airweight Bodyguard).

I like the 4" GP size, because it allows me to do everything with one gun except hunt bear and bigger (even though I can hunt blackies with proper ammo and steely nerves and a good shot).
I wear mine in a fanny pack, or weak side butt-forward.


I started wearing a 4" Security Six in 1976.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have the GP100 in 357mag stainless six inch, It's a pleasure to shoot.
I also have a GP100 in 327 Federal Mag, stainless four inch, again a pleasure to shoot.
I also have the SP101 in 327 Federal Mag stainless three inch that isnace to shoot as well. I little more recoil because it'sa lighter weight gun.

I'm in Washington State too, West side 40 miles north of Seattle. If you are close enough lets get together for an afternoon of shooting. I have other revovers we can shoot as well. You should shoot before you buy in at all possible.
Thanks for the offer, I would be approx 240 miles from you as I'm on the east side of the mountains.
 
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