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Old August 20, 2016, 03:26 AM   #1
Deaf Smith
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Older Ruger SP-101 .38 special

Are the older Ruger SP-101 .38 special revolvers some sort of collectors guns?

I see them, used, for over $500.

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Old August 20, 2016, 08:04 AM   #2
Siggy-06
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Ruger actually still produces the .38 special only sp101's, Model 5737. I wouldn't pay $500+ for a used one.
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Old August 20, 2016, 09:50 AM   #3
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Early SP101 revolvers had a shorter frame and cylinder, they were originally intended for 38 Special only and not the 357 Magnum. When the 357 Magnum was first added as a chambering for the SP101, they were marked for 125 grain bullets only as that loading would usually fit the shorter cylinder and frame. Soon after the frame and cylinder of the SP101 was lengthened by about a sixteenth of an inch to allow use of all 357 cartridges. So perhaps the early SP101 models that you are seeing for sale at $500+ are the early short frame versions, which some would consider a collectors variant.
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Old August 20, 2016, 10:05 AM   #4
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I have seen some want a premium for them as well. "NYPD issue" or some such often goes along with it.
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Old August 20, 2016, 06:09 PM   #5
Deaf Smith
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Yes, it was a short frame one. No NYPD, but short frame.

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Old August 21, 2016, 07:42 AM   #6
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I bought a pair of those older models at a big discount when the change to the 357 capable frame was made . Gosh, I don't often do something right.
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Old August 22, 2016, 04:00 PM   #7
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There is the SPNY revolvers, DAO SPs in .38 only with special bead blast finish and "SPNY" on the side. One of the best defensive revolvers Ruger ever came out with, made specifically for the NYPD.
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Old August 24, 2016, 10:02 AM   #8
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"I bought a pair of those older models at a big discount when the change to the 357 capable frame was made . Gosh, I don't often do something right. "

Same here, I had the 101 in .357 and a .38spl appeared in the case of my local gun/pawn establishment. They made me a heck of a deal because no one wanted the .38spl since the .357's were hitting the market so I bought it and took it home, shot it and found it to be a nice piece. Ended up giving it to my mother-in-law. She had a couple of handguns, but long story short she bought a lake house and needed a gun there for things that go bump in the night and was asking me about a .38 for that house. So I handed her the little Ruger and told her use it as long as you need it. She was a happy camper, my wife was a happy camper and I scored some major brownie points with the ladies.
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