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Old April 1, 2020, 09:23 PM   #1
StainedClassKing
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New Cobra vs SP101?

I’m in the market for a steel snubby, something that can be concealed easily but also be manageable to shoot at the range. Within my budget ($700 max), the two most viable new options seem to be the 2 inch Ruger SP101 in 38/357, or the Colt Cobra. Bear in mind, even if I do get a .357, I don’t plan on using .357 regularly with a barrel that short. My local store (which I will visit once my next paycheck comes in), has both with minimal difference in price. I think the Ruger is $630 and the Colt is $650. I’ve heard mixed things about Colt’s quality control, but I’ve heard the Cobra has a better trigger and honestly the extra round is a plus considering they’re roughly the same size. Anyone have experience with both of them?
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Old April 1, 2020, 10:45 PM   #2
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I have heard issues re Colt's quality control. I own two older Pythons, a Gold Cup and a Combat Commander. They haven't given me any problems but, like I said, they are older guns.

Here's a thread about a problem Cobra:

https://thefiringline.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=606343

I own and occasionally carry a double action only SP 101. It's 357 but I carry +P 38 defensive rounds. With a Hogue grip it's a fine gun when I really want concealment.
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Old April 1, 2020, 10:57 PM   #3
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Colts pull back to release the cylinder, Smiths I believe push forward and rugers push in. The SP101 is a working revolver. Rugged and reliable and well built. The Smith and Colt may be a bit smoother, but the Ruger is always a good choice.
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Old April 2, 2020, 05:54 AM   #4
Kreyzhorse
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I own both.

The Cobra has an excellent trigger and handles better with the larger grips.

The Ruger has an okay trigger that gets better with use. Mine was really gritty out of the box. Not crazy about the grips.

I'd suggest the Cobra but buyer beware, mine stopped working this past weekend at the range. There is a thread about it open. I haven't seen much of anything about Cobra issues so mine maybe a one off thing but who knows?

If it were me, I'd still buy the Cobra over the Ruger. It handles better in my opinion but honestly, you can't go wrong with a SP either.
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Old April 2, 2020, 07:46 AM   #5
CajunBass
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I've got a Colt Cobra (2019) and I think it's the best carry revolver I've ever owned, and I've been through plenty of J-frame Smith and Wesson's, Taurus, and Charter Arms. I've also owned a couple of K-frame snubs, a Model 10 and a Model 12.

The Cobra isn't much bigger than a J-frame, I use the same holsters, but using them for the Cobra will stretch them and make them a little loose for a J-frame. It has six shots over the others five. It's trigger is much better than the others, and the stock is big enough to get a real grip on it. The fiber optic front sight, just jumps out at me.

You do have to, or at least I have to keep an eye on the sideplate screws on the Cobra (and my Python). The one under the grips on mine did work loose. Because it was held in place by the grip, it didn't cause a problem...it could only loosen so much, but still it's something to be aware of. I haven't put any thread lock on because once I tightened the screw up, I haven't experienced it again.

The Ruger might be a fantastic gun. I like Ruger's semi's, but their revolvers, especially since the Speed/Security 6's just don't even interest me at all.

YMMV
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Old April 2, 2020, 11:19 AM   #6
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I’d personally buy two m206’s if I were in the market for a snub at the moment. Throw one in my bug out bag and shoot the heck out of the second one
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Old April 2, 2020, 11:37 AM   #7
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Be sure to handle both guns. I don't have large hands and there still isn't enough distance from the grip backstrap to the trigger on the 101 for me.
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Old April 2, 2020, 02:23 PM   #8
FrankenMauser
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The geometry of the SP101 trigger parts mean it will always have a heavy DA trigger in comparison to most competitors. From the factory, they are often sub-par; but do wear in with use.
If you're okay with that, that's what I would spend my money on.
(I simply won't do business with Colt, even if the product *may* be better. That toxic corporate cesspool needs to die ... again.)


However...
If you can consider a polymer frame, the Ruger LCR has a far better trigger.

I've spent time with a lot of the classic snubs, owned a few, and still own a good SP101 that I really like (though it is not a snub).
My daily carry, and usually 'woods carry', is an LCR. (6-round, .327 Federal, to be specific.) I was anti-polymer when the LCR came out. But, well... I daily carry one now. They work. They have good triggers. And mine shoots very well.

My own preference, from least likely to most likely to buy:
S&W J-frame
Kimber K6
Ruger SP101
Ruger LCR
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Old April 2, 2020, 08:10 PM   #9
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I have only played with the Cobra in the gun store. Another one to look at is the Kimber in that class. I believe it is also a 6-shooter.'

I do own the Ruger SP101. It is a nice gun. I put a tritium sight on the barrel, and swapped out the grips. I also put in the Wolff Spring Kit and shot a lot of rounds through it. The trigger is now pretty good.

It is a VERY well-built revolver.

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Old April 3, 2020, 03:57 PM   #10
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A used Smith and Wesson .357. Any one. Probably a 66 or 686. Both stainless steel.
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Old April 3, 2020, 04:29 PM   #11
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The Ruger will last you a lifetime. This Colt model is not quite so proven.
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Old April 4, 2020, 01:39 PM   #12
2wheelwander
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I have one identical to Rogervzv's, except for a snub barrel and buffalo horn grips. I love that gun and never hesitate to carry it. The Wolf kit makes a difference and is cheap. To me the Ruger just feels 'right'. It fits.
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Old April 4, 2020, 04:21 PM   #13
WheelGunMan
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I have a Ruger SP101 .357 DAO that I changed the hammer spring on because the original was stiff and gritty. Never held a Colt so I can't compare, but my SP101 is glass smooth now. The grittiness was due to the leftover manufacturing debris (shavings, etc.)
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Old April 4, 2020, 06:47 PM   #14
dontcatchmany
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Never had a Coilt. I do have two SP101s. A 357/38 2.25 inch barrel and a 327 Federal Magnum 3". Both are exceptional shooters.

The 2.25" gun is a little over 20 yo thousands of rounds and never a problem.

The 3" 327 mag is only a few weeks old and has approx. 500is rounds through it with no problems.

All of my revolvers are Ruger or S&W except for a Kimber K6S.
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Old April 28, 2020, 10:40 AM   #15
Cyanide971
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Not a Ruger, but I do have a Charter Arms On Duty model to go along with my Night Cobra, and just recently sold my S&W 686+ to help fund a Ruger LCR .327 for my wife (loaded with .32 H&R Magnum). The Colt may be a slight bit wider, but I do enjoy having the sixth shot at my disposal if necessary, though the CA carries easier due to weight (or rather lack thereof).

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Old April 28, 2020, 11:36 AM   #16
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Because you said it will be a carry gun , knowing the Colt May have a problem I would steer clear. Myself and my wife have 38+p lcr’s . Both with thousands of rounds down the pipes with zero problems that we love and I pocket carry mine no problem.
I was looking at a SR1911 in 10 mm and seeing others having problems with the barrel lug cracking splitting from max loads, I bought another 10 mm pistol that has had no problems.
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Old April 28, 2020, 11:37 AM   #17
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Sp101 get my vote. I have one in the 4 inch barrel in 357 mag, great trail gun. I gave my mom another in .38 special with the snub barrel. Good amount of aftermarket support because they've been around a while, and easy to work on/disassemble. Built to last. You can get bigger hogue grips if the factory one is too small.

I also have a GP100 in the 4 inch barrel(stainless). Ruger revolvers have that heft I want when shooting magnum loads. S&W's have better triggers out of the box, but the Ruger's triggers will break in nicely, or their springs can be replaced easily. I also tend to think Ruger does a better job on their stainless finishes than S&W. I do love my S&W 617 though over all my other .22 pistols.

I am glad to see Colt making their revolvers again, and I've held a few in stores. The issues I've read about some of them keep me from buying them. I'd probably buy one of those kimber revolvers first over the new colts. Just my opinion.
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Old April 28, 2020, 01:05 PM   #18
Wheelie_Fan
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I've had a new Cobra since June 2017 and while i haven't put thousands of rounds through it, i haven't had an issue. I really like this revolver... feels good, goes bang, points well...

Since it sounds like production issues have been resolved... i will, more than likely, pony up for a Python sometime in the future, once availability and pricing sort themselves out.
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Old April 29, 2020, 09:22 AM   #19
wild cat mccane
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The SP101 is probably best known for having the worst trigger in all of current production revolverhood.

If not, what else does? If someone says they like their SP101, ask them what other revolvers they own they compare it to. We do get used to what we own

Last edited by wild cat mccane; April 29, 2020 at 09:28 AM.
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Old April 29, 2020, 09:42 AM   #20
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I agree that the SP101 stock trigger is pretty stiff.
The Wolff or Wilson Combat kits will help a lot.
Shooting it a fair amount will help a lot.
It is a very accurate and well-made gun. The trigger does come very stiff from the factory.
Mine shoots pretty darned well now.
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Old April 29, 2020, 03:05 PM   #21
Wheel-Gunner
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Quote:
Another one to look at is the Kimber in that class. I believe it is also a 6-shooter.'
Totally agree.

Between the two you mentioned, I would probably side with the SP101. This is mainly because of the reliability concerns that the new Colt revolvers are having; there are simply too many examples of this.

With that said, I would strongly look at the Kimber k6s. Has 6 rounds, and a superb trigger. I would get a k6s before I would ever get the new Colt.

Good luck with your search. Let us know what you decide.
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Old April 29, 2020, 03:30 PM   #22
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I have an SP101. Great gun. 5 rounds of .357mag and I'm good. Personally, I like the Ruger LCR for EDC. I have heard the Colt isn't what it used to be.
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Old April 29, 2020, 05:31 PM   #23
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I just noticed the Kimber (K6 line?) wasn't mentioned. Are they out of the equation price wise, not available for the moment, or bad reputation? I've always had an eye out for a deal on one of those.
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Old May 4, 2020, 02:21 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScaryWoody View Post
I have an SP101. Great gun. 5 rounds of .357mag and I'm good. Personally, I like the Ruger LCR for EDC. I have heard the Colt isn't what it used to be.
^I guess that means Colt is a "Old Grey Mare" eh?
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Old May 4, 2020, 06:29 AM   #25
CajunBass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScaryWoody View Post
I have an SP101. Great gun. 5 rounds of .357mag and I'm good. Personally, I like the Ruger LCR for EDC. I have heard the Colt isn't what it used to be.
Well, they are right. I've owned both, and IMHO, the new ones are better.
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