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Old January 4, 2019, 05:58 PM   #1
stinkeypete
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Thoughts on Single Seven vs sp101 Match Champ?

I’ve decided I need something between my .22 and my .44.

At some point, I’ve had about every Blackhawk (or vaquero) from .357 to .45 Colt and the massive Freedom Arms revolver. In the end, it’s my dad’s custom .44 Blackhawk that made the final cut.

I have my favorite .22 already... but I need something between.

Your thoughts and experiences with sp101, sp101 Match Champion (I’d mostly be shooting 38 special plinking loads)

Vs

single seven, mostly shooting 32 long colt (5 1/2” stainless.)

I expect the correct answer is “get them both” but... if you could only have one...
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Old January 4, 2019, 06:33 PM   #2
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The SP101 will make a good carry gun. It can be loaded to subsonic, if you reload. The Single Seven is a forced fit into a Single Six 22. It works and has its proponents but is kind of a hack.
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Old January 4, 2019, 07:53 PM   #3
MrBorland
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I'm getting hung up on semantics, so I admit I have nothing of real value to add here, but "SP101" and "Match Champion" seems an oxymoron to me
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Old January 4, 2019, 08:44 PM   #4
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I don't think the original Match Champion GP100 was much of a "match" gun either. It even had tactical sights. I have one though and like it a lot, but mine is the second gen with adjustable sights.
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Old January 4, 2019, 09:10 PM   #5
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So you want feedback on getting either a .327 Single Seven or a .357 SP101 Match Champion?

Depends on what your use is. I've lost a lot of interest in .327 revolvers not that I don't like the cartridge, but I don't like how Ruger makes them to shoot jacketed bullets and tells us to take a hike when we want to shoot lead. I'm okay with using jacketed bullets for .327 as a JHP is going to be my main defense load, but when I want to plink, I want to plink with lead bullets and the issue with .32 lead bullets is bullet manufacturers make the bullets too small, usually .311-.312 when they should be .313-.314.

The match champion isn't something that interests me, so I can't recommend something I don't care about. I appreciate that the trigger is better than a stock Sp101, but IMO the SP101 trigger is fine as is. For a bit more, I would much rather have a 7 shot GP100 over a 5 shot SP101.

Bottom line, if I didn't already have a .32 single action, I would get a Single Seven.
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Old January 4, 2019, 09:28 PM   #6
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Depends on what your use is. I've lost a lot of interest in .327 revolvers not that I don't like the cartridge, but I don't like how Ruger makes them to shoot jacketed bullets and tells us to take a hike when we want to shoot lead. I'm okay with using jacketed bullets for .327 as a JHP is going to be my main defense load, but when I want to plink, I want to plink with lead bullets and the issue with .32 lead bullets is bullet manufacturers make the bullets too small, usually .311-.312 when they should be .313-.314.
I have been shooting .313 lead in 327 Fed since the beginning and quickly found them available. I have used Penn SWC and Xtreme RNFP, also Silver State. My lighter weight .313s for 32 SWL came from Missouri Bullet.
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Old January 5, 2019, 04:08 AM   #7
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I was kind of under whelmed when I handled the GP100 Match Champion too. I'm not sure it would be worth the extra money over the plain jane GP100 but for just plinking I'd think I'd rather have the bigger GP100 (either one) than the smaller GP101.

Good luck with your choice. Ruger makes some fine guns.
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Old January 5, 2019, 09:38 AM   #8
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If I was out and about in the woods like I once was ( used to live in a mountainous spread), the Ruger Single Seven would be my companion pistole ,,, ...
The option of Federal 327mag 100gr Sp , 32 H&R , 32Long and even 32acp ... All in a tough as nails small frame stainless steel single action
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Old January 5, 2019, 11:02 AM   #9
MrBorland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stinkeypete
I have my favorite .22 already... but I need something between.

but... if you could only have one…
I don't want to dissuade you from either, but if I could only have one, my choice would be a service-sized (i.e. GP100 or S&W K-/L-frame) 6-shot .357mag with a 3-4" barrel. It's tough to beat this combination for all-around versatility.
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Old January 5, 2019, 11:31 AM   #10
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Sticking to the choices you mentioned, with the caveat you want to shoot .32, I would get the Single 7. I'm sure you already know the SP101 is available in .327, but if you aren't carrying it for self defense, just woods and plinking, I think the 7 is a prettier, more fun gun.


I own an SP101 and its one of my favorite handguns. Put a night sight up front, trigger reworked at my local gun smith, and buffalo horn grips from chigsgrips. Around here, SP101s have gone up in price by $150+ in the past 2-3 years. They continue to not last on the shelves long. The SP101 is a great revolver, bit if you aren't carrying and want a fun plinker, get the 7.

[IMG]SP101 grups from chigsgrips.com by , on Flickr[/IMG]

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Old January 5, 2019, 12:34 PM   #11
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My original post was eaten by the Internet, that’s why my essay was so bad.
(Yeah, I’m a retired school teacher.)
Here is some history, information, and what the firearm is for:

I’ve been shooting handguns for about 47 years now. My dad and I shot a lot togethern when he retired, he got the hobby of buying new guns, taking them to the range for a few months, then passing them on to me. The old man bought some strange stuff sometimes.

Anyways, at some point I’ve owned a fairly wide catalog of handguns, single shot, revolver, and semi-auto. Even though the best were accurized or semi-custom (even world class), they were all “working guns”...

They’ve all been interesting, some more than others, and most all got sold or traded, to keep the hobby going. I’m happily down to stuff that is either heirlooms or my own stuff I wouldn’t trade or sell unless some fella had twice as much money as good sense. But the bug to shoot something new is itching me.

I’m looking for a field carry gun, something me and the dog can tote around to claim we are hunting. We carry out more trash than game and I expect we will mostly shoot tin cans or the like.

I’d like it to be accurate enough to shoot nra targets at 50 feet and have a decent trigger but need not be a true “national match” gun. My old gunsmith built those, I miss him. I don’t have anyone local that can do that level of work anymore and you fellas all know how the cost of shipping quickly piles on to any custom work.

I’d like the thing to hold it’s value and maybe even appreciate in value over time, yet not be so expensive I’d be reluctant to take it out in the rain or fall in the creek with it. After all this time, I guess I’d have to say there was only one Ruger I was disappointed in.. that was the 22/45. It worked, it was just okay, I didn’t like it much but the silly thing that bothered me was that the back edge of the front sight was back-cut and sharp and kept tearing the pocket of my hunting jacket. That’s not terrible.

The S&W kit gun, the lightweight .22 revolver, that was terrible. It started off with the point of aim so far off, the rear sight couldn’t screw to the left far enough to even get on the paper. Even so, the accuracy in the thing was terrible. Even my old Harrington and Richardson ran rings around it. Customer service at S&W kindly told me I was an idiot, couldn’t shoot and I should use a screwdriver to move the rear sight and I could not expect a pistol with such a short barrel to be any more accurate than a sawed off .410... I sent them an array of nra targets using my library of .22 match ammo and ordinary stuff too... along with my targets from another pistol with the same sight radius to show them the problem wasn’t me. They did fix the problem with the sights. The accuracy never improved. I got a real good deal on a trade for that gun and all it left me was a sour taste for S&W. I’m sure the old ones are beauties, but this is a long round about way of saying I’ve owned a lot of Ruger Single Actions and I liked them all. The final “keeper” is a .44 magnum Blackhawk thats been worked over by a master smith.

I guess they could say “he was a Ruger guy” on my tombstone.

So.. being used to single actions but wanting something lighter for just stomping around...

Single Seven (okay, I learned to get oversized cast, good tip.. yeah, I reload)
SP 101 (but I’d pay more for what I reckon the “performance center version is... or should I?)
SP 101 “Match Champion” (yeah, I know it’s a silly name but the name implies a higher level of quality control that a regular sp101 with pistol smith work would not command on resale.)

If I was going deer hunting, I’d take my Blackhawk. If I was really going rabbit hunting, I would take my Norinco.

This discussion is helpful. It seems either way I can’t go wrong. The sp101 would be something new and there is no chance .38’s are going out of style. Then again, the Single Six is rock solid and 32 has been around a long time and at least I am not saddling my heirs with a beautiful 32-20 (which part of me would love to own. But that’s crazy talk.)
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Old January 6, 2019, 05:11 PM   #12
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I have had an SP101 and Single Seven in 327 Federal. I will keep the SP101 for carry but have my hopes in affording a GP100 in 327, what I consider the more ideal platform for the cartridge. Be sure to take a close look at that. It too is 7 rounds but which should better fit the platform and make a more versatile gun.
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Old January 7, 2019, 07:40 AM   #13
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I have a 32 H&R magnum Single Six, a 327 SP101, and my 357 SP101 (identical to my friend's, which I have shot often) should arrive at my LGS tomorrow.

For the OP's stated uses, I would easily go for the Single Seven. 32 S&W long is a great plinking round and nice for small game. 32 magnum or 327 are available for larger varmints. I am more accurate with my Single Sixes than any SP101 I have ever shot.
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Old January 7, 2019, 08:30 AM   #14
littlebikerider
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I recently bought a 4" SP101 in .327 Fed Mag. I haven't had it long enough to offer a qualified report, but some conclusions I have already made:
I think the 4" one is the shortest you can buy with adjustable sights, which I consider a requirement for any kind of match shooting.
You aren't going to find ammo for your gun on short notice, and it's expensive when you do, so if you don't handload I don't think it would be a good gun for a lot of range shootng. If you do, you can even find wadcutters, and you should be able to develop a decent shooting load.
I personally have always preferred the way a SP101 fits in my hand compared to the cowboy styled grips. My debate was between the SP101 and GP100, but decided the GP100 was a little too heavy for an all around gun.
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Old January 7, 2019, 09:28 AM   #15
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I want to plink with lead bullets and the issue with .32 lead bullets is bullet manufacturers make the bullets too small, usually .311-.312 when they should be .313-.314.
Not in any Ruger or S&W I've shot. I load my own, cast my own, and I size to 0.312", cast from wheel weights with a pinch of tin, accuracy with the above has been sterling...maybe the best of all my revolvers. No leading, even with Hornady's swagged SWC's. 0.312" does just fine.

My two Rugers, both Single Sixes, (a Bird's Head 4-5/8" bbl. & a 5-1/2" plow grip), are accurate to < 2" at 25 yds with my loads. Try any LSWC, commercial offering from Missouri Bullet Co. or one you've cast, backed with an upper end published load of Unique for some great, accurate shooting.

As to the guns themselves, I'd not want one any lighter...just for accuracy's sake. Too light and the gun moves around too much when shooting from field positions. As to bullet size: both of my guns have throats that slug 0.312"...the groove dia's are 0.311". Perfect! And the shorter ones, are easier to hip holster carry. I view these Single Six Rugers as great field carry guns, trail guns if you like that term better, and they're are great for introducing new shooters transitioning from a .22 to center fire without the add'l recoil of a .38 Spl. or .357. I feel the same about the Smith 16-4 described below.

While Ruger and S&W like to bill their .32 cal. guns (.32 H&R and the relatively new .327) as self-defense weapons, I'd say they're far better advertised as field/hunting guns. My opinion is that if you want a light weight revolver for SD use, get a .38 Spl or .357 Magnum.

The Smith, a M16-4 in .32 H&R,with a 4" bbl. is as accurate as the two Rugers. It's throats slug 0.314" and groove dia. is 0.312"-0.312". No leading with Missouri Bullet SWC''s nor with my wheel weight alloy casts. It too is a shooter, and along with the Rugers, loves Hornady's swagged LSWC's as well as their 85 gr. XTP's. Chrono'd loads just under 1200 fps with that XTP bullet will do as well as the lead alloy ones.

The only time I've found that sizing to 0.312" for lead alloy affects accuracy or produces leading is with an older Smith Hand Ejector in .32-20 that dates from the '40s. In factory new condition, it's throats slug at 0.314+" and prefers sizing to 0.313"-0.314" with wheel weight alloy. And it's only a matter of holding velocities down to 1000 fps or less.

In addition, a Winchester M92 in .32-20 with a less than sterling bore, prefers 0.314" lead alloy bullets. It'll do 1-1/2" gps with either of Hornady's .32 bullets, the 100 gr. or 85 gr. XTPs, and moderate loads of Unique, SR4759, Blue Dot, or 2400.

All in all, commercial bullets, sized 0.312" are no deterent to superbly accurate Ruger and S&W handguns in my opinion.

Best Regards, Rod
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Old January 7, 2019, 10:04 AM   #16
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I think the 4" one is the shortest you can buy with adjustable sights, which I consider a requirement for any kind of match shooting.
My first gen 327 SP101 3.16" has windage adjustment. My other SP101 in .357 with fixed sights aims and shoots very well for that length barrel. I don't observe many who shoot well enough with a popular carry size gun to make adjustable sights on those guns a very important consideration. The sights are usually second priority to having the gun more streamlined for handling
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Old January 7, 2019, 10:27 AM   #17
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I'm not that familiar with the Single 7 but if it disassembles/reassembles like a Blackhawk/Vaquero I would avoid it like the plague. The SP101 series Rugers are fine little revolvers and you don't need 3 hands and mechanical aids to work on them.
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Old January 7, 2019, 11:17 AM   #18
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I love my Lipsey's Single Seven in .327 Fed Mag. I reload 32 H&R and S&W Longs using Badman poly coated hard cast 100 gr to the max and can shoot it all day. Very accurate, too in either caliber. Bullets are swaged to .313".
The revolver is fixed sighted 3 3/4" barrel and was a birdshead grip to begin with. Didn't care for the birdshead, so I had a plow handle installed and thinner real Rosewood panels. Reminds me of a Colt Sheriff's SA.
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Old January 7, 2019, 12:28 PM   #19
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I have and have had a bunch of Ruger single actions and have never torn one down or felt the need. I am not qualified, don't care to be an armorer, and trust my gunsmith to address any internal issues. A number of guns have gone back to Ruger for them to address. So, a Ruger single action can be a great asset, if you don't insist on tearing things apart without being equipped to do it.
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Old January 7, 2019, 01:45 PM   #20
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you fellas are not helping at all!

Not only do I need both now I have my eyes open for others, and then I suddenly realized I don’t own a Bearcat and suddenly hope to find one of those, too.

By the way, I do reload but I don’t cast my own. Casting sounds very interesting, but I don’t have the space for it. I don’t have trouble tearing down blackhawks... I reckon I didn’t know it was hard, so I just did it.
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Old January 7, 2019, 02:50 PM   #21
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I torn down my Single Seven fully to fit the plow handle grip frame and it was real easy for me. Ruger did a good job on mine and maybe took the extra care on it when making it to send it to Lipsey's for one of their special runs. Or, Lipsey went over it themselves before posting that model for sale on their site.
All in all, everything is perfect on it. Stainless is easy to blend in.
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Old January 7, 2019, 05:08 PM   #22
littlebikerider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stinkeypete View Post
you fellas are not helping at all!

Not only do I need both now I have my eyes open for others, and then I suddenly realized I don’t own a Bearcat and suddenly hope to find one of those, too.
Our job is done
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Old January 8, 2019, 11:01 AM   #23
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If you do go with a Single Seven, look into buying a Belt Mountain base pin for it. Particularly if you will shoot any .327 Fed Mag. The factory pin jumps, and mine continues to do so even after a return to the factory. I also echo the recommendation above to look at the GP100 in .327. I got one recently and it is a great gun. Same 7-shot capacity, but for a gun to be carried in the woods or elsewhere when faster shooting may be necessary, the double-action could be valuable. Thing I like best about the .327 (and related .32 cartridges) is how cheap they are to reload. I use Rim Rock or SNS bullets, and my guns like several bullet weights. The Single Seven is dead-nuts accurate with lead 78 grain round nose and the GP100 likes 90 grain flat points better (both .313 sized).
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Old January 8, 2019, 02:43 PM   #24
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I hate to be "that guy" but. . .

If you like the idea of shooting mostly 38 specials. I would say you should look for a Smith & Wesson model 10 or model 15.
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Old January 19, 2019, 10:59 AM   #25
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Between my friend and I, we have/had the following .327s:

Freedom Arms 97 in 4.25" and 6.5"

Ruger Single-Seven 7.5"

Ruger GP100 4.25"

Ruger SP101 3" with the windage adjustable sight

S&W 632-2 PRO 2"

Ruger LCR 2"

S&W Model 53 .22 Jet converted to .327 Federal

After chronographing most of the factory loads available and a bunch of handloads I would stay with a 4+" barrel. Having shot all of the above, if I didn't have any .327s today my first purchase would the the GP100 4.25"...

Gun has a MUCH better DA and SA than the SP101 can ever be made to have. It is easy to carry and there are a lot of front and rear sight blade options as well as grip options in both wood and rubber...

Bob
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