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Old August 28, 2005, 11:29 AM   #1
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J-Frame vs. SP101

At some point in time a majority of us have probably wanted a .357 subby. This includes me and, finances allowing, I will be able to buy one in the next few months. I know that both Smith and Ruger make quality revolvers. What are their pro's and con's? Which is smaller, less expensive, lighter, more suitable for carry, etc..
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Old August 28, 2005, 11:41 AM   #2
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Both are equal in size. The Ruger is cheaper and stronger built, The Smith is lighter and more expensive. The SP-101 is as lightest anyone should go as 357mag snubbies are vicious little critters.
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Old August 28, 2005, 12:00 PM   #3
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IMO there is no good answer to your question. The SP-101 is heavy, less expensive, with a lousy trigger (mine), than the SW's which are lighter, very expensive, with good triggers. (386PD, 386, 360, etc.)

I carry a SW M66, .357, with a 2 1/2" barrel. It is a 'K' frame and is out of production. I found my M66 at an online auction, NIB, for $400. I just replaced my carry, Taurus M85 UL with it. More fire power, just as easy to conceal, and I really don't notice the extra weight. Here's a pic.

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Old August 28, 2005, 12:54 PM   #4
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I keep hearing about the lousy triggers, the weight, yada, yada, yada, which is why I waited so long to get my SP. The bad triggers are a myth. Mine has a better trigger than my model 60 and it's the one gun I always keep with me.
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Old August 28, 2005, 01:56 PM   #5
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Also, the SP's are a bit bigger than the J frames- kind of a "J-and-a-quarter". I've read about the heavy weight of the SP's... the 2 1/2" model goes about 25 ounces; the Smith 60 (steel) with a 3" barrel is about 24 ounces. Sounds pretty close to me! If I were sticking to 38 +p's, I'd get a 60; if .357's, the Ruger.

BTW- I had a Ruger Security Six that, with a little work on my part, had a wonderful trigger.

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Old August 28, 2005, 05:14 PM   #6
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Yup! I have a Security Six and it has a nice trigger. I also have a GP-100 that has a nice trigger. I had an SP-101 that had a bad trigger. Someone on TFL once described it as the trigger from hell. I also have fired several other SP-101's and 2 where heavy in both SA & DA. The other had a nice SA, but a very hard DA pull. Go figure...Here's my Security Six. I rescued it and fixed it up. Nice shooter...

Last edited by Bullrock; October 9, 2005 at 05:55 PM.
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Old August 28, 2005, 06:34 PM   #7
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Nice piece, Bullrock! I'm jealous!

Chuck, who has seller's remorse
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Old August 28, 2005, 07:55 PM   #8
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If you plan on carrying one of these fine snubbies in your pocket/ankle, etc., gofor a 642 J-frame. If in a belt holster, IMO it's a toss-up between a 640 and the 101. However, like flycaster said, I'd lean toward the SP101 if you intend to shoot .357's mostly.

Bottom line: you won't go wrong with either choice .
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Old August 29, 2005, 08:38 PM   #9
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Looked at SP101 and the 640. Wanted a pocket carry option though, and was already pushing it with either. SP101 was just a little too heavy, and had slightly longer barrel. Dropped the 640 into my cargo shorts pocket in a cheap Uncle Mikes, and decided to take it home. Paid $469 NIB at Sportsman's Warehouse. I will shoot some .357 and may carry it someday, but right now carry hot Cor-Bon 110 +Ps in it, and that's plenty.


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Old August 30, 2005, 12:37 AM   #10
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I agree with you Jeff. The 640 looks and feels better and that's my opinion only. It's the same reason I drive a Silverado and not an Explorer.I like what I see.
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Old August 30, 2005, 11:00 AM   #11
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John I bet you don,t like to see total on gas pump with that Silverado, but I have to agree with ya they sure are pretty.
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Old August 30, 2005, 12:08 PM   #12
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i have 2 Sp-101's one with a spurless DAO hammer-one normal. WIth use both triggers are like butter and with some punishing .357 loads both are still tight and nice. J frame was built to take 38's not 357 although I guess Smith beefed it up a bit. Still not my choice for magnums. If you carry a lot shoot alittle the Smith should be fine though.
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Old August 30, 2005, 06:02 PM   #13
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I have a [email protected] 637 38+p and might I say this gun is a joy to carry.It weighs a scant 15 ounces and loaded with 130 hollow point has quite a snap.I feel confident about carrying them.At least I won't go totally deaf from the 357 blast.I had a 357.but sold it,I can't imagine touching one off out of a snub.
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Old August 30, 2005, 06:09 PM   #14
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never had a Ruger 101, but I love my S&W 640. I am not that great of a shooter, but I was surprized at how well I could group with the 640...even with magnum loads. (10 and 15 yards) It is a great carry good, I was considering another just for the fast "reload". Carrying two would not be difficult. I great shooter with a sweet trigger.
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Old August 30, 2005, 06:28 PM   #15
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that's why they invented Scandium

340/360 PD or SC, depending on your taste in color/finish. About half the weight of the Ruger--11 to 12 oz, and capable of full-house 357 Mag. No, it's not fun to shoot, but there is one THR dude who has 26,000 rounds on 357 Mag through his. Tell me again how Rugers are "better built" and "tougher"?

As far as carrying it goes, "Anytime, anywhere." In the pocket, on the ankle, any way you choose. Forget that it's there, and never be without it--isn't that the point?

Oh yeah, they are pricey brand new, but they are out there for a reasonable price...some have been fired a cylinder or two worth, and someone's sore hand traded them in. Too bad...for them. I'll live with a sore hand from time to time in exchange for something I can always carry...and I guarantee it hurts a LOT more at the other end.
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Old August 30, 2005, 09:27 PM   #16
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You got physical proof of any snubbie with 26,000rds of full-house 357mag. Believe half of what you see and non of what you hear
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Old August 31, 2005, 04:36 AM   #17
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On J-Frames Vs SP101

I've owned both. One of my current carry weapons is the S&W J Frame 637. Since I believe strongly in weapon proficiency I usually shoot 100 rounds per month or more in anything I'm likely to carry. So what's my point? The 637 is light, eay to carry, very accurate, and it kicks like a mule. So if you plan to stay proficient with a snubby I'd recommend you get a glove from Uncle Mike's.

I live in south Texas so my concealed carry choices of necessity are driven by my Summer wardrobe. The J Frame wins on that score but I'll always have a very healthy respect for the SP101. You didn't think this decision would be easy, did you?
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