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Old April 14, 2013, 11:55 PM   #1
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New guy wanting revolver advice rossi 461 / sp101

Hey guys Im new just joined the site after checking it out. Ok so I have an XDM 9mm 3.8 springfield and my gf has the 9mm smith and wesson shield currently.

Last week my brother in law brought over his new smith body guard .38 with the lazer. He was all excited so we all shot it. I have to say I think its the worst thing I have ever shot. It kicked like a mule. It was light and felt cheap. The finish was like a toy. We couldnt even hit the target with the thing. It hurt our hands and it plain sucked in our opinion. If it had a hammer to try single action maybe it would have been better?

So today we shot my dads Highway partolman model 28 357 today with 4" barrel we shot .38 rounds out of it and fell in love with it. The thing was unreal. We could hit the target with close groups with ease. I was in shock at how well the thing shot. My girlfriend was also hitting bullseyes with it. It was my first time shooting that revolver and I am impressed. We shot at 4, 8, 12, 16 yards and the grouping was better then with our semi autos. She really likes the gun too.

So heres the problem. Now we want revolvers so we went to the gun store and handled every one in the store. My girfriend is all gung ho she is ready to buy a highway patrolman to carry in her purse but I told her to hold on because it was super heavy and well pretty huge!

She liked the feel of the rossi 461. It was heavy enough where it felt solid and it had a good grip. Thing is we have read alot of bad reviews and I dont wanna spend $350 on junk. We also liked the SP101 in the 2.25 barrel it was super solid. Im not saying money isnt an option but if I am going to spend 350 on junk I would rather spend 500 on something decent.

Ok so here is what we know. Any revolver we buy will have a hammer. We are not interested in a hammerless.

Can anyone tell us how that sp101 with the 2.25 is for accuracy compared to the highway partolman. I mean how much are we going to lose going from 4 inches to 2.25.

Any other suggestions on models would be greatly appreciated. We will mostly shoot 38+P. Would the smith 637 kick and be hard to shoot like the body guard?

We would like to buy 2 revolvers one for me and one for her. She was thinking the rossi for her and I was thinking a sp or gp for myself. Any thoughts from someone who has these? Thanks!!
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Old April 15, 2013, 02:11 AM   #2
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but if I am going to spend 350 on junk I would rather spend 500 on something decent.
You've already answered your own question. Get the Ruger.
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Old April 15, 2013, 08:35 AM   #3
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My first pistol was a Rossi revolver. The timing was bad and the cylinder would jam a lot. I'll never buy one again.

I'd rather get a used Ruger or Smith than buy a new Rossi.
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Old April 15, 2013, 09:30 AM   #4
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Smith or Ruger, no Rossi. I'd buy Taurus before Rossi.
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Old April 15, 2013, 09:53 AM   #5
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Ruger or do like I did and find and old Smith and Wesson .38 special.
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Old April 15, 2013, 10:29 AM   #6
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A few things to consider: while the SP101 is certainly a fine quality gun, it will not be as easy to shoot as the Highway Patrolman (Model 28 by S&W's model numbers) was. For one thing, the shorter 2 1/4" barrel will not give you nearly as long a sight radius as the 4" barrel did. While mechanical accuracy is not dependant upon barrel length, a gun with a longer sight radius is more forgiving and thus easier to shoot accurately. Likewise, the fixed sights of the SP101, while excellent for their intended purpose, are coarser and not as well suited to precision shooting as the adjustable target sights of the S&W. Another factor is that most small-frame revolvers, including the Ruger SP101, have heavier mainsprings and thus heavier triggers than their larger counterparts. The reason for this is that small revolvers also have smaller, lighter hammers and thus require a stiffer spring to ensure that they will reliably ignite primers. Finally, the reduced weight of the SP101 will accentuate recoil as compared to the larger, heavier S&W. In a 40+ oz gun like the Highway Patrolman, the recoil of most .38 Special loadings is very, very light (I find full power .357 Magnums to be pleasant in my own Highway Patrolman) but in a sub-30 oz gun like the SP101 it will be more noticeable.

Now, I'm not trying to necessarily dissuade you from the SP101 as it's certainly a fine revolver for its intended purpose, I just want to make sure that you know that you probably won't be able to shoot it as easily as the Highway Patrolman without a good deal of range time. You need to understand that the SP101 is intended to be a defensive revolver which is capable of quickly delivering minute-of-villain accuracy at relatively short distances (15 yards or less). If you're wanting something that will shoot and handle like the Highway Patrolman did, you might be better served to look at a larger revolver with a longer barrel. Good models to consider in .38 Special and/or .357 Magnum include the Ruger Security Six and GP100 and S&W Models 14, 15, 19, 66, 67, 586, 686, 27, 28, and 627.
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Old April 15, 2013, 11:29 AM   #7
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You can get a SP-101 with a 4" (actually 4.2" for our Canadian friends) barrel. Thinking about one myself.
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Old April 15, 2013, 11:42 AM   #8
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I own them both, both a couple years old. The Rossi had to be sent back to taurus when it was new, they paid the shipping and I had it back all fixed in 1 week with no cost to me. The 101 has never had a problem. Now I have about 8 snubbies and the Rossi and 101 are the two best shooter snubbies that I have. Both shoot about 3 inches at 21 feet consistantly using 357 and shoot a little better with 38. I do a lot of snubbie shooting and the 101 is the easiest to shoot in 357 and is a little bit better shot, and the rossi will conceal a little easier. I would never give up either, but if I could only have one it would be the Ruger. Charllie
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Old April 15, 2013, 11:44 AM   #9
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You (and your girlfriend) are going to have a hard time finding a revolver that shoots as nicely as a S&W N Frame. The size swallows the recoil and the triggers are generally as nice as they come. They are however large for regular carry. Whichever arm your girlfriend carries her purse with will bulk up after a while carrying a 28. See if there is a range in your area where you can rent the guns you are interested in. good luck

Many K and N Frames
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Old April 15, 2013, 01:54 PM   #10
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Webleymkv gave you an excellent reply. The only thing I would add is that recoil with .38spl loads in the 2.25" SP101 is still very mild. More than the big Smith, sure, but still very tolerable. My girlfriend could shoot +P in my SP101 with no problem, but wouldn't touch a J-frame.

I think the SP101 is an excellent choice for your girlfriend's purse gun. Don't get the Rossi.
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Old April 15, 2013, 04:19 PM   #11
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I'd rather have the Ruger than 2 Rossis.
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Old April 15, 2013, 06:53 PM   #12
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As far as little revolvers go the sp101 is pretty heavy, and thus doesn't recoil that much. The Bodyguard on the other hand is close to the lightest.

So, recoil is going to be considerably lessened, and you do have the option to shoot single action which is a lot easier to do accurately than double action.
However, as has been said it's not a target revolver, and it's not going to be as nice as a full size revolver.

But, I'd still get the ruger. They can also be had with a 3" barrel which might be even more ideal, but I have the 2.25" and quite like it. I will say that I found a set of houge grips and an action job made mine a whole lot easier to shoot well. Still not a 686/gp100, but it's a pretty good shooter.
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Old April 15, 2013, 07:44 PM   #13
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Ruger. You'll spend more, but you will get a much better gun for your money.
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Old April 15, 2013, 09:26 PM   #14
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The Bodyguard is an ultra-light revolver intended for easy carry, not extensive range time or target grade accuracy.

If the SP-101 seems heavy or chunky, you might look around for a used J frame S&W, like a Model 36.

Jim K
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Old April 15, 2013, 09:49 PM   #15
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check out the SP101 in 3in. for a good in-between barrel length. It has fixed sights where the 4" SP101 has adjustable rear and fiber optic front, which may not be as ideal for purse carry. It is heavier, which is good for handling recoil better than the bodyguard, but make sure you and the misses are fine with the weight since you mentioned the weight of the model 28 was a concern. You'll be happier in the long run with a ruger (or smith) rather than rossi.
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Old April 16, 2013, 09:16 AM   #16
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She carries a purse so if she doesn't mind the weight of the Model 28 why not? A model 15 is easy to shoot and quite a bit lighter than the 28. As for the snubbies, they're more for carry than for shooting. Most people won't spend the time or ammo required to learn to shoot them.
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Old April 16, 2013, 10:31 AM   #17
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Rossi makes a decent gun

They are not the same level of quality as a smith or ruger, but will give dependable service. Since guns never wear out(it's possible but very unlikely) you will have it for a long time. Time enough to put in your will for the grandkids.

What do you want the gun for? Snubbies are pretty much for concealed carry and self defense. They aren't as easy to shoot as a larger framed, service sized weapon.
The SP-101 is a great gun because the weight is nearly twice that of similar guns and will be easier to shoot, but more of a hassle to carry concealed.

If you want a really nice .38 you cannot go wrong with a 4" Smith model 15. Adjustable sights, good trigger and a frame smaller than the highway patrolman. They are a sweet gun that is easy to shoot and are very sought after. They make a stainless version that is model 64 or 67- I forget which.
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Old April 16, 2013, 08:43 PM   #18
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Awesome responses thank you all. Im going to check out the SP101 3 inch for her and I think I am going to look at the GP 100 in 4 inch.

She plans to carry the SP and I want the GP for the range and night stand.

Im going to pass on the Rossi. Thank you all for the honest replies.

We might look at some of the smiths mentioned above. They do have a hefty price but they will always retain their value so thats worth considering.

As for trying them at the range there is really one place here that has them and they are so swamped its like weeks wait to get into even shoot!

Im dying to try both the sp and gp from what everyone has said we are going to love them both. I dont think I have heard one person bad mouth either ruger.
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Old April 16, 2013, 08:47 PM   #19
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There are no used revolvers for sale around here I would love to get a second hand one but every one is hoarding them and when they are selling them they want as much as they cost new!!
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Old April 17, 2013, 01:17 AM   #20
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The SP101 and GP100 are fantastic. Model 64, 65, 15 and other Smiths are fantastic and if you can find them should run less than the Rugers. I have a model 64 that I adore, but I carry my 2" SP101 every day. It has had a trigger job and I love the thing.
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