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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well I finally got out to the range Sunday. An extra surprise was that my wife and kids joined me. All decked out in our hearing protection (2 year old loved my Peltor Radio ear muffs). Anyway, tried out my Ruger SP101 (2.25" barrel) with the some reloads I had made up in 38 Special. Loaded up 3 batches of 10 using numbers directly from Hornady's 3rd Edition. Hornady's manual listed 2 other loads for Winchester 231 that I didn't load as they were marked as +P and I just wanted some practice rounds these were: 4.8gr. and 5.3gr.

Lead:Hornady 158gr. JSP (crimped lightly into the cannelure.)


Powder: Winchester 231
Primers: CCI Small Pistol

Shots were made from roughly 7 yards at Birchwood Casey 12" target.

First batch was: 3.7gr. W231.
First Round fired hit about 1 o'clock position in the 9 ring shooting Single Action. Last 4 shots didn't even get on the target, all hitting just above it. I covered the target with the front sight, and believe I dipped the muzzle in anticipation of recoil on the first shot--which is why it was the only one on paper.

Adding insult to injury my wife, who has never shot a revolver, told me to leave the target up, since I didn't really use it. She shot the second cylinder, and put 4 of her 5 rounds on the target--commenting that it felt snappy compared to the S&W 2206 we had started shooting. As an added benefit she wanted to keep to show her father as bragging rights. :eek: She did give me credit and circled my 1 hit.


Second batch was: 4.0gr W231.
Tried the first cylinder of this load in Double Action and placed 4 of the 5 rounds on target--pulling the last round.


My wife shot the cylinder as well in single action again, and also all of the 5 shots on the paper. She said that she noticed the increase in recoil.


Third batch was: 4.4 gr. W231.
Fired this batch by myself, since the powder charge was getting closer to the +P rating in the Hornady manual, as I didn't want to make the shooting experience uncomfortable for my wife. After running the second cylinder of the 4.0gr load I was starting to get used to the sights--having to hold slightly below the 6 o'clock on POA, to achieve desired POI. So I shot these 10 rounds in Double Action, as I do plan to carry this gun. The recoil was manageable and could get back on target fairly quickly. My groups were tighter as I was getting used to the trigger pull and sights.--although I did pull the last shot in the top picture below--knew it when I pulled the trigger.



Overall I am very happy with my choice of the Ruger SP101 as my carry weapon. Now just need to order a holster and a sturdier belt.
 

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Sp101

Great choice in a revolver. I have several snubbies and have always subscribed to the following goal ( per Massad Ayoob) for "confident" and "competent" snub nosed SD shooting;

7 yards

double action

rapid fire

off-hand

5 shots in 5" consistently

Good shootin':D
 

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Very nice range report, Great revolver too, thanks for sharing.
 

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Thanks for the report. I love my SP101. Outstanding gun.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
No problem. I took it out again this weekend, but had a batch of lead fodder that I picked up in a batch of used equipment I bought. 158gr RN, and the accuracy was terrible, still put rounds on paper, but the grouping was horrible. Am planning on loading up some more of the 158gr JSP Hornady's from the first session, and making another go at it.

On a side note I also ended up with a package of "Lead Wipe Away" cloth from Birchwood Casey, and it works excellent. Hoppes #9 would not touch the fouling carbon buildup on the front of the cylinder, cut off a small piece of the "Lead Wipe Away" and it came of with minimal effort. Also cut patches to run through the barrel and it got a lot more out than I was getting with either BreakFree CLP or Hoppes #9.
 
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