Ruger Forum banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So my wife has her heart set on a Ruger SP-101 in .357 (model 5720 w/bobbed hammer) for concealed carry/woods gun, as she routinely takes walks alone in the woods with our two beagles. Lately there have been several wolf sightings/attacks in the area and we’re becoming increasingly concerned especially with the pups running about. Aside for wolves, the only other concern we have would be bears, mostly black/brown but there is an occasional grizzly sighting every now and then too. I realize that a .44 Mag would be best for bear and that’s what I will carry. However after shooting a few different 44's with her, I know that if it’s too heavy or kicks too hard then she just won’t carry it.

My question is, are there any other guns is this category and similar price range (or cheaper) that we should consider before making this purchase? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Also, could anyone point me in the right direction for finding a decent chest harness/holster for the SP-101? ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
921 Posts
I have the Sp 101 with the short barrel in 357 mag and to tell the truth is it is a real hand full with the magum loads I did put some Hogue rubber grips on it and they helped to ease the recoil some. I have the model 5718 with the hammer..
Usually I shoot 38+p in it because I have found that I can control the gun better with the milder load.
If you can you might try your local indoor range and see if your wife could try the pistol out before buying to see if that is what she really wants.
For self protection in the woods I think I would perfere the 4 inch barrel model and get something else for cc
 

·
Ruger Tinkerer
Joined
·
11,898 Posts
So my wife has her heart set on a Ruger SP-101 in .357 (model 5720 w/bobbed hammer) for concealed carry/woods gun, as she routinely takes walks alone in the woods with our two beagles. Lately there have been several wolf sightings/attacks in the area and we’re becoming increasingly concerned especially with the pups running about. Aside for wolves, the only other concern we have would be bears, mostly black/brown but there is an occasional grizzly sighting every now and then too. I realize that a .44 Mag would be best for bear and that’s what I will carry. However after shooting a few different 44's with her, I know that if it’s too heavy or kicks too hard then she just won’t carry it.

My question is, are there any other guns is this category and similar price range (or cheaper) that we should consider before making this purchase? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Also, could anyone point me in the right direction for finding a decent chest harness/holster for the SP-101? ;)
Lifeisgood7, welcome to the forum! Glad you found us. In reading through your post a few times it strikes me you have two things that work against each other. On the one hand your wife wants a small, lighter weight handgun for the ease of carry. But on the other hand she may be sensitive to recoil, which the smaller and lighter gun will exacerbate. The two work against each other.

Given the possibility of wolves or bears I would think it important to carry a gun she has confidence in her ability to shoot well. To me the SP101 DAO is not the best choice. I would have her try a GP100 with either a 3" or 4" barrel. The GP really tames the .357 magnum down. My son has been shooting my 6" GP since he was 10 and loves it. I know it's heavier to carry but with the right holster rig that shouldn't be that much of an issue.

I have bought nice used SP101s and GP100s and find them similarly priced so you should be able to find either one between $400 and $500 on the used market.

Just my thoughts. Best wishes as you sort this out and welcome again to the forum.

Wave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,792 Posts
What about a Security 6? A little bit heavier than the 101 but you get six rounds and it should be cheaper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,612 Posts
Consider the Smith & Wesson 686Plus for a woods gun. Its available in 2.5", 3", 4" and 6" and its a 7 shot .357. It weighs the same as a comparable length GP100. That extra shot over the GP100, and extra 2 shots over the SP101 might be the difference between survival, and tragedy. I know you said concealed carry/woods gun, but to me, the two have different meanings. I do carry a 5 shot snub for CC, but in the woods, its my 686Plus, because concealed carry isnt as important. Just food for thought.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
I like the SP101 (327) for concealed carry - but prefer the 3" with a good holster. My woods gun is a flattop .44 Special with heavy loads. That's adequate for my part of the country. However, if I lived in Idaho I would carry what I did for several years living in Colorado. A S&W 629 Mountain Gun in 44 Magnum in a Simply Rugged Chesty rig. Two different purposes - two different guns.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
294 Posts
Lifeisgood7, welcome to the forum! Glad you found us. In reading through your post a few times it strikes me you have two things that work against each other. On the one hand your wife wants a small, lighter weight handgun for the ease of carry. But on the other hand she may be sensitive to recoil, which the smaller and lighter gun will exacerbate. The two work against each other.

Given the possibility of wolves or bears I would think it important to carry a gun she has confidence in her ability to shoot well. To me the SP101 DAO is not the best choice. I would have her try a GP100 with either a 3" or 4" barrel. The GP really tames the .357 magnum down. My son has been shooting my 6" GP since he was 10 and loves it. I know it's heavier to carry but with the right holster rig that shouldn't be that much of an issue.

I have bought nice used SP101s and GP100s and find them similarly priced so you should be able to find either one between $400 and $500 on the used market.

Just my thoughts. Best wishes as you sort this out and welcome again to the forum.

Wave
Good points - my wife has shot both the SP101 and GP100 but the size and weight makes the GP much easier for her to handle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,597 Posts
Lifeisgood7, welcome to the forum! Glad you found us. In reading through your post a few times it strikes me you have two things that work against each other. On the one hand your wife wants a small, lighter weight handgun for the ease of carry. But on the other hand she may be sensitive to recoil, which the smaller and lighter gun will exacerbate. The two work against each other.

Given the possibility of wolves or bears I would think it important to carry a gun she has confidence in her ability to shoot well. To me the SP101 DAO is not the best choice. I would have her try a GP100 with either a 3" or 4" barrel. The GP really tames the .357 magnum down. My son has been shooting my 6" GP since he was 10 and loves it. I know it's heavier to carry but with the right holster rig that shouldn't be that much of an issue.

I have bought nice used SP101s and GP100s and find them similarly priced so you should be able to find either one between $400 and $500 on the used market.

Just my thoughts. Best wishes as you sort this out and welcome again to the forum.

Wave
Ditto...and welcome to RF.net!

I also recommend a 3" or 4" GP100...and install a older style, smaller factory Lett grip if it's more comfortable for your wife (if the factory Hogue grip is too large or uncomfortable.)

The GP100 will help absorb recoil of the .357 Mag round much better and allow her to use heavier loads! My wife...who doesn't like shooting my 2.25" SP101 with 125 grain .357's...loves shooting my GP100 (see avatar) with 158 grain Hornady XTP JHP's! She doesn't think twice about picking up the 4" GP100 and shooting it! She thinks the felt recoil from the .357 Mag feels similar to her Gen II Glock 19 in 9mm.

One other thing to consider might be one of the new 4" SP101's in .357 Mag...it has a longer barrel, for better accuracy, and is slightly heavier, which would help absorb recoil a bit better!

Best...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,560 Posts
Remember: the recoil you feel on on the range isn't going to be the recoil you feel with a heart rate over 150.

So base your choices on how well it will work under duress and not how 'nice' it is on the range.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,450 Posts
Buy YOURSELF a Wiley Clapp GP100, and LOAN it to her when she goes for a walk.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,978 Posts
So my wife has her heart set on a Ruger SP-101 in .357 (model 5720 w/bobbed hammer) for concealed carry/woods gun, as she routinely takes walks alone in the woods with our two beagles. Lately there have been several wolf sightings/attacks in the area and we’re becoming increasingly concerned especially with the pups running about. Aside for wolves, the only other concern we have would be bears, mostly black/brown but there is an occasional grizzly sighting every now and then too. I realize that a .44 Mag would be best for bear and that’s what I will carry. However after shooting a few different 44's with her, I know that if it’s too heavy or kicks too hard then she just won’t carry it.

My question is, are there any other guns is this category and similar price range (or cheaper) that we should consider before making this purchase? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Also, could anyone point me in the right direction for finding a decent chest harness/holster for the SP-101? ;)
As gal, I find shooting the heavy stuff in a light gun such as the SP101 to be a bit too much with bear kind of loads, so I opted for the heavier, but much more pleasant to shoot GP-100 4". It's what I carry on my daily walk with the dogs in the spring for exactly the same reasons. We've had bears right up in the yards, though no wolves, yet. You might want to get her to try an SP with heavy loads before she buys.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,723 Posts
Never shot a bear or any large animal with a handgun but I've shot lots of SP101's...I'm older with arthritis and I don't like snubs with hot loads...for a couple of reasons...one is the recoil/flash/unpleasant nature of the thing...I know if one is faced with threat that recoil and flash isn't going to mean much as adrenaline wiil kick in and offset the issues..but...to be useful I think the gun you rely on has to be shot frequently with the ammo you are going to use...I hate to take my SP to the range...I often carry it when at home (we don't CCW where I live..government stuff..but frequently I have my SP along at home or in the garage) so I want to make sure I'm competent with it...but it's not something I enjoy for more than a couple of cylinders full.

The other thing with snubs is the bullet creep that many loads (hot ones) can experience where the bullet moves forward with recoil and can lock up the cylinder...I think Buffalo Bore and some of the Corbon stuff had problems with their really hot loads in snub 357's...

I'd think a nice 3" or 4" GP with a shoulder holster might be worth a look...a bit more cumbersome and a bit heavier but oh my so much more gun and the Wife might not be leery of "qualifying" now and then.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,160 Posts
I'm from the NW corner of Montana, pretty close to your neck of the woods. My wife goes huckleberry picking every year with her mother and she carries her SP101. Packing a heavy gun with a couple gallons of huckleberries is really an inconvenience. I send her out the door with some hot and heavy reloads. Buffalo Bore has some great loads that makes the SP a formidable bear gun. Not something I would shoot everyday, but for the occasional woods carry they can really produce some thunder and lightning.

If her heart is set on the SP, I would listen to her. Giving her something she wants and is comfortable with is a wise decision. The SP is a great lightweight gun that can handle the big ammo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Wow! I didn’t expect that many replies that quickly, thanks for all the great feedback! :)

I realize that we pretty much have two different purposes here and the best thing to do would be to get two separate guns. However at the moment our financial situation will only allow the purchase of one firearm and a solid woods gun is most important.

I honestly really didn’t even think that with the shorter barrel and sight radius, accuracy would be an issue, but that does make sense. I agree that a 4” barrel would probably be the way to go, especially if we had an encounter that involved multiple wolves and our beagles… I would definitely want her to be shooting as accurately as possible. ;-) (This actually brings up another concern that I have… see my next post below)

When we were in the gun shop a while back we did consider the GP100, however she said it was too big and didn’t like how the grip felt in her hand compared to the SP-101. I agree though that the best thing really is going to be for us to go and shoot both guns and see what she is more accurate with before making a decision.

I called around to the two closest ranges (one is about an hour away and the other one is about two) unfortunately neither of them have the 2.25” SP-101 available for rent. One range does however have an SP-101 with a 4” barrel and the other range has a GP100 so I think that will be our next logical step before purchasing anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
On the topic of needing to be accurate and having plenty of rounds… One local gun store clerk suggested the Glock 20 in 10mm the other day, mainly due to its reliability, ease of shooting and firepower (15+1 rounds). Even then it wouldn’t be that hard to carry an extra magazine which would give me “enough firepower to start a small war” as the clerk so nicely put it. LOL It really is a big gun, but the thought of having 16 rounds verses 5 or maybe 6 it mighty appealing to me…

I had originally written off owning any Glock because every one that I have ever held or shot really didn’t fit well in my hand (guess I have short stubby fingers or something). So far my favorite polymer handguns have been the Walther P99 followed closely by their PPQ and then the H&K P30, if that gives you an idea of what kind of grip my hand likes. Unfortunately though, neither of those guns carries enough firepower for a good woods gun. :-(

Surprisingly the wife somewhat liked that large grip and frame of the G20 when we looked at one a couple months ago and I hear that the newer Gen4's have interchangeable back straps (one smaller and one larger then the Gen3 grip) so that might work out… then I guess there is always the option of grip modification as well.

So I think I’m really back to square one with needing to take her to the range and shoot some more different guns, luckily both ranges have the G20 as part of their rental fleet so we can shoot some different .357’s and the 10mm and then compare thoughts.

Thanks for all the great feedback and I will post up our decision on which gun we decided to go with when we figure it out. ;-)
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top