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Tuesday morning my son was due to ship out to basic training, and since I couldn't attend the swearing in or see him off at the airport due to the ChiCom virus, I decided to hit the range to take my mind off things. This was my first range trip since before the lockdown, and I had 3 pistols that I had recently purchased but not had the chance to shoot: A new Blue Label G30 Gen4, a used Springfield RO Elite Operator 45, and a new SP101 3.06".

The 45's can be a subject for another day, but the Cliff's Notes version is that they ran flawlessly. I love the 45acp, easily my favorite of all semi-auto rounds. The G30 Gen4 is soft and accurate, but a bit thick. The RO Elite Operator is now my favorite 1911, just a fantastic accurate and smooth shooter with great ergonomics.

Last up for the day was the SP101. I put 50 rounds of American Eagle 158gr .38spl through it, then switched to Golden Saber 125gr .357 Mag. I only brought two speed loaders loaded with the 357, but I should have brought the whole box. This thing handles the magnums with ease. I don't know how "hot" or "mild" the Golden Sabers are, but I would assume they're just mid-level loads, someone can correct me if I'm wrong.

I've had larger revolvers before, a blued 7-shot GP100 4.2" and a 4" 686 Plus. While those guns were fantastic shooters, they felt a bit too large and front-heavy. By comparison this SP101 is much lighter and balanced almost perfectly. The snap from the magnums pushes it straight back and it's easy to get back on target. The trigger is a bit stiff and could benefit from some minor work. The only other things I would change are maybe replacing the front sight with a fiber optic, and maybe try to find a better fitting grip. I currently have the Hogue rubber grip, and while it really helps tame the recoil, I find the placement of the finger grooves pulls my hand slightly lower than I'd prefer.

Overall this is a terrific little mini-tank of a revolver, one I would be confident to carry, if I can find a decent minimalist IWB holster.
 

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Yes, the SP 101 is indeed a fine "mini-tank" and it does handle hot .357 loads quite well. Glad you like it ...and sorry you couldn't see your son off before he left for boot.
 

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Yes, the SP 101 is indeed a fine "mini-tank" and it does handle hot .357 loads quite well. Glad you like it ...and sorry you couldn't see your son off before he left for boot.
Thanks!

Yeah, not seeing him off was disappointing, but we chatted and texted throughout the day up until he hopped on the bus to base. After that last text though it hit me like a ton of lead. I don't know what I'm going to do without him. I'm real proud of him though, he turned out fine in spite of me, LOL.
 

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I shoot the Golden Sabers in my K6 3" and they are a great round. 1250 fps and middle of the road loading. The SP is a great gun and I like the HiViz FO or one called the WonderSight by Gemini Custom. God Bless your son in the service of our country.
 

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Glad you enjoyed it. Best revolver ever invented, imo.

It's my favorite carry, HD, and woods gun. Favorite gun period.

I stoke it with home brewed 357 magnum Short Barrel Gold Dots or Hornady XTP, both loaded to max. I only get 5 shots, so I wanna make em count.

I like mine bone stock, with some Traffic Cone Orange nail polish on the front sight. But I do have a Pachmayr grip I like to put on it from time to time.

Thousands of live and dry fire trigger pulls has made the action very smooth.

My favorite minimalist iwb holster is my gen 2 Remora. It's very "sticky", and it stays where you put it.
 

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One of my favorite guns, too. I have about 5,000 rounds through mine and is very reliable. It's one of my primary self defense guns yet I use 38spl+p instead of 357mag.
 

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It's my wife's "bedroom" gun. We have it also loaded with .38spl. Full .357mag was uncomfortable for her.
 

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My little "tank" is always with me. It's a 3", 38 Special manufactured in 1991. I did some light polishing on the action, mirror polished the trigger face and put on a fiber optic sight. Carry load is 158 gr Hornady XTPs. Range fodder are my 158 gr LSWC and sweet shooting 148 gr wadcutter reloads.
 

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After 5,000 rounds my trigger is pretty smooth. I'm more accurate with DA than SA. The only change I made was Hogue grips.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm throwing around the idea of performing some minor trigger work on the SP101. While the pull itself is OK, the return is very gritty and if you don't release the trigger quickly it can seem to get hung up. That seems a bit excessively rough to me, even for a bone stock factory trigger. Maybe a couple thousand dry fires will help.

And thanks all for the well wishes for my son. I'm sure he'll appreciate it.
 

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Dry firing will certainly help, it wears in the mating surfaces. However, a good flushing with gun scrub or similar and re-oiling should help also. No telling if there is any flash or grit left over from manufacturing. Finally, a complete disassembly, cleaning and smoothing would be the best.
 

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Little off topic but my friends son was kinda a kid well... “ I didn’t know how to think he’d turn out” kinda kid. Ended up going in the navy and it’s on a stealth destroyer! FINE young man and I couldn’t be more proud of him. I gave him my fender Stratocaster for xmas. Rosewood neck tobacco sunburst. Squier ish model GOD bless your son in his career. Thank him for us.
 

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1.) Prayers and best wishes to you and your son. The men and women that serve today need all the respect and honor they deserve. Keep supporting him. I know how you feel. God Speed!
2.) Good to hear a positive range report. You have a nice Ruger to work with. Good choice.
 

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I'm throwing around the idea of performing some minor trigger work on the SP101. While the pull itself is OK, the return is very gritty and if you don't release the trigger quickly it can seem to get hung up. That seems a bit excessively rough to me, even for a bone stock factory trigger. Maybe a couple thousand dry fires will help.

And thanks all for the well wishes for my son. I'm sure he'll appreciate it.
The channel the trigger return spring rides in is known for often having burrs floating around inside causing what you describe. The wall of the channel can be rough also. The proper size drill bit inserted in the channel(after removing spring) rotated back and forth by hand can smooth the wall up. Good luck.
 

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Congratulations for your son, and a thank you for his service! I've shot the Gold Dot short barrel 357 Magnum loads in my 4" Match Champion, and they didn't recoil much more than the 135 gr. +P loads, or my ancient IPSC load. Enjoyable to shoot! I do wish they would make the 3" SP 101 with adjustable sights, though.
 
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