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Good afternoon, all.

Looking for a winter carry sidearm, and like the thought of carrying a .357. My warm weather carry is a Walther PPS 9mm which I dearly enjoy but I am not a fan of 9mm against layers of heavy clothing; I think something with more oomph is in order. I've considered .45 ACP but can't find a pistol I like well enough to commit, so I have decided to go with a revolver in .357.

I've narrowed the choices to SP101 3" and a GP100 3". The winner will be carried OWB under my coat and stoked with standard pressure .357 JHPs. With those items in mind, is the GP100's extra round and more filling grip worth the extra weight and greater dimensions compared to the SP101. I do not have a favorite as I like both, and I would love to hear the thoughts of those who may be carrying either or both of these revolvers.

Thank you much, and have a great day.
Aaron
 

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Hi Aaron

Have carried both and, for me, the better carrying of the SP outweighs the shooting advantage of the GP. There is a significant weight difference, plus, I find that I can shoot the SP more than well enough for any situation. Each to their own, though.
 

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I have had both. I sold the 3" GP because I preferred the SP for winter carry. I do carry it iwb. For summer carry I use the 3" LCRX 38spl. The reason for me was weight.

Joe
 

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I haven't fired a GP100 in .357 yet, but I know what it's like to shoot a 2 1/2" SP101. That thing is a lot to handle with the 158 grn stuff. North Country Gal makes a great point though.
 

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The SP gets the nod for CCW!

I have a 5" 1911 on my CCW, but EDC an airweight J-frame 38+P because it is WAYYYYYYYY easier to carry.
 

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Hi Aaron

Have carried both and, for me, the better carrying of the SP outweighs the shooting advantage of the GP. There is a significant weight difference, plus, I find that I can shoot the SP more than well enough for any situation. Each to their own, though.


I own both but have only carried my SP. I can shoot my 3" SP pretty well and find it to be my weight limit to CC comfortably. I vote SP. YMMV
 

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Aaron, I have both and shoot both but the SP's power to weight ratio gets it on my belt. My 4" GP is an awesome revolver but the SP can hide in an overcoat pocket and the GP can't. A good 125gr JHP will work just fine on clothed targets, save the 110's for summer carry.
 

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Aaron the choice for me is the Ruger SP101 in a 3 inch version much easier to carry and yes the extra round isn't worth the added weight. You will also find the 3 inch barreled SP101 is a very accurate revolver. My 3 inch is a .327 FM that has plenty of punch with power. The only way to get the 6 shots vs 5 is by going .327 FM but for the ammo choice and availability the nod goes to .357/.38 special. There is one other thought if you want a 3 inch barrel and adjustable sights is to opt for a Ruger LCRX 3 in .38 Special +p there are plenty of very stout loads in .38 Special + p some Buffalo Bore would serve very well. Just a few thoughts to ponder good luck!!!
 

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I too own and carry both. If I could have only one for carry duty it would be the SP101. The GP is fine under a heavy parka with a good belt, but even then the larger grip is difficult to hide. I replaced mine with the older compact grip which is roughly the same size as the SP101's grip.
 

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Although the choices you have made are two very fine, but heavy .357 mag revolvers, I don't really see where you are going with your reasoning. While the .357 mag is one of the deadliest stoppers of two-legged vermin ever devised out of a 6" or longer barrel, out of a 3" barrel it is pretty much the same round as a +P load out of your 9mm. In other words, you don't gain anything against a winter assailant over your existing 9mm. I think you were on the right track with your .45 acp idea, you just need to find one you like.
 

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I've carried my 4" GP for about a year and I have a 2.75" Security Six which is a bit bigger than an SP, so I've shot that too obviously.

The difference in shooting them is obvious and both have had a shim & polish job.

I'm a big guy and the GP in the winter under my coat was ok but you always knew it was there. I think the GP you run the risk of it being such a PITA to carry that you start to leave it behind. If you're bullet placement it up to snuff the extra bullet won't be needed. The GP was designed for open duty carry.

The SP on the other hand was designed from the start for CCW. Yes, it's less comfortable to shoot, but in the CCW world, who cares? NOT a priority. I could see the weight and size of the SP being so good that it disappears on your body. A big plus on a daily or monthly basis. I would also get the model w/fixed sites. Remember that social work usually happens at 20' or less which makes adjustable sites pretty dumb and a big negative for snags.

Bottom line: Buy the gun that meant for what you're trying to do and PRACTICE. Be prepared to buy more than one holster before you get it right (most of us have). The holster will require almost as much forethought as the gun.
 

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An SP101 with Hogue tamer grip fills the hand well, and you'll want it if you shoot .357 out of it.
 

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Ruger sp101 wiley clapp, but I do agree with a past comment pointing out that a short barrel 357 magnum has the same power as 9mm.
 

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For me it's a toss up, however I'm a serious wheelgun "buff" and I think some days I carry one of my 4" GP100's just because I can:) Carrying a big iron like that isn't for everyone, and you've got to dress around it........although a $5 baggy fit T-shirt and a Shirt-Jacket can make it dissapear.

I've carried 4" GP100's and Six series guns in OWB pancake holsters many times, with a good belt it's as comfortable as can be.

It's also about "shootability", the 4" GP100 is much larger and heavier, even the 3" GP is a big piece of iron, vs. the SP101, but when I can I'd rather carry a "combat revolver" vs. a "defensive" revolver. It's much easier for me to draw and hit with a 4" GP100 than my 2" SP101. If I can get away with carrying a bigger gun, I do it.

Today I carried my 4" Speed Six OWB all day, walking around some stores and no problem at all, hid it under a baggy thermal.

The .357 SP101 is a good trade off, it's a nice, heavy shootable snub that packs pretty well, it's pretty tough to go IWB with a GP100. Although the advantage of .357 out of a snub barrel vs. a .38 +P is debatable but that's a whole different topic.
 

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If you are serious about carrying a weapon, go with the GP. All the arguments for the "more convenient " lighter/easier to carry gun are going to evaporate once it comes time to USE the damn thing. Then, the superior sights, sight radius, larger grip and extra round will be WELL worth the extra effort of finding a good holster and belt, and carrying the hgun and some reloads.

daily, I carry a Glock 20 and two reloads. The weight is very nearly the same to carrying a 4" SS/GP with about 48 rounds of ammo

Carrying a full size/full capability gun is WORTH IT when it comes down to getting the job done.
I love my little SP101 hammerless, and often carry it in an outside vest pocket in addition to a full sized pistol. though its fun to shoot, the GP is EASIER to hit with...and hitting targets at various distances is WHY we carry guns...no?
 

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The SP101 was designed for police detectives and off duty carry, and also for civilian carry. It wasn't designed as a pocket gun, and it was made to hold up to many, many thousands of rounds so that people could actually train with it, unlike many of the "carry lots shoot little" lightweight snubbies.

As I get more "experienced" with concealed carry, I worry less about "printing". If I have a loose shirt with a GP100 shaped bulge under it, so be it, it's covered and "concealed from sight" thus I'm within the law of my Concealed Weapons permit. That said, PA also has legal "Open Carry by proxy" meaning there is no law forbidding it, as long as the person is legally able to own a firearm. So, if I print heavily or the grip peeks out from under my shirt, so be it.

There are some excellent makers of leather and Kydex OWB holsters for the GP100, they will make a 4" GP ride very nice. I use Boston Leather Garrison Belts for carry, you can get them online for $20, and they're heavy duty belts made for Law Enforcement and security use. I wear one at work (Corrections) and they fit standard belt loops.
 

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I really consider printing pretty low on my list of importance, frankly, but I'm sure some states are tighter than where I live. A GOOD belt and well-thought out holster/ammo carrier will be the deciding factor in how much bulk is too much. It's a very personal choice and will take some experimentation on your part to make that choice. Personally I doubt I'll ever need 46 rounds of ammo unless I move to Detroit or Baltimore. I carry what I'm willing to carry everyday and what I can get away with in my work. All are service caliber weapons loaded with serious ammunition. Balance your needs with honest risk assessment of your environment. Above all else, practice frequently. The rest will work itself out.
 
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