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SP101 357 Match Champion or plain Jane version?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Mr. Tettnanger, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. Mr. Tettnanger

    Mr. Tettnanger Member

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    I have wanted a Ruger SP101 3" for years. Other guns always seem to get my funny money though. I finally have enough cash saved up and have been thinking of the old SP101 3" 357 again.

    In my search, I have come across the SP101 Match Champion 357, and the more plain SP101 4" model as well. I need help deciding which one to pounce on and why!

    I have a 4" GP100 if that factors in. I have concealed carry guns as well. This firearm will be a woods bumming, range gun mainly.

    Or....skip the 357 and get a SP101 in 22LR!
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  2. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    My vote: SP101, and spend the difference on tools and reference books to Match Championize it yourself.
     
  3. ontarget

    ontarget Member

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    I really like my 3" SP101 in 357. No experience with the match champ though.
    I feel like a 3 inch bbl makes a good woods gun. 357 is good enough for any critters in my area too.
     
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  4. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    Depends if that extra inch of velocity and the slight reduction in report and flash are worth the slight reduction in coming out of a holster.

    I've got revolvers in increments of 1&7/8, 2.75, 3, 4 & 5" I'd probably carry either the 3 or 4 inchers in the woods. I'd probably lean to the 4" easier to hit smaller targets further away for me.

    But if you already have a 4", I might lean to adding a 3".
     
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  5. cogun4hire

    cogun4hire Member

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    As others have stated, I would get a plain-Jane 3 inch model and then take any money saved and use it for a trigger job / port job IF you decide you want that. Though I think the out-of-box revolver will satisfy you as is.
     
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  6. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Member

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    3 inch plain Jane SP101...

    Look it over good before buying it .... Check that the barrel is screwed on right and not canted, check the timing, and check that the forcing cone is correctly finished.

    Great little gun... I have one and it is a great shooter.
     
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  7. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    I would not buy any SP101 as it is the worst revolver Ruger makes and think of something else that you want to buy and get that. If you really want a 3" .357, then get the LCRx that came out a few months ago. The LCRx is FAR better than the SP101.
     
  8. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Don't buy the "Match" model. The basic model is just as good. Both will need de burring and smoothing. Maybe some shims.
     
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  9. Labguy47

    Labguy47 Member

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    And that’s where I am going to have to disagree as I currently own a sp101 in .32 H&R mag and an LCRx. The sp101 is way more overbuilt like it’s GP counterpart. If you have the right leather, both carry equally well.
     
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  10. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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  11. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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    Thanks for thread, I didn’t even know there was a 101 Match Champion! My newest 2017 RUGER catalog only shows the 100 Match Champion.
    My 101 goes to range almost every week and I’m very happy with its performance and no issues since new in box. As I also am with my 4” 100 nib.
    I’ve sorry I have never shot a Match Champion with which to compare.
     
  12. thomas15

    thomas15 Member

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    Collect 'em all.
     
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  13. stonebuster

    stonebuster Member

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    What, in your opinion makes the SP 101 the "worst revolver Ruger makes" and what makes the LCRX "FAR" better?
     
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  14. sabbfan

    sabbfan Member

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    I’d get the plain one, that way you are paying less and have enough left over to put any grip you want on it, add some springs if needed then have fun. I personally like the looks of the TALO with the Novak sights if I was going to get a non plain version.
     
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  15. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    The trigger, the higher price, the lower quality and workmanship.
     
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  16. LUCKYDAWG13

    LUCKYDAWG13 Member

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    Get the SP101 3" put a set of wolf springs in it you will be happy
     
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  17. Mr. Tettnanger

    Mr. Tettnanger Member

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    Can someone explain the "shims" to me? I'm trying to figure out why a new handgun would need shimming?

    Thanks to all for the replies. It is very helpful!
     
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  18. Styx

    Styx Member

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    I have the same question.
     
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  19. Styx

    Styx Member

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    Think you're the first I've heard say something like that. The LCR is a nice revolver with a nice trigger. If Ruger made a 6 round a steel frame LCR with that same trigger, they'd make a killing.
     
  20. LUCKYDAWG13

    LUCKYDAWG13 Member

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  21. stonebuster

    stonebuster Member

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    That's why Ruger has sold so many Sp 101s. Over priced guns with bad triggers and poor quality is why they're so popular.o_O As to the OPS question: I would get the standard SP101 vs MC model since you can easily install shims and a 9 or 10# Wolff main spring and let use smooth out the internals of the standard model. Since you've wanted a 3" SP and you already have a 4" GP 357, I'd get a 2.25"-3" SP 101 or LCRX. If you want a pocket gun go with the 17 ounce LCRX vs 25-27 ounce(2.25" - 3") SP 101. I've read the LCRX trigger is very nice but I haven't handled one. My 2.25" SP101 carries comfortably AIWB. The heavier SP makes extended range trips a lot easier on the hands and wrists than a 13-17 ounce gun. That was a major consideration for me. More practice time = more accuracy.
     
  22. Drail

    Drail Member

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    The shims are necessary to square up and remove excess play from the trigger and hammer so that they bear on each other evenly. In the old days these parts were machined oversized and stoned down to fit a specific frame perfectly and square to the frame and mating parts. Sadly no manufacturer does that anymore. Now manufacturers just drop parts into a frame and do not care how sloppy the fit is or if the parts are bearing squarely on each other. All the manufacturer cares about is that any part will fit into any frame and the assembly line keeps moving along. Handguns did not used to be "assembled" like that but they are now.
     
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  23. Tilos

    Tilos Member

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    If Ruger made either gun in 9mm/with moon clips I'd be all over it.
    With 9mm ammo being so cheap it would lure semi-auto owners over into the revolver world.
    I have emailed Ruger via the "ask the president" feature on their website more than once on this but have yet to get a response.
    sorry for the drift :uhoh:
    :D
    edit: I'm talking a 4"+ barrel(maybe even full lug), adjustable site, range/woods gun here.
     
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  24. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    I have both. I prefer the balance of the 4 inch barrel in general, and the Match Champion is certainly prettier.

    Having said that, I shoot the 3 inch model much more frequently - my kids have evidently adopted the Match Champion as their own, and the 3 inch version is a lot easier to detail strip and reassemble since it lacks those pesky hammer shims.
     
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  25. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    And they've made the SP101 for 20 years longer than the LCR and back in the day, I'm sure SP101's were better made than today too.

    When you have to immediately buy shims and a spring kit for a near $600 gun, there's something wrong with that picture.
     
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