Monday, October 17, 2011

SP-101 Part II

I got to crank out about 150 rounds from the new SP 101 over the weekend, but I couldn't find my digital camera, which is annoying, so I'll have to steal other pictures to make up for it. I never really made any noteworthy groups anyway. I spent the bulk of the time from the 10 yard line and had good results. I used my K-frame-sized Fobus paddle holster to draw and fire two or three shots at a time as quickly as possible...with mixed results.

When loaded with Winchester White Box 110gr .357 mag loads (box claims 1300fps in a 4" barrel) or any flavor of .38spl I could make a roughly quarter sized group at 10 yards when firing at a comfortable pace. As I turned up the speed, it went to more a dollar bill sized group. Not bad by any means, but I felt the grip was too small at the top and the hammer is very over-sprung. To remedy this, I have ordered a Badger Custom boot grip and a spring tune kit from Wolff. Below is a similar 3" SP101 with the black boot cut grip I ordered. Note the thickness near the top.

The SP101 was completely reliable and never had casings stick to the cylinder, and the properly sized ejector rod knocked all rounds safely clear of the gun to make for a quick reload from an HKS speedloader.

I had four kinds of ammo on hand for my initial test-fire. In 357mag, I had some handloads consisting of 158gr XTPs over a stout charge of Hodgdon Lil'Gun, and Winchester 110gr "357 magnum" quoted at 1290fps. In 38 Special, I had a few rounds of Winchester 38+P 125gr JHPs, and a couple of boxes of my own 125gr LFN handloads over a stout-ish dose of HP-38. All of them shot to point of aim at 10 yards. The only load that produced any kind of recoil was my 158gr XTP load, which should have been producing over 680 ft/lbs of energy from the 3" Ruger. Buffalo Bore offers a very similar loading, though I think they use a 158gr Gold Dot instead of XTP. This load is what will be in the gun when I'm in the woods. I will be purchasing some Buffalo Bore ammo to carry on the street.

In general, I'm really happy with the SP101. It is very nice to carry both concealed and on my hip when I'm out in the wild. The 3" barrel and 5-shot cylinder make this gun small enough to be very handy to carry without sacrificing utility. This gun will do it all, and is stout enough to do it for a lifetime. I'm very happy with my SP101 as-is, but will do yet another update once I install the shiny new grips and reduced power spring.

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