Ruger’s Blued SP-101

A Classic Snubby and A Retro Revolver Worthy of Rejoice

Whether knocking off your whiskers, or scraping your teeth, you should always have a Roscoe within arms reach.

Ruger’s been at it yet again and it’s why we love them so much! Using their SP-101 platform this time, they released a powerful-punching wheelgun using the warmth and traditional good looks of blued-steel with wood grips for the first time.

A retro revolver of sorts, it will scratch the nostalgic itch of those of you wanting a blued, pocket-sized, SP-101 revolver for everyday carry, or simply as a backup to your primary gun.

Typical group fired off-hand at 50 feet from the Ruger SP-101.

What Kind Of Person Are You?

So if you’re the kind of person who refers to your pistol as a Roscoe, Heater, Piece, Rod, Boomer, or Hardware, this shooter has your name on it. If you’re the type of guy who still shaves with a safety razor, you know, the kind with retractable jaws, and uses aftershave with names like Clubman, or Aqua Velva, this gun’s got your name on it.

If you get haircuts every other week, know what Butch Wax is for, and always smell like an old-time barbershop, this gun’s for you. If you always sit with your back to the wall, period, no matter where you are, this gun’s for you. If you sometimes manage to crack a smile, yet are suspicious of everyone at the same time — this gun’s for you.

Get it?

Five rounds grace this pocket-rocket — and you can call .357 Magnum home there if you want.

Old Guy Warning

Here’s some friendly advice, and I suggest you heed this light-hearted warning. Just because someone carries a “snubby” doesn’t make them an easy target. Far from it, they probably know what they’re doing and won’t hesitate to do what needs to be done so they can go home that night.

Hey, sometimes it’s fun to be the lovable old grouch, especially around the younger set. Even if you’re not like any of the above, but looking for a small, packable, strong, accurate shooter, one with traditional good looks, this gun is still for you.

Wood inserts don’t seem to affect the ability of the synthetic grips to soften
the blow of hot loads. Tank liked this gun — lots!

Ruger’s Stout Shorty SP-101

Everybody loves a shorty, especially true gunmen/women who carry everyday! These short-barreled shooters are easier to carry and conceal, meaning we’re more likely to have them on us all the time.

Like all Rugers, the SP-101 is overbuilt in the strength and ruggedness department. This allows chambering of powerful cartridges like the .357 Magnum. This Ruger cranks out those hot-loaded rounds as easy as a kid spittin’ watermelon seeds.

The rubber handles sport stylishly checkered wood inserts featuring the Ruger logo, while still cushioning the hand, promoting a sturdy grip as you “let fly” one of five magnum-force rounds. The grips are thin enough for speed loader use too — and that’s handy.

Sights are as they should be on a pocket-rocket, low and subdued. The front sight is serrated and securely pinned through the top rib allowing for easy swap-out. The rear sight consists of a snag-free, hog-trough channel, milled out of the top strap.

A transfer-bar safety allows safe loading of five rounds for the 5-shot gun, with no risk of discharge, unless the trigger is pulled. The triple-locking fluted cylinder is just like that proverbial statement “tight as a bank vault door” when describing lock-up and design.

The full-lug of the 2.25” barrel adds needed heft, helping absorb recoil while shooting magnum loads. The stainless steel hammer, trigger, transfer bar and star-extractor contrast nicely with the blued steel, while providing added ruggedness and durability from the elements.

The grips are cut for speedloaders, and the gun handled every test load with aplomb.

Shootin’ The Shorty

Short-barreled guns are just as accurate as their longer barreled compatriots; they’re just not as forgiving when it comes to sight alignment. Being just a smidge off exaggerates results more so than with a longer sight radius.

Shooting was done at 50 feet from the standing position, the way revolvers were meant to be shot. Loads used were Sig Sauer 125-grain V-Crown .357 Magnum loads, Black Hills 100-grain Honey Badger .38 Special +P ammo and handloads consisting of 170-grain cast Keith bullets, loaded over 13.0 grains of 2400 in .38 Special brass.

Like old men, this Ruger wasn’t particular in the least at what it was fed. Groups running 2” to 3” were the norm, with most hovering around the 2” mark. This little piece is a shooter, and it doesn’t surprise me in the least! While the sights are a bit on the crude side, there’s enough light on either side of the front sight to provide a sharp sight picture.

So, no matter what your age, whether you have a perpetually sunny disposition or enjoy being the neighborhood sore-headed grouch, the Ruger blued-steel SP-101 has something to put a smile on anyone’s face!

SIG’s 125 Grain .357 ammo would help lower your heart rate after that bump in the night.
Bad guys? Their mistake, not yours.


This pistola’s heft is a confidence-boosting 26 ounces. Overall length is 7.2” and height is less than 5”. It’s capable of shooting either .357 Magnum, or .38 Special cartridges and is a 5-shot shooter. MSRP is $719.

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