Ruger announced two new SP101 revolvers. Both SP101 revolvers are larger, target-sized revolvers featuring longer barrels and fiber optic sights when compared to the standard SP101 handguns.
The two new Ruger revolvers are very similar in appearance and demensions. The first is chambered in the classic .357 Magnum cartridge, while the second new model is chambered in the ubiquitous .22 LR. Capacity on the Magnum is five rounds, while the rimfire will hold eight cartridges.
Both models use a 4.2″ long barrel. Existing SP101 revolvers have either 2.25″ or 3.06″ barrels. So the new wheelguns have more than inch of extra barrel over the next closest gun.
Ruger outfitted both of these new handguns with a green fiber optic front sight and an adjustable rear sight. Like the other models in the SP101 line, the frame, cylinder and barrel are all made of stainless steel with a satin stainless finish.
The .22 LR version is slightly heavier than the new .357 Magnum model: 30.0 ounces vs. 29.5 ounces. This is likely because the barrel blanks are identical, with the only difference being that less metal is removed when the bore is drilled. So the .22 LR version simply has more metal than the .357 Magnum.
MSRP on the rimfire model is $675.00. The .357 version of the new Ruger SP101 has an MSRP of $689.00.
Update: October 2013
Ruger continues to list both of these handguns in the company’s catalog. The MSRP creeped up a little since 2011, with both models now retailing for $699. This is not a huge increase on either model, and considering the crazy prices and artificially suppressed inflation in the US currently, the pricing remains very attractive for anyone interested in these revolvers.
I’ve always preferred Smith & Wesson revolvers over those from Colt and Ruger. However, these guns are really attractive to me. I’m thinking about getting one of each should the budget allow such a thing.