Back in the day, when my mother said “Don’t tip back that chair!” she meant it. As well she might; my teenage toches was parked on an honest-to-God Windsor chair. Truth be told, I grew up in a museum, surrounded by an endless parade of rare and beautiful objects. At first, it was African folk art: dark mysterious pieces that spoke of elemental emotion. Then American antiques: minimalistic masterpieces of unpretentious artistic aspiration. Then American crafts: compelling forms with exquisite colors and textures. While I developed an eye for beauty, the collecting bug never bit me. I can count on one hand the number of inanimate objects I’ve owned that captured my heart and thrilled my soul . . .

The Ferrari F335B has pride of place in this short list of masterpieces that have—I mean, had my name on them.

While most automotive enthusiasts associate Ferrari with the race-bred Saturn V-like thrust of Il Commendatore’s V12 engines, I always considered Enzo’s non-Ferrari ode to his son Dino the brand’s essence. (Go figure.) The F355 was the last of these multo delicato flying buttress Ferraris: a car every bit as romantic and capable as the Dino.

I’m proud to say I owned the highest mileage example in Europe. I drove the SNOT out of that car every single day for three years. When it wasn’t in the shop. To the point where I called myself a Ferrari visitor, rather than an owner. Yes but . . . like my first glimpse of Sam, I never got over those curves. Never. Or, at the risk of seeming indelicate, the scream of her engine . . .

I digress. But only because it’s pleasant to do so—now that the monetary pain of ownership [of the car] has [somewhat] subsided. OK, yes, there are parallels between my F335 and my Gemini Customs Ruger SP101.

Like the F355, the modded Ruger is old school made modern. Just as the F355 had the brakes that the Dino sorely lacked, the Gemini Ruger has the five-pound trigger pull that the stock SP101 can’t match. Horsepower? The stainless steel Ruger fires five man-stopping .357s. Handling? The perfectly balanced Ruger’s custom grip is easy to grab, easy to hold. With the XS Big Dot sight out front, the Gemini Ruger is, like the F355, point and shoot.

In fact, there’s only one good argument against using the Gemini Custom Ruger SP101 3″ as my everyday carry gun. The Glock 30. Or as I like to call it, the 996.

I was down at the Ferrari dealer one day, my home away from home, waiting for Godot. In an attempt to distract me from the forthcoming financial tsunami, the salesman put me in the driver’s seat of a Porsche Carrera 4. It was a revelation. I could drive the Porker like my hair was on fire without my hair being on fire. More specifically, I could cane that ass-engined Nazi slot car at 10/10ths and not die. Which was not something you could say about the F355 without fear of contradiction. Or death.

The Glock is like that, too. Whereas I can [now] put together a tidy-looking string of five .357 hollow-point bullets at five yards with the modified Ruger SP101, I can put 10 .45s through the same hole at the same distance with a Glock 30. One-handed. More specifically, I have the sneaking suspicion I could face down a lethal threat with the Glock 30 and not die. Which is not something I can say about the Gemini Customs Ruger SP101 without fear of contradiction. Or death.

So . . . I carry the Glock, right? Right. Ish. Until I receive an inside-the-waist band Glock 30 holster (T&E Crossbreed Supertuck Deluxe and Mitch Rosen IWBs in the works), I’ve convinced myself that the Ruger in a Remora is a more suitable choice for T-shirt and shorts weather. When the temperature drops, the Glock sits on my hip in a Galco speed scabbard.

But really, I’m in love with the Gemini Ruger. I love the way it looks, feels and shoots. More to the point, unlike the F355, ownership isn’t in and of itself a clear and present danger. I can walk around convincing myself that I’ve got a good enough gun for self-defense. Which I do. To a point. Like the Ferrari, the Gemini Customs Ruger SP101 is perfectly safe—right up until the moment when it isn’t. And then, by God, it isn’t.

The thing of it is, once I drove the C4, I never thought of holding onto the F355. For me, the thrill of ownership comes from beauty and utility. In other words, I can’t imagine owning a gun I don’t use. OK, I have a couple. A few. But not a lot. Provided you define “a lot” as something between the number of guns a news report would cite to prove that I’m a gun nut and an actual gun nut’s armory. The Gemini Customs Ruger SP101 is destined to join my fly-in-amber-style collection . . .

After all, self-defense is too important to leave to the heart. Isn’t it? It is. I swear it is. But can I get back to you on that after the Glock’s IWB holsters arrive? Thanks.

16 Responses to A Tale of Two Guns: Gemini Customs Ruger SP101 vs. Glock 30

  1. You’re a white male over the age of 25 who doesn’t use drugs. And if you’ve owned cars like that, I think it’s safe to say you probably live in a neighborhood where the residents don’t commit crimes for a living. At least not that kind that don’t start with “em” and end in “bezzle”. So the chance that you will ever draw a gun in anger is vanishingly small. The chance that you will fire even one shot is an order of magnitude lower. The chance that you will need more than 5 rounds of .357 magnum to solve your social problems yet another order of magnitude lower. If not two.

    Yes, I know. There is always the possibility. There’s the possibility that a meteor could bonk you on the head. But there comes a point where you still decide to go out of the house without a helmet and a mouth guard because, face it, there is such a thing as too much paranoia. For a guy with your risk profile, ditching a fine custom .357 revolver for a Glock 30 because of a tiny marginal difference in firepower is approaching Howard Hughes levels of paranoia.

    Carry the gun you like. You’ll be fine. And throw out those toenail clippings.

    • To the extent that most DGU are just brandishing I think the Gemini probably has a real-world advantage.

    • I agree. I also think the Gemini has the “crap your pants” factor that the Glock lacks. The drawback is that they are incredibly hard to shoot holding sideways.

  2. What Ammo would you carry in the 3.78 inch Glock 30 (more like 2.5, when compared apples to apples with the Ruger)? How does it compare to the performance and track record of the 125 gr SJHP .357 out of a 3 inch barrel? Maybe you aren’t giving up quite as much as you think.

    These days my nasty old SIG 220 is back on my hip, but only because it was my first love I didn’t want to forget how to shoot it. The 4 inch K frame I carried for the first third of this year will return to service eventually (she could really use a trip to Gemini Customs herself). It really grew on me. The shape, the way it handles and carries, the smooth positive stroke of the trigger, and the excellent stopping power of those 6 bullets at a screaming 1400 fps all combined to overshadow the 3 round deficit and 4-8 second reloads.
    I bet you took great pride in being able to whip that ferrari to the very peaks of its performance even though it might not stack up on paper against more modern, practical designs. If your heart draws you to your Ruger, run with it! It has a soul. The Glock does not.

  3. Before I jumped to the whole article, I saw the picture and read the snippet. I saw a gun, when paired with the snippet, that plain and true said “Go.” I thought about a an exclamation point instead of a period, but the vibe didn’t fit. Looking at the picture: the cant of the gun, the grip going up to a bobbed hammer, and the tilt forward said, “Go.” However the barrel is tilted downward in the angle we get and at no point did I read into the picture as, “This must be fired now!” This firearm exudes craft and finely done craft indeed. It doesn’t say it’s a racehorse, but if need be it can “Go.” or “Go!”

    My laptop is having a fit. So I will add more later.

    Thanks.

  4. Ah, but both have beauty in their own way. I had a similar decision yesterday, but it was my trusty 340PD in a Kramer Leather pocket holster and a Glock 27 in a Desantis pocket holster. Final decision-switch to a pair of BDU shorts and pocket both. I put 2 spare mags in the left cargo pocket and four speedloaders in the right cargo. Add a Cold Steel Ti-Lite 6” folder on one side and a Spyderco Police serrated model on the other, ready to travel out of town to see the doctor. There is a lot of country road in between. That said, the Ruger is beautiful. She begs for a fine leather sheath form fitted to her curves.

  5. A better pairing perhaps would be the G30 and a 930 Porsche……
    And really, shouldn’t a revolver guy drive a truck?

  6. RF, you won’t be overmatched with either, so carry the one you want. And don’t overlook the “fear factor.” For my money, the scariest thing in the world is a big-assed revolver pointed at my eyeball. I’ve been there, and thought I was looking into the Lincoln Tunnel. Neither your fine-shooting-but-fugly Glock nor that drop-dead gorgeous Ruger is as scary as a S&W 629, for example, but they do carry a lot better. See, everything is a compromise.

    • Could you imagine if they bobbed and finished a Redhawk like that? A 3 ” .44 magnum and /or .45 Colt (perfect for hot loads). Long live the belly gun!

  7. I was impressed you like the Glock 30. I feel it is the most accurate, (out of the box), of my 4 Glocks, and I actually like shooting it the most. I’ve been on and off about a 36 for some time.

  8. I have a solution. Do what I do every day, carry both. The Glock AIWB in a Dale Frike Archangel, Sp101 weak side in an AKJ Concealco Holster. My Sp101 needs a trip to Gemini, that trigger pull is in need of some serious loving. Great guns, thanks for the read and eye candy!

  9. My biggest fear in a self defense situation is always to draw my semi pull the trigger and nothing happens, or a jam on the follow up shot.
    With a revolver I do not have this fear. Nothing can change my opinion about that debate. If a revolver does not go click keep pulling till it does.

  10. You sir, are nuts for ditching the F355 for a PCar. Properly maintained, the Ferrari would have made a fine DD, and the F355 is one the best driving Ferraris built. A Porsche is an excellent car, but ditching the Ferrari for it would be like letting go of a Wilson Combat custom to pick up a Dan Wesson. A fine 1911 no doubt, but no where near the realm of a Wilson.

  11. I believe the best handgun is the one that you like and shoot best. The role you need it to perform influences greatly but ultimately its a personal choice. In my quest for the best handgun I chose the most versatile. Maybe the best all around gun is a 6 inch .357 mag Revolver like the Colt Python, or a S&W 686, or Ruger GP-100.
    Chuck Hawks wrote: ” As we have seen, a .38 Special / .357 Magnum revolver can be extremely versatile. The factory loaded ammunition options range from very mild 148 grain lead wadcutter bullets at around 700 fps to bear stopping 180 grain bullets at 1200 fps and the reloader has even greater load flexibility. No other single handgun offers such a wide power range of loads or the versatility to serve as a credible target revolver, service pistol, handgun for hunting CXP2 game and revolver for protection in the field. A .357 Magnum revolver with a 6″ barrel really is the most versatile handgun of them all. If I could have only one centerfire handgun (and in hard times that is exactly what I’ve owned), it would certainly be a .357 Magnum.”
    I believe the 4 inch Ruger SP-101 ( .38 spl/ .38 + P/ .357 mag ) is not only an great choice for C&C and Self Defense but many other roles including Hunting and Field Protection. It is also as beautiful as it is effective. We find many bloggers wanting to wage war with their semi auto pistols. I believe their extra rounds went to their heads.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *