Gun Preview: Ruger SP101 .22LR Double-Action Revolver

Before I began capturing the video above, Adam Deciccio told me he was going to shoot “five rounds single action, five rounds double action.” And so I intro’ed his demo promising ten bullets a leapin’—even though I knew the $675 Ruger SP101 .22LR revolver “only” chambers eight. That’s still a lot of cartridges for a wheelgun. And the non-dud “dud” demos just how steady Adam is with a gun. Any gun. In this case, a Ruger that’s wikkid pissa—in theory. I mean, who wouldn’t want an Ruger SP101 chambered in .22LR to go with their higher-powered Ruger SP101? In practice . . .

the [most excellent] sights are specific to the SP101 .22LR. So if you train up on the SP101 .22LR you’ll still have to reacquaint yourself with the other SP101s’ sights later. Or before. Setting aside the price of entry, this is not the cheap-to-fire SP101 training gun you’re looking for.

In single-action mode, the SP101 .22LR’s trigger has more creep than Michael Jackson’s Thriller. In double-action, the Ruger’s trigger pull is heavier than Jean Paul Sartre’s Being and Nothigness. That’s a rimfire reality, but there it is. Stacking? There are Amazon warehouses that stack less than the Ruger SP101 .22LR’s go pedal.

Get thee to a smithery! A little polishing and this bad boy would be good-to-go. Which is odd. Ruger SP101 triggers are usually perfect right out of the box; the SP101′s been around since George Bush banned imported modern home defense sporting target COD rifles.

To be fair, it’s early days for this SP101 .22LR. I’ve put just 50 rounds through the piece. Our T&E model looks to be number 3012 down the line. As I said in the video, who’s counting? A .22LR revolver is a good thing, not a bad thing. And this one feels as good in the hand as INSERT SEXUAL METAPHOR HERE.

Facebook gun porn up soon, full review next week.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

16 Responses to Gun Preview: Ruger SP101 .22LR Double-Action Revolver

  1. avatarMartin Albright says:

    Showing my age here – but back in the early 80′s when I had my first job carrying a gun (working security at the Johns-Manville world HQ) the low-buck alternative to Colt and S&W was the Ruger Security Six. One of the unique features touted on the Ruger was that the trigger group – in its entirety – was removable and could be taken out, tweaked by a gunsmith and then put back in without disturbing the rest of the gun.

    At least I think that’s how it was. I started with a Colt (Trooper MkIII) and then when that was stolen from my car, moved to a Smith and Wesson Model 19 (which I still have.) Back then I was (apparently) too much of a gun snob to carry a plebian Ruger.

    Do the SP and GP series pisols continue with this feature? Reason I ask is if they do, then someone could sell an aftermarket trigger group with as smooth a pull as the shooter wanted.

    I’m hoping this Ruger is a big success just because I’d like to see more DA .22′s out there that aren’t priced in the Grey Poupon range.

    • avatarI_Like_Pie says:

      Yes they do….the SP and GP are children of the “six” line.

      The only real difference is that the current line has a stud for mounting various grips….the old have S&W style grips that are part of the frame. Other than that they are almost part for part the same design.

      The catch is that the sub assembly is still matched to the gun via tight fitting and they can not be interchanged like one from a 10/22

      They are very, very well designed guns.

  2. avatarDave J says:

    Nice Ruger and I bet it would be handy chambered in the 327 Fed. offering. It worries me a bit to watch an “instructor” not know how many rounds he has just loaded and fired down range.

    • avatarHSR47 says:

      Speaking as an instructor, it takes some time to get used to a gun. Depending on what you’re already familiar with the learning curve with a new (to you) firearm will vary.

      Honestly though, above all else, it’s likely a combination of unfamiliarity with revolvers, and the fact that the cameraman implied multiple times that he had 10 rounds in the cylinder.

  3. avatarAharon says:

    I spoke with Ruger tech support yesterday and they still do not have the ‘specs’ to quote on the new Ruger SP101 22LR. Gunblast weighed the DA trigger pull at 11lbs 4 ounces yet my guess is that Ruger sent him one with a DA trigger pull at the lower end of the spectrum for his review. Lead Slinger also weighed the new SP101 22LR DA trigger pull at 11lbs 4.5 ounces. Ruger’s regular center fire DA SP101 .357 has a trigger pull that can range from 8 to 14 lbs per Ruger tech support. I’m not a gun expert or veteran yet I’ve been informed that rimfire revolvers generally require a heavier trigger pull so the striking hammer will have enough force to ignite the cartridge.

    Apparently there are after-market lighter trigger pulls available yet they may or not be strong enough to create the hammer force required to fire the cartridge if it is too light. Note: I am not an expert so I am not sure if I am communicating this information correctly.

    • avatarRobert Farago says:

      A rimfire thing for sure (added to the text) but smoothness is key. And this isn’t the smoothest trigger in the world. Not by a long shot. Not yet. Dry firing now.

      • avatarAharon says:

        I’ve dry fired my SP101 357 quite a bit (Ruger said it is fine to do that and they recommend it). It has gotten easier to pull the trigger. I’m told that the weight of the trigger pull is not what changes over time rather the trigger gets smoother to pull? Is that correct? If so then will the SP101 22LR trigger get smoother to pull the more it is used? One thing definitely holding me back from buying the SP101 22LR is that I never like to buy a gun for at least one or two years until the maker gets the bugs worked out.

      • avatarI_Like_Pie says:

        There are some very easy things you can do to make it as good as any S&W. pm me and I can give you the info.

        • avatarRichard Colo says:

          Just purchased gun for training for my wife. Having parts polished and getting set of Wolf replacement springs. 10lb for the hammer and 8 lb for the trigger. Is there anything else I can do? thanks, Rich

  4. avatarRalph says:

    And this one feels as good in the hand as INSERT SEXUAL METAPHOR HERE.

    As one in the bush.

    I’m sure Ben Franklin would agree.

  5. avatarChris Dumm says:

    That’s a lot of money for a pistol whose main virtue is cheap ammo. Last I checked (about a year ago) I could buy an SP-101 in .357 Magnum for about $450. But there aren’t many options for .22 revolvers, so you can spend what Ruger or Smith & Wesson charge, or you can take your chances with a Taurus.

    • avatarCharles says:

      If Ruger offers one in .22 Mag it would be a great home defense option for the recoil sensitive. I would buy one for my wife. Better even if they offered the cylinders separately like they do with the Single Six convertible.

      • avatarAharon says:

        Two professional gun reviewers (one of whom is tight with Ruger) have commented that they’ve heard rumors Ruger might offer a SP101 in .22 mag in the future.

  6. avatarsupton says:

    Hmm, they used to sell SP101 in 22lr, a 6 rounder. AFAIK they dropped it, probably due to lack of sales. So, if you like this one, make sure to buy w/in a couple of years–otherwise, you might have to buy used.

    Interesting though. I just like the LCR trigger so much better though… I have a 357 SP101, it’s great; but man, I’m spoiled by the LCR… Maybe I *do* need the 22lr version, if just to shoot the bigger brother better. [Yeah, I know: more dry fire practice. My eye's aren't getting better with age though.]

  7. avatarCaligula says:

    I hope they work on a smoother trigger. I have a 10 year-old daughter who is interested in shooting. I don’t think she’s ready for my 9mm’s, 40′s, or my S&W .38 Body Guard just yet.

  8. avatarM Hans says:

    Unfortunate that they didn’t include a 22 mag cylinder.

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