Ruger Introduces New SP101 .22LR Revolver

Ruger’s rock and rolling with this new addition to their nail driving (as in actually driving nails) SP101: the .22LR revolver. I’m not quite sure why the new Ruger msrp’s at $675 when the SP101 in all the other calibers clock-in at $629. My money’s on the fancy schmancy engraved and checkered walnut grips and the non-SP101 standard sights. Or not, as I’m extremely happy with my Gemini Customs modified SP101 in .38/.357. Still, that wasn’t cheap. And for those who want to shoot less expensive .22LR ammo, or prefer a revolver without so much recoil (this should kick like a slightly peeved gnat), the new 30-ounce wheelgun should git ‘er done. Oh, and you get eight bites at the cherry.

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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.

37 Responses to Ruger Introduces New SP101 .22LR Revolver

  1. avatarCharles says:

    ” I’m not quite sure why it msrp’s at $675 when all the other calibers clock-in at $629.”

    My guess would be the extra machining for the 8 round capacity.

    • avatarRobert Farago says:

      Yes well there is that.

      • avatarI_Like_Pie says:

        As well as the adjustable rear sight
        As well as the dovetailed front sight

        Just as an FYI….this is a RE-Introduction. Ruger has made a .22lr SP101 in the past. I have 3 of them in my collection. 2″, 4″, and 4″ half shroud.

        • avatarPete says:

          That would be my guess, too – adjustable rear sight and fiber optic front sight. Which, for those of us with 60+ year old eyes, are a really nice touch.

  2. avatarLeo Atrox says:

    They should come with the recoil absorbing Hogue grips for that price. Justifies the price, and helps to tame that massive mule kick.

  3. avatarMthughes says:

    Would Be cool it it had 22 mag as well

  4. avatarMike OFWG says:

    Do you honestly think the frame will hold up to the pounding?

  5. avatarMike OFWG says:

    I mean, I could see it in the LCR.

  6. avatarGuywithagun says:

    Dear Ruger,

    AAARRRGGGHHH!!! Damn you Ruger! You are so frustrating! First, I am teased by the “inadvertant” magazine article release of this gun. Then the story is retracted. Then I beg and plead with you in a suggestion to bring it back. Then yesterday (litterally) you respond telling me that this model is not being produced. Then, this morning, I see the email introducing the new SP101 in 22lr and I’m about to explode in joy. Finally, I see what it looks like and… AAAAARRRGGGHHH!!!

    This should be an affordable training tool for the centerfire caliber SP101 counterparts. It should look, feel, and function exactly like its bigger brothers. There’s no fancy schmancy sights on the .357 so we don’t need ‘em on the .22lr. People who own a .357 and can’t afford to shoot that ammo all the time can afford to also buy an SP101 in .22lr and shoot all day. The SP101 .357 is the most beautiful compact DA revolver out there. The .22 should look exactly like it: same sights, same barrel lengths, game grips, same everything (except caliber/capacity of course), and for God’s sake, LESS expensive!. This is not it. I feel like I just got off a roller coaster after eating 5 pounds of chili and now I’m wearing most of it… and it stinks… and my throat burns… AAARRRGGGHHH!!!!

    Okay, I’m sorry for yelling. I still love you, Ruger. I don’t expect you to fix it (hint, hint) but I just don’t think I will own this. Good luck with this one and maybe someday we’ll see eye to eye again (sob, sob).

    Sincerely disappointed,

    Guywithagun

    • avatarGuywithagun says:

      P.S. – When we asked for this gun, this is what were were looking for in an SP101 22lr:

      http://forum.gon.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=353287&stc=1&d=1249475198

      Yes, that is your .22lr SP101. 3″ or 4″ barrels please. Please bring that one back and call this new one a “target” model or something. Ugh, better yet, just make it go away.

    • avatarI_Like_Pie says:

      Um….they did make exactly that.
      For exactly that reason.
      For several years.

      ….and nobody bought them.
      I’ll sell you one if you are willing to part with some change.
      would be willing to trade you one of them for the gun above simply because it is a better setup.

      • avatarGuywithagun says:

        They didn’t make them during a time when ammo was as freakin expensive. To make it now would be a whole new ball game and they would sell. At least give us the option. They should make both. The new one is just not the same. Now it’s just a plinker and not a training tool for the centerfire versions.

        Thanks for the sale/trade offer but I like to buy my guns brand new, unfired, and unmolested. I’d order straight from Ruger the day it comes out. Maybe if I hold my breath…

        • avatarI_Like_Pie says:

          It’s not gonna happen. Ruger won’t make them again

          fyi….100,000 rounds and that gun is no worse for wear. But you are assuming that I am not a ruger collector and they aren’t new in box. (I am and they are. Turned down the 2″ for $700 earlier this year)

        • avatarGuywithagun says:

          I have no doubt the gun will last forever. That’s why I want one. But it has to one I can live with.

          Are you saying that both your 4″ and 2″ have never been fired? $700 for the 2″? The 4″ would be more I take it? Ouch, too much.

          And if Ruger didn’t sell them, why do you have so many?

        • avatarI_Like_Pie says:

          2″ is actually a bit more scarce.

          Ruger collecting is a strange addiction.
          rugerforum.com has some folks with guns that rival museum collections.

        • avatarGuywithagun says:

          What are you asking for the 4″ ? Is it new in box & unfired?

  7. avatarmartin albright says:

    I’ve often wondered why the prices for .22 DA revolvers were always so outrageous compared to the prices for .22 semi autos. I think the S&W M17 starts in the mid-700′s if you can find one at all. My only guess is that they’re made in such low numbers that they need to overprice them in order to break even, and more’s the pity.

    As for the .22lr version of the Colt Python (I think it was called the “Diamondback?”), those are like yachts: If you have to ask how much it costs, you can’t afford it.

    As to the “why?” question, I can tell you a .22 DA revolver is just tons of plinking fun. My Taurus M94 won’t win any beauty constests but it’s probably the most fun-for-the-buck handgun I’ve got. It’s also a lot easier on your thumbs than endlessly reloading a semi-auto’s magazine.

    • avatarArms Dealer says:

      “My only guess is that they’re made in such low numbers that they need to overprice them in order to break even…”

      Bingo.

    • avatarPete says:

      Also the more complicated machining on a revolver – take a look at the cuts in and around the cylinder opening, the pivot point for the cylinder crane, etc.

      If you really want to see a work of art by machinists (circa 1880), take a look at a Merwin-Hulbert “twist-break” revolver. CURVED keyhole cuts, on an old (non-computerized) lathe. Some guy is trying to replicate them today (hasn’t got the sales going yet, but try “modern Merwin-Hulbert” in Google) and the estimate on price is around $1500.

      Wouldn’t sell my old S&W K-frame .22LR revolver (blued 8″ bbl) for twice that.

  8. avatarJohn says:

    I’ve got S&W mdl. 18 that I’ve never been happy with, accuracy-wise. Maybe I should ditch it and go with this.

  9. The original SP101 .22 was a 6-shooter. This new model is an 8-shot.

    That means a new cylinder and new lockwork to make that cylinder turn with the proper timing. Hence the price increase.

  10. avatarDan M says:

    I cant wait for this to become mass legal. I have wanted a cheep alternative to shooting my gp100 for a while and this looks to be the perfect alternative. Please Ruger get this gun on the list quick, I want one.

  11. avatarRecoveringAtheist says:

    Been waiting for a major company to make a quality .22 SA/DA revolver (one that does not have a rediculous hole in its side…). I will be getting one of these.

  12. avatarSilverWings says:

    The $675 MSRP still positions the street-price (for now) still too high (for me) regardless of the good insights about manufacturing costs and features stated in prior comments. I did find a price on the Internet asking $550 for this model. I’m not paying more for this than I paid recently ($480) for my SP101 .357 3″ barrel. I do want a .22 DA/SA revolver yet would prefer that it be made with a 5″ or 5.5″ barrel.

    Dear Ruger,
    For now, I will continue to use my SP101 .357 as my camping and hiking go-to handgun. For hunting rabbit, I’m going to buy a nice high-quality slingshot.

  13. avatarDean Weingarten says:

    I would like to see them come out with an LCR in .22 double/single action, with a six inch barrel, weighing about a 16 ounces. That would be a very nice camp/outdoor carry gun.

    Maybe the double action is so good that single action would not be necessary.

  14. avatarOak says:

    I love this gun. IT is absolutely perfect. I hate the SP101 standard black grips with those ugly lines and these rubber ones with the walnut grips are awesome. They will match my GP100. I love the fiber optic sight with my old eyes. I don’t shoot my single six because it is too hard to see the sights, but this will be a treat. I love the fact that the sight is adjustable, too. I love the fact that it is an 8-shot as well. One of the only thing that would make it better would be a 5″ barrel. It would also be nice if a metal front sight came with it as well. Perhaps the ballistics were tested and there isn’t much difference between a 4″ and a 5″ barrel and the 4 is more handy. Did I say I love it? It will be an heirloom. I hope to eventually get one for each of my children and put it away unfired next to their Ruger 10/22s that I have. Ruger should offer a quantity discount for this exact purpose. Lastly, I will get each one of them a Ruger GP100. Everyone that is responsible should have these three staples. Ruger, keep producing these until I get 4 of them, 3 for my kids and one for now. And, please make a 5″ barrel one just for me. And while you are at it, please make the 3″ stainless speed sixes, again. And, if I get wealthy I can pick up SR1911s for all of the family. Seriously, though, keep these beautiful 22s out for a while.

    • avatarMALTHUS says:

      I have a similar strategy.

      I would like to buy the .22 RF, strip off the rear sight and have a machinist install it in my 3″ .357 SP101. Then I will send the .22 back to Ruger and ask them to replace the missing sight. This will give me a superb .357 trail gun and a .22 understudy that can be used for cheap plinking or to train a new shooter (I have three daughters, the oldest of whom is in 1st grade).

      The SP101, which is my EDC gun, will be replaced with an LCR. This gives me a useful trio of revolvers that have almost identical operational features.

      If I were a diehard wheelgunner, I would add a GP100 as a nightstand gun, but I prefer to acquire a SR1911 because it gives me ready access to the collection of 1911 magazines my wife already uses in her Springfield Armory pistol.

      This reintroduced Ruger opens up new vistas to the confirmed revolver man and Ruger is to be congratulated for offering it in this configuration.

  15. avatarYukonJack says:

    I picked mine up today. The dealer got them in last night. Sweet little pistol. I think it’s the right size with the 4″ barrel. I paid $499.00 plus tax.

  16. avatarChristopher says:

    The devalued dollar/inflation has likely contributed to the increased cost. Also, there is a demand for such a revolver and they know they can sell it at that price.

  17. avatarYukonJack says:

    Took it out to the range today and put 200 rounds through it. I like it. Fun gun to shoot.

  18. avatarOldDood says:

    I wish they made this in a Snub-Nose as well.
    At LEAST the 3″ version.

    WHY? Because many people that are older cannot handle the heavier recoil of a .357/ .38 Special any more.
    Many ladies would appreciate a true .22 caliber revolver for Self Defense for the same reasons of recoil.
    Granted, it is NOT the best for Self Defense but, a .22 caliber is better then nothing.
    And if they also made this to handle .22 magnum rounds then all the better.

    I have the .357 SP101 in the 2″ and I have the .357 LCR.
    I enjoy both of those for self defense and just target shooting.
    I added the XS Tritium Sights to both my SP101 and my LCR so I can train with the ‘same sights’.

    This 4″ SP101 .22 caliber will sell well but it still would be nice if they also added shorter barrels later on.
    As others have stated the price of ammo has gone up quite a bit.
    People would be more willing to own one of these now.
    However, a 4″ barrel is a tad too long for conceal carry.
    You could conceal it but, it is more difficult.

    I know I shoot my Ruger Single Six Convertible quite a lot just because it is cheaper to shoot.
    This new Ruger SP101 .22LR would be just as fun.

    Ruger…just make some with shorter barrels….Please!

  19. avatarLost Lake Dave says:

    Just bought one online (gunbroker.com). It came in Wednesday and I couldn’t stop hyperventilating until Friday. The manual said you could dry fire it, but I’m always cautious with a rimfire, and with a new model there could always be a printing error in the manual, so I called Ruger. They said dry firing is not only OK, they actually encourage it! That got me squealing on top of the hyperventilation. I’m breaking this little revolver in while watching the evening news. (Not CNN, of course. I might load it and lose a TV.)

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