Old/New from Ruger: Ruger SP101 in 9mm

“A moon clip is a ring-shaped or star-shaped piece of metal designed to hold multiple cartridges together as a unit,” wikipedia.org reminds us, “for simultaneous insertion and extraction from a revolver cylinder.” If you’re shooting rimless ammo in a revolver, you gotta shoot for the moon. I mean with the moon. True that when you’re shooting the mooncliptastic SP101 in 9mm. The latest version of Ruger’s built-like-a-brick-sh*thouse wheelgun joins its ballistic brethren chambered in. . .

Ruger SP101 in 9mm

.327 Federal Magnum, .357 Magnum, .38 Special and .22 LR. The new moon unit (props to Frank Zappa) ships with three full moon clips that “act as both a speed loader for the 9mm rounds and aid in the ejection of the spent cartridges.” You got that right.

Actually, the 9mm SP101 re-joins its differently chambered siblings. Why did Ruger bring the five-shot 9mm SP101 back from the dead? I’m sure the fact that they made the announcement on Halloween had nothing to do with it. But what did?

Grips: Black Rubber, Black Synthetic
Front Sight: Black Ramp
Barrel Length: 2.25″
Material: Stainless Steel
Capacity: 5
Rear Sigh: tIntegral
Twist: 1:16″ RH
Finish: Satin Stainless
Overall Length: 7.20″
Weight: 25 oz.
Grooves: 5
CA Approved: No
MA Approved & Certified: No
Suggested Retail: $719.00

comments

  1. avatar Dr. Michael S. Brown says:

    1. The market is moving toward 9 mm. People who wish to add a revolver to their collection may not want to add another caliber to their ammo supply.

    2. There are a lot more ammo loadings available in 9mm than there are in .38/.357.

    1. avatar Shotgun Sam says:

      Gee Doc, at least let me post my snarky comments BEFORE you politely set me straight.

    2. avatar RandallOfLegend says:

      Hopefully the SP101 has enough mass to prevent bullet pulling that happens with some lighter weight 45ACP and 9mm revolvers.

      1. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

        SP101 is a compact revolver, but it is not lightweight.

      2. avatar TruthTellers says:

        I think it is heavy enough to limit crimp jump for the 9mm. Even if it isn’t 100%, it’s still far better than the LCR which seems to always do it on the last round.

    3. avatar Art out West says:

      There are plenty of great loadings in 38/.357.
      The primary advantage of 9mm is cheaper ammo.

      1. avatar Lost Down South says:

        Plenty of ammo…AND! I already own 9mm. No need for a new ammo family. This might be my first wheel gun. Need to check weight. It’s also kinda pricey.

    4. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

      Having a 9mm is like wearing only 3 pieces of flair.

    5. avatar Hank says:

      9mm is cheaper and hotter than .38 spl +P especially if you use 9mm +P which almost replicates .357 without the harsh recoil of a full tilt magnum.

      1. avatar TexTed says:

        This is true when talking about a 2″-barrel snubby. You get similar ballistic performance, at greatly reduced recoil. The .357 explodes more ferociously but wastes its energy by shooting flames and noise out the barrel.

        However, once you get to a 3″ barrel revolver, the .357 holds a substantial advantage in velocity. At a 4″ barrel the comparison becomes a joke, the .357 is vastly more powerful. And out of an 18″ barrel the .357 will be so much more powerful that the joke isn’t even funny anymore.

        So yes, your comparison holds up in a 2″ barrel, and it’s the main reason why .357 snubbies are one of the most foolish carry choices. Beyond 3″, the .357 holds a huge advantage.

    6. avatar WI Patriot says:

      “2. There are a lot more ammo loadings available in 9mm than there are in .38/.357.”

      ROFLMFAO…

  2. avatar JJ says:

    Darn I have one from the original run…this is going to hurt my resell value….lol

  3. avatar former water walker says:

    Personally I don’t “get” 9mm out of a 2.25″ barrel-other than $. 3 or 4″ yeah. But choice is good…

    1. avatar R says:

      9mm out of a 2.25″ revolver should have roughly similar velocities to a 3.5″ semi-auto, due to the chamber being part of the latter’s stated length.

      1. avatar TexTed says:

        Exactly correct. So a 9mm in a 2″ barrel revolver is roughly ballistically equivalent to something like a Glock 26.

  4. avatar Bob says:

    I don’t care what they load in the SP101, that girl is a dang tank!
    I daily a 101 in 357. I’ve filled it with water, metal shavings, grinding dust, saw dust, mud, dirt, sand, sweat, paint, etc…
    Give it a ban with some carb cleaner or in the sink with dawn dish washing liquid, dry, lube, run.
    Eats 158gr XTP’s sitting on a mountain of H110 all day.

    Tank.

    I would buy a 9mm version as a backup in case my other 9mm tools fail and there’s still ammo around.

    1. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

      I posit that you can get about the same velocity with VV N105 but with a lot less flash. According to QL they have a 55% and 79% burns respectively. For me, even N105 is too slow for that gun. VV N350 gives up only a little velocity but burns 93% of the powder before it exits.

      1. avatar Bob says:

        True, I should of mentioned that load isn’t specifically for this revolver. I have an HP-38 loading but its a little too spiky for my liking. The Coonan and Colt like the 110 loads but maybe I will work up some 105 loads just for the 101 since it seems to be a veteran now and not going anywhere.

  5. avatar Gregolas says:

    Dear Ruger,
    Put a 3-inch barrel on it and you’ve got a SALE !
    Respectfully, but in a Hurry,
    Me

  6. avatar OldProfJoe says:

    Why? Because they can and might attract a few more customers. Also, now they have an answer to complaints about bullets jumping their crimp in the LCR. Personally, I prefer the .357 magnum. That’s the cartridge around which the current SP was designed. (Yes, I know it was originally released in 38.). If I were to add another caliber, it would be .327 Federal. As for the moon clips, I’ve never used them, but I’ve read that they bend easily. Don’t know if that’s true. And finally, I wish Ruger would bring back the ring hammer option on the SP.

    1. avatar Snatchums says:

      A 6-shot SP101 in .327 Federal has my interest. I’ve never shot that cartridge before, anyone want to talk shit about it for a minute and convince me not to?

      1. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

        I got one for my wife. It may be the favorite gun I ever bought. It is very good for small hands and the recoil sensitive too. It’ll send the 50gr Lehighs to 2025fps with no over-pressure signs and very manageable recoil.

        1. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

          Oh and 100gr GDs (not available anymore) to 1500fps and they expanded beautifully in clear gel and stop at about 14″-15″.

        2. avatar Snatchums says:

          Do the claims that it nearly matches .357 magnum power levels hold water?

        3. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

          First I should have noted the my wife’s SP101 has the 4.2″ barrel. I doubt that they are as terminally effective as the .357 can be but energy wise my two loads carry 455ft-lbs and 500ft-lbs respectively. Not quite as much as is possible a .357 with the same barrel length. I chose it because I thought it was close to .357 mag, had six instead of five shots, and, even maxed out, had easily controlled recoil.

      2. avatar Peter Wolf says:

        I bought the LRC in .327 to teach girls to shoot have and love it. About as much recoil as .38 special in ..327 and they can practice with .32 wad cutters that have almost no recoil. From the 2″ barrel I would bet it has more stopping than a .38. And anyone that doesn’t shoot much can throw it in a bag and it will still come up shooting.

  7. avatar Hoodlum says:

    No thanks. I’ll stick to mine that’s chambered in 357.

  8. avatar Ogre says:

    Nobody has mentioned that Charter Arms also markets a 9mm revolver – their 5-shot Pitbull rimless revolver in stainless at 22 oz. with a 2.5″ barrel and NO need for moon clips, and $200 cheaper. Some would criticize CA’s quality compared to a Ruger, but I’d dispute that. I have three CA revolvers (including a .45 ACP Pitbull) that work properly, are tight and (once I had action jobs done to smooth the trigger pull) accurate at self-defense distances. I compared them against my S&W Airweight and could find no real differences in quality or function. The only difference I note is that the S&W loads faster with a five-shot charger, whereas each round must be loaded into the Pitbull individually, or with a loading strip, and the cartridges require a little extra shove to fully seat them in their chambers because of the unique spring clip ejection device.

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      You can dispute it, but their reputation is pretty solid in “mediocre” category.

      Too many Bulldogs and Undercovers with missing thumb latches and peened recoil shields.

      Rather have a Charter than an RG or Rock Island but i’ll take a Ruger or even a Smith with the safety hole over a Charter any day.

  9. avatar michael says:

    a solution looking for a problem.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      That’s about my take on it as well.

      1. avatar R says:

        Better ballistics than .38(+P) without the recoil and skull-splitting blast of .357 in a small gun. Cheaper, more plentiful ammo that can be shared with your auto pistols. I don’t like the idea of having to use moonclips, but that’s my only problem with the concept as usually implemented. Personally, I wish they’d offer one in .40.

        1. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

          S&W 610 should do that, but would not be as compact.

        2. avatar Hinshelworld says:

          “Personally I wish they’d offer one in 10mm.”

          Fixed that for you

        3. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          You can down-load a .357 too. Not all loads need to be hotter than the max in the book.

          The whole idea of moon clips in a self-defense revolver… just no. There’s a reason why revolvers should be fed ammo with a rimmed case head, and there’s a damn good reason why the ammo being fed into a revolver should have a roll crimp.

          As for a revolver in 10mm auto? There’s already a round made for a revolver that inspired the 10mm auto: The .41 Magnum. The .41 was here first, and Ruger already makes a revolver for it, called the Redhawk .41 Magnum Backpacker. 2.75″ barrel, lots of muzzle bloom, there ya go, got your 10mm ballistics for you already.

          S&W could ship a L-frame, five-shot .41. The problem for the .41 came with S&W put out their first revolver for the .41 in a N-frame. A N-frame is a large chunk o’ steel to be packing around all day, and people got tired of it quickly – the same way they got tired of hauling around a Model 29 in .44.

    2. avatar mohammed jihad says:

      some people like carburetors in their cars too.

  10. avatar Fredgibson says:

    Still it is what it is. And well overpriced !!!

  11. avatar gunr says:

    I have an SLRX. It’s my EDC piece. The 15 oz. weight is something to be reckoned with when shooting +P, but it’s not too severe. I love the three inch barrel and the adjustable sights.

    I can definitely see the cost advantage with the nine, but you would need to do a bit of shooting to recover he cost of the gun.

  12. avatar Peter Wolf says:

    I have a 9mm Speed Six with a 3″ barrel and love it. You can carry two moon clips in a leather speed loader pouch, one on top of the other – that’s 24 rounds in two speed loader pouches plus six in the gun. How fast can you reload? Watch Jerry do it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FbUMqoyjDw&t=241s

  13. avatar Creth Haas says:

    We’ll I’m pretty New to the gun game and I really like the 9mm round I’ve purchased a couple of other Gun’s in different rounds sold them real fast didn’t like for several reasons. I’m sticking with 22 Long rifle and 22 magnum and my trusty 9mm. Cost a big reason and volume of ammo on hand reasons. I really wished there where more rifles in 9mm and carbines. With that being said I’ve always learned keep things simple and having 4 or 5 different kinds of ammo laying is just to cunfsing to me. When I can buy bulk 9mm ammo or 22 in bulk at a good price I buy it. I’m in the process of purchasing another hand gun in 9mm and while shopping I was looking at several rifles and just not to many choices in 9 mm, so I changed my mind and am buying another 9mm hand gun.

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