Ruger Reintroduces The SP-101 In 9mm

The Ruger SP-101 in 9mm Luger (or Parabellum) had become something of a cult favorite with prices to match. Possible reasons for this may have been it was discontinued in 1998 with limited numbers on the market or because 9×19 ammo tends to be cheaper than either .38 Special or .357 Magnum ammo. It was originally available in both the 2.25″ and 3″ barrels and used moon clips to hold the non-rimmed ammo.

This week Ruger answered the prayers of those that wanted a SP-101 in 9mm but didn’t want to pay twice the price of a .38 or .357 Mag model. They have reintroduced the SP-101 in 9mm with a 2.25″ barrel.  MSRP on the reintroduced model is $719 but I’m sure the street price will be significantly lower. Checking, I see them being sold for as low as $519 plus shipping.

SP-101 in 9mm 

Here are the specs on the reintroduced model:

  • GripsBlack Rubber, Black Synthetic
  • Front SightBlack Ramp
  • Barrel Length2.25″
  • MaterialStainless Steel


  • Capacity5
  • Rear SightIntegral
  • Twist1:16″ RH
  • FinishSatin Stainless


  • Overall Length7.20″
  • Weight25 oz.
  • Grooves5
  • CA ApprovedNo
  • MA Approved & CertifiedNo
  • Suggested Retail$719.00

I have a 3″ SP101 in .357 Magnum that I bought used a few years ago. With .38 Special wadcutters, it is the ideal gun to introduce new shooters to a center-fire handgun. The weight of the revolver makes it a very soft shooting handgun.

The new or reintroduced SP101 will definitely go on my “have to check it out” list.

Ruger Announces New SP101 With 4.2″ Barrel

Last Friday I picked up a used Ruger SP101 .357 revolver with a 3 inch barrel. The 2.25 inch barrel version is easily found but finding a used 3 inch SP101 is not so easy. So what does Ruger do today but announce that they are coming out with a 4.2 inch version of the SP101 with much better sights.

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE: RGR) is pleased to announce a new Ruger® SP101® five-shot revolver chambered in the venerable .357 Magnum cartridge and featuring a 4.2″ barrel with improved sights.

“The SP101 has been an extremely popular small frame revolver since its inception in 1988, but it has always featured a short barrel and minimal sights,” said Chris Killoy, Ruger Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “This new version is a quality .357 Magnum small frame revolver with a longer, full shroud barrel and improved sights that offers the shooter a better sight picture, longer sight radius, and additional weight to better control recoil. I am confident enthusiasts will find that this 4.2″ .357 Magnum is a great all around centerfire revolver that remains true to classic SP101 styling,” he concluded.

The newest Ruger SP101 is constructed of weather-resistant stainless steel with a satin finish, and wears checkered and engraved walnut grip panels inset in the one-piece rubber grip. The 29.5-ounce double/single-action revolver features a fully adjustable square notch blade rear sight and green HiViz® front sight. The 4.2″ barrel features a full shroud covering the ejector rod.

Comparing this model with the Wiley Clapp-designed Talo exclusive GP-100, the similarities are evident. Both have similar wood-checkered inserts in the rubber grips, both have the green fiber optic front sight, and both have an adjustable rear sight. They differ on barrel length and, of course, on frame size. I would guess the sales of the Wiley Clapp GP-100 must have caught the attention of Ruger and led them to consider this new model of the SP101.

Ruger SP101 As A Newbie Handgun

The Truth About Guns blog has a review today of the Ruger SP101 3″ .357 Magnum. They are looking for a revolver that can be concealed that would be ideal for the new shooter.

As the Complementary Spouse and I were thinking of this same revolver as her “first” gun, I found this review very helpful. I really can’t find anything that I really disagree with in the review. While a semi-auto may in fact be the better beginner gun, Robert makes some good points about why a revolver instead of a semi-auto pistol.

There’s too much that can go wrong: loading the magazine, loading the magazine into the gun, racking the slide, remembering to rack the slide, remembering if you’ve racked the slide, remembering to deactivate a safety (where applicable), knowing when the gun is empty and knowing how to release the magazine.

And knowing how to clear the chamber, remembering to clear the chamber, keeping track of the muzzle while you reload a new magazine, remembering to reactivate the safety (where applicable), etc. Not to mention limp wristing.

The one thing I’d add to this list is that some women have a hard time racking the slide.

Now if Ruger would just do something about the rear sights… You can get rear sights installed as part of the Perfected SP101 package from revolver-smith Hamiltion Bowen. It will cost you $495 which is about what you’d pay, give or take, for the SP101.