Ruger SP101 Review and Price

A Comprehensive Guide

Ruger SP101 Review and Price1

Technical Data

Ruger SP101 Review

Specification Comparison and Reviews

The Ruger SP101 is an excellent, small-frame revolver that has been around for decades. In this Ruger SP101 review guide, we’ve done all the research for you so that you can make an informed decision on whether or not this is a gun that will fit your needs and budget. Read our article below to learn more about what makes this pistol stand out from others, as well as its pros & cons compared to other models in its class.

Table of Contents

The Ruger SP101 has been a sturdy and reliable revolver around since 1989 by Sturm, Ruger & Co. The American Company; Sturm, Ruger & Co. is one of the most trusted in the firearms industry. They have a history of providing the highest quality weapons built to last. It is an optimum choice for anyone who needs a reliable handgun that’s also affordably priced. This gun has many features designed to make it easy to use and even easier to clean up. The exterior of this revolver is stainless steel. It’s one of the most popular revolvers on the market, and it has some great features that make it desirable for anyone looking for a high-quality yet affordable handgun. For more than 30 years, this gun has had a reputation as a well-built revolver that’s great for personal defense, competitive shooting, or hunting.


The SP101 is a double-action/single-action revolver available in .357 Magnum, .38 Special, 9mm Luger, and .22 LR. The Ruger SP101 comes in various barrel lengths, from 2 ½” to 6″, with a 7/8″ length cut-off exposing the rimfire cartridge. This gun is small enough to tuck away in your boot or tuck under your seat, but it’s also powerful enough to be used for hunting. Between the frame and the cylinder is the iconic “Ruger Redhawk” operating system with a coil spring in the center of the frame to position each cartridge when they cycle properly. The SP101 operates with a traditional break action. It is considered a true “survivor” in its class because it doesn’t have a lot of unnecessary bells & whistles that need regular repairs from recoil shock damage over time.


Customers who’ve purchased this gun say its well-built and sturdy design makes it an affordable version of the more expensive Ruger GP100 revolver. This is not a lightweight gun by any means, but it has a short barrel length that makes it easy to handle. Overall, customers are extremely pleased with the Ruger SP101 for its durability and reliability. This handgun is highly recommended for anyone looking for a well-built revolver at an affordable price. Even though this gun doesn’t have as many customizable options as some other models, we think that you’ll be very pleased with this revolver. We will further look at its features in detail.

Ruger SP101 Price

The Ruger SP101 is one of the most affordable revolvers on the market, making it an attractive choice for anyone who needs a reasonably priced handgun. It’s also available in multiple calibers, including .357 Magnum, .38 Special, and 9mm Luger. The price of a new Ruger SP101 will vary depending on the model and accessories you choose. The average price for this gun is about $525. You can purchase models from some retailers for as low as $449 or as high as $849, which is a pretty big price range. You can also purchase this gun from some retailers as part of a package deal that includes various accessories, such as a holster and scope. Prices will vary depending on the retailer you purchase it from and whether or not you choose any additional accessories.

Features of Ruger SP101

Although the Ruger SP101 isn’t as customizable as other revolvers, it still has awesome features. We will further look at some of the features of this gun.

Grip and Textures

The Ruger SP101 has a stainless steel frame and cylinder that resists corrosion from harsh weather conditions. Its stainless steel finish looks great even after extended use. A new Ruger SP101 will have a mirror finish on any metal parts, making it easy to spot fingerprints. The Ruger SP101 is small, but it has a solid build and sturdy design that makes it perfect for concealed carry or as a backup gun. The grip and the textured grips on this gun provide you with a secure hold and maximum control over the weapon. Its cushioned rubber grip is lightweight for easy handling, even if you’re wearing gloves or mittens.


The two main grip types are the Hogue rubber monograph with a black synthetic insert or the black laminate wood grip panels with finger grooves for added comfort. Ruger SP101 comes with a comfortable grip to absorb the gun’s recoil. This recoil-reducing grip ensures that you won’t have to worry about being bruised after long shooting sessions or hunting trips. Each weapon also comes with an interchangeable solid grip to ensure optimum performance. A variety of custom grips are also available for this revolver.

Ruger SP101 Review and Price Grip and Textures

Size and Weight

The Ruger SP101 is a small-framed revolver with a barrel length of 2 ½” to 6″. The cylinder can hold 5 or 6 rounds, depending on the caliber you choose. It’s made from high-quality stainless steel and weighs in at 25-30 ounces depending on the barrel length. The standard model has an overall length of 9″ and a height of 5″. The width of the SP101 is 1.49,” which makes it easy to hold and conceal in your purse or under your shirt. It’s easy to carry and stow away in a holster, boot, glove compartment, or under your seat. The 2 ½” barrel length provides you with enough accuracy for close-range shooting, but you can still use it at long distances. This gun is very comfortable to hold when shooting at the range or field due to its lightweight body and textured grip.

Ruger SP101 Review and Price Size and Weight

Stopping Power

The Ruger SP101 is a powerful weapon with enough stopping power for small game hunting. Although the .22 LR caliber doesn’t have as much energy behind it as some other calibers, it can still take down small rodents and squirrels with ease. This gun can also be used for self-defense if needed with its heavyweight and solid build. The Ruger SP101 has impressive stopping power for such a small handgun. There are several calibers you can choose from, so it’s up to you which one will work best for your needs.


The .22 LR cartridge has an average speed of 984 ft./s. It doesn’t have as much power behind it compared to other calibers, but it’s still enough for small game hunting and self-defense needs. It also penetrates deep into the target to cause maximum damage at close range. Some Ruger SP101 models have the 9mm Luger caliber for added stopping power. This cartridge has a muzzle velocity of 1180 ft./s. And more stopping power than the .22 LR. Ruger’s SP101 effective firing range is up to 33-55 yards. However, it’s best to keep your target closer than nine yards at all times. This revolver has a maximum range of 550 yards, so you’ll need to be aware of this when planning your shot.

Safety Features

The Ruger SP101 comes with an internal hammer block system that prevents the gun from firing if it’s dropped. This feature made it a safe option for self-defense and concealed carry, even if you’re not wearing a holster. The gun also comes with a transfer bar that prevents the hammer from hitting the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled. There’s no way to switch off this safety feature, so there’s less chance of an accidental discharge if you drop the gun.

Ruger SP101 Review and Price Safety Features

Trigger Mechanism

The SP101 comes with a crisp, smooth trigger making it a reliable and accurate revolver. It’s also easy to pull, thanks to a solid design. You can choose between two types of triggers: a single-action trigger or a double-action trigger.  It’s best to familiarize yourself with these two mechanisms so you can handle them properly if the gun misfires or jams. The single-action trigger type is easy to use and lets you shoot multiple rounds accurately in quick succession. This is the preferred choice for hunters because it makes it easier to hit your target without wasting pellets. The double-action is harder to use as you have to pull the trigger twice for every shot. However, if your gun jams or misfires, this will be easier as you have two actions with one pull of the trigger. This reduces the risk of damage from a misfire or jam.

Ruger SP101 Review and Price Trigger Mechanism

Recoil and Muzzle Flip

Recoil is the kickback you feel when firing a gun. The Ruger SP101 has impressive recoil mitigation because it’s designed to reduce the effects of felt recoil. This results in less muzzle flip, allowing you to fire accurately and quickly without losing control. The overall design of the gun also reduces muzzle rise while shooting multiple rounds consecutively. This makes the weapon easier to control and aim, especially when you’re shooting rapidly.’ Overall, the Ruger SP101 has superior design features ideal for self-defense, concealed carry, or hunting. It’s well suited to anyone who wants a high-capacity firearm with added safety features.

Ruger SP101 Review and Price Recoil and Muzzle Flip

Advantages of Ruger SP101

Here are 3 reasons why you should consider buying the Ruger SP101 revolver:


The Ruger SP101 is a well-built revolver that can handle everything from small game hunting to home defense; it can take impacts without marking or chipping. It has an outer frame made from steel alloy, which makes it durable but still lightweight at the same time. Many Ruger SP101 models come with a satin stainless finish that will resist scrapes and marks from daily use. The trigger is smooth and well-designed to prevent it from sticking or binding.


The Ruger SP101 has a compact frame. It’s an ideal concealed carry option, especially if you want to keep it in your back pocket or waistband. The revolver is small enough to fit securely in your hand but big enough for you to get a good grip when firing it. The rubber grips are designed for comfort while still providing plenty of control. The .357 Magnum caliber is versatile and powerful, so you can use it for self-defense as well as hunting small game such as rabbits or raccoons.


The Ruger SP101 has a solid design that’s built to last. It can be submerged or dropped in water but won’t rust, warp or leak. This makes it perfect for any tactical situation where your gun may encounter wet conditions such as hunting, fishing, or camping. You’ll also appreciate the adjustable rear sight so you can aim with greater accuracy.

Disadvantages of Ruger SP101

The Ruger SP101 is a great gun but has a few drawbacks to be aware of before you purchase it.

Fixed Sights

If you’re looking for a revolver with adjustable rear sights so you can fine-tune your aim, the Ruger SP101 doesn’t offer this feature. To keep the gun lightweight and compact, Ruger opted to use fixed iron sight, which restricts accuracy compared to other adjustable sight types. While it’s still accurate up to around 30 yards, you won’t be able to make as fine adjustments, and it won’t perform as well at longer ranges.

Small Frame

The Ruger SP101 is a small handgun with a compact frame popular for concealed carry. However, some people find it too small and uncomfortable to shoot, even with smaller 9mm or .22 LR caliber rounds. If you have large hands, this gun may not be a good choice as you won’t fit your entire hand around the handle. Other models on the market with a larger grip will help you get a better hold on the gun for added control and comfort. While this revolver does have a few drawbacks, overall, it provides a durable platform for shooting multiple rounds consecutively with less muzzle rise, even during rapid-fire shooting.

Aftermarket Accessories - Ruger SP101 Review and Price

One of the great things about Ruger revolvers is that there are plenty of aftermarket products available such as new grips, replacement parts, and holsters. If you find the gun too small for your hand or need additional support when firing, you may want to consider some aftermarket accessories:


You can add rubber grips to the handle for comfort and support. Alternatively, you can choose wood grips with a stippled finish, so they provide maximum grip without adding too much weight.


There are several holster options for concealed carry, which you can buy separately, such as shoulder holster, paddle holster, minimalist holster, waistband holster, ankle holster, or back holster options. You’ll also find a wide selection of concealed carry belts that you can use to attach your holster for added stability and comfort when carrying it. These belts come with an adjustable belt clip.


If you want better aim at longer ranges, you can purchase adjustable sights to fine-tune your aim once you’ve mastered the fixed iron sight. There are plenty of sight options available in the market.


You can upgrade the trigger, so it’s easier to pull and use. This reduces the amount of pressure you need to apply, which helps reduce fatigue when shooting for longer periods.

Best Holster for Ruger SP101

The best holster for Ruger SP101 is one that offers durability, comfort and supports your personal preference for concealed carry. When you buy a new gun, it’s wise to invest in quality accessories such as holsters to extend the life of your revolver and make it easier to use. The following holsters are one of the most popular options on the market today for this revolver.

Fobus RU101 Evolution Holster for SP101

This is a lightweight and comfortable option for concealed carry. It’s easy to attach and remove and made from injection-molded polymer plastic, making it incredibly durable. It has an ergonomic design to use the gun quickly with minimal effort each time. A low-profile design also helps keep it hidden even when wearing tighter clothing.

$27.99 $33.99 1 used from $17.41 34 new from $23.09
in stock
Fobus RU101 Evolution Holster for Ruger LCR All models fixed...
Constructed for maximum comfort; Low profile design for concealment; Lightweight compact design; No need to oil, doesn't breath or sweat; Fobus passive retention system acts like a spring on the trigger guard area and holds the gun firmly in place; Fobus
out of stock
FOBUS Ruger LCR & SP101 Right Hand Evolution Belt Holster...
Constructed for maximum comfort; Low profile design for concealment; Lightweight compact design; No need to oil, doesn't breath or sweat; Fobus passive retention system acts like a spring on the trigger guard area and holds the gun firmly in place; Fobus
out of stock
FOBUS Ruger LCR & SP101 Right Hand Evolution Belt Holster...


There’s an internal lock that prevents unauthorized use. This is designed to avoid accidental discharge of the gun when you carry it or while it’s stored in your home.

This gun works best using high-quality ammo such as Hornady Critical Defense rounds. If you’re using lower-quality ammo, the trigger stroke may feel different and less predictable.

Yes, the Ruger SP101 can shoot both .38 Special and .357 magnum rounds. It also works with .38 special rounds; however, it doesn’t work with clips designed specifically for this caliber.

This gun is great for beginners as it’s lighter than other .357 magnum revolvers on the market. You can shoot both single and double action, making it easier to learn which you prefer if you’re new to shooting guns.

Recommended Holsters for Ruger SP101


With all of the details we’ve covered in our Ruger SP101 Review and Price guide, it should be clear that Ruger SP101 is a great revolver for concealed carry. If you are looking for an affordable firearm to protect your life and personal property, take our advice; buy this weapon. Whether you’re looking for your first handgun or just want an upgrade from your old one, the Ruger SP101 is a great option at a reasonable price. We hope this article has helped give you an idea of what to expect from the pistol, as well as some insight into its features and how it stacks up against other guns on the market.

Author Profile

Gabriel Tackett
Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at .

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