Bad Influence

Longtime Reader and Friend JohnC writes:

Well, you caused me to impulse buy a Ruger SP101… and I thank you for it! When you suggested one for my sister, I found some French Police trade-in guns for $450 chambered in .38 spl, which is fine, I’m not the type who enjoys shooting .357 magnums out of small guns–it’s like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer because it feels so good when your head stops hurting. Anyway, I have a nice new carry gun for use with plenty effective +P loads. So here is a post I put up at Ruger Forums, thought you’d appreciate it and the pics. Thanks for helping me make an impulse purchase!  I love this thing!

Oh, and the grips are made by now defunct Trausch, in Germany. Those are the grips they put on the Manurhin revolver you wrote about a while back. Atlantic Firearms still has some if this makes your trigger finger itch.


And an update:

Well, had it out to the range already. Love it! The trigger is not bad, but I do have the Wolff spring kit and plan on trying the 12# spring. If I like it, I’m not after the lightest pull and I’ll stop. If I feel like I should try the 10# it will take 300 rounds of practice ammo to get me confident in it, but I bet the 12# will do the trick. Other than reaming the trigger return spring channel, I’m not planning on doing all that Mcarbo polishing, I doubt it’s needed.

Love the gun, especially the grips, as has been mentioned. They are terrific! I did not have any issue with a speedloader at all with them. Very comfy little gun. I can see this is the .357 sized gun, the chambers are just reamed a bit shorter, it’s very obvious, so no measuring needed. I’m confident enough in the +P stuff, I’m not really interested in reaming it out to shoot .357 Magnum, I do that in my Security Six.

Finally, I got a Galco Combat master for it, and it’s a great holster. They usually have some kind of 15% off promo deal, and I got one. Yeah, I’ve had fancy one-man-shop holsters, but IMNSHO, you can find a cheaper holster than the Galco, and you can find a better holster than the Galco, but you can’t find a better holster for less money than a Galco. They are top quality products at reasonable, if not cheap prices.

Other than the spring replacement, the only other thing I plan on doing is easing the edges of the trigger and the trigger guard, they are a bit sharpish. Maybe I’ll polish it up like I did my little Taurus 85CH snubby, but not sure I have that much energy. We’ll see.

Here is a shot of what I took to the range yesterday.

I love a well-turned-out range session, myself.  Lovely.

Yeah, that’s me:  a Bad Influence.  As I recall, when John first came to this website, he only had one or two guns.  Since then, he’d accumulated well over a dozen — until that unfortunate canoeing accident, that is.


  1. Hahahaha, thanks for posting this, Kim! I think I had more than two when we met (heck, I brought two to go to the range with you when we visited, lo those many years ago), but not much more. You got me started on the milsurp thing back at Nation of Riflemen. About ten years ago or so I had to buy a second gun safe, lol. All my favorite influences are bad, I’m afraid, and you’re at the top of the list.

    Small update, I did that spring upgrade last night and it makes a world of difference! The gun really doesn’t need the hours-long work you see on ewwchoob videos, IMO, this was a 15 minute job. I used the 1/4″ drill bit to clean up any burrs and debris in the trigger rebound spring tunnel, then cleaned it out with a Q-Tip with just a drop of oil on it, you want your revolvers mostly dry, just enough to leave a film. I used the 8# trigger rebound spring in the Wolff spring pack. It also comes with 9, 10, and 12# hammer springs, I used the 12, although the 10 seems to get positive reviews. It’s a defensive revolver I hope to carry … a lot, not a bullseye gun. I deburred the hammer strut with some 200 then 220 grit paper, can’t really call it a polish, just a deburring.

    It feels like a new gun now, I highly recommend the Wolff Spring Kit for the SP101. This coming weekend, I will ease the edges of the trigger guard and trigger, and that’s it. IMNSHO, this 3″ revolver in .38 special is a near perfect carry gun for a belt holster. The Galco Combat Master rides high and conceals well. The little snubby in my range trip photo is my most used gun, but this revolver will get some serious carry time along with my compact .45. I think it will quickly become a new favorite.

    Still available for around $450. Best price is at $452, because of free shipping. Atlantic Firearms has them for $449 plus $30 shipping to your dealer, not too bad. Stay away from the auction sites, they go up quickly.

    The chambers are reamed for .38 special, you should know that. It’s the same gun as the .357 version, the cylinder is the same size, they just didn’t ream the chambers long enough for .357 cartridges, so this gun is plenty stout, built like a little tank.

    And check out these lab results at Lucky Gunner. I’m after some of that Federal 130 gr HST Micro, but it’s been unobtainium lately. I’ll be standardizing on that for this and the snubby going forward.

    Thanks for getting me started on this wonderful addiction, Kim! 😀

    P.S. and prior to the canoe accident, I think it was around 35. 😉

  2. Also, thank you, Kim. I bought my Ruger SP101 snubbie in 1983 in .38 spl – but it shoots +P+s right out of the box. What a fantastic gun, still on my bedside, and still shooting perfectly after thousands of rounds. My little security blanket! I clothed mine in Hogue soft grips.

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