This is a guest post by Thomas The Tinker and entry for our non-fiction writing contest.
Specs: Brushed stainless steel. Capacity 5 rds. 2.25 or 3.06 in barrel. Overall length 8 in. Unloaded weight 27oz. D.A., S.A.O., optional Bobbed hammer. Standard black front ramp sight. (See www.ruger.com and surf the site.)
Where to start……… I own one. I have owned Ruger Speed-six, Security-six, GPs and Single-six..s. Black and Red.. hawks, super and standard. For me, myself and nobody else, I have decided to condense the collection to just … One.
Mine is a custom defense job in 357 cal with the 3.06 inch barrel. Custom as in I have had the main spring replaced with one a few pounds lighter. Stock Ruger 101s feel as if they have a 10lb trigger pull. IMO a ‘heavy’ trigger is not something to ‘train’ with if a revolver is going to be one’s last ‘go to’ piece. 101s are available with a ‘bobbed’ hammer.
Mine came stock hammer spurred and I had MSgt Model, the armorer at TDI, ‘bob’ and polish it for S ingle A ction O nly. Oh Yes… the lite main spring does run the gun with no failures to fire. He also installed an “Xs Big Dot” pinned front sight. These front sights can be purchased through Amazon and installed at home if you have a fine set of drift pins and a gunsmiths mallet. (See MD’s Amazon site, enter either Meprolight Tru-dot or Xs Big dot Tritium J-frame.)
This glowing ‘basket ball’ sight can be found very quickly day or night. Spend another $8.oo and get a vial of ‘Glow-on’ super phosphorescent gun sight paint and a handful of fine art brushes. Put a heavy coat in the machined ‘cup’ just above the bobbed hammer. Your ‘basket ball’ will literally jump into your lock out stance with this sight system. This ‘paint on’ approach will work for nearly all flat black site systems if you take the time… and materials… to get it right. Me.. I like the fast site picture of the ‘basket ball’.
Grip. Stock grips on every Ruger revolver I have owned… ever… seemed to have been carved out of the same old pallet rail or molded from the same old tractor tire. IMO, stock grips.. well… they suck an orange sack tight in low earth orbit. I paid for a set of nice custom hardwood mono-grips. They didn’t print’ the butt under a shirt as much as stock grips. In training, I found they allowed the ‘gun’ to lose grip on the draw and even after a re-adjust they lost grip due to recoil, sweat, movement and any heavy loads. Skip the pearl or non-ivory ones… for the same reason… and the pimp factor.
I ended up with a $20.oo odd dollar set of “Hogue Monogrips” that I installed with a cartridge case. (about the only field tool you may need with a Ruger revolver.) These ‘Mono-grips’ give you a full grip that is actually shaped to the human hand. On the negative side, they make the weapon less CCW friendly as they print a wee bit on the butt. The draw and second shot grip is absolute. Nothing short of 30 weight.. or say a good Greek olive oil.. gives them slippage. (See MD’s Amazon link for Hogue ‘mono-grip’ pistol grips.)
Fodder for the small revolver. Heavy loads are good for the male ego… so are big… long.. big bore Iron. J-Frame revolvers are made to handle these cannon loads these days. The SP101 will run any factory ammo not ment to be dropped from a plane. Thing is you gotta ask what is your motivation when it comes to ‘your load’? Bear… naw. North American game over 100lbs… sure if you are actually living “The Road”. Humans! Ok now. Humans do react somewhat differently when punctured with a high velocity lead base projectile.
More so if hit more than once. My house uses 38 cal ball for training and a IDPA ‘Bug’ match. Thomas does not recommend anything other than what one can in truth handle several hundred times a day in training. Train in earnest with a J-frame and you will have earned a new respect for how very good you can get… and how much pain you will suffer. Oh….. ammo… fodder… My limits of talent and pain tolerance demand Winchester White box ball rounds to train with and Federal 130gr. Jacketed hollow points. This second round was design built or the short barreled revolver. It is my carry load in my Ruger LCR. In my 101 it has the felt recoil of a lite target wad-cutter.
I would be glad to debate the pros and cons of a light auto over those of a J-frame revolver. I have said before, I am a very lucky fellow. I have the time and means to train with my ‘Toys’. I used to neglect the revolver until I had a free week end with a ‘Snubby’ class available. I had my eyes opened wide. So much so that I have gone double down and will do it again in lue of auto training when my CCW comes up for renewal. IDPA ‘Bug’ class is another way I get to work with the lil-wheel gun. Just make sure you place yourself at the end of the squad. Five rounds sorta slows down the fire and maneuver.
Speed Loader vs. Speed Strips. A Biased Alert! Speed loaders of any manufacture do not… DO NOT.. fit, work with, function, load or can be trusted in combat with any J-Frame with ‘non-stock’ or custom grips. If you decide on the round speed loader… you had best have a set of grips that will allow it to line up and dump the rounds where they are needed. Unless the Speed loader can place the round all.. the.. way.. in.. the cylinder, it will fail you under stress of a tactical reload. Speed Strips. Bias Alert! I own them. I train with them. I carry my spare loads in them.
They are ‘flatter’ than any speed loader. They don’t drop the rounds in your pocket if you squeeze them, twist them or fumble them. If you train with them you will quickly see that they will allow you to tactical reload faster even if you don’t get all 5 in the cylinder. One other plus… if you only have time to get two or three in the gun…. The other three or two are still available… in the strip.
Hear me now and believe me later, I have ‘retained’ my ammo in my teeth with a rubber speed strip. Try that with a speed loader when you are crawling or running around the house or woods. (See MD’s Amazon link “Quick strip” or “Bianchi Speed Strips”.) If this is your choice…. They are very…. Cheap… own a box load of them.
There IMHO is my pick revolver. Like I told ‘Ohio Prepper’… give me a good 38/357 lever gun along with my 101 and I will be just fine. As always ‘Packers’, if you have any comments, questions, suggestions, insults or the odd death threat… I’ll be happy to respond in the comment section.
Prizes for this round in our non fiction writing contest include…
- First place winner will receive – A Volcano Grill courtesy of LPC Survival a $134.99 value, a $150 gift certificate for Remington ammunition courtesy of LuckyGunner, a 60 serving bucket of Wise Freeze Dried Food courtesy of EmergencyFoodWarehouse.com and a Wonder Junior Deluxe grain meal a $219.95 value courtesy of Kitchen Neads and a USB Portable VPN courtesy of unspyable a $275 value. Total prize value of $899.99.
- Second place winner will receive – A Sopakco Sure – Pak MRE – 12 Meals courtesy of Campingsurvival.com, a $98.95 value, a Tatsu360 Tenkara Rod a $72.00 value courtesy of Dragontail Tenkara and a one year subscription to Personal VPN service, a $100 value, courtesy of unspyable. Total prize value of $270.95.
- Third place winner will receive – a copy of my book ”31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness“ courtesy of TheSurvivalistBlog.net and a copy of “The Survival Medicine Handbook” courtesy of www.doomandbloom.net.
Be sure to read the rules before entering… This contest will end on November 10 2013