LaRoe, 15 July 2009.
The Ruger SP101 double-action revolver in a 2.25-inch barrel length with Hogue Monogrip Soft Rubber Grips With Finger Grooves to mitigate perceived recoil and a little dab of Liquid Paper Pen and Ink Correction Fluid (7470115) on the front sight to speed target acquisition.
The SP101 in this configuration has a five-round capacity. Other variants include a six-round .327 with a windage-adjustable rear sight; a .357 with a 3-inch barrel; a 2.25-inch .38 Special; a spur-less (double-action only). 2.25-inch .357; and a 2.25-inch .357 with Crimson Trace® Lasergrips®. The manufacturer's suggested retail price for these sidearms is 629 (US) for all models other than the one with the grip-mounted laser, which has an MSRP of 799.
All models feature a "Satin Stainless" finish and ship with a black ramp front sight.
Doing something about the visibility of the front sight is highly recommended because, with the exception of the .327 Federal Magnum model, there is no proper rear sight on these pistols, but rather a low-relief groove on the frame: very smooth for what the shootists call "quick presentation," but not a prominent feature in your "sight picture." The original owner of this sidearm applied a dollop of Liquid Paper® to the black front ramp with which it shipped, creating a poor man's white dot (shown). The current owner upgraded to a tritium front sight (not shown and identified below).
Either approach works well.
A range officer once told me that this is not a weapon that you aim. "You point that," he said, "and no head shots." He had a point. It is kind of like using a shotgun with a bead on a ventilated rib. This pistol does not offer a well-defined "sight picture" and its "sight radius" is very short. It is not designed for sharp shooting. It is designed for quick presentation for defense at very close ranges.
Recommended alteration: the Trijicon Ruger SP101 Front Night Sight RR14F.