My eight year old daughter saw me cleaning my Ruger SP101 Wiley Clapp and said “Dad that’s a nice cowboy gun.” I never looked at this revolver as a cowboy gun but after she said that I smiled and thought yes it is a nice cowboy gun. This isn’t a six shooter that the likes of Billy the Kid would use nor is it trying to be that. My first handgun I carried concealed was a revolver. I liked carrying it but at the time I want a firearm with more ammo capacity that I traded in my revolver for a high capacity polymer pistol. I didn’t realize until a year ago, that revolvers are not outdated and with proper training can save your life in a self defense situation. After firing and carrying this revolver, it makes for a great conceal carry weapon for personal defense.
This all-steel, 25 ounce 5-shot snub nose revolver has a lot going for it. This is similar to the standard 2.25-inch model, but in place of the fixed sights, the Wiley Clapp SP101 has a drift-adjustable Novak rear sight and brass bead front sight. It also has a nice set of textured wood inlays on the grips, and a tapered cylinder. I have fired a Ruger SP101 before and the one thing I wanted to change on the firearm were the sights. The sights on the original were hard to acquire the target and I did not shoot that firearm accurately. The Ruger SP101 Wiley Clapp edition aids in acquiring the target faster by adding a brass bead front sight. From my experience shooting the revolver, it makes getting on target faster. When shooting this firearm from twenty yards away, I found it very accurate and and recoil light. I shoot 300 rounds of Winchester 38 special ammo and the revolver was precise and the recoil was hardly noticeable. Other than the aesthetic additions, this is the same Ruger SP101.
Shooting the Ruger was a pleasure. As mentioned before, the recoil was light and very easy to get back on target. The sights make it very easy to shoot. It is not a heavy firearm but neither a lightweight revolver. I like the weight and feel. It has a very good balance. It is also capable of shooting 357 Magnum loads, but during my outings I have not experimented with shooting 357 rounds out of this firearm yet.The grips are comfortable in the hands. The wood inlays add a unique look to the revolver. The double action trigger pull is smooth. I found that I shoot this firearm better than some of my other automatic pistols.
The Ruger SP101 is comfortable to carry. I carry it in a IWB holster and it is barely noticeable to me. I brought Corbon 38 special +P 110-gr self defense ammo and a few speed loaders to carry extra ammo. If you are lucky and can find one of these you will not be disappointed. I brought mine used for a reasonable price but new this firearm can be found around the mid $600 range. Aesthetically this is a beautiful firearm, but with the addition of the Novak brass bead sight, this is more than capable at being a great self defense revolver that I would recommend.
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