Archive for the Concealed Carry Weapons Category

Ruger SP101 – Hogue Monogrip

Posted in Concealed Carry Weapons, Concealment, Gun Safety, Self Defense with tags , , , , , , on July 19, 2010 by The Armed Texan

I’ve been meaning to write this for some time.  My favorite carry revolver (usually when I need super deep concealment), is my Ruger SP-101.  It’s a great weapon.  You can read the review here.  It’s a fantastic revolver that is built like a tank.  It has never failed me in any way, and despite jeers from my fellow CHL Instructor applicants for using such a small revolver for the instructor range qualification, I scored nearly perfect on the range with it for my qualification (and that was using .357 Magnum loads instead of .38 Special because at the time I could not find any DPS approved ammunition in anything other than .357 Magnum).

Anyway, that brings my to my point, the ONLY negative thing I can say about this gun is it’s factory grip.  It’s horrible for several reasons:

  • It is too short causing my pinky to hang off the bottom (and half of my ring finger too)
  • It is too shallow (the distance between the backstrap and the front strap).  This causes an uncomfortable grip, and slower target re-acquisition for me as opposed to a more full style grip.  This is even more pronounced when shooting a .357 Magnum cartridge instead of .38 Special.
  • The retaining screw (screw that secures the grip onto the frame) instead of being recessed or at least flush with the side of the grip, sticks out completely, and the plastic around it has a rather sharp edge to it.  This causes it to seriously wear the inside of your palm.  It’s very easy to have a blister after only 50 rounds through this gun.

Based on these facts, it became clear that what I needed was a better grip.  I had thought about some beautiful wooden grips to compliment this gun, and while the look would certainly suit me, this isn’t a show piece, it’s a carry weapon, and what I really wanted was a solid grip that would allow me to retain control of my firearm as well as possible in an emergency situation.  Therefore I settled on Hogue Monogrips.  These are fantastic.  It is as if Hogue manufactured these grips using my hand as a model.  The finger grooves make the grip infinitely more stable, they fit my hand perfectly, and my pinky no longer hangs off the bottom.  I had read several horror stories about people having difficulties installing them on the Ruger SP-101.  I don’t know why that was but I had mine replaced in less than 5 minutes with no issues whatsoever.  In fact I was all set to do a write-up on the install, but it was so easy it seems pointless.  Admittedly the instructions that came with the grips were a bit lacking; however, it’s pretty self-explanatory.

Here are a few before / after photos to illustrate the differences.

Ruger SP-101 with Factory Grip

Ruger SP-101 with Factory Grip

In this photo, this is my revolver as it was shipped from the factory.  You’ll notice how narrow the grip is from front to back when compared with the Hogue Monogrip.  This reduced my accuracy considerably.  It also led to a less than ideal grip stability.

Ruger SP-101 with Hogue Monogrips

Ruger SP-101 with Hogue Monogrips

As you can see in this image the grip has finger grooves and no side screw, and it is much wider than the factory grip.

Ruger SP-101 Grip Comparison

Ruger SP-101 Factory Grip Compared to Hogue Monogrip

This is a photo illustrating the grips next to each other.  This really illustrates how much taller the grip is, allowing for your entire hand to have a firm grasp of the firearm.

Conclusion

The rubber grips may not be as beautiful as a quality wooden grip, but for a weapon that I entrust the with safety of myself and my family, it’s the function rather than the beauty that I prioritize.  I can say with utmost confidence that if you are looking for a quality grip that will improve your accuracy, comfort, and looks of your revolver, then you cannot go wrong with the Hogue Monogrip.

Well folks, that’s all for now, and remember to always watch your six!

Ruger SP-101

Posted in Concealed Carry Weapons on June 24, 2010 by The Armed Texan

First Thoughts:

I didn’t really have an adequate revolver for concealed carry, and I decided that I wanted one.  I looked long and hard at several revolvers before finally settling on the Ruger SP-101 hammerless 2″ revolver chambered in .357 magnum.

This wasn’t the most expensive revolver on the market, nor was it the lightest, but I considered that a good thing.  I really wanted one that had enough weight to it that it wouldn’t be too tiring to actually shoot .357 magnum rounds out of, but yet not so heavy that concealing it was still an option.  I feel that this weapon fit the bill perfectly!  I have fired exactly 350 rounds through this little gem with absolutely no failures of any kind that were related to the gun.  I say this because I had a few rounds that prevented it from rotating the cylinder, but these were due to crappy manufacturing of the one box of cheap CCI aluminum .357 magnum rounds I had.  The lip on the cartridge for 3 or 4 rounds in that box of 50 was considerably larger than the others, and so thick that the cylinder would not effectively rotate.  I discarded those rounds and everything else worked exactly as expected.

I fired a wide selection of rounds through this from cheap CCI blazer aluminum FMJ to high-end self defense ammo JHPs.  Most of the rounds were .357 magnum, but I did fire a few .38 special rounds which it handled perfectly.

Pros:

  • Cost: $479.99 – Not nearly as expensive as some of the lighter framed concealable revolvers
  • Weight: 25 oz – Reasonable for concealment with proper holster and belt
  • Finish: Sating Stainless – Nice for concealment since sweat can be an issue with non-stainless weapons
  • Action: Spurless Hammer DAO – I like this b/c it was for concealment; however, it is available with a SA / DA spur hammer
  • Accuracy: For such a small weapon, it shot very accurately at up to 15 yards, even with heavy loaded .357 magnum rounds

Cons:

  • Grip: The grip is horrible, and it tended to pinch my hand between the softer rubber outer shell and the synthetic insert.  I will probably upgrade to a Hogue Monogrip.  They do make a Crimson Trace grip for this too, but I feel as if that is kind of a waste of money for my needs.
  • Capacity: 5 rounds – I would prefer a 6-shooter, but for the size thats not terribly practical.  I woudln’t feel undergunned with this weapon; however, I would carry and extra speedloader of ammunition for it.

Conclusion:

I would highly recommned this weapon to anyone interested in a reasonably priced .357 magnum revolver for concealment.  It’s built like a tank, and will definitely get the job done.

Well folks, that’s all for now, and remember to always watch your six!