Tweaking Tradition

Why are we talking about the SP101 now, you may ask? While the design is a classic, it doesn’t mean Ruger can’t refresh it from time to time and offer fans something a little different. So what’s on order with this new release? Modified grips? “Combat” sights? Some other relatively easy — and modern — upgrade for the classic design? No. Ruger took a different tack this time around and I’m glad they did.

While the SP101 blazed a new trail at its introduction, it was still at its heart a traditionalist’s gun — revolvers almost always are. And what do traditionalists usually love? Wood and blued steel. Have you figured out where we’re heading here? That’s right, this new SP101 takes the pocket revolver back in time to the days of blued steel and wood grips — while still offering all the charms of the original stainless steel SP101.

In all fairness, the SP101 (M15702) still does have some stainless steel parts such as the trigger and hammer and extractor star, and the wood in the grips is surrounded by cushioned rubber — but you get the point. This new variant takes a revolutionary step back to the wheelgun’s traditionalist roots. And — while it’s no cheapie at an MSRP of $719 — it won’t break the bank either.