Searching for a Niche

This little revolver begs a big question: What kind of match is it likely to be champion of? It got a lot of ballyhoo at its introduction as the “Ultimate Back-Up Gun.” Unfortunately, its 4.2" barrel is way too long for any BUG match I’ve ever heard of. Nor will it qualify for Service Revolver in either of those games because each requires a 6-shooter and the SP101’s cylinder is a round short. The 5-round sequences would be fine for a bull’s-eye match, but 6" barrels are preferred for that. You want more sight radius for International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association or NRA Hunter Pistols as well.

The Ruger folks have become aware of this. Vice President Mark Gurney told me, “You’ve managed to hone in on the one possible flaw in the gun — the name. I believe in its size it would not likely be used in a match, as it would be up against 6-round capacity guns. However we chose to keep the name consistent with the very well-received GP100 Match Champion as the SP received the same treatment in a factory action job with centering shims, nice grip and visible sights.”

I agree with Mark. I see the SP101 Match Champion more as an outdoorsman’s SP101 “Kit”-type gun. A sturdy, relatively light revolver for the outdoorsman who’s using it as backup to a long gun and who wants more than .22 power.

This gun’s configuration would also be ideally suited to the new gun owner who wants a home-defense handgun that could be carried concealed if necessary.