New Ruger SP101 .357 Mag with 4.2″ Barrel

Ruger has a new Ruger SP101 .357 Mag that features a longer 4.2″ Barrel, full shroud barrel, fiber optics front sight and an adjustable rear sight.

“The SP101 has been an extremely popular small frame revolver since its inception in 1988, but it has always featured a short barrel and minimal sights,” said Chris Killoy, Ruger Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “This new version is a quality .357 Magnum small frame revolver with a longer, full shroud barrel and improved sights that offers the shooter a better sight picture, longer sight radius, and additional weight to better control recoil. I am confident enthusiasts will find that this 4.2″ .357 Magnum is a great all around centerfire revolver that remains true to classic SP101 styling,” he concluded.

The newest Ruger SP101 is constructed of weather-resistant stainless steel with a satin finish, and wears checkered and engraved walnut grip panels inset in the one-piece rubber grip. The 29.5-ounce double/single-action revolver features a fully adjustable square notch blade rear sight and green HiViz® front sight. The 4.2″ barrel features a full shroud covering the ejector rod.

The catalog number is KSP-341X. The MSRP is $689.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Hogan

    I just bought a 3″ this summer that I have wanted forever. I’m not sure about the extra inch (but hey, who wouldn’t mind…) but the sights and wood inlay are making me wish I had the options.

    Why did Ruger stop with the inlay on the GP-100, it’s one of the best parts of the gun?

    • Brian P.

      I personally don’t like the wooden inlay grips. I prefer either all rubber, or all wood. The rubber Hogue grips now included may still not be the best-looking ones, but they are purposefully designed. Even then, you can always change the grips yourself, to suit your preference.

    • Vhyrus

      “I’m not sure about the extra inch (but hey, who wouldn’t mind…)”

      That’s what SHE said!

      Sorry, couldn’t help myself…

  • Matt in AZ

    Legal in Canada, eh?

    • huey

      I just found out about that requirement in the Great White North today…interesting…

  • Brian P.

    They’re finally releasing the SP101 with a 4″ barrel in .357 Mag? YES! Yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-yes-YES!

  • Lance

    The Ruger is a solid design and strong frame. BUT its trigger pull is awful and is no match for a Colt Python or S&W 19 or 686 in comparison in the .357 Mag category.

    • Brian in Seattle

      And the Ruger won’t cost nearly as much as any of those 3, either. Apples and oranges.

    • Frankgon4

      $40 trigger job and it will match at a couple hundred dollars less than a colt python or S&W.

  • Will

    A 4″ 5-round small frame revolver? That’s like extending a j frame! Blurring the line between service revolver and concealed carry snubby… and not filling either of those roles all that well.

    • Komrad

      Or, it has become a mid sized gun suitable for carry concealed or as a service revolver. Think compact but not subcompact semi-auto (Glock 19, etc). It’s small enough to be carried concealed with a bit of work and appropriate clothing, but it’s still large enough to allow a firm grip and adequate ammunition for most situations.

      I hope they offer this in .327 Federal sometime. I’ve rented a .327 SP101 on a few occasions and I prefer the reduced recoil to the bigger .357 and the extra round doesn’t hurt either. The .327 would probably perform very nicely out of the longer barrel.

    • Vhyrus

      I’m with you. I actually rather detest the idea of a 5 shot revolver (call me a purist) and I cant really understand the need for this thing. I’d MUCH rather see a snubnose 6 shot with a concealed/shrouded hammer being offered, since that particular item is all but dead in the current market.

    • Duray

      “That’s like extending a j frame!”
      Not sure why this seems like such a ludicrous idea to you; S&W has been making a 5″ barreled J-frame for years now, and it’s a neat and unique little gun. For an outdoorsman, there’s nothing magical a 6-shooter does that can’t be done just as well with a 5-shooter, with less weight and bulk. Same cartridge, same mechanism, and, with comparable barrels, same power. This could kill a deer plenty dead with 1 round, much less 5. A GP100 was my first pistol, and believe me, I’d rather have one of these for 3/4 the weight.

      • Will

        Because that frame size is for concealed carry and personal defense. There’s no argument what the j-frame is for. This pistol can no longer fill that role not only because of the long service revolver length barrel, but look at those sights. That monstrosity of a front sight especially can’t wait to snag. I also can’t believe anyone saw this and thought about hunting deer with it. Maybe it is supposed to be the SP101 field model, but it doesn’t fill that role as your GP100 or similar sized revolvers. The idea behind the frame size is concealed carry, which i have never done in the field. I carry OWB as does everyone i know. I don’t think it does anything right.
        And we all know you need at least a magical .500S&W with a 10″ barrel and a comp to down even the smallest of deer and it should at least be a 6 shooter. 7-15 is even better.

      • Komrad

        You’ve missed the point. It is no longer supposed to be a cc gun, at least not in its primary role. Its purpose is to offer outdoorsmen a lightweight but powerful and accurate handgun capable of dissuading animals that get a bit too interested and also capable of taking game in an emergency.

        Of course a .357 out of a pistol barrel is a bit light for deer, but it isn’t for hunting deer, it’s for taking deer in an emergency.
        Also, .500 S&W is way overkill for deer. A .357 from a rifle length barrel or a .41 or .44 magnum from a pistol is more than enough for deer.

  • Jed

    Looks like Ruger noticed that IDPA rules limit revolver barrels to no more then 4.2 inches…..

    • Joe

      The 4.2″ barrel length is also due in part to Canadian firearm laws, which limits new handguns to barrel lengths of 105mm or more (that length was intentional in the law, as it prohibited the many guns with 4″ barrels). 4.2″ makes it available to our neighbors to the north.

  • They should have upgraded the grips as well. My SP101 improved immensely when I added a set of Hogue wood grips.
    Those square rubber things are atrocious.

    • Other Steve

      Wouldn’t know without feeling them, but I like the styling.

  • Paul O.

    Have owned a 3″ Sp101 for 15 years. It’s built like a tank. The all stainless construction makes it a pleasant shooter. Went with a lighter spring to reduce the trigger pull. Use laser grips on mine due to the minimal sights. Would be great to have those new sights.

  • Dave

    So, what’s this do that the GP100 doesn’t? Aside from carrying one less round?

    • Andrew

      Weigh 75% of the gp with 4 inch barrel.

  • Sian

    And I just mentioned the SP101 yesterday. Coincidence? or…

  • mosinman

    now this is a revolver id like to have!

  • Actually, I think this would be an outstanding beginners revolver for folks with small hands. The J-frame size grip area is a good bit smaller than one on an L-frame like the GP, where my wife has a bit of trouble handling because of the long DA trigger. Then the extra weight will cut down the recoil a bit, which usually is a fear factor for new shooters. Target .38 special loads would be quite pleasant out of this. Also, SP’s ability to take full house magnum loads has long made it a solid woods gun. Now it has a longer barrel and improved sights! Add that to being over half a pound lighter than a 4inch GP, and you have excellent woods gun. I bet this would do nicely for pig hunting and other small game. Or just being nice to finish off wounded animals or even serve as a black bear defense.

  • huey


  • WeaponBuilder

    My wife daily carries her SP-101 Snubbie with CT LaserGrips, and plenty of speed loaders. I was going to get a 4″ GP-100, but didn’t quite like the slightly larger/heavier frame (it wouldn’t be as comfortable to conceal), and if I’m buying another revolver, I don’t want to have to mess with buying another dozen speed loaders to match. I can just carry some of my wife’s speed loaders.

    This way I’m getting the attributes I like from the 4″ GP-100 (slightly longer barrel, better sights), with the attributes I like from my wife’s SP-101 (smaller frame, narrower cylinder, speed loader compatibility, concealability), and I’m darn-sure going to get a good trigger job, and matching Crimson Trace LaserGrips.

    Sometimes I feel like a 45, sometimes I feel like a 357. Caliber compatibility & Speed Loader compatibility with our other SP-101 is a strong motivator!

    This has definitely been added to my “Must Buy” list.

  • Looks good. An altogether useful revolver. I’m not sure this version of the SP 101 will be a big hit. The longer barrel takes away from the small size, and it’s only a five shooter as a belt gun. As a trail gun, it would work well. I guess the gun buyers will settle the question.

    Lance, the Ruger triggers can be cleaned up by shooting or a competent revolver smith. Not only that, but the pull lasts longer than any of the Colt DA revolvers, including the Python. The Ruger double action pull is superior to the Colt and can be cleaned up as well as a Smith revolver.

    My only question is “When is Ruger going to reintroduce the Security – Service Six line of revolvers?” I carried one as a humble but lovable Border Patrol Agent (several winters ago) and find them a better dollar value than the S&W revolvers of the era.

    • Davey

      Regarding your reference to the Security Six: This certainly looks like a Security Five. It’s as big and probably the same weight as my Security Six, and it holds one less round. I don’t get it.

      Few will want this 5-shot 4″ revolver. It’s a snubby without any of the advantages of a snubbie.

      • Other Steve

        Really? Just because you might not want it, doesn’t mean your correct in “few” will want this.

        In all honesty, how many trail problems are there that 5 rounds of 357 won’t fix but a sixth will?

        This is a great looking gun, small size, a long enough barrel coupled with decent sights to actually hit something, sure looks like a winner to me.

  • Tom

    Interesting. I don’t like the grips though.

  • ap

    This gun is a winner. As a 3″ owner, I’m glad to see them expand the offerings on this platform. It’s one of those guns that just doesn’t get the credit it deserves. No lock to remove, either.

    The grips are ugly but they work. I went with the CT’s. I’d like to try some custom wood though.

    • Other Steve

      I like the grips, rubber for function, wood for form. I’d buy this as is and use the hell out of it.

  • Raoul O’Shaughnessy

    Further proof that all it took for Ruger to become innovative and responsive to market demand was for Bill Ruger to stop breathing.

    • Other Steve


      May he roll in his gra… eh, that’s probably not needed.

  • Django

    I want this in .327.

  • Woodroez

    This gun looks great, but I want the same set-up in the GP-100, except without the full underlug. The posts Ruger put on Facebook marketed it as being something of a trail gun…I’d rather have a trail gun that cuts as much weight as possible than reducing a negligible amount of recoil and muzzle flip.

    Hell, I’ll take a five-shot cylinder if you give me a four-inch LCR in .357 with some sights on it. That will cut weight drastically while adding the great LCR grip and a polymer frame that will combine to soak up recoil nicely.

  • Frankgon4

    From Ruger Website:
    SP101 5 shot weighs 29.5 oz
    GP100 6 shot weighs 40 oz
    SP101 Overall Length 9.12 inch
    GP100 Overall Length 9.5 inch
    SP101 Front Sight is Fiber Optic
    GP100 Front Sight is Ramp
    SP101 Grip type is Black Rubber engraved wood
    GP100 Grip type is Black Hogue monogrip

    Both have 4.2 inch barrel with 1:18.75 RH twist and with 5 grooves.
    Both have adjustable Rear Sight.

    Shorter SP101 is more than 1/2 lb lighter than GP100, but gives up one round capacity. Hmmm… SP101 for winter conceal carry and GP100 for Woodland carry possibly…?

  • Damnit! Now I’ve got to go spend more money. That thing is ultra sweet!

  • Revoman

    I have the 3″ 357 and to me it is the perfect balance of size a weight for CC as a belt gun or as a nicely “packable” woods gun. The sights are fine for CC but for a “knocking around” woods gun I prefer good adjustable sights. I think the perfect SP101 would be a 3″ 357 magnum using the same frame and adjustable sights as the 4″ gun. While they are at it, they should upgrade the 3″ 327 Fed. Mag to use the same adjustable sights as well.

  • Jerry

    I own several Ruger revolvers and my two favorites are the KGPF-840 (old GP-100, half shroud, 4″ bbl, .357/.38 spl) and the SP101 in .327 Federal. I shoot 32 shorts, 32 longs, 32 H&R Mags, and 327 Federal in-lieu-of 357 magnums. I shoot 38 special with the older GP piece. I have a KSP-141/GP-100 but it’s heavy and feels fat in my hand. Looks like the new KSP-341X .357 Mag will be a nice replacement for the obsolete half shroud model. I’m buying one when they hit the stores. Spend a lot of money and buy S&W and it will last a long time. Buy a Ruger revolver and it likely will last even longer and cost a lot less money. More bangs for your bucks………..

    • mosinman

      wow you can shoot all those .32 loads out of a .327?

      • Komrad

        .32 S&W short was the original, .32 long was a lengthened up-pressured version of that, .32 H&R was a lengthened up-pressured version of that, and now .327 Federal is a lengthened up-pressured version of that. It’s similar to shooting .38 in a .357 or .45 Schofield in a .45 LC in a .454 Cassul in a .460 S&W magnum.

  • Legally Armed

    4.2″ barrel = they’re seeking canadian sales.

  • Gary

    This year I bought the Ruger SP101 357 with the 3″ barrel. I emailed Ruger, to seel if they would sell me a 4″ barrel. They promply emailed, back and said, Sorry we don’t make the 4″ barrel for the SP101 357. Now, several months later they come out with the 4″ barrel. Washington state, like some others, require a minimum .25 cal center fire cartrige, with a mimimum 4″ barrel to hunt wild game. I use a pistol for hiking/scouting, and a backup to my rifle while hunting. If my rifle is over my shoulder, and a bear, cougar, or deer jumps right out in front of me, I can legally kill game if my pistol meets the state requirements. Of course self defense is a different story. I’m glad Ruger came out with the 4″ barrel, and I plan to buy one, when they hit the stores.

  • Fesbo

    Ok ladies and gents. I had been looking for a 4″ revolver for a few months. I didn’t want a 4″ gp100, a little too bulky but definitely a nice gun. I saw this sp101 at my local gun store and it was a dream come true! I picked it up dry fired it,trigger felt fine to me. It’s the size and brand I had been wanting. I felt I had to have it. I have a cc license but I rarely carry so. I Plan on using it when I go fishing. You never know what you’ll meet out there. I have a 6″ Taurus tracker that’s scoped, but that’s my hunting rig. Anyway this sp101 should fill the gap I need it to. Go Ruger!

    • Frankgon4

      I am in the same boat in that I was just looking for a 4 inch .357 magnum. I own the SP101 in 3 inch and GP100 in 6 inch. I was looking hard at the GP100 in 4 inch when this came out. I am going to the Shot Show in Vegas next month and will check out the SP101. I would like to know how it shoots for you.

      • John H

        I shot a 5 shot group at about 20yds all 5 touching about a 11/4″ hole I couldn’t believe it, This was 147grn handloads about 1000 fps

  • Mike

    Just purchased this gun today! It’s a looker and feels great in the hand. Can’t wait to get to the range!

    • Frankgon4

      Let me know how it shoots. I will check it out at the shot show next month.

  • highplainsman

    Saw one in my local (farm &ranch), what a nifty little 357!!!

  • Where am I?

    Yesterday I traded in my 3″ SP101 for the new 4″ variation. Woohoo! It is what I always wanted in a hiking/camping gun. A long enough barrel to milk more velocity out of the 357 cartridge, sights that are 100 times better than the 3″ fixed setup, and significantly slimmer and lighter than the GP100. I like the GP but the size and weight are not hiking friendly. As always, I prefer Ruger over S&W for an outdoors gun because the tank-like build makes me feel more comfortable pumping heavy duty Buffalo Bore through it.

  • Ike P

    I just bought the new sp 101 357 sweet will out last all of us,alot more balanced what can I say just perfect!

  • Mo

    This revolver has become my favorite dog walking, get the mail, checking the fences and hiking gun. Light enough to come along, big enough to get the job done. It has proven to be very accurate with both 38 and 357 loads (158 gr) and comfortable to shoot too.

    I’ve had the 2-1/4″ version for years and it regularly makes it into the CC rotation. Great guns both.

  • Mike

    I just handled the new 4″ SP101 for the first time this evening. I already own a 3 1/16 SP101 in .357.

    I’ll definitely be adding the 4″ model to the lineup. It looks like a great trail pistol.

    I use the factory grips I’ve tried others, but haven’t found anything better than the factory grips. In my opinion, they’re the most comfortable and the most functional, as well as the smallest out there.

  • Randy W

    Just purchased SP101 .357 with 4″ barrel and want opinions on best range ammo to use.

  • Jay

    I picked one of these up this weekend, and ran about 75 rounds of mixed .38 and .357 through it. It’s very pleasant with the .38’s…the .357’s are bearable, but I wouldn’t call them ‘pleasant’. All in all, its a great little .357 revolver that fits my small-ish hands perfectly. This will be my new hiking/camping sidekick.

  • Gary

    I already had the SP101 W/3″ barrel 357, but Wash. State fish and wildlife, requires 4″ barrel, and at least .25 cal, center fire, to hunt game animals. I finally bought the 4″ barrel in 357. I pack it while hiking, and it is my back up while hunting modern rifle. I love it. Being only 29 oz., I can hardly feel it is on my hip. I bought a longer rubber grip, so my little finger would fit on the grip. It shoots full load 357’s with the new grips, very well, and with great control. But you can sure feel the power. I think the New SP101 357 4″ barrel is a great self defense gun against big cats or medium sized bears. The full load 357 have great penetration at close range.

  • I have yet to own a “wheel gun”. This will be my first. I’m trying to decide on barrel length, though. I feel like I may lean shorter than 4″.

    • Clint

      Really depends on you and what you will be using it for. If your going to carry it at a concealed weapon then small is usually preferred. If you plan to just keep it as a home defense the longer barrel can work to your advantage by making things easier to hit….

  • I just noticed that my front sight is leaning slightly to the left, the whole barrel is slightly rotated to the left. This is my first gun, should I be concerned, is this an easy fix?

    • Clint

      Send it back to Ruger…can’t return to the store unfortunately. Should of course be a free fix.

  • John H

    There was a time I wouldn’t even consider a 357M, I was strictly a 44M kinda guy. I love this SP 101 it is my favorite pack gun I carry it hiking, fishing, On trips as a companion to my XD 40. Its a hoot to reload and a blast to shoot. Its so light and handy and very accurate, Its a Ruger what else can I say.