Sturm, Ruger & Co. announced another expansion of its popular SP101 line of revolvers. The new gun has a 3″ barrel and is chambered for the .327 Federal Magnum cartridge. In a way, it is a return to the past.
When the .327 Federal Magnum cartridge was announced in 2007, Ruger was ready to go with a 3.06″ barreled SP101 revolver. When the gun disappeared from the company’s catalog, I took that as a bad sign for the cartridge’s long term success.
A few years ago, Ruger brought to the cartridge back to the SP101 line, though with a longer barrel and target style sights. That gun has a 4.2″ barrel, which is a bit of an oddity in a line of small framed wheelguns that often have barrels running between 2″-3″.
One of the main advantages of the .327 Magnum is that it has a narrower profile than the venerable .357 Magnum, while still being much more powerful than the older .32 H&R Magnum. This gives manufacturers the opportunity to squeeze an extra round into the cylinder of a gun. So, instead of five .357 Magnum rounds in a typical concealed carry revolver, a shooter might carry a .327 Magnum that holds six rounds instead. For personal protection, that extra round could be very attractive to buyers.
With the return of the 3″ barrel .327 Magnum, Ruger fans can once again get a SP101 in this caliber that is more suited for concealed carry. Sights are a pinned ramp front with a notch rear. The grips are the rubber with wood insert that are frequently used by the company. The suggested retail price is $749.
The gun is slightly different than the original. For example, the original SP101 in .327 Magnum had the plain black grips. Additionally, it had a drift adjustable rear sight with a box outline.
Note: If you are looking for something even smaller, Ruger does offer the LCR in .327 Magnum. That gun retains the six round capacity but has a 1.87″ barrel and lightens the load to 17 ounces.