Until October 2018, all nine models in the Ruger SP101 revolver lineup were machined from stainless steel and left in a bright finish, giving consumers no option for a more-discreet, blued model. After Ruger fans clamored for another option, Ruger introduced its first-ever SP101 revolver machined from alloy steel and treated with an all-blued finish.
“As the first blued, alloy model in this family of revolvers, this new configuration sets itself apart from other SP101s and makes for a great compact and rugged carry firearm,” said Chris Killoy, Ruger president and CEO. “We have had several customer requests for this new model, and we are pleased to add it to the lineup.”
For defensive purposes, having a darker, blued finish on a concealed-carry revolver like the Ruger SP101 means that, even in an open-carry rig, the gun is less likely to draw attention. The brushed finish on the alloy steel means that the bluing doesn't shine as other blued handguns with a high-polish finish, ensuring the revolver can blend better, especially when worn with darker clothing.
The new blued model of the Ruger SP101 is definitely designed for defensive and concealed-carry use, having been built with a short, 2.25-inch, five-groove barrel complete with a 1:16-inch twist rate and a compact, overall length of 7.2 inches. The gun, unloaded, weighs in at 26 ounces. Each revolver is also equipped with rubber grips that cushion the recoil from .357 Mag. cartridges in this compact carry gun. Inset in the sides of the grips are engraved wooden inserts that provide added texture for an improved grip.
Other features found on the Ruger SP101 include the fixed, ramped front-sight blade and rear-sight groove integrated into the top strap of the revolver frame. The gun is equipped with an external hammer spur to allow for both single- and double-action operation. Like all Ruger SP101 revolvers, the gun is equipped with a triple-locking design that secures the cylinder into place on the front, rear and bottom of the frame in order to increase durability and reliability. A transfer bar located inside the frame protects the gun against an accidental discharge.
Each Ruger SP101 with a blued, alloy finish retails at an MSRP of $719.