The Ruger SP-101 revolver series was introduced by Sturm Ruger in 1989 and intended to be a smaller framed cousin to the popular and larger frame Ruger GP100 series. At the time, S&W dominated the compact revolver market with the J frame series, and Ruger wanted to enter that market. However, concerns about weight and associated recoil in the larger calibers led Ruger engineers to produce the SP-101 in a frame that was larger than the S&W J Frame revolvers but slightly smaller and lighter than the S&W K frame revolver series.
Originally, the SP-101 series was chambered in .357, .38 Special, 9mm, .32 H&R Magnum, and 22 LR. In 1998, Ruger discontinued the 9mm model. The 22LR model was offered from 1990 to 2003 and then reintroduced in 2011 with a half-lug design change. Today, the SP-101 is available in the following calibers:
Currently, the SP-101 with a 2 ¼" barrel is only offered in only the 357, .38 Special, and 9mm calibers. As mentioned previously, the 9mm Luger 2 ¼ versions were phased out in 1998, reintroduced to the market in 2016. All the 357 and .38 Special versions are five-shot models like the S&W J frame series. Although most of the 2 ¼" versions are equipped with a hammer, Ruger did offer a few hammerless versions.
In addition to the 2.25 barrel models, Ruger also offers the SP 101 in a 3 inch and a model with a 4.2 inch barrel. Of the three barrel lengths, the 2 1/4” versions are the most popular model.
Here are some of the more commonly asked questions we see regarding holsters for the Ruger SP-101 2 ¼”:
Typically, it will not. The J frame series is much smaller in overall size so the SP-101 is too large for a J frame holster.
The S&W frame that matches the size of the SP-101 frame closest is the K frame series. However most S&W K frame holsters are a little bit too large for the SP-101 series. Most holster makers put the SP-101 series in it’s own fit or lump it together in a holster made for the Colt Detective Special. Most holster makers offer SP-101 holsters molded off an actual SP-101 mold instead of trying to using another revolver brand or model that it “close”.
Yes, both Don Hume and MTR Custom offer a few different inside the waistband models that are offered specific to the 101 with a 2.25” barrel. Some of the more popular ones are the Don Hume H715M W/C and the MTR Custom Adversary IWB. The IWB options tend to be the most popular style of concealed carry holster for the SP 101.
Unfortunately, we don't. Both MTR and Don Hume offer a few leather holster models for the SP-101 with 2 ¼" equipped with a thumb break. However, all those belt holster models are designed to work with the hammered models. Since the thumb break goes over the hammer itself, it won't work for a spurless or hammerless SP-101.
Yes, all the SP-101 models, regardless of caliber, are basically the exact frame dimensions, with the exception of the barrel length. So a holster built for an SP-101 in 357 will also fit an SP-101 in 22 LR, 9mm, or 38 special.
While a few holster makers offer pocket holster models for that weapon, our experience has been that the SP-101 is really too large to be carried in a front or rear pocket. You might be able to hide one in a jacket pocket of a coat, but the holster release devices (hook or friction) probably won't function correctly.
If you are really interested in trying the SP-101 in a pocket, have a look at the Don Hume 001 Front Pocket holster as they offer it in a version for the 2 ¼" barrel only.
The Ruger LCR has a much smaller frame, so the larger SP-101 will not fit into an LCR gun holster.
All the holster models listed below are available in a version to fit the Ruger SP-101 with a 2.25" barrel: