In 1988, I was a brand new, wet-behind-the-ears Customs Inspector assigned to the Mexico Border at a little Southern California burg called Calexico. This was a hot, dusty place most of the year, and for relief I’d head over to the beaches at San Diego. One memorable day, I was checking out some of the SD area gun shops and got to handle a newly introduced Ruger SP 101 revolver. This rugged-looking little stainless steel snubby resembled a scaled down, fixed sight version of the Ruger Security Six that I was issued in 1982 when I worked with the Border Patrol. It was a five-shooter in .357 Mag.

ruger22.jpgI’m not sure as to why Bill Ruger wanted a concealable wheelgun in his inventory, but the SP 101 has stood the test of time and has the reputation of being the most heavy-duty small frame revolver going. It has obviously done well and is still in the Ruger lineup after almost 20 years. I never got around to buying an SP 101, but have looked at them several times since and when I saw Ruger’s latest press release about the new SP 101 with factory-equipped Crimson Trace Lasergrips, I couldn’t resist ordering one.

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