Karlon N. Rama

Stage Five

THE first revolver I ever owned was a five-shot double-action-only snub in .357 that was made by Ruger and designated the “SP101.”

I picked it from a gun store shelf based on whim and everyone said I should have bought the Glock 26—a 9mm subcompact that, at that time, was priced about the same as the short and stout belly gun.

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But, several years and several other guns later, it was that little SP101 which proved itself worthy to stay by my side, literally. In fact, if it weren’t for the gun ban, the gun would be by my side right now.

Accurate, reliable and robust, the SP101 is small enough to be easily concealed, large enough to retain its deterrence value, light enough to be comfortable and heavy enough to remind me it was still there.

Its spur-less hammer and factory dehorning made drawing easy. And with five semi-jacketed hollow points in the cylinder and a double-action-only operation, it was ready for action 24/7.

COMPANION. The only problem with my Ruger SP101 was that I only had one. And one can’t have too much of a good thing, right?

So off I went to Twin Pines, the store I got my SP101 from, early last month, in search of a possible companion to my belly gun.

At first, I fantasized about having a brace of fighting wheel-guns.

This required that I get another SP101, one that looked exactly like the one I had. I could then have somebody make a display case that mounted both guns side-by-side or, perhaps, facing each other.

Of course, having a pair of the same guns is totally impractical, unless the guns in question are so rare that one is forced to get two so he or she could mine the other for parts.

But, what the hell. A gun nut is a gun nut is a gun nut.

Besides, I justified to myself, it’s gun ban season. I could go to the gun store now, make an order and then spend the next six months looking for the money to pay for it when it finally arrives.

BIG BROTHER. But Twin Pines Inc. regional manager Erlinda Pacaldo had a better idea. Why not get a bigger—and meaner—version of the same gun?

She then went to the back of the store, where the vault is located, and came back with a monster of a gun rarely-seen over the years, a Ruger GP100.

Ruger introduced the GP100 in 1971 as the Security Six and was marketed it to those looking for a durable .357 magnum for home and self protection, hence the name.

Bill Ruger renamed it the GP100 after the introduction of modifications that included the installation of a patented triple-lock system in 1988 or thereabouts.

The change made the gun capable of shooting an unlimited number of even the hottest .357 magnum loads at that time.

Showing the same modular design copied into the younger SP1010 series, the GP100 used a coil spring actuated by a proprietary trigger mechanism that, when pulled back, rotates the hand to align the gun’s cylinders until it locks in place while, at the same time, readying the hammer.

It also placed the firing assembly in the lower receiver instead of putting it right behind the chamber via a side plate. This leaves the upper part as one solid piece of steel; able to support to withstand the shockwave of a magnum .357 being fired.

The smaller and lighter SP101 satisfied my expectations in full. Will the bigger and meaner GP100 do so as well? I will know after six months.