I just purchased the Ruger SP101 double action only revolver today and took her out for a test run with .38 + P and .357 magnums. Here is my thoughts on the gun.....
The gun is as solid as they come and those that have referenced it being like "a tank" are right on the mark. Its a solid a gun as you can find. I did not find the trigger pull "gritty" or tough as some have said.....its a nice shooter.
The .38 + P shot without trouble and they were a joy to shoot. I was accurate out to say 30-40 yards.....of course this is a close range pistol, but thought I would push it a bit. The recoil was fairly minor given the weight of the gun, but that was a different story with thee .357.
The one thing I noticed more then the recoil was the flash with the .357 however that can be mitigated some with higher end self defense ammo. I could not see myself shooting the .357 beyond 10-15 yards and staying accurate....at least "consitently" accurate. The .357 did give the gun a bit of a kick, but I am 100% convinced the Houge grip will steady the gun a bit more. I am not a fan of the factory grip that comes on the gun for .357 applications.
Overall this is a great gun for CC and I have no problem concealing it under everyday wear (jeans and a pull over shirt). After shooting the SP101 I would not want to go to a lighter frame. I have not shot the small and lighter LCR, but I would imagine the .38 bullet would give the gun quite a kick and accuracy coould be sacraficed. When it comes to small guns I go heavier...not lighter.
Anyway....thought I would share. This is a great all around gun (CC, HD and woods walking).