My 9mm SP101 is far from my favorite revolver to shoot. It's a nice gun, shoots great, no issues, but I enjoy 38 special /.357 magnum out of a longer barrel more. My SP101 is in front of me right now (along with my P30) loaded with Gold Dots. If the situation presents itself, I can drop the Ruger in my pocket and walk out my front door. If I take the Ruger to the range I put maybe 20 rounds through it. The same day I probably will put 100 rounds each through my Mod 28, HK and Glock. If you are looking for a self defense revolver ,the SP101 isn't a bad choice and that is the reason I bought it. If you are looking for a revolver that you can also have fun at the range with, my opinion is get a 38 special (should actually be called .357 special ) or a .357 magnum.
I do own a 5” 686 and do love the way it shoots. I was looking for a 3” barrel revolver for the range, self defense, and also something my wife can shoot. She held the 686 but it was way to heavy for her. She shot my glock 34 and cz P10c but she has a hard time manipulating the slide.