"Adjusting" a fixed sight revolver


December 16, 2004, 10:56 PM
My SP-101 (with fixed sights, of course) shoots high and left. I know it is the gun, and not me.

I am told there is a fix, but it involves having a gunsmith unceremoniously smack the barrel against a hard surface to bend it in the appropriate direction... Ouch!

Anyone done this? Is this something your average gunsmith can handle? Any recommendations?


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Jim K
December 16, 2004, 11:53 PM
That trick can be done, and I have done it, but never with a short stiff barrel like the SP-101. I think it could crack the frame.

How much does the gun "shoot off" and at what range? That revolver is really a short range defense gun and being off a couple of inches at 25 or 50 yards would not be a problem. Also, does it do that with all ammunition, and how many kinds have you tried? Remember that the faster a bullet is, the shorter the barrel time and the lower the gun will shoot; conversely, a slower bullet will shoot higher.

I don't know what load Ruger uses to set the sights, but you might call them and ask.

Lastly, I just have to ask how you know it is not you? How many others have fired the gun to confirm the problem, and how are you firing it? As an example, resting the barrel or butt of a handgun on a bench or sandbag will change point of impact by sometimes 4-6 inches at 25 feet. Always rest the wrists, not the gun, when sighting in.


December 17, 2004, 12:02 AM
I like Jim's advise.

Also, especially if you handload, you may find that different pullet weights and/or shapes impact somewhat left or right of others.

A gunsmith can also turn in or back out a barrel slightly, changing the angle of the front sight.

December 17, 2004, 12:02 AM
I have noticed that with my fixed sighted revolvers, the ammo seems to make a big difference in the point of impact including windage.
Now I am NOT sure it isn't just me. But I believe that I have done it enough to prove (to myself) that it isn't me.
So, obviously you are going to have to at least try some different ammo to see if it makes any difference for you.
Hopefully, you are a handloader since this makes the whole process a lot easier than trying to find a number of different factory loads. Usually I don't try different weight bullets, just different loads using the same weight bullet.
It could possibly prove to be a waste of time. But, it is something to try before you do anything radical.
I also agree that calling Ruger might be a good idea also. You never know.

Jim K
December 17, 2004, 12:26 AM
Hi, fulloflead and guys,

I know about turning barrels, and Colt adjusted sights that way for years, but I didn't mention it because I consider it as about a last resort. Ammo and shooter problems are much more easily corrected.

BTW, one point I didn't mention is the effect of light, especially with unblackened stainless steel sights. Unless the range is covered to keep light off the sights and put the sights in silhouette on the target, light reflections from the sights can throw the point of impact off several inches, usually toward the light source. I have seen shooters group at 3 o'clock in the morning and 9 o'clock in the afternoon with the same gun and same load.


December 17, 2004, 09:34 AM
Hello all, and thank you for replying.

I took my SP to a three day hangun class last weekend. All my shots from morning to dusk, to dark grouped high and left. The instructor and others had the same issue. I am confident the gun (or the gun/ammo combo) is shooting high and left....

That being said, it never occurred to me that ammo choice could affect windage. I suppose I could experiment with some lighter loads -- for economy, I was shooting 115g Win White Box for the training (about 600 rounds).

The variation is enough that it consistent moves my POI out of the anatomical "sweet spots" on a shillouette -- and there is a big difference between shooting someone in the shoulder and in the sternum.

That being said -- the gun was very impressive. I shot a steel shillouette at 100 yards with just a bit of compensation for the hight left issue -- something I would not have thought possible with a snub revolver.

This fix I described was recommended by someone in the class -- perhaps this is just something I have to accept and/or try to regulate with ammo choice.

December 17, 2004, 10:19 AM
Send it back to Ruger. They will take care of it. I have a single-six that is low and left on the paper. It will be going back after Christmas.

Ruger has a very good reputation for fixing things like this.

Make sure you tell them what you are shooting (load) and at what range. Include targets if possible.

Good luck,


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