Ok, to Dry Fire SP-101 .22lr?????


September 15, 2005, 11:48 PM
Just got a 4" SP-101 in .22lr for my wife and like most Ruger handguns the trigger is terrible.

So I figure either replace the springs or dry fire the crap out of it.

The manual says it is ok to dry fire SP101's, but is printed for all calibers.

I've always heard no dry firing of .22lr's period.

So it is ok to dry fire away?


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September 16, 2005, 12:00 AM
My understanding is; no dry firing rimfires.

September 16, 2005, 12:03 AM
GunNut, email me your address and I'll send you a cylinder full of .22 snap caps. I got them at Gander Mountain when I bought my 10/22 so I could practice and/or smooth out the trigger, but they are shorts and won't feed out of the mag.

September 16, 2005, 01:38 AM
Why not call Ruger for a more definitive answer.

September 16, 2005, 03:02 AM
No dry firing .22's OTHER than Ruger---Ruger .22's can generally be dry fired-----10/22's---Mark II's and Single Six's can be dry fired---I've owned/own these models and know for a fact they can be dry fired.

The only SP I have is a .357---so might want to consult the owners manual to be sure.


Scroll down to pg 13----this manual applies to ALL SP's---including the .22.

September 16, 2005, 08:16 AM
That Ruger is OK to dry fire. The firing pin doesn't protrude far enough to hit the cylinder.

It's actually safe to dry fire most (but not all) modern .22 rimfire revolvers.
The hammer imparts enough force to pop the priming without having to "swing through".
Most semi-auto pistols, however, rely on an inertia firing pin which will travel far enough to strike the chamber face if a cartridge or snap cap is not present.

Hell's Bells™ even my old 1969 vintage H&R 999 was ok to dry fire.

But if you're still worried you can get all of the free snap caps you want. Just save and use your empties. They'll take 20 or 30 hits each. Then you ust rotate them a little and have another go. One cylinder full will last you about 1000 total dryfires.

Now while I have snap caps for all of my handguns (except my .44-40) I've never seen a commercially made .22 snap cap that lasted long enough to justify the cost.

Beware, the blue A-Zooms are NOT snap caps. They are action proving rounds. They're made of anodized aluminium that is VERY rough on your firing pin.

September 16, 2005, 10:09 AM
Thanks for all of the replies.

I think I'll have her dry fire for now and remember to keep some empties next time.


Thanks for the offer.


September 16, 2005, 12:22 PM
I have the same gun and called Ruger for the same question a few months ago. They said that ALL their guns were safe to dry fire. I've dry fired mine quite a bit and haven't had any problems.

September 16, 2005, 12:23 PM

Neither should any offer advice nor should any be accepted. Though all are well intended in their free information, none have actually examined your gun or its condition from dry firing, except YOU. Fortunately, I own lots of Ruger rimfires, including several SP-101's. Regardless of the model and regardless of Ruger's best attempts for 100% dimensional exactness, there will always be subtle tolerance variations based from human involvement. Of the various Ruger rimfire revolvers that I own, about 20% have shown the tendency to peen the cylinder. Certainly, dry firing it a few times will not hurt but be sure to pay attention whether peening is occurring. If not, great! If so, either don't dry fire or exclusively use snap caps. Assumptions can lead to regret.


P. Plainsman
September 16, 2005, 12:36 PM
So I figure either replace the springs or dry fire the crap out of it.
Just to mention another option: in my experience, SP101 triggers are quite responsive to action jobs. My gunsmith worked wonders on my SP for around $100. If you go the gunsmith route, might as well have him smooth the sharp edges on the trigger while he's at it -- this should be a standard mod for Ruger DA revolvers.

Be cautious if you choose to replace the springs, particularly the trigger return spring. It turns out that the SP101's trigger spring is already on the light side, so when I experimented with the lighter Wolff kit trigger springs the action was quickly reduced to unusable mush. I would leave the trigger springs alone and stick to changing the hammer spring, if you go that route. I went one step lighter than the stock hammer spring (i.e., with the heaviest of the Wolff replacement springs). This yielded some action improvement and did not harm reliability.

With that slightly lightened hammer spring and an action job, my SP is positively sweet now. I would not shrink from calling it an ideal double action trigger for a small gun.

September 18, 2005, 05:51 PM
Go ahead and dry fire the revolver, if you notice any indentations created around the bullet chamber of the cylinder, stop....

Course, what the heck, you've already damaged it, so, keep dryfiring!

That trigger will be smooth as silk in no time!

I would NEVER dry fire my .22....if I called tech support and they told me it would be fine, I still wouldn't dry fire it until I got that in writing, with a notice of free repair if damaged.

and, btw...dry firing WILL damage your .22 revolver, I don't care who it is made by.


September 18, 2005, 10:42 PM
Bobshouse, your uninformed, incorrect, personal opinion is duely noted.

September 20, 2005, 04:03 AM
Why is a Sp101 22lr ok to shoot dryfire but others not? IS it designed where the firing pin does not hit the top of the chamber?

I'd say snap caps are a good idea but it does seem interesting Ruger does not mind dry firing.

September 20, 2005, 04:42 AM
Think about it.

Most rimfire revolvers with recessed chambers employ a round firing pin.
Revolvers with a chisel point pin usually have the entire face recessed with a single protecting rim around the circumfrence.

Both types are designed so that the firing pin doesn't protrude far enough to come in contact with the cylinder. If it did the possibility of piercing the rim would result.
That's why some of the mini-revolvers that use a chisel point pin and counterbored chambers have a notch machined into the cylinder so the pin doesn't come in contact with it.

My H&R 999 has a chisel point pin and if the firing pin came in contact with the cylinder it would show at once.
After 25 years of dryfiring there isn't a firing pin mark to be found anywhere.

Many rimfire rifles, which depend in the bolt face to enclose the rim use a chisel firing pin. It doesn't matter if the chisel point extends past the edge of the rim because there's nothing else for it to hit in them except the case rim.

September 20, 2005, 05:00 AM
IS it designed where the firing pin does not hit the top of the chamber? Ruger uses individually countersunk chambers. Whan loaded the cartridge rims are flush with the surface. If the firing pin were able to strike the top of the chamber misfires would abound.

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