Used revolver questions


Let Us Reason
December 28, 2006, 06:30 PM
What are the pros and cons of buying a used revolver that has had aftermarket springs installed and is double action only? This gun is a Ruger GP100 and I'm not sure if these mods are good or bad?

Any comments?


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December 28, 2006, 06:58 PM
If everything else checks out and the price is right, I wouldn't let aftermarket springs scare me. This is due to the fact that you can either replace the springs yourself or send it back to Ruger if you find out that they are too light.

The only downside that I can think of (but I am sure that a dissenter or two might show me my mistake in a few minutes) is springs that are too light and result in inconsistent ignition.

December 29, 2006, 12:02 AM
Double Action Only? Did they cut off the hammer? If you are new to revolvers, I would shy away from that one. What you plan on using it for? For general shooting, hammers are good. For carry, that is another matter and I would lean to a smaller revolver for carry like the Smith 642 or 442 (38spl) which IS double action only.

Diddo on the reliable ignition (i.e. firing) on the light springs.

The Ruger GP100 is a great revolver. I have a 3" and love it. Folks really like the 4" models for overall balance and they are very strong (and safe). You will never hurt one for as long as you live more than likely as long as you clean it ocasionally and wipe it down.

Vern Humphrey
December 29, 2006, 04:08 PM
I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that revolver did not leave the factory as a double action-only. Someone has performed surgery on it beyond replacing the springs -- and we don't know who this person is, or what his competence is. We do know that whoever did or had the work done has sold it for some reason.

I'd find a revolver in factory condition, and leave this one for the next sucker to come along.

December 29, 2006, 05:56 PM
It would make me leary also to buying it. I`d be afraid that more was tinkered with and it could end up costing you more to get it back in stock shape.

December 29, 2006, 06:46 PM
It may be that it is one of those LEO surplus GP-100s that are floating around. In which case it was factory designed to be DAO only. It would be fie for HD, but not much for target shooting or hunting. A local gun shop has some for $250.

Jim March
December 29, 2006, 07:00 PM
Here's a thing to look for with ANY bobbed-hammer gun: try cocking it. If it's got no "thumb handle" yet can be fully cocked, then it's a "Bubba DAO" - the hammer has been shaved down externally BUT not internally modified to remove the single action notch.

Now some people actually like "Bubba DAO". I can see some merit, but EXTREME care has to be taken on de-cocking. You MUST follow the "throw your thumb pad fully in front of the hammer" routine. If your thumb isn't long enough, or you don't feel comfortable doing it while securing the gun with the same hand, OR it's got a hammer-mounted firing pin, DO NOT go with a "Bubba DAO".

If you can make it work for you though, consider checkering the very top of the hammer to enable slightly more consistent decocking. This makes for a gun that says either "I know what the hell I'm doing" OR "I'm an idiot". Take your pick :).

Ruger has produced factory bob-hammers in the GP100, which cannot be SA cocked. They were mostly police and security special issue and were not cataloged that I know of. These are true DAO (vs. "Bubba") same as the cataloged bob-hammer SP101s.

If it's planned as a carry gun and you're willing to take the time to learn the DA trigger, a real DAO gun is fine for a beginner. A "Bubba DAO" is not a beginner's gun. I can recall one incident at a range where a guy was showing me his "DAO" Taurus snubbie. I asked him if it was really DAO, and he said "yup". Then I made sure it was unloaded...and cocked it. Yup. Hello Bubba. He didn't even know. And he had NO clue how to de-cock from there. I showed him, and explained that filing out the SA notch inside the hammer might be a good idea...


I wouldn't be concerned about the springs. GP100s are easy to strip and swap springs, the factory manual detailing take-down is available as a free PDF download from Ruger (go to their site, go to either "manuals" or "documentation"...) and spring kits are less than $20 if you run into ignition reliability issues. The GP100 was designed for takedown by newbie owners.

December 29, 2006, 07:40 PM
If the price is right and the DAO conversion is factory or done right there is no issue.

Lot's of people add aftermarket springs to guns, and can be changed back to factory if need be.


December 29, 2006, 08:32 PM
With enough practice, the DAO wheelgun is a very efficient set up. 1/2 of my wheelgun purchases have been for pre owned guns...a mod 19 and a Colt Python and they've both been awesome

Let Us Reason
December 30, 2006, 03:02 PM
This is all excellent information. I certainly value advice that springs from experience, which right now, I don't have much of when in this area. Since I've never shot a gun in my life (unless I get credit for water or bebe guns :o ), I think I might stick with the SA availability.

Thanks again.

Seven For Sure
December 30, 2006, 05:31 PM
That's a good decision you've made. You'll find that single action is alot of fun for long distance, accurate shooting. There's a million used revolvers out there, don't rush your first purchase. Welcome to the sport of shooting. It's addictive and I bet you have at least two guns within a year.

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