Ruger SP101 trigger pull


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heavyshooter
September 10, 2008, 02:21 AM
Brethren,

I purchased a Ruger SP101 (.357 magnum) about a month ago and I finally had the chance to take it to the range. I took my wife with me so we packed up her S&W 637 (.38 special +P) and brought it along. She has never been a big fan of the S&W, but she is not a gun lover and she was quite capable of defending herself with it so we did not get her a new gun. During this trip she put about 30 rounds through the Smith and then she asked if she could fire the Ruger. I loaded it with .38 Special +P and, to make a long story short, my Ruger is now her Ruger!!! :uhoh: I had to take my brand new Hogue grips off to accomadate her smaller hands, but she was much more accurate with it and the additional weight absorbed much of the recoil. That's okay, I wanted an excuse to by a GP100 anyway. :)

My question is concerning trigger pull. I know that it will get smoother with use; we have only put about 100 rounds through it. But will it get significantly smoother. My wife's only complaint is that the trigger is a little stiff. Does the Ruger trigger get sweater with use?

Heavy

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Matt-J2
September 10, 2008, 07:50 AM
Well, I know this isn't any real experience or evidence, but all of the used models I've handled have had noticeably smoother and lighter triggers than the new models. Now, I have no way of knowing whether they all had work done on them or just smoothed up with use, but that's my experience.

madcratebuilder
September 10, 2008, 08:10 AM
Wolf spring kit and a general clean up of the action well give the results your after.

FullEffect1911
September 10, 2008, 08:11 AM
I personally like Ruger triggers. From my observations when new, they tend to have a "bump" from the cylinder bolt actuating up and down in the trigger mechanism. This seems to account for a lot of the lack of smoothness. The rest is probably from parts needing to smooth into each other.

After a while two things will happen: it will smooth out a bit and you will likely become more used to it. Of modern production revolvers, I find stock S&W triggers to be super smooth but heavy, while Ruger triggers are comparatively light but have some bumps along the pull.

By the way, i'm sorry to hear about your loss... I love my sp101.

Rexster
September 10, 2008, 08:37 AM
Yes, Rugers will smooth with use. If there are really bad hitches in the gitalong, however, they may take forever to smooth out, so attention from a talented 'smith may be in order. I leave the springs in my Rugers alone, after I experienced light strikes on primers with a spring kit back in the early 1990's.

One trick that will quickly make any new Ruger smoother is to take the EMPTY weapon firmly in hand, point it in a SAFE direction, and dry fire while holding resistance against the back of the hammer at the end of the trigger stroke. This will rip your thumb or hand open if there is a hammer spur! (Wear a thick glove!)

For future Ruger DA purchases, try handling as many of your preferred model as you can, because some will be notably smoother than others. I have cherry-picked some sweet ones that way; heavy, perhaps, but smooth.

foghornl
September 10, 2008, 08:38 AM
Rugers do tend to be a bit stiff, sometimes bordering on rough right out of the box, but the more you shoot or even dry fire the thing, the better it gets.

A Wolff sping kit is also a good investment if you want immediate improvement.

crebralfix
September 10, 2008, 08:39 AM
I just poured some Militech-1 down into the action (in front of the hammer) and pulled the trigger 100 times. Then, I put it on a pile of rags and let all that drain out overnight. That helped smooth it out a bit and I don't feel the need to change out the springs.

Daizee
September 10, 2008, 08:44 AM
The SP101 is easy to slick up yourself both with and without changing springs. Check out the IBOK over on www.rugerforum.net. 10 posts will get you access to the library. I believe some of it has been cross-posted here, but the Iowegan has several manuals there.

-Daizee

spwenger
September 10, 2008, 09:22 AM
The SP101 should remain reliable all the way down to Wolff's nine-pound main spring. Action specialist Teddy Jacobson confirmed my feeling that you should not replace the factory trigger-return spring with a lighter one.

If you do choose to replace the main spring, you may want to smooth the edges of the main-spring strut while you've got it out of the gun, with the spring off. If you're mechanically inclined, you may want to do the same for the trigger link, which is also a stamped part. Most of the other surfaces will smooth out nicely with dry- or live-fire.

Virginian
September 10, 2008, 10:42 AM
Quote
"Wolff spring kit and a general clean up of the action will give the results you're after."
Ditto. Easier than becoming an amateur gunsmith.

GaryP
September 10, 2008, 11:00 PM
The Ruger SP101 & GP100 series revolvers are fitted with a 14LB hammer spring at the factory. This is legal overkill. I have experimented with all 3 of my SP101's over the years (2.25 " 357 Mag, 4" .32 H&R Mag, and 4" .22Lr) and have settled on Wolff 11LB hammer springs in the centerfire SP101's and a Wolff 12LB hammer spring in the Rimfire SP101. The rimfire SP101, due to the variations in .22Lr ammo was not 100% reliable with the Wolff 9LB, 10LB, or 11LB hammer springs! It has now been over ten years and many thousands of rounds later with no primer related failures with my choice of hammer springs and the DA trigger (lighter) pull is a big improvement over the OEM 14LB hammer springs. :)


:evil:

Gideon
September 10, 2008, 11:29 PM
+1 on the wolf spring kit. I did that with mine and it made a huge difference and the weapon remains 100% reliable! I only changed the main spring, not the hammer spring (both come in the spring kit I bought).

Anyway, I love mine; used Pachmyr compac grips and it makes shooting .38's (even + p's) feel like you're shooting a hopped up .22 mag.

Sweet ;)

GaryP
September 11, 2008, 12:03 AM
So Gideon,

Which hammer spring did you install - 9, 10, 11, or 12LB?


:evil:

machinisttx
September 11, 2008, 12:58 AM
I only changed the main spring, not the hammer spring (both come in the spring kit I bought).

The mainspring IS the hammer spring. You probably did not replace the trigger rebound/return spring.

I installed the 9 pound mainspring, as well as the reduced power trigger rebound spring in my SP101, along with polishing the spring cups and the bore in the trigger housing. LOTS of improvement. I still need to polish a couple more things, but it's better right now than any J frame I've ever handled.

heavyshooter
September 11, 2008, 03:42 PM
Gideon,

I have the same question as Gary, "Which hammer spring did you install - 9, 10, 11, or 12LB?" When I fire the weapon, the trigger pull is just fine for me but my hand strength is notably greater than my wife's. I am trying to see what spring is as light, reliable, and safe as possible. If the current trigger is 14lbs, then I understand why it is stiff for her; that is horrible overkill. It seems that reducing that by 3 or 4lbs would be perfect but I need to be sure that it will stike reliably. Whatever the case, she has decided that Ruger is superior to S&W. She really likes this gun.

heavyshooter
September 11, 2008, 03:46 PM
Gideon,

I have the same question as Gary, "Which hammer spring did you install - 9, 10, 11, or 12LB?"

When I fire the weapon, the trigger pull is just fine for me but my hand strength is notably greater than my wife's. I am trying to see what spring is as light, reliable, and safe as possible. If the current trigger is 14lbs, then I understand why it is stiff for her; that is ridiculous overkill. It seems that reducing that by 3 or 4lbs would be perfect but I need to be sure that it will stike reliably. Whatever the case, she has decided that Ruger is superior to S&W. She really likes this gun.:D

don95sml
September 11, 2008, 08:03 PM
The SP101 is easy to slick up yourself both with and without changing springs. Check out the IBOK over on www.rugerforum.net. 10 posts will get you access to the library. I believe some of it has been cross-posted here, but the Iowegan has several manuals there.
-Daizee
+1 on that advice. I followed the procedure from IBOK (Iowegan's Book of Knowledge) on my GP-100, with excellent results. There is also an IBOK for the SP-101. The procedure goes into great detail on which springs to buy, how to take the gun apart, which parts to smooth out and how to do it, then how to reassemble everything. Believe me, I'm not a gunsmith by any stretch of the imagination, but I had no trouble following the instructions. My GP-100 now has a trigger action fully the equal of the several S&W revolvers I own.

nero45acp
September 12, 2008, 08:12 PM
I dry-fired my SP101 like it was my full time job when I first I got it. That improved the trigger considerabely. My only complaint about my SP101 is that the edges of the trigger should be a bit smoother/less sharp. For now I deal with that by putting a foam bandaid on my index finger when dry-firing/range shooting it.


nero

Norstrog
September 13, 2008, 12:34 AM
Eh, I wouldn't mess with the springs. I've got to admit my SP101 does have a relatively stiff trigger and I can't recall noticing much of a change over the last couple years. My school of thought is practice makes perfect. All guns feel slightly different and with a bit of repetition you'll forget how heavy you thought the trigger was when you first got it. Great gun though, I recommend it to anyone.

Rugerlvr
September 13, 2008, 01:25 AM
I just ordered a wolff spring kit. I'll let y'all know how it goes.

heavyshooter
September 13, 2008, 02:21 AM
"Eh, I wouldn't mess with the springs." - Norstrog

Right now I am leaning toward Norstrog's view. I want to avoid tampering with the springs so I hope dry firing and range trips will do the trick. But I do need for it to be a little smoother than it is becasue it is my wife's home defense weapon and I need for her to be as comfortable as possible.

heavyshooter
September 13, 2008, 02:22 AM
Rugerlvr,

Please let me know how it goes.

Wolfeye
September 13, 2008, 02:44 AM
I bought my SP101 new, and its trigger pull smoothed out noticeably after dry firing it a few hundred times with snap caps and re-oiling it.

ds/ks
September 13, 2008, 09:55 PM
On a rainy weekend like this, dry fire till your hand hurts. Oil it switch hands and continue, till your wife tells you to stop it, cause it is driving her crazy.
Take a break for a ham sammich and a nap. Continue process till it drives you nuts. Start same thing over tomorrow.
All my Ruger revolvers greatly benefited from thousands of dry firings.

hoptob
September 15, 2008, 02:56 AM
I got DAO SP101 and was really frustrated with it's stiff pull. Just before trigger breaks the pull was getting way too hard for any accurate shooting. Did the trigger job, dryfired, played with the springs... Trigger got better for sure but still not good enough. I ended up doing a rather complicated reconfiguring of the hammer notch - link (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=4282691). It payed off nicely; gun is now joy to shoot and dryfire.

It beats me why Ruger designed SP trigger with _increased_ effort at the end of the stroke. GP has straight hammer notch and much nicer pull without any need for complicated mods.

Mike

P.S. One poster complained about sharp hammer and trigger guard edges requiring band-aid to shoot. This can be fixed quickly by rubbing offending spots with 400-600 grit sand paper. Leaves a mark on the finish but one can save fortune on band aids. -- :)

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