SP 101 concerns


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kbbailey
June 22, 2010, 11:38 PM
I just got a Ruger SP 101 as my ccw.
As soon as I got home I went straight to my "range" for a test run. The first five went dead center bullseye @ 15 yds.....I should have quit then.
Every shot since then has gone 8" low and 6" left. Pretty good groups...just not where I want them to be.

I thought since I was shooting my reloads, maybe I had a leading issue. After careful cleaning, I had the same results.

The thing that worries me is that the rifling in the bore has a nasty gouge on one of the lands... It looks like tooling chatter or some other flaw.
I always carry a penlight...I can't believe that I didn't inspect the bore before I made the deal. Had I looked in the bore, I might not have bought the gun...it's that bad. I just didn't expect an issue with a new gun.

The only other thing...is that I am starting out with a completely new batch of reloads 7.7 grns Unique over 158 grn Keith style bullet lubed with Alox. I haven't shot them in anything else yet, so I can't vouch for the accuracy of the reloads.


Is it possible that the little gun just doesn't like my reload recipe??

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ar24095
June 23, 2010, 12:02 AM
Have you let someone else shoot it to see if it groups the same for them as you?

c919
June 23, 2010, 12:02 AM
What weight bullets were you shooting?

I ask because, as I understand it, Ruger sights them with 158gr rounds. Mine definitely shoots best with 158s. I have never had as much variation as you mentioned, but lighter rounds do tend to shoot lower for me (which seems strange). I have been shooting some 125gr XTPs that I loaded really light (4.7gr Universal) and they shoot a little low, but only about 2".

I'd bet that if you go get some good old fashioned trigger time in, you'll improve. The SP101 is pretty different gun from many in it's class. It took me some getting used to, but now it'd be last gun I'd ever get rid of if hard times struck (and I've got some that are way more expensive). I just don't think the SP can be beat.

Best of luck.

BMF500
June 23, 2010, 12:05 AM
If indeed the gun is new and the rifling is flawed, by all means, send it back to Ruger.

kbbailey
June 23, 2010, 12:13 AM
If indeed the gun is new and the rifling is flawed, by all means, send it back to Ruger

It is brand new...I have only shot about 100 rds through it.
I should try to post pictures of the bore to see whether anyone thinks it deserves a trip back to Ruger headquarters.

Geezer Glide
June 23, 2010, 07:26 AM
Sorry to hear about your SP. Judging by complaints from other forums, you're not alone. Ruger has been shipping some firearms that should have never left the factory. Send it back and hope for the best. Good luck. I have 2 older SP101's and they are great.

fireside44
June 23, 2010, 08:36 AM
The first five went dead center bullseye @ 15 yds.....I should have quit then.
Every shot since then has gone 8" low and 6" left.

It's quite a blaster with full power loads. Are you sure you didn't pick up a flinch?

Rexster
June 23, 2010, 10:28 AM
If the first shot was dead center, and the rest were off-center, I suspect you were gripping it differently, or had different trigger finger placement. FWIW, low left POI is usually the shooter's doing, especially a right-handed shooter. It took me a while to learn correct trigger finger placement with the SP101. What is correct for me, of course, will vary from what works for anyone else. Keep in mind that unless your hand is quite small, your index finger will not fall naturally into the correct finger position with such a small gun.

One thing to try is using the other hand, if your skill level allows, and see if the shots still go low left.

Another thing to try is asking a skilled shooter, familiar with the SP101, to try shooting a group with yours. If it is the gun's problem, a skilled shooter, whose accurate SP101 works well for him, will experience low left groups with yours.

NotSoFast
June 23, 2010, 05:33 PM
I had a similar problem. I initially was shooting 120gr loads and .38 Specials. My shots were all about 3" low.

Asking around it came to light that the SP101 was designed to shoot 158gr magnum loads. When I did that, my POI became my POA,. or at least as close as I can get it. It is because the barrel kicks less with the lighter load and since the bullet hasn't quite left the barrel yet, it hits lower.

So get yourself some 158 gr loads or continue to expect to see your shots all stay low. Either that or file down the front sight. But get yourself a spare first.

Chuck

Rule3
June 23, 2010, 05:50 PM
Rule out your ammo first. Spend the money (yes it's expensive) and get some factory ammo if you can. Shoot the gun from some kind of rest, sand bag etc to rule out either ammo or you (not saying it is you) If still a problem call Ruger but tell them you are using factory ammo.

kbbailey
June 24, 2010, 09:24 AM
I dug out an old box of 158 grn Federal ammo and had better results than with my handloads. I was able to put 5 or 6 out of 30 into a 3X5" bullseye @ 20 yds.

I am quite experienced with a trapgun...maybe not so much with a handgun, so I won't rule out possible operator error. I do practice good fundamentals especially in this case...I was using two hand grip; resting the gun across the tailgate/bedside of the 'ol Ford; shooting single action; seeing muzzle flash; etc.

I still keep coming back to those nasty riflings in the bore. If I knew you guys would stay with me on this matter, I will get the Mrs. to help take pictures and post them here to see what everyone thinks of the bore. (It ain't good)

Old Shooter
June 24, 2010, 09:37 AM
It seems that bore rifling is bothering you regardless if it is a part of the accuracy problem you are experiencing. I would contact Ruger with some pictures of the problem area and see about replacing either the barrel or the entire gun and put that issue to bed.

I hate to have a gun that needs an alibi, it's either fix it or send it down the road.

earlthegoat2
June 24, 2010, 09:52 AM
I dug out an old box of 158 grn Federal ammo and had better results than with my handloads. I was able to put 5 or 6 out of 30 into a 3X5" bullseye @ 20 yds.

Get more 158 ammo or reload some to normal specs and try this some more. Most likely you will find it hits close to bull @ 20 yds which I would call acceptable. Some folks seem to think a short barrelled handgun should be able to hit POA at ludicrous distances. As long as it shoots close to POA at a comfortable distance no need to bother further.

kbbailey
June 24, 2010, 10:17 AM
Its true...I may be expecting too much from a 2.25" bbl. I am accustomed to my Python, Blackhawks, etc shooting paper plates @ 50 yds. I may be spoiled....never had a snubbie 'til now.

I'll get som pics of the bore....check back here later.

kbbailey
June 24, 2010, 11:46 AM
We tried for 45 min to get a decent shot of inside of the bore. My assistant lost interest, and we didn't ever get a good photo...so scratch that idea.

I may take it back to the store where I got it and see what they say about the riflings. It sure has one land in bad shape. There are a couple others that aren't smooth.

I have a Python that spent a few years in a cardboard box on my aunt's garage floor. She gave it to me, I sent it to Colt to be refinished. it came back tuned, refinished, sporting new grips and a new hammer. It still has some pits in the bore, but it shoots like a rifle...completely awesome.

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