Ruger SP101 3 1/16 now what.


December 14, 2010, 08:41 PM
I have been wanting a Ruger SP101 with a 3 1/16 barrell for quite sometime. Well I have finally gotten one. It is used but the lock up is tight as a bank vault and the cylinder gap is impressive. I wont be able to try it out untill this weekend. I am just wondering if there is anything I should do? I would like to smooth it out the trigger is a little sharp on the edges so I would like to round all the sharp edges the entire gun. What is the best way to smooth the edges?I know there are places and points that can be smoothed out to improve things. I know there is "IBOK" treatment but I dont remember where I have heard of that. I am open to suggestions. Thanks guys

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December 14, 2010, 08:55 PM
If you can afford to, send it to Gemini (

They do some nice work on SP101s

December 14, 2010, 08:59 PM
I was thinking a little more economical approach.

December 14, 2010, 09:19 PM
If you can afford to, send it to Gemini (

They do some nice work on SP101s
If the gun is in excellent mechanical order I would just go to the range with few boxes of ammo.
I don't mean to insult you but why would anyone buy Ruger and send it to Gemini when they can get Performance Center 627 for less?

December 14, 2010, 09:53 PM
After trading a snubbie 101 a couple years ago, and then regretting it, I went and bought another a few months ago.( 3" this time)
I was less than thrilled with the outrageously tight action, and started researching here and elsewhere. First, it's recommended that you do about a thousand dry-fires, and Ruger OK's this in the manual. So, dry fire,I did. :D
But still, I was unhappy, so I ordered a Wollff spring set, and then looked to You-Tube for the installation tutorial (which I highly recommend).
The spring kit cost something like $12 bucks, and the instillation took about 10+ minutes ( and that's only because I'm an idiot).
This is an easy,very commonly performed and recommended surgery,and it fixed my Ruger up very well. Brownells and Midway, among others,have the Wolff spring kit.

December 14, 2010, 10:01 PM
Which springs did you use? I guess what weight would be a clearer question.

December 14, 2010, 10:11 PM

PM sent

December 14, 2010, 10:17 PM
I changed the hammer spring and trigger spring. The lighter trigger spring caused the trigger to hesitate before returning. So I swapped it back. The lighter hammer spring helped a lot. It is my favorite pistol.

WNC Seabee
December 14, 2010, 10:45 PM
Another vote for the Wolff springs. They make a huge difference.

After trying a couple high dollar options, I settled on Hogue Monogrips. They fit MY hand a lot better than the factory grip.

Add a Simply Rugged Sourdough holster w/the inside out straps and you have the perfect carry gun!

December 14, 2010, 10:48 PM
I found the trigger & trigger guard to be a little sharp on my SP101. I took a really fine oval file and *carefully* touched it up, not wanting to scratch or nick anything. Now it feels fine. After that I tried polishing up the edges with emery cloth but couldn't see any difference. I think I bought the set of files at an arts & crafts store. They're about the size of pencils.

I think Tyler Grips makes a trigger shoe that fits the SP101. They can make it more comfortable, but I'd be careful using one with highly molded holsters.

As far as slicking up the action goes, all I did was buy a bunch of good snap caps, pull the trigger a few hundred times, then clean & oil the mechanism. (It's easy to take apart so long as you go no further than what the manual suggests.) Now the action is noticeably better, but not exactly buttery.

December 14, 2010, 10:58 PM
Thanks for all of the advice so far. I like the simply rugged but I lean more toward appendix carry and not sure how it will work. Perfect would be a lowrise appendix holster of some sort. I think

December 14, 2010, 11:37 PM
IBOK can be bought from the classifieds of

December 15, 2010, 12:57 AM
SP101 3" is a beautiful thing. I put the Hogue grip on mine. It makes it much easier to control in .357 magnum. I have a 2" model in .38 special only that I like with the factory grip. I guess I got lucky with the trigger pull and sharp edges thing. Both these revolvers are good to go IMHO. The trigger pull is not like my S&W's, but then again, they're not S&W's. It's more like my King Cobra that had trigger work from Cylinder and Slide. I just can't "stage" the double action on the SP's like I can the King Cobra. Single action on the SP's is fine, but not exceptional. I don't shoot much single action from them anyway. The best single action pull (out of the box) I've ever had on a revolver is on my Rossi 351, believe it or not. It is close to the King Cobra, which is a thing of beauty. I love revolvers. They all have such personality.

Chuck Perry
December 15, 2010, 08:15 AM
+1 on the Wolff springs. If you're shopping grips, consider the Pachmayr Compacts. You don't hear about them often. I tried several options on mine and settled on the Pachs. They are handfilling and comfortable without being overly bulky like the Hogues.

Monster Zero
December 15, 2010, 08:45 AM
Take it out and shoot it and enjoy it. Use eye protection and ear protection too so you won't have tinnitus later in life. Get a good holster. Even if you don't reload yet, save your empties.

December 15, 2010, 10:00 AM
Hogue grips are great and so are tritium frontsights. I tried the nail polish thing but wasn't happy so I ordered the Trijicon front sight and it's great. Some reviews bashed the trijicon and favored the meprolight, but I believe Trijicon has since updated their front sight, using a longer sight, more gas, and a clearly visible white ring that surrounds that gas tube. It's easy to sight in with the white ring during daylight and in a dark room there's no missing the bright green dot. If you order it from trijicon, their website still shows the old blade sight, but I assure you the one they are shipping now is great. possibly in response to the meprolight getting better reviews. Installation is doable by yourself, but you need a good vice and cobalt drill bit. I did it myself, but a gunsmith isn't a bad idea since it's easy to ding the gun.

December 15, 2010, 11:34 AM
These can be obtained at RugerForum.NET. You have to be a member with 10 posts and somewhere there you can order one from Iowegan, one of the resident gunsmiths there.

John Wayne
December 15, 2010, 11:57 AM
There's not a whole lot that the gun actually needs, but no shortage of products to spend money on. The gun should cycle fine out of the box, shoot to POA, and smooth up on its own with use.

Economical ideas:
If you want a smoother/lighter pull, get a spring kit.
If the grips don't suit you, change them.
Paint the front sight/rear sights.
Get some speedloaders

If money is no concern:
Have a gunsmith install a better set of sights. Fixed SS sights are not the easiest thing to get a sight picture with in broad daylight. Ramp front with tritium insert and J frame "heavy duty" adjustable rear sight would be my choice.

Have the "Ruger Billboard" removed, along with any burrs or sharp edges.

Chamfer the cylinder charge holes.

Half-bob the hammer.

Get a nice set of grips. Depending on your preference that could be fancy hardwood, stag, or laser grips.

Either way, just go shoot it!

December 15, 2010, 03:56 PM
The only thing I have done to my recently-purchased 3.06" SP101 is install a spur-less hammer that I got through evilbay several years ago, when they still allowed such parts to be listed. It will probably get a better front sight, perhaps one of the Small Wonder front sights from Gemini, or perhaps a Trijicon. I have snubbier SP101s, and two of them have Trijicon front sights.

I love the balance of the 3.06" SP101, compared to the 2.25" snubbier ones. It feels more "alive" in the hand, with the slight difference making it easier to tell where the muzzle is pointed. Whether one believes in point-shooting or not, if a weapon points more naturally, it will require less correction when the sights are aligned with the eyes, all else being equal.

December 16, 2010, 09:09 AM
Now what?

How about buying a rail-road car full of ammo, shooting most of it, and then see if the SP101 needs any tuning :D :D :D :D :evil:

Just is nice to add some custom treatments to your guns, but that SP101 probably needs some 'work polishing'

December 16, 2010, 03:10 PM
Congrats on the new purchase. I did my own ghetto gunsmithing ( on my SP as I had a dremel laying around. Check it out. Most of what you want to do to an SP you can do yourself. The only reason I'd send my out is for a bead blast finish or some kind of a pro trigger job, but my trigger is actually really nice.

December 17, 2010, 11:05 AM
I think my biggest adjustment will be trigger take up and reset. I am accustomed to S&W triggers. I wont say better but different than my SP. I wonder if a spring kit would change this and make it more fluid and more of a postive reset.

December 17, 2010, 12:29 PM
Obviously, if you want a great trigger, start with an S&W 60.

Stuck with an SP-101, from my experience, find Iowegan's (Ruger forum) excellent treatise on slicking up the trigger group. The most important step is putting it in a ziploc bag to catch the spring launched plunger as you dissect it. The right size drills - for deburring & reaming the holes - are important - as is Flitz/Semichrome metal paste polish for final cleaning. You won't need to touch the hammer-trigger-sear surfaces - they wear in. You won't believe the difference. Change the springs, too. My 4" .32 H&RM went from the nastiest revolver I ever touched to super - until I noticed the oversized spent brass it produced. Just barely in spec, it was identical to the BHG SSM in .32 H&RM I had - .337+" chamber ID's. The .32 brass worked too much, resizing to .334" like commercial ammo, resulting in 2 or 3 reloads before splitting the brass. I said goodbye to .32's - and Rugers - over 2.5 yr ago. I have fewer revolvers - but only an Old Army BP revolver bears Ruger on it. The cheesy windage-only adjustable rear sight on the SP-101 was just nasty, too. Not fond of the SP-101.


December 20, 2010, 09:51 AM
WOw I went and shot my SP101 on Sat. The first few shots I wasnt sure. Then I got comfortable with it and it began to shine. I shot mostly 38 some wc and some LSWCHP. I shot a few 357 and that was "entertaining" untill I realized I had blood running down my hand. I am not sure if thats a nature of the beast thing or not. I will now look into a spring kit, do the IBOK treatment and change grips oh yeah and buy a holster once I decide. I guess at this point I have to choose between the Hogue and the Pachmyers. I have Hogues on my J frame and really like it but it looks large on the SP101. I have Pachmyers on my Model 13 and had on my Model 19. I like both of them alot. After seeing the difference in metal plates I want to at least be able to shoot 357 from time to time but would prefer to not be on the bleeding end. I carry IWB in the appendix posistion so the holster I will be looking for will be a low riding version

December 20, 2010, 01:33 PM
You gotta figure out where the blood came from. Did you get cut on something? Figure out what it was and smooth it out. Don't try to train to defend yourself and your family with a gun that cuts you when you shoot it.
If you haven't tried it yet, consider a Hogue monogrip. I like it much better on mine. Large or not, it gives me something to hang on to and makes one handed shooting of full-power loads totally possible. Even my smaller female friends can handle a few .357's from my SP-101 with relative comfort. The blast and flash bother them eventually, but the recoil isn't painful with those grips.

December 20, 2010, 02:16 PM
I have a large gash on the second joint of my trigger finger. I will file the trigger guard smooth. Im definately changing grips just have decided Pachmayer or Hogue

December 20, 2010, 08:54 PM
Yeah, the Hogues are money well spent. Feel around for rough edges on the back of the triggerguard - something has to be cutting you. A snubby .357 can have pretty sharp recoil, but not so sharp that it should be cutting you.
I'd also suggest you lay hands on some speedloaders before too long and maybe a Simply Rugged holster.

December 20, 2010, 10:42 PM
From experience, it's not the trigger guard. It comes from the trigger itself. If you unload your pistol and pull the trigger and hold it there then look where the trigger goes into the frame you will see that the shape of the trigger has a point on the right side and as recoil of the 357 happens that point is digging into your finger. I haven't tried to remedy it yet but I see some filing and polishing coming soon.

December 20, 2010, 11:44 PM
Mine doesn't have any point or sharp edges there, but it could be a slight defect on yours. If that's the case, send it back to Ruger and ask them to check sight regulation while they have it. I will be really surprised if you don't get it back totally fluffed, buffed, and basically as smooth as a classic S&W.

black timber
December 21, 2010, 12:40 AM
I have a 3" with the hogues, I did the wolff springs and didn't think it helped much, but it's an awesome handgun. I've shot some pretty hot loads in it with 180 xtp and 180 hard cast, it's a powerful little it.

December 21, 2010, 06:50 PM
How does recoil compare 125 vs 158. I carried my sp101 today in a cheap uncle mikes aiwb and wow I like. I've ordered wolff springs and pachmayrs because I normally carry in a tshirt with no cover shirt. Figure get some edges cleaned up and smooth some stuff out and install springs and grips and this joker will be perfect.

December 22, 2010, 04:11 AM
I smoothed out the back of the trigger with an emery board and then hit all of the sharp edges on the rest of the gun CAREFULLY with a dremel, finishing up with some Fitz metal polish on the outside parts.

Took some work but was well worth the time.

February 24, 2011, 09:49 PM
" I don't mean to insult you but why would anyone buy Ruger and send it to Gemini when they can get Performance Center 627 for less?"

Maybe for these reasons?

I recently called Ruger customer service. They were totally accommodating and helpful; willing take my SP101 back to correct an issue and repair at their expense w/ one week turn-around. I'm just sayin'.

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