My SP101 trigger is finally getting better


January 22, 2011, 10:35 PM
I love Rugers. Most of the guns I own are Rugers and the next two guns on my wish list are Rugers. BUT!!!... I hate the trigger on my SP101! It was heavy and very gritty from the day I bought it; especially during the last quarter of the trigger return. I think I'm so annoyed by it because my GP100 (and every GP100 I have ever handled) has a great trigger. Also, I handle other SP101's in the store and while they are not great, they are nowhere near as bad as mine. :banghead: So I set out to smooth it without dropping coin on a trigger job; insert snapp caps and start dry firing. After about 1,500 dry fires (and really tired index fingers :eek:) I believe it is becoming tolerable; not great but tolerable.

I was wonder what your experince has been with you SP101's. Have you fired it enough to attain good trigger status? Can I hope for that? Or should I settle for tolerable?


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January 22, 2011, 10:40 PM
I bought a SP101 in .357 back when they first came out. I've dry fired it probably 5k times. It smoothed up a good bit.

January 22, 2011, 11:01 PM
What you are actually doing is developing more strength in you muscles. If it's that really that bad, tear it down and put a 10 dollar spring kit in it. Or send it back to Ruger. Good grief man, there's no reason to suffer with a gun like that.

January 23, 2011, 04:11 AM
I've got more than one gun that has smoothed up from use, whether it be live or dry firing. I've got 2 Collt King Cobras. One has seen 20k rounds. The other has only seen a few hundred. The difference in the two gun's is very noticeable.

January 23, 2011, 04:25 AM
"...dropping coin on a trigger job..." You can do a trigger job yourself. Rocket science it ain't.
Just changing the springs, vs wearing the parts, will improve the trigger. A Wolff SP101 spring pak runs a princely $9.79.

January 23, 2011, 07:21 AM
Just changing the springs, vs wearing the parts, will improve the trigger.

Lighter and smooth aren't the same thing. I'd rather have a smooth trigger than a light one.

That said, I've never been a believer in the ol' "dry fire it to smoothen it up" action job. IME, it merely makes the feel of a stick being pulled across a a picket fence feel like a smoother stick down a picket fence. If you want a good trigger, get a bona fide action job done on it. Surely, in the metro Denver are, there's a decent gunsmith?

January 23, 2011, 11:09 AM
The SP I currently have started out with a 14lb DA trigger and about 5lb SA. Finally, sent it off to Teddy Jacobson for an action job and it came back with a 9 lb DA (had it made DAO). It was a lot better and smooth as Mr. Borland mentions. Just for kicks put a 9 lb mainspring and 8 lb trigger return spring in it. DA was about 8.4 lbs and it fired what I fed it. I then returned the slightly heavier springs Jacobson put in it just to ensure reliability. While smooth being a small frame it will never be as light as a GP all other things equal due to less leverage in the action. It is the nature of the beast and affects not only Rugers but S&W, Colt and others.

If you don't want to pay for an action job you can order a do it yourself guide over at Ruger from Iowegan who is a retired gunsmith. Right now he is having some more printed up and they should be available in a bit.

Old Fuff
January 23, 2011, 12:14 PM
There is an often ignored relationship between lighter aftermarket springs and reliability. If you are, or are considering using your revolver as a defensive weapon, forget the do-it-yourself route, and follow the above advise by sending it to a professional 'smith that specializes in Ruger work.

January 23, 2011, 12:14 PM
I got a 3" Sp101 from Buds several months ago, and it was so friggin' tight, I don't think I could cock the thing left-handed, 20 consecutive times. I don't think I'm exagerating, it was that bad.
I did the recommended 1000 dry-fires, but didn't really notice much difference. I ended up ordering a Wolff spring kit, and fished up a video tutorial on You-Tube, and did the job myself in just a few minutes ( and I'm not mechanically inclined at all). I can't remember exactly, I think I dropped the mainspring down to a 10 or 11 pounder, and I'm much happier with the pistol now.

January 23, 2011, 12:21 PM
Lighter and smooth aren't the same thing. I'd rather have a smooth trigger than a light one.


I have a SA 1911 that initially I was disappointed in, the trigger was rough. But after about 500 rounds, it's nice and smooth.


January 23, 2011, 02:59 PM
Big ++++ for puting a $10.00 spring in it I did it to both of mine it took a whole 15 mins for both of the guns and they are smooth as silk.

You can order them from Midway or direct from Wolff

January 23, 2011, 07:31 PM
Lighter and smooth aren't the same thing. I'd rather have a smooth trigger than a light one.

+2 on this one.

While the trigger is a little heavy, the grittiness is a much bigger problem. In fact, if the trigger smoothed out I may not even notice the heaviness. While I will NEVER tell someone that they should not change springs, my personal preference is to stick with the factory springs because I am counting on 100% reliability with any ammo I use. I am trying to see if I can smooth the trigger without going to a weaker spring.

January 23, 2011, 08:16 PM
I bought a used sp101 so I'm not sure what the trigger started like, but it doesn't look like any work was done to smooth it out. It isn't the smoothest, but it is FAR from gritty.

I did put a lighter spring in it and it is a lot easier to fire for me. I've tried a few other rugers and most DA seem to have the 106lb trigger spring that they call 15lbs. But that's just preference, I've never bought into the dry-firing for a trigger-job.

January 23, 2011, 08:31 PM
Mine (a .327 Mag) was gritty as well. Intolerably gritty. I know this might seem like a thing many of us take for granted, but a COMPLETE teardown and cleaning made a huge difference right off the bat.

A few weeks later, I installed the Wolfe springs, and there was another notch up in improvement. I'm going to give mine another month or so of dry firing, and then I'll tear down and clean again, this time polishing the wear points that should be quite visible.

This process worked with my Security Six many years ago, and should work with my SP101 as well.

January 24, 2011, 12:20 PM
I have done trigger work on a number of Ruger revolvers and every one of them was full of chips and burrs. Ruger designs and builds GREAT firearms but they are building them to a specific price point and they don't seem to worry about the detail stuff. Simply cleaning and flushing and knocking off these burrs will make a huge difference in how the trigger feels. Pay particular attention to the bores that the springs ride in. Extensive dry firing will help a little but nowhere near as much as cleaning and smoothing the internal surfaces. Lightening the springs just a little also helps but the main problem is always rough finishing inside.

January 24, 2011, 01:35 PM
Got to put mine appart.

Trigger is not that heavy but gritty.

January 24, 2011, 02:05 PM
Many years ago I had a Browning Hi Power where the trigger was so rough that sometimes I thought the safety was on in the middle of shooting a magazine! I think they must have done their polishing with 40 grit sandpaper :(

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