New Member & Owner of a Ruger SP 101 Magnum 357


October 29, 2011, 09:50 PM
Just wanted to say hello to everyone on this site. Im new to this site & actually revolvers in general. I been researching handguns & finally decided I would like a revolver to compliment my Glock 9mm 4th generation hand gun for self defense purposes. One thing I recently noticed after first day of hitting the range "50 rounds" only. The trigger is "extremely" tight for my liking, almost painful to my trigger finger. Does this eventually ease up after firing multiple rounds or something a gun-smith to adjust possibly ? I read someone else mentioned dry firing to help soften it, not sure if this was a true statement ? So decided to reach out to fellow owners & more experienced with these type of guns than myself.

Thanks ~


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October 30, 2011, 01:05 AM
Welcome! This site is a great resource for anyone who takes the time to check it out.

I also own an sp101 and I dryfire mine regularly. It has become smoother. I'm planning to swap out the factory springs for Wolff springs. There are several threads about changing the springs in our sp101's and from what I hear it makes a big difference.

October 30, 2011, 09:29 AM
A lot of SP101 owners get a spring kit from Midway, Brownells, or maybe Wolf, for lightning the trigger pull.

October 30, 2011, 09:32 AM
I for one don't like messing with trigger kits as I've seen them cause too many problems. I just dry fire the hell out of it until it smoothes out.

October 30, 2011, 02:18 PM
I leave my SP101 stock. The trigger will smooth out after some shootings done with it. the reason I leave it stock is because of liability insurances and the courts for one. And 2.,I have no problem with stock stiff triggers from the factory.

October 30, 2011, 03:54 PM
I bought a 3" SP101 maybe a year ago, and my trigger/hammer was also extremely tight. In fact, I honestly don't think I could've cocked the hammer 20 consecutive times with my left hand, it was that tight. I consulted the gang here, and was adivsed to dry-fire it 1000 times, and then consider changing springs. I did the 1000 dry fires, and I couldn't really tell any significant difference, so I ordered the Wolf spring kit from Brownells (IIRC). I was reluctant to go digging around the insides of the pistol,(not being the most mechanically inclined), but after consulting a couple You-tube tutorials, I realized these things are stupid-simple, and I was in and out in just a few minutes. I only changed the hammer spring ( I think I dropped it down to 11# or 12# from the stock 16# spring).
If dry firing doesn't fix things, don't be afraid to install a new spring, it's cheap,easy,and a definate improvement.
Another plus is that you can check the internals for any burrs,rough edges,shavings,etc.

P.S. here's a link to the You-tube video I used detailing the breakdown & reassembly.

Dollar An Hour
October 31, 2011, 04:36 AM
Agree that SP101's are not known for smooth, light triggers from the factory. The spring kit will make a nice difference. Wolff 10# is a good choice that will ignite any factory ammo. Best of luck to you, the SP101 is a great little revolver.

Just for kicks, here's my 2.25" SP101 with red small wonder sight from Gemini customs...

October 31, 2011, 08:42 AM
Welcome to the forum....

Triggers on revolvers are very different than those on a semi-auto, give it time and you will get used to it. The above suggestion of dry firing is a good one. Not only will it smooth out the trigger but it will improve your trigger control.

WNC Seabee
October 31, 2011, 10:48 PM
I leave my SP101 stock. The trigger will smooth out after some shootings done with it. the reason I leave it stock is because of liability insurances and the courts for one. And 2.,I have no problem with stock stiff triggers from the factory.

I challenge you to cite a single actual court case where a trigger job of any sort was a/the cause for action. Or find actual documentation of denied or increased premium for liability insurance. This is simply internet/water cooler talk with zero basis in fact. Find me a cite and I'll send you $10.

As to the OPs question, I would say go ahead with a Wolff spring kit. Super easy to install and vastly improved trigger pull.

October 31, 2011, 10:50 PM
I have a Ruger SP101 3". The trigger is tough, but that revolver will age better than any of us will. That tough trigger like the revolver is made for the long, long haul. Maybe not the funnest shooter, but its made to be no fuss and very reliable for as far as I can tell forever.

Diddo Wnc Seabee! Man, the stuff people say on these gun forums and at the gun counters.

My favorite gun-forum/gun-counter B.S.

"You can only shoot a bad guy 3 times."
"Silencers are illegal."
"Assault Rifles" As opposed to assault pencils. Who knows that real "Assault rifles" are NFA items?
"Cop-killer bullets"
"You have to tell a cop if you have a gun" Not all states have a duty-to-inform.
"Open-carry is illegal"
"Open-carry is Illegal in certain counties" - Heard this one at a gun counter from a CHP teacher in a State that has Preemption.
"You can't take a gun on a military base" Well, I registered my shotgun with the base commander and bought a hunting permit for a military installation.
"If you adjust your trigger a lawyer could say you have a hair trigger and be liable"
"You can't have a gun on a boat"

Big Mike
November 1, 2011, 08:50 PM
I had a SP 101 that was probably 5 years old. I maybe dry-fired it 1,500 to 2,000 times in addition to putting several hundred rounds down range (.357 and .38). The trigger was just as tight when I sold it as it was when I got it. I also took a wet/dry sand paper to the edge of the trigger as mine was very sharp. It was a great carry revolver but I just couldn't get used to the trigger. I never did try the spring change and as has been mentioned above, that may have helped. If nothing else, all that dry firing will help build the muscles in your hand. :)

November 1, 2011, 09:00 PM
I dry fired mine 1000 times first week I got. smoth as can be, I cant see a trigger job making it any smoother. I am now a big sp101 fan.

November 1, 2011, 09:03 PM
I remeber one case here in Omaha,Ne where the prosecuter at the time asked a question about the way the gun was built. It was 30+ years ago on a self defense shooting in the Ghetto part of our city. The defendant bought a stock Ruger used Security six,loaded with semi-wadcutter .357 158 grain ammo hardcast and fired only one shot. Dirtbag died on frontal impact but,bullet after entering body of dirtbag keyholed inside the body. Case was dismissed because of prosecuters messed up on something but to this day,the defendant still ccw his Security six 3 inch barrel revolver.

November 6, 2011, 10:36 AM
Just wanted to thank everyone for the recommendations/comments to my post. I did take the advice of many on here & have to admit after hitting the range second time with my revolver it was "much" more tolerable. I did purchase "hogue" grips which Im sure helped some overall. I dry fired it numerous times during the week & shot off another 50 rounds of 38sp this weekend. I even shot off a round of 357 & uhmmmm ya, I have to admit this might be my new favorite hand-gun, I also have a glock 19 4th gen, but this one feels nice !! :cool:

November 7, 2011, 06:57 AM
awesome! glad to hear. It seems like the trigger is just begging to be dry fired and after it is happy.

November 7, 2011, 07:42 AM
agree with the consensus

SP101s (I own one too, 3"), do not have light triggers, but just dry firing a lot almost always is adequate (always use snap caps whether you really think you need 'em or not)
That and running a few thousand round downrange, which is what they are for
If that still doesn't suit you, the Wolff spring kits are easily enough done, though I never have felt the need myself.

November 7, 2011, 03:31 PM
Can't disagree with anything said in the string before now. Several years ago, a friend who purchased a GP complained of a particularly "hard" trigger on DA and "hard" SA cocking. He didn't need to shoot the gun much, and told me that he put snap caps in the cylinder, cocked the gun, and let it sit cocket for a few months, and when he got back to it, it had become a little "less hard." He said he then dry-fired it for about an hour a night for a couple of weeks. I don't know how truly accurate is his detrmination that the trigger is "lighter" and the action smoother, but, it is his ccw gun and he ccw every day.......Me? I'd have swapped out the springs for Wolff springs and called it a day.

November 7, 2011, 05:48 PM
I just bought a used sp101 and it had the hardest to cock single action trigger I have ever owned. The double action is just fine. I took it apart and discovered the previous owner had cut the main spring and the trigger return spring. It didn't help any at all.

I had planned on buying one of these guns and replacing the factory springs anyway so I ordered a Wolff spring kit from Midway. The 10lb spring felt too light so I went with the 12lb spring. The trigger didn't seem to reset fast enough with the Wolff spring so I used the cut factory trigger spring.

Now what really made the gun slick was I polished the interface between the hammer and trigger single action areas. I didn't touch the sears any any way. The trigger and hammer both have a C shaped hook and thats the area that you work on. My gun would cam over very hard as it reached the end of the hammer cock function. Removing a little metal and polishing made a huge difference. It would have taken an untold amount of cocking to do what I did a little at a time over a couple hours of polishing and testing.

I bet I have had that gun apart 20-25 times so far. Its just not something you can do quickly. Putting metal back on is not an option so you need to work slow. I have done this to a S&W model 30 I have that was not a real smooth gun. And it was built in 1967 as far as I can tell.

November 7, 2011, 05:54 PM
Forgot to say welcome to the OP and also I am glad I am not the only one with a hard to cock 101. I thought I bought a friday quitting time lemon.

I was surprised ruger let that gun get out but then again anytime I work on a gun it seems like I am always a little more fond of that particular gun. Its funny to feel special about a gun that aggrevates you and gives you problems. It don't work that way with women does it?:banghead:

November 7, 2011, 06:15 PM
I'm an sp101 owner myself, and scared to change the springs because as I like an above poster, have heard of lots of problems. I don't dry fire mine either. After reading that it helps smoothe it out, ill start doing so. Should I put snap caps in all the cylinders?

November 7, 2011, 06:18 PM
I didnt use snap caps. In the manual it actually says dry fire practice is ok.

November 8, 2011, 02:27 PM
Agree that SP101's are not known for smooth, light triggers from the factory. The spring kit will make a nice difference. Wolff 10# is a good choice that will ignite any factory ammo. Best of luck to you, the SP101 is a great little revolver.

Just for kicks, here's my 2.25" SP101 with red small wonder sight from Gemini customs...
Dollar An Hour, what kind of grips are those? i like em.

November 9, 2011, 12:24 AM
Welcome. Congrats on a great firearm there. Train train train...

November 9, 2011, 12:22 PM
Welcome to the forum! I bought a SP101, 2.25 barrel, spurless, and immediately replaced the hammer spring, trigger return spring, placed stainless steel shims on the trigger and hammer pins, and did a trigger job after watching the video linked below. WOW! What a difference. It is a pleasure to shoot, super smooth. Great weapon. Don't let the title of the video throw is exactly the same for the SP101 as the GP100.

GP100 and Sp101 Trigger Job (

November 9, 2011, 03:47 PM
I have a SP101 2.25" DAO I bought when they were still fairly new. I found the trigger pretty typical when it came to "feel" for a Ruger DA revolver. (I've owned Ruger DA's in the Security/Service/Speed-Six & Redhawk lines for many years, having also been a long time shooter of Ruger SA revolvers. ;) )

I left the springs stock in mine and engaged in both dry-fire and live-fire to 'smooth' it out. I have a very nice Service-Six that was tuned by a well-known & respected gunsmithing company many years ago. One of the things they did was replace the standard mainspring with a lightened spring ... which I immediately replaced with the stock spring when I got it back. Despite their assurances that it ought to ignite most primers in good quality ammunition, I was using the Ruger as an off-duty weapon, not a range gun. I wanted the maximum reliability possible under any and all conditions.

The standard springs in Ruger (and S&W) revolvers may be heavy, but they're also designed to function the revolvers under what might be termed less-than-optimal conditions. (It's amazing how some owners can unintentionally 'abuse' a revolver when it comes to cleaning & maintenance, or outright abuse one.) Light springs might be fine when the gun is clean and being used under good conditions, and with ammunition carefully checked for QC and primer sensitivity.

However, I tend to use my revolvers more as firearms carried as dedicated defensive weapons, rather than as leisure, range, sporting or hunting firearms. I want them to work under 'less-than-ideal' conditions, if need be, and I want them to have the best potential chance to still ignite primers whether the hammer's freedom of movement may have been adversely affected to some degree by unexpected fouling/contaminants, or when the occasional hard primer may come along.

I discovered how my finger could eventually come to 'outrun' the trigger recovery when one of my 642's was equipped with a lighter than standard rebound slide spring. This was after a couple of even light er springs had been found to either not allow for proper trigger recovery at all (which being checked at the bench), or inconsistent trigger recovery. The lighter spring which allowed for consistent trigger recovery eventually turned out to not have enough speed to keep up with my index finger when running drills involving rapid shot strings (the more my DA revolver skills were returning after a LOT of practice, after not having carried a service revolver or an off-duty revolver for several years).

I reinstalled the factory spring and I immediately found the trigger recovery was firm, brisk and faster than I could hope to outrun with my finger.

I also couldn't figure out why I'd tried the lighter trigger in the first place ... which apparently meant that the practice I'd been doing had paid off in making the standard rebound slide spring now "feel" fine. I guess the shooter had needed the 'improvement', rather than the gun.

Sometimes spending the time and effort in 'improving' the shooter, instead of the handgun, may pay more dividends down the road ... ;)

Just my thoughts.

The little SP101's are handy little 5-shot Magnum wheelies. I even found the stock 'squarish' grips to work out fine for my needs.

I don't use the SPO101 nearly as often (aside from range practice), since I have a number of lighter weight J-frames which better suit my desire for a pocket holster carry method. I'd rather use it when i feel like using & carrying Magnum ammunition, though, since its increased weight makes for better controllability than when shooting one of my lighter S&W's. I've even thought of ordering a standard XS dot front night sight. (I've come to really like the XS front night sights on my pair of M&P 340's.)

Congrats on the new revolver.

If you enjoyed reading about "New Member & Owner of a Ruger SP 101 Magnum 357" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!