Does Your SP 101 3" Shoot Low?


March 11, 2012, 06:09 PM
Or is it just mine?

Mine is a 2004 manufacture that I purchased used last spring.

It appears to have seen light use... the lockup is tight so I'd expect good accuracy.

I can't shoot 357's at the local range... so I'm going from memory... shooting 357's out in the woods shortly after purchase, the accuracy was unremarkable and the gun shot about 3" low at 30 feet.

Shooting handloaded 38 specials (mid range loads that hit near point of aim with my J-frame and Blackhawk) at the local 50 feet indoor range my SP 101 shoots about a foot low... that's a lot.

Anybody else experience this with a 3" SP 101?

Is there another solution besides to file down the front blade a little at a time?... I'd really hate to do that... or to just live with it.

Might a stout 38 special +p with a heavy bullet be the answer for practice at the range?

I bought it as a carry gun... and a couple of inches low at 20 feet certainly isn't terminal... but it's such a nice pistol... I'd shoot it more if I got better results.

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March 11, 2012, 06:16 PM
Yeah, mine did/does (...?) When I had it, it shot low, but right now it is back at Ruger for timing issues and severe barrel fouling; which may be related--we'll see what happens it comes back. I swear I checked before I bought but I must not have... Oh well.

But yeah, mine was a good 2" low at 10 yards with 158s. The only bullets that hit to POA were 180 grain .357 magnums.

March 11, 2012, 06:21 PM
I had a 3" SP101 and I got rid of it because I couldn't hit anything. It was around the same manufacture time as yours. That and the double action was pretty heavy. The gun was just heavy all around, for such a small piece, I didn't like it, don't miss it at all. I doubt I would ever own one again.

Maybe if they got rid of the barrel underlug on the 3" and 4" models and lightened up the DA trigger pull.. and made Uncle Mike's rubber boot grips as standard instead of those crappy rubber plastic inlaid factory jokes that they currently put on them. Though recently I saw one with some wood (fake?) inlays that didn't look like an improvement.

March 11, 2012, 07:57 PM
I imagine it is factory sighted with 158 grain .357 Magnum.

It will shoot low with anything with less recoil then that.

If you want to shoot .38 Spl you will probably have to file the front sight.
But then it will shoot high with 158 grain Magnums.


March 12, 2012, 03:04 AM
I shoot mine mainly with 158-gr .357s. Shoots to POA at about 25ft and shoots very small groups. It is a challenging weapon to shoot well at longer range compared to my longer-barrelled handguns.

March 12, 2012, 07:07 AM
My 3" SP101 shot about 6" low and 6" left using 158gn JHP, at 25yds. Other than that it was very accurate.
Eventually, I got tired of using hold off to hit my target, and sold it. Replaced it with a 2.5" S&W Model 19.

March 12, 2012, 08:58 AM
Mine shoots POA/POI with 115 grain 9mm rounds.

Dollar An Hour
March 12, 2012, 10:38 AM
Yes. Only mine is the shorter barrel model, but it shoots about 3" low at 10 yards with 125 gr .38's or .357's. I have not tried 158gr ammo yet, but I think that will take care of it.

March 12, 2012, 12:44 PM
My 2 inch sp101 .357 shot high with any load,I called Ruger and they sent me a higher front sight,that after installing,shot the same amount low.So after picking an accurate load and a little work with a file,it's now shooting to point of aim and is very accurate at 10 yards.biker

March 12, 2012, 05:16 PM
Mine shoots POA/POI with a range of different loads out to 20 yards. I am not a target shooter but am quite happy with mine. I'd suggest shooting different ammo, you may find that POI changes for you with a heavier slug.

March 12, 2012, 07:56 PM
Here is a sample target with the SP101 3" I used to own. Range was 25yds, ammo was AE 158gn SP's. Point of aim was the top right corner of the target sheet.

Jim NE
March 12, 2012, 11:28 PM
Does Your SP 101 3" Shoot Low?


And until I changed to Hogue grips, it was worse than that. Right now it shoots 3 to 5inches low, but with reasonably tight groups. That's with .38 special at 25 feet.

It's a defensive gun , so it doesn't bother me. I'm pretty confident that with .357 ammo it will adjust as rc said, but haven't tried it yet. I've always counted on fixed sight revolvers having a POI that was slightly different than POA. Right now I just compensate.Really like the gun, actually.

March 13, 2012, 07:39 PM
I did shoot pretty much exclusively 158gr. out of mine, still couldn't hit anything.

March 14, 2012, 02:07 AM
It is said that a fantastic trigger is almost everything in target shooting . . . with a rifle. It is even more so with a handgun. Also, some of those rubber, backstrap covering grips on the market force a shooter to grip the firearm a tad low, increasing muzzle flip and felt recoil.


Lighter, faster-moving bullets leave the barrel faster as a pistol/revolver barks in the midst of recoil. To raise where the revolver shoots, use heavier bullets and visa-versa.

Here's typical accuracy I'm getting out of my J-frame S&W snubbies . . . standing/unsupported @ ten yards, shooting at homemade targets with 1" squares on 'em. This was actually the first target I shot with this "new" 1964-made little snubbie in the fall of '07. All five rounds hit the black square, literally dead on . . . a real "keeper" revolver for sure. The challenge with any snubbie is the short sight radius which makes precise alignment of the sights more critical.

Here's at ten yards into a 1" target:

. . . and at 25 yards its the same group size when expanded out 2 1/2 times the distance as before . . .

Ruger makes outstanding revolvers, but I'd recommend checking into a good vintage S&W to get the trigger you need/want for your best accuracy.

Same day, another revolver with a 3 1/4" barrel, my custom/chopped S&W 25-2 .45ACP revolver. It shoots POA and puts a full six rounds into a single ragged hole all day long at ten yards if I do MY job! Don't know why I put the snubbie in the photo. The tiny holes were made by my Ruger MkII .22LR target pistol.

BTW, my 3" S&W Model 65 .357 Magnum also shoots dead on, and delivers the same type of accuracy as the big revolver . . . I just don't have any targets scanned and loaded onto my computer to show you.

I'd surely trade off that problematic revolver and get something that fits your hand best and that shoots to POA.

tightgroup tiger
March 14, 2012, 06:54 PM
My SP101 3" is a 327 fed mag. It actually shoots to POA with 85gr factory American Eagle loads and with 100 grain it shoots about 4-6" high at 20 yds. I didn't expect this much change.

I am very happy it does not shoot left or right. At least I can adjust the vertical next time I load them.

March 14, 2012, 11:35 PM
Weren't some folks having trouble with the barrels being slightly off rotationally? That might account for the sights being horizontally off.


March 27, 2012, 05:04 PM
Man.. I was thinking of picking up an SP101 3" soon. I guess having fixed rear sights you have shoot what it was sighted for at the factory or change out your sights. Up and down I could probably deal with.. left and right.. not so much.

March 27, 2012, 05:38 PM
I wouldn't let it scare you off hawk45. For every one gun that mechanically shoots to the right or left out of a Ransom Rest, I bet there are ten shooters blaming their grip, trigger control, or flinch on the weapon itself.

I've had plenty of guns that shot to the left or right when I first picked them up. Working on the fundamentals usually solves it. More often than not, adjusting the sights is just a crutch.

March 27, 2012, 07:10 PM
I've got an 3" 101, shoots about 3" low shooting .357's, faster bullet. Shooting 38's is right on @ 10 yds. I did have an action job done on it, lighter hammer strut spring, #14 to a #12, hammer polished and a couple of trigger parts polished, made 200% difference in DA shooting. My eyes don't see the front sight like they used to, so I applied some finger nail polish to it, shoots a tad better now that I can see the sight. My targets aren't like the guy with the snubbies, a little further apart. Ha I love my 101, no problems here, bought mine 3 months ago.

March 27, 2012, 07:47 PM
Mine shot very low from the factory. I took a file to the front site finally. Solved the problem. Windage was fine. Love the gun. It's a 2000 vintage gun.

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