Non-factory sights for Ruger SP101?


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Jim NE
May 11, 2012, 02:07 AM
My SP101 shoots about 6 inches low at 30 feet with both .38 and .357.

I ordered a "medium" and "low" front site from Ruger in hopes of lowering the front site from it's current height. The lowest of the two, however, is the same as what's on the gun now :(

Gun shoots decent groups as it is.

Before I start filing on metal, is there any place out there that sells lower than factory "low" sites?

Thanks - Jim

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Peakbagger46
May 11, 2012, 11:25 AM
I think trijicon makes a night sight for it. What bullet weight are you shooting? My older 2" is dead-nuts with the 158g loads but way low with 125-135g bullets.

Jim NE
May 11, 2012, 02:49 PM
What bullet weight are you shooting?

Well, that's a good question. I know that at least some (and possibly all) of the .38's I've run through it have been target loads (130 gr.). I'm pretty sure the .357's were 158 grain, though. I was kind of expecting POI to align more with POA when I tried the .357's.

The GOOD news is that most of my ammo, whether .38 or .357 of either bullet weight, seems to be hitting more or less in the same general vicinity, so once I get the gun properly sighted there HOPEFULLY won't a huge disparity in accurarcy between ammo types.

Thanks for the info, though. That's good to know, and I'll check out those sights you mentioned.

788Ham
May 11, 2012, 03:15 PM
My SP 101 3" .357, shoots lower with the .357 ammo, faster speed, just the nature of the beast. Unless you reload, this will continue. You can then reload slower rounds, more POA/POI with the .357 if thats your desire. Hope this answers some questions.

Remllez
May 11, 2012, 05:25 PM
I wouldn't be too eager to file until you try more 158 grain loads....Once you get good groups with the ammo of your choice then I may file, but chances are you'll find a load that hits where you want.

I find through my experience snub guns usually shoot closer to POA/POI with heavy for caliber slugs. I don't know what your sight picture looks like but sometimes I find taking a fuller/lesser sight is all I need to do.

You may want to ask someone that prefers snub guns to shoot it and see where they hit. Six inches low at thirty feet is quite a bit, however if you just want to use it for self defense/up close type shooting it's acceptable I guess.

I'm sure you could send it back to Ruger and ask them to regulate it for you if all else fails.

Jim NE
May 11, 2012, 06:12 PM
These are good suggestions. I guess it makes sense not to alter anything permanantly until I account for the most variable of all the variables - ME. I've probably only put 50 - 70 rounds through it at this point. Some guns I shoot well right off the bat. Others come around. My P95 shot wide at first. After a few hundred rounds, it now shoots perfect. Never adjusted the sights on it.

Peakbagger46
May 11, 2012, 06:48 PM
Are you covering the spot you want to hit with the front sight, or holding under the desired target? Given the SP 101 is not a target gun, I believe it is sighted to impact where the front sight covers if that makes sense. I know mine does (with the 158-180g loads) and this is a plus for combat shooting.

Jim NE
May 11, 2012, 06:59 PM
Peakbagger46, as I recall, when I compensate for the POI, the very top portion of the barrel is covering the intended target. In other words, the way I'm shooting it now, I'd have to get a front sight that's down almost flush with the barrel to be on target.

Because of this, I've even considered an after market rear sight, as it might be an easier way to elevate the muzzle while shooting.

As I said earlier, the whole thing could be me, but I don't have the same problem with any other snubbies I own (Model 37 S&W, Rossi M88, S&W pre-model 10). If I didn't mention it, my ruger is a 2.25" bbl.

Peakbagger46
May 11, 2012, 07:26 PM
Have you had anyone else shoot it with the 158g loads? I guess something with the gun alingnment could be way off too.

Jim NE
May 11, 2012, 08:18 PM
Haven't had anyone else shoot it. Basically, instead of lining up the top of the front sight with the top of the fixed rear sight for elevation (like I do on my other guns), I have to line up the BOTTOM of the front sight up with the top of the rear sight. So that the entire front sight is basically just above the aperture of the rear sight....as I recall, this about how I have to compensate. And compensating DOES work, it's just awkward to sight this way on this gun and another way on all my other guns. Compensating is something I do on several of my fixed sight guns, this one is just a bit more than most.

I'll start with trying different loads, although I'm not crazy about having a gun be so load specific in order to shoot right. If that doesn't work, I may even consider a rear sight. Sp101's are nice guns, but I don't really think of them as collector pieces that can't be altered. Still, don't want to drill or file until I'm sure the problem isn't me or ammo or lack of practice.

Remllez
May 12, 2012, 11:01 AM
Jim,

It sounds like you have experience shooting short barrels so my best guess is: Ruger installed the barrel improperly, although that shows up on the cylinder face/barrel shank relationship, (the barrel shank doesn't sit square with the cylinder face).

Or you just haven't found the right ammo for this particular revolver. I would get a few boxes of different ammo with different weight slugs and muzzle velocities, a notebook and some sandbags. Start from as close as 5 yards, run a cylinder full of a certain brand, make notes, repeat with different combinations.

If after you eliminate yourself and ammo as variables I'd call Ruger and hit them up for a call tag.

RugRev
May 12, 2012, 12:31 PM
From what I can gather the gun is setup to shoot 158 gr .38 SP loads with respect to the front sight. Lighter bullets and faster (e.g. .357) will shoot lower in the gun. I know shooting 125 gr bullets at .357 speeds out of my SP one winds up with an almost non-existant front sight as I filed mine trying to compensate. An alternative would be to raise the rear sight. Bowen makes a fixed rear which could be used with a new front blade to compensate for this.

Jim NE
May 12, 2012, 03:51 PM
Jim,

It sounds like you have experience shooting short barrels so my best guess is: Ruger installed the barrel improperly, although that shows up on the cylinder face/barrel shank relationship, (the barrel shank doesn't sit square with the cylinder face).

Or you just haven't found the right ammo for this particular revolver. I would get a few boxes of different ammo with different weight slugs and muzzle velocities, a notebook and some sandbags. Start from as close as 5 yards, run a cylinder full of a certain brand, make notes, repeat with different combinations.

If after you eliminate yourself and ammo as variables I'd call Ruger and hit them up for a call tag.

Sounds like good methodology...and the best place to start. I'm not sure the random 50 rounds or so I've put through it so far is telling me a whole lot, other than a general tendency. I trust Ruger to work on the gun, but I'm not the original purchaser. Are they likely to charge for such work, do you think? I still like the gun, it's consistent, solid and still in good shape. It's worth putting into it what i need to to make it work right.

Bowen makes a fixed rear which could be used with a new front blade to compensate for this.

That's very good to know - THANKS.

Haywood
May 12, 2012, 04:31 PM
My SP101 is a the 2" DAO version. I installed the Trijicon Night Sight. I aim at a target and put the dot of the Night Sight on the center of the target. This puts the Top or end of the sight a bit high on the target. The gun then shoots to point of aim with 125g 357 Mag. Ammo. It's easy when aiming to remember to put the dot that is in the center of the Sight in the center of the Target.

Remllez
May 12, 2012, 06:15 PM
Jim,

If its a defect in workmanship, Ruger will in all likelihood not charge you for repair, you may have to pay shipping to get it there, unless the CS person is in a really good mood. But don't put the horse before the cart, you got some homework to do before shipping it off.

Dan-O
May 13, 2012, 11:43 AM
The SP101 was built around shooting a 158 gr load to point of aim. I'd shoot a bunch of these before I started altering the sights.

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