Bought my first revolver.


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Trent
December 21, 2012, 06:51 PM
I own a couple of revolvers but both were inheritances.

Today I picked up my first brand NEW revolver. Picked out a Ruger SP-101.

The first time I pointed it the sights aligned perfectly on target with no adjustment of grip. Not believing it, I then tried it a dozen more times in the shop and said "ok.. this one is mine."

I've *never* picked up a gun and had it point dead-on like that, every single time. It's like it was made perfectly for my hands/grip.

I see some quality range time in my near future... :)

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skidder
December 21, 2012, 07:03 PM
Congrats! Nice choice. One of the greats.

My SP is my meat and taters weapon.

Got any pics?

Alabama21
December 21, 2012, 08:49 PM
I had that same feeling when I picked up a Colt Diamondback .38 special with Pachmayr grips. Unfortunately it was a little too pricey for me. I can't stop thinking about it. :(

You made the right decision to pick it up when you got the feeling.

Trent
December 22, 2012, 01:45 AM
Congrats! Nice choice. One of the greats.

My SP is my meat and taters weapon.

Got any pics?

No pics yet.

Heading out in the morning to give it a run. Plan on getting intimate. Got a couple hundred rounds to send downrange. We'll see how many I can get through before my fingers get frozen and ice cycles form off my nose. Gonna be a cold day. :(

BYJO4
December 22, 2012, 03:01 AM
Congrats. You bought a very nice revolver.

cyclopsshooter
December 22, 2012, 03:34 AM
I have a soft spot for the 3" SP101s Solid gun you got.

BP44
December 22, 2012, 03:56 AM
A country in a hi capacity frenzy and you bought a revolver.......:banghead:

Well done, that is a nice little packing gun:D I wouldn't rather have anything else honestly.

bannockburn
December 22, 2012, 07:00 AM
Trent

Nice choice!

For me it would be a S&W J frame snubby (preferably a Model 638), with either a Tyler T-Grip adapter or with a set of boot grips. The gun just feels perfect in my hand and the sights line up quick and easy.

Trent
December 22, 2012, 11:24 AM
A country in a hi capacity frenzy and you bought a revolver.......:banghead:

Well done, that is a nice little packing gun:D I wouldn't rather have anything else honestly.

I got the 3" model, BTW. They had the little snubby but it didn't feel quite right when I held it.

The only trouble I ran in to so far is when I brought it home and showed my wife, her eyes lit up and she thought I bought her a new gun!

Sooner or later she'll figure out that the rounds from the 38 snubby she keeps in the kitchen cabinet will fit and she can shoot the SP101 without the additional recoil of the 357. (She has tiny little wrists, 38 is about the most she can handle)

I figure at some point I'll have to buy another, because she'll take this one.

Naybor
December 22, 2012, 08:14 PM
Good choice. The wife picked the SP101 .357 and loves it.

I do too whenever she will let me use it.

Trent
December 22, 2012, 08:29 PM
http://i.imgur.com/CPmrk.jpg

50 shots of Winchester white box JHP, 7 yards.

Still getting used to the trigger.

(Double action is a LOT different feel than my semi-auto handguns)

Trent
December 22, 2012, 08:31 PM
Also, I shot 50 rounds of Remington 125gr 38 Special SJHP +P.

I had ONE casing (of 50 fired) split right down the side. Is that supposed to happen sometimes with 38 special? Was a real pain to eject the spent shells that time.

Trent
December 22, 2012, 08:39 PM
Oh, and... for the record..

I really like this gun. Sure, reloading is slower than what I'm used to. But it was nice not having to crawl around in the slush picking up shell casings, like my less fortunate friend who was shooting his 1911. :)

I got in the early habit of putting it in the inside pocket on my Carhart coat when changing targets, perfectly comfortable, fits perfectly, and had the side benefit of keeping me warm. :)

(It was ~20 degrees and somewhat windy where I was shooting today).

ds/ks
December 22, 2012, 08:52 PM
The trigger on my SP really slicked up quite a bit after a few thousand dry fires. I think you picked a winner.

Captain Capsize
December 22, 2012, 09:26 PM
I have had a Sp101 3" in .357 for about 5 years it is usually a primary carry gun. They are great guns and surprisingly strong, mine had fired what must have been a double charged .357 reload. I can't be sure but it was much louder and recoiled much more than previous rounds. Scared everyone around.

Two things that will improve the SP101 is a Wolff trigger spring and stoning off the very sharp knurling on the hammer. I found my thumb getting raw after shooting many rounds single action. I stoned them down enough to take the sharp points but not enough to be seen.

skidder
December 22, 2012, 10:58 PM
Still getting used to the trigger.
17 years of shooting has really smoothed out my trigger.
The trigger will improve over time, but if you can't wait, Wolff springs will get you there faster. The pack comes with a 9, 10, and 12 pound spring.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/219401/wolff-shooters-spring-pack-ruger-sp-101

788Ham
December 22, 2012, 11:47 PM
You picked a super revolver ! I've got the 3" myself, I couldn't wait, so I took mine to the smith and had an action job done on it, stoned trigger and hammer, plus lightened the hammer spring 2lbs., now the DA is much smoother than the SA, so thats the way its shot now. Enjoy, you've got yourself a winner.

Swing
December 23, 2012, 01:15 AM
'gratz. :)

righteoushoot
December 23, 2012, 09:28 AM
Nice choice. I picked one up in 9 MM. Did one step down in power with a Wolff spring, and a fluff & buff and de-burr. I could d not wait 17 years. :D

Love the action now. Not light, but smooth. Good luck keeping it from becoming the wife's. ;)

Trent
December 23, 2012, 01:08 PM
Some questions.

Will dry firing on empty cylinders hurt the gun? Should I put in empty casings when doing so? Or buy some snap caps?

This double action pull REALLY throws me off, I'm shooting low and left by a few inches when firing on double action, even giving it my maximum attention (good group, but off center) . When I fire single action it's centered perfectly. When I try rapid fire with double action I'm all over the place (but rapid fire with other handguns I'm centered and hold good groups).

I'm assuming with sufficient practice I can learn to tame the double action. (Something which wouldn't hurt, regardless, because some of my semi's are SA/DA and I'm always off on the first shot on THOSE too..)

tcanthonyii
December 23, 2012, 06:26 PM
Dry firing a Ruger is no problem. Your manual should even say that it's OK. I dry fire my redhawk to get the smoothness needed to shoot da.

Naybor
December 23, 2012, 07:03 PM
I too went the 9# Wolff mainspring and slightly rounded the edges of the hammer spur. The wife says it's MUCH smother and easier to shoot.

When she's happy, I'm happy.

BTW, our SP101 shoots a little low and left with .38 Sp and dead on with .357. Evidently the sights are calibrated for Magnum shells.

Trent
December 23, 2012, 08:22 PM
Yup I found the "dry fire is OK" thin on the bottom of page 13 tonight, I'd overlooked it. I also found that it's drop safe, which was another question I had (if it needed to be carried with an empty chamber, answer is no).

I will add - cleaning revolvers is surprisingly involved. I sat down thinking "this won't take long"... next time I looked up 45 minutes of brass brushing and cleaning had passed ... It's like cleaning 5 guns at once!

(Another note.. when I put it in the inside pocket of my Carhart, I found that I don't notice it to the point I forget it's there.... think this revolver is going to be a "constant companion" this winter.)

Hotshot10
December 24, 2012, 10:46 AM
Hey Trent,

The DA on my SP101 3" was really heavy. I had a gunsmith polish the internals and add a Wolff spring. It made a huge difference. If you're having trouble shooting DA, then, as others suggested, you might swap out the springs.

Cleaning revolvers can take a little while, especially if you lose track of which charge hole you started cleaning first. Ha.

460Kodiak
December 24, 2012, 12:18 PM
Congrats man! The trigger will improve. Dry fire the hell out of it! Enjoy! I carry mine regularly.

Trent
December 24, 2012, 01:13 PM
Cleaning revolvers can take a little while, especially if you lose track of which charge hole you started cleaning first. Ha.

Oh, I don't know if it was because I shot some 38's out of it, but those chambers were a real pain to get scrubbed out.

Also, when that one 38 +P Remington case split, I caught a little bit of material in the face. I felt something impact my lip and eyebrow (stung a bit), didn't think much more of it. But, I noticed last night when I went to clean my glasses that I'd got a new chip in them that wasn't there last time I cleaned them. Evidently my glasses stopped SOMETHING from hitting my eye!

Good thing my glasses are made of that resilient shatter resistant stuff. :)

Naybor
December 24, 2012, 07:30 PM
Glad you didn't get hurt, Trent.

I have only one good eye, so I ALWAYS wear shooting glasses. I started doing this when a black powder Kentucky Rifle had a cap sluff off some fragments and hit me about 1/2 inch from my right eye. I've wore shatter proof glasses ever since.

HKGuns
December 24, 2012, 11:06 PM
Congrats on a nice pistol, I can pretty much guarantee it won't be your last one!

(Double action is a LOT different feel than my semi-auto handguns)

Yep and even before I owned a revolver I found the incessant whining of the DA/SA DA pullers a bit hard to take. Every trigger is different and not everything will pull like a 1911. I suspect most of the whiners have shot nothing but gLoCk's but that is just me being mean spirited. It takes a bit of perspective to think about it differently I guess.....That and the realization no-one makes a perfect trigger and they're all different from model to model so you best adjust. I'm betting you shot that DA pull just fine and you adjusted to the tool.

I've never had an issue with a pistol's trigger at typical pistol shooting distances. I'm far more sensitive to a bad trigger in a rifle as I feel it has far greater impact on your ability to be accurate.

rswartsell
December 25, 2012, 05:26 PM
Having a case split ALWAYS indicates some kind of malfunction. It is never "usual" or "supposed" to happen.

I would call it HIGHLY UNUSUAL for factory new ammo, especially Remington. I would save the case and the box it came in and write to Remington. They need the lot number, without it they are helpless. I cannot imagine a defect in the Ruger that could have caused this in a single round. What does the rest of the spent brass look like? I would try to completely eliminate the possibility that 1 chamber out of 5 is defective in your Ruger.

Congrats, great choice.

rswartsell
December 25, 2012, 06:50 PM
To add;

Case splitting as you have described in my experience has always been the result of brass reloaded past it's useful life. Not the only way it can happen though.

The chances are very much in favor of defective brass used by Remington.

Other POSSIBILITIES may include, as stated before a defective chamber, or an overpressure round. All are alarming. I would spend more effort and attention in getting to the bottom of this than the thread currently suggests. I WOULD NOT brush it off.

Trent
December 25, 2012, 11:58 PM
Whoa, roger that. I have the box of ammo and the brass, will upload a picture in a minute. NO other brass looks deformed or showed any signs of overpressure.

Trent
December 26, 2012, 12:21 AM
Using ORIGINAL size images for quality (means you'll need to scroll around a bit in your browser).

http://i.imgur.com/ppSzK.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/tcMue.jpg

Trent
December 26, 2012, 12:25 AM
I found two more split 38's when I went through the box of empties that I didn't notice at the range.

Also, a good portion of the 357 Winchester shows some odd carbon deposits; definitely not consistent; one side is "burnt". Only shows up on some shell casings (MIGHT be 1 out of 5, but I haven't counted yet).

That might lend some credence to the bad chamber theory...

http://i.imgur.com/D5PYf.jpg

Trent
December 26, 2012, 12:55 AM
One last note -

None of the 357's were split; only 3 of 50 of the 38's were.

HKGuns
December 26, 2012, 01:46 PM
Whoa that is quite a split! I'm too new to revolvers to offer advice, but I've never seen that with any of my revolvers. (Even on my reloads)

Where are you getting 50 rounds of .38 +P for $12 a box? Perhaps I reload too much and that is a "normal" price for standard Remington ammo, but it sounds pretty cheap to me at first glance.

rswartsell
December 26, 2012, 02:47 PM
I don't like the way those .357s look either. Someone with some revolver smithing experience is called for. I think the chances of a problem with your Ruger have gone up.

Where are you rcmodel?

rcmodel
December 26, 2012, 03:01 PM
The split cases on the .38's I would attribute to a bad lot of brass.

I've seen it before in different calibers.

Once fired & reloaded Federal 9mm.
Some of them split the first firing of factory ammo.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/Split9mmCases.jpg

The case head leaks on the .357 look like the heads are cracked and leaking gas.
Inspect them right under the rim where the carbon deposit is and see if they are cracked or not.
(Pour some rubbing alcohol or lighter fluid in them and see if it runs out)

It could also just be normal cylinder gap flash fouling following the topstrap back over the cylinder and ending up deposited on the outsides of the rims like that.

If they are in fact cracked case heads?
Hmmmmm?

You either got real unlucky in picking out ammo?
Or have rough chambers and excess headspace and the .357's can't slip back against the recoil shield so are stretching & cracking to make up the difference.

But even then, I would expect the cases to seperate about 1/2" in to the chambers where the tapered case web ends and the thinner neck section starts.

rc

Trent
December 27, 2012, 02:42 AM
Whoa that is quite a split! I'm too new to revolvers to offer advice, but I've never seen that with any of my revolvers. (Even on my reloads)

Where are you getting 50 rounds of .38 +P for $12 a box? Perhaps I reload too much and that is a "normal" price for standard Remington ammo, but it sounds pretty cheap to me at first glance.

2006 or 2007 pricing. I've had those since I stocked my old gun shop. They are absolutely factory new, never left my possession - I picked them up myself from Zanders in downstate Illinois on an ammo run.

Remember, this was back when my wholesale pricing on 9mm was 5.87/box of 50, while 45 ACP winchester white box was $7.50/50 round box...

Everything went up and STAYED up after 2009. I used to have to sell 45 ACP at $11.00 or $11.50 a box to be competitive in gun shows, up to 2008.

Trent
December 27, 2012, 02:45 AM
The split cases on the .38's I would attribute to a bad lot of brass.


Safe to continue shooting the rest? I have 8 more boxes of the stuff.



The case head leaks on the .357 look like the heads are cracked and leaking gas.
Inspect them right under the rim where the carbon deposit is and see if they are cracked or not.
(Pour some rubbing alcohol or lighter fluid in them and see if it runs out)

It could also just be normal cylinder gap flash fouling following the topstrap back over the cylinder and ending up deposited on the outsides of the rims like that.

If they are in fact cracked case heads?
Hmmmmm?

You either got real unlucky in picking out ammo?
Or have rough chambers and excess headspace and the .357's can't slip back against the recoil shield so are stretching & cracking to make up the difference.

But even then, I would expect the cases to seperate about 1/2" in to the chambers where the tapered case web ends and the thinner neck section starts.

rc

Will check tomorrow. Will mineral spirits work? Out of rubbing alcohol and have no lighter fluid.

rswartsell
December 28, 2012, 10:46 PM
Trent,

At this stage I don't think anyone can say they are safe or not over the internet definitively. I would examine the chambers closely with good light. If they appear uniform and "regular", I would obtain fresh relatively low pressure ammo. Something like a reputable manufacture of 148gr wadcutter and test it in your gun a bit, paying close attention to the spent brass.

No guarantees mind you, just what I would do.

If the brass looks pristine with new ammo, do you feel lucky? I would then shoot a few 158 gr magnum new manufacture semi-wadcutters and look closely again. You get the idea. I wouldn't trust the situation fully until "proved", but if rc thinks it's likely the ammo that would mean something to ME.

Dirt Diver
December 28, 2012, 11:09 PM
Some questions.

...This double action pull REALLY throws me off, I'm shooting low and left by a few inches when firing on double action, even giving it my maximum attention (good group, but off center) . When I fire single action it's centered perfectly. When I try rapid fire with double action I'm all over the place (but rapid fire with other handguns I'm centered and hold good groups).

I'm assuming with sufficient practice I can learn to tame the double action....

Great buy, Trent. Yes, that transition from pistol to revolver can be a bit frustrating at first. But in the end, what you master from your revolver experience will make you a better pistol shooter.

I'll pass along some advice given to me from a wheel gun man from many years ago:
Really, really focus on that front sight as you pull the trigger. You'll see the sights waver a bit as you continue your trigger pull. Concentrate on maintaining your hold on target with that front sight. The gun's finally firing should surprise you just a bit, but because your focus has been on keeping proper sight alignment on the target, your shots will become more consistent.

Don't worry about speed, it will come in time. The technique I talked about above will help you improve and develop a smooth trigger pull.

Trent
December 29, 2012, 01:42 PM
Trent,

At this stage I don't think anyone can say they are safe or not over the internet definitively. I would examine the chambers closely with good light. If they appear uniform and "regular", I would obtain fresh relatively low pressure ammo. Something like a reputable manufacture of 148gr wadcutter and test it in your gun a bit, paying close attention to the spent brass.

No guarantees mind you, just what I would do.

If the brass looks pristine with new ammo, do you feel lucky? I would then shoot a few 158 gr magnum new manufacture semi-wadcutters and look closely again. You get the idea. I wouldn't trust the situation fully until "proved", but if rc thinks it's likely the ammo that would mean something to ME.

Yeah I realized at some point after I posted that "No one is going to answer that question given the potential consequences; it's not their hand holding the thing." :)

I have another 38 (a S&W snubbie) I can fire the ammo out of for comparison. I can also get the measuring tools out and check the chambers of the SP101 for concentricity and proper alignment (checking chambers is much easier to do on a revolver, than on a rifle or semi-auto..).

Another possibility that I was thinking of is if at some point a piece of foreign matter small enough and hard enough had got in to one of the chambers (grain of dirt, whatever). That would prevent the casing on that side from expanding flush with the chamber, allow gas up that side. That would deposit lead and other undesirables along the chamber wall, potentially giving future shots the opportunity to do the same. At the point the brass casing split, then additional materials would have been deposited there, further compounding the issue.

The reason I say that, is by the time I'd fired 150 rounds and broke it down for cleaning, those chambers were DIRTY. I literally had to scrub them with a brass brush and bore solvent for a good 25-30 minutes to get them clean and mirror smooth.

Wonder if the splits will happen now that the chambers are 100% fully cleaned?

Trent
December 29, 2012, 01:50 PM
Great buy, Trent. Yes, that transition from pistol to revolver can be a bit frustrating at first. But in the end, what you master from your revolver experience will make you a better pistol shooter.

I'll pass along some advice given to me from a wheel gun man from many years ago:
Really, really focus on that front sight as you pull the trigger. You'll see the sights waver a bit as you continue your trigger pull. Concentrate on maintaining your hold on target with that front sight. The gun's finally firing should surprise you just a bit, but because your focus has been on keeping proper sight alignment on the target, your shots will become more consistent.

Don't worry about speed, it will come in time. The technique I talked about above will help you improve and develop a smooth trigger pull.

Great advice, this is something I've been working on all year. The problem I'm having with the DA pull is that it's so strong, once it breaks, during the time the hammer is dropping the nose of the pistol down and left about 2" on target. My *groups* are great, just off center. :)

Try as I might I haven't been able to correct this. The force needed for my trigger finger, suddenly releasing, makes my finger travel back as the hammer is falling, throwing my shots off slightly. It happens so fast that there's no way I can tell my finger "stop moving damnit!"

I think the ONLY option I have is to hold at the 3 O'Clock about 2-3" when firing double action; as when I do that, my shots fall dead center.

This phenominon is something I never noticed in semi-autos, I've always been inaccurate when firing double action (say, on the Taurus PT92, or other SA/DA semiautos). I've gotten VERY little practice at double action over the years, typically only the first shot from the draw, and I never stopped to practice it regularly.

My training regimen with semi-autos will now change. Instead of focusing on split times and mag change times, I'll be focusing on getting that FIRST shot dead on center. The rest, I'm already fairly solid at (avg. .24 split time on major auto, .17 on minor).

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