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GP-100 Pawl Sticking Problem !

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Greg All Calibers, Jan 17, 2003.

  1. Ruger GP-100 Pawl / Extractor Issue

    The trigger on my GP-100 had some internal dragging during the last 10% of trigger travel (furthest back position). And with the lighter Wolff trigger spring, the trigger would not always return on it's own, depending which of the 6 cylinders it was on.

    I did a careful inspection and noticed the pawl was moving TOO FAR UP on the ratchet/extractor ring grooves causing the trigger to be heldback in the furthest position. So I worked the pawl over and smoothed out the extractor grooves (slightly!) and now they engage with no problem.

    I have since tried a handful of new pawls, and every one of them cause the trigger to hang back, unless I work them over. Pretty strange !:confused:

    - have any of you ever experienced the pawl and extractor grooves not mating properly which caused the trigger to hold back?
    - are the pawl's 'handfit' at the factory?
    - are pawl's typically made in slightly different lengths to keep them from sticking?
  2. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Pawls (hands) are not usually hand fitted at the factory, but they will normally work fine with the factory springs. By putting in lighter springs, you created (or revealed) the pawl problem, which you then had to correct by smoothing things up.

    This is a lesson in unexpected consequences. All factory revolvers are made with springs that are heavier than absolutely necessary so they will work under adverse conditions, such as cold, dirt, mud, sand, etc. By lightening the springs, you remove that extra margin of reliability, which is OK if your gun will never encounter any problems, but could be trouble if it does.

  3. mec

    mec Well-Known Member

    I used the ten pound return spring on a new GP100 and tried the 8 pound in one that had been shot enough to slick up the action. Worked fine.
  4. Guys, good inputs... but the spring is not the main culprit.

    More of this story:

    I had some end-shake so Ruger tightened up the cylinder/crane assy. Now it has perfect lock-up and about a .003 spacing from cylinder to forcing cone. Fine.

    However, somehow during their process to fix the endshake and spacing, perhaps they stretched the crane, not sure.... the gun came back and the pawl (hand) now 'grabs' the extractor ratchet during the trigger-full-back position.

    I have fixed it by machining the hand shorter.

    Why would fixing the end-shake have changed how the hand and rachet mate, causing it to stick? Thanks.
  5. Was back at the range and the Pawl (Hand) still sticks (see my first post above),

    Anyone have an idea, I am sending it back to Ruger but wanted to know if anyone had some experience with this. Thanks.
  6. As I send back the gun, is there anyone else out there who has seen a GP-100 that seems to be sensitive to hands (pawls)?

    Just for grins, I tried 3 new hands and each of them is too long and hangs as I originally posted !
  7. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Well-Known Member

    The length of the hand has nothing to do with it tying up by grabbing the ratchet.

    The hand is not held in the forward position except when the hammer is cocked. After the hammer drops, it is only held forward by very slight spring pressure--not the trigger return spring, but one of the tiny springs in the trigger assembly. Once the hammer drops it should be easy to push the hand back into the frame far enough so that it wouldn't even touch the ratchet, let alone hang on it.

    Sounds like there's a bur in the channel where the hand travels. Try polishing the sides of the channel and maybe the sides of the hand.

    BTW, if the gun works with the factory spring, IMO, it's unethical to expect Ruger to fix it. Your aftermarket parts are not their problem.
  8. JohnKSa:
    The hand recesses properly into the frame when the hammer is not cocked.

    The problem is the hand hangs on the cylinder ratchet when the hammer is all the way back, cocked. The hand apparently is overshooting the ratchet, which causes it to hang. The result is the trigger is held back in it's furthest rear position, and it's worse on some cylinders than others (probably due to the small variations in ratchets).

    This also happens with the factory springs. Thanks, Greg
  9. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Well-Known Member

    Something's not right...

    The hand can't "overshoot" the ratchet--the cutout in the frame of the GP100 doesn't let the pawl travel up past the ratchet far enough.

    In normal operation, the hand slips back into the frame, disengaging from the ratchets as it does so during the trigger return. It sounds like there's something preventing it from sliding back into the frame.

    Open your cylinder, push forward on the back of the cylinder latch to get it into the position it would be with the cylinder closed, and pull the trigger and HOLD THE TRIGGER IN THE FULLY DEPRESSED POSITION.

    Now, the hand should be sticking out of the frame. Push it back into the frame with your finger, hold it there and release the trigger. My guess is that when you do that, you will find it's sticking in the frame or can't be easily pushed back into the frame. It should move back into the frame without too much effort, and the force of the trigger return spring should easily pull it back down into position for the next shot. It can make that trip while held back into the frame so it never even touches the ratchets. The spring force pushing it forward into the ratchet surface is quite weak at this point.

    If it doesn't stick you could polish the BOTTOM surface of the pawl to help it slip back over the ratchet surfaces and back into the frame like it's supposed to.

    If it does stick in the frame or can't be pushed back into the frame you can polish the sides of the hand and also the sides of the frame cutout.

    I have two GP's and a Super Redhawk which uses the same action.

    On one of my GP's, the hand sticks a bit and is a little rough to push back into the frame when the trigger is in the full back position (as described above), but not enough to keep the trigger return spring from working. The other is a little rough, but not as sticky. The Super RedHawk seems to have a little more clearance and the hand moves freely throughout its range of travel whether pushed into the frame or not.
  10. JohnKSa:
    Something is not right, that's for sure ! I usually would post a picture, but since this occurs with cylinder in place, it's very hard to see the hand improperly engage the ratchet.

    I read your reply with great interest and spent the last hour going over and over your instructions.

    The hand does not catch in any way on the frame using the detailed precedures you detail below. But I can see what you were getting at.

    Closer inspection shows that when the trigger is pulled all the way back, the hand is pushing the bottom of the cylinder ratchet (correct functioning). However, it goes too far... as it continues upwards, is slides just a little to the right. This results in the *top left* of the hand jammed against the rachet, with the hand then pushed against the right part of the long rectangular hole that the hand comes out of (in the frame).

    So the hand is held tight as it over-shot the ratchet, slid to the right on the ratchet, and was pushed against the right side of the hole the hand comes out of.

    Now, someone told me hands come in slightly different lengths, is that true? I got 3 new GP-100 factory hands from Brownells, and all three all three seem to be too long- with the trigger back they are forced to the right of the ratchet and stick, as described above. Now, if I work on the hand, to shorten it slightly and smooth it over a lot, I can get it just right. But why would the factory hand not just drop in and work. Hands are also not factory fitted, I thought.


    PS, also, is your GP-100 cylinder held tight "welded to the frame" so to speak, when the trigger is pulled back hard? I have a little play back and forth (not endplay front/back) when the trigger is held back. However, the cylinder seems to line up nicely with the breech.
  11. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Well-Known Member

    They all have a little wiggle, but nothing significant.

    It almost sounds like the frame cutout is too wide and is letting the pawl move left/right too much. I've not heard of this happening before.

    I still don't see what you mean by "shortening" the hand or how it fixes the problem you describe. Also, I can't understand how you can see what the hand is doing with respect to the ratchets since it's not visible with the cylinder closed.

    AND, the hands in both of my revolvers use almost all of the frame cutout when they move up and down. It seems to me that if the hand was even a little too long, it would hit the end of the frame cutout.

    Sign me

    Confused and getting moreso all the time...
  12. Finally got back to this after being out for quite some time.

    It almost sounds like the frame cutout is too wide and is letting the pawl move left/right too much. I've not heard of this happening before.
    >> the frame cutout has not been altered and appears a perfect rectangle. Also compared it with a new GP-100 and it's the same width.

    I still don't see what you mean by "shortening" the hand or how it fixes the problem you describe.
    >> to get ANY hand to work in this gun, I have to shorten the pawl by filing the top of the pawl slightly, that's what I meant by shortening it. It then does not catch on the ratchet.

    Also, I can't understand how you can see what the hand is doing with respect to the ratchets since it's not visible with the cylinder closed.
    >> actually, you can just *bearly* see the hand as it engages with the ratchet, looking behind the cylinder from the right side, with a good light. The hand it being pushed up too far and catches on the ratchet as described.
  13. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Well-Known Member


    Looking at my three Ruger DA revolvers (2 GP100s and a Super RedHawk) I can't see any way for the hand to go up high enough to catch on anything.

    Not only does the cutout prevent it from going that high, the hand won't go that high anyway--it's not long enough!

    Try this.

    Unload the gun and close the cylinder.

    Very SLOOWLY pull the DA trigger while watching the hand as you described. As SOON as the cylinder clicks into place, release the trigger. Unless you release too far (and the hand slips down under the next ratchet), the trigger should move freely up and down.

    How does filing the TOP of the hand make it not catch. Isn't the bottom of the pawl what's catching?

    How much space is left in the top of the cutout with the hammer back all the way and the trigger all the way back? On my guns, there is still at least 1/16th of an inch left in the top of the cutout when the hand is all the way to the top as far as it will go.

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