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Old July 15, 2016, 10:52 PM   #1
jski
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Problems shooting my SP101 .22 double action

I bought a new SP101 .22 for my wife and just got back from the range. I asked my wife to try firing double action. When she tried she couldn't get it to fire ... as hard as she tried.

I took the gun and tried myself. I got a few rounds off before I was in the same position. The cylinder simply refused to advance to the next chamber ... as hard as I tried.

I could fire it without problem single action. BUT firing it double action, if I got a shot off, the next time I tried it would jam ... fail to advance to the next chamber.

Anybody experience this besides me? I plan to call Ruger Monday morning and return a NEW SP101. Incredible!
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Old July 16, 2016, 05:37 AM   #2
Steve C
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.22's can be very dirty depending upon the brand of ammo and it could be your gun just needs a cleaning and oiling.

Also check the casings to see if they're dragging against the rear and check the gap to see if its visible between the front face of the cylinder and the forcing cone.

Try a different brand of ammo if the problem seems to be cleaning. CCI is a pretty clean ammo as is Federal. I've found that inexpensive brands like Aguila can be pretty dirty.
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Old July 16, 2016, 05:31 PM   #3
MedWheeler
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How much experience with revolvers do you two have, especially rimfire revolvers? Are you resetting the trigger fully? If you kept some of your spent cases for some reason, try inserting them and run a few dry-fires after cleaning the gun.
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Old July 17, 2016, 12:53 AM   #4
jski
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I have every intention on calling Ruger 1st thing Monday morning and returning it to them for some much needed TLC.

About the ammo, I was using Federal 22LR and CCI 22 Shorts. NO excuses for Ruger.

This is the 1st this puppy has ever been fired. I have plenty of experience with center fire revolves. But a rim fire shouldn't be any different when firing double action.
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Old July 17, 2016, 10:05 AM   #5
Cheesemaker
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How does it do dry firing?
It does suck when a new item does not perform. Ruger is pretty good with their customer service.
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Old July 17, 2016, 10:13 AM   #6
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Did it happen immediately? Like first cylinder or two of a clean gun or well into a shooting session?

Couple things come to mind. Cylinder gap issues or possibly a hunk of cast material in the lock work gumming something up. I have heard of this happening with Rugers in the past where if you take it apart a hunk or shaving or some such detritus will fall out of the action. So you might want to check that.

The funny thing is I read your title quickly on my phone and my brain read "Problems with my SP101 doubling" and my thoughts were. "How the hell??? And now that's a PROBLEM".
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Old July 22, 2016, 12:22 AM   #7
denster
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I was having nearly the same problem with mine. Just bought it yesterday and went to the range today and had problems right from the start with Remington Viper. Maybe three or four shots then jammed up solid and hard to open cylinder. Switched to Federal and could sometimes get through a cylinder or two and then lock up. Went to CCI and smooth function no problems.
When I got home I did some measuring and found that maximum rim thickness could be no more than .047 before clearance loss. I have a rim thickness gauge so I started checking and found the Viper went from .045 to .051 and everything in between. No wonder it jammed. Checked the Federal and most were .044 to .046 with an occasional .0475. CCI was consistent at between .044 and .046.
Ruger builds these guns very tight.
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Old July 22, 2016, 01:17 AM   #8
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Denster, I used both CCI and Federal ammo and the results were identical ... constant jamming. I called Ruger and they emailed a FedEx label to return the gun.

BTW, I checked as best I could for clearance between the case heads and frame and saw no obvious problems. If it's strictly a change of ammo issue, they need to be up front with it.
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Old July 22, 2016, 03:13 PM   #9
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The DA pull on these new SP101 22's are embarrassing. I recently bought one from a guy who had the exact situation. He bought it to train his wife and she couldn't pull the trigger smoothly. Besides her struggling and horrible accuracy, the gun would lock up due to short cycling of the action. When I measured the pull it came in at 16+ # ( I had to use a fishing scale!) I spent a good 2 hours polishing inside it and installed a set of reduced power springs. I got it usable but never as good as any S&W right out of the box. Even after the trigger fix it just wasn't accurate enough to even become a "kit gun" for me. In the end, I sold it as a failed experiment. Too bad. I really wanted to love that gun as it had all the right features. Best of luck with yours.
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Old July 22, 2016, 03:59 PM   #10
Vern Humphrey
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Quote:
the gun would lock up due to short cycling of the action.
I think you just diagnosed the problem. I have had revolvers that were dead reliable in MY hands demonstrate the same problem when my wife tried shooting them.
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Old July 22, 2016, 08:45 PM   #11
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A common problem with some .22 revolvers and some .22 ammo is that the chambers quickly get fouled and you have to actually push the rounds in to fully seat them.
If you fail to get them all the way in the case heads can drag on the breech face and cause sticky cylinder rotation to seemingly jammed cylinders.

I've had this happen on many brands of .22 revolvers including top of the line Colt and S&W models.
The usual fix is to buy better brand ammo and experiment to find a brand that that specific gun works best with.

What works in one gun may not work in another of the same brand and model.
As example I had a Colt Trooper Mark III that would stick with most ammo, but shot ultra cheap Remington Thunderbolt perfectly even though it was super dirty.
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Old July 23, 2016, 10:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
The DA pull on these new SP101 22's are embarrassing. I recently bought one from a guy who had the exact situation. He bought it to train his wife and she couldn't pull the trigger smoothly. Besides her struggling and horrible accuracy, the gun would lock up due to short cycling of the action. When I measured the pull it came in at 16+ # ( I had to use a fishing scale!) I spent a good 2 hours polishing inside it and installed a set of reduced power springs. I got it usable but never as good as any S&W right out of the box. Even after the trigger fix it just wasn't accurate enough to even become a "kit gun" for me. In the end, I sold it as a failed experiment. Too bad. I really wanted to love that gun as it had all the right features. Best of luck with yours.
Thanks so much for the info. These SP101 .22LR revolvers were just coming out when I was looking for a .22LR revolver for my daughter. I read a lot of comments here on THR where guys said that their wives and their daughters really loved the S&W Model 63 so that's what I bought. I have to say my daughter really loves that gun and I'm glad I settled on that make and model for her.
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Old July 24, 2016, 09:47 AM   #13
Mark 40
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We purchased the SP-101 22LR a couple of months ago. After reading about the potential trigger issues like Tacoma mentioned, it went right from the LGS to the Gunsmith. He polished it up inside and replaced the trigger spring but not the hammer spring because he was not satisfied wit the performance. He said it was the best he could do. I'm not unhappy with the result.

I wouldn't claim to be the best judge of the trigger pull, as the wife and I cut our teeth on the DA pull of the 22LR and 22WMR LCR. So perhaps we are a bit more acclimated to a heavier DA pull. Since that's all we've known it seems fine to us. But to more experienced revolver owners, it may be lacking out of the box.

Last edited by Mark 40; July 25, 2016 at 04:41 PM. Reason: added content
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Old July 25, 2016, 12:20 AM   #14
Jim K
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Here are some facts.

1. Small revolvers have small, light hammers.

2. That can result in misfires in double action mode unless the maker puts in a strong hammer spring.

3. The problem is worse with .22 rimfire since the case is stronger and harder to dent than center fire primers. Rim fire cases for high velocity loads are even stronger than normal.

4. Women and small people in general have problems operating a double action revolver with a strong hammer spring.

Jim
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Old July 26, 2016, 12:00 PM   #15
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I would suggest your wife practice in single action only. Like others have said, the Ruger SP101 has a very heavy trigger pull. I know because I used to have one. If she insists on learning to shoot double action with a 22 LR then I would sell the Ruger. There are better options. S&W has revolvers such as the model 17,18 and 63 that have better double action triggers than Ruger. As for me, I see little benefit in shooting double action on a 22 LR. If she is looking for a self/home defense revolver I would look for a good 38 special.

Hope this helps,
Howard
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Old July 26, 2016, 02:18 PM   #16
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I bought a Ruger SP101 in 22LR a few years ago. I haven't had any major problems. I had a cross pin back out a few times on the rear sight.
That was a easy fix bent the end a little and a drop of Loctite 242 Blue.

I know exactly what you guys are saying about the terrible triggers. I take mine to the range now and then. Not near as often as I'd like to, I'd shoot it allot more if it had a better trigger.
I do have to say that it shoots everything I have fed it so there's no complaint there. But I have a S&W M 63 I bought probably in the mid 1970's. I'm a Ruger fan probably not as much as I once was but there is no comparison when it comes to the Ruger SP and the M63 Smith. The Smith beats the Ruger hands down. I screwed up letting my wife shoot the M 63. I'm sure you know who shoots it more. When I go to the range by myself then I grab the 63.

I'm not sure I'd say I regret buying the Ruger but I sure wouldn't recommend one to any of my friends. I'm sure a Wolff Spring kit could be installed and the trigger dressed up but it's disappointing Ruger would even let something like these out the door.

Please don't get me started on the LCR's.
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Old July 26, 2016, 04:24 PM   #17
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Quote:
I bought a Ruger SP101 in 22LR a few years ago. I haven't had any major problems. I had a cross pin back out a few times on the rear sight.
That was a easy fix bent the end a little and a drop of Loctite 242 Blue.

I know exactly what you guys are saying about the terrible triggers. I take mine to the range now and then. Not near as often as I'd like to, I'd shoot it allot more if it had a better trigger.
I do have to say that it shoots everything I have fed it so there's no complaint there. But I have a S&W M 63 I bought probably in the mid 1970's. I'm a Ruger fan probably not as much as I once was but there is no comparison when it comes to the Ruger SP and the M63 Smith. The Smith beats the Ruger hands down. I screwed up letting my wife shoot the M 63. I'm sure you know who shoots it more. When I go to the range by myself then I grab the 63.

I'm not sure I'd say I regret buying the Ruger but I sure wouldn't recommend one to any of my friends. I'm sure a Wolff Spring kit could be installed and the trigger dressed up but it's disappointing Ruger would even let something like these out the door.

Please don't get me started on the LCR's.
Again I agree. I sold my SP101 22LR because of the trigger. My single six was much easier to shoot and more accurate. I have had SP101 357 magnums that were much better. My first revolvers were Ruger and H&R. I did not own a S&W until 2008. My relationship with Ruger is not what it once was. Other than Blackhawks and Single Sixes I would not buy a new Ruger revolver. The last well made Ruger double action was the Security Six series.
That is the only double action I would buy today. And of course the Six series is not made anymore.
Howard
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Old July 26, 2016, 10:54 PM   #18
Jim K
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I can't blame Ruger, they are fighting the laws of physics, and those laws always win. It is certainly a case that the type of light, small .22 revolver often recommended for self defense for beginners may be the very worst possible gun for that purpose.

Jim
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Old July 27, 2016, 08:29 AM   #19
Seven High
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Why can SW turn out a 22 revolver with a decent double/single action and Ruger cannot? They both have to deal with the same 22 ammunition. I understand that the Ruger has to have strong springs to work properly but the SW models do not need them.
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Old July 27, 2016, 09:18 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roaddog28 View Post
Again I agree. I sold my SP101 22LR because of the trigger. My single six was much easier to shoot and more accurate. I have had SP101 357 magnums that were much better. My first revolvers were Ruger and H&R. I did not own a S&W until 2008. My relationship with Ruger is not what it once was. Other than Blackhawks and Single Sixes I would not buy a new Ruger revolver. The last well made Ruger double action was the Security Six series.
That is the only double action I would buy today. And of course the Six series is not made anymore.
Howard

I doubt I'll sell mine.

I have several older Smith's from the early to mid 70's. I have Smith M-17 (from that era) which I had a 22mag cylinder fitted to it. That is one sweet gun.
I have a few of the old Ruger 6 Series. I have 2- 6" Security Sixes and one Police Service Six. They'd be the last Ruger's I'd ever part with.

I am or should I say was a diehard Ruger fan for almost 45 years but I'm slowly getting disappointed in Ruger's new guns.
I got 2 defective LCR's in a row.They were both replaced. I requested an SP101 instead of chancing getting a 3rd Defective LCR which they agreed to do. That SP was pretty rough. It cleaned up well and I glass bead blasted it before I fired the first round through it.

I have other stories I could tell but I won't bore you.

It's hard for a company to regain a customers trust back once they've lost it. As mentioned by Seven High. If S&W can make a decent trigger on a rimfire there is no reason Ruger can't either.
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Old July 27, 2016, 10:12 AM   #21
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Back to the original topic...the OP said that a DA pull would NOT advance the cylinder, but no trouble advancing the cylinder using SA. That's the problem description.

It shouldn't be hard to fill in a few more blanks. In a DA pull, does the trigger stop its motion completely with no cylinder and no hammer movement?

Can you get the gun to jam up when it is completely unloaded? We can eliminate discussion of ammunition related problems that way.

If the trigger pull is completely halted with a DA pull, but is fine with a SA pull, then the problem is almost certainly within the trigger/hammer interface or possibly the cylinder lock (bolt) is stuck in the locked position.

Being essentially a S&W mechanism, a DA pull lifts the hammer, while in a SA pull the hammer lifts (operates) the trigger. In both cases the "hand" or "pawl" works the same to rotate the cylinder. But of course the cylinder lock has to release first.

All these things can be easily checked and seen with the gun unloaded. Sometimes loading all spent cases will show up the difficulty. Or, you can just call it a bad gun.

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Old July 31, 2016, 11:04 PM   #22
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I didn't try dry-firing DA. And since I returned it to Ruger, that's not possible at the moment.

And yes, the hammer partially came back and the cylinder partially advanced.
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Old August 5, 2016, 12:04 AM   #23
jski
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Just got it back from Ruger:

Replaced hammer, adjusted trigger plunger & strut.
Repair, safety function check, and range testing has been completed.

Haven't had a chance to test it.
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Old August 5, 2016, 03:57 PM   #24
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Not bad turn time by Ruger. Hopefully all is good now.

Keep us posted & good luck.
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Old August 6, 2016, 07:24 PM   #25
HankR
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Quote:
Tacoma: The DA pull on these new SP101 22's are embarrassing
Quote:
Roaddog28: the Ruger SP101 has a very heavy trigger pull.
How are the .22 GP 100 DA triggers? I like the concept, and have an older full-size Taurus (Tracker?) that I wouldn't mind upgrading. I know with the Taurus the smaller (94?) required a lot of effort, but the larger one worked "OK" (never having shot a 317 I was quite happy with it compared to the smaller Taurus). I'm kinda liking the looks of the Ruger GP in .22 but having trouble justifying the purchase when I have a perfectly serviceable Taurus currently filling that niche.

I'm a Ruger fanboy, but I sent my .22 SP-101 back for light primer strikes. I guess the opposite of your problem. Ruger claimed to adjust the headspace (?). Whatever they did, it works now and I'm impressed by their customer service (wishing I didn't have to use it, but impressed none-the-less).
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