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Ruger SP101 problem?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by 5-SHOTS, Sep 27, 2012.

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  1. 5-SHOTS

    5-SHOTS Member

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    Hi, I think that after 2350 factory rounds (950 .357Mag and 1400 .38Spl) my Ruger SP101 DAO is starting to develop a problem: infact, when I was inspecting the gun before cleaning after the last 200 rounds, I’ve discovered a little dent around the firing pin hole that I had not previously noticed (see pics). I don’t know if it is something to be worried about or if I can keep on shooting the gun without problems. My fear is that if things get worst, by shooting another x number of rounds, the firing pin could be frozen in its forward position by the reduction of the hole diameter.

    I’m thinking to send a letter to Ruger with the same pics posted here to know if I have to ship the gun to the italian importer for inspection and/or repair. I love this gun but at this moment I’m a little disappointed: infact this is the second problem occurred to one of my revolvers (the first was a broken hammer stud on a S&W 649-1 after 800 rounds of standard pressure .38Spl).

    I would like to know your opinion and if someone else’s SP101 has developed the same thing.

    Best regards, 5-SHOTS.
     

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  2. weblance

    weblance Member

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    I was thinking it looked like a manufacturing defect, but I just looked at my 3 SP101s and none of them have that dent. I dont know what would have caused something to damage the recoil plate like that, if it truly is damage and not a defect. I think some contact with Ruger is the correct choice.
     
  3. 98Redline

    98Redline Member

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    Did you possibly smack it with the end of a cleaning rod?
     
  4. beag_nut

    beag_nut Member

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    Just looked at my SP101 in .357, and can't imagine how yours got that ding. As a personal and maybe helpful note, I have noticed that things (wherever and whatever) which were overlooked early on might tend to get noticed as time goes on. I seriously doubt that it will ever get worse, unless it is as 98redline suggests, that it was caused by a cleaning rod.
     
  5. Revoliver

    Revoliver Member

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    Looks to me like you had a round stuck under the ejection star and not only closed the cylinder with it still under the star, but also fired and cycled the gun while it was stuck under the ejection star. This is based off of the drag line scar and rings/dents in your two pics.
     
  6. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    This makes no sense. The cylinder would not close if this were the case, unless you were closing the cylinder with a sledge hammer. The gun would also bind up, and the cylinder would not turn.

    Every used revolver I have ever seen has a drag mark across that portion of the recoil plate...... come to think of it, most new ones have a slight mark also from inspections, and customers looking the guns over.

    OP, I would send those pics on to Ruger. I think you have a valid concern about the firing pin jamming. I doubt it will get any worse, but it doesn't hurt to ask. My SP101 has no such issue.

    The cleaning rod idea may be the culprit, but you would have to hit it pretty darn hard. Do you have any recolection of that occuring?
     
  7. Revoliver

    Revoliver Member

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    The example I used may not be exact, but the scenario still makes complete sense. That deep rut scar (not simple surface scratch) combined with the perfect concentric rings around the rear of the frame/firing pin hole leads me to believe that the extractor star was not fully seated (for awhile possibly) causing a round or rounds to be sat flush against the rear of the frame and causing those nice circular dents around the firing pin in the shape of the brass and the primer area.

    The drag lines you see on revolvers can be avoided by properly cleaning under the extraction star and making sure it is seating properly. I have not seen any brand new revolvers with this line.
     
  8. unclenunzie

    unclenunzie Member

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    This looks like a trip back to the factory for close inspection and repair. It looks like both the firing pin and the recoil shield are damaged, possibly from the same source?
     
  9. onebadcaballero

    onebadcaballero Member

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    Don't take my word for it but I think the firing pin might be off center. I'm pretty sure I've heard of this problem being caused by that. How are those primers looking?
     
  10. asia331

    asia331 Member

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    Took a good look at my 101; no such damage there. The cleaning rod thing might be be the case but wouldn't a brass rod deform itself rather the than the stainless steel? I'm thinking it might be a manufacturing issue.
     
  11. 5-SHOTS

    5-SHOTS Member

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    onebadcaballero: I think you are right. Infact I forgot to mention that the firing pin on my SP101 is a little bit off center (approximately 0.02") and obviously the gun left the factory that way. Take a close look at my pics using the concentric circular signs on the shield as a point of reference and you'll see that. It is also clear that the firing pin is slightly off center even if you look at it from the rear, holding the hammer cocked. The dent is in correspondence to the side of the primer where the firing pin leaves "more meat" after the strike and it is also starting to be impressed on the primers themselves. However I've never had a misfire. All strikes are very deep and powerful, only slightly off center.

    Seriously, I can't imagine how I can smack a cleaning rod harder than a .357Mag recoiling case... No, I've never hit the recoil shield with a cleaning rod.
    The drag line is perfectly normal in a revolver being opened and closed two times a day for loading/unloading and/or practice and, belive me, you can barely feel it with a nail. I always keep the zone under the ejector star clean and dry; for that reason the cylinder always open and close smoothly. Anyway I can't understand what a shield drag line has to do with a dented firing pin hole.
    The concentric circular signs in the shield around the firing pin hole are again perfectly normal at that round count and are caused by the recoiling spent cases; If I had only shotted 2350 wadcutters they will be still there. All other scratches or signs or marks are factory, probably left by manual fitting.
    All the rounds fired were factory rounds (all Fiocchi and maybe a box of Winchester .38Spl wadcutters). The revolver was purchased new on April 2008.

    At this moment the gun is working well with no damages to the firing pin and with no friction between it and the dented side of the hole, but I don't know what is going to happen with a higher round count.

    Best regards, 5-SHOTS.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2012
  12. Tophernj

    Tophernj Member

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    I'm wondering if it is a void in the casting that with use popped its little head out to say hello. I may be (usually am) totally off base, but that's what it looks like to these uninformed eyes.

    C
     
  13. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Hog wash I say! Try loading a revolver with a round under the star, and then close the cylinder. If you can get it to close, please post a picture. If you can get it to close without using excessive force, and it is something the OP could have done without noticing, then I'll eat my shoe! If anyone is paying so little attention to loading and unloading that they could do this without noticing, and close the cylinder, and shoot all 5 rounds, then they really have no business owning a gun anyway. The OP doesn't sound like that type to me. I say again, that scenario just makes no sense. Does it to anyone else?

    I'm not saying a round couldn't drop in and get in the way, but you sure as heck would notice when closing the cylinder, and it would be pretty hard to do so. You'd also notice when you tried to fire the gun as there would be more resistance in the cycling of the cylinder!

    I totally agree. A frequently loaded and unloaded revolver will have that drag line. It's just the way they work. Mine has it too, as it is a frequent carry gun for me. So does my J frame, and my 460 mag since I shoot it a lot.

    Absolutely nothing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2012
  14. skidder

    skidder Member

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    I agree.

    Look at the spent cases and see if the strikes are off center.
     
  15. ChefJeff1

    ChefJeff1 Member

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    Mine has the same drag mark on the recoil shield but nit the dent on the firing pin hole.
     
  16. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    Since it is stainless, could a primer have had a small hole or separation where gases escaped and etched the area where the gases hit?

    A good cleaning and you wouldn't see black from that incident.

    I had a rifle primer blow a pin-hole once and it made about the same size crater in my rifle bolt-face.

    Also, the line has little to do with cleaning, it would happen anyway.
     
  17. Revoliver

    Revoliver Member

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    You don't think that is the cause, good for you. If you cannot understand the scenario and still insist on literally interpretting what was posted, that is your dilema. It disturbs me that some people can't comprehend the scenario of the extractor star either being way out of seat or gradually put out of seat.

    Not saying that this is the cause and everyone else is wrong, never mentioned that once as a matter of fact. Just that it is what it apears to be to me.
     
  18. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Well next time I'll shoot for a more figurative understanding of your post???? Ummm.... if you don't literally mean what you posted, then why would you post it? That's what posting something is.

    I agree that the cylinder could possibly be seated wrong...... do to a manufacturer defect. My point is that I don't think it's anything the OP did to the gun, which is what you stated with the "round under the ejector star" scenario.

    Ok I'm done debating this with you and I'm not looking for a fight or to argue with you. I've already made the point that the original scenario is not feasable.

    I'm done with this thread until the OP speaks up again.
     
  19. 5-SHOTS

    5-SHOTS Member

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    Please friends relax, we are only speaking about our favourite toys.

    Friendly, Don't Fire!: I inspect the primers when I put the spent cases in the box after every cylinder shooted and I've never noticed signs of overpressure in the primers. While shooting I've never heard a different sound or a greater recoil from an overpressure round and I've never experienced a case stuck in one of the chambers. I only shoot factory loads. Yes, as said the strikes are a little off center but that has never been an issue until now... There are ton of guns out there with a slightly off center firing pin that still work perfect like mine, but I don't know what is going to happen to my SP101 after another 1000 rounds.

    At this point the "off center firing pin hole" argument seems to be the most realistic, but I also think that the little zone under the dent is not as hard as it had to be.

    If I'll contact Ruger I'll report you back everything.
    Anyway, all considered I'll probably sell the gun with a huge loss to someone that shoots 50 rounds a year, because I'm thinking that if it is something related ONLY to the off center firing pin issue, even a trip back to the factory is not going to solve anything in the long term and the problem will be there after another 2500/3000 rounds.

    Best regards, 5-SHOTS.
     
  20. 98Redline

    98Redline Member

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    I am not going to rehash the possible reasons again but only advise you not to shoot the gun until you get either Ruger or a competent smith to take a look at it.

    My biggest concern is that on firing the primer could deform and flow in and around the dent. The excessive deformation could cause the primer to fail and blow back both through the firing pin hole and out the sides. It probably wouldn't be uber dangerous provided you had the proper safety equipment but it certainly wouldn't help the gun in any way.

    I would get on the horn to Ruger, get and RMA and send the gun back to them to inspect or check out.

    It is your choice if you want to sell it or not but if you do before sending it to Ruger, do the buyer the courtesy of informing them of this potentially safety related issue.
     
  21. MIL-DOT

    MIL-DOT member

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    I'm kinda agreeing with 98redline, I can only imagine that happening from a forceful jab with a cleaning rod ( but even then,it still seems unlikely, considering the disparity in hardness of the metals.)
    Heck, I dunno....:D
     
  22. 5-SHOTS

    5-SHOTS Member

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    This is my intention at the moment. For that reason I was speaking about a huge loss of money. Maybe it's time to get a Glock 26 or a Caracal C...
     
  23. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    I think I need to clarify that, when I had the small pierce in the very edge of one primer in a Remington 700 Bolt Action Rifle, the loads were nowhere near hot loads, in fact there was still quite a radius on all the primers after firing. I did not hear anything different with any of the rounds I was firing.

    In fact, other than a small amount of smoke that came out at the bolt-face and out the small side hole, I did not notice anything different about the shots I was taking.

    The hole in the primer was so small, unless one were actually looking for a problem, they most likely would have overlooked the cartridge that had the failed primer.

    The gases created a small divot, very much like what you have in your photos.

    As others implied, why bother asking if you already have all the answers? In telling us all to relax, as these are just our favorite toys, why bother posting the problem in the first place if you do not want some kind of reaction or possible solutions to a potential problem?:eek:
     
  24. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    The gov't put that there so they could identify which brass was shot out of that particular gun as that divot would be bound to produce a case marking.:)
     
  25. Revoliver

    Revoliver Member

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    I personally don't listen to people that can't even take care of their guns, but hey everyone else should. My GP100's been used by the entire family for years now and doesn't have that rut yours has and not one single new revolver I've ever seen has a scratch there. Mine doesn't even have a drag line on the outside of the cylinder from the cylinder stop, but hey, that's because I clean mine... Yet some posters know exactly what it is seeing as how they can so confidently say what it isn't.

    I trust guns more than people. Those pics look like neglect and now the OP's going to be trying to pawn it off on Ruger or some new sucker. Hope you get stuck with your creation.
     
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