Why Does Ruger SP101 .22 get a Bad Rap?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Homerboy, Sep 26, 2016.

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  1. Hoppes Love Potion

    Hoppes Love Potion Member

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    I would rather spend the extra money and get a S&W. The 3" Model 63 is a good size & weight.
     
  2. stchman

    stchman Member

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    Man, a lot of whining.

    I bought my SP101 in 22LR from a gentleman at a local gun show for $400 (it had been barely fired). Is the DA trigger heavy, a little bit, but my goodness, people act like you need a tow chain and a dually pickup to pull it.

    I really like shooting my SP101 in 22LR, it gets good groups at 7 yards (for me) and looks good to boot. I ordered a Hogue grip as the stock one is a touch small.

    I also have a Taurus Model 94 in 22LR and it is a good revolver as well.
     
  3. Mark 40
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    Mark 40 Contributing Member

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    tow chain and a dually- too funny, thanks for the laugh!

    Same results for me out to 7yds.
    I don't find the trigger particularly heavy, just a bit longer than my other revolvers.

    Yes, it sure looks good- love the look of SS
     
  4. Homerboy

    Homerboy Member

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    Never said the Ruger triggers were as good as a S&W. Matter of fact, I admitted the smith was better. I said some reviews that the SP is unshootable due trigger is overblown.
     
  5. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Member

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    It's a value proposition. For people who ask "Are the Smiths worth that much more money than the Ruger." I could ask, "Is the Ruger SP101 worth that much more than the Charter Arms Pathfinder?"


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  6. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Member

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    With cheap handguns, you hear people extoll the great value while the mediocre features go largely ignored, or they're minimized with statements like "For 300 bucks - the lockup ain't bad". But when you're charging around $525.00 for a gun, people are going to carp about a mediocre trigger.


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  7. Wil Terry

    Wil Terry Member

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    IT IS the all-around general klunkiness of the entire pistol itself. It is about as sleek as a footer block....and at least as handy. BUT THEN...you can buy the gorgeous sleekness of Rugers SA 22 sixguns ALL of which of mine shoot as well as all three of my S&W K22's.
    And so it goes...
     
  8. tubeshooter
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    tubeshooter Contributing Member

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    I guess it is all in what you are used to. Most of my handgun shooting has involved DA revolvers (mostly snubs), so the heavy DA pull does not bother me too much. Single action, I see nothing really to complain about. But that is just my particular specimen, and I realize other people have gotten guns that had problems. I guess I got lucky.


    The gun is fairly large for a kit gun, but I still find it handier than the average K-frame. I happen to kind of like the FO front sight, the grips and the half-underlug which looks a lot better to me than the full lug on most of it's SP/GP cousins.




    You'll need a good extra hundred to $150 more to touch a Smith model 63, and even more for a K-frame. I think if you get a decent specimen this particular model is not bad.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2016
  9. Homerboy

    Homerboy Member

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    Ruger is far ahead of charter arms. Either way, I'm gonna shoot the SP on Monday. Let me start taking my steroids to manage thst kajillion pound pull.
     
  10. tallpaul

    tallpaul Member

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    Yet again another example of all the gun folk being taught that there is such a thing as a "perfect" gun... there is no such thing... like golf clubs and hammers- they make many different ones for many different uses and with all different levels of quality.

    This is a decent gun- not necessarily a great choice as ones first or only .22 by any means but it could work if you are not to weak. I like my full size .22 fir target or accuracly but this is a good gun.
     
  11. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    At one time I owned, and SP 101 and a Ruger Redhawk in .44 magnum. The issue I had with both was the quality of the trigger pull in SA and DA they were both much heavier than my S&W revolvers. I tried springs and polishing. In the end Since I own many other Smith revolvers and also Ruger Single actions that I really like, I never took my Redhawk or my SP 101 to the range. I also never carried either due to size and weight.
    So I sold both. I will not even be tempted to try the SP101 in .22lr as I have so many other .22lr pistols and revolvers.

    I suspect the SP or even the GP would become dust collectors. Triggers and weight do matter. I also suspect the average Buckmark or Ruger MK II will out shoot the SP and the GP .22 models with a much better trigger, better balance, the need for less cleaning work, and a lower purchase price.
     
  12. Homerboy

    Homerboy Member

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    I didn't want a semi auto .22. I wanted to be able to shoot shorts, quiets, and I didn't want to deal with magazines. The Ruger design is different than a S&W, so rugers are generally heavier. But they are stout and can be totally fieldstripped with ease.

    I just think the trigger issue in these is overblown. I have zero problems working the trigger. And I am super accurate with my Ruger service six. No less
    Accurate than any of my S&W's.
     
  13. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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    My sister got one of those monsters and I was impressed with its beauty, but when I pulled it from the box, it felt more like a .357 Magnum (a heavy one) than a .22LR. The DA trigger is horrendous and the balance is horrible. Ruger puts too much weight in the barrels and they cut off the steel in the grips, turning them into stubs.

    In the photo below you'll see my Ruger Security-Six frame with an inset of the GP-100 grip.

    RugerGrips_2.jpg

    The grip weight is reduced, but the extra steel in the barrel throws the balance off. That's one reason I've never cozied up to the GP-100. That said, the GP is still an excellent pistol. I just can't warm up to the .22LR SP-101. Like a good knife, a revolver has to have a good balance and feel in the hand. The current Rugers, to me, just don't have that great balance. Picking up a Security-Six, a S&W 686 or 66 and then a GP-100, the GP-100 seems off balance to me. And the .22LR SP-101 is, in my view, worse.
     
  14. tallpaul

    tallpaul Member

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    for every guy that likes a light barrel there are at least as many that like a heavier barrel... I grew up shooting bullseye pistol and I like a heavy barrel and forward weighted feel. There are advantages to a heavier front heavy feel/balance. For a total field gun I could like a lighter gun or a ccw but for shooting I like heavy :)
     
  15. stchman

    stchman Member

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    Just got my Hogue grip for my SP101, much better than the smaller grip that Ruger puts on the gun, I can actually get a comfortable grip now.
     
  16. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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    That's just it. Rugers are making mostly range guns now. If you're hiking, camping or fishing, you have to find earlier guns or guns by other makers. While shooting, I like a heavier barrel to steady my aim, especially when firing multiple shots. But I don't like carrying them and, like I said, I think the balance is terrible because of what Ruger did to the grips.

    The S&W 686 and .22LR revolvers are balanced fine.
     
  17. DPris

    DPris Member Emeritus

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    Both of my 4.2 SPs are perfect trailguns for me.
    One .22 & one .357, both fit the same leather, both are near perfect fits in my hand with the Hogue grip on 'em.

    Balance is great, for me.
    Neither is a range gun.
    In fact, I don't own a range gun. :)
    Denis
     
  18. jski

    jski Member

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    I just bought one of these puppies for my wife to shoot while I'm blasting away with my .30 Carbine Blackhawk, .357 Blackhawk, .45 S&W Mountain Gun, etc.

    She chose it over the S&W 617 because of the size. I already had to send it back to Ruger because it wouldn't fire DA. I asked them to do something about the hammer pull difficulty. And, it's definitely better but still not great.

    Would a complete spring replacement job using Wolff Gunsprings help?
     
  19. DPris

    DPris Member Emeritus

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    Sometimes it does, sometimes it creates erratic ignition.
    Did you let your wife actually dryfire it before you bought it?
    It's not a very good "wife" gun for many, if not most.

    The mainspring has to be strong for rimfire reliability in the model.
    Denis
     
  20. Vernon1

    Vernon1 Member

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    Sell The Ruger

    Purchase S&W.

    Cry once only.

    Live happy ever after.
     
  21. SeanSw

    SeanSw Member

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    I have had two Ruger sp101 in .357. The DAO example was very ratchety and did not improve much even after the usual Ruger tune up. The standard model had a heavy trigger but is smooth and consistent with tight side to side fitting and no slop. We kept that that one and got rid of the other. The fit and finish made them look and feel like completely different guns even though theyt were made within a year of each other.

    I have a GP100 that has a very sloppy trigger. The pull feels lighter than the sp101 but is too long and the trigger has a great deal of side to side play. If you had the chance to cherry pick a Ruger before buying one would be worth the time to find one with tighter tolerances and work with it from there.
     
  22. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Administrator Staff Member

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    I bought one of the new 8 shot SP101s awhile back. DA pull is pretty stiff out of the box although the SA pull was pretty good at about 4lbs.

    The DA pull on mine started out somewhere around 16lbs. After some basic work (polishing, shimming) and a good bit of dryfiring and shooting, it's a smooth 13lbs. Still not a light trigger by any means, but very shootable (at least for me) and a lot of fun at the range.

    The last time I had it out, I was shooting it at a steel torso silhouette at about 50 yards. I got to where I could empty the gun DA in about 5 seconds and still keep all 8 hits on the steel most attempts.

    As a side benefit it is that it is very good trigger finger exercise--and is a lot more fun than using a hand exerciser.

    I replaced the factory grips with a grip from Hogue. I really liked the look of the factory grip but they were just too small for me.
     
  23. Paladin7

    Paladin7 Member

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    I shot a few of them over the years and owned an SP101 in 38 special for a time. Here's my 2 cents...

    The SP101, is not an inexpensive pistol, so they lose to those in the market who will buy the Taurus, Heritage Rough Rider, old H&R, etc.

    They lack the overall refinement of a S&W, in trigger, radiusing of sharp edges (especially on the trigger), weight, what can be done with the trigger by a good gunsmith, etc. I find the revolver crowd at my club will put in even more money for a pre-lock, pre-MIM, S&W over the SP101 any day. So, that market is lost.

    They lose to the 22 Auto shooters, who will not consider a revolver.

    I think all of these factors add up to the tepid response in the market.

    Just my opinion, so no flames from the Ruger fan boys, please...
     
  24. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Checked out an SP101 awhile back but didn't care for the trigger, the grip design, or for the overall feel and balance of the gun. While the DA trigger on my wife's Model 34 is not as smooth or as light as that found on a typical K or L frame, I think it's still way ahead of what you might find on an SP101.
     
  25. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Administrator Staff Member

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    After posting yesterday, I dug out my SP101 and did some dryfire work with it. The trigger felt pretty good so I measured it again. It will travel all the way through the DA pull and never reach 13lbs. Looks like it's getting up to around 12lbs 13 oz or so. I'm not going to say that's a light trigger; but it's smooth and not heavy enough to prevent accurate shooting.
     
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