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Ruger SP101 .357 Cylinder Freewheeling

Discussion in 'Ruger Club' started by GlocknGeezer, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. GlocknGeezer


    Nov 4, 2003
    Southeast USA
    I bought an exposed hammer 3" .357 SP101 back in January, 2010. When the trigger is pulled fully to the rear (DA or SA) and slowly released to within approximately 1/16" of its complete forward arc travel, subsequent rearward trigger motion results in rotation of the cylinder alone without any movement of the hammer. The cylinder can be rotated forever by pulling the trigger alone as long as the trigger is short-stroked within that last 1/16" bit of trigger travel. I disassembled and reassembled the gun per instructions with no change in behavior.

    It's kind of fun until the realization sets in that this could get you killed.

    I found one other complaint over on the Rugerforum about this and the poster was reportedly advised by factory techs to return the gun since that this freewheeling lockwork behavior was abnormal. I attempted to verify the necessity of returning my SP101 by calling Ruger, but the tech stated that although he was willing to check the gun out, it seemed like a training/practice matter to him. I advised him that my '09 GP100 action locked up when shortstroked, WAY preferable to just cranking the cylinder around. After I mentioned shooting GLOCKs mostly from reset, he kinda pooh-poohed the matter and suggested more anti-shortstroking practice.

    I can accept this as a design particularity if that's what it is. I know this is a GLOCK harbor but has anyone had this same experience with a SP101?
  2. sarge

    sarge Millennium Member

    Jan 26, 1999
    90.44.1W 35.48.4N
    I think I'd call back and talk to someone different and then request a call tag. That isn't right.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2010

  3. GlocknGeezer


    Nov 4, 2003
    Southeast USA
    Thanks Sarge, I'll take your advice. I hope the lack of responses means its a rare problem.
  4. sourdough44


    Jul 23, 2007
    It sounds like a lot of trigger manipulation to get to this 'sweet spot' for the free wheel. In normal use of the trigger is all fine? Next time I go near the safe I'll try it on one of my Rugers. I've never done shooting on the reset with a revolver, like may be possible with a semi-auto handgun. I just don't like sending guns off without a good reason.

    FYI, I tested this the best I could with my 1970s vintage Security-Six. I tried to do it as described. It took a little work but if I held the trigger just so I could get the cylinder to free wheel. My gun is fine in every way & I kinda don't really think there is a problem here. I would just test it out in all the normal ways & not over-think it to much.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2010
  5. GlocknGeezer


    Nov 4, 2003
    Southeast USA
    The trigger SA and DA function is fine, except when short-stroked (intentional or not). The action locks ala GP100 unless the 'sweet spot' is found near the end of the reset stroke.

    An inspection of the trigger mechanism revealed no apparent deficiencies in the actuation or timing of the cylinder rotation. The problem is apparently in the engagement of the trigger extension finger with the 'dog' on the hammer. It looks like the 'dog' could be shortened a few thousandths to permit trigger engagement a few additional degrees displacement from the end of the trigger stroke, at a cost of a miniscule degradation in hammer travel/strike/energy. The SA stroke would be unaffected.

    Ruger won't sell replacement hammers and/or dogs which prohibits my experimentation :(. I don't want to send it back, I'll just relegate it to 'beater' status.

    Shot bad low and left due to the front sight notch being milled WAAY right of center too. I had to file away about a third of the front sight thickness from the right side to get it on paper at 25 yds.

    I've got one of the recalled LCP's that I haven't sent back yet.
    Don't know what to think of Ruger these days.