clunky vs. junky action feel....

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BearHawk 357

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
249
So, I'm in the market for another 357 Mag. Yesterday, I stopped into Gander Mountain to see if I could handle some rugers. I'm leaning towards picking up a GP-100. They had one with a 4" barrel and one with a 6" barrel. I asked the gentleman behind the counter if I could work the action a couple of times and if I could check the timing and lock-up. I inspected both of the GP's and found them to be very well made.

So, for kicks and giggles I also asked to see the SP-101 that was in the same case as the GP's. I just wanted to compare and contrast the feel of the different models. Here's what I came up with: The SP-101 felt junky as compared to the feel of the GP's. My dad was there with me and he said the same thing. Even the guy behind the counter said that he hears similar comments from time-to-time. I may have never noticed the "cheaper" feel to the SP had I not had the GP in my other hand to compare it to.

The GP-100 had a nice ruger clunk to the action while the SP-101 had more of a junk feel to it. Was I just feeling a dud or have others noticed this similar issue, with regards to the quality of feel, of the SP-101's? The hammer on the SP had a considerable amount of side-to-side play. Also, the SP felt gritty and not as positive throughout it's action cycle. Now, I don't want to start a rumor that they are junk (just for the record). But I am going to have to feel some more SP's before I would ever consider buying one.

Please don't respond if you have only handled one gun in your lifetime and that gun is an SP. One of my first revolvers was a Taurus. It felt great, to me, until I pulled the trigger on my first Performasnce Center 629 S&W. I'm looking for feedback, from guys, who are willing to give this issue a fair shake.

One more thing that I noticed about the GP-100 was the top side of the rear sight. It looked different than my other rugers in the fact that it had the ruger logo roll stamped into the sight itself. It's kind of hard to see since it is sort of a black-on-black type of a thing. Have these always been like this and are there other models with this embellishment on the sight? It looked pretty sharp. Anyway, what say you? I'm looking forward to hearing what others think on this one.
 

E

Single-Sixer
Joined
Aug 1, 2006
Messages
130
I have both and would recommend both to anyone interested. The GP feels smoother to me in both DA and SA, but I have to admit I bought my 4" GP used and have put about four years more range use on it than I have the SP. I bought the SP new, and it has smoothed out some with use, but the trigger pull feels heavier in both DA and SA. I think both are rather robust guns, and "junky" has never been a term that came to mind with either model for me. Both lock up tightly, both go bang when I pull the trigger with every round I've ever fired, and both feel great in my hand.

I shoot the GP better because of the better trigger, better sight picture with the adj. sights, and longer grip, but I'd rather carry the SP because of its size. Both suit different needs, and both are great revolvers in my opinion.
 

Flash

Buckeye
Joined
May 21, 2005
Messages
1,164
There has always been a few SP-101's in my collection and even GP's for that matter
007-4.jpg

Feel junky? Heavens no! The SP-101 is definately lighter than the GP-100 and the transfer bar of the SP has a more noticable rattle than the GP but both are sound, quality revolvers. I know for a fact that if you owned both and used them as they were designed, you couldn't damage either one of them if you tried. The trandfer bar rattle isn't an issue at all. The assumption you're making about the SP being junky is totally incorrect and if you are lucky enough to own one, you'll agree. The sight logo is relatively new but the sight dimensions are the same as the other adjustable rear sights for the GP-100's. I have a short barreled 38 special, SP-101 that has a butter smooth trigger and a set of Crimson Trace laser grips and I feel confident enough about it to bet my life on it.....every day. How's that for ruling out Junky?
 

s4s4u

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 16, 2006
Messages
1,891
My GP100 has a sweet trigger, my SP101 is on the other end of the spectrum, BRUTAL. I don't feel the construction to be any less, but the heft and size make the GP feel more at home to me. It is hard to hide that 6" barrel and frame in my waisteband tho, so we compromise.
 

BearHawk 357

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
249
I'm not saying that all SP's are all junk. I'm just saying that the one I felt seemed to have poor fit and feel to it. I'm glad to hear comments saying that people are happy with them. This is just more evidence that the particular one that I felt, could have been, pehaps a "lemon."

If one product seems vastly superior to another, upon initial inspection, then comments become merely comparative in nature at that point. An example of this would be like saying that a Ford Taurus is a nice car (true statement). However, if one would compare it to a new BMW they might say that the Taurus feels "junky" in comparison. Now, of couse this comment would, ultimately, be subjective in nature. In other words.....that person's opinion.

I would like to hear the opinion of a person who has not forked out hundreds of dollars for a large collection of SP's. When we put up that kind of cash for things, I feel that we sometimes have a hard time seeing past any flaws that may be present. My first post didn't relate to concealability, shootability, resale or any other unrelated realm of firearm discussion. I simply stated that the SP that I handled didn't give me the impression that it was made as well as the GP's that I had handled.

Sometimes I ask my friends who aren't really into guns to handle different models and then I ask them to comment. I do this because they don't have all of the biased gun-mythology pounded into their heads. How many times do we hear crap like, "colts are the best"....and....""smiths are better than rugers"....we all hear stuff like this on a daily basis.

I have read reviews, of the SR-556, in countless publications as of recent times. They are great guns and just about everybody who reviews them says so. I really like mine. However, I still have the beans to say that a safety selector that falls out of it's detent is junky and massive levels of carrier tilt is junky. I can say this even after paying about $1500 for one. It's called being real with things. Again, I'm looking at fair talks, geared specifically towards the comments that I have made....not, "I like the ones that I have bought."

Maybe we should just start a poll topic that reads: which revolver has better form, fit, feel and function.....the two choices would be: the GP-100 and the SP-101. I bet you that I could predict the results.
 

jazzman

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 5, 2004
Messages
126
I won't comment because I don't have a GP100, but hope to remedy that this week, but I would listen to any comment Flash has as a person that has enough money for that collection, could choose pretty much any gun he wanted and if he felt the ruger was best then I would take his comment over anyone that just had 1 or 2 guns. Pretty much if you buy a lemon in anything I would think you would be hesitant to buy another so anyone that has a collection like Flash's tells me that they are quite good. There is also about 100.00 difference in them so I would expect at least a little more quality in the GP100. I guess I will see this week when I pick up my own GP100.

Jim
 

BearHawk 357

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
249
I'd be partial so I really shouldn't comment.

Anybody is welcome to comment. A person, with a pile of rugers, of all people, has a good batch from which to compare/contrast. My safe is full of rugers but if my 10-22 stovepipes every other shot or if my redhawk sight falls off then I wont just say, "I like rugers so I'm not going to comment on any issues that may come up from time-to-time." I am just looking for 100% accurate reviews. Come on guys, you have to know what I mean by having this desire. I like to hear people say something like, "hey I just paid $500 for this new cell phone and I hate it...it doesn't work well and the buttons feel cheap." Most people say, "my new five hundred dollar phone is awesome," instead. This helps nobody.

I'm not saying that the SP's are junk. I'm just asking if anybody else thinks that the GP-100 is a better made piece. I understand brand loyalty. I get wrapped up in that type of thing every once in a while too. Maybe we need another person, who likes rugers, but has neither of the two guns, to run down to their local shop to test and compare the initial quality impressions of the two guns that are in question. I know it doesn't really matter a whole heck of a lot because we are all entitled to our thoughts. However, this is a forum where gun guys can talk. Let's keep talking guns. I want to see where this one ends up.
 

Flash

Buckeye
Joined
May 21, 2005
Messages
1,164
I've said it before and i'll say it again. The misconception about the SP-101 feeling junky, clunky, funky has to do with the GP-100 being hunky. The size and heft of the GP-100 had a tendency to leave everything that's smaller, feeling less than equal and rightfully so. The inequality is only caused by the weight, not the quality. As you said, your subjective discription of the SP-101 you handled, isn't representative of everyone you handled, just that one. Something formed your opinion in that shop and since you couldn't fire it, it had to be in the way you handled it. They're all built the same, except for the grip that has changed to the Hogue so the difference in size and weight is all that you had to go on.
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
10,100
BearHawk 357":3rqgwthe said:
I'm not saying that the SP's are junk...

Yes you are, and you have said it about 6 times. There are many here that have handled many, many revolvers, and they will tell you, for the most part, that Ruger double-action revolvers are well made, sturdy and built to last a lifetime of shooting. The SP-100 in particular is a little tank of a gun and there is nothing like it on the market. If you find one that isn't up to your standards well, that's life. :roll:

...Jimbo
 

BearHawk 357

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
249
People use words differently in the sense that a word doesn't always translate the same way for each reader. In the Marines, we called your personal effects "trash" as in, "grab your trash and lets get going.....double time." Now, when I hear this I say, "oh, somebody is trying to ask another person to gather up their things because it's time to get going"...and they are asking for them to respond in a hurry. Another person might hear the same sentence and think that someone was calling another persons stuff trash (as in garbage).

Most mechanics have their terms for the different types of conditions in which they find things. If something is gummed up with crud then I might call it gooey. When something is gritty and loose feeling then I say, "it feels like there is a bunch of junk in there." This is what I mean by the term "junky" feel. We just went through cash for clunkers. I used the term clunky to describe another ruger DA model. I was saying that one, in a good way (just for the recrord). Like the big clunk that you hear when shutting the door on a Hummer. Some people follow these terms while others don't get it at all. I'm sorry to those who don't seem to follow the gerneral idea of what I'm trying to discuss.

When I spell out in plain english that I'm not calling something junk then show me some respect, read my words, don't take me out of context and press on with life. You are entitled to your opinion. However, don't speak for me....I'll do that. Looking back, I guess that I should have used a more simple and boring term that would have conveyed what I was trying to get out there.

However, my position has not changed. I too feel that ruger DA guns are great works of art. So, is the GP a better gun than the SP (in your opinion)? This is the simple question that I am asking. Please, take the high road and repsond with a more mature level of respect for one another. I am trying to go forward....not backwards.
 

Flash

Buckeye
Joined
May 21, 2005
Messages
1,164
I personally think you're splitting hairs. The SP and GP are two completely different platforms but both are quality guns. They will outlive me and so long as the Dems don't try to get their grubby little paws on them, they'll be around for centuries.
 

countglockula

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 14, 2008
Messages
4
I own multiple examples of both the GP and the SP and can vouch for the solidity of the SP100 platform. Furthermore, I use my 3" 38SP model for general target practice and plinking. I performed a polish job on the internals and changed a few springs in the process. The end result is a revolver with a single and double action trigger that rivals the best of S&W.

Junky & clunky?? no Way!
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
20,821
Well,, I don't own any GP's but we do own 3 SP's, 3 security series, 1 Redhawk, 1 Super RH, and about,,,,,,,,,, well, lets just say a whole bunch (more than 50 & less than 300) SA rugers. Plus,, I have shot numerous GP's to see how they worked & felt. I just haven't bought any because the right deal hasn't fell in my lap.
That said,, I have not noticed any junky feelings in any of my SP's.
I do wish I could be with you to experience what you are seeing/feeling to maybe understand it a bit more.
 

bub

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Messages
245
From what I am reading, the OP really isn't calling the SP "junk", he is more complaining that the action feels like it had junk in it. This is fairly common (or was a few years ago, anyway) for Ruger guns. In order to keep costs down, it seemed that Ruger didn't clean up the parts as well as they should have. When I bought my 4" GP, the trigger felt HORRIBLE! Felt like you were trying to drag a 4x4 down a rough gravel road. I disassembled it, flushed it out and cleaned it real well (it was so full of chips and dirt, it seemed like Ruger was saving money by dumping the floor sweepings at the factory into the guns instead of paying for trash removal) and dry fired some and the trigger got pretty good. I then detail stripped it and polished the working parts and I now have a trigger to rival most of the factory S&Ws I have ever felt. A little heavier than most S&Ws I've tried since I left the factory springs in for reliability but smoother.

My SP (bought about a year and a half after the GP) wasn't quite as bad but was still gritty. Disassembly and a good cleaning took care of most of it, polishing took care of the rest. Now, the trigger on my SP is smoother than the trigger on my S&W M649, although it is a little heavier since I left the factory springs in for reliable ignition. I feel good enough about the SP that it is my backup gun when I work at my PD job and is my constant off duty carry gun. I can't think of a better endorsement, myself, and a lot of others feel the same about the SP and GP. They wouldn't feel this way if the guns were "junk".

Ruger makes good guns but the lower price has to come from somewhere. Investment casting saves some money but it seems like most of the savings comes from a lower grade of fitting at the factory. The guns just flat out work but they aren't as finely fitted as a S&W and the metal finish (including action parts) isn't to as high a grade as S&W. Fitting takes hand work, which is EXPENSIVE! The less fitting Ruger has to do, the more they can save and the less they can sell their guns for. If they came as finely fitted as most S&Ws, they would also cost like the S&Ws. As the man once said, you pays your money and you takes your chance. If you want a gun that is liable to be good-to-go right from the factory with no tweaking, buy the S&W. If you want a good gun that will last a lifetime but one that may take a little more tweaking or tinkering and costs a lot less, buy the Ruger. That's about what it boils down to in the end.

Bub
 

Yosemite Sam

Hunter
Joined
Mar 18, 2002
Messages
2,113
Bub, this used to be (mostly) true, but I'll add that S&W is no longer providing the same level of finishing or QC that they used to, either.

-- Sam
 

marlboro man

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 29, 2009
Messages
25
+1! well stated! now i've owned a GP before and shot the heck out of it. trigger was rough out of box but have to say shooting and dry firing the crap out of it highly improved the trigger. Was satisfied enough that i felt i didnt need to polish it. Now never owned a SP but have handled a few, and yes i get what you are saying about the trigger feeling umm 'gritty'. but im betting that what bub said in the previous post pretty much sums it up.
 

bub

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Messages
245
Yosemite Sam":ewb65a6x said:
Bub, this used to be (mostly) true, but I'll add that S&W is no longer providing the same level of finishing or QC that they used to, either.

-- Sam

Sam, I'll readily admit that you might be right. Aside from a Performance Center .500 Mag, I haven't seen, held or tried a new S&W since I bought my M649, oh, has to be 14 or so years ago, right after the J-Frames started coming out in .357. Lower quality of fitting/polishing/QC in general seems to be a common complaint nowadays. About the only S&Ws I'm interested in these days are the older stainless revolvers.

Bub
 

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