Easing SP-101 Triger Pull

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JCStill

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
2
Location
Kentucky
Purchased a SP-101 in .357 for my wife. She is having a hard time with the trigger pull. She can get off two or three rounds and then I notice she seems to not have the strenght to cycle the gun. I can see the hammer come back and then stop. I take control fo the gun, it fires fine so I can only assume it is a lack of strength.

Now, I am NOT a gun smith. I did search the many articles here and I see I can change the spring from the factory 14# pull to something less. Let's say 11# (I think that was one of the values) but does this not cause light primer strikes?

I bought here a hand exerciser yesterday (Gripmaster 7lb (red)) that I am hopeing will help. Time will tell there...

Are there any other things I can do to help her or the gun? She loves the feel and recoil is extremely pleasant for her. And actually is much less than my LCP, SW40 and a few others. Personally, I think the gun shoots low but that seems to be debatable.

Anyway, appreciate any input I can get to try to help her along.

Best!

Craig
 

Knuckles

Buckeye
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
1,217
Just make sure you're gun is unloaded, and dry-fire the snot out of it... mine was rough out of the box but it turned into butter.
 

KWYJIBO

Blackhawk
Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Messages
609
Location
Utah
You can lighten the mainspring a bit without too much risk of light primer strikes. After making the modification, test it with whatever brand of ammunition she will carry in it. If it fires a hundred or more rounds without a light strike, I would then trust it with that particular brand. But if even one shot fails to fire, I would not rely on that combination of gun and ammunition for self defense. Of course, if you want to use more than one brand, you would have to test each one.

Here is another soulution that comes to mind, although it's not particularly elegant, and some may say unwise. If she can fire two shots without trouble (and do so consistently and accurately), have her train to fire two shots in double action, then thumb-cock the hammer for the three remaining follow-up shots. In a defense situation, the first shot or two will hopefully be all that's required. If more shots are necessary, those first two should buy her enough time that she can then slow down a little and fire it in single-action mode.

One other point: the lack of strength should not be an issue in a defense situation, where adrenaline will be flowing. Unfortunately, the lack of strength makes for difficult training, the object of which is to overcome other physiological factors that accompany the flow of adrenaline. I have no trouble pulling the trigger of my SP-101 ten times in quick succession, but that doesn't mean I can quickly place even 3 shots where they need to go; that's why I train. Theoretically, if your wife can hit where she wants to with two shots before running out of strength, it's possible she will be able to do so with all 5 in a defense situation. This is not guaranteed, but she's as likely to as someone with greater hand strength but no better muscle control under stress.

P.S. Welcome to the forum!
 

Pinecone

Blackhawk
Joined
Jan 29, 2007
Messages
970
Location
Maine
JCStill, Welcome to the forum! I would bring that SP-101 to a local "competent" gunsmith and have the action tuned. (Smoothed out) I have run into this problem with lady shooters and Ruger revolvers before. In these cases where the Ruger still doesn't work out for her, I recommend with apology to the "Rugerites", you get her a Lady Smith, if you can find one reasonable, and have "it" finely tuned by a competent gunsmith familiar with Smith & Wesson's. I have seen many ladies take to the Lady Smith when they shunned all other revolvers............................Dick :wink:
 

Hugh

Buckeye
Joined
May 29, 2008
Messages
1,139
Location
West Jordan, Utah
knuckles":21v0f74y said:
Just make sure you're gun is unloaded, and dry-fire the snot out of it... mine was rough out of the box but it turned into butter.

I agree. She may have an infirmity where she is physically unable to operate a double action. If it is just a matter of lack of strength she could develop the strength to operate this piece of equipment. Work on pointing, aiming, and dry firing drills every day. Let her start with three every day. She and you know she can do that. Then work up to five the next week, and ten the next, until she wants to stop.

Some people "can't" because they don't want to and won't.
 

JCStill

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
2
Location
Kentucky
KWYJIBO":1u88udqd said:
One other point: the lack of strength should not be an issue in a defense situation, where adrenaline will be flowing. Unfortunately, the lack of strength makes for difficult training, the object of which is to overcome other physiological factors that accompany the flow of adrenaline. I have no trouble pulling the trigger of my SP-101 ten times in quick succession, but that doesn't mean I can quickly place even 3 shots where they need to go; that's why I train. Theoretically, if your wife can hit where she wants to with two shots before running out of strength, it's possible she will be able to do so with all 5 in a defense situation. This is not guaranteed, but she's as likely to as someone with greater hand strength but no better muscle control under stress.

P.S. Welcome to the forum!

Excellent point and one she mentioned. My wife is a nurse of 25 years and understands body movements and functions far better then I.

I am pleased to see this response since she made mention of the same. Good feedback for her to read.

Thank you all for the input. I see this is a great forum and resource.

One thing I did not mention is that this revolver is one of the hammerless
verities. We chose that for ease of carry and the inability to have the hammer snag on things when drawing the weapon.

Thanks, friends. I do appreciate all input. We are all in the togather.

Craig
 

KWYJIBO

Blackhawk
Joined
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Messages
609
Location
Utah
JCStill":f4kd86gt said:
One thing I did not mention is that this revolver is one of the hammerless verities. We chose that for ease of carry and the inability to have the hammer snag on things when drawing the weapoon

Ahhh! This changes things. Never mind my suggestion about follow-up shots in single-action mode. But she can probably learn to effectively fire the gun in double action, through practice and use of the hand exercise device you mentioned.
 

KWYJIBO

Blackhawk
Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Messages
609
Location
Utah
Pinecone":3f7n4f9a said:
In these cases where the Ruger still doesn't work out for her, I recommend with apology to the "Rugerites", you get her a Lady Smith, if you can find one reasonable...I have seen many ladies take to the Lady Smith when they shunned all other revolvers

Pinecone: I do not find your suggestion inappropriate here at Ruger Forum. Most of the members here love Ruger firearms, but also love (or at least respect) other guns--even the Smiffin Wessons.

I am not too familiar with the LadySmith Models. Besides the smaller grip, do they also have a lighter trigger pull? If so, this may be a viable alternative. But it's something the original poster should check before proceeding. I have a Smith 642 (the "Centennial" frame with fully enclosed hammer). I love it, but its trigger pull is very long and heavy, maybe even heavier than my SP-101 in double action.
 

Groo

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 1, 2008
Messages
86
Groo here
Is she pulling the trigger fast or slow.
Is she trying to stage the trigger.
If so,try a smooth quick pull,once you get the cylinder moving the rest is easer,
 

Dale53

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Messages
925
Location
Hamilton, Ohio USA
The only problem your wife is having is hand strength. That is common amongst ANYONE, male or female, who doesn't use those same muscles on a daily basis.

She can double her strength in a few weeks. Just make SURE that her gun is empty (no cartridges in the room) and have her pick up the gun, check it by opening the cylinder EACH time (that's good general policy and has her learning to do this each time she picks up ANY handgun), then firing it as many times as she can while practicing sight alignment.

As she gains strength, have her do two or more sets of actions. In nearly no time, her strength will improve to the point that it will no longer be a problem.

A somewhat lighter mainspring will help a great deal. Remember not to go TOO light for obvious reasons. The best solution is to increase her hand strength. This she can do if she is under, oh say, 80 years old :mrgreen:. I have had people tell me, because they are over fifty that they can't gain strength. Then I proceed to convince them otherwise. It will happen but it is important to start and keep it up.

Dale53
 

Hokie73

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 27, 2008
Messages
39
Location
S.W. Louisiana
I have Wolff spring kits in every handgun I own, and some rifles. They can greatly reduce the trigger pull effort without impacting reliability. I fully realize this is not conducive to pinpoint accuracy on a single action. And I fully function fire all my guns with the ammo and/or primers intended after I change the springs. I have only had to increase from the weakest spring they furnish in a multi-spring kit one time to achieve reliability in probably 30 different guns.
And judging by the fact they seem to not only stay in business but flourish, I must assume i am not the only one.
 

Rover 'n Rugers

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 2, 2004
Messages
18
Location
West of the Rockies
If the SP is tuned competently the trigger pull in double action can be reduced considerably. In my case the 'smith cut the trigger pull from 14 pounds to 9 and by playing with the Wolff kit it came down to around 8.5. Unless one moves up to a medium frame revolver I doubt the trigger pull can be reduced much further. The SP I have has a lighter trigger pull than what I could get away with on a Colt Magnum Carry.. The J frame S&W is also a coil mainspring but from what I understand the trigger pull starts heavy and lightens during the trigger pull. The SP will increase to a point and then decrease unless tuned by someone like Grant Cunningham who creates a straight thru pull.
 

22/45 Fan

Hunter
Joined
Dec 8, 2001
Messages
2,123
Location
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
The Wolf Spring kit for the SP-101 can help a lot. I replaced the 14# hammer spring with the 12# Wolf (the heaviest one in the spring pack) and the trigger return spring (12# is stock) with the 8# Wolf spring and they mada a very noticable difference with out compromising reliability. )
 

s4s4u

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 16, 2006
Messages
1,891
Location
MN, USA
I bought here a hand exerciser yesterday

The best exerciser is that SP101. Squeeze every night, as many times you can, while maintaining a proper sight picture and grip. While you wear it in and wear you out, you'll become a better shooter.

Spring kit wouldn't hurt, too.
 

harryo1962

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 13, 2007
Messages
4
Location
Blue heaven, NC USA
I put a lighter (by 2 lbs) mainspring in mine, and it made a big differance. I also pulled out the trigger group and lightly greased the contact areas. These two this made it both light and smooth. Ck out the Wolff website. Good luck!
 

rugerlovah

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jun 8, 2009
Messages
196
i had a trusted gunsmith clean my sp101 up. he claimed that he did a simple job ... either way, it now has far and away the best trigger pull of any ruger i own. single action pull is very crisp, no creep at all (about a 3 1/2 lb pull). double action pull is slick and very easy to manage. one of the better triggers i have experienced on a handgun. i dont mind paying $60-70 for that.
 

Shoot44

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 11, 2008
Messages
150
Location
The Ozarks
I also have put a spring kit into my SP101; (the 327 FM model). Changed the mainspring to the lightest one in the kit; 10# I think. Not ONE misfire since changing it. My wife would not shoot it before. Only cocked it a few times and her thumb was red and painful. It was even difficult for me to 'cock'. Now it is super.
I also put the lighter trigger spring in. A bit more of a job, but doable if you are handy. But for double action work, the mainspring is the real culprit, and that is VERY EASY to replace by yourself. When I got it, it had truly THE stiffest mainspring (hammer spring) that I think I have EVER felt on any gun I've shot. Now it is still not the lightest, but very nice.
 

RaisinRiverRon

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 25, 2008
Messages
129
Location
S.E. Michigan
I put the lighter springs from a Wolff kit in my wife’s SP101 and took it apart and cleaned up everything. Smooth as silk, and much lighter. I stuck it in the freezer and then tried it with primed cases. Worked like a charm and with then with a box of factory and close to 1000 reloads. Much easier for my wife, and I like it too.
 

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