Jamming SP-101

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sbucy

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 31, 2009
Messages
3
Here's one for ya. Bought a brand new SP-101 .357. First time on the range, the gun repeatedly jammed. Cylinder just locked up tight.

Took it home and found witness marks on floor of frame at bottom dead center where cartridge lips were jamming against the radius at the bottom/rear of the frame!! I relieved the area a little with my dremel tool and polished the area clean. Everything dry fires now fine with the spent shells that were previoiusly jamming. Going to shoot a couple hundred rounds, though, before I carry this piece.

What's happened? Poor Ruger quality control? All I can figure is bad milling on the SS frame of this 101. Never heard of anything so stupid (since my '78 Chevy with the front wheels that rubbed the fender well).

Anybody had a similar problem with the 101?
 

Snake45

Hawkeye
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
6,081
I had a Colt King Cobra once that would lock up tight when shooting, but it couldn't be duplicated on the bench. The problem turned out to be a too-tight cylinder gap, which was about .002". I opened it up to .005" and the problem went away.
 

mt

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 22, 2008
Messages
290
This spring I had an SP 101 with a similar problem. I filed it down before taking it to the range so I don't know if it would have bound the loaded cylinder or not. On this gun, the top rear corner beneath the rear sight area was "stepped". It appeared the cutting tool had stopped short of the corner on two separate passes.

I usually file and sand the sharp corners and edges on all of my stainless guns anyway.


mt
 

sbucy

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 31, 2009
Messages
3
Thanks, MT - glad to know it ain't just me. Good idea about the sharp places. I've started to work smoothing the corners on my 101.
 

oldyeller

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 12, 2009
Messages
142
well for you non file happy shooters out there if you buy a ruger new and somtimes used but positivly new ruger will send a call box via ups to send back to ruger no charge. However it is a shame that they are slipping these guns through QC. Mike
 

JB696

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
45
The witness marks on the bottom of the frame window were probably made when the gun "tester" at the factory jammed the cylinder shut to get the empty cartridge that the guns come with. Or maybe it wasn't test fired. Some of the new guns I've looked at may not have been capable of firing a round. So I wouldn't be surprised if occasionally the test firing technician just grabs a spent shell casing out of the bucket. Sounds like yours is an easy fix, though. Maybe Ruger should include a small file and a piece of emery cloth with each new gun. :wink:
 
A

Anonymous

*first post

New to guns and the SP-101 was my first...had it 3 weeks now and fired it only once...100 rounds and it's fine.

I'm so new to the sport that knowing exactly what to look for when shopping/buying might trip me up.

I'm reading a lot and learning a lot...it's the best I can do. Not so pleased to have heard this, but I'm not surprised either.

GB
 

sbucy

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 31, 2009
Messages
3
Anybudy cares - I took my hand-repaired Sp-101 to the range today and ran about 60 rounds thru it - a couple different 38 specials, including a +P and some cheap .357s. Everything fired beautifully and no snags. I'll take it apart again and check it under magnification. But I think the problem is solved.

Thanks everybody.
 

nn

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 22, 2008
Messages
427
sbucy:
Good news
One always likes to fix stuff themselves.
 

Carry_Up

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 22, 2007
Messages
373
Glad you found the cause of the binding. While you are at it, grab a set of feeler gauges and check the cylinder-to-forcing cone clearance. A recent GP100 of mine came with less than .002". It would only fire about 10 times before locking up (due to metal expansion from heat). Now I know why this clearance is needed. .005 to .006 should be just fine. Remember to check it from both sides of the frame. In general, it is too bad that Ruger has chosen to go the route of little or no qc. Apparently it is cheaper to fix the ones that people complain about, than to produce a consistently excellent product. The basic platform for the various pistols is great, but I've had to put in hours of work on each one before I was satisfied that I had a working, reliable firearm.
 

bchannell

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 12, 2003
Messages
14
That's amazing, my first SP101 had exactly the same problem. I did a quick fix by filing the frame window at the bottom edge and all was well. I did notice that the frame in general looked poorly finished and the rear sight was way off center. I sold it, and got another one, and the finish and fit of the gun is vastly superior to the first one. There is a big gap in quality from gun to gun. Glad you got it fixed, they are great guns.
I'd love to know how they test fired it at the factory, there were three chambers blackened, but there's now way in the world the cylinder turned for that, because mine jammed up tight, no way would it turn.
 

stare-decisis

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 14, 2009
Messages
118
So much for the myth that Revolvers "never jam."
I haven't had any problems w/my Sp101. I did have three Taurus'
(445,450,44C) and every one of them had problem with same kind of cylinder binding.
 

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