New SP-101 "Chirping" on trigger reset...

Help Support Ruger Forum:

OldePhart

Blackhawk
Joined
Dec 12, 2014
Messages
582
Location
Texas, USA
...and very loudly, sounds like a stinking grackle...

So, I got this new SP-101 (3" .357), picked it up Wednesday or Thursday. It seemed fine at the gun shop - good finish on the visible parts, very, very tight lock up, small BC gap, etc. Very heavy and rough DA trigger but, hey, I don't expect much better than that these days. Figured I'd dry/live fire it a few hundred times before worrying about the trigger.

So, I had it home and was dry firing it a bit...I noticed that it had a very loud "chirp" on reset. After a while (maybe 100-150 dry fire pulls over the course of several hours...did I mention that the pull is pretty heavy?:)) the trigger started occasionally failing to reset fully. It would hang up at about the last 1/8" of forward travel. Another thirty or forty more times on the trigger and it was to the point it was failing to fully reset maybe two out of three times. It didn't matter whether I released the trigger slowly or rapidly. Obviously a problem.

This is my first Ruger DA but not my first DA revolver nor my first action job so I figured I'd detail strip it and see what's up.

After a little careful work with a stone and a felt wheel I've got it functioning reliably, and more smoothly, but of course still a heavy pull but I can live with that on a carry weapon like the SP-101.

It still has noticeable chirp on reset, though, although the DA pull is much smoother now and the reset is reliable. The chirp is not quite as loud, but still very noticeable.

It seemed that the main problem that was hanging up the reset is that the transfer bar is a very sloppy fit (i.e. the "pin" portion of it is much smaller diameter than the hole it seats in) allowing it to rock side to side, and the outer side of the transfer bar (where it rides against the inside of the frame and has to "re-seat" in the trigger housing as the trigger moves forward) was very rough with chatter marks along its entire length - and the lower edge that had to pass the trigger housing was very sharp and square.

Anyway, I stoned the outside edge of the transfer bar until it was flat (discovering that not only was it "chattered" but was also "bowed" somewhat), then very slightly rounded over the lower outside edge where it has to pass the trigger housing to re-seat, and then polished those surfaces.

I also very lightly polished (with felt wheel only) the mating surfaces of the cylinder stop cam and the trigger plunger that activates it (this was the only other "mating point" that is active at about the point in the cycle where the trigger was failing to reset - i.e. the plunger has to ride up over the cam at that point). I didn't really want to do this, because it can affect timing, but it was pretty rough. It did affect timing a little. Initially the stop wouldn't pop up against the cylinder until literally just as the next slot came up. I've never seen a revolver that tightly timed and it had impressed me. It drops a little earlier now but I'd rather have a reliable revolver with a bit of ring on the cylinder than one that doesn't ring the cylinder but doesn't always reset.

I also very lightly stoned the "fence" off the inside of the frame on both sides, and removed the rough flashing sticking up from where the slot for the cylinder stop was cut. All in all the action is much better now, though still heavy, and the trigger reset seems reliable (no failures in another 100 or so dry-firing cycles).

However, it's still got a fairly prominent "chirp" on reset - nowhere near as loud as before, but definitely a case of metal protesting about being rubbed against metal.

So my question is this, does anybody have any experience with "chirping" SP-101's and, if so, what did you do to fix it? It's obviously a metal-to-metal squeal somewhere and the noise doesn't bother me so much as the thought that anything that is protesting that much is a problem waiting to happen...

John
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,741
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
Well, since you are comfortable in working on it, I'd suggest this. Take it apart, use a sharpie, mark a few areas that shouldn't rub together. re-assemble, then dry fire it a bit. Disassemble & see if you can find any rubbing on any parts that shouldn't mate together. I'd start with parts that function when you hear the "chirp."
 

OldePhart

Blackhawk
Joined
Dec 12, 2014
Messages
582
Location
Texas, USA
Thanks @contender. That's pretty much what I've been doing, minus the marker though I've done that in the past and don't know why I didn't think of it in this case.

It's in the last 1/4 to 1/8" of reset and has almost got to be the pawl or the transfer bar scraping the inside of the frame. The thing is the transfer bar is so loose because of the under size pivot that I don't see how it could scrape that loudly and the pawl seems to sit well inside the frame and be held there by its position in the slot.

I guess as long as it's reliable and not failing to reset I'll just shoot and dry fire it for a while before I go back in again. I'm not looking for a "target" trigger on it anyway, just reliability and decent shootability. Although, if I could get some more of the scrape out of the trigger reset I could maybe go to an 8lb trigger reset spring without sacrificing reliability.

I've been looking at it some more (fully assembled) and the transfer bar is just really amazingly, sloppy, loose. With the hammer back on the SA notch the top of the transfer bar moves fore and aft about 1/4" and side to side about 1/10" under its own weight. I really don't think it can be causing the chirp unless it is still binding against the top edge of the trigger housing...which I guess could be the case since it can flop back and forth so much on that loose pivot.
 

OldePhart

Blackhawk
Joined
Dec 12, 2014
Messages
582
Location
Texas, USA
I feel much better about the SP-101 now. I blueprinted (or black-sharpied) it as you recommended @contender and found where the bottom of the pawl was chattering against the frame. Stoned the inside of the frame and the action is very smooth now except for a bit of a "bump" where the plunger on the trigger engages the cylinder stop. That seems to be simply the design and probably not much that can be done to prevent it.

The bottom front tip of the pawl still leaves a thin line against the inside of the frame but it is now a smooth arc...and since the spring pressure against the pawl wants to push it sideways off the pivot, and only the inside of the frame prevents that, I don't think that is something that stoning the pawl would change.

It is still not as smooth as my old model 19 but that is not the goal...the model 19 was tuned for competition and has fired thousands of rounds...if the SP-101 was as smooth I'd actually be worried about that. :)

Anyway, the reset is smooth enough now that I am going to order an 8lb trigger return spring and try it. If it stays reliable that should make the action very good for a carry revolver.
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
10,198
Location
So. Florida
OldePhart said:
Anyway, the reset is smooth enough now that I am going to order an 8lb trigger return spring and try it. If it stays reliable that should make the action very good for a carry revolver.
After a little smoothing-up I was able to reduce both the trigger return spring and the mainspring on my SP-101 without any misfires. Suggest you get the set of 'reduced power' springs from Wolf and experiment with what works best for your gun. It makes a big difference in the way the trigger feels.
 

GP100man

Buckeye
Joined
Sep 13, 2006
Messages
1,386
Location
Tabor City, NC.
I take the trigger asms. apart & smooth everything , less sears.
I especially pay attention to spring/plunger wells , polish em with a drill bit backwards & lappin compound.

Probably the arrow shaped piece trigger plunger , seen some very ruff.
The spring that pushes it back into place is the spring/plunger for the hand , so make sure it`s moving freely .

GP
 

OldePhart

Blackhawk
Joined
Dec 12, 2014
Messages
582
Location
Texas, USA
Thank @Jimbo - I ordered trigger and hammer shims and the Wolf springs from triggershims.com today.

@GP100man - all the springs and plungers seemed pretty good except the trigger return spring. The channel for that was very rough so cleaning the flashing and polishing the plunger on the end of the spring was one of the first things I did..The first time I removed the spring I actually had to come in from the trigger side and push the plunger part out with a paper clip it was so rough. The trigger plunger and mating surface on the cylinder stop were also pretty rough when I started. I have already polished them as much as I felt I could get away with. If I go much further I'd be worried about the hand "skipping" on fast DA pulss - maybe not immediately, but after the gun has a few hundred rounds through it.

All in all I'm pretty happy with it now. The action is now approximately as good as I remember my S&W Model 19 being when I first bought it 25 years ago, before I tuned it up. If the Ruger will fire reliably with a 10lb hammer spring and reset reliably with an 8lb trigger spring I think I'll call it good.

John
 

GP100man

Buckeye
Joined
Sep 13, 2006
Messages
1,386
Location
Tabor City, NC.
The next time ya have the trigger spring & trigger removed use a 13/64 drill bit shank & lapping compound & polish the well.
 

6gun

Hunter
Joined
Oct 10, 2012
Messages
2,580
This will fix it, follow the steps at the top of the page http://www.sp101trigger.com/index.html I also recommend installing a Wilson Combat spring kit (way better then the Wolf kit) while doing trigger job.
 

OldePhart

Blackhawk
Joined
Dec 12, 2014
Messages
582
Location
Texas, USA
GP100man said:
The next time ya have the trigger spring & trigger removed use a 13/64 drill bit shank & lapping compound & polish the well.
I did that the last time in except I used a barrel mop in a Dremel with Flitz. It helped some in that the trigger spring and plunger does not bind at all, now. The reset hangup still seems to be where the arrow-shaped plunger on the trigger rides up over the cylinder stop...and I'm very hesitant to change that geometry at all. Just lightly polishing those surfaces with Flitz changed the timing of the stop...it's still fine, but drops earlier now and I wouldn't want it to drop any earlier than it does now.

The DA action is good enough now that I'm happy with it. It's not a target gun, after all.
 

OldePhart

Blackhawk
Joined
Dec 12, 2014
Messages
582
Location
Texas, USA
6gun said:
This will fix it, follow the steps at the top of the page http://www.sp101trigger.com/index.html I also recommend installing a Wilson Combat spring kit (way better then the Wolf kit) while doing trigger job.
Thanks for the link, that was the page I used when I went in the first time...it was the first time I'd gone into the guts of a Ruger DA and it was a nice reference for when to expect springs to launch, etc.. I haven't tried the Wilson springs, maybe I'll give them a whirl at some point but right now I'm pretty happy with the action for a carry gun.
 

6gun

Hunter
Joined
Oct 10, 2012
Messages
2,580
Did you lube the eternal parts and springs before you reassembled the gun?
 

OldePhart

Blackhawk
Joined
Dec 12, 2014
Messages
582
Location
Texas, USA
6gun said:
Did you lube the eternal parts and springs before you reassembled the gun?
Yes, very lightly with gun grease.

Most of the reset noise is gone, now, or more accurate to say that the noise is there but much quieter. And the action is much improved and okay for carry.

I think the biggest culprit for noise was the rough inside of the frame and a small burr that I found on the outside of the pawl the last time in that was rubbing against the rough frame. You could see the chatter marks of the pawl on the frame when I blueprinted the inside of the frame with a marker.

The action is acceptable now though I had to stay with the factory 10lb trigger reset spring. I'd wanted to go to an 8lb but even after all the action work the trigger would not reset reliably with the 8lb spring. It's a carry gun so obviously reliability trumps nice trigger.

I'm probably going to scratch together some more lunch money and get one of the new SP101s in .327 magnum...it will be interesting to see if it is as rough as this one was. I suppose it probably will be as there is probably no new tooling involved for the trigger/hammer/frame portion...probably all the same parts there as what goes in the .357 and .38 models. Well...six shots...I suppose maybe the pawl and even the cylinder stop might be different, at that.

I also have some 1/4" clear plexiglass laying around left over from some project and I'm tempted to make a jig that will hold the entire trigger assembly together as if it were in the frame to see if I can spot exactly what is hanging up the reset. I'm almost positive it's the little plunger in the trigger where it has to ride over the cam on the cylinder stop but it would be nice to be able to confirm that especially since it still could be the bottom of the transfer bar catching on the edge of the trigger chassis - those two actions happen at very close to the same point.

If it is the plunger on the cylinder stop cam I'll just live with it as is because the timing of the hand is pretty close already. If it is the transfer bar catching on the frame I will go back in and stone a bit more angle on the mating edges so it will "ride in" smoothly. If I could get that two pounds off the trigger by going to the lighter trigger spring I'd actually call the action pretty darned good at that point...for a carry revolver, anyway.

John
 

6gun

Hunter
Joined
Oct 10, 2012
Messages
2,580
OldePhart,

I used a little heavy oil rather than grease on my enteral parts it seems to lube better, if I remember correctly when I installed the Wilson Combat spring kit the trigger spring was 9 pounds and works very well, that's why I don't like wolf springs they send you spring that are to light for your gun to work correctly, no doubt your chirping part is dry metal on metal some place, I would try oil rather than grease I think it would help you.
 

eric conrad

Buckeye
Joined
Sep 8, 2003
Messages
1,469
Location
So. Ca.
I believe Wolf makes the gun springs for Wilson. Maybe some difference spring for spring from Wolf. Not sure?? I've never had a problem with Wolf springs. Buy direct from factory.
Eric
 

6gun

Hunter
Joined
Oct 10, 2012
Messages
2,580
eric conrad said:
I believe Wolf makes the gun springs for Wilson. Maybe some difference spring for spring from Wolf. Not sure?? I've never had a problem with Wolf springs. Buy direct from factory.
Eric

Nope they don't not even close to the same springs, completely different weights also.
 

meister mash

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
33
Location
WY
OldePhart said:
6gun said:
Did you lube the eternal parts and springs before you reassembled the gun?
Yes, very lightly with gun grease.

Most of the reset noise is gone, now, or more accurate to say that the noise is there but much quieter. And the action is much improved and okay for carry.

I think the biggest culprit for noise was the rough inside of the frame and a small burr that I found on the outside of the pawl the last time in that was rubbing against the rough frame. You could see the chatter marks of the pawl on the frame when I blueprinted the inside of the frame with a marker.

The action is acceptable now though I had to stay with the factory 10lb trigger reset spring. I'd wanted to go to an 8lb but even after all the action work the trigger would not reset reliably with the 8lb spring. It's a carry gun so obviously reliability trumps nice trigger.

I'm probably going to scratch together some more lunch money and get one of the new SP101s in .327 magnum...it will be interesting to see if it is as rough as this one was. I suppose it probably will be as there is probably no new tooling involved for the trigger/hammer/frame portion...probably all the same parts there as what goes in the .357 and .38 models. Well...six shots...I suppose maybe the pawl and even the cylinder stop might be different, at that.

I also have some 1/4" clear plexiglass laying around left over from some project and I'm tempted to make a jig that will hold the entire trigger assembly together as if it were in the frame to see if I can spot exactly what is hanging up the reset. I'm almost positive it's the little plunger in the trigger where it has to ride over the cam on the cylinder stop but it would be nice to be able to confirm that especially since it still could be the bottom of the transfer bar catching on the edge of the trigger chassis - those two actions happen at very close to the same point.

If it is the plunger on the cylinder stop cam I'll just live with it as is because the timing of the hand is pretty close already. If it is the transfer bar catching on the frame I will go back in and stone a bit more angle on the mating edges so it will "ride in" smoothly. If I could get that two pounds off the trigger by going to the lighter trigger spring I'd actually call the action pretty darned good at that point...for a carry revolver, anyway.

John
Just bought a 101 in 327. You will not be impressed with the trigger on them either. Which is what I'm doing here looking for the same remedies it seems. I polished everything that I could and still have the dragging noise. So I guess I'm going to do some shimming.
One spot I found a burr and possible trouble was the trigger link inside the trigger. The pin for that is knurled on one end and you should try to push it out from the other side. The round end where the pin connects the trigger link was binding and mine may even be hanging up on a slot for no perceivable reason inside of the trigger
My transfer bar was actually too tight and was binding things up.
I was spoiled by the gp100 match champion and should have spent the money for this little motor scooter on something else.
Maybe it will shoot well though.
 

OldePhart

Blackhawk
Joined
Dec 12, 2014
Messages
582
Location
Texas, USA
meister mash said:
Just bought a 101 in 327. You will not be impressed with the trigger on them either. Which is what I'm doing here looking for the same remedies it seems. I polished everything that I could and still have the dragging noise. So I guess I'm going to do some shimming.
One spot I found a burr and possible trouble was the trigger link inside the trigger. The pin for that is knurled on one end and you should try to push it out from the other side. The round end where the pin connects the trigger link was binding and mine may even be hanging up on a slot for no perceivable reason inside of the trigger
My transfer bar was actually too tight and was binding things up.
I was spoiled by the gp100 match champion and should have spent the money for this little motor scooter on something else.
Maybe it will shoot well though.

It shoots pretty good. Definitely okay for combat accuracy. I'm not going to win any bullseye slow fire matches with it but then, I probably wouldn't win one of those with a professionally accurized high-end piece, either. :)

The trigger is acceptable, now; not even in the ballpark with my S&W revolvers, but good 'nuff to get the job done.

I'm going to wait a couple more months and a few more range trips to make sure it doesn't need to go back to Ruger for anything, then I'm going to have the cylinder cut for 9mm moon clips. That way it will be able to shoot .38, .357, 9mm (and maybe .38 super) so it will be a decent little 'pocalypse gun. :)

John
 

Latest posts

Top