Ruger sp101 barrel

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oleary47

Bearcat
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Sep 23, 2022
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I need a barrel for a sp101 38 special. There are plenty of 357 barrels but l need a 38 barrel. Ruger will rebarrel the gun but only with the small barrel. I need a larger barrel. Can anyone steer me to a source? Brownells and Numerich dont have barrels.
 
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Welcome to the forum. Not quite sure what you mean by small barrel and larger barrel?

A Ruger SP101 .357 barrel bore is the same dimension as a Ruger SP101 .38 Special barrel bore. Do you mean you want a longer barrel to install on your SP101? What length barrel is on the Sp101 now? What length barrel are you looking for?

Just a quick tip - when asking this type question (or any type actually), the more background information you can give will equate in better answers that may be offered. Like, "I want to replace the short barrel on my SP101 .38 Special with a longer barrel, what are my options?"
 

oleary47

Bearcat
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Sep 23, 2022
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438 Lyford Rd Orneville Twp ME
Long story here goes! My friend bought a Ruger sp101 38 special. with the 2.25 in barrel, next he bought a sp 101 357 cylinder on e bay. The early sp101s would not accept a 357 cylinder. In later models Ruger fixed this. These early 38 special guns were only produced for a year or so. Later models will accept a 357 cylinder. He went to a gunsmith who trimmed the barrel to accept the 357 cylinder, Because it was an early SP 101 specifically designed as a 38 this procedure did not work. The shaved barrel does not work and now is ruined. I am concerned that a 357 barrel will not fit this early frame fire arm. Ruger will only re barrel using another barrel of the same length. They say that a longer barrel, if installed, would be removed if the gun ever needed Ruger service. That being said I’m pretty sure that there are some 38 cal barrels out there. Brownells and Numerich are out of stock. He would like a 3-4 inch barrel.

If anyone needs a 357 sp101 cylinder l have one.
 

hittman

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And sorry, I don’t know the answers to your problem or needs.
RoninPA is a great resource and others will chime in too I’m sure.

Good luck with your search.
 
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I think I may have an answer for you and I will expound on it more tomorrow. But quickly I believe the only thing different on the early model was the frame size. If you have a chance, check to see if the 357 cylinder diameter is smaller than the top to bottom measurement of the frame opening. I already know that the cylinder is too long to fit in opening.
 

NikA

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If Ron can't give you the answer you need, I can pull some SPs out and measure the barrels. I have both a first year .38 and a later production .357 available to me.

Incidentally, the first year .38s were available with 3" barrels, so I doubt the Ruger warranty service folks would pull a 3" because it didn't match the "as-shipped" configuration of the gun. Not sure those records are even digitized for them to easily check.
 
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Ok, got out my first year .38 Spl SP101 (s/n 46) and a later .357 Mag SP101. Hhere are some measurements:
(.38 refers to the first year guns)

Cylinder diameter: .38 - 1.348" .357 - 1.348"
Cylinder length: .38 - 1.514" .357 - 1.581"

Frame opening front to back: .38 - 1.67" .357 - 1.74"
Frame opening top to bottom: .38 - 1.385 .357 - 1.398 (that 0.013" difference could be from machining the opening)

Barrel diameter: .38 - .682 .357 - .682
Barrel thickness (top to bottom): .38 - 1.138 .357 - 1.146 (again that difference could be from machining)

Using these dimensions, the .357 Mag cylinder of course will not fit the first year frame.

A .357 barrel should fit into the frame, and the .38 frame will handle the diameter of the barrel and has enough room to handle the extra 0.008" of the top to bottom size of the .357 barrel. The barrel should match up with the chambers because the position of the bore of the barrel is set by the threading of the frame.

That said, and knowing Ruger, I would guess the threads for the .38 barrel are probably the same as the .357 barrel. Ruger wants to keep things uniform if at all possible and why put different threads on the barrels, that costs time and money to make those changes. Remember the bore of a .357 barrel and a .38 barrel are the same, the only difference is what is roll marked on the outside of the barrel.

You may be able to find a 3" or 4" SP101 .38 or .357 barrel that has been removed from another gun to replace the barrel that is no longer any good. It will need to be installed by a competent gunsmith to make sure the barrel/cylinder gap is correct and that the front sight is timed correctly.

Hope this helps
 

3manfan

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 18, 2018
Messages
67
Absolutely helps. This is exactly what l suspected. Thank you
If what Ruger will do isn't what you want & you can't find a pro outfit such as Gemini Customs, etc. to rescue it (likely big $$), you're better off just buying a gun (new or used) that's already set up the way you want & living with the earlier mistake. Sometimes a gun can't be salvaged & has to be chalked up as a loss. It happens.
I recently tried for over a year & a half to find a 3" .357 mag or .38 barrel to swap out my original shorty .357 mag barrel, so I viewed all available SP101 barrels & all configurations that were up fro grabs on the web. No luck. No 3" or 4" stand-alone barrels on the planet, apparently, just the 2 1/4" ones & very few of them.
 

oleary47

Bearcat
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Sep 23, 2022
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Location
438 Lyford Rd Orneville Twp ME
What you say is true. The barrel is destroyed so Ruger is a choice. This isn’t my revolver so the owner has some choices to make to fix his mistake.
I would think all of us who collect have been burned at one time or another. Moving on is sometimes a hard choice that has to be made
 
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I don’t want to sound hateful, but it seems to me the “gunsmith” who botched the job should have done some measuring before he started hacking on your friend’s barrel. I’d sure think twice before giving him any more of my business.

JMHO.
 
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