SP 101 Match Champion

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SootyGrouse

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 11, 2017
Messages
9
Location
Southeast Alaska
Hi, first post here. My name is Trevor, I live in Alaska, and I’m a huge Ruger fan! Been lingering on the forum for a while and decided to join!

Ok on to the SP101.

I just picked it up about an hour ago from my FFL. Got home, cleaned and oiled it, and wanted to share some of my observations. Oh and I should preface that I own many Ruger products. I hunt with a lefty Hawkeye 06 and love it. My go to fishing pistol is a 454 Toklat in a diamond d chest rig, cc rig is a LCR 357 in kydex pocket holster. Also had a 44 mag Redhawk, 45lc super Blackhawk Bisley, 3.75in 44 super Blackhawk, mini 14, and a lefty 375 Hawkeye along with a few 10/22. All have been excellent and as a brand, Ruger is my favorite.

So on to the topic, this SP101. To start with the action/trigger pull is the worst I’ve experienced from Ruger and this surprises me as my other revolvers especially the Toklat have been excellent for mass produced guns. There was rust on the crain and ejector rod which I scrubbed off with a brass brush still a little left over that I missed that can be seen in the pictures.. Not big as it doesn’t look pitted just surface rust. The trigger pull is the heaviest of any revolver I’ve own hands down. Its not only heavy but also feels sticky/clunking. There is a very slight squeaking noise when I cycle the gun in double action on snap caps and the cylinder ring marks are not one but 3 after running the action about 100 Times on snap caps. This is after I cleaned and oiled. Lastly the barrel is slightly canted which was the heart breaker for me, I just can’t live with canted barrels!

On a positive note, the gun is beautiful and has a shinier finish than any other Ruger revolvers I’ve owned. I also really like the grips. They are comfy, grippy, and decently finished.

So I plan to send in this gun in hopes that Ruger will fix me up, bummer thought that I have to go through this with a new firearm.

Does anyone else have a SP match Champion? Am I the only one that is having this bad luck or are there others experiencing similar issues?

So here are the pictures, let me know if anyone is interested in more pictures as it’s no big for me to add them in. Hope this is enough to get the conversation started.










best free image uploading site
 

ditto1958

Blackhawk
Joined
Jun 23, 2012
Messages
567
Location
Wisconsin
OP, we feel your pain. Ruger will make it right, but it sucks that you’ll need to send it back.

When you do get it back, try swapping out your factory springs for some from Wolff. That can really improve the triggers on Ruger revolvers.
 

JStacy

Blackhawk
Joined
May 6, 2016
Messages
503
Location
south Texas
I change out my springs with Wilson spring kit. One trigger return spring and to different weight main springs. 8# and 10#. I am not sure what the factory spring weight is but it feels a little heavier than the 10# spring. I have four SP 101's and the trigger pull varied quite a bit between them . My 9 MM had a lighter double action than single action but the spring swap helped that a lot. The trigger parts had some rough places on them and a stone made that better also. I have a SP101 4" 32 mag ,15 year old or so gun, and it functions fine with the lighter main spring and has a velvety smooth DA & SA pull.
My 3" 357 was smooth out of the box ,but a little heavy, springs helped, no big burs found in that one like the 9. The get better with use and changing out the springs!
 

Psb1911

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 1, 2017
Messages
131
I had a Match Champion for about two weeks................biggest POS revolver I've ever owned! Sold it at a nice profit though as they were hard to find at the time. Good luck.
 

SootyGrouse

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 11, 2017
Messages
9
Location
Southeast Alaska
Well I hope that I can get this thing to not be a POS! I want to love this gun!

The marketing behind this gun says that it comes with a tuned action with shims. Here is a direct quote for Rugers website. “Polished and optimized internals and centering shims on the trigger and hammer produce a smooth double-action trigger pull and a crisp and consistent let-off.” This was the selling point for paying the extra for the Match Champion over the standard 4.2in SP101. Problem is, it feels bound up and extra heavy in pull weight.

I will definitely give the aftermarket springs a try after Ruger gets it back to me.

So what are shims supposed to do? My understanding is that they line everything up to keep internals from dragging and or binding supposedly giving a smoother feel when pulling the trigger? Are shims really needed?

Wish I could fast forward time to not deal with the headache of sending this gun back for the factory.

I’ll keep everyone posted when I get this thing back from Ruger.
 

SootyGrouse

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 11, 2017
Messages
9
Location
Southeast Alaska
Customer service is not open until Monday so I thought I’d dry fire it some more with snap caps thinking maybe it would smooth out some.

Then this happened. Trigger stuck back and would not reset. I ended up pulling the hammer back and letting it drop. The force of the hammer dropping jarred the gun enough so that whatever was keeping the trigger stuck let go and the trigger reset.

Man, I guess this is more of a vent than anything but I am very disappointed that Ruger would let something out the door with this many problems. I had plans to run this thing at the range this weekend but that will definitely not be happening.

Nice trigger reset!!!!!!!!!!

upload your pictures
 

44Alaskan

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 26, 2017
Messages
36
Here are some specs and shimming points for Ruger double actions. How to tear it down and measure tolerances. Triggershims The SP101 and Super Redhawk teardown are the same besides grip removal. None of this should have to be done on a Match Champion. I am sure Ruger will put things right. If you have feeler guages I would be interested to know the barrel-cylinder gap and endshake measurements? Appears to me the cylinder endshake maybe out of spec. I did all the shims and reduced power springs on my Alaskan and the trigger pulls like it's on ball bearings, smooth. The biggest improvement to my trigger action was correcting the out of spec endshake with a cylinder bearing shim. I am sure when the 101 comes back from the factory you will be happy.
 
Joined
Dec 17, 2015
Messages
2,094
Location
Reading, Pa
Ruger will make it right, the trigger pull on my .22lr SP101 is now butter smooth and my wife shoots it in DA with ease with the stock springs in it. Trigger pull is a very personal thing so saying a gun has a "bad" trigger pull for you doesn't mean everyone will feel that way about the trigger. My buddy is an S&W Performance Center nut and I despise the trigger pull on every one of his guns, to me they have absolutely no feel at all which makes it very difficult for me to shoot his revolvers. Conversely he can barely pull the trigger on most of my guns, however, we score about the same every month at our gun club bullseye shoot, it's all relative.
 

SootyGrouse

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 11, 2017
Messages
9
Location
Southeast Alaska
Got the SP back last night. I plan to shoot it this weekend but so far just visually inspecting it, everything looks fixed. Barrel is aligned perfectly now and the action is smooth. Triggger pull in double and single action is great. I dont have a trigger pull gauge but it feels light and nice. Ruger also sent me a nice towels to wipe my guns down with.




I’m a happy dude!
 

Prescut

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 2, 2015
Messages
255
Ruger has one chance to get it right.

My new SP101 was horrible. That taste doesn't go away. The fabled Customer Support was horrible.
I had to fix it myself. I will not be buying a new Ruger ever again.

Of course, I just bought an old OM Ruger BH in 45 colt last month.
God, I miss Bill Ruger.
 
Joined
Dec 17, 2015
Messages
2,094
Location
Reading, Pa
Prescut said:
...My new SP101 was horrible. That taste doesn't go away. The fabled Customer Support was horrible. I had to fix it myself. I will not be buying a new Ruger ever again...

I feel sad for you guys who get bad guns, I've been really lucky, never had a problem with any of the 20 or so Rugers I've purchased over time. That includes 7 new guns purchased in the last year and a half. My 8 shot SP101 .22lr goes to the range with me every single time I go. Trigger is now butter smooth(stock springs), gun is very accurate, the wife loves shooting it in DA from distance then she practices with her LCR up close.
 

Dobe

Bearcat
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
18
24753512817_072c387f5a_m.jpg







Notice any similarities? I just picked it up today. Look closely at the trigger.
 
Joined
Dec 17, 2015
Messages
2,094
Location
Reading, Pa
Dobe said:
24753512817_072c387f5a_m.jpg







Notice any similarities? I just picked it up today. Look closely at the trigger.

I'd dissemble the gun, clean and lube everything(including the trigger return spring/bore) and see how it is. Those guns are loaded with a sticky preservative that gums up everything. If if still hangs up after proper prep of the new gun and you don't feel confident about going into the trigger group then a call to Ruger will get the ball rolling and your gun will function properly when you get it back.
 

ditto1958

Blackhawk
Joined
Jun 23, 2012
Messages
567
Location
Wisconsin
The state of quality control at a Ruger is one issue. The fact that so many buyers who post with issues at forums seem to accept ownership of defective guns is a completely different one.

The issues the guns in this thread have are obvious and should be apparent to anyone who takes the time to go over the gun at the store. If the gun in stock at the store has issues, don’t buy it. If it’s a gun you’ve ordered and it’s defective, don’t accept the transfer. Have the FFL holder send it back.

Guns are a fairly big purchase. The seller should know that. If a has a gun in stock, ask if they have more than one, and ask to compare them.
 

Dobe

Bearcat
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
18
ditto1958 said:
The state of quality control at a Ruger is one issue. The fact that so many buyers who post with issues at forums seem to accept ownership of defective guns is a completely different one.

The issues the guns in this thread have are obvious and should be apparent to anyone who takes the time to go over the gun at the store. If the gun in stock at the store has issues, don’t buy it. If it’s a gun you’ve ordered and it’s defective, don’t accept the transfer. Have the FFL holder send it back.

Guns are a fairly big purchase. The seller should know that. If a has a gun in stock, ask if they have more than one, and ask to compare them.
I appreciate all of the advise (that's sarcasm in case you aren't catching it), but I think I have it handled. I purchase from brick and mortar and online. My purchase of the SP101 was an online purchase. I paid shipping to get the handgun to my FFl. I would have had to have paid for shipping to Ruger for repairs or back to the seller. The FFl also has the right to ask for compensation for his time in handling. In a brick and mortar, it's easy to catch a lot of these problems. I catch them often. I saved a hundred bucks on this gun by purchasing online, and I straightened out the problem myself. It was so far, worth the purchase. I have yet to make it to the range.

Ruger is a great designer, and they listen to their customer base. Their QC is not good at all.
 

Dobe

Bearcat
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
18
Captain America said:
Dobe said:
ditto1958 said:
...I straightened out the problem myself...

What was the issue?
- just a rough action, small burr.
I lubed and worked the action. I have worked the action now for over a thousand cycles. I've dry-fired a lot also. The action is getting smooth. I hope to get to the range this weekend. I'll detail strip, clean, and put some white lithium grease on it. That will smooth it up too. I notice some main spring noise when I cycle it. I'll stone and grease this area as well..

Edit: I might add, these are all problems that shouldn't exist on a new firearm. Now imagine how the buying public feels about a handgun that is sold and labeled as "Match Champion". Any handgun with that moniker should have zero flaws and an above average action.

With that being said, I'm off to look at one of the Lipsey's GP100, 5" ,blued .357.
 

Dobe

Bearcat
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
18
It took a while for me to get to the range, but I did make it yesterday. I stopped by Wal Mart, and picked up a Value Pak of .38 Special. I realize this isn't premium grade ammo. But in this case, it's the grouping that counts.

Target 1 depicts off hand double action at 21 feet. Target 2 is off hand single action at 50 feet. My first shot at fifty feet was a drop. The third and final, for confirmation, was 3 shots supported from bench, also at 50 feet. I stopped at 3 rounds, because there simply wasn't a need to go further. Anything more, would simply be a waste of ammo.

My barrel is canted to the left. I noticed it when I picked it up, but I was hoping it wasn't enough to really matter. I was deluding myself.

It's going back to Ruger this week.

enhance
 
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