f> The SP101 Really Is A Little Tank - Ruger Forum

Ruger Forum

The SP101 Really Is A Little Tank

This is a discussion on The SP101 Really Is A Little Tank within the Ruger Double Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; The moniker "tank" gets used a lot to describe the SP101 - "built like a tank", etc. It's certainly a heavy chunk of steel for ...


Go Back   Ruger Forum > Pistol & Revolver Forum > Ruger Double Action

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes

Old March 12th, 2017, 04:25 AM   #1
Moderator
 
Waveform's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,545
Waveform is a splendid one to beholdWaveform is a splendid one to beholdWaveform is a splendid one to beholdWaveform is a splendid one to beholdWaveform is a splendid one to beholdWaveform is a splendid one to beholdWaveform is a splendid one to beholdWaveform is a splendid one to behold
The SP101 Really Is A Little Tank

The moniker "tank" gets used a lot to describe the SP101 - "built like a tank", etc. It's certainly a heavy chunk of steel for it's size but since we generally take good care of our firearms we don't try to do any crazy destructive testing just to see how strong it really is. At least not on purpose.....

A relative of mine inadvertently subjected his 3" SP101 to such a destructive test and I can now testify the product really is "built like a tank". Three guys shooting on private property and one somewhat inexperienced shooter reloads the SP101 with some more 38s and walks down to the 7 yard mark and fires. The owner and third guy are chatting back at 25 yards and the owner thought the first round sounded "different" but the shooter then proceeded to fire rounds 2 through 5 and all sounded normal. Shooter walks back to the bench saying he can't open the cylinder. Owner looks at the SP101 and discovers to his horror and amazement the first round was a squib that lodged near the muzzle and rounds 2, 3, 4 and 5 were all impacted behind round 1 in the barrel with the 5th round partially in the chamber hence locking up the cylinder.

No barrel bulge, no barrel flying off the frame, no split barrel, just 5 125 gr JHPs firmly lodged in place. Figuring he had nothing to lose the owner later drilled out the bullets enough to extract all the pieces and got the cylinder to swing open. A few days later I was given the chance to look it over to give an opinion on whether to send it in to Ruger or render it an inert paperweight. So I can vouch for the fact there is nothing at first glance that would indicate what had happened - it looks normal. The action is bonked and disassembly revealed the crane was bent but that may have happened in the process of getting the bullets out and the cylinder open (owner did use a rubber mallet for persuasion at some point). The bore looks surprisingly good with only a couple of spots in it. The cylinder release latch was bent but that may also have been due to the post mortem efforts to get the lead out.

No pictures but really no reason (it looks like any other 3" SP101) and the gun is now back at Ruger for their examination and estimate on possible repairs or replacement. Thankfully no one was hurt - could have ended much worse. The ammo used was the owner's reloaded 38 Specials but a squib is always a possibility, even with factory ammo. A lady recently blew the barrel off a rental gun at the local range I frequent when she fired a second round into a squib using factory ammo bought at the range. It happens.

I guess there are several lessons to be learned but if you're going to shoot four rounds of standard 38s into a squib the SP101 appears to be able to take the abuse without blowing apart. It will be interesting to hear what Ruger says after they look it over.



Waveform is offline  
Advertisements
Old March 12th, 2017, 05:08 AM   #2
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,243
Petrol and Powder has a spectacular aura aboutPetrol and Powder has a spectacular aura about
That is impressive strength. I wonder if the crane was bent during the shooting or the work to open the cylinder?
Petrol and Powder is online now  
Old March 12th, 2017, 05:23 AM   #3
 
kjphilippona's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Wrong Side of Heaven
Posts: 2,771
kjphilippona is on a distinguished road
Holly Smokes! shooter must not have been much of a gun person, could he not have seen any rounds not hitting the target !!!!!!
kjphilippona is offline  
 
Old March 12th, 2017, 05:41 AM   #4
 
Roche's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: off line
Posts: 143
Roche is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waveform View Post
...but if you're going to shoot four rounds of standard 38s into a squib the SP101 appears to be able to take the abuse without blowing apart.
Not on my bucket list but good to know, especially when in-laws visit and want to do their annual shooting. Looking forward to Ruger's evaluation.
Roche is offline  
Old March 12th, 2017, 05:44 AM   #5
Moderator
 
Waveform's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,545
Waveform is a splendid one to beholdWaveform is a splendid one to beholdWaveform is a splendid one to beholdWaveform is a splendid one to beholdWaveform is a splendid one to beholdWaveform is a splendid one to beholdWaveform is a splendid one to beholdWaveform is a splendid one to behold
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrol and Powder View Post
That is impressive strength. I wonder if the crane was bent during the shooting or the work to open the cylinder?
I actually suspect the crane was bent getting the cylinder to open afterward. The owner admitted he figured the gun was toast so he wasn't being extra gentle and at some point a rubber mallet was involved......

Quote:
Originally Posted by kjphilippona View Post
Holly Smokes! shooter must not have been much of a gun person, could he not have seen any rounds not hitting the target !!!!!!
Yes. Not a "gun guy" by any means and little experience. They were shooting at a 12" square steel plate so he probably assumed he was just missing since there was no "ping" from the plate.
Waveform is offline  
Old March 12th, 2017, 05:50 AM   #6
 
Owly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Northern Wisconsin
Posts: 1,239
Owly will become famous soon enough
I bet the owner wishes he'd stopped the guy before he fired any subsequent rounds into that squib. I've had two squids in my life and have learned that if a round doesn't sound right, you better swing the cylinder open and check it. I'm surprised the last 4 rounds sounded normal as they stacked up in the barrel.
Lucky shooter and lucky owner. Hopefully Ruger can get it sorted out for him.
Owly is offline  
Old March 12th, 2017, 07:35 AM   #7
 
Hooksetter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Kansas
Posts: 269
Hooksetter is on a distinguished road
That is crazy! When I started reading and you said the first one sounded "different" I was expecting the opposite...the first one being really hot, and the subsequent rounds being normal. Dang!!!
Hooksetter is offline  
Old March 12th, 2017, 04:41 PM   #8
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Indiana
Posts: 77
Mgderf is on a distinguished road
I picked up a new SP101 in .327fed/mag late last year.
'Think I'll pass on that torture test.
Mgderf is offline  
Old March 12th, 2017, 05:08 PM   #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 429
Dad45 is on a distinguished road
Glad no one was hurt,
Projectiles stacking up in the tube is an amazing event, i wouldn't believe it if it wasn't coming from someone like Wave, and after being near to a couple incidences myself I've learned anything is possible, that would be neat to examine, thanks for sharing the experience
Dad45 is offline  
Old March 12th, 2017, 06:24 PM   #10
 
ditto1958's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 4,237
ditto1958 is just really niceditto1958 is just really niceditto1958 is just really niceditto1958 is just really niceditto1958 is just really nice
Ruger revolvers in general do seem to be built strong. One day I had my Blackhawk at the range and was shooting some .357 handloads. I make relatively moderate loads that are comfortable to shoot, so you can imagine my surprise when one suddenly went BOOM! It felt like my gun had turned into a .454 Casull.

Clearly, I had somehow managed to double charge that round. The case was a little sticky when I ejected it from the cylinder, but other than that everything was fine. No harm to me, the gun, or anything else.

Good to hear that the SP101 is a tank, too.
ditto1958 is offline  
Old March 12th, 2017, 06:51 PM   #11
Double D
 
DCD327's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: North central , PA
Posts: 6,575
DCD327 is a splendid one to beholdDCD327 is a splendid one to beholdDCD327 is a splendid one to beholdDCD327 is a splendid one to beholdDCD327 is a splendid one to beholdDCD327 is a splendid one to beholdDCD327 is a splendid one to behold
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgderf View Post
I picked up a new SP101 in .327fed/mag late last year.
'Think I'll pass on that torture test.
With 48,000 + psi chamber pressure on the 327 FM,,, I dont believe Id wanna try that either.

But when shooting factory 327 loads, its certainly obvious when the bullet exits the barrel.
DCD327 is offline  
Old March 13th, 2017, 04:35 PM   #12
 
Argee1950's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Michigan
Posts: 887
Argee1950 has a spectacular aura aboutArgee1950 has a spectacular aura about
That certainly is a testimony to the SP101's stalwart capabilities. I certainly haven't put mine to that kind of test, but it certainly has handily digested anything I've fed it. That's why it has become my all time favorite revolver.
Argee1950 is offline  
Old March 13th, 2017, 05:43 PM   #13
 
jollyman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TN
Posts: 11
jollyman is on a distinguished road
As a Ruger Armorer (in a former life) I know these little guns, all Rugers really, are built super tough. I spent a week in armorers school and the learned quite a lot about the old Security 6's, GP's and SP's. In fact, I took a three inch 9mm to class and prearranged for the instructor to bring me a DAO hammer. When we got done with the thing, it was awesome! Another point I want to make, again in my former life we used SW 67 and Ruger GP 100 and Sec 6's. The Rguers were the choice of the knowledgeable!

How in the world the shooter did not detect the problem is a wonder, and it is also a wonder he was not injured! As a former range officer I have seen a bad thing or two arise from these.
jollyman is offline  
Old March 14th, 2017, 07:03 AM   #14
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: california
Posts: 463
patkelly4370 will become famous soon enough
The shooter was "relatively inexperienced" and shooting someone else's gun.
First shot is the oddball so nothing to compare it to.
Owner of the gun noticed the odd shot. Shoulda/coulda stopped it there.
Just glad there were no injuries.
Standing in line to hear Rugers determination (since I have an SP too).

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
patkelly4370 is offline  
Old March 22nd, 2017, 03:27 PM   #15
Moderator
 
Waveform's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,545
Waveform is a splendid one to beholdWaveform is a splendid one to beholdWaveform is a splendid one to beholdWaveform is a splendid one to beholdWaveform is a splendid one to beholdWaveform is a splendid one to beholdWaveform is a splendid one to beholdWaveform is a splendid one to behold
UPDATE: Ruger inspected the SP101 and determined that the crane was bent but the barrel was stil in spec. They repaired the crane, put on a new front sight, installed new springs, test fired it and shipped it back to it's owner. All at no charge.

Alls well that ends well and Ruger CS is still the best in the business.
Waveform is offline  
Reply

  Ruger Forum > Pistol & Revolver Forum > Ruger Double Action

Thread Tools
Display Modes


Top Gun Sites Top Sites List
Powered by vBulletin 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1
Copyright © 2006 - 2017 Ruger Forum. All rights reserved.
Ruger Forum is a Ruger Firearms enthusiast's forum, but it is in no way affiliated with, nor does it represent Sturm Ruger & Company Inc. of Southport, CT.