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SP101 trigger woes

This is a discussion on SP101 trigger woes within the Ruger Double Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; I have two Ruger revolvers - the SP101 and the Super Redhawk 44 mag. I love both guns, but it's a mystery to me why ...


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Old January 21st, 2012, 10:35 PM   #1
 
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SP101 trigger woes

I have two Ruger revolvers - the SP101 and the Super Redhawk 44 mag. I love both guns, but it's a mystery to me why the SP101 has such a heavy trigger pull. The action on my 44 is much lighter and smoother, and my accuracy with it is unsurprisingly much higher. I understand that concealed carry guns, particularly those that are DAO, have heavier trigger pulls for safety, but the SP101 seems kind of extreme in this regard. I would think that a lighter pull would be preferred for self-defense applications, and leave safety to the user's common sense.

I've also read about trigger jobs to improve this, but my skills with guns only stretch to being a moderately good shot and cleaning them. I'm learning how to care for them in greater detail as fast as I can. I really like this gun - it's built like a tiny tank, and I've found that even with 357 mag rounds, the recoil isn't bad at all. I just want a much lighter trigger.



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Old January 21st, 2012, 11:05 PM   #2
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Get a Wolff or Wilson Combat spring kit and swap out the factory hammer spring for a 10 or 12# hammer spring. It lightens the DA pull a lot.
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Old January 21st, 2012, 11:38 PM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WSM View Post
Get a Wolff or Wilson Combat spring kit and swap out the factory hammer spring for a 10 or 12# hammer spring. It lightens the DA pull a lot.
+1
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Old January 22nd, 2012, 04:20 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forum!

I am running Wolff 10# in two SP101s, and it greatly improved the trigger. Just fire it extensively after you install to make certain you are not getting light strikes. Pretty simple swap. You can buy a Shooters Pak that has 9, 10 & 12 # hammer springs and a trigger return spring, so you have options, or just buy individual springs and see how it works, but the shipping will eat you up.

Springs for RUGER SP-101 Revolvers

Some people also swap out the trigger return spring, but it is more difficult than the hammer spring, and requires taking apart the trigger assembly. I didn't think it made that much difference.

Frankly the more you shoot it, or dry fire the gun the smoother and lighter it will become as all the parts wear into a smoother relationship. Plus all that dry fire time is great practice.

Last edited by JimB120; January 22nd, 2012 at 04:23 AM.
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Old January 22nd, 2012, 05:47 AM   #5
 
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brownells is where i ordered my kit from Wolff .. $14 shipped for 3 hammer springs and 1 trigger spring ..

i did the trigger job myself using knowledge i found on the net (i had a post about it here linking sites and a video) ..

mines smooth as silk .. i use the 12# hammer spring

and contrary to your thoughts you DONT want it super easy for self defense, you want to be able to think while you pull the trigger, or get your sight picture together as you pull ..i went with 12# because the 10# felt nice but i couldnt feel the round chamber, which to me is VITAL especially because mine is for self defense .. think it over, you dont wanna pull it out and pull the trigger too easy .. if you NEED to pull it youll pull it even if its harder than hell, but if you pull out in defense without the intention of pulling the trigger right away you may find yourself shooting instantly if the trigger is too hard .. just sayin ..

but ya, it cleans up easy and can be VERY nice .. idk who uses the 9# hammer spring that would be rediculous .. withh the 10# it was too easy for me, nice for the range but not comfortable carrying like that .. the 12# is still super nice and works for carry as well
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Old January 22nd, 2012, 06:25 AM   #6
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Ruger SP-101 Trigger Job Guide

Many of us here have done this.

Ruger SP-101 Trigger Job Guide

Ruger SP-101

R65
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Old January 22nd, 2012, 07:02 AM   #7
 
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If you do not want to do the whole trigger job that involves disassembling the trigger mechanism, I'd sugest you do this.

With the current springs, do as many dry and life fires as possible for a couple of months. Dry fire every day and do as many trigger pulls per day as your finger can handle. This alone should lighten your trigger as the metal mating surfaces in the rigger assembly will get smoother by simply rubbing against each other. Having the original spring, which is stronger, will speed up the smoothing process.

In the meantime, order a set of replacement springs as recommended by other posters. I'd get a set of three main spring weights so you could customize then to your liking. Replacing the main spring is quite simple, and you do not need any special mechanical skills. You can find descriptions of the process on this forum, and all over the internet.

I did the dry fire followed by installing a 10# spring route, and was very pleased with the results. I do not have a trigger weight gauge but here is anecdotal evidence that it worked well. When I took my SP101 out of the box, my daughter had to use two fingers to pull the trigger DA; after the "job" she was amazed how easy it was for her to shoot it normally.

I originally went with the 10# spring and the gun functioned flawlessly with no light strikes. However, since it is my woods gun, I decide to get some extra safety margin and upped my spring to 12#. The trigger is still smooth and pleasant to pull.

Another possible improvement to the trigger weight that does not require much work is installing hammer shims.

You can get them here:
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Old January 22nd, 2012, 07:41 AM   #8
 
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The heavy trigger on your SP101 is common. I would suggest this, find a good gunsmith and have him do a action trigger job. This will include changing the springs and polishing the bearing surfaces on the trigger group. I bought a GP100 over two years ago new and was unhappy with the double action pull. The trigger was heavy and was hanging up and preventing a person from firing a round. Again this can be common with Ruger revolvers. I had my gunsmith do a action trigger job and the revolver turned into a good shooter. Either you get one with a decent trigger or a poor one. Other than my single actions the only double action Ruger revolver I have had that has a good double action trigger pull is my Police Service Six. I have never had to touch the trigger group other than cleaning.
Good luck,
Howard
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Old January 23rd, 2012, 04:30 AM   #9
 
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Thanks for all the feedback. I watched the videos posted on the disassembly and reassembly of the double-action Rugers, and that was very helpful. I've never taken one apart before. I've ordered the Wolff Reduced Power spring kit and will swap out the trigger spring when it arrives. That will probably take care of my issues. I don't have a gritty or uneven pull. It's actually fairly smooth - just very heavy. Probably a lot of dry-firing and then a full cleaning will handle that, and the new spring will lighten the pull a bit.

I can understand the opinion of touchdowntodd in regards to accidental discharge from a light pull, but I have a different opinion on the matter. Luckily it's been nearly 20 years, but I have been in a couple of life/death situations, so I have a good idea of how things play out. There's just no debating that a heavy trigger pull can easily mess up your aim, particularly when you probably don't have a lot of time to take your shot. My primary concern (besides staying alive) would be that I would miss my shot, endangering both myself and anyone who might end up in the way of my stray bullet. I'd rather handle safety with a holster that covers the trigger and keeping my finger off the trigger until I've acquired my target than rely on a heavy pull. I'm not arguing the wisdom of touchdowntodd's statements - many people are apt to grab the gun without thinking of things like where the trigger is when a serious situation evolves, so for some this would make perfect sense.

I'll probably leave my Super Redhawk's trigger alone. I'll still pull the gun apart just to check out the inside and clean it (turns out that disassembly/reassembly for the double-action revolvers is nearly identical), but the trigger pull on my .44 is really clean and smooth. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? I might change the sight colors, though. Maybe it's just my eyes, but I have a difficult time placing accurate shots if the target is dark. I'm excited about getting the new spring kit, and will post when it arrives and I make the swap.
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Old July 15th, 2012, 02:45 PM   #10
 
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I read the above Trigger job guide link. I'm interesting in doing this myself but haven't ever done trigger work. The guide asks for Polishing compound. When I went to Brownells I found all sorts of polishing compounds by different companies. Is there a consensus on the most appropriate for this type of job?
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Old July 15th, 2012, 02:55 PM   #11
 
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Even if you prefer to leave the trigger group untouched (and I can understand the logic there) you might want to consider installing a set of hammer and hammerdog shims when you perform the wolff hammerspring swap.

Installing these shims will center your hammer on the frame and center the hammerdog on the hammer and reduce friction on both. This will help maximize the efficiency of the reduced power spring and help prevent light strikes. It will also help smooth out the action slightly (any reduction in friction/rubbing is bound to be felt in the trigger)

hammersprings.com has nice round stainless shims as well as instructions for how to pick the right thickness and how to install them.
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Old July 15th, 2012, 02:58 PM   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milsurp425 View Post
I read the above Trigger job guide link. I'm interesting in doing this myself but haven't ever done trigger work. The guide asks for Polishing compound. When I went to Brownells I found all sorts of polishing compounds by different companies. Is there a consensus on the most appropriate for this type of job?
Mother's mag polish is excellent. There is certainly no need to buy any special compound. If you cant find Mother's, and good metal polishing compound will work. The amount of compound you will use is incredibly miniscule. I have done several pistols and have yet to touch the contents of the jar- I am still getting what I need off the underside of the cover!
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Old July 15th, 2012, 03:04 PM   #13
 
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I think I'm going to start with the Wolff kit, trigger job outlined by that guide and a front sight then assess where it's at then.

So anybody know which is the most appropriate compound to order?
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Old July 15th, 2012, 03:07 PM   #14
 
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Oh okay, I have mag polish in the garage. I'm excited to see how big a difference this all makes. The factory trigger is just awful. It's strange because my GP100 trigger is great.
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Old July 15th, 2012, 05:28 PM   #15
 
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One reason the trigger pull normally is higher on a SP101 than on the larger Ruger revolvers is less mechanical advantage in the action due to the smaller size of the gun overall i.e. frame and distance from pivot points to where the trigger force is applied. Probably a medium frame has the optimal tradeoff between mechanical advantage and inertia as when getting into large frames the cylinder is relatively heavy. Still, after similar tuning and all a SP should be only about 1.5 lbs heavier, I would, guess than a similar GP with the same spring weights. Out of the box a SP has about 14 pound double action but can be tuned to 9 lbs. or under. This involves springs, shims perhaps and smoothing of the internals. So, there is hope.
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