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Thought I had a bum GP100, did a trigger job.

This is a discussion on Thought I had a bum GP100, did a trigger job. within the Ruger Double Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; Picked it up yesterday from my FFL. Gave it a quick check, everything looked good. But when I was showing it to my GF when ...

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Old November 3rd, 2012, 11:39 AM   #1
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Thought I had a bum GP100, did a trigger job.

Picked it up yesterday from my FFL. Gave it a quick check, everything looked good. But when I was showing it to my GF when I got home, the trigger would bind up when dry firing it. Was happening about every 6 or 7 pulls.

I took it apart for cleaning. Took out the hammer, worked the trigger, problem still there. Pulled down the trigger group, nothing seemed out of sort. Cleaned and lubed everything, reassembled. Problem still there. At this point I was really bummed. I had ordered a Wolff spring kit, had planned to polish everything up, install lighter springs. But I didn't want to start with a possibly defective gun.

Looked like I was going to have to send it in. But as I was thinking about it, kept dry firing, noticed the problem was happening less and less to the point where it was down to every 30 to 40 pulls. Decided it must have a burr or roughness somewhere. What the hey, jumped in with both feet.

Pic of what the patient looked like when I was done gutting it:

When removing the components from the trigger return spring bore, I found what I hoped was the issue: where the drill bit broke thru there was an angled exit point, and it had nasty burrs. The trigger link plunger was sticking there. It wouldn't slide out, I had to push it out. I deburred the exit hole with the tip of a sharp knife, then lightly chamferred with a needle file. The plunger would then slide easily back and forth in the bore, even without lube.

I'm thinking the burrs were sometimes preventing full trigger reset, then when I pulled the trigger again, the timing was off, something ended up binding. I'm a semi auto guy, not much experience with revolvers, but I was hoping that would fix the problem.

I then stoned every contact surface, then polished with 1000 fine sandpaper. And I mean every contact surface, even the teeny surfaces where the trigger plunger works against the cylinder latch. Of note was the roughness in the hammer socket where the tip of the hammer strut works. Wrapped some 400 sandpaper around handle of a needle file, worked it smooth, then followed with 1000.

Cleaned everything up, lubed, reassembled with factory springs. Worked the trigger, smooth, slightly lighter. Cocked hammer, tried to push it off, no problem. So at least I didn't screw anything up. But most importantly, after a couple hundred trigger pulls, no evidence of original problem. Woot!

Replaced springs, went with the 8# trigger spring, 10# hammer spring. Range toy, so if it lights off rounds reliably, might even try the 9# hammer spring. If not, go up to the 12#. The trigger reset is excellent. I did a trigger job on my 9mm Sigma including lighter spring on the sear, worked great. But no way would I have gone lighter without polishing out the nasty roughness in the sear slot. With mass production, I can see why engineers would spec such heavy springs there. Needed for reliable sear reset. Same for the trigger return spring on the GP. No way would I go lighter without a cleanup of the bore. JMO.

With the lighter springs, much nicer! My GF is petite, had a hard time working the trigger DA before I worked it, even when it didn't bind. After, she had no problem, really liked the way it turned out. Immediately asked when were we going to take it out to the range.

I'll update after sending some rounds downrange. Pic of the patient, ready to go:

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Old November 3rd, 2012, 11:52 AM   #2
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Sometimes there's a little roughness or a burr and you just gotta work it out of the gun

I have several GP's that slicked up with a few 1,000 rounds.
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Old November 3rd, 2012, 11:54 AM   #3
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Nothing better than a sweetly tuned Ruger. Good job. Enjoy.
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Old November 3rd, 2012, 12:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by North country gal View Post
Nothing better than a sweetly tuned Ruger.
One of my shooting buddies has a 681 Smith that I unashamedly covet. I considered buying one, but all were used and $$$. So I considered a new 686. But reading threads about the internal lock causing problems changed my mind.

Someone posted in a thread that he preferred Rugers due to their more robust construction, and that with a trigger job, you end up with a better buy. Stronger, no internal lock, less $$$, why not? So I went with the GP. I'm going to ask my buddy to bring out his 681 on our next range trip, see how the reworked GP compares. Either way, I'm very happy with how it turned out. Just hope it lights off reliably so I don't have to go heavier on the hammer spring.
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Old November 3rd, 2012, 02:51 PM   #5
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I have a 6" GP100 that I bought new, that still has "flat spots" in the DA pull that I hope work out from normal shooting and break in. I used both the 10# mainspring and trigger latch spring from the Wilson Combat kit and it's very smooth, just that annoying flat spot before the trigger break kills the slick trigger pull I was going for, that some of my other GP's have.

I used to be a S&W fan boy, and I still own MANY older and new S&W revolvers, including 4 with the internal lock. The internal lock is no cause for concern, there were some isolated incidents with .357 Airweights having the lock engage. S&W has since deleted the lock from these models. Some early .500 revolvers also had lock issues. Personally, if I had a gun like a .460 or .500, that lock would be coming out anyway.

There's a rumor that LEO's can order a lock-less S&W revolver of any flavor, but no LEO on this forum or any other has ever been able to order a no-lock revolver from S&W. I think this is a myth.

Either way, the lock is easily removed and there's a guy on the S&W forum named Bullseye Smith who sells a "plug" that will fill in the empty hole from a removed plug.

Not to turn this into a S&W show and tell thread, but I used the Plug in this S&W 10-14 and it's as good as any of my older Model 10's. It's hard to see, but you can see the steel plug where the lock used to be.

That being said, It's my strong opinion that my Six series revolvers and my many GP100's are far superior revolvers to anything to ever come out of S&W. I went from being a S&W nut who wanted to "try" one of those Ruger revolvers, to now, Ruger DA wheelguns far outnumber my S&W's. My S&W's have been relegated to range toys and just guns to tinker around with, they are no longer my "serious business" guns. Not that they aren't up to the task, or durable, but my Rugers do anything any of my S&W's can, but they last longer, are stronger, can take hotter ammo, and can be made just as slick as any S&W. The whole myth that "Rugers have crap DA triggers" is pure hogwash. I have Ruger Sixes, GP's and Redhawks that have actions that would make any S&W or Colt jealous.
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Old November 3rd, 2012, 11:39 PM   #6
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A pleasure to see a lot more positive tale than some new posters.
Most post up (on their first post), "New to firearms, first handgun, I just bought xyz and I think it's broken, HELP....."
Congratulations on identifying a problem and having some initiative to doing something about it.
Looking forward to your future posts.
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Old November 4th, 2012, 06:00 AM   #7
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Even more, I hate the ones that are like "Just bought my first revolver, my new Ruger GP100 had to go back to the factory for roughness in the action, all Rugers are CRAP!" posts...........I've seen a few of them, people join the forum and come in at post #1 guns blazing, with some small issue about their new Ruger that can easily be fixed!

It is refreshing to see someone who actually solved the slight issue and is now happy with the gun GP100's are one of the best revolvers in the world, along with the Six series, and they don't both have a cult following for nothing.
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Old November 4th, 2012, 08:22 AM   #8
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Cleaning up burs and installing a spring set is common tweak for the GP100.

I agree
Posters who's first post is a gripe about my new GP100 is going back to the factory because it's rough or because they have some minor issue. Is what I like to call the silver spoon syndrome...They want somebody else to solve their problems for them no matter how minor...

I visit several gun forums, and it's not just here, that we hear from the silver spoon crowd. They spread the love...The guys over at the Mossberg forum really catch it...and it's simple stuff...
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Old November 4th, 2012, 06:00 PM   #9
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I picked up a new (to me) GP-100 this week. The previous owner was very anxious to sell it so he could run out & purchase another gun he wanted, so his anxiety created a great deal for me. It's a ss 4-inch newer GP with the Hogue grips. He threw in several nice extras as well, and for a great price. The GP is pretty easy to break down, so I did so & gave it a thorough clean/lube. It's a sweet smooth running revolver...happy to be part of the GP cult...
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Old November 4th, 2012, 06:27 PM   #10
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Great work up...and excellent verbal description of everything you did! Have fun with it!
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Old December 1st, 2012, 02:58 PM   #11
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Schedule and weather finally allowed a range trip. It was a perfect day for shooting, and the GP was outstanding. Accurate, mild recoil with Freedom Munitions 38 spcl & Federal 38 +p, and the 357 Lapua wasn't bad at all, even shooting one handed. All that mass sure helps. No failures, primer strikes were nice and deep. Shot 2 boxes of the Freedom, half a box each of the Lapua and Federal.

Buddy had his Smith out too, and we shot them back to back, he was impressed. The triggers were about as smooth, slight advantage to the GP, expected with the polished parts. But the GP's was nicely lighter in DA. Made it easier to be accurate, here's a pic of the 1st 5 shots, DA, Federal 158gr SWCHPs, 10 yards:

I'm glad I went with the GP100. Beefy to absorb the recoil & for durability, and trigger is excellent with a rework. And less cost than the Smith. I'm going to leave it as is. I think it would light off reliably with the 9# hammer spring, but I like it just the way it is now. Pic of the GP with the Smith:

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Old December 14th, 2012, 05:20 AM   #12
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Good job man, I'm about to break apart mine soon to do a complete polishing of the internals. Any tips?
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Old December 14th, 2012, 06:17 AM   #13
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Great post. My Ruger GP100 had a fairly decent although long and stiff trigger right out of the box. Got a modest trigger job done and now it is an absolute dream to shoot.

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Old December 14th, 2012, 06:17 AM   #14
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I'm kind of nervous to take the gp100 apart as far down as the trigger group....but I might have to since my LGS will not touch rugers...at least as far as doing anything with the trigger goes...
For me, too many little spring loaded pins that can "take off" . It's great to see folks that can break these guns down to their frame, but I'm not sure I'm one of them....yet.
My 4" GP100 is great, I bought it lightly used and the trigger feels fine...but I'm tempted to lighten the spring a bit since I'm planning on using it for SSR IDPA starting next week.
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Old December 16th, 2012, 01:39 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by peetul83 View Post
I'm about to break apart mine soon to do a complete polishing of the internals. Any tips?
I had a tough time pulling down the trigger housing while pushing in the latch. I used a small screwdriver in the gap that is exposed when grip is removed. Helps to lever trigger housing down.

Don't mess with the shape of the two steps at the bottom of the hammer (sear) or surface they contact on the trigger. You will see they were hand worked at the factory. Just polish them for smoothness.

Study the little parts in the trigger assy and how they work against each other so you know how they go together and where the contact points are you need to polish. Put your finger over the parts that retain the little spring plungers as you go to remove them. Mine didn't try to launch, but my fingers controlled the plungers as they were released. Notice in my pic that one of the little plungers is longer. Work on a clean table with clean work towels spread over it so you can see where parts land if they do pop out. None of mine did cause I was super careful.

Re-install the cylinder before you go to pop in the trigger housing. I didn't as I went to reassemble with stock springs, noticed cylinder sitting on table. Hmmmm... I found it easier to stand the revolver barrel up as I went to rotate the trigger group back into place. Kept the hand and transfer bar from flopping back down, I could ease them into place easier. Don't force them, they must ease in easily.

Push in the trigger guard latch a bit when you go to remove it's retaining pin. Relieves pressure on retaining pin; pin will slide right out when pushed by a paper clip. There is a vid of a smith doing a GP trigger job on youtube, I think it was by nutnfancy. Smith places trigger housing on a rest and pounds that little pin out. Unnecessary if you relieve pressure on it. Pay attention to how the latch is oriented as it comes out. Must go in the same way on reassembly. When you get done deburring, the trigger link plunger must slide easily in the bore so trigger resets reliably with lighter wolff trigger spring.

I put a rag on my vice jaws & grabbed hammer strut by flat of round tip, then used tines of an old fork as a spring compressor so I could get retainer off. Pay attention to how retainer goes. Notice hammer strut is asymmetrical. Deburr the strut length so spring works smoothly against it, polish round tip. I didn't shim hammer or trigger, might later, but for now feels very good so tempted to leave it alone... except for shooting a bunch more rounds thru it.

Helps to study these links for reference. 1st one is for SP, but a lot of it is similar.
Ruger SP101 Trigger Job Guide

Don't file the hand or cylinder lock slots like the guy in this link says. Don't want to risk making them larger and introduce sloppiness. I just used tip of sharp knife to remove light burrs I found there.
Banana Fufu: Trigger job for your Ruger GP100

This link has good close up pics of trigger group in case you need them.
GP-100: Five Minute Trigger Job! (UPDATED 01/17/10)

Brownell skiz.
GP100 | World's Largest Supplier of Firearm Accessories, Gun Parts and Gunsmithing Tools - BROWNELLS

Last, don't rush, take your time eyeballing everything, pay close attention during disassembly. Remember, it's easy to remove metal, hard to put it back on. Trigger and hammer are fitted parts, don't think you can buy them if you mess them up. So 1000 sand paper is your friend on the sear contact points. Use something small/flat as a mandrel to support the paper, wet it with something like WD40. I used needle files to support paper. Nice square corners to polish the nooks of sear.

Been several weeks since I did the work, so above is best info I can recall.

Last edited by angel71rs; December 16th, 2012 at 01:50 PM.
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