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I'm now 52 and have been involved with firearms since my first shotgun I bought at 18 and my first two handguns at 21 (folks weren't into guns). Ever since my youth I've always been a take it apart to see how it works type of guy. It has paid off in several ways over the years with the creations I've concocted involving firearms, but at a serious cost. I still have a project gone wrong piece of a Ruger MK II from the serial number forward as a reminder to go easy when it's new territory. But a couple of screwed up guns and bad techniques later and I've learned a LOT, trust me.

Now to my question: I've owned a number of copies of each of the following similar guns. Ruger SRH Alaskan, Ruger GP100, and Ruger SP101. Each assemble and disassemble in an almost identical fashion. I now have fresh copies of each of the above mentioned revolvers and I did what I always do when I get a new Ruger double action. I strip the gun, remove burrs and polish internals, swap out springs, clean and oil and reassemble. I end up with a gun that I've checked out thoroughly and has a lighter pull and is ready to roll. That first happened with the Alaskan, then the SP101, but when I got to the GP100 things did not go the same.

I own every kind of tool, jig, etc. that Brownells makes for Ruger double actions including the split screwdriver tip to disassemble the cylinder and ejector star. Trouble was that with the Alaskan and SP101, once the trigger sub assembly was removed, the cylinder came out and the crane came out of the cylinder just as easy. Essentially you ended up with two parts in your hand: The cylinder and the yoke/or crane. When time came for the GP, those two parts came out as one sub-assembly and as yet I still cannot remove the crane off the cylinder. Not that I do, but if I needed to use my fancy dancy Brownells screwdriver on the GP's cylinder, I couldn't. I don't have access to it since the crane is seemingly permanently attached to it.

I know that there is a ball bearing or two in the crane that rides into grooves cut into the cylinder to keep it in there, but did they fall out of two brand new guns (Alaskan and SP101) and that's why I was able to remove the cranes on those guns? If that's the case, how does anyone get the crane out in the first place? I know that they don't matter as long as the rest of the revolver is put together since I've been shooting guns like that for a long time now. It just has me bugged that I can't get that part out for cleaning and lubrication as I can with the other two guns. Any help would be appreciated. And NO, I'm not a rube when it comes to taking guns apart. I learned by the school of hard knocks. Smithy.
 

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the vids ive seen the ball bearings are captured and you just grab the crane and with enough force the crane will simply snap out of the cylinder. but remove the extractor rod first cause that is what locks the ball bearing in the crane onto the cylinder.
 

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were you able to remove the extractor rod, if you utube search "ruger crane" you'll see a vid by Omelit thats shows the procedure
 

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were you able to remove the extractor rod, if you utube search "ruger crane" you'll see a vid by Omelit thats shows the procedure
Yes I was. I depressed the top plunger and spring to allow the cross pin to be popped out releasing the crane latch, its plunger and spring. Once that was done, the ejector rod simply fell into my hands, but that was as far as I got.

My Alaskan and SP101, the crane simply pulls off even without doing the above steps I've outlined. That's why this GP100 kind of threw me off a bit not knowing how it was held in there. So are you guys suggesting a "bigger hammer" so to speak? That shear force is all that's needed to get it out? Let me know because I surely do not want a 3" barreled stainless paper weight. Smithy.
 

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yeah just get a good hold on the crane where it inserts in the cylinder and pull the two apart. when you reassemble the plunger rod you will lock the retaining bearings once again. if that makes sense
 

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Thanks guys and kalifornia!! I'll be giving that a whirl and see what turns up. Any reason for the difference between the guns I own? Did I possibly loose the ball bearings out of the other two guns? Looking at the crane, I did not see a couple of holes where bearings might have gone? Smithy.
 

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The GP and SRH have the same mechanism. It's held in the cylinder by a ball indent. Just give it a good yank and it should come out. You might want to spray some penetrating oil in there if it's that tight. Let it sit overnight then try again.
 
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