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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everybody - new member here with my first thread!

Within the last 6 months, I have acquired an SP101 in 327 Federal and a 357 mag DAO snubby. The latter had received a trigger job by local gunsmith, and it made me realize what might be possible for the other gun. I love the 327 cartridge, but the double action trigger on that gun was baaaaaadddddd.

I decided to have a go at doing it myself with the instructions here Ruger SP101 Trigger Job Guide
I consider myself a reasonbly handy guy and take a very slow and steady approach to things like this. In general the job went well, and I'm pretty happy with the results. It's not as good as the professionally done gun, but far better than it was before. I should also note that I installed a 10 lb hammer spring and an 8lb trigger return spring from Wolff during the job, but did not install any hammer or trigger shims.

However, after getting it all finished, I'm worried about step 13 (lucky 13?) described here:
Ruger SP101 Trigger Job Guide | Steps 11 to 20

When working on the hammer dog, I used a few passes of 2000 grit sandpaper and then a dremel with a cloth buffing wheel and some polishing compound. My goal with this piece (and all the pieces I worked on) was to smooth the surface enough that I could just barely still see the factory tooling marks. The thought was that, as soon as I removed the tooling marks completely, I was starting to remove too much metal. So I tried to take away 80 or 90% of the tooling marks until I could see a faint trace of them. I would then fire a few hundred rounds and let good old break-in finish the job of smoothing them. I would rather stop a little short and have a good but less-than-perfect trigger than to overdo it.

After reading some of the internet feedback on this piece, I'm concerned that I could have removed too much material.

Everything with the gun seems to work fine, at least when dry firing. No hitches in the hammer. Single and double action both work well. Cylinder locks up before the hammer falls in SA and DA. Trigger resets well.

Anything else I should check before I take it to the range?
 

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Evening jmh308;

I wouldn't remove any more from the hammer dog as that dog is a factory fitted part & very difficult to find & replace.

If you aren't getting a firm spot in the trigger pull near the end of trigger pull stroke then you probably didn't take too much off of the hammer dog.

As long as it is handing off (smoothly) from the hammer dog to the hammer tail then you should be good-to-go.

If you didn't shim the hammer then you might get a few light primer strikes with a 10# spring & using rounds with hard primers.

My personal test is to re-load using CCI small rifle primers, then put loaded gun in plastic baggie & in freezer overnight. Then next morning walk out back door & do a double action fast fire drill. If it passes this test then it will probably work with about any factory primer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Evening jmh308;

I wouldn't remove any more from the hammer dog as that dog is a factory fitted part & very difficult to find & replace.

If you aren't getting a firm spot in the trigger pull near the end of trigger pull stroke then you probably didn't take too much off of the hammer dog.

As long as it is handing off (smoothly) from the hammer dog to the hammer tail then you should be good-to-go.

If you didn't shim the hammer then you might get a few light primer strikes with a 10# spring & using rounds with hard primers.

My personal test is to re-load using CCI small rifle primers, then put loaded gun in plastic baggie & in freezer overnight. Then next morning walk out back door & do a double action fast fire drill. If it passes this test then it will probably work with about any factory primer.
Thanks Bill - I didn't notice any firms spots in the trigger pull, but I'll check it out again this evening.

If I get any light primer strikes, I could go up to the 12# spring (I bought the shooters pack) or think about some shims.
 

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When working on the hammer dog, I used a few passes of 2000 grit sandpaper and then a dremel with a cloth buffing wheel and some polishing compound.
Just to add, I don't even own 2000 grit sandpaper. I use 400 or 600 grit for polishing. Second, unless you are really experienced, never use a Dremel. There's no need, hand work will do all you need.

In general, factory tool marks are not the issue. Smoothing mating surfaces is. A lot of smoothing happens with the first 500 or so trigger pulls, even with dry firing. I don't work on out of the box triggers because, until the gun has been shot, you don't know what needs to be changed.

That said, take it to the ranger and test.

Jeff
 

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I wouldn't worry about it. And I don't think there is any problem using a Dremel with a soft buffing wheel and some metal polish like Blue Magic or Flitz. Obviously, you don't want to overdo it but a few seconds will leave the action parts bright and shiny. I have done this with the action parts on my Ruger GP100 and multiple auto-loaders with no problems.

I found that shimming the trigger, hammer, and hammer dog on my GP100 seemed to improve the action significantly so this is something you might want to consider. Lance Shively's shims are not very expensive and he is great to work with.

I can't remember exactly but I think I settled on the 9lb hammer spring (along with the 8 lb return spring) on my GP100. I have had exactly one light primer strike with relatively inexpensive Geco 38 Special ammo out of several hundred rounds. It ignited with a second strike. I did have an occasional problem with trigger reset after swapping springs and shimming but this corrected itself after a few hundred dry fires. I don't use this revolver for self-defense so a very occasional light strike is not a big deal.
 
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