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Discussion Starter #1
My stainless 3” SP101 purchased new last year has made two trips back to Ruger Repair for repairs (faulty barrel, cylinder cut out not within spec and cylinder binding) - all repairs except for the cylinder binding were properly rectified. I still have cylinder binding when shooting lead bullets even after I follow manual instructions where I use Mil Spec Breakfree CLP between crane and cylinder gap when using lead bullets extensively. My SP101 shots about fifty cast bullets fine but then the cylinder starts to bind soon thereafter, before even reaching 100 rds. My other SP101, blued 2.25” (new 2018), digests lead bullets all day without any binding.

Very discouraging because I prefer lead cast bullets to jacketed.

Should I return it again or use jacketed or polymer coated bullets to prevent the binding? It does shoot very accurately but, heck, I want to enjoy shooting at least 100 rounds during a shooting session. Seems that all Ruger does is clean and put some Mil spec grease in there (crane/cylinder gap) but this eventually wears away when cleaning with solvents. I still use the CLP as instructed by Ruger but I can’t shoot much beyond fifty rounds without the cylinder binding.

Appreciate any help and advice.

Thank you,

Northern Nevadan
 

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I'm sorry to hear of your troubles. I am dealing with a blued GP100 that has been to Ruger 4 times now, and they still cannot properly blue the revolver (it's stained horribly everytime). They addressed the canted barrel and the BC gap problem, but I'm still left with a revolver that really is the ugliest thing to look at after 4 trips, not to mention an email to the CEO.

I feel your pain. What's the BC gap on your SP101? If the gap is less than .004, then fouling from lead bullets could definitely cause it to jam. I don't shoot lead, and I still like to see a .005-.007 bc gap.
 

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Imho....if U have to 'baby' a mass production firearm....it's crap. Send it back, AGAIN, and cross your fingers.

SOOOOOO many folks rave about Ruger 'customer service'. I think Covid has show that 'good' customer service for returns AS A BUSINESS MODEL is a WEAK link vs producing quality first time through.

Hopefully Ruger gets the msg. I doubt it.
 

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I had binding shooting tula steel case. It drove me nuts. I pulled the remaining rounds and loaded them into brass casings. But anyway are your primers set in all the way? Also is the bullet set at spec? I had some issues when i started to reload.
 

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I guess I’m not the only one thinking you’re shooting reloads. What happens when you shoot factory ammo? Are you casting your own bullets? If you’re shooting reloads with your own cast bullets you may have introduced some variables.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It barely turns even when cylinder is released from the frame. The reloads are within spec sized by Lee FCD and all fit case gauge.
 

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That may be but since all manufacturers officially advise against shooting reloads (it’s right there in the manual) you put yourself outside the manufacturer’s recommendation. If you shoot factory ammo and have the same problem you have a stronger case. Shooting your own reloads gives Ruger an easy out.
 

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Then that’s what you base your issues on with Ruger. Using your own cast bullets in your reloads just confuses the issue, which is what happened in your thread. I’d keep the discussion with Ruger focused on problems shooting factory ammo and see what they say. Maybe a trip back to NH is in order.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
...shot 100 rds this morning of 38 Spl +P with Speer 158 gr SWC (dry lube) over 5.6 grs Power Pistol (within Speer published +P load data). Before shooting, I lubed the crane/cylinder gap with G96 Bio Mil Spec CLP after cleaning with solvent (Hoppes 9). Absolutely no cylinder binding with the 100 rds. Yesterday, the cylinder binded with cast bullets...the cast bullet lube is the culprit. I’ll just stick with the Speer 158 gr SWC...very accurate and my +P load of 5.6 grs Power Pistol with the Speer 158 gr SWC chronographed 909 FPS (10 shot avg) from the Ruger 3 inch. Same load had chronographed 950 FPS from a 4 5/8 inch Ruger Blackhawk.
 

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Northern Nevadan: Kudos to you for working out the problem. I used to have the same problem with a Smith K38 and it was Smiths' premier target revolver. I switched powder and went to a cleaner one, which you already are using, and the problem went away. Lead bullets require more maintenance, but I'm Scottish so I use them more. Glad it's working for you, the SP series is a great firearm.
 

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Responding to my own response......why do I always assume folks are using factory ammo when they claim a mfg malfunction...i guess it's just how I do it so I ASS U ME.

Lesson learned on my part.
 

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I had an sp 101 in 9mm bind up using factory loads. Sent it back using prepaid mailing label and Ruger replaced with new revolver. Never said what was wrong with original. Had to send replacement to FFL. I initially paid FFL fee, but sent receipt to Ruger and they reimbursed me. So I was happy camper.
 
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