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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With the help of you all on this board and some You Tube instructional videos, I just finished tuning up the trigger on my SP 101.
I replaced the hammer and trigger springs with Wolf products as well as shimmed up the loose hammer with Trigger Shims. I also used 2000 grit wet/dry sand paper to polish up the contact points in the mechanism.
This project was not hard at all thanks to your advice.
The double action is IMMENSELY improved. Slick. It equals the action on some of my older S&Ws.
My question is...if I can make these improvements on my work bench with moderate skills, WHY DOESN'T RUGER SELL GUNS WITH BETTER TRIGGERS OUT OF THE BOX?
The SP 101 is otherwise very well built.
 

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This is why the a Ruger costs less than..........

PS Love my Blackhawk
 

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My Security Six with its action job feels slick, but it is in the shop for light primer strikes. The Ruger design seems to require a pretty good whack on that transfer bar, so change springs with caution against a reliability issue.
 

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Labor cost--labor cost---labor cost $$$$$

+ a trigger job unless done by a trained person gunsmith is in the eye of the beholder.
 

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Other than the shims, you get the same polishing by simply shooting the revolver. Every Ruger revolve I've ever owned smoothed out to perfection after a couple hundred rounds or even dry fires.
 

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Denis, on my New Model Blackhawk, I replaced the hammer with a Super Blackhawk hammer, shims, springs and polish and it took about 3 hours of actual work.
 

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I bought a Wiley Clapp 357 GP100 two years ago, and when I first bought it the trigger wasn't perfect, but was very decent. After firine a hundred rounds or so, the single action trigger is INCREDIBLE ! I can't even believe it is a stock, un touched gun.

There is zero perceptable creep, and it is very light.
I have several high end guns from the likes of Wilson. Ed Brown and Novak's, and the GP can hold it's own with any of them in single action (granted it is apples and oranges comparing a revolver to a 1911).

I had high hopes for my Super Blackhawk Hunter coming out so nice, but no dice. It's going out for professional intervention soon to remove the creep.
 

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Pine your statement in capitalized letters I couldn't agree with you more having a S&W Model 17 & Model 66 both have sweet trigger pulls and actions! I never have tore apart my Ruger SP101's I have two of them my thoughts are the more I used them they seem to smooth up but probably never as nice as when you tune a action like you described what gets to me is having to ad shims to the action etc..........good hell never had to ad shims to any of my S&W's present of past!!! Yes I am primarily a S&W person but I do have a big preference towards the Ruger SP101's because they are stout little revolvers!! I have two 3 inch barreled SP101's I would love to find a 3 inch adjustable sighted GP100 or a 2-3/4 inch barreled Security Six or a 2.5 inch K Framed S&W in .357!!!
 

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How many minutes do you think Ruger invests in assembling a revolver? I don't know the answer but I would bet it's a surprisingly small number of minutes. Not hours, minutes. Do you imagine the Ruger production line is staffed by skilled gunsmiths wearing leather aprons and fussing over every small detail of each revolver they painstakingly assemble? More likely guys and gals in blue jeans and T-shirts pressing along to meet the quota and keep the line moving as they assemble from bins of parts.

Action tuning is nothing new. Back in the day guys were sending brand new Pythons to Grant Cunningham and others for action work without even firing them once. I have more S&W revolvers than Rugers but regardless have owned a lot of both. The actions in both are all over the place and the very best ones in my collection have all benefitted from some action work. I don't blame any manufacturer for failing to produce an action that meets with my notion of what is "good" or acceptable or whatever. If you're not happy with it you either send it back or, more likely, hand it off to a competent gunsmith or fix it yourself.

That's the way it is and the way it's always been.
 

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I think it's been said before that the design of the S&W trigger is one of the things that makes it smoother to be begin with and probably more expensive to begin with. After all the Smith trigger really hasn't changed since long before Ruger came along and labor was WAY cheaper than it is today.

I too have owned Smiths and Rugers and the truth is that out of the box the Smith trigger, IMHO, IS smoother than a Ruger, OOB. BUT, having a shim & polish job done on all 3 of my Ruger DA guns has certainly put them in the same class as a Smith trigger but I've saved money and I have a tougher gun.
 

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I like both Ruger's & S&W's but yes my S&W's have always had smoother & lighter actions & triggers then their Ruger counter parts. Because the S&W design has been around longer has much to do for it. But yes I guess that if you know how to do it a Ruger can be smooth up. I still really like Rugers design & looks I have more Rugers then S&W's for a reason the solid built quality but I still feel that Rugers built 5 years ago seem like a better quality revolver vs what is currently being built! Say what you want be take the time in more stringent quality control the end result is a better product!!!
 

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Like was said, fitting costs $$$$$, most people won't pay $800-1000 for a box stock GP100. The DA pulls will do the job as intended, allowing a semi-skilled shooter to hit a man sized target at 7-10 yards in DA. I have gotten excellent accuracy from my bone stock GP100's.

If you can get good results from an action job, then roll with it:) Now the gun is how you want it. People have been "tuning" revolvers probably since 1836 when Colt's first Paterson rolled out of the factory......someone was probably trying to make it "better" right away.

DA pulls are all subject to taste, if you were raised shooting Colts, you probably won't adjust well to a GP100.........I guess, just keep shooting Colts if that's what you need.

The Blackhawk was and is designed to be a durable range and field gun.

If you want "slicker" then you need to spend $2,000+ for a Freedom Arms or a real Colt. Most people don't care, they want a tough, functional gun. Put work into it if you need to.

Bear in mind, Ruger has been , from day 1, a proud and unashamed "Blue Collar" gun maker, they make rock solid guns for people who don't want to pay thousands.

The GP100 was also born and bred to be a law enforcement duty gun, it evolved from the Six series, which was designed 100% solely to compete with the S&W K-frame for a piece of the lucrative LE market, which was huge in the early 70's. A lower cost, more durable gun = attractive for law enforcement, corrections, security, civilians, military forces, etc. They don't need a match grade trigger pull, they need a gun that works and will continue to work for years.
 

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If you expect Ruger to spend three hours assembling & tuning one gun, besides all the other machining & fitting work, you can also expect to pay $1200 for your new GP. :)

And people gripe at prices now....
Denis
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Seriously, Pine, how much time did you put into that work?
Denis
Dpris:
The springs and shims were about $17. I spent about an hour and a half because I took my time and nursed a cigar while working. Since I'm retired I guess the value of my time is $0.
 

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quota and keep the line moving as they assemble from bins of parts.

Action tuning is nothing new. Back in the day guys were sending brand new Pythons to Grant Cunningham and others for action work without even firing them once. I have more S&W revolvers than Rugers but regardless have owned a lot of both. The actions in both are all over the place and the very best ones in my collection have all benefitted from some action work. I don't blame any manufacturer for failing to produce an action that meets with my notion of what is "good" or acceptable or whatever. If you're not happy with it you either send it back or, more likely, hand it off to a competent gunsmith or fix it yourself.

That's the way it is and the way it's always been.
I agree. Had a Python roller action tuned by Walt Sherman along with a 625 Smith Mtn Gun and a number of Smiths tuned by Alan Tanaka and Rugers by several gunsmiths and myself. They all benefit from tuning. The later Smith MIM guns have heavy trigger pulls out of the factory, too. As to trigger pull weight double action my 686 tuned Mtn. Gun was within 0.15 lb of my GP100. My tuned SP101 is lighter than a tuned Colt Magnum Carry I had.
 

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Other than the shims, you get the same polishing by simply shooting the revolver. Every Ruger revolve I've ever owned smoothed out to perfection after a couple hundred rounds or even dry fires.
Without the least bit of incivility meant towards Tater by saying this, I really can't abide by this mentality proliferating the way it does. SO MANY PEOPLE make this statement, but it's wholly and decisively not true. I'm glad that guys are satisfied by their factory revolvers, but a "broken in" factory Ruger is NOT the same polish as a proper action job.

Is it "sufficient?" That depends upon the shooter's tastes (not "sufficient" for me). Is it "the same polish?" No way - handle a broken in revolver beside a properly polished and tuned one sometime and the difference will hit you in the face like a 12lb hammer.

Things do get smoother over time with normal use, but without question, it is not "getting the same polishing" as a custom action and trigger job. Burrs will round off over time, but they also will gouge microgrooves in their facing part. Sure, it'll feel smoother than it might have originally, but it's NOT the same feeling as a properly polished action by a competent revolver smith. Rubbing two pieces of sandpaper against eachother will get smoother over time as they destroy eachother, but it'll never give the same feeling as rubbing two mirrors together.

Seriously, Pine, how much time did you put into that work?
Denis
It depends on what you're wanting to do, there's a big difference in labor between a simple spring and shim job, a partial polish, or a full action job.

If you're looking at a full action job, plan on at least 3hrs to do it right. More if it's your first time - a lot more.

I've done Ruger, Smith, & Taurus full action jobs faster, but I've also spent a lot more than that also. I know that if I planned on an hour and a half or two hours, I'd be disappointed more often than not. Most specimen of these brands will have at least ONE misfitment inside that requires 20min or more of attention.

These brands will over-spring their products on purpose to make up for imperfect fitting of mass produced parts to ensure reliability - Ruger probably more guilty of it than the others. Sometimes, things line up anyway and reduced springs work fine. Most of the time, tolerances don't line up and need to be corrected to allow minimal springs to function properly. If you're not capable of QUICKLY troubleshooting and correcting those issues, then you'll spend a lot of time trying to figure it out. There are several little nuances of fitment that don't reveal themselves readily, whether it's fitting the trigger plunger (not the part you're probably thinking) and cylinder latch or dressing the gullet of the hammer foot to offer clearance for the tip of the trigger, or how to internally polish some of the spring/plunger-ways, those things can have a long learning curve for some new guys.

Consider how many threads you see on here where guys complain that Wolff springs didn't work in their revolver, while so many others have no problems. For the guys that had problems, their revolvers have some internal problem that needed the extra weight to function reliably.

Guys doing their 1st, or even 10th action job can spend a lot of extra time disassembling and reassembling their revolver (each time AND total number of times), going back and forth looking for the right tools to do the job, and trouble shooting different fitments. If a guy has developed his technique for doing the job such that he has all of the steps in mind and knows all of the tools to have on hand before he starts, he'll save a lot of time compared to a first timer.

Plan on 3hrs and you'll never be disappointed. Grab a Saturday afternoon, have the missus ready to bring lemonade and a sandwich, and enjoy the time getting intimate with your revolver...
 

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So, I guess few have ever heard of the "poor man's trigger job", wherein the user applies a greater-than-usual pressure to the hammer while dry-firing. That procedure requires a long, but endurable, attention to time spent.
Then, no one seems to factor in the (industrial) employee labor rate of about $45 per hour when that person says they have spent 3 hours or so doing an in-depth polishing, with abrasives and other tools. Bottom line is: one gets what one has paid for.
I have gone both routes: "poor man's", and abrasives approach. The simpler method works almost as well, though it takes longer. The abrasives route DOES have a hidden pitfall, in which one can go way too far and ruin the mechanics.
Do some want better "trigger pulls" than what the factory supplies? Then they should pony up to pay, with either time or money. Or, find another brand, at an increased cost.
 
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