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  #1  
Old 07-17-2019, 12:48 PM
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Took a brand new Ruger SP101 to the range. Had some factory Geco .357 158 gr. FMJ. New box.

First round went high left. Second round better, then the gun locked up. Could not rotate cylinder, could not open cylinder . Range guys were able to tap cylinder open. Hereís what we found. The forcing cone managed to circumscribe the jacket off of the round. The jacket prevented the cylinder from rotating or opening.

I donít know if the gun was out of spec or the ammo was. Maybe both. Primer strikes are centered. There are three holes in the target and only two rounds fired. First round went high left. Second went towed the center. Third hole is jagged and low.

What an adventure. Iím glad I didnít get hit with anything.
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Old 07-17-2019, 01:22 PM
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Remove jacket and measure forcing cone.. I see ammo failure..

3 holes.. I'd be looking at the shooter next to me..
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Old 07-17-2019, 01:28 PM
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Sounds like ammo failure. Could very well have been the first round that partially failed, causing the second round to completely fail. May also be how there's 3 holes instead of 2 but that's just straight up weird.
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Old 07-17-2019, 01:46 PM
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Remove jacket and measure forcing cone.. I see ammo failure..

3 holes.. I'd be looking at the shooter next to me..
There was nobody next to me, and I was next to the wall on the left side.
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Old 07-17-2019, 01:54 PM
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Bad ammo, fer sure.
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Old 07-17-2019, 02:07 PM
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There was nobody next to me, and I was next to the wall on the left side.
The 3 holes look like complete bullets, unlike fragments from one bullet..

Strange for sure..I wasn't there but are you sure..
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Old 07-17-2019, 05:12 PM
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Bad ammo. That target looks like one I'd be proud of at 10 yards.
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Old 07-17-2019, 05:24 PM
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I would send pics to Ruger and Geco, and see what their thoughts are. Can't hurt to get their insight.
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Old 07-17-2019, 05:52 PM
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How about round #1 separates, the jacket is stuck in the forcing cone, core makes hole #1. Round #2 separates, the core forces the previous jacket thru which makes the tumbling-looking hole low, and the core makes the other nice hole. Jacket #2 remains stuck in the core because you stopped there?
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Old 07-17-2019, 07:20 PM
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Wow sir - i've never seen anything like that! I would call Ruger & I'm 99% sure they'll ask you to ship it back. I currently have four SP's and have owned a couple others in the past - with zero problems. They are test-fired at the factory - so as everyone else says - it is very likely an ammo problem. Too late now - but, I never, ever fire .357 ammo as my first rounds thru any revolver. I have a bunch of mild - but safe - .38 rounds that I test fire my "new" revolvers with. My most recent revolver is a DAO SP101 and I'll use my handloads thru it first. Again, just my opinion, but a 2-inch snub anything really isn't the ideal revolver to fire full-house 158-g .357 thru. I carried another little SP on my daily go-outside-in-the-dark foray, this morning, and it was/is loaded with Federal HST .38 HP's ...

Last edited by GeoJelly; 07-17-2019 at 07:22 PM. Reason: Clarified ammo
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Old 07-17-2019, 07:35 PM
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Just thinking out of the box, could that be a .327 barrel on that Ruger?
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:19 PM
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Just thinking out of the box, could that be a .327 barrel on that Ruger?
THIS got me thinking. I donít have calipers. So I Ďsluggedí the bore with a 357 round. It seems to fit just fine.

I wonder, could it be a 9mm barrel instead of a true .357 magnum? I know some revolvers can chamber both. Now iím Thinking outside the box.
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:28 PM
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Iím starting to think itís you . . .
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:35 PM
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Iím starting to think itís you . . .
How could this be a shooter-induced problem?
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:52 PM
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Didnít say that. Some people just seem to attract failure. I canít explain it. I got a brother in law like you. Nothing works for him . . .

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How could this be a shooter-induced problem?
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:59 PM
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Didn’t say that. Some people just seem to attract failure. I can’t explain it. I got a brother in law like you. Nothing works for him . . .
Oh, I see what you meant. Yeah, maybe I have bad luck with firearms.

I've got some very good luck in life generally. (I was born an orphan in a foreign country, adopted into an American family, am a citizen, got a doctorate at one of the top research universities in the world, I live in the freest and best country in the world, have a great family. I'm the luckiest guy in the world to be an American.)

When it comes to guns---I seem to attract the lemons. :-D
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:06 PM
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Take advantage of Ruger's excellent customer service and have them at least check out your SP101 to make sure it's in spec. I've never heard of Geco ammo. Where is it made?
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:12 PM
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Take advantage of Ruger's excellent customer service and have them at least check out your SP101 to make sure it's in spec. I've never heard of Geco ammo. Where is it made?
Switzerland is where the parent company is located.
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:32 PM
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Bad batch of ammo. I'm thinking jacketed HP with a plain lead base. The first round separated with the core coming out followed by the jacket. The second the core left the jacket behind earlier and the jacket stayed. My experience with Geco ammo has always been good but it tends to be hotter. I'm not sure where it's made but I'm thinking Germany.
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Old 07-17-2019, 11:25 PM
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I wouldn't send the gun back, or even contact Ruger about it. Maybe contact the ammo maker.

I would thoroughly clean the gun barrel, get a new box of ammo from a different manufacturer, and go shooting.

That should be the end of it.
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Old 07-18-2019, 01:23 AM
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I could be wrong but I seem to remember tat the Geco 357 ammunition is being made in Hungary by MFS. When shooting our 45 autos we routinely scrounged all the 45 brass we could. The stuff by MFS we threw in the scrap bucket, way off center flash holes, crappy brass. Frank
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Old 07-18-2019, 02:03 AM
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now that's a new one...
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Old 07-18-2019, 07:05 AM
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I'll hazard a guess that it's an ammo issue. It looks like the bullet's lead core exited the barrel, but left the jacket in the forcing cone. Speer's old and discontinued semi-jacketed semi-wadcutter revolver bullets developed a reputation for this when used in low velocity loads.
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Old 07-18-2019, 07:48 AM
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Default I'm guessing ammo issue too.

I sold the Colt .25 acp automatic package (gun, box, papers, & "original" ammo) several years ago to a Colt collector and he was thrilled to get the box of "original" ammo which was Geco, less exactly 9 rounds which he figured were the only rounds ever through the gun.

Anyway, the Geco box was stated as manufactured in Karlsruhe, Germany, and dated 1973, as the gun itself serial numbered 1973. Note that this was still FRG (West Germany) in those days.

The red colored stuff on the rounds is actually shellac over the boxer primers, or so that Colt expert told me. I have no experience firing any Geco ammo, but I also haven't seen any for sale in LGS, Wallyworld or anywhere around here so I wonder if maybe the OP's ammo is (was) very old, maybe not up to Sammi specs???
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Old 07-18-2019, 07:52 AM
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I think I would try different ammo.
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:20 AM
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SEND YOUR REVOLVER Home for a check up . Most likely they will send you a shipping label . But after some one Tapped your cylinder free it could be twisted now and need a new crane , maybe other issues .

Since Geco does not have a open base bullet in the 357mag this does seem to be a unique screw up !! .. Do not let locals screw with it just send it home and dump the geco ammo .
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:43 AM
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SEND YOUR REVOLVER Home for a check up . Most likely they will send you a shipping label . But after some one Tapped your cylinder free it could be twisted now and need a new crane , maybe other issues .

Since Geco does not have a open base bullet in the 357mag this does seem to be a unique screw up !! .. Do not let locals screw with it just send it home and dump the geco ammo .
I agree with you 100 percent. I will contact Ruger.

Frankly, after this fiasco, I don't trust this revolver. The cylinder had to be tapped with a rubber mallet to get it open. There were live rounds still in the cylinder. We had no idea what the issue was, and there was no way to get the cylinder to rotate, let alone open.

I wonder if the forcing cone was tight.

Either way, I don't trust this gun anymore.
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Old 07-18-2019, 12:18 PM
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Being "born an orphan" has to be really rare!
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Old 07-18-2019, 12:55 PM
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It could be the handgun but it could be the ammo that was the problem too . One thing you may be able to bank on is ruger will fix the issue . I had more problems with rugers than any7 other brand BUT they stand behind there products .

I have had one primer back out of a factory 357mag load since 1976 and it locked up my DW revolver . Had to shim the front of the cylinder to remove any gap then work a heavier greased shim in behind the primer enough to force some slack between the primer and breach face to open it by hand . That was one of the big ammo company loads . .
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Old 07-18-2019, 01:49 PM
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Didn’t say that. Some people just seem to attract failure. I can’t explain it. I got a brother in law like you. Nothing works for him . Don't go flying with your Brother inlaw is my advice.
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Old 07-20-2019, 11:11 AM
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Being "born an orphan" has to be really rare!
It is, and about as rare as my birthdate, the 30th day of February.
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Old 07-20-2019, 12:42 PM
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I've had the trust issue as well with my Ruger SP101. When I received it new, it had over a 15 lb double action trigger pull. Ruger said that was within specs and refused to do an action job even if I paid for it.

The trigger felt like grit and sand were throughout.

I've got a vault full and would buy several a year, but
Ruger Customer Service lost me for good. They wouldn't even acknowledge that 15 lbs couldn't be pulled by most people. Three gunsmiths later and numerous spring kits finally got it acceptable (10 and 3).
But by then, my trust had left the building; so I feel for ya. It takes a lot, but once a handgun has multiple problems and the mothership gives up, I give up as well.


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Old 07-20-2019, 03:35 PM
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Being "born an orphan" has to be really rare!
In some countries (especially 40 years ago), some babies are born into orphanhood in the sense that their mothers have already planned to permanently give them up before they are even born.

Not all orphans result from the death of parents. Many, especially in foreign countries, are due to permanent abandonment.
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Old 07-20-2019, 06:48 PM
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In some countries (especially 40 years ago), some babies are born into orphanhood in the sense that their mothers have already planned to permanently give them up before they are even born.

Not all orphans result from the death of parents. Many, especially in foreign countries, are due to permanent abandonment.
That happens here, too. Many babies are given up for adoption.
I used to date a girl who gave her unwanted baby to a "home" that places kids for adoption. (The baby wasn't mine.)

It certainly seems that you made something of yourself, despite humble beginnings, and that you love this wonderful country.

May one ask where you were born and your first language? Many people born here do not have your skill in English. Just ignore the few sarcastic cynics here seeking to seem important by insulting others.

I'd send the gun to Ruger, as it may have suffered excessive pressures that might have weakened its structure. This might cause failure in future with normal loads.

Geco is a very famous German brand, although I don't think they ever had the status of DWM or RWS. It seems they 're outsourcing some ammo now, so I'd avoid the brand. Don't let a low price encourage you to buy ammo that you aren't sure of. Some is actually imported from countries not too fond of the USA. I'm reluctant to buy their wares.

Last edited by Texas Star; 07-20-2019 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 01-12-2021, 04:32 PM
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Gentlemen,
I'm sorry to revive this old thread instead of answering while it was ongoing.
As a German, I have plenty of experience with Geco ammo (over the past 35 years). Geco has some reputation as an ammo maker, but in fact their quality varies, esp. regarding their handgun ammo. What is sold as Geco at this time, is partly made in Germany, partly made in Hungary, made somewhere in EU, but I don't know where exactly. Often with obviously cheap materials - when I want to get rid of Geco cases, I throw them into the scrap metal bucket, because no one wants them for reloading.

I had .357 Magnum ammo with nickel plated cases back in the 80s, where one out of five cases split. I had some .38 Special ammo with coated lead RN bullets that would not group at all, no matter which gun. The cherry on the cake was a destroyed S&W Model 65 on our gun range about 5 years ago (luckily no one was hurt and I was not present at that very moment, but was involved in the aftermath): The shooter loaded 6 rounds from a new box, fired 5 shots which all hit the target and at number 6 the gun went more bang than expected, throwing two halves of the cylinder sideways and parts of the top strap upwards into the ceiling. I spoke to the ammo people at Geco (and their parent company of RWS) who told me that it must have been an overpressure rate of more than 6000 bar (don't know how much psi this is) to achieve this destruction. But they never found out how so much pressure would fit into a .357 Magnum case...

To cut a long story short: I'm quite sure the event with the stuck jacket is ammo failure.


best regards from Germany
Ulrich
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Old 01-12-2021, 04:58 PM
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like someone said,run some different ammo.The proof of any liquor is in the drinking
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Old 01-12-2021, 06:40 PM
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I've got some very good luck in life generally. (I was born an orphan in a foreign country, adopted into an American family, am a citizen, got a doctorate at one of the top research universities in the world, I live in the freest and best country in the world, have a great family. I'm the luckiest guy in the world to be an American.)
What a wonderful life story!
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Old 01-12-2021, 06:53 PM
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Oh, I see what you meant. Yeah, maybe I have bad luck with firearms.

I've got some very good luck in life generally. (I was born an orphan in a foreign country, adopted into an American family, am a citizen, got a doctorate at one of the top research universities in the world, I live in the freest and best country in the world, have a great family. I'm the luckiest guy in the world to be an American.)

When it comes to guns---I seem to attract the lemons. :-D
Just plain GOOD FOR YOU!!!! Great story.
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Old 01-13-2021, 01:51 PM
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Now that thread has been reopened, any followup on this? Inquiring minds want to know. Always hate waiting for the other shoe to drop.

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Old 01-13-2021, 02:50 PM
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I sent to OP a PM asking for an update post from him.
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Old 01-13-2021, 03:00 PM
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I see my post has received some attention. Here's a follow-up.

I checked the Ruger over well, and the timing, carry up, and everything else was still perfect. Ruger sure knows how to build em strong.

I decided to fire some .38 special wadcutters (non-jacketed) magtech to see what the deal was. Everything worked just fine, no problems. Gun is still accurate.

I haven't touched that box of ammo, but did mark it in my 'inventory'.

To be honest, I didn't contact the ammo company. (Life got in the way: long story short, my wife was dx'ed with advanced cancer shortly after the original post. She's in remission now.).
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Old 01-13-2021, 04:20 PM
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I'm sorry to learn of your wife's cancer and hope for a complete recovery. Cancer has struck my parents and siblings several times.

I'm also glad to learn the culprit was bad ammo and also this thread will caution me not to buy GECO ammo which is widely available here.

Lastly, I'm amazed at the number of people who immediately started ragging on Ruger. It's certainly true that Ruger doesn't put extra effort in final finishing/polishing its' revolvers but they don't sell junk either.
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Old 01-13-2021, 05:54 PM
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I have never seen Geco ammunition, either online or at a brick & mortar store.

I have one Ruger, a Mark III, no issues with it.

Call me prejudicial if you want but if I happen to come across some Geco ammunition I will take a pass, even in these ammunition starvation times.
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Old 01-13-2021, 06:10 PM
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First of last year I bought a case of Geco .380 and shot 1 1/2 boxes in a Sig p238 and it never missed a lick. The next shot may blow the gun up but I'm not worried. My FIL had a Geco SXS shotgun that has been passed too my son. It's not on par with a London Best but it's a very well built gun. Larry
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