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Old 08-01-2020, 02:23 PM
38SPL HV 38SPL HV is online now
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Default SP101 cylinder bind lead bullets

Followed Rugerís SP101 instructions to prevent cylinder binding when using lead bullets by lubricating the crane/cylinder gap with Breakfree CLP/Mil Spec (I just used a couple drops). It seemed to work but after 50 rounds of Remington 38 Spl +P 158 gr lead HPs, the cylinder would not rotate/spin smoothly, very rough. My other SP101 (blued version) can shoot 200 rounds using lead bullets straight without any cylinder binding.

The problem appears that excess Breakfree is seeping down from the crane/cylinder gap and onto the ejector. When I wipe this excess lube from the ejector, the cylinder will spin freely and I can continue my shooting session. Wished they designed the SP101 to shoot lead bullets as S&W did theirs with the addition of a ďringĒ which precludes lead bullet fouling entering the crane cylinder and causing binding.

Never any problem shooting jacketed bullets from the stainless SP101.

Please also share your SP101 experiences shooting lead and whether your cylinders would bind also.

Last edited by 38SPL HV; 08-01-2020 at 02:25 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 12:07 PM
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This Ruger is terrible. Made sure there was no oily residue on the ejector. Cylinder no longer rotated after firing 35 rds of 38 Special 158 gr lead RNL. Iím calling up Ruger tomorrow for return authorization. This will be the third time. First time was for the binding and most surprisingly the cutout in frame on bottom breach face was not cut out adequately and rims of the cartridges were being caught on the frame. They had to cut out the frame to be in spec. and said they fixed the binding. Binding still was not fixed and I noticed bad machine marks down the grooves which was fouling the heck out of the barrel. Of it went for the second time..new barrel and said binding was fixed and gun polished. The binding problem remains and not fixed. Iím going to request a new crane and yoke assembly and new cylinder.

What happened to US quality?

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Old Today, 01:29 PM
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...I disassembled my SP101 for the first time. Removed all sorts of filth from the crane/arbor using brush and Hoppes 9, also cleaned out the center opening of the cylinder. Wiped down and applied a smooth layer of Breakfree LP (not CLP) along the crane/arbor The LP was designed to lubricate mil grade weaponry and stainless steel. Cylinder was back in business and was spinning as smooth as silk.

Placed some Mil Spec CLP (96 Synthetic CLP) in space between where cylinder meets crane/arbor...and off to my favorite shooting spot. I sent down range 100 rounds of 158 gr SWC (Hi Tek Poly coated)...cylinder still spun as smooth as silk after my shooting session...most importantly, this revolver shoots very accurately. Granted, I wasnít using my traditional lubed cast bullets but I was satisfied. Iíll just use Hi Tek coated bullets from now on in this revolver and then disassemble for deep clean after 1,000 rounds or so.

Thank you, story over for now and thank you for your patience!

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Old Today, 01:37 PM
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...I disassembled my SP101 for the first time. Removed all sorts of filth from the crane/arbor using brush and Hoppes 9, also cleaned out the center opening of the cylinder. Wiped down and applied a smooth layer of Breakfree LP (not CLP) along the crane/arbor. LP was designed to lubricate mil grade weaponry and stainless steel. Cylinder was back in business and was spinning as smooth as silk.

Placed some Mil Spec CLP (96 Synthetic CLP) in space between where cylinder meets crane/arbor...and off to my favorite shooting spot. I sent down range 100 rounds of 158 gr SWC (Hi Tek Poly coated)...cylinder spun smoothly after my shooting session...most importantly, this revolver shoots very accurately for me. Granted, I wasnít using my traditional lubed cast bullets but I was satisfied.

I wonder how it will do with factory lead rounds for example, using either the Remington 38 Spl +P 158 gr LSWCHP or itís bigger cousin, 357 Mag 158 gr lead SWC!
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Old Today, 01:40 PM
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Glad you got it resolved. A good reason to open up a new gun and give it a good inspection and clean-and-lube. I've heard stories of new S&W revolvers with metal shavings inside. Even better would be manufacturers doing a better job with QC to make that unnecessary.
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Old Today, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by 38SPL HV View Post
I wonder how it will do with factory lead rounds for example, using either the Remington 38 Spl +P 158 gr LSWCHP or itís bigger cousin, 357 Mag 158 gr lead SWC!
If I were in your place, I'd be curious to see if the clean-and-lube improved performance with the lead rounds that were causing the problem.
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Old Today, 01:57 PM
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It has always been my policy to strip a new gun all the way down, clean and reassemble. Burrs, shavings, ect are done away with.
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