Tagged: Ruger SP101
The Blast Process
| March 20, 2012 | 2:48 am | Revolvers | No comments

We bead blast finish a lot of the Ruger SP101′s that come through our shop.  Most of the time it is a cosmetic choice for the owner.  There is something about having a satin finish on those guns that is really fantastic.  You could possibly make the argument that their is tactical nature to the finish as well since the gun isn’t so shiny, but that is a debate for the gun forums.

Sometimes there is a blemish that can be corrected by the blasting process to make the gun look better.  That is what the following before and after photos show.  Cost is $100 for blasting.

Surface Rust On The Frame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ready For Blasting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finished Product

Hornady Critical Defense 38 Special + P
| February 27, 2012 | 2:50 am | Revolvers | No comments

I recently had the opportunity to test out a newer ammo from the guys at Bulk Ammo.  They are a company that services shooters through competitive prices, and as the name implies the more you buy the better the prices become.  Steve sent me some of Hornady’s new Critical Defense 38 special +P.

This ammo is specifically designed as a defensive load.  Since most of the work we do is on wheel guns used for duty and protection it seemed like a natural fit for us to test, and I must say that I was very pleased.

I chose to shoot the ammo in my Smith & Wesson J-frame and a Ruger SP101 357 magnum.  Both had no trouble with the ammo.  It was as you would expect 100% reliable.  I compared its recoil to two other loads; Speer Gold Dot 38 special +P and in the Ruger a standard Remington 357 magnum load.  It shot a little softer for me in my J-frame for sure.  This was confirmed because point of impact at 25 yards was slightly lower than the Speer Gold Dots that have been the standard for me for the last 8 years.

Since the test I’ve actually changed to these as a carry round for my J-frame because of the technology in the hollow point cavity.  It is filled with a red polymer type material that should keep the cavity from filling with clothing or other material that might keep it from functioning to its full expanded potential. This is one area where bullet design and development has improved significantly in the past few years.  I am confident that this ammo represents a significant improvement from the earlier versions of snub nose ammo.

When you check out the bulk ammo sight they have many different offerings on the 38 special page.  The Hornady ammo sells for $22 for 25 rounds which is a fair price.  However, they have 38 special for under $15 in the bulk offerings which is a significant improvement over average prices for 50 rounds of target ammo.  If you haven’t checked these guys out do so and see if there service and selection doesn’t impress you as well.

The Revolving Door
| September 28, 2011 | 3:03 am | Revolvers | No comments

 

The door at Mossy Creek has been a revolving door of late.  It seems that more and more of you are sending in revolvers for trigger jobs and customizations  We finish them and send them out only to have more come into the shop.  There are the usual Ruger SP101′s, J-Frames and Ruger Blackhawks, and Taurus revolvers that keep rolling through.  As we got to thinking about this, it reminded us of how a business is started with certain plans and intents, but ultimately the work chooses you.

When I started MCC in 2005 I never thought about working on revolvers.  It wasn’t that I didn’t appreciate them, I actually carried one as a backup/off-duty weapon.  I just never thought about modifying them.   After all the only people that have revolvers are old dudes, right?  Not at all.  I have found that there is a culture of revolver fans who appreciate the old wheel gun for what it is truly worth, but I simply wanted to help cops, 3 gun competitors and people who liked Glocks as much as I did.

In fact the revolver process started with a Glock.  A great customer from GA, called after he received his Glock from us to see if we could do something for a Ruger SP101.  He emailed everything  he wanted and asked us to give it a shot because he knew us and our reputation for turnaround time (still at about 2 weeks after the last 6 years).  I liked what he asked for and posted a few pictures.

This picture changed who we were and what we do today.  At that time, Glocks, Remingtons and AR-15′s dominated our books.  Today we probably spend 75% of our time on revolvers.  Who could have predicted that it would turn out that way?

I have thought about this a lot this fall and I have come to a few conclusions as to why this happened.  1.  Not many people advertise that they work on revolvers.  It seems it is a lost art.  Perhaps it is not slick enough.  2.  Every factory trigger job can be improved.  We recently received a Taurus for a trigger job that seemed to stack as the trigger was pulled.  After a few minutes the error was determined to be a burr that had been overlooked at the factory.  Polishing, tuning and custom springs had gun 100% better.  3.  There are tons of people who like us love revolvers.  My personal collection continues to grow.  Each one brings a new and exciting challenge.  4.  Faster turnaround than some of other gunsmiths.  Who wants to wait a year or even 3 months?

As we start our 7th year, we have to say we are grateful.  Gunsmithing provides an outlet for a passion.  It is so much fun to get to meet people from all over the country who share that passion.  Instantly there is a connection.  Thanks for being a part of what we do whether you are a customer or simply a reader.  For now we will continue to send those revolvers out the revolving door.

 

 

 

 

Best Revolver Questions
| July 29, 2011 | 2:35 pm | Revolvers | No comments

I am often asked my opinion on the best revolver available today.  Certainly we have in many ways seen the peak of the great revolvers in one sense because we have ushered in the semi-auto age.  However, in recent years many companies have begun to market new and improved revolvers.  Smith & Wesson has even begun selling blued revolvers again!!

With polymer choices, .410′s from Smith and Taurus, and the alloy guns made for concealed carry, it is certainly a cool time to be interested in revolvers.  The options are endless.  If you haven’t been shooting revolvers, I want to encourage you to get one and have a great time learning to shoot the old fashioned way.

Before the explanation, a word should be given about caliber.  The great caliber debate may never be settled.  I am not a ballistician.  I am a gunsmith.  To speak with authority on this issue would not be my place.  I will however offer two pieces of advice.  1.  Shoot something you can control in the small revolvers.  If you can’t shoot a box of .357 magnum without hurting, don’t do it.  I like the small revolvers chambered in .38 special.  2.  In larger revolvers, I like the .357 magnum.  It is adequate for all manner of applications.  Advice given.

To understand the which company produces the best revolvers we must look at what I believe is the deciding factor; cost.  Each company, Ruger, Smith, Taurus, Charter, has some fixed cost for materials.  Metal is metal.  It cost what it cost depending on the markets.  Machining is machining.  It cost what it cost.  Labor is not labor, and I don’t just mean foreign job wages or American job wages.

When you look at a Smith, Ruger, Charter, and Taurus revolver in .38 special a few things come out.  Smith and Ruger generally spend more making the revolver look better cosmetically.  Smith’s blueing is better than Taurus’ blueing to me.  It is more pleasing to the eye.  Taurus looks better than Charter.  But that is not where the quality is really at.

If you look inside the revolvers the Smiths and Rugers will be cleaner cut and finished.  In other words the work that goes into final fit and finish is noticeably different.  This is where money can be saved. Removing machine marks.  Polishing surfaces.  Making sure angles are true.

A good example:  Charter uses a cheaper spring system for their trigger return spring.  It takes less to do this, but it also makes it a gun that we simply won’t work on for trigger jobs.  There is nothing that can be done.  This doesn’t diminish there functional capacity for anyone who wants to buy one.  But you are not buying a Smith, Ruger or Taurus. In one way this should make total sense.  The person buying a $250 revolver probably doesn’t want to drop $100 on a trigger job.  No problem here.  Functionality wins.

If you are buying a revolver I would first look at the Smith and the Ruger.  Then would be a Taurus.  Certainly the Taurus Judge deserves a look.  They pioneered a great one with the Judge.

Deciding between Smith and Ruger is a matter of preference.  Smith makes the greatest small revolvers for concealed carry.  It is hard to beat a J-Frame.  I love them.  I also love the older Smith full sized revolvers.  Having said that, Ruger makes tanks.  The SP101 is my favorite small revolver because I can actually shoot it in 357 magnum comfortably at the range.  They build work horse revolvers that are hard to beat.

Confused?  Just tell the wife you need to buy one of each for testing and evaluation.  Works around here!

Ruger Six Models
| June 20, 2011 | 1:00 am | Gunsmithing, Revolvers | No comments

For many years Ruger produced a line of revolver that ended in 6: Speed 6, Security 6, Service 6.  They were the precursor to the GP100 and Sp101.

As usual with Ruger, they are rock solid.  In some ways, they are a little easier to get inside of than the modern revolvers.   They only drawback for custom work is that they do not use a coil spring for the trigger return spring.  This makes tuning the trigger a little harder, but replacement spring kits are available from Brownells.

A quick look at Gunbroker shows many of these guns available for a very reasonable price.  If you are looking for a ranch gun, home defense revolver, or simply want a full size revolver for plinking these fit the bill.   A watchful eye could probably find one or two for sale at the local gun show for a decent price right now.

By the way, the stainless models look great bead blasted! $100

Trigger Jobs-$100

Turn Around Time
| June 3, 2010 | 2:33 pm | Uncategorized | No comments

With summer being upon  us we are getting into the natural lull that exists in the shooting sports.  Things are hotter, and hot metal doesn’t sound like a great afternoon off.  As things slow down for us, I wanted to remind you of our turn around time.

Glock Work: 1 Week

Revolver Trigger Jobs: 1 Week

Packages like the Ruger SP101 and SM-1 Shotgun: 2 Weeks

We have most everything we need in stock right now to get you customized fast.  So take advantage of the lull to get your work done now.  We ship out 1 week to the day your firearm arrives.

Keep watching the free section under categories to see the next job that is going to be offered for free.  All you have to do is pay parts and shipping and the work is free.  You can see the comments from our first recipient here.

Revolver Trigger Jobs Myths
| May 19, 2010 | 1:04 pm | Revolvers | No comments

If you are interested in getting your a Ruger SP101, S&W J-Frame, or Taurus trigger job, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Cutting coils isn’t always the way to go.  Cutting the coils on a factory spring may sound like a great idea, but it isn’t always the way to go.  I was taught, and still believe, that replacement springs are a better option.  With Wolff manufacturing some great spring kits, you can achieve reliable ignition with a reduced power spring kit.
  • A spring kit is the answer.  If you are looking for a trigger job, you need to do a little more than a spring kit.  Spring kits reduce poundage, but they won’t help the geometry of your factory trigger.
  • Toothpaste is a great $.25 trigger job.  This is kind of like a sugar pill.  You can put it in the gun, pull the trigger a thousand times and tell yourself you have a great trigger when in reality you have just pulled the trigger a thousand times.  Obviously as a gun breaks in the parts wear against each other and the bearing surfaces mate better.

The ultimate question is whether or not you want a trigger job or a better feeling trigger.  For many shooters a spring kit is all that’s required.  They can do it themselves and be perfectly happy.  That satisfies most, but not those who have ever had custom work done on their guns.  If you ever get a good trigger job, you will want that feeling on all your guns.  It is quite addictive.

.327 Federal Magnum
| May 12, 2010 | 3:53 am | Revolvers | No comments

I had the privilege of shooting a Ruger SP101 in .327 Federal Magnum today.  It was the first time that I had ever been around the cartridge.  The gun came in for the SP101 package, and I have to say I am really impressed.  As I was talking to the owner of the gun today, he mentioned that the lower recoil and 6th shot had sold him on the gun.  Both of those attributes make it a great cartridge to consider if you are wanting a solid revolver for CCW.

I think I have mentioned how I am a recoil sissy.  I don’t like anything magnum because I generally don’t enjoy getting pounded by the gun all day at that range.  Last time I checked, I was supposed to enjoy my days at the range, and if I am shooting anything too hot, I get slap happy on the trigger which sends my groups into shotgun pattern style.  The .327 Federal Magnum is a great hybrid for someone like me.  The recoil blast didn’t send particles flying all around me, and it didn’t deafen me either.

I love the Ruger SP101 platform because it makes shooting a 38 special a dream.  The gun was built well to absorb recoil.  It easily handles the .327.  In fact, I would love to fire this round in a scandium S&W because it would be a great combination.

As usual ammo can be a problem with anything new or a little outside the box right now, but you do have several choices.  The gun can also fire the 32 H&R Magnum and 32 Smith and Wesson Longs. So you might find some ammo hidden away in the storage bin if you have some of grandpa’s vintage firearms in your collection.  Either way you will have a good time checking out this latest offering from Federal and Ruger.