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Ruger sp101 .357 issue


Obsessed Member
Forum Supporter
Just curious if anyone else has ran into this — my sp101 .357 wouldn’t accept .357 rounds.

To keep the story short; took my ruger and a marlin 1894c to the range with a box of LAX .357 reloads. The marlin shucked them without a lot of trouble. However my SP101 was dead in the water. All 5 chambers were resistant to insertion of the rounds. Due to this there was an extra mm or two sticking out the back of the cylinder which prevented closing the cylinder.

I do need to get some more .357 or perhaps some .38spl just to make sure it isn’t an Ammo issue. Has anyone else ever had issues with ruger cylinders?


Obsessed Member
Forum Supporter
First time to the range with it. No rounds fired by myself prior to the issue. Did give it a good cleaning first but it is used. I’ll admit to not being as familiar with revolvers as I am semi-autos, but I didn’t see anything glairingly wrong.


Prefers Wheelguns
Check to see if you have a powder buildup at the front of the cylinder charging holes. Due to the .38 special being a shorter round, when a lot of .38 is fired without scrubbing out the cylinder you can get a powder buildup in the cylinder that will prevent a .357 round from seating properly. A good cylinder cleaning should solve the problem.


uber Member
If you reload take a 357 case and flair the mouth slightly and use it to scrape the carbon build up caused by the shorter 38 special cases.


Obsessed Member
Staff member
A Lewis Lead Remover from Brownells will also solve the issue, as will a bit of brass, not steel, wool wrapped around a wood does k and spun by hand or in a drill, after soaking it in your favorite lead removing bore cleaner.

You can also wrap that brass wool around a bronze bore brush ( for .38/.357 I use a .40 or .45 caliber bronze brush to ensure a tight fit against the chamber or bore walls), soak it and scrub the lead and carbon build up out of the chambers.
Either it's a 38 Special version, there is carbon buildup from shooting 38's that won't allow a longer casing to seat fully, or the reloads / remanufactured ammo is not properly sized.

Can you post us some pics of the revolver, and the problem?


Obsessed Member
Forum Supporter
I did specifically look at the barrel and it’s labeled .357. I’ll try to get some pics tonight for a closer look.


Bwana Mkubwa
Forum Supporter
It could be that the bullets have bulged the case mouth or are seated too far out.

Break out your calipers and measure the remanufactured rounds.