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LCR 357 Crane Latch Release Button Exceedingly Hard To Operate

This is a discussion on LCR 357 Crane Latch Release Button Exceedingly Hard To Operate within the Ruger Double Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; Hi, I placed this problem within my Initial Introduction post, when I should have posted it here. Bad Boy! Please do not send me to ...


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Old March 14th, 2014, 07:22 PM   #1
 
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LCR 357 Crane Latch Release Button Exceedingly Hard To Operate

Hi,

I placed this problem within my Initial Introduction post, when I should have posted it here. Bad Boy! Please do not send me to the Principal's office.

When attempting to do so with my left thumb (as envisioned doing in a defensive situation to reload), most attempts, I cannot push the button in sufficiently to open the cylinder. It is as though I am trying to push the button metal against metal… it just does not move to release the cylinder. And when it does in a minority of times, it is difficult to do so, and there is a metal grating feel/sound. Once in some high number of attempts, it will work… but not reliably.

And even when the button does release the cylinder, it is not smooth as butter… as a Ruger SP101 is smooth to operate, or some other makes. I have cycled the Crane Latch Release Button some 400 times, in hopes that use would make it easier. But it has not made it easier.

Using my right thumb improves the percentage of times that it will open the cylinder. But it is still not successful 100% of the time. It will “lock” up still in some number times of trying. And that metal grating feel/sound is very evident almost all of the time.

If I use my right thumb nail to push on the very center and on the very end of the button, I will then increase the percentage of times that I will be successful in releasing the cylinder, which seems to indicate, IMHO, that perfect alignment of the button “tit” to the Center Lock Pin hole is necessary to release the cylinder. Otherwise, the button “tit”, that goes into the Center Lock Pin hole, hits the frame and goes nowhere, or, drags metal to metal along the hole edges, and does the job… at the cost of thumb finger pain, if done more than a few times.

A couple of members suggested on that other forum that I call Ruger Customer Service, which I did. The CS rep issued a RA and is having UPS pickup the LCR on Monday.

It seems to me, IMHO, that the hole that is through the Crane Latch Release Button (#29 in the Exploded View) is too large in diameter for its hinge post (Crane Release Button Pin, #28 in the Exploded View), which allows for the button to move around too much, depending upon which thumb is used and where it is positioned on the button, and become mis-aligned with the hole that the Center Lock Pin (#35) fits into, which the Button must push out to release the cylinder.

I have not fired the gun, yet. It is as bad today as the day that I took the gun home a few weeks ago. I own some other Rugers that are good guns, thankfully! And do what they are supposed to do. This one, so far, does not do what I had expected.

IMHO, a re-design of the barrel release system is needed!!! Tighten the specs on the button-hinge-hole/hinge-post for better alignment, and make the button at least 50% larger for ease on finger.

A couple of members did say on the other Introduction forum that they had trouble, too.

I tested a number of other LCR's, and all seem to be "rough" not "smoothly" operating in this area.

Have there been others that have the same problem?

What is your experience?

Otherwise, I think the LCR 357 is a nice design for CC defensive work. I like that it can shoot the three rounds, per user's choice. And the weight of the gun is just right for me.



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Old March 14th, 2014, 09:39 PM   #2
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OC have you given Ruger customer service a call? I have had nothing but good experiences with them. Ask for the technical person as they will know your problem immediately. Are you the original owner? Did you register the warranty info with Ruger?
If so, they will probably fix it for free, including shipping.

Last edited by gunman5646; March 14th, 2014 at 09:45 PM. Reason: punctuation
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Old March 14th, 2014, 10:18 PM   #3
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How does the front latch look when you push in on the cylinder release button? I ask because my LCR 22 felt like what you describe, metal to metal/difficult to push sometimes, and the front latch (called a locking bolt on S&W's) that locks into the end of the ejector rod was sticking. I ended up sending it back to Ruger and when I got it back in about 10 days, a note was in the box saying they replaced the trigger, hammer, and front latch pin. The previous latch pin on mine was silver (stainless?) whereas the replacement is black. It's been flawless since.
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Old March 15th, 2014, 09:02 AM   #4
 
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I just went through this with my LCR 22. Latch was getting harder and harder to operate, then it failed completely. It was in a loaded condition and was about to fire it to empty it. I'm very glad I didn't. I decided to inspect it carefully and noticed the very small screw that holds the latch was backed out. If I had fired it at that point, it could have fallen out and been lost and gone forever, along with associated parts.

Check the screw/pivot just under the latch. It screws up from the under side of the latch.
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Old March 15th, 2014, 09:58 AM   #5
 
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Hi guys,

Yes, the 375 LCR latch sucks, you have to push real hard to get it to release the cylinder. I did get a reply from the Ruger tech support and the answer was "that the 357 button is harder to push then the 38SPL I just picked up a SP101 and it's 10 times easier to push and smoother. I am mechanically inclined and this is what I can tell you.

OBSERVATIONS:

1)The problem is that the button is very shallow and does not protrude far out to help you thumb release fattier finger (ergonomically incorrect)
2) The other problem if you look at the exploded drawing that is supplied in the manual you will notice that you are pushing several springs to release the cylinder.
3) The other problem is that the latch that release the ejector rod is very stiff. I even filed it a bit and put grease but it's it still stiff.

The real solution is to reduce the spring tensions but I do not know what effect these will have on the whole gun's reliability

BTW: the LCR is my wife's so the problem is ever more amplified !!!

Last edited by enrico; March 15th, 2014 at 10:02 AM.
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Old March 15th, 2014, 11:48 AM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Codger View Post
Have there been others that have the same problem?

What is your experience?
The first one I was going to buy was similar, the button didn't want to actually release, and it felt terribly gritty. I didn't buy that one. The one I got is better. However, comparing it to an SP101, everything except the trigger feels crappier/chintzier. The trigger (and the weight) makes the gun.

If yours doesn't actually open sometimes, I'd send it to Ruger, though. Mine always works, it just doesn't have a high quality feel.
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Old March 15th, 2014, 07:02 PM   #7
 
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Aurora40 is right-on with terminology.... "it felt terribly gritty"... once it gets passed the metal-pushing-on-metal feeling. And that is my impression, too... "feels crappier/chintzier" as to the cylinder release button. Especially when comparing it to the in-house SP101's cylinder release button, which is noticeably larger... making it easier on the finger(thumb). I won't even compare it to some other makes.

The dealer that sold the LCR to me, did say that one of the springs was beefed-up on the 357 model on account of the greater recoil did cause the cylinder to open on some early guns. The dealer attempted to blame this for my trouble, and said that nothing could be done; that all the LCR 357 are this way.

I just bought the LCR on 2-19-14, and have not fired it yet. Nor, registered the gun with Ruger. But that was not a problem for the Ruger Customer Service rep that I talked to. I did enclose a copy of my receipt from the dealer so that there would be no question as to ownership or when I bought it. The rep said that UPS will pick it up on Monday, no charge to me.

I will post what Ruger says as soon as I get the word.

I had the opportunity to inspect close to a dozen LCR's at a gun show today. The problem was prevalent in too many of those LCR's, to varying degrees, across calibers. Only one operated in a smooth fashion, IMHO. There is NO reason for such a release button to operate in such el-stinko way... if it is designed properly. The SP101 is essentially the same gun, and about the same price... and it works rather nicely and smoothly. There are some failings in the current design of the LCR. [Sorry! to you folks that have a LCR. But maybe you belong to the Lucky Few club. ]

I personally think that the LCR is a great gun... but for the Crane Release Latch button... and that is el stinko!!! It really needs to be redesigned, IMHO. Maybe, we can agitate for a retrofit and/or a redesign (for future purchasers, at least).

More to come! Thanks!!! to all that commented. I really appreciate the comments.

O.C.
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Old March 18th, 2014, 08:38 AM   #8
 
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Well, Ruger Customer Service has done as they said.... had UPS pick up the LCR yesterday, Monday, in late afternoon... their usual delivery time for this area. UPS came with a shipping label, attached it to my box, and away went the LCR.

Here is hoping that the remainder goes good, too.

O.C.
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Old March 18th, 2014, 11:39 AM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Codger View Post
Well, Ruger Customer Service has done as they said.... had UPS pick up the LCR yesterday, Monday, in late afternoon... their usual delivery time for this area. UPS came with a shipping label, attached it to my box, and away went the LCR.

Here is hoping that the remainder goes good, too.

O.C.
Had a similar issue with my wife's 1 yr old LCR 38 but not as severe. My LCR 38 (bought used at LGS) was built in 2010 and it's as smooth as it should be. Ruger CS had UPS pick up her gun last Thursday. I guess we'll both see how it goes.

BTW, According to Ruger CS, you'll receive an e-mail with a tracking number when Ruger sends the gun back (if email address was provided). There must be an adult at the receiving address (same as sent from address) to sign for the package. Just a heads up.
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Old March 18th, 2014, 02:05 PM   #10
 
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Thanks, Wheel Guns,

For the headsup on providing the email address, and why. I simply forgot to do so.

I will send Ruger an email with my RA or RMA # that they gave me. They should be able to tie it together.

Here is hoping that Ruger comes through for both of us!

C.G.
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Old March 21st, 2014, 05:51 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Codger View Post
Thanks, Wheel Guns,

For the headsup on providing the email address, and why. I simply forgot to do so.

I will send Ruger an email with my RA or RMA # that they gave me. They should be able to tie it together.

Here is hoping that Ruger comes through for both of us!

C.G.
CG,

Our LCR came back today. Posted results in DA forum. See link.
LCR Cylinder Release Repaired by Ruger CS
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Old March 27th, 2014, 03:08 PM   #12
 
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Well, my LCR357 arrived today back from Ruger Customer Service. They have been very polite, and shipped the gun back and forth promptly.

The Packing Slip states that they put on "New Pawl, Center Pin, Cylinder Latch." and that they "Repaired, Safety Function Check, and Test Firing has been completed."

However, I am still VERY disappointed with the Ruger LCR357!!!

I still have the same problem with the LCR... the crane latch release button is just as "terribly gritty" and "crappier/chintzier", to use another member's (Aurora40) good words in his post to this thread, to partially described the situation. And as Enrico said in his post in this thread, "Yes, the 375 LCR latch sucks, you have to push real hard to get it to release the cylinder." and "I just picked up a SP101 and it's 10 times easier to push and smoother."

Even after sending the gun to Ruger, I still cannot 100% of the time get the cylinder to release with pushing on the release button with my left thumb, and it still feels terribly gritty and hard to push, even with the right thumb. I would never have bought that gun, if I had pushed the button to open the cylinder, more than a few times.

I still see the problem as being that button is not of a tight fit on its hinge post. The button moves around too much, IMHO. But the CS guys must not have thought so. They did nothing with these parts.

While the gun has a very nice trigger, is of a nice weight for CCW, and fits my hand very nicely, that release button is the worst that I have tried, and I have now tried numerous LCR's, Smith & Wesson (tremendously smooth), Taurus, and even Ruger SP101 (also smoother by far).

At this point in time, unless Ruger does something more for the gun, I would NEVER recommend the Ruger LCR357. Even the 38Special model's release button is not smooth for the ones that I have tried.

This gun could be a great gun, but it is NOT! It is a CHEAPLY made/designed gun. It does not match my other Rugers in quality operation. In fact, I consider that this problem is a SAFETY problem, interferring with fast re-loading, if necessary in a defense situation.

I am sorely disappointed with Ruger!

If your LCR does not fit this catagory, and you are happy with it, then I am very happy for you! You must belong to the Lucky Few Club!!!

O.C.

P.S. I have not fired the gun yet.
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Old March 28th, 2014, 03:44 PM   #13
 
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Troll
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Old March 29th, 2014, 09:18 AM   #14
 
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I think I could find something "not to like" about every gun I ever owned. I guess I'm not a perfectionist. I like my LCR in spite of the imperfect latch. Prior to, I had a S&W 36 (from the 60's) and after a few rounds my hand just plain got sore.....not from recoil, but from all the sharp edges on the trigger and hammer. I can run the LCR all day without pain. The hard latch is a minor nuisance. It works.

As stated in another thread, I did have the buttons axel screw back out unnoticed until the latch button would not work at all. When I figured out the problem, I tightened the screw and all is well. It's still stiff, but releases every time...just takes a little more pressure than I'd like. No biggy!
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Old March 29th, 2014, 09:53 AM   #15
 
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Thanks, Jack D!!! I really do appreciate your comment! Unlike, what TRJeff posted, "Troll", if he is saying that I am a "Troll". I do not consider myself such. I am here trying to discuss an important matter. I need more than just my viewpoint or experience with the revolver. Please come aboard the thread if you have any experience that needs considering.

Unfortunately, I am a "near" perfectionist, in certain things... guns being one of them. IMHO, there is a reason for everything on a gun, whether handgun or longgun. Most of the time, in a defensive situation, it is a matter of SAFETY that the gun should work flawlessly 100% of the time. If it does not, one's life, or another person's life, is at stake. May I suggest that that point is a strong reason for having a revolver rather a semi-automatic pistol???

After reading Wheel Guns' post that Ruger worked on the button pivot post of his revolver, and the gun works like "new now", I have decided to contact Ruger again, and see what they would like to do about the situation.

Ruger CS seems to not have worked on the pivot post of the latch button. I can see some slop/play of the button on its pivot post, so that the button moves around depending upon where I put my thumb, and/or which thumb I use. There is too much play of the button on its pivot post! I cannot see what actually happens with the inside end of the button arm. I can only imagine that the inside end has to hit some part exactly on, or that will be the "gritty" feeling that I am getting, or the actual not-moving of the center lock pin at all.

I wish to say again... I think that this revolver has the potential for being a GREAT gun. There is much that is positive about the revolver! But, IMHO, this is a flaw worthy of considering. The Ruger SP101 that I tried is lots smoother and works 100% of the time. So does the S&W 640 that I have looked at since having to deal with this LCR 357.

Will post what Ruger CS does now.

O.C.
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