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What the heck has happened to my LC9s?

This is a discussion on What the heck has happened to my LC9s? within the Ruger Pistols forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; Originally Posted by CoachRick The slide locking back on a non-empty mag has happened to me a few times. I was befuddled until I found ...


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Old February 26th, 2017, 11:11 AM   #16
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachRick View Post
The slide locking back on a non-empty mag has happened to me a few times. I was befuddled until I found a YouTube by Justin Opinion trying to figure out the slide lock-back challenge. Turns out I may have been guilty of the same offense of engaging the slide lock inadvertently. After changing grips, no problems at all.
Yeah, I've paid attention to that for a while. My grip doesn't come anywhere near the slide lock.

What makes this more frustrating for me is that I normally shoot my SR9c much better than the LC9s and I'd rather carry that except that the weight bothers me. Lately, I've really been making an extra effort with the LC9s, and yesterday I shot it better than I ever have before. But if I can't get through a box of ammo without a malfunction...



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Old February 26th, 2017, 11:45 AM   #17
 
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Originally Posted by Talldog View Post
Purchased my LC9s new in October, and it now has about 850 rounds through it. In the first 550 rounds, it had 1 failure to feed at about round 300. Since then it's all gone bad. In mid January, I had 2 failures to eject in 100 rounds. At the end of January, I had 1 failure to feed in 100 rounds. Then, this past Saturday I had 2 failures to feed in 100 rounds. The first was nose up on the feed ramp, but the second actually stovepiped. I've never seen that before.

This being a pretty snappy and very small pistol, ever since that first failure at round 300, I've been paying close attention to my grip, limp wristing, etc. It gets cleaned after every range session, and I took the mags apart after the mid January session and cleaned them thoroughly. It's not me, it's the gun. And needless to say, it's now out of my carry rotation. I know I need to speak with Ruger CS, but they haven't been open since Saturday. In the meantime, I figured I'd throw it out here.
Many times it's the ammo you use. I've had my LC9S since last year and have noticed this pistol is very particular about ammo and don't like cheap or relaoads. Seems to work well all the time with PMC bronze. Never have had a misfire. But have used some cheaper Speer ammo (bargain basement stuff) and has misfired a few times.
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Old February 26th, 2017, 02:48 PM   #18
 
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The 2 LC9s Pros my son and I have shoot anything put in them! Over 550 rds each so far without a hiccup, including my hand loads. 2 hands, one hand, strong or weak, doesn't matter. We each have 3 mags, and they all function fine.

I really like this gun!

If we were closer maybe I could be of assistance, but CT is too far away.
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Old February 28th, 2017, 10:09 AM   #19
 
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When my girlfriend and I, each having our own LC9s Pro, started having this exact same issue at approximately the same round count of right around 1K (I believe I had around 900, and she had maybe 950-1050), I tore them down to the nitty gritty. I also have a friend who's a former Ruger QC employee, and his whole job was to inspect and test fire the products, one of which was the LC9s. He gave me some tips, but what I found was something he didn't know about.
I've shared this writeup with three other LC9s owners who were having the exact same issues at a similar round count and it solved their issues, as I'm hoping it solves yours.

I disassembled and cleaned the slide and all components thoroughly, and it was horribly filthy. It seems the LC9s Pro is fond of collecting nastiness in the striker channel, particularly brass shavings. This can affect it's function drastically.

The striker has no return spring, which usually leaves the striker tip partially exposed in the breech face during the slide's rearward travel after firing. It takes minimal pressure to push it back, since while the striker is in it's forward/firing position, it's basically floating, but not quite freely.
See photo. (source, myself)


The spent casing usually bumps the striker back into it's channel, serving as a striker return. If you look at the wear marks on your breech face, you should be able to see where the spent casing kind of rotates across the breech face.
My apologies, I can't get a clear picture of my own, but I can see the evidence myself.

However!
I suspect the motion of the spent casing rolling across the breech face during ejection, while also serving as a striker return, is what causes the brass shavings to accumulate inside the channel. If you rub your finger across the breech face, you can feel that's a rather sharp edged little striker hole. When soft brass goes head to head against sharp steel, the brass will always lose.

Okay. More.
The striker, striker spring, and striker sleeve, are all held together with two little rubber cups.
See diagram, parts 28-31, upper left. (source: Ruger, via Gunsumer Reports)


Photo of disassembled Striker Assembly. (source: this forum, link to follow)


So here's what happens.
Brass shavings and gunk build up in the striker channel. The little cups that hold the striker assembly together fit rather snugly in the striker channel, helping to align the striker with the striker hole as well as holding the whole shebang together. But those snug fitting rubber cups don't like trash in their house.
When it starts to build up too much, approximately 1,000 rounds seeming to be the magic number, the striker assembly starts to drag as those cups fight with the trash. If the spent casing doesn't manage to return the striker, you will start getting failures to eject.
When it reaches that point, you will also start getting failures feed if the base of the next round has a hiccup on the exposed striker tip, assuming you don't get a failure to eject on the previous round. This will also cause failures to return to battery as the plate of the dragging striker snags on the striker release, leaving the gun about 3/16"-1/4" out of battery, and failures to fire when the striker assembly fails to overcome the buildup in the striker channel.

So, if you haven't already done so, tear that slide down and clean the hell out of it. If you already have, then maybe I've wasted my time or maybe this post will help someone else out.
And don't forget the striker block. It doesn't seem as prone to buildup, but if you're detail stripping the slide you might as well clean it real good too. Keeping it clean should also help to keep your trigger pull nice and smooth over time.

Overall, the LC9s Pro is an ingeniously simple and well designed firearm, but it's not without it's flaws. Sometime in the near future I intend to experiment with it, give the striker hole a light deburring/chamfering, may apply some grooves to the striker assembly's cups. But for now, I'll just detail strip and clean it every time I shoot. I find the cleaning tasks as therapeutic as the shooting anyway.

I already have a plan to reduce the length of the trigger pull, just haven't done it yet.

Last edited by SteelHorseCowboy; March 1st, 2017 at 05:37 PM.
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Old February 28th, 2017, 10:24 AM   #20
 
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Link to thread showing the above disassembled striker assembly.

LC9S detail slide strip

By the way, as of this past weekend I've surpassed 2,500 rounds with no spring replacements. As long as I keep that striker channel clean, it keeps ticking like a swiss watch. And I've gotten good enough with it that I'm hitting a 2'X3' gong at 50 yards with it consistently.

As far as your earliest failure at around 300 rounds, I'd write that off as a break-in hiccup or new user's error.
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Old February 28th, 2017, 10:30 AM   #21
 
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SHC, that was as detailed and helpful tip I've seen on the forum as it relates to one of my Rugers. Thanks for taking the time to share!
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Old February 28th, 2017, 10:49 AM   #22
 
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If you haven't already disassembled the slide and need a tutorial, this video covers it in the first two minutes.

https://youtu.be/YQkEvtXEu4I

I do have an issue with this video though. No closeups of the process. I may make my own video this evening.
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Old February 28th, 2017, 11:19 AM   #23
 
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Originally Posted by Joenaper View Post
SHC, that was as detailed and helpful tip I've seen on the forum as it relates to one of my Rugers. Thanks for taking the time to share!
I second that . Thank you.
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Old February 28th, 2017, 11:36 AM   #24
 
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Y'all are quite welcome, I just hope it helps everyone who has this issue.
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Old February 28th, 2017, 12:55 PM   #25
 
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Y'all are quite welcome, I just hope it helps everyone who has this issue.
Well, heck...I just performed a 'decent' cleaning of my LC9s and sPro; but I've never broken down the striker assembly. Guess I'll be back at the work table tonight!

Thanks....I think!
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Old February 28th, 2017, 02:36 PM   #26
 
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SteelHorseCowboy, this is great stuff, but I sure wish you had posted it a couple of days earlier. I called Ruger CS yesterday, and right this minute my LC9s is sitting in Memphis with a note safety-pinned to it saying "please get me to Prescott, Arizona". I would love to have been able to fix this myself.

In any event, this sounds like it will be a recurring issue, so I've bookmarked this page for future reference. I take the striker apart occasionally on my SR9c, but I've avoided it on the LC9s because it seems much more difficult. I actually tried it once, but wasn't able to get it out. I guess I'll need to try harder.

Thanks very much for posting this. As soon as I get my gun back, I plan to detail strip the slide before I even shoot it again. Once I get through it the first time, it will all be good.
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Old February 28th, 2017, 04:51 PM   #27
 
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Aw man, I'm sorry, I just saw it today! I don't browse around forums that much, I generally look for specific information and every now and then just happen to come across something new to chime in on.
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Old March 1st, 2017, 08:38 AM   #28
 
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SteelHorseCowboy, Great write-up. Thanks!

G.
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Old March 1st, 2017, 02:46 PM   #29
 
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[QUOTE=SteelHorseCowboy;2901233]
I disassembled and cleaned the slide and all components thoroughly, and it was horribly filthy. It seems the LC9s Pro is fond of collecting nastiness in the striker channel, particularly brass shavings. This can affect it's function drastically.
END QUOTE]

Gee, why has my LC9sPro, with at least the same amount of rounds, never had this problem, especially the "brass shavings" part???

Last edited by blackvoid; March 1st, 2017 at 02:49 PM.
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Old March 1st, 2017, 04:00 PM   #30
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackvoid View Post

Gee, why has my LC9sPro, with at least the same amount of rounds, never had this problem, especially the "brass shavings" part???
If you have the same number of rounds and "have never had this problem", then you've obviously been stripping and cleaning the slide regularly or have X-ray vision.
If you're trying to say you waited until you had about 1,000 rounds before you looked inside the slide, then your post is misleading. But if you did wait until 1K and you didn't have a build up, then maybe you just got lucky (or more likely, a "normal" gun)

It's a simple fact of life and economics. Anything produced by man can have flaws. Anything mass produced, must be mass produced with as low a rate of end product failure as can be achieved or that product will not sell and the manufacturer has to drop it or go broke.
In short, surely there are far more in the hands of owners which will NEVER have this problem, rather than the ones that will.
Even shorter version, the majority probably don't exhibit this problem. I haven't exactly taken a poll of every single owner of the LC9s though.

But this is a regular problem and has been around since the original LC9 DAO model. It's even been discussed in this very forum.
I stated that the magic number seems to be near 1K rounds only because it's what I've seen personally, and that was the approximate round count the other 3 owners I've spoken with had when they started having the same problems. Doing a quick and easy google search reveals that this monster can rear it's ugly head in as little as "a couple of boxes" of ammo.

https://www.google.com/search?client...k1.oAV0aj_guFw
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