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LC380 Design Flaw

This is a discussion on LC380 Design Flaw within the Ruger Pistols forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; Hello All, I'm not sure if I have all the terms correct, so please feel free to correct me. I purchased an LC380 about a ...


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Old March 17th, 2013, 08:18 AM   #1
 
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LC380 Design Flaw

Hello All,
I'm not sure if I have all the terms correct, so please feel free to correct me.

I purchased an LC380 about a month ago and I really like it. The recoil is minimal and I can put rounds on target about as fast as I can pull the trigger. However last week I switched from shooting S&B and PMC ammo to American Eagle and I immediately started having failures to feed (1 in 7 or 8 rounds). In fact the round would stand right up like a stove pipe, but while feeding instead of extracting.

Being a 1911 guy I immediately figured an extractor tension issue (too tight). But without being able to adjust the extractor like in a 1911, I cleaned and polished everything I could think to do with no results. Finally yesterday I had one that didn't stand up all the way. Instead it hung up on the barrel shroud. Upon inspection I realized that the round was standing up while still in the magazine. If you check the pics I included you will see that the round never had an opportunity to engage the extractor.

Upon further inspection I realized that the American Eagle brass has a much wider bevel around the rim and that as result the magazine is occasionally losing control of the round before round engages the barrel chamber. The reason that the PMC ammo doesn't do it is that the magazine holds on to the round a fraction of an inch longer and when/if it looses control, the round just kind of rattles into the chamber and the extractor just snaps over the rim. It's not the best scenario but it won't jam and the shooter won't know it happened.

Hopefully the above explanation is clear. It's kind of hard to understand but if you take the magazine and manually slide a round in and out of the feed lips it becomes really clear what is happening.

Remember the magazine is just an LC9 magazine with a block to hold the round forward. The LC9 is probably doing the same thing on American Eagle ammo, but since the case is longer it never gets noticed. By the time the magazine loses control the round has already started into the chamber.

One final note, I started loading 3 rounds at a time, and the failures almost went away (not quite). With less pressure from the magazine spring, the lips are less likely to lose control. At any rate I feel like the LC380 is on the verge of jamming all the time even with the PMC ammo. It seems that slightly longer feed lips would solve the problem, but maybe a change in the shape would help as well. I'm contacting Ruger on Monday. Hopefully they will have a solution in the works. If you are having the same problem try some PMC ammo.





G




Last edited by greylar; March 17th, 2013 at 09:24 AM. Reason: Clarification
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Old March 17th, 2013, 09:02 AM   #2
 
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Sellier&Bellot ammunition
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Old March 17th, 2013, 09:25 AM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucer View Post
Sellier&Bellot ammunition
My Bad, Logo has the funniest looking 'S' I have ever seen
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Old March 17th, 2013, 09:30 AM   #4
 
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Welcome from California's High Desert and to the Forum. Here we even get our spelling corrected.
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Old March 17th, 2013, 09:35 AM   #5
 
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Thanks for the info greylar, put 100 rounds of Federal Walmart WMAC380AP
and didn't have any issues. Looking forward to your follow up with Ruger.
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Old March 17th, 2013, 10:15 AM   #6
 
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i have an old pos jimenez .380 that does the same thing. i'm going to bend the magazine and see if it helps.
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Old March 21st, 2013, 07:52 AM   #7
 
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UPDATE:
Nick at Ruger responded to me (he is great btw). They are going to bring it in and look at it. Ruger's customer service is really good, but he seemed skeptical that there was a design flaw.

It should seem at least plausible that a magazine designed for the 9mm Luger should need a change the in the distance from the magazine feed lips to the chamber in the shorter .380 for proper function. After spending quite a bit of time looking at it I am convinced that slightly longer feed lips would significantly improve feed reliability. And, that the current design is barely getting the job done. (leaving little room to make up for something out of spec)

Man I like this gun I hope they figure it out.
G
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Old March 21st, 2013, 08:05 AM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greylar View Post
UPDATE:
Nick at Ruger responded to me (he is great btw). They are going to bring it in and look at it. Ruger's customer service is really good, but he seemed skeptical that there was a design flaw.

It should seem at least plausible that a magazine designed for the 9mm Luger should need a change the in the distance from the magazine feed lips to the chamber in the shorter .380 for proper function. After spending quite a bit of time looking at it I am convinced that slightly longer feed lips would significantly improve feed reliability. And, that the current design is barely getting the job done. (leaving little room to make up for something out of spec)

Man I like this gun I hope they figure it out.
G
I have a LC9 (the LC380s bigger twinn) that is one of the most reliable 9mm that I have feeding everything just fine. It sounds to me that if you are just having trouble with one certain brand of ammo because of the way that that particular cartridge is made, it isn't a flaw in Rugers design, but just simply change to another brand of ammo.
Many autoloaders don't like a particular brand, so most owners try different brands and go with what has reliable functioning for that gun.
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Old March 21st, 2013, 08:19 AM   #9
 
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I am on my 7th brand of ammo without any significant problem as of yet. I thought I had a problem with Fiocchi but it stopped. I keep buying a different brand until I find what the gun likes and doesn't like. I know what i like, but the problem is find that particular brand.
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Old March 21st, 2013, 08:51 AM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blbolin View Post
I have a LC9 (the LC380s bigger twinn) that is one of the most reliable 9mm that I have feeding everything just fine.....
That is my point it was designed for the longer case of the 9mm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brianinpa View Post
I keep buying a different brand until I find what the gun likes and doesn't like. I know what i like, but the problem is find that particular brand.
Yea I guess, but the round standing up while still in the magazine? Maybe I just have a bad magazine. In that case Ruger should find it and fix it. I considered just tweaking the magazine but didn't want to cause any warranty issues.

Plus I have been able to find American Eagle cheap and plentiful. And it isn't like American Eagle is some off brand.

Thanks,
G
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Old April 5th, 2013, 11:10 AM   #11
 
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I received my pistol back today. The packing slip listed a repair of the magazine and function check (with different ammo than I am using). Since the details were vague I contacted them and all they would tell me is that they "repaired" the magazine. It looks like my original magazine because the scratches are in the same spots. I can't really see any difference in the shape so the only thing might be a different follower and spring. I looked at them but couldn't really remember what they looked like before the "repair". Its strange they wouldn't say "replaced follower etc..." Anyone know what they might have done?

I'll let you know how it functions.
G
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Old April 5th, 2013, 02:38 PM   #12
 
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Greylar, You went to a lot of work on this post & thanks. I have an Lc 380 ordered & I have an LC9. Great little gun. I am very interested in what you have to say on the mags.I really need a locked breech 380 for a pair of old wrists.
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Old April 8th, 2013, 07:28 PM   #13
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The same situation has happend to me

I recently bought an LC380 and the same situation has happend to me several times using American Eagle FMJ 95 grain cartridges. As such, I will be watching your situation closely. Also, if you do find a more suitable brand/type of ammo, please let us know.
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Old April 8th, 2013, 08:21 PM   #14
 
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My lcp did not like American Eagle ammo either, lots of FTE
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Old April 8th, 2013, 08:47 PM   #15
 
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I would almost bet they either swapped magazines, or tried several different magazines and or adjusted the tangs on your magazine..
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