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Ruger LC9 review - first impression bad, then good


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I bought a Ruger LC9 with the hopes of a carry gun that is a bit lighter and easier to conceal with summer clothes.

Before taking the gun to the range, I cleaned the excess grease from the frame as slide. I've found that all new guns from Ruger come virtually packed in copious amounts of grease. I did notice some metal flakes in the grease and removed all I could.

The first time I shot the LC9 was extremely disappointing. The magazine holds seven rounds and out of every magazine I shot, I had at least two that didn't fire because of light primer strikes. Not what you want in a gun that you might need for self defense.

I googled around and found that light primer strikes seem to be common in the LCP, LC9, SR9, and SR9c. Some found metal, either brass or steel, flakes in the firing pin galley. I couldn't see any, but didn't remove the firing pin since a pin needs to be removed. I held the firing pin in with the slide in a vertical position, then sprayed brake cleaner in firing pin galley in hopes of flushing metal flakes out. I could see several flakes on the white paper towel under the slide, so I know some came out.

The next time I fired the LC9 was a much much better experience. I put 150 rounds down range and didn't have a single problem with anything. The cleaning appears to have solved the problem of the light firing pin strikes.

A couple comments about shooting the LC9. It's a long pull DAO trigger - understand it, accept it, and get used to it. The LC9 isn't meant for bullseye pistol competition. The LC9 is a lightweight gun, when you shoot it 150 time, you're going to feel it in your wrist!

Wayne

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I'm glad you (appear to have) got it straightened out.

I tend to cut a little slack to pocket-size 9mms because I think we are asking a lot of them. Most come within one round of the capacity of the original S&W 39, which was considered a regular/service size gun. A pocket nine holding only one less round than a 39 yet as small or smaller than a lot of .380s is something I never expected to see. I'm a fan of the HK P7, and most of the early tests of those marvel over it's small size. It dwarfs current small nines.

When I got my first Kahr, an MK9, I had a little trouble. Maybe one round in a hundred failed to feed. The slide stopped just short of closed. Even that small number was too much for a carry gun so I traded it off.

Ordinarily, I might have sworn off the design but I didn't here because, like I say, we are asking a lot of these little guns. I tried another, a PM9 Covert with longer slide and different recoil spring system. It worked fine.

Its one of my favorite guns and gets carried every day, but the only reason I gave Kahr a second chance is because I was honestly surprised the first one came so close.

These little guns are getting close to the limit, IMHO, if not riding right on the edge of it.

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  • 4 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Went to the range tonight and had several more fail to fires caused by light primer strikes. Googled around and found this video on Youtube, which is the exact same problem I have. Author writes in the comments that Ruger has an update to the LC9 to fix the problem, so I guess I'm going to call Ruger Monday and get mine sent in.

Wayne

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I called Ruger Monday morning about trouble with light firing pin strikes. I described the problem in detail and the rep immediately emailed me an overnight shipping label. The call took all of three minutes and the rep was very informed and polite. Another great customer service experience with Ruger!

Wayne

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Ruger is not my favorite gun company and I have been pretty down on them at times, but I have never heard anything but good (and often better than good) about their customer service and repair.

I have to go through this same process with a S&W. I will report how it goes.

I'm holding off because I don't really want to ship a gun until after New Year's. Maybe it's over-worrying, but I'm afraid the seasonal heavy shipping traffic might increase the odds of loss, or damage, or theft.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just got the LC9 back today, which is pretty darn short turn-around by Ruger. They replaced the firing pin and the firing pin spring. Their comments say they fired 35 rounds without any troubles. I'm going to go to the range tonight or tomorrow and put a couple hundred rounds through it. I am driving to Phoenix soon and when to make sure it functions without fail before I carry it.

Wayne

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  • 2 months later...

Wayne,

Looks like you've had the LC9 for a few months now.. are you still fond of it?

Yes, I do like it very much. I have fired it 507 times since brand new without a single problem feeding or ejecting. I did have the problem with light firing pin strikes, that Ruger fixed. Since the firing pin was replaced, it's been fired 257 times with zero troubles.

I definitely recommend the LC9.

Wayne

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  • 4 weeks later...

AS the LC9 is similar to the LCP, does the LCP have the same issues with light strikes?

I googled around and found many conversations about light primer strikes with the LCP as well. I'm assuming Ruger has the problem fixed on the LCP as they do on the LC9. My LC9 has been flawless since Ruger fixed it.

Wayne

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