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Done with Ruger SR series handguns

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by SynapticSilence, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. SynapticSilence

    SynapticSilence Battle Ground, WA Well-Known Member

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    A few months ago I bought a Ruger SR9C 9mm. It was my first Ruger semi-auto after having owned just about everything else over time. I liked the ergonomics so much when I shot it I couldn't figure out why I'd waited so long. Plus the price point was under $400. So I went the extra mile and got a Ruger SR45. It was also a tack driver and I put a TLR-4 light/laser combo on it and was using it as my primary home defense weapon.

    Then I had the SR9C out at the range. At this point I had approximately 250 rounds through the pistol with nothing but perfect function. All of a sudden, after firing one round of a 10 round magazine, the slide locked back. I dropped the slide. fired again, and it locked back again. Dropped it one more time, but this time the trigger went into total lockup. Couldn't pull it. Cleared the round, dropped the slide again, and again I couldn't pull the trigger.

    I cleared the gun and went home. Once I got the slide off, it was obvious that the slide stop spring had come loose. That's not a deal killer. But what was a deal killer was that the spring, which runs up the left side of the frame from it's anchor point to it's attachment to the slide stop, had retracted and totally locked up the trigger control group -- in other words, no way to fire the pistol regardless of how many rounds I had left in the pistol. Not good. Not good at all, especially since I'd taken to carrying it after the 200 round point.

    A quick web search on "Ruger SR9C Slide Stop Spring" revealed a host of people with similar problems dating back since the introduction of the SR series. So it wasn't just an isolated case, but appeared to be a problem that was causing a lot of people to have triggers that, even if they were still able to pull the trigger, could only do so by pulling as hard as they could, not to mention having to drop the slide manually on every subsequent round once that occurred.

    So I shipped it back to Ruger. They do have great customer service, paying for shipping both ways and had the pistol back to me within nine days. They replaced the slide stop and the slide stop spring....and the barrel! So there were obviously other problems with the pistol than I even knew about. My bet was the barrel was peening, which is another problem the SR series apparently has been having since its inception. And since the SR45 has exactly the same slide stop spring and trigger setup as the SR9C, there was no guarantee it wasn't going to have the same problems.

    I now have a Glock 19 Gen 4 and a Glock 21 to replace the Rugers. Needless to say, I'm disappointed. But I'm glad I found out before I was in a situation where it counted. I'd encourage anyone owning an SR series Ruger to do web searches on SR Slide Stop Spring and SR Barrel Peening. I suppose you really do get what you pay for. After all this time of buying and selling handguns, I should know this. And if it hadn't been something that was so clearly an issue with the design of the pistol and the ability of one flaw to render it inoperable, I probably would have given them another chance. Just can't take chances when it comes to having a pistol I can count on when I need it.
     
  2. SynapticSilence

    SynapticSilence Battle Ground, WA Well-Known Member

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    As a follow up, I didn't take any pictures of what I was having trouble with, but I found a post of someone with an SR40 who experienced the same issue and did take a picture of the retracted slide stop spring jamming the trigger group. He couldn't pull his trigger, either, once the spring popped off and jammed up the works. This is exactly how my SR9C looked and it's obvious that this type of malfunction could be very, very bad if it happens at just the wrong time. Again, too bad, because I really liked the pistol.
    Ruger_SR40c_Slide_Lock_Spring_zpsa65f8e06.jpg
     
  3. Bill L

    Bill L Oregon New Member

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    That's disappointing. I had planned on picking one up this spring, but I'm going to rethink that. Didn't take much searching to find a lot of other folks having the same issue. Thanks for posting your experience...I really mean that.
     
  4. SynapticSilence

    SynapticSilence Battle Ground, WA Well-Known Member

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    You're welcome. I'm not somebody who believes in trashing other people's choice of firearms. I know a lot of people with Ruger SRs that have had nothing but success with them. But this was a BIG issue for me and one that I doubt most people are aware of. If you look at the slide stop spring, it's actually anchored somewhere below the trigger group. So when the spring pops off the slide stop, it naturally retracts directly into the path of the trigger group, blocking it. That's what my wife, a former engineer (she's a psychiatric nurse practitioner now -- a long story) would call a single point of failure without redundancy. If you can't pull the bang switch, it doesn't do anything but make bad guys mad. If it had been anything other that that type of issue, I wouldn't have even posted. Thanks again for being willing to go see for yourself.
     
  5. NWGlockgal

    NWGlockgal Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Yes, thanks for posting. I was considering the SR45 and wasn't aware of the issue.
     
  6. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner You'll Never Know Well-Known Member

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    Wow, talk about design failure and, what a liability for Ruger!! Thanks for sharing your experience!
     
  7. gryghin

    gryghin Beaverton Active Member

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    Thanks for sharing your experience. Just got back from Clackamas PSTC, took the wife out to the range for date night, wanted to see if they had any Rugers to rent. Now I'm really going to do more research on EDC for the wife and I. I was thinking of the LC9 or LC380 but will have to see if those models are having similar issues.
     
  8. WAYNO

    WAYNO Oregon City Gold Supporter Gold Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I'm the first to understand that experiencing a failure firsthand can cause a feller to hold a life long grudge.

    But, doesn't matter if it's a Ruger, a S&W, a Walther, a Chevy or a Ford, and the examples go on, these are man made machines, and unfortunately they occasionally fail. I personally own two different Ruger SR's, and mine have been flawless. I also know personally of others that have failed. In the hugest scheme of things, the percentage of failures is extremely small, but the owners of such guns are very vocal. So, if a guy's gonna forever turn his back on any type of gun that's ever failed, there would be no guns left to choose from.

    So, the bottom line is, when you've finally got a product that you're happy with, and you're convinced it will never fail, never give up on practicing every chance you get, and learning to know what makes that gun work. Give it every chance to show you its weak points, and give it every chance to fail. It just might. Know how to clear it or repair it, and always have a plan B. Never forget that the failure itself is possible.

    I'm preaching to a choir, I know. Because of personal experiences with Taurus and Rossi, I will never again own any product they make. But I will continue to own products with positive track records. The SR series Rugers are some of them.

    As an Army ordnanceman, I've repaired everything the Army owned, 4.2" in caliber and less. The most fragile weapon I've ever encountered, and by a huge margin the weapon I've performed the most repairs on is the M-16 class of weapons. I hated them, and I vowed to never own one as a civilian. I held that grudge for a lot of years, but recently I decided I better have one. Bought one brand new, and it had miserable issues that I was unable to correct even with my extensive ordnance training, without spending a bunch of my own money. Sent it back to the factory, and they repaired it. It's been fine ever since. I know an M-16/M-4's weaknesses and limitations, but I'm now really enjoying my M-4 more than I ever thought possible.

    The second most repaired gun while I was in small arms repair? The 1911. But ironically, my all time favorite and most trusted semi auto. Go figure.

    WAYNO.
     
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  9. SynapticSilence

    SynapticSilence Battle Ground, WA Well-Known Member

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    I understand what you're saying. I rotate through handguns like crazy, something that I consider part of the great fun of the sport of shooting. I've had everything from Sigs to Caracals to SCCYs to HKs to Walthers to Bersas and in all the calibers up to .45 ACP, relying on a select few as carry weapons. And I've had failures as well, including the CZ P-07 that I blew up rather spectacularly all by myself in the requisite stupid phase of my early reloading days. But I never had a handgun have a failure that appears to be design related that renders a pistol unshootable that was the result of failure of a commonly stressed part like a slide stop spring whose location and anchor point make it jam the trigger when it fails. For all of that, I also really loved the SRs and hate giving them up, but I just lost my trust in them. I also wasn't trying to tell anyone not to buy one, just put the information out there so people could evaluate it in an informed manner before they buy one, if that's their choice. And, to give Ruger credit, their customer service is next to amazing, as I noted in my original post, not to mention they're one of the only all-American companies remaining. Again, I just lost my faith in this series of pistols for self-defense and was relating what led me to that decision. Thanks for the second perspective, Wayno.
     
  10. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    WAYNO

    All true.

    And I take that into account when I read accounts of various failures.

    But there are different reasons for different failures and the worst ones are those where the cause is something due to a design, which to me generally says that for any mechanism of that design, the failure could happen to any operator of that mechanism (within the parameters of the failure).

    Since manufacturers are always improving/changing their design, it behooves us to know about any changes which might fix previous problems.

    Also, I pay attention to the overall rate of failure and the manufacturers response to customers complaining about the failure.

    If just a few people have a problem but the vast majority don't, and the failure seems to be less with the design than it is maybe quality control or materials, then I may pay it less heed.

    But in this particular case, it seems to be design.

    I decided to get a Kahr PM9 instead of a Kimber Solo due to the number of problems I have heard with the latter - it seemed a good 50% of the owners had problems with them, and Kimber seemed to be poor in their customer service handling these problems.

    I would have preferred the Kimber Solo - it had a nice look to it, and it felt good in my hand, but for the extra cost and reported problems both with the gun and customer service, I decided to go with the Kahr. This is my self-defense handgun for concealed carry, so I want it to be very reliable.
     
  11. WAYNO

    WAYNO Oregon City Gold Supporter Gold Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Ya know, I am a Ruger fan, and spend a bunch of time on rugerforum.com. The slide stop spring issue is absolutely new to me. Took some searching, but it seems to me the problem is pretty remote. I also know that Ruger is first in line to announce a recall when they know of a recurring issue. I've not seen a recall for this issue. And I'm not suggesting the problem doesn't exist.

    I do know that I don't care at all for Glocks. When I read about the serious problems the Portland Police had with their Glock .45's, seems to me that I picked a correct gun to dislike.

    Including me, when we get our mind set to dislike something, it's not likely gonna change. And again including me, when I stand behind a gun in defense of it, I'm not easily gonna be convinced otherwise.:p

    And ya know what else I think? All these new plastic wonder nines and wonder forties, regardless of the maker, are disposable guns. The makers did not switch to plastic because it's better...They switched to plastic because it's cheaper.:s0146:

    I've got a fair number of fifty year old guns that work as perfectly today as they did when they were made. Any bets on how many of these cheap plastic pistols are gonna be around and serviceable in fifty years? We just plain don't know.

    Bottom line...A guy has gotta be trusting and happy with whatever he is carrying.

    And before anybody suggests otherwise, please remember this is a friendly coffee table discussion.:s0082: Please note the emoticons.:s0061:

    WAYNO.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016
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  12. Mbeef61

    Mbeef61 SW PDX Active Member

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    I hear you. I had an sr9. Is was the version just after the recall when they would fire when dropped. I bought it new. Had great ergonomics. Great features. Horrible trigger. I never liked rugers much. Very clunky feel to me. I never liked my dads p89. It was a brick. I sold it for 25 less than I paid to a member here. He likes it. But they have waaay too many issues for me to own one.

    Sigs for me. Or steyrs for plastics.
     
  13. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    I am a Ruger revolver fan, but not their semi's...

    This is one of the many things that only time would tell. I have had a few of these come in for repair, that have had less than 500 rounds thru them.
     
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  14. Rix

    Rix Tacoma Active Member

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    6k plus rounds they my early sr9. No problems yet.
     
  15. Eugenian

    Eugenian United States New Member

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    Just bought a Ruger SR45 this week :rolleyes: , not a round through it yet.

    I'll keep a round count and see if/when the failure occurs. Fortunately this isn't my first choice for a self-defence gun. Thanks for the heads-up.
     
  16. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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  17. Rix

    Rix Tacoma Active Member

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    Most of those recalls are really old (I bought an early sr9 a few months after they came out and recall was already done)
    This is the first I've heard of this problem too.
    I'll keep shooting it.
     
  18. Iceman04503

    Iceman04503 Portland, or Active Member

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    Ive own a sr9c for over 2 years with over 10000 rounds through it and i havent had a single problem. It was my first gun and my carry gun and i trust it completely. Ive also owned 2 sr22 pistols and a gp100 and not a single problem with those either. Once its time to retire this sr9c i think ill pick up another.
     
  19. SynapticSilence

    SynapticSilence Battle Ground, WA Well-Known Member

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    I've owned a Ruger Mark III Hunter, a 22/45, and an SP101 .357. All terrific guns. I have no intention of slamming them as a manufacturer. I did, however, get what anyone would consider a lemon, especially given the barrel replacement. And I stress again that it was the catastrophic nature of the slide stop spring failure that makes me question the overall design when and if it occurs, which it may never do in someone else's pistol. But it did in mine and in others' SRs with the same result of rendering it unshootable. Which is why I made the decision that they weren't for me. Everyone else has to assess what I wrote and decide for himself or herself. I think withholding what I experienced would have been irresponsible, ergo my post.
     
  20. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    I have 2 minis, two 10/22s, an LCP, and a 22/45. So not bashing, but the gun in question could get a defender hurt, and that's unacceptable