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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:43 am 
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Bearcat

Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:56 am
Posts: 20
Location: North Alabama
So far I have run 500+ rounds through my LC9 and have found it to be reliable and fun to shoot. However, it was not the most accurate pistol. I didn't expect it to be a target pistol but felt it could do better. As anyone who has ever shot the LC9 knows the trigger pull is very long. It is my opinion that the long pull combined with the fact that it breaks so close to the grip that make it hard to keep on target. With such a short sight radius any slight movement can place a shot way off target.

The modifications described below shortened the trigger pull on my LC9 by ~.250” while making the trigger slightly lighter and moved the “break” forward by ~.300”. This did not technically make the weapon more accurate. What it did was to make it easier for me to shoot accurately from a hand held stance. My groups went from around 8-10” @ 20ft to around 5-6” with less “fly aways”.

After close examination I noticed 3 areas of the LC9 that affect accuracy in a negative way and/or contribute to the long trigger stroke and deep break.

1) The trigger/trigger pivot interface has a lot of tolerance.
2) The firing pin blocker release causes the slide to move upward about 0.020" in the rear just before firing. It’s like a twitch right when the weapon fires.
3) The trigger pull is long and deep which makes it difficult to keep on target during the full stroke. The farther my finger has to move the harder it is to keep my hand perfectly still.

This is what I did to address these issues. These are rather serious modifications and should only be attempted by anyone who possess the necessary skills and is willing to accept all responsibility. They are only a description of what I did to achieve these results. I don’t desire to get into a discussion of the pro’s and con’s of the modifications. One must be competent to completely disassemble the LC9 to achieve satisfactory results.

1) The trigger (#3) is connected to the trigger pivot (#2) by a pin (#13). The hole in the pivot is over size allowing the trigger to wiggle side to side and front to back. I drilled the hole in the trigger oversize to accept a larger pin (.090”). This firmed up the trigger a lot. While there is still some movement it is not nearly as much.

2) The blocker lever (#9) contacts the firing pin blocker (#32) raising it just before firing. This causes the slide to move upward in the back right when the hammer is released. I removed the blocker lever and spring (#9 & 21) and replaced them with a flat washer of the same thickness. I also removed the firing pin blocker, pawl and spring (#32, 36 & 37) from the slide. The rear sight (#38) must be removed for this operation. Another benefit of this is that there is a “stack up” of these springs when pulling the trigger. Removing them made the trigger pull a little lighter and kept the resistance consistent for the full stroke.

3) The trigger bar (#5) has about .040” take up before it contacts the hammer (#6). This translates to about .250” of movement at the trigger tip. I sectioned the trigger bar by cutting it right in the middle of the straight section and welding it back together. I found that a standard hack saw blade removed the perfect amount of length. This then allowed me to file fit the tab at the bottom to achieve the minimum amount of free play. I presume that each LC9 would need to be evaluated to determine the exact amount the trigger bar would need to be shortened. But regardless, it’s the file fit that gives the “right” amount of free play.

Modification #3 had the most effect. The trigger’s at-rest position moved forward by ~.050” and the stroke shortened by ~.250”. This moved the break point forward by ~.300”! While I had the frame insert out I went ahead and removed the magazine disconnect and spring (#11 & 12). This had no affect on the trigger’s action but I wanted to remove it anyway. All together these changes made the trigger silky smooth, slightly lighter, and most importantly, shortened the trigger pull and moved the break point. I attribute most of the improvement in accuracy to the more-forward break position of the trigger. Since the trigger travel is less it allows me to keep the weapon aimed more consistently. I have only shot 150 rounds since the modifications but see no ill affects and am confidant my weld will hold for the life of the weapon. Ruger did a great job with the LC9. I feel that all my modification did was to remove some “legislative” features and tighten up normal manufacturing tolerances. I have made a call to Arthur at Ghost Trigger to see if he will consider supplying a shorter trigger bar for anyone who may want to make this modifications but unable to do it as described. I will keep you posted…


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:35 am 
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Single-Sixer

Joined: Sun May 24, 2009 10:33 am
Posts: 164
Location: Aville NC
Nice work. Nice write up.
You will dig the stainless unit we have in testing phase. One piece no welds. It will require fitting.

_________________
SR9 SR40 and SR9c/40c performance parts source
LC9 performance parts source
www.gallowayprecision.com
eric@gallowayprecision.com


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:08 pm 
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Bearcat

Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:56 am
Posts: 20
Location: North Alabama
Egalloway wrote:
Nice work. Nice write up.
You will dig the stainless unit we have in testing phase. One piece no welds. It will require fitting.

Look forward to it. I believe you could play with the "ramp" profile too and affect the break point in addition to removing the take up play. "Fitting" is the only way I see to make it work on a variety of pistols due to manufacturing tolerances. The trigger stroke could be shortened, lightened or a combination to suit individuals' desires.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:17 pm 
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Bearcat

Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:12 pm
Posts: 29
First of all, great write-up. Thanks for sharing. Would have been nice to have pictures, but I'm sure you weren't thinking about a write-up at the time you were doing mods.

I have a couple questions, and I'm not very familiar with the inner-workings, so please excuse.

antman6957 wrote:
1) The trigger (#3) is connected to the trigger pivot (#2) by a pin (#13). The hole in the pivot is over size allowing the trigger to wiggle side to side and front to back. I drilled the hole in the trigger oversize to accept a larger pin (.090”). This firmed up the trigger a lot. While there is still some movement it is not nearly as much.


What size drill did you use, and where could I find the oversize pin?

antman6957 wrote:
2) The blocker lever (#9) contacts the firing pin blocker (#32) raising it just before firing. This causes the slide to move upward in the back right when the hammer is released. I removed the blocker lever and spring (#9 & 21) and replaced them with a flat washer of the same thickness. I also removed the firing pin blocker, pawl and spring (#32, 36 & 37) from the slide. The rear sight (#38) must be removed for this operation. Another benefit of this is that there is a “stack up” of these springs when pulling the trigger. Removing them made the trigger pull a little lighter and kept the resistance consistent for the full stroke.


So effectively you've now disabled the safety feature that prevents the gun from firing when dropped, correct? If so, had you only removed did the first part (replacing 9 and 21 with a washer) would that possibly have kept that feature intact and still helped?


antman6957 wrote:
I have made a call to Arthur at Ghost Trigger to see if he will consider supplying a shorter trigger bar for anyone who may want to make this modifications but unable to do it as described. I will keep you posted…


I look forward to hearing about progress on this.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:08 am 
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Bearcat

Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:56 am
Posts: 20
Location: North Alabama
Bigcarlover wrote:
First of all, great write-up. Thanks for sharing. Would have been nice to have pictures, but I'm sure you weren't thinking about a write-up at the time you were doing mods.

I have a couple questions, and I'm not very familiar with the inner-workings, so please excuse.

antman6957 wrote:
1) The trigger (#3) is connected to the trigger pivot (#2) by a pin (#13). The hole in the pivot is over size allowing the trigger to wiggle side to side and front to back. I drilled the hole in the trigger oversize to accept a larger pin (.090”). This firmed up the trigger a lot. While there is still some movement it is not nearly as much.


What size drill did you use, and where could I find the oversize pin?

antman6957 wrote:
2) The blocker lever (#9) contacts the firing pin blocker (#32) raising it just before firing. This causes the slide to move upward in the back right when the hammer is released. I removed the blocker lever and spring (#9 & 21) and replaced them with a flat washer of the same thickness. I also removed the firing pin blocker, pawl and spring (#32, 36 & 37) from the slide. The rear sight (#38) must be removed for this operation. Another benefit of this is that there is a “stack up” of these springs when pulling the trigger. Removing them made the trigger pull a little lighter and kept the resistance consistent for the full stroke.


So effectively you've now disabled the safety feature that prevents the gun from firing when dropped, correct? If so, had you only removed did the first part (replacing 9 and 21 with a washer) would that possibly have kept that feature intact and still helped?


antman6957 wrote:
I have made a call to Arthur at Ghost Trigger to see if he will consider supplying a shorter trigger bar for anyone who may want to make this modifications but unable to do it as described. I will keep you posted…


I look forward to hearing about progress on this.


Believe it or not this was the most tedious of the mods. I will need to check to be positive but I believe it was a #42 drill. The drill actuall broke during the reaming process so I simply cut and ground the shank of the drill and used it for the pin. I am certian a roll pin could be located in an appropriate size from hardware/automotive retailers. Just use the hole in the pivot as a guide.

Yes, I disabled this feature. It is a personal call of course. If only the blocker lever and spring were removed then the gun would not fire since there would be no means of raising the blocker from the firing pin. BTW this is a minor improvement so I wouldn't do it if this concerns you.

No relpy from Ghost yet. However, see the above post from Eric at Galloway Precision. He is close to having a drop in (& file fit) trigger bar ready. I told him I want to test one ASAP and I am certian he will make it widely know when it is available to the general public. Check his site as there are other great products for the LC9 now.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:21 pm 
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Bearcat

Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:12 pm
Posts: 29
Sounds like #1 might not be worth the effort? Do #3 and get about 80% of the benefits?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:18 pm 
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Bearcat

Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:56 am
Posts: 20
Location: North Alabama
Bigcarlover wrote:
Sounds like #1 might not be worth the effort? Do #3 and get about 80% of the benefits?

Yep.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:15 am 
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Buckeye

Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 2:01 am
Posts: 1380
Location: Massachusetts
Wonderful.

But what do you do when the gun inadvertently goes "Full Auto?" :roll:


A.W.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:07 pm 
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Single-Sixer

Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:35 pm
Posts: 209
antman6957, loved the write up. A few weeks ago I modified my LC9 and my Buddy's LC9 to remove the grit from the last trigger motion...as you pointed out...caused by the firing pin block assembly. I didn't remove the lever but did remove the three blocker pieces. WOW! What an improvement on the smoothness and the overall accuracy of the guns. I don't have a problem with the pull length...sort of a safety factor.

Here's two things I also did.

I shortened the hammer spring pull by replacing the pin with a V shaped pin (made of very heavy paperclip wire). That lightened the pull from about 9-10 lbs to a nice 6 lbs. Don't want it lighter. However, I had to change the firing pin spring from it's factory 4 lbs to about 1 lb to prevent light strikes. I found a spring in an old ballpoint pen that was a perfect fit accept for length. I had to stretch it out a little and so far it's holding it's length after several hundered rounds of shooting. I have a Kel Tec P32 firing pin spring, about 2.5 lbs, standing by in case it's needed.

Regarding a comment about dropped firings...The gun is effectively the same as an LCP, PF9, and several other guns in this hammer class without pin blocks. They don't fire when dropped.

Again, thanks for other hints. When time permits I'm going to try those as well.

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Thanks,
George


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 5:59 pm 
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Hunter
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Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:51 pm
Posts: 3694
Location: Chicago, IL
GeorgeP wrote:
Regarding a comment about dropped firings...The gun is effectively the same as an LCP, PF9, and several other guns in this hammer class without pin blocks. They don't fire when dropped.


I believe the LCP was recalled for it being possible to do exactly that.

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The Red Ball Jet doesn't miss, wanna go, how much ya got?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:15 am 
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Bearcat

Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:56 am
Posts: 20
Location: North Alabama
Anthony Williams wrote:
Wonderful.

But what do you do when the gun inadvertently goes "Full Auto?" :roll:


A.W.


Don't see how this would be likely.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:17 pm 
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Single-Sixer

Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:35 pm
Posts: 209
antman6957 wrote:
Anthony Williams wrote:
Wonderful.

But what do you do when the gun inadvertently goes "Full Auto?" :roll:


A.W.


Don't see how this would be likely.


Can't because the slide puts the hammer in a 1/2 cocked position well away from the firing pin. Look at the hammer from the rear. So the hammer is 1/2 cocked and latched before the next round is chambered. The firing pin is still returned the back of the channel by spring tension, albeit only 1 lb at this time. After this week's firing test at the range I'll likely put the 2 lbs spring in the gun.

I have a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380 that I can't remove the pin block because the hammer doesn't get cocked by the slide and rides against the blocked firing pin. This is how S&W implemented the DAO with double strike capability. My Tauras guns use the best of both worlds, 1/2 cock hammers and have double strike.

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Thanks,
George


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:28 pm 
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Bearcat

Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:12 pm
Posts: 29
One a scale of 1 to 10

1 being "I'm lucky if the gun still works after I clean it" and 10 being "I converted my LCP into a AR15 with a mig welder, plasma cutter and some scrap metal"

How difficult would replacing a trigger bar with a file fit version be?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:59 pm 
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Hunter
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Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:51 pm
Posts: 3694
Location: Chicago, IL
George, the LCP was recalled because it was possible for the gun to fire from the half cock if it was dropped.

I'm not privy to the fix that they employed but my guess is they made the latch of the hammer a bit more solid in half cock.

The LC9 was designed from the git go with a firing pin block, the half cock latch may not be as aggresive on this gun because of this.

I would really ask somebody from Ruger what could happen if the block is removed or other mods are done on the pistol's firing system.

Equating one design over to another is not a good idea at all.

I guess someone could cough up with the cash to have this and other mods like this tested by a certified independent lab, probably a couple of thousand dollars or so.

...or just get sued when things go bad.

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The Red Ball Jet doesn't miss, wanna go, how much ya got?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:06 pm 
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Blackhawk
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Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 1:01 am
Posts: 512
Location: TX
I applaud the effort, but with all these mods aren't some concern with liability issues were you to have to use your pistol for self defense?

I wish the LC9 trigger was better also, with mine I keep getting the first two rounds close but by the time I fire a third shot its jumps out to ruin my groups.

20 yards
Image

Image[/img]


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