LC9 vs LC380 Recoil Springs

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Skinnedknuckles

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Messages
68
I understand from a review I read that the LC380 is an LC9, just with a different barrel and recoil spring and a modified LC9 magazine. If this is so, does anyone know how much different the recoil spring might be.

My reason for asking is the possibility of loading lower power (.380 ACP level) handloads in 9 X 19 brass for a lower recoiling practice/training round for the LC9. I haven't done this before because of the anticipated FTE problems a low power round would cause, but if there was a ".380 strength" standard recoil spring available from the LC380 it would seem possible.

Right now, I've gone the other way by installing the Galloway 20# spring to replace the factory 16# spring, but even with the stronger spring the LC9 still flings the brass all over the place with relatively mild reloads. Maybe the 16# spring would allow the gun to function properly with 9 mm rounds downloaded to .380 specifications?

Does this make any sense?
 

groberts

Single-Sixer
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Apr 21, 2013
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Somewhere it's warm
I can't tell you the difference but yes, the recoil springs (2), barrel, slide and magazine are different. And the mag is just a 9mm mag with an insert. I don't know why the slide is different (other than the marking).
 

bada61265

Single-Sixer
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Nov 8, 2009
Messages
105
Location
Moline Illinois
the barrel hood over the chamber and or the ejection port is probubly shorter in the 380 version.
as to reloads and light loads all you can do is try it. 380 springs might be the ticket on reduced loads. getting a reduced weight spring for the 9mm and clipping a coil or two might also help. this is in the area of things you do with a range gun only, not for cc or home defense.
 

Trucker

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 7, 2013
Messages
203
Skinnedknuckles said:
My reason for asking is the possibility of loading lower power (.380 ACP level) handloads in 9 X 19 brass for a lower recoiling practice/training round for the LC9.

Just in case you are not aware of it, loading below minimums can be EXTREMELY DANGEROUS SINCE DETONATION CAN SOMETIMES RESULT. In other words, you may get your fingers or even your hand blown off ... OR WORSE.

At least that was true back when I was reloading ... but I haven't reloaded for years. Perhaps with the powders they have today that's no longer true. If you know what you're doing I apologize, but I have no way of knowing your level of expertise in reloading is.
 

Skinnedknuckles

Bearcat
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Apr 2, 2012
Messages
68
Trucker said:
Skinnedknuckles said:
My reason for asking is the possibility of loading lower power (.380 ACP level) handloads in 9 X 19 brass for a lower recoiling practice/training round for the LC9.

Just in case you are not aware of it, loading below minimums can be EXTREMELY DANGEROUS SINCE DETONATION CAN SOMETIMES RESULT. In other words, you may get your fingers or even your hand blown off ... OR WORSE.

At least that was true back when I was reloading ... but I haven't reloaded for years. Perhaps with the powders they have today that's no longer true. If you know what you're doing I apologize, but I have no way of knowing your level of expertise in reloading is.

I don't consider myself a reloading expert but I've been loading 9mm and .38 Special/.357 Magnum for a couple of years now. The plan here is to use published .380 powder/bullet combinations but in the slightly longer 9x19 case (like using .38 Special powder/bullet combinations in .357 Magnum brass). Most of the faster pistol powders seem to have a wide range of safe loads, and seem have safety "spike" issues more at the high end than the low end if at all. As I understand from reading reloading books and forums it is the slower burning powders that have the safety issues with light loads. Also case volume usually causes safety issues by being too small (deep seating bullets, for example) than too large. I could always seat the bullet a couple of millimeters further in to make the volume the same.
 

revhigh

Hawkeye
Joined
Aug 31, 2005
Messages
5,590
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Yeah .... Who needs that new-fangled scientific data in loading manuals that was developed by ballistics engineers .... We'll just make $hit up .... It'll probably be OK .... :roll:

REV
 

22/45 Fan

Hunter
Joined
Dec 8, 2001
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Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Trucker said:
Just in case you are not aware of it, loading below minimums can be EXTREMELY DANGEROUS SINCE DETONATION CAN SOMETIMES RESULT. In other words, you may get your fingers or even your hand blown off ... OR WORSE.
That warning was made years ago based on magnum rounds (.357, .41, .44) loaded with reduced charges of very slow powders like WW296, 2400, etc. Even then it was not well documented, mostly just urban legend, but Winchester and others did warn against using reduced loads with these powders.

A couple of years ago, even Winchester noted the warning wasn't needed and that they had not been able to document any "detonation" or other problems with reduced loads of 296.
 

Gearhead Jim

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 11, 2003
Messages
17
Location
Illinois
I would start off with the lightest bullets and loads listed in any of the manuals. Use a fairly fast powder like 231 to avoid unburned powder. If that's still too much recoil, start reducing the charge. If you get short-cycling, it might work to remove only the inner recoil spring for the light loads, be sure to put it back in for full power stuff.

Let us know...
 

Trucker

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 7, 2013
Messages
203
22/45 Fan said:
Trucker said:
Just in case you are not aware of it, loading below minimums can be EXTREMELY DANGEROUS SINCE DETONATION CAN SOMETIMES RESULT. In other words, you may get your fingers or even your hand blown off ... OR WORSE.
That warning was made years ago based on magnum rounds (.357, .41, .44) loaded with reduced charges of very slow powders like WW296, 2400, etc. Even then it was not well documented, mostly just urban legend, but Winchester and others did warn against using reduced loads with these powders.

A couple of years ago, even Winchester noted the warning wasn't needed and that they had not been able to document any "detonation" or other problems with reduced loads of 296.

As I stated, I haven't reloaded for years so all I had to go on was the information I used when I reloaded. Just wanting to keep someone from getting hurt. Thanks for the correction. Good information to know.
 

mohavesam

Hawkeye
Joined
Jan 4, 2004
Messages
5,847
Location
Rugerville, AZ
revhigh said:
Yeah .... Who needs that new-fangled scientific data in loading manuals that was developed by ballistics engineers .... We'll just make $hit up .... It'll probably be OK .... :roll:

REV
I'm with you Rev.
The LC9 and LC380 are belly guns, not all-afternoon plinking guns.
 

Skinnedknuckles

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Messages
68
If anyone is still interested, I did some experimentation on loads using X-Treme's 100 gr plated RNFP bullets and HP-38 (same as Win 231) powder, Winchester SPP, and Federal 9x19 brass at a COAL of 1.032".

Hodgdon lists 5.1 gr as the minimum 9 mm Luger load for a 100 gr FMJ. It lists 3.1 gr as the maximum .380 Auto load for a 100 gr FMJ. I loaded a sample at 4.3 gr since my Lee Powder Measure was set for that for loading 124 gr plated HP. I then loaded samples at 3.8 gr and 3.3 gr for the first round.

4.3 gr in my LC9 cycled OK with the Galloway springs
3.8 gr did not cycle with the Galloway springs but did with the regular springs (one FTE of 4, so it is marginal)
3.3 gr did not cycle with either the regular springs or with just the outer spring from the Galloway set. I didn't try with just the outer spring from the regular set.

For now, I'm going to load a few at 4.0 gr and re-test with the regular springs and hope that will be a reliable soft load. Otherwise I'll keep some on hand with 4.3 gr.

I'm still going to try to purchase an LC380 recoil spring set, but those parts aren't on the Ruger web site yet so I may have to call.

[Edit] One more item of interest. When I got home I noticed the brass looked a little like .357 brass after shooting light Trail Boss loads - sooty near the case mouth and down the outside. This was more evident the lighter the load.

My suspicion is that the brass in 9x19 is thicker than in .380 auto, so the lower pressures don't expand and seal the case to the chamber as quickly and as well as with normal loads. Given that, I think I'll give up on loading down to 380 levels and stop at about the 4.0 gr level which is still a much lower recoil round while still using standard springs.
 

modrifle3

Buckeye
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Jun 12, 2012
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Location
NC
I wouldn't say uncharging is urban legand, but is more relavent in large cases not really non magnum handguns that much.
 
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