Ruger LC9 Review Update after Trigger Mod

Ruger LC9 9mm

Ruger LC9

The Ruger LC9 9mm is pretty much a copy of the KelTec PF9 but with better fit and finish and better quality.

Ruger LC9 Price – I paid $260.00 for the PF9 and I paid $369.00 for the LC9. I think the added quality of the Ruger makes it worth the extra hundred dollars. You can find the Ruger LC9 for sale at Buds Gun Shop for $339.00 and the Ruger LC9 pistol with Lasermax laser for sale at $399.00. Ruger LC9 prices range from a low of $339 to $399 without the laser.

Ruger LC9 Problems – Each gun has its issues. The PF9 had a cracked slide. I took that opportunity to upgrade to the hard chrome slide and barrel. Right after installing the new slide and barrel the slide stop lever broke.

The only Ruger LC9 problem that I have had with my LC9 pistol was with light strikes. Shooting certain types of ammo can clog the firing pin channel which causes light strikes. I think the problem is with the edges of the firing pin channel. The edges of the channel where the firing pin contacts the primer are sharp. When the spent case is ejected the sharp edge shaves off metal from the primers in Remington Golden Saber and Sellier & Bellot ammunition. The remedy for this is to chamfer the edges of the firing pin channel. Return the LC9 to Ruger and they do this at no cost.

Modified Trigger bar Has Two Holes

Modified LC9 Trigger Bar Has Two Holes

Ruger LC9 Long Trigger Pull – The LC9 has a notoriously long trigger pull that affects my accuracy with the gun. The remedy for the long trigger pull is to practice but I shoot so many different guns that it always takes shooting a few rounds to get accustomed to shooting the LC9 again. My main complaint wasn’t how long the pull was but the break all the way back at the frame. There is a fix that moves the break forward. The first guy to innovate a remedy shortened the trigger bar by cutting it with a hacksaw and welded it back together. The trigger bar ended up about .040 shorter. Then he filed the release tab on the trigger bar a little at a time until it had the desired play. This modification resulted in moving the break forward about 3/8th of an inch which is just what I wanted. So I ordered a trigger bar from MidwayUSA to experiment with. In the mean time while waiting for the back ordered trigger bar to arrive another guy offered a shortened trigger bar for purchase.

The easier way is to order the Galloway trigger bar and hammer. Using the two modified parts moves the break forward by a good 3/8th inch and shortens the reset. The modified drop in replacement trigger bar and hammer require no fitting. The only thing I did was to polish all mating surfaces. The trigger modification turned out great with a very smooth shortened pull with quicker reset.

Ruger LC9 after trigger mod 20rds at 7yds

Ruger LC9 after trigger mod 20rds at 7yds

Ruger LC9 Accuracy – The result of the modification is an LC9 with an outstanding trigger that greatly improved my accuracy. My accuracy now with the LC9 is easy 3 inch groups at 7 yards.

The only negative I have now with the LC9 is shooting comfort. It isn’t a gun that you would want to shoot all day. The discomfort is not near as bad as the KelTec PF9 but is enough to start feeling it after 50 rounds or so. The PF9 gives that feeling after shooting 5 rounds.

Ruger LC9 Jams – One important positive characteristic about my Ruger LC9 is that I can’t remember ever experiencing a jam as in failure to eject or failure to feed. The only problem was the light strikes and that only occurred when shooting Remington Golden Saber and Sellier & Bellot. Now I only shoot American Eagle and Federal Classic Hi-Shok JHP and have had zero malfunctions since. Shooting that ammunition and the trigger mod makes the Ruger LC9 a formidable small 9mm for concealed carry.

Ruger LC9 Accessories – The LC9 Ruger really doesn’t need much in the way of extras. You can find Ruger LC9 night sights. There are lots of holsters available, an add on laser, and the LC9 magazine extension that adds room for the pinky but does not add extra capacity.

Ruger LC9 Magazines – The LC9 comes with only one magazine but has two base plates, one flat and one pinky extension. You can find additional Ruger LC9 magazines for sale directly from Ruger, and at MidwayUSA.

Ruger LC9 Laser – Another feature of the LC9 is the easy addition of the Lasermax laser. It is a good looking streamlined addition to the LC9. I haven’t shot the LC9 with Lasermax yet but it looks like I will have to change my grip to use it. My standard grip will block the laser beam. There is also a Ruger LC9 Crimson Trace laser available from Crimson Trace.

Ruger LC9 Holster – Another benefit of the LC9 Ruger is the large number of Ruger LC9 holsters that are available. There are Ruger LC9 pocket holsters, Ruger LC9 IWB holsters, LC9 OWB holsters, and just about any style and price holster you could want.

The following manufacturers each provide several styles of Ruger LC9 holsters.

  • Fobus
  • Blackhawk
  • Triple K
  • Mitch Rosen
  • Galco
  • DeSantis
  • Uncle Mikes
  • Remora
  • Comp-Tac

Ruger LC9 Specs

  • Overall Length – 6.00″
  • Width – .9″
  • Heigth – 4.5″
  • Weight – 17.1 oz
  • Capacity = 7 + 1
  • Barrel Length – 3.12″
  • Sights – 3 dot adjustable

The Ruger LC9 trigger mod makes a huge difference in accuracy. The trigger pull is smooth, short, and breaks well forward. Reset is also quicker.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • cebur19 Mar 26, 2013, 10:35 am

    Thanks DogBait, you did a great job researching this issue. It stands to reason that mass produced parts have a wider range of parameters. Shortening the hammer travel makes the force supplied by the hammer spring more critical and therefore the hammer spring length has a smaller acceptable range. Thanks again for this valuable information.

  • frank Mar 26, 2013, 1:25 am

    Okay, I have asked Eric Galloway for the proper measurement for the recessed hammer hook (portion of the hammer milled out to accommodate the modified trigger bar for proper reset). It was within specifications. Two months ago, I asked Eric if it could be a weak hammer spring and he insisted that was not the issue! Well, so I measured my hammer spring and it turned out to be > .070″ longer than the stock hammer spring (2.50″). My trigger was down to 5lbs! I am convinced that the light strikes was indeed caused by the bad hammer spring all this time. The reason it showed up after the modification is due to the shorter hammer swing resulting in a lighter strike. For those who have the Galloway modifications and are having issues with light strikes, check these things first. Older firing pin spring (too long), plugged firing pin channel, hammer recessed area too deep, and proper tension on hammer spring. Every pistol is different but don’t take it for granted that every gun has the proper specified parts in the correct working condition. It is also a shame that our country is limited to cheaper Russian ammo due to the ammo shortage. I don’t understand why everyone is so worried about new gun ban laws when we can’t even get ammo for the guns we do own!

  • cebur19 Mar 13, 2013, 2:04 pm

    I’m sorry to hear that Galloway isn’t providing support. I did some searching and found Ruger LC9 Trigger bar, Hammer, and Hammer spring parts at MidwayUSA. I ordered two of each. I plan to use the stock Ruger Hammer with a shortened Trigger bar. This should move the break forward but retain the full travel of the hammer which will eliminate the light strike issue. This method will require some trial and error fitting of the trigger bar to the hammer.

  • Frank Mar 12, 2013, 9:14 pm

    Well, I am done dealing with Eric Galloway for attempting to resolve the light strikes with my LC9. Eric Galloway emailed me informing me to send my modified parts back to him for a full refund. Problem is, the parts are mine that he modified. He admitted to recessing the hammer too deep not allowing enough force for the Tulammo light strikes. I guess I will order a new stock hammer and trigger bar from Ruger. I really thought Eric would back up his work after admitting that he may have gone too deep in the hammer recess. Note to others, if you want this work done from Eric, order a spare hammer and trigger bar first. Really disappointed with Galloway Precision!

  • cebur19 Feb 7, 2013, 10:58 pm

    Here is the link to my post. I describe the mod and at the end there is a link to the article on the Ruger Forum.

  • Frank Feb 7, 2013, 9:44 pm

    Thanks for the info, do you have that guys website? Can you post it? I was interested in doing exactly the same thing.

  • cebur19 Feb 7, 2013, 8:28 pm

    I haven’t shot my LC9 in a year. As I remember I did have issues when shooting Berdan primed ammo like Wolf and Tula. The pistol shot American Eagle and Federal Hy-Shok ammo just fine so I wasn’t overly concerned. During the time right after the trigger mod I investigated the problem somewhat. It is my opinion that the modified hammer is not rotated rearward as much as the unmodified hammer and therefore does not stretch the hammer spring as much. What I wanted to do was use the original hammer with the shortened trigger bar. This would move the break point forward but would provide a stock reset. To do this would require some trial and error fitting of the trigger bar to the hammer. This has already been done by the guy who did the very first shortened trigger bar. I have a post about it with a link to his original article. The modified hammer affects the reset. My main concern with the LC9 was moving the break point forward which the shortened trigger bar does. I believe Galloway states not to use the shortened trigger bar with the stock hammer. Even so, I feel that this can be done but requires some delicate trial and error fitting. If you take off too much material then you could ruin the hammer or the trigger bar, which ever part had the metal removed. Keep me posted. I am interested in learning the remedy.

  • Frank Feb 7, 2013, 6:36 pm

    I watched all of robkarrob11 videos. He is very knowledgeable on the LC9 but I don’t agree with some of his modifications. Bending springs, filing slot in the trigger bar should really be done by a competent gunsmith. His videos has caused a few others to create problems with their guns. I will not give the source of this information but I have spoke with the person who corrected their mistakes. I agree that he does have some good ideas, but only for those that really know what they are doing. Have you tested your LC9 with Tulammo or ammo with berdan primers? I am currently working with Eric Galloway trying to see what is causing the light strikes after using the modified hammer and trigger bar. For a week solid, I read and watched every video about this and I narrowed it down to 1) Blocked firing pin hole due to brass debri 2) firing pin spring too long 3) weak hammer spring. Interesting enough, many guns were returned to Ruger upon request, repaired and returned without explanations. One person said Ruger replaced the slide, which I found strange. Eric is sending a new but slightly different trigger bar, hammer anchor pin and a new hammer. I was hoping for a slightly stronger hammer spring but we will see how this works first. Will keep you guys posted.

  • cebur19 Feb 7, 2013, 2:10 pm

    Check out this YouTube video “Ruger LC9 Trigger Mods Light Hits Problem” by robkarrob11 He has some excellent videos for the LC9 and addresses the light strike issue. I don’t recommend modifying the spring as he suggests but just to watch for information purposes. I would work with Galloway to remedy the light strikes.

  • dogbait Feb 7, 2013, 8:58 am

    I wonder how many LC9 owners who have the Galloway modification are not aware of this problem? I think we are going to see more of this as more steel ammo floods the market.

  • cebur19 Feb 7, 2013, 7:23 am

    I think the hard primers will continue to be a problem because the Galloway hammer does not get pulled back as far as the original. I haven’t had a problem with my LC9 since i stopped using steel case ammo. I stopped buying the steel cased ammo after having several squib problems but that was 45 ACP. Now that the price of ammo is so high I can see the need to use the steel case for practice and plinking. I still have about about 1000 rounds of Tula left and shoot it once in a while but in my other guns. I reload my own ammo now

  • Frank Feb 6, 2013, 6:42 pm

    Thanks, and yes I am aware of Berdan primers needing more pressure to ignite due to their construction. My LC9 had no problems with the Russian ammo (Tulammo) which I think also uses Berdan primers before the Galloway modification (Trigger bar and hammer). Eric sent me a shorter firing pin spring which did help it some. I only had two light strike misfires out of fourteen this time. I also tried the same ammo in my Beretta with no problem. I still suspect my hammer spring is too weak with the shorter pull from the modification. Box primers are no problem as of now. Will keep posting updates.

  • cebur19 Feb 6, 2013, 11:33 am

    OK, that is some important information. I don’t know what brand ammo you used but keep in mind that the eastern European steel case ammo use Berdan primers which are usually harder than American Boxer primers. Thanks for the info.

  • Frank Feb 5, 2013, 11:35 pm

    Just shot my LC9 with the modified Galloway trigger and trigger bar. Before I installed the kit in the pistol, I tested the firing pin using a wooden dowel rod. It would send the dowel rod 6-8 feet up in the air. After, installing the Galloway kit, it sent the dowel rod up only a foot or two. Then took it out to the range where it had 4 out of 6 misfires due to light strikes on the primer. Emailed Eric Galloway is sending a new firing pin spring in hopes this will resolve it. Will let you know

  • cebur19 Jan 24, 2013, 9:45 pm

    Great to hear you got the trigger upgrade parts for your LC9. Go to YouTube and search for this video “Ruger LC9 Trigger Improvements #1” This is the first in a series of detailed videos that will take you step by step through the process. The videos are by robkarrob11 . He has quite a few great videos that will be of value.

  • Ian Jan 24, 2013, 8:58 pm

    Do you have any pictures or advise on what surfaces to polish and how? I have ordered the trigger bar\ hammer rework, 20lb spring with steel guide pin, lighter hammer spring, and RTK trigger. Just want to make sure this little beauty/ life saver preforms as well as possible.
    Thank you in advance.

  • cebur19 Nov 18, 2012, 11:06 pm

    I bought mine directly from the Galloway website. Here is the link.
    let me know how you like it when you get it installed.

  • walt grosman Nov 18, 2012, 6:17 pm

    how can I buy a Galloway trigger kit????

  • mike Jun 30, 2012, 10:28 am

    Thanks for responding. Galloway is out of trigger bars and hammer that is why i was going to try it myself. On the web site is says they do not know when they are getting them in. I will try just modifying the trigger bar and see how it works. I can always buy the hammer when they come in. Thanks again

  • cebur19 Jun 29, 2012, 6:02 pm

    I would have to take my LC9 apart to take pictures of the hammer. Not out of the question but just too busy right now. If you want to do it yourself then I suggest you just shorten the trigger bar by drilling another hole. Then you will have to do several trial assemblies to fit the trigger bar to the hammer. Also, I suggest getting a second trigger bar to experiment with and keep the original to fall back on. I also suggest not modifying the original hammer at all. The amount of metal removed from the hammer is very slight and it would be easy to ruin it.

    Galloway has done an excellent job with his modification. The modified hammer and trigger bar are well worth the price plus he sends an extra roll pin that must be partially driven out to get the spring off the hammer. The additional advantage of using the Galloway parts is that you end up with the original parts so you can always go back if need be.

    The first LC9 owner to modify the trigger actually cut the trigger bar with a hacksaw then welded it back together. He then removed metal from the trigger bar where it contacts the hammer to get it to fit and operate properly. What that shortened trigger bar does is moves the break point forward about 3/8 of an inch. If I am not mistaken I believe the modified hammer just shortens the reset.

  • mike Jun 29, 2012, 4:00 pm

    Modify trigger for Ruger lc9.
    Do you have any accurate pictures of the modified hammer? I watched a video on how to modify the trigger bar but can not find any on the hammer. I would like to do the mods myself.