I dropped my loaded Ruger LCP.......

I dropped my loaded Ruger LCP.......

This is a discussion on I dropped my loaded Ruger LCP....... within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; because I haven't found a definitive answer whether a loaded LCP, if dropped, would fire. So I decided to try it for myself. With regard ...

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Thread: I dropped my loaded Ruger LCP.......

  1. #1
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    Array ppkheat's Avatar
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    I dropped my loaded Ruger LCP.......

    because I haven't found a definitive answer whether a loaded LCP, if dropped, would fire. So I decided to try it for myself.

    With regard to safety in my test, we pulled the bullets from some .380 ammo and dumped the powder so we only had a primed cartridge case. I loaded it in the barrel and put in a full magazine to replicate the typical loaded weight. I taped a short piece of plastic pipe across the top of the slide, it was set-back a bit to allow only the muzzle to hit without interference from the pipe. I took a smaller diameter piece of plastic pipe about 5 feet long and I put a mark on it preparing for a 4 foot drop. My test would allow the larger pipe, attached to the LCP, to slide barrel first down the smaller pipe to a complete stop. The impact sight was a big piece of pine block sitting on concrete. Part of the top of the pine block was covered with a very thin piece of unpadded boat carpet.

    I sat the end of the long pipe directly straight down on top of the wood block in the area of the carpet. I placed the larger pipe attached to the LCP over the smaller pipe and moved it to the 4 foot mark, with some apprehension I let it go. It slid down the pipe as expected, essentially no resistance, and landed muzzle first and absolutely nothing happened. I could sense the thud of the gun hitting the wood through the carpet.

    I ejected the primed case and closely inspected the primer and there was absolutely no type of light primer strike. I loaded it back in the pistol and pulled the trigger.....the primer fired. I put the full magazine back in the gun and fired all the cartridges without incidence.

    I did the drop test only one time, and I used the solid wooden block with a piece of thin carpet because I like my LCP and really don't want to risk damaging it. I think my one-time test was a pretty realistic accidental drop scenario that anyone might experience. Yes, multiple drop tests on different surfaces, with different ammo brands would be more challenging and definitive, and as much as I'd like to give you a more thorough drop test, I don't want to break my gun

    My test isn't meant to be an endorsement of safety issues with a dropped and loaded LCP. I'm only reporting what happened on this one-time test.

    I've included a photo that shows my test apparatus.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Array luvmyglock's Avatar
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    Cool deal. I just picked up an LCP for my wife yesterday. Good to know that it doesn't go bang unless you pull the trigger.
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    Senior Member Array Hivoltage's Avatar
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    I didn't think Ruger was stupid enough to make a new gun that would shoot if dropped.
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    Distinguished Member Array Chooie's Avatar
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    The Ruger LCP and the KelTec P3AT that it is (roughly) based on both rely on a heavy mainspring to keep the action in place when the gun is not being fired. Because of the heavy weight of the spring, the firing pin and hammer can be made very light, thus giving a greatly reduced chance of inertial fire when dropped. Greatly reduced... but not eliminated, because there is no firing pin block.

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    Senior Member Array Natureboypkr's Avatar
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    Great post
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    But will it shoot underwater, like my Glock?

    More tests needed...
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    Senior Member Array jhh3rd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hivoltage View Post
    I didn't think Ruger was stupid enough to make a new gun that would shoot if dropped.
    See the SR-9 recall.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array Shizzlemah's Avatar
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    And uh what if you drop it with the muzzle UP ?

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    Distinguished Member Array Chooie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shizzlemah View Post
    And uh what if you drop it with the muzzle UP ?
    Nothing, as the firing pin is moving away from the primer. There is so little mass that it cannot overcome the mainspring.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array Shizzlemah's Avatar
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    If the firing pin moves away from the primer, the firing pin spring will drive it home.

    Or if you drop it muzzle up and an object contacts the hammer, such as dropping it on gravel or an uneven surface.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array Rustynuts's Avatar
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    I dropped my loaded P3AT from about 7' onto a hard tile floor. Not sure where on the gun it hit, but didn't fire! Slipped out of my crappy nylon holster as I was reaching to secure it out of reach of the little ones! That was a long fall watching it drop!

  12. #12
    Member Array GingerKid's Avatar
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    Is there not a firing pin block like you find on most striker fired pistols?
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  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array Chooie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shizzlemah View Post
    If the firing pin moves away from the primer, the firing pin spring will drive it home.

    Or if you drop it muzzle up and an object contacts the hammer, such as dropping it on gravel or an uneven surface.
    The firing pin spring holds the pin AWAY from the primer. The hammer is also fully shrouded and is only about 1/8" wide. The muzzle down drop test is to check for inertial movement of the firing pin in opposition to the firing pin spring... on top of that, it must retain enough energy to travel to the breech of the gun and impact the primer hard enough to ignite it. There *have* been reports of folks who have modified the mainspring assembly in P3ATs for a lighter trigger pull that, when drop tested, allow the hammer to move and strike the firing pin hard enough to dent a primer - sometimes hard enough to set it off. With an unmodified gun, however, that should certainly not happen.

    Last edited by Chooie; July 9th, 2008 at 11:30 PM. Reason: just wanted to... expound.

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    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    Great post, and very detailed. I was not that concerned about dropping my LCP, because I knew the firing pin would not have enough mass, but I'm pleased that you actually ran the test! Thanks!
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  15. #15
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    "The Ruger LCP and the KelTec P3AT that it is (roughly) based on..."

    Only roughly?
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