Friday, December 09, 2016

It must be masochism...

I had a 200-round pack of Winchester USA .380 ammunition lying around and before I could think better of it, loaded it into my range bag to take to Indy Arms Co. to fire the Bodyguard 380 and Ruger LCP II head to head again...

...this time firing a hundred rounds through each gun in one sitting. It was easier with the BG380, since I had seven magazines for it, while I only had the two mags for the Elsie Pea Too. Further, because they hadn't gotten any LCP II magazines in yet at IAC, the second magazine is an original LCP magazine. The two are supposedly interchangeable, with the only real difference being that the original LCP mags won't lock the LCP II's slide open on the last round.

It turns out there was another difference...

Apparently there's just enough difference in the geometry of the follower or feed lips that the 95gr round-nose flat point FMJ rounds would stall out on the feed ramp in a classic failure-to-feed. This happened with the second and third rounds in the LCP mag twice before I realized what was causing it, and so for the rest of the range session I loaded the LCP II mag with the full six rounds and only four in the LCP magazine and the problem never reoccured.

I've been using that magazine for hundreds of rounds of other ammunition and never noticed it, so it's obviously some combination of cartridge overall length and bullet profile that triggers it.

The Bodyguard 380 had a failure to extract on round #26 of the day (#1,429 through the gun). I will note that, while the gun has needed to have the trigger pulled twice to set off some primers (9 out of 100 times on this trip), this is the first FTF or FTE to occur in almost a case and a half of ammo. To say that this exceeded my expectations for an inexpensive plastic pocket pistol with a MIM barrel is an understatement.

The Ruger experienced the aforementioned four Failures-to-Feed, although I wouldn't necessarily count them against the gun, due to the fact that they occurred with a magazine that is not even really for this pistol. There were also four instances of failures to return to battery, on round #20, #55, #91, and #99 of the day (#816, #851, #887, #895 of the test.)

At this point, I am going to give the LCP II at least a cursory cleaning and lubrication. Pocket pistols are not designed with the sort of rigors in mind that service pistols are. It's interesting though, because running bone dry is something a pocket pistol is very likely to have to do. There are literally hundreds of thousands of LCPs in the pockets, purses, and sock drawers of America, coated in dust bunnies, that haven't been lubricated (or fired) in months or even years.

For the LCP II, this makes 896 rounds fired since the gun was last cleaned or lubricated with twelve failures to return to battery (#128, #158, #245, #600, #628, #630, #697, #704, #816, #851, #887, #895) and one failure to feed (#540), plus four failures-to-feed-with-an-asterisk out of the LCP magazine (#798, #799, #809, #810). 1,104 rounds to go.