Lorcin L9 9mm


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GCBurner
May 3, 2012, 07:13 PM
I never thought I'd ever wind up with one of these cheapo 9mm Saturday Night Specials, but I got one, essentially for free, from a friend who's not much into guns, and whose new wife adamantly refuses to have a handgun in the house where her kids might find it. He bought it a few years back, when they were still in production (and he was single), as the cheapest 9mm home defense gun he could find at a gun show. He fired about one mag of ammo through it to see how it worked, and put it away, uncleaned, in a bureau drawer since then. I got the rest of the box of Federal 9mm 115gr FMJ thrown in, too. He didn't know how or where to get rid of it, so I volunteered to take it off his hands, just to keep it from winding up on the street, or in the trash.
It has the brushed chrome finished slide, and didn't look too bad on the outside. I had to look on the Internet for instructions on breaking it down for cleaning, and once I had it apart for inspection, the bore, extractor, and springs looked lightly rusted, due to lack of cleaning and oiling. The pivoting extractor was kind of sticky, and needed some persuasion to latch onto a fired case.
After complete disassembly, a generous helping of Breakfree CLP, and the use of a bronze bore brush and other buffing and polishing materials, it seems to function smoothly.
I took it to the range this afternoon, along with the rest of the Fed FMJ, and tried it out at the 10-yard line to see how it works. It managed to go through three 10-round magazines of ammo without any misfires or failures to feed or eject, and kept all the rounds inside a 10-inch bullseye target, though not in anything I would consider a "group". It looked more like a 30-round pattern of buckshot in a 10" circle, and from the way the paper was torn, a good many rounds looked like they were starting to keyhole when they hit. I noticed the rifling in the barrel seems pretty shallow, maybe even more so after scrubbing out the rust.
Anyway, it now seems like it's functional, and at least semi-reliable. I don't have any real use for it, so it's just going to get properly cleaned and tucked away in the back of the gun safe, for now. If I get the chance to trade it in with a dealer for something I really want, or there is some "gun buyback" program that offers $100 or more for a working handgun, this would be the one I'd choose to use. There seem to be a lot of Lorcins of one type or another out there, but I seldom see any mention of them on THR; I wondered if anybody else has any experience with them?

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Kiln
May 3, 2012, 10:38 PM
I can't way for sure about how long one will last but if it works keep it as a loaner. It is always nice to have a gun to loan out to a family member or friend while they save for something better.

Never give any firearm to a gun buyback. The anti gun community uses the stats from them as propoganda by saying "look how many guns we got off the street, these things are working!".

Also, prepare yourself because there is a high probability that somebody will come along and post "a Lorcin blew my buddy's hand off" or "omg they are teh sux, buy a Glock!"

Onward Allusion
May 3, 2012, 10:50 PM
As crazy as it sounds, I have a fondness for those "Saturday Night Specials". Those were what I started out with when I didn't know any better. Some of them were actually extremely reliable. As for accuracy, they generally shoot like what you'd described. Patterns...

Don't get rid of it in a gun buy back. Save it with a box of cartridges for a rainy day 'cause it can be used as barter.

GCBurner
May 4, 2012, 12:39 AM
I can't way for sure about how long one will last but if it works keep it as a loaner. It is always nice to have a gun to loan out to a family member or friend while they save for something better.

Never give any firearm to a gun buyback. The anti gun community uses the stats from them as propoganda by saying "look how many guns we got off the street, these things are working!".

Also, prepare yourself because there is a high probability that somebody will come along and post "a Lorcin blew my buddy's hand off" or "omg they are teh sux, buy a Glock!"
It was lawsuits like this one http://www.gunweek.com/2000/lorcin.html that drove Lorcin out of business. I think they were insane to set up a gun manufacturing business in California, of all places. The simple design is actually rather clever, and doesn't require a lot of complex fitting and finishing, or highly skilled labor for manufacturing, which kept production costs and selling prices very low. The L9 is a straight-blowback pistol, with a really massive slide to handle the 9mm Luger cartridge, which makes the gun pretty heavy, but it's not too badly balanced. The huge slide makes it too big to fit in any holster I've got, so I won't be carrying it anywhere except in a case. Other than the size and weight, and indifferent accuracy, the only design drawback I don't like is that the slide doesn't lock back when the mag is empty, and there's no way to lock it back manually.

Kiln
May 4, 2012, 01:34 AM
Yeah it is kind of like how Bryco was shut down because an idiot babysitter shot someone in the face with one, then the media comes in and makes it the gun maker's fault just because their gun was there.

Orlin
May 4, 2012, 09:03 AM
I have one too. So far, I have put about 300 FMJ rounds through it and have only had a few FTEs. The rifling in mine is also shallow. I use mine as a plinker.

GCBurner
May 4, 2012, 10:58 AM
I have one too. So far, I have put about 300 FMJ rounds through it and have only had a few FTEs. The rifling in mine is also shallow. I use mine as a plinker.
From my experience, I don't think I could count on hitting a beer can consistently enough at 10 yards to make it a satisfactory plinker, but it's "minute of 10-inch plate" enough to be a defensive weapon at that range.
One thing about the design that hearkens back to the early Browning blowback pocket pistols is that the firing pin also serves as the ejector. This isn't seen as particularly safe nowadays, as smartly ejecting a loaded round subjects the primer to impact from the firing pin with the breech fully open, and a broken firing pin jammed in the forward position could possibly make the pistol go full-auto. That's something to look at when cleaning one of these.

Orlin
May 4, 2012, 11:11 AM
Good point. Someone once told me that the firing pin could strike an unfired round during extraction, but I never considered a broken firing pin could make it go full auto.

This isn't seen as particularly safe nowadays, as smartly ejecting a loaded round subjects the primer to impact from the firing pin with the breech fully open, and a broken firing pin jammed in the forward position could possibly make the pistol go full-auto. That's something to look at when cleaning one of these.

OARNGESI
May 4, 2012, 07:35 PM
i collecet sns guns too most of them have been fairly reliable with ok accuracy. the main problem is the lifespan of the firearm, but these were never meant to be range guns with thousnds of rounds down range.

ApacheCoTodd
May 4, 2012, 08:31 PM
It was lawsuits like this one http://www.gunweek.com/2000/lorcin.html that drove Lorcin out of business. I think they were insane to set up a gun manufacturing business in California, of all places. The simple design is actually rather clever, and doesn't require a lot of complex fitting and finishing, or highly skilled labor for manufacturing, which kept production costs and selling prices very low. The L9 is a straight-blowback pistol, with a really massive slide to handle the 9mm Luger cartridge, which makes the gun pretty heavy, but it's not too badly balanced. The huge slide makes it too big to fit in any holster I've got, so I won't be carrying it anywhere except in a case. Other than the size and weight, and indifferent accuracy, the only design drawback I don't like is that the slide doesn't lock back when the mag is empty, and there's no way to lock it back manually.
Yup, and the full wall painted ads on some gun shops in the L.A. area for these and Ravens screaming in huge block letters: "***cal auto - $99.95" or 109.95 and such didn't help either.

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