View Full Version : Help! Ruger P-94 slide will NOT come off.

December 30, 2004, 01:14 AM
I have owned a Ruger P-94 for years, and recently received a new guide rod and recoil spring from Ruger to fix a problem I posted about on this Rugerforum thread (http://www.rugerforum.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/004097.html).

I went to install the rod and spring, and the slide will not come off. I have disassembled the pistol many times, and even reviewed the steps in the manual. Slide went back, ejector was locked down and forward, index marks aligned, slide stop out FULLY until it clicked, and... nothing. The slide simply will not come off. I tried it many times, and did everything up to and including gentle but firm taps with a plastic bar, but it's on there as solidly as when the pistol is in full battery. It won't go forward at all.

Is there any small trick known to some guru that will allow me to remove the slide, or do I need to ship the pistol back to Ruger? And if it needs a trip back home, does Ruger typically spring for the return shipping? I hope it doesn't come to that, and that there is indeed something I can do here.

Thanks for your help!

(I did post this on Rugerforum too, but TFL gets many more replies.)

Sir William
December 31, 2004, 12:53 AM
Did you TRIPLE check to assure it is unloaded? Is the magazine out of the pistol? Can you pull the slide to the rear?

James K
December 31, 2004, 03:30 PM
I suggest calling Ruger (after the holiday, of course) and talking to them. If they can't help over the phone, they may send you a return label and pay shipping both ways.


December 31, 2004, 04:55 PM
Sir William,

I always remove all ammo whenever cleaning or disassembling a pistol, and put it away in a separate room. Or in this case, inside the house, as I was working on the pistol outside. On top of that, I did triple check to make sure there wasn't anything in the bore, or a chunk of brass jammed someplace, etc.

To disassemble the P-94, like other P-series Rugers, the magazine MUST be out so that the ejector can be locked forward and down. Without the ejector in this position, the pistol won't come apart, so that is the first step in disassembly after locking the slide open.

I can indeed pull the slide rearward after the slide stop is removed. At least one person on Rugerforum had a similar problem once, and had to pull the slide back and "slingshot" it off to remove it. I tried that too, to no avail.

I'm stumped. Unless some new suggestion comes along to help me solve this, I'll be calling Ruger next week.

Sir William
December 31, 2004, 09:34 PM
That takes care of the basics. I would contact Ruger and obtain an RA # for return. Sorry it wasn't simple.

December 31, 2004, 09:48 PM
Sorry to hear the slingshooting the slide off didnt work for ya i posted about trying it on thr .. Wonder if the guide rod broke or is jammed up in there ..

Desert Dog
January 1, 2005, 01:00 PM
Or the recoil spring is stuck in the front of the slide. It is the OEM spring? I did this once when I was looking for a heavier spring than 16 lb. for my P90. I didn't measure the diameter of the spring well enough and got a 23 lb. 1911 spring stuck in the '90's slide. I ended up getting it out with a judicious amount of force applied to the back of the slide with a rubber mallet. :eek:

No harm to the gun, but a lesson was learned that day... :(

Good luck.

January 1, 2005, 01:27 PM
Desert Dog,

That may very well be it! I always had trouble with the (factory) recoil spring of this gun shaving the guide rod. (See this Rugerforum thread (http://www.rugerforum.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/004097.html).) Ruger sent me a new rod and spring, agreeing with me that the spring was the problem. So, the one I have in there is definitely suspect, and may be malformed. Your suggestion sounds promising.

So you're saying that the front end of your spring was wedged in the slight gap between guide rod and front of the slide? Hmmm... Was that definitely the cause of your slide sticking? I'm no gunsmith, and was just wondering if that alone would keep the slide from coming off. I hate to go whack my pistol unnecessarily, but then again, at this point, I'm willing to give almost anything a try.

Desert Dog
January 1, 2005, 02:00 PM
I had to take the grips off, mount the frame in my vise (with leather protectors of course) vertically with the muzzle down, push the ejector down, slightly push back and push out the trigger retaining/barrel link pin and start the slide coming off per the procedure, and then whack the top of the slide while pushing down on it to get it off. It scarred the machined spring hole in the slide a little but it cleaned up just fine.

Let me ask you this, when you push forward on the slide after you push down the extractor and push the trigger retaining/barrel link pin out to release the slide is the resistance "springy" or does it just stop like there is mechanical interference?

In my case the slide was springy, so I knew what I did to cause the problem. If the slide movement stops like there is mechanical interference do not try my recommendation, and find a good smith or call Ruger for a pick-up.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.


January 1, 2005, 02:09 PM

Thanks for the detailed reply. Unfortunately, the forward motion of the slide is not springy at all. It stops cold, feeling just as it does when the pistol is fully assembled.

Looks like a call to Ruger is on order for Monday morning...

January 1, 2005, 03:25 PM
Some things to look at:

Pull the slide back and look at the pins under the slide involved in the various safeties. Any of them hanging down?

Try it with the safety on and off.

Make sure the slide stop pin is ACTUALLY all the way to the left.

After the pin is out, is the barrel still all the way up into the slide? Try taking the slide off upside down to insure this.

Could the ejector assembly be bent?

Is the hammer solid, or does it wiggle? The sear pin could have out into the slide. Look inside the open ejection port at the slide rail recesses to see if there are marks. Does the hammer, trigger and safety all work properly? Is the hammer pivot seated (black thing on upper right grip frame)?

If you aren't forgetting something, and all that stuff checks fine, then I'd expect something important is broken, like a frame rail. Don't shoot it.

January 8, 2005, 01:39 AM
I'd like to express my sincere thanks to everyone for their suggestions. I spoke to Ruger, whose customer service is indeed excellent. Colleen agreed that the spring was most likely stuck between the guide rod and the front of the slide. She suggested inserting a jeweler's screwdriver into the small gap between rod and slide, in which the end of the spring was visible, and pushing the spring back, thus releasing the slide. I tried this several times unsuccessfully.

I then thought about a post by Kat65 on Rugerforum (http://www.rugerforum.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/004534.html), in which he described the same problem having been caused by damage to the end collar of the guide rod. I retracted the slide about 3/4" and held it there. Even though I was replacing the guide rod and spring, I covered the end of the rod with a small piece of plastic tubing to avoid scarring it. Then I took a pair of small channel-lock pliers and rotated the guide rod about 1/4 turn. After I did this, the slide came right off!

I think it was a combination of:

1. The spring being on backwards, and/or being malformed. (Remember, from the moment it was purchased new, this pistol chewed up the guide rod, regardless of the orientation of the spring.) This spring doesn't have a pronounced difference between each end. The new one does.

2. The collar of the guide rod is indeed somewhat worn and battered. I believe this is from the defective spring compressing around it during recoil, which both scraped the rod as well as drove it backward.

Rotating the rod must have moved the worn part enough to free up the slide. It also may have dislodged the end of the spring which was stuck.

At last I have a disassembled pistol. I can now finally install the new guide rod and spring.

Again, many thanks to everyone for all your help!