Ruger LC9 Review With LaserMax
Part 1 - Introduction, Specifications and Summary
March 25, 2012

In January of 2011, Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (Ruger) announced the addition of a compact 9mm pistol called the LC9 to their line of centerfire pistols.  The Ruger LC9 can be considered the big brother to the popular Ruger LCP with the LC9 giving a substantial increase in muzzle energy (about 66% more) by being chambered in the 9mm Luger cartridge compared to the .380 Auto for the LCP.   Yet, the Ruger LC9 is still clearly a compact pistol.   Although I was very tempted to get an LC9 for a review last year, for some reason I never got around to reviewing this compact 9mm pistol.  In November of 2011, LaserMax announced the launch of their new CenterFire laser series with the first models being designed specifically for the Ruger LC9 and LCP pistols.  Ruger now offers these pistol and laser combos as a new models for both the LC9 and LCP Pistols.  For me, the combination of a true compact 9mm pistol from Ruger and the addition of the new LaserMax CenterFire lasers made the Ruger LC9 With LaserMax Pistol a "must review" for 2012.

The Ruger LC9 Pistol with LaserMax is basically a double action only, hammer fired, locked breech compact 9mm pistol that incorporates a red laser below the barrel which is attached to the trigger guard.  MSRP on the LC9 with LaserMax (Model LC9-LM) is $525 based on the Ruger website.  Fortunately, you can find this pistol online for between $375 and $425.  You will probably find it at your local gun store for closer to the $425 amount.

 

During my reviews I like to compare my results to the manufacturers claims where possible so the following text in colored italics was taken directly from the Ruger website on 2/25/12 and gives an Overview, Key Features, and Specifications for the Ruger LC9 Pistol With LaserMax.  The , and are my way to keep up with details that I have covered in this review with either photos, commentary or both.  I may also add commentary after these marks as necessary to explain some items if needed.

Overview

  • The LC9 is a double-action-only, hammer-fired, locked-breech pistol with a smooth trigger pull.
  • Control and confident handling of the Ruger LC9 are accomplished through reduced recoil and aggressive frame checkering for a positive grip in all conditions.
  • The Ruger LC9 features smooth "melted" edges for ease of holstering, carrying and drawing.

Key Features

  • COMPACT, the LC9 is just slightly larger (less than 1" in both height and length) than the popular LCP.
  • RUGGED CONSTRUCTION with blued, through-hardened alloy steel slide and black, one-piece high-performance, glass-filled nylon grip frame.
  • DOVETAILED, HIGH VISIBILITY 3-DOT SIGHT SYSTEM with windage-adjustable rear sight and fixed front sight.
  • CHECKERED GRIP FRAME provides a secure and comfortable grip.
  • FINGER GRIP EXTENSION FLOORPLATE can be added to the magazine for comfort and grip.
  • SAFETY FEATURES include internal lock, manual safety, magazine safety and loaded chamber indicator which provides visual and tactile indication that chamber is loaded.
  • LASERMAX CENTERFIRED LASER model features factory fitted trigger-guard-mounted red diode laser.
  • ALSO INCLUDES: soft case.

Specification

  • Catalog Number: LC9-LM
  • Model Number: 3206
  • Caliber: 9mm Luger +P capable but on a limited basis if you want your pistol to last, see the Instruction Manual.
  • Slide Material: Through-Hardened Alloy Steel
  • Slide Finish: Blued
  • Barrel Material: Alloy Steel
  • Barrel Finish: Blued
  • Barrel Length: 3.12"
  • Length: 6.00"
  • Width: 0.90" 0.90" is across the frame/slide.  The width across the widest point on the grip is 0.97" and the width across the frame including the manual safety was 1.05".
  • Height: 4.50" The pistol measured 4.46" in height with the flat floor plate and 4.91" with the finger extension floor plate.
  • Weight: 17.60 oz. The review pistol actually weighed in at 17.85 ounces.
  • Sights: Adjustable 3-Dot/LaserMax CenterFire™
  • Capacity: 7+1
  • Grip Frame: Black, High Performance, Glass-Filled Nylon
  • Twist: 1:10" RH
  • Grooves: 6
  • MA Approved & Certified: No
  • CA Approved: Yes
  • Suggested Retail: $525.00 You can find this pistol online for between $375 and $425

This review is broken down into multiple parts with this page providing links to each part along with an overall summary of the specifications, pros and cons, and my final "bottom line" comments.  Make sure you take time to checkout the other parts of the review because they contain many photos and lots of commentary.  Also, there is an extreme amount of detail in those parts which is not covered on this page.

As you read these Pros and Cons below, keep in mind that it is hard to keep my particular preferences from creeping in the equation.  Therefore, it is important that you take the time to look at the other parts of this review so you can decide yourself on items which may be more of a personal preference.

Pros:

  • 9mm +P capable on a limited basis to maintain good endurance life of the pistol.  Practice with regular ammunition and then load up with +P to carry or have on hand.
  • This version comes with the LaserMax CenterFire Laser that makes aiming fast, simple and possible with very little light.  Also this is a big plus for those who may not be as skilled with regular sights.
  • Light weight, thin, compact.
  • Overall I feel disassembly is very simple. Reassembly, basically the reverse of disassembly, was also simple and I liked the tight firm fit that the LaserMax assembly has on the trigger guard.
  • It has the accuracy capable of being a real carry pistol and has been 100% reliable with every type of ammunition I have put through the pistol.

Pro/Con/Comments (you decide)?:

  • For safety features, the LC9 has a loaded chamber indicator, internal lock with key, manual safety, firing pin safety, and magazine safety.  Each person has their own preferences with safety mechanisms and mine tend to be on the conservative side so I consider all the safety features in the LC9 to be either good or of no negative consequence.
  • Trigger pull was smooth at an average of 6.9 pounds.  The trigger pull length seems a little long, but it is manageable with practice.
  • With the Ruger LC9 disassembled to the normal level for cleaning, the mechanisms seem very simple and Ruger did a nice job of keeping a simple appearance.
  • The LaserMax CenterFire laser is a great addition that is very appealing to less trained shooter when it comes to aiming, but the bottom line is that you still need to have good form and trigger control to be able to put your rounds on target.

Cons:

  • The pistol comes with only one magazine.
  • The only thing I didn't like on disassembly was that you need a tool to press out the takedown pin and once out the pin becomes a small loose part.

 

Bottom Line:

The Ruger LC9 with LaserMax Pistol is a quality pistol just like you would expect from Ruger.  It was accurate and reliable which is something you would want with a self defense pistol.  It being capable of 9mm +P ammunition adds to it's stopping power.  Although the trigger pull may seem a little long, the trigger pull was not something that I would consider a deal breaker when making a decision on your next pistol.  The addition of the LaserMax gives the LC9 "low to no" light capability and helps to make aiming simple.  A word of warning, a laser should never be a substitute for learning how to shoot the iron sight, and if you want to hit your target even with a laser you will need to practice so you have the skills and trigger control to do so.  If you are in the market for this type of pistol, I recommend you take a close look at the Ruger LC9 the next time you are at the gun store.


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