Ruger SR9 Pistol Review
Part 1 - Introduction, Specifications and Summary
January 27, 2013

Ruger SR9 Pistol Review

Back in February of 2011, I performed a review of the Ruger SR9c Pistol.  Since the review, I have really enjoyed shooting the SR9c and it has proven to be accurate and dependable.  Actually, I have enjoyed it so much that I have debated on getting a second one.  The other day while I was preparing for the end of society as we know it, it dawned on me that I need to make it clear to my family which firearms I was going to issue them (my wife specifically) when the bad stuff hits the fan.  I surveyed my collection and decided the Ruger SR9c was the pistol for my wife.  The SR9c is smaller and lighter than a full size pistol, yet has the capability to run high capacity magazines.  It also has an ambidextrous safety which is a must considering she is a lefty.  So, I took the SR9c into the kitchen and said to my wife, "When the shit hits the fan, this is the pistol I'm going to hand you."  The look on her face was priceless and with a combination of concern and enthusiasm she said , "Really?... Can you show me how to work it again?"  I realized two things at that moment.  The first was that I needed to give a feeling of ownership to my entire family so that they can spend more time training with a dedicated firearm rather than just going out and shooting whatever I happened to be reviewing at that time.  My wife is a good shot and is very familiar with firearms, but the subtle operational details of each firearm is something that doesn't stay locked in her memory and it was good to see that she took some ownership in learning the details of "her" pistol. The next thing I realized was that I just lost my rights to the SR9c as a gun for myself in the future.  Hence, the decision to get another one for myself was escalating.  FYI,  about a week later I handed her a Mossberg 930 Tactical Shotgun, told her the same thing and got nearly the same reaction.  I think I will give it a month or so and see how she acts when I issue her an AR.

After pondering whether I should get another SR9c or the full size SR9, I decided to go with the SR9 for several reasons.  The first was the SR9 has a slightly increase in sight radius due to the longer barrel.  Typically an increase sight radius will produce an increased accuracy.  The sight radius difference between the SR9c and SR9 is minimal (~11%), but any benefit is a good thing.  The second was an increased mass at the front of the pistol which should reduce muzzle flip and felt recoil and hopefully increase the chances my next shots would be on target faster.  The next was that the same 17-round magazines will fit either pistol and in today's "gun ban" climate, the value of two high capacity magazines being provided with a firearm shouldn't be overlooked. The last reason was that owning the SR9 would give me a chance to do a detailed review of the Ruger SR9 Pistol.  Once the decision was made, two weeks later I was picking up my Ruger SR9 Pistol at my local gun store Hi Caliber Firearms.  The MSRP on a new SR9 Pistol is $529, but you can find them online or at local stores ranging from about $430 to $490.  The photo below shows the Ruger SR9c and SR9 together.

Ruger SR9 Pistol Review

 

Ruger actually makes two version of the SR9 Pistol; one with a stainless steel slide having a brushed stainless finish, the other with an alloy steel with a black nitride finish.  I selected the stainless steel slide because I liked the looks of the pistol, but the black nitride finish was very tempting.

Ruger SR9 Pistol Review   Ruger SR9 Pistol Review

The Ruger SR9 Pistol is part of the Ruger SR series of pistols that include the SR22 (22LR), SR9 & SR9c (9mm), SR40 & SR40c (40 S&W), and the newly released SR45 (45 Auto) which I plan to take a close look at in the near future.

During my reviews I like to compare my results to the manufacturer's claims where possible so the following text in colored italics was taken directly from the Ruger website on 12/30/12 and gives an Overview, Key Features, and Specifications for the Ruger SR9 Pistol.  The , and are my way to keep up with details that I have covered in this review with either photos, commentary or both.

Overview

  • The Ruger  SR9 is perfectly sized to be comfortable and controllable with a slim, ergonomic grip and narrow slide.
  • Featuring a short reach from the backstrap to the trigger, the SR9 creates a comfort level that will challenge any standard-sized, striker-fired pistol available today.
  • The structurally rigid, recoil-reducing, glass-filled nylon frame and alloy or stainless steel slide combine to create a low-maintenance, rugged and reliable handgun.
  • The SR9 packs all of the features required by today’s most demanding shooters, including modern blocker , trigger safety , magazine disconnect , plus a visual and tactile loaded chamber indicator .

Key Features

  • ADJUSTABLE, HIGH-VISIBILITY 3-DOT SIGHT SYSTEM for quick and easy target acquisition. The rear sight is click adjustable for elevation, and both front and rear are drift adjustable for windage to keep you on target with a variety of loads.
  • UNIQUE REVERSIBLE BACKSTRAP (FLAT OR ARCHED) that allows shooters to quickly customize the size and feel of the grip, without the use of separate inserts or special tools.
  • AMBIDEXTROUS 1911-STYLE MANUAL SAFETY AND MAGAZINE RELEASE appeal to both left- and right-handed shooters.
  • BUILT-IN PICATINNY RAIL is a must for tactical shooters. The Picatinny rail accepts modern lights and lasers to keep your sighting options open.
  • OTHER FEATURES: Black grip frame with stainless or alloy steel slide.
  • ALSO INCLUDES: two magazines, magazine loader and hard plastic case.

Specifications

  • Catalog Number: SR9
  • Model Number: 3301
  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Slide Material: Stainless Steel
  • Slide Finish: Brushed Stainless
  • Grip Frame: Black, High Performance, Glass-Filled Nylon
  • Sights: Adjustable 3-Dot
  • Barrel Length: 4.14"
  • Overall Length: 7.55" review pistol measured 7.60"
  • Height: 5.52" review pistol measured 5.54" with the magazine installed.
  • Width: 1.27"
  • Weight: 26.50 oz. review pistol weighed in at 26.2 ounces empty with the magazine installed
  • Capacity: 17+1
  • Twist: 1:10" RH
  • Grooves: 6
  • MA Approved & Certified: No
  • CA Approved: No
  • Suggested Retail: $529.00 street prices seem to vary between $430 to $490

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 into 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:

  • Ambidextrous manual safety and magazine latch.
  • The grip has a slim feel.
  • Disassembly and reassembly of the Ruger SR9 is a very quick and simple task so there should be no excuses for keeping your pistol clean.  The process of disassembly is similar to many pistols and the only trick is to remember to push the ejector to its down position.
  • I have been pleased with the Ruger SR9c for the past two years and I'm even more pleased with this full size SR9 Pistol.  The trigger is slightly better (luck of the draw) and the pistol seems accurate and easy to shoot. 
  • Throughout my range tests, I shot between 250 and 300 rounds of ammunition and the SR9 was 100% reliable.

Pro/Con/Comment? You Decide:

  • Includes both a trigger safety and manual safety.
  • Also includes a magazine disconnect safety (pistol can not be fired without a magazine inserted).
  • During range testing, One thing seemed to stand out other than putting lead to steel on nearly every shot was that I wish the manual safety had a slightly larger profile.  I'm sure some people will ask the question why I was using the manual safety anyway.  They do have a point, but regardless, for those who want to use the safety even when holstered, you need to practice drawing and shifting the safety off to train your movements. 

Cons:

  • When the slide stop is engaged with the slide open, you cannot easily press down on the slide stop to release the slide.  The thought is that you take your other hand and pull the slide back to release the slide during a magazine swap.  Over time, this will most likely break in a little like it has done on my SR9c. Yet, you should still train yourself to release the slide with the opposite hand because under stress your fine motor skills are reduced the ability to drop the slide with your shooting hand may be reduced.

 

Bottom Line:

Since the first Ruger SR9 pistol was introduced back in 2007, this line of centerfire pistols has now grown to include the SR9c, SR40, SR40c and the new SR45.  My guess is that we will also see a SR45c in the future.  This expansion in the SR series of pistols is a result of the popularity and demand for the SR pistols which is a direct result of Ruger producing a quality, accurate and reliable pistol.  I have now had a chance to look at both the SR9 and SR9c and I'm pleased with both pistol.  The SR series pistols are packed with safety features and easy to shoot.  If you are shopping for a good pistol, make sure you consider one of the SR pistols as you make your decision.


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