Ruger SR9c Review
For a while, I have been planning to get one of the new compact semi-automatic pistols as my new conceal and carry weapon. Call me "old school" if you want for waiting this long to step up from a revolver, but it is hard to dispute the simplicity of a S&W Airweight 38. Since I'm updating to a new pistol, one feature I specifically wanted was a compact pistol with extended grip capabilities so that I can enjoy the best of both worlds (compact and full size grip). This narrowed the field of possible pistols. Next I wanted to venture into the world of double action only (DAO) striker-fire pistols because at some point I figure I have to try to keep up with the rest of the world.
Back in October of 2007, Ruger introduced the Ruger SR9 9mm pistol. In January 2010, they introduced the Ruger SR9c compact 9mm pistol. There were several items that sold me on getting the Ruger SR9c pistol. The first was Ruger's release of the Ruger SR40 pistol in October of 2010. I know this sounds odd, but bear with me. Ruger now has three pistols all built on the same basic platform. If this platform were not a winner, I don't think Ruger would have put the money and effort into the SR40. My guess is that a SR40c is already in the planning.
The next item that sold me on getting the SR9c was the number of other positive reviews you can find on the web for the SR9 and SR9c. Now for those of you who have checked out some of these reviews and saw they had a recall, yes they had an issue early on that they quickly corrected. As far as I'm concerned, that issue is water under the bridge. I've been working as a Mechanical Engineer for over 20 years and I know that it is hard to come out with a perfect design from day one. The true test of a company is how they stand behind their products and Ruger did on the SR9.
The last item I want to mention that swayed me in the direction of the Ruger SR9c was that this gun won the 2010 Handgun of the Year from the Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence. When you couple all of these together, I feel like I made a good selection in the SR9c and my hopes are this pistol lives up to my high expectations.
The Ruger SR9c comes in two basic models and also 10 round state compliant versions for both. The model 3313 has a Brushed Stainless Steel Slide shown on the left below and the model 3314 comes with a Nitridox Pro Black Alloy Steel slide shown on the right. Just to be clear, some of the video reviews on the web state that the black version is also stainless steel, but this is not true based on Ruger's website. Both models have a black glass-filled nylon frame.
Brushed Stainless Steel
Nitridox Alloy Steel
Both Ruger SR9c pistols have an MSRP of $525, but you can find them in a range from $380 to $450 depending on whether you are willing to purchase online or if you prefer to go to your local retail store. This review shows the model 3313 Brushed Stainless version but should also apply to the model 3314 Nitridox Alloy Steel version.
The following text in colored italics was taken directly from the Ruger website on 2/15/11 and gives an Overview, the Key Features, and the Specifications for the Ruger SR9c Pistol. 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.
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 and is definitely worth checking out.
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.
I think I would have to put the Ruger SR9c pistol into the "great value" category. You get a light weight, compact, reliable and accurate pistol that includes adjustable sights, and you get all this for a competitive price. I believe the items that people will debate about with this pistol are the redundant safety features. Depending on your intended use for a pistol, you may or may not want these features. Personally, I liked having all of them, especially considering I take unskilled people shooting on a regular basis. In Parts 3 and 4 of this review, I show nearly 100 photos of the inside and outside of the pistol and was pleased with what I saw. The real test of the pistol was at the range where it was 100% reliable for 300 rounds of ammo before I called it a day. It was very easy to shoot and I believe a newcomer to this pistol could become proficient in a short time (my 15 year old son did). If you are looking for a striker-fire double action only pistol, you need to greatly consider the SR9c as a potential candidate.