Ruger LC9s Review
Part 5 - Range Test
January 24, 2015

Ruger LC9s Review

In this part of my review, I range test the Ruger LC9s Pistol.  Since I have already range tested the original LC9, I feel like I have a good idea on what to expect.  You can see my LC9 range test by going to this link.  In my opinion, the range results when shooting at a bench for the original LC9 were great and my total seven yard 5-shot group size average for all the ammo I tested was 1.49".  You could appreciate this even more if you had to shoot with my bifocal eyes.


The ammunition I selected for the LC9s range test was some premium Hornady defense ammunition and some value FMJ ammo to get more trigger time at a lower cost.

Figure 1
Ruger LC9s Range Test Ammunition

I started out shooting 7-shot groups from a simple bench rest at a target located 7 yards down range just like I did in my original LC9 review.  The chronograph was setup about 10 feet from the muzzle and below shows my setup.

Figure 2
Ruger LC9s Bench Test Setup

Since I wanted to spend more time and ammunition shooting freehand at my steel targets, I limited the bench time to capturing velocity and some basic group data.  Since the magazine capacity was 7 rounds, I decided to shoot 7-shot groups.  My total group average for all 7-shot groups was 1.57" which was slightly larger than the 1.49" for the original LC9 which surprised me a little (although the 0.08" difference is probably negligible).  After further thought, I was able to stage the trigger during my LC9 bench testing so that my maximum accuracy was obtained and doing this took out some of the variations that you might have for continuous double action pull.  Regardless, both the LC9 and LC9s proved to have great accuracy potentials for a light compact carry pistol.

Ammunition Velocity1 (ft/sec) Energy
Group Size
Average Std Dev
TULAMMO 9mm Luger 115 gr. FMJ 1003 19 257 1.81
Hornady 9mm Luger 115 gr FTX® Critical Defense® 1036 10 274 1.45
Hornady 9mm Luger +P 135 gr FlexLock® Critical DUTY® 994 12 296 1.44
Total Group Average 1.57
1 - Velocity measured ~10 feet from the muzzle and is an average of seven shots
2 - Groups shot at 7 yards from a bench

These next two photos show the groups for the Hornady ammunition.  The LC9s point of impact versus point of aim at 7 yards was dead on in my opinion.  The Hornady +P Critical Duty may have printed about 1" high, but that difference is insignificant in a real world defense situation at 7 yards.  When shooting the +P rounds, I was able to tell the increased recoil but found the recoil to be very manageable.

 Figure 3 - Hornady Critical Defense                          Figure 4 - Hornady Critical Duty
Group Size 1.45"                                                    Group Size 1.44"
Hornady Critical Defense out of a Ruger LC9s  Hornady Critical Duty out of a Ruger LC9s

When I pulled the trigger for my first round shot at the range, it really surprised me when the pistol fired and throughout my range tests I was continually impressed with the trigger pull on the LC9s.  When I moved to my steel target range, that was when I really was able to appreciate the trigger pull and increased accuracy which I was able to achieve shooting freehand.  The other thing that stood out was that shooting at the range with only one magazine is a real pain and I wish Ruger would have provided two magazines with this pistol.  Unfortunately I didn't think to grab the magazine from the original LC9 so after every 7 rounds, I had to do a magazine reload.  I can already see that extra magazines will be on my list for the future and I'm interested to try out their 9-round extended magazine.

Throughout my range testing I had only one issue where I inserted a full magazine of the Hornady Critical Duty ammunition and when I released the slide the slide did not go forward and chamber the round.  The tip of the round was stopped on the feed ramp.  I have tried many times to reproduce this issue and have not been successful.  Throughout all my range testing (approximately 200 rounds) I never had any other issues.



The Ruger LC9s has great accuracy potential and this striker fired version having the improved trigger pull will be a big plus to those wanting a lighter and shorter trigger pull than the original double action only LC9.

For more detailed photos and commentary, make sure you check out the other parts of this review and feel free to leave comments on my Reader's Comments page.  The following links are provided to help you see other parts of this review. 

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