About five years ago, my now sixteen-year old daughter was reaching the age, ability, and maturity to handle a full-size centerfire pistol for both recreation and personal defense. Rather than everyone in the family having a different handgun with different ammo sizes and magazines, the gals and I were looking for standard semi-auto handgun that worked well for all of us.
We had quite a few different handguns already and had access to most pistols from major manufacturers in the popular and common calibers of 9mm, .40S&W, and .45ACP. At the time I was really looking hard at the Glock 17 and 19 models, but the gals weren't big fans of either gun in terms of ergonomics. Admitting my bias for everything and anything Ruger, I was still hesitant about the new SR9 due to it's early recall in the first year of production.
I purchased the first full-size SR9 about four years ago... a post recall model. The gals really loved shooting that gun. After a year or so we decided the Ruger SR9 and Ruger SR9c centerfire pistols would be our primary defensive handguns for the family around the home and for concealed carry.
We all have access to the same guns that operate the same way, take the same cartridge, use the same magazines, take-down and re-assemble the same way... well, you get the point... when we're together at home or out and about... our family can work as a defensive unit... not as three folks who have no idea what the other folks are trying or likely to do.
Now there's dozens of reviews already out there if you're looking for the specifications, general impressions, cool photos, and other information. What I'm talkin' bout here is our experiences with these guns, along with our impressions and thoughts... both good and bad.
We've now had extensive experience firing several of these guns. With over a thousand rounds through every SR9 or SR9c we own, we have had no practical problems whatsoever. One of our SR9's now has over ten-thousand rounds through it as our primary practice gun... in fact, it is the gun I used to go after Todd Green's 2,000 Round Challenge a while back. You can see the rules here.
I did violate his first rule because I didn't clean and lubricate the SR9 before beginning the test, we just took it out of the box, checked the bore, and started shootin'... and after about five-hundred rounds each week... we hit two-thousand... and... and nothing. No stoppages, no stove pipes, no failure to feeds... failures to extract or eject... no broken parts, no problems.
I decided to keep going past 2,000 and after 2,619 rounds... number 2,620 ended with a stove-pipe. We fed that SR9 Winchester white box, Federal, and American Eagle 115 grain 9mm FMJ's, Federal 147 grain Hydra-Shoks, and our current defensive handgun cartridge of choice... 124 grain +P, bonded bullet, hollow-point Winchester PDX1's.
We cleaned that dirty and gritty SR9 up and now... a few rounds past 10,200 through it... it still runs like new... and we've had only three stoppages... the stove-pipe at 2,620 and two failure to fires during the next 7,000 rounds fired with two Winchester white box cartridges that both had clear, deep primer punch marks from the firing pin... so I'm countin' them as duds. What can I say, we're very happy with the performance of these guns.
I should also mention that this particular SR9 has a Streamlight TLR-1s weapon light mounted to the rail... as do all our home defense handguns... which has been through over 7,000 of those 10,000-plus rounds fired with the light having been on for probably 1,000 rounds without any problems from the light or the gun.
The SR9c is an excellent companion to the SR9 for concealed carry, although I've personally carried both concealed with no real problems. The SR9c has three magazine options including the ten-round flat floor-plate option, the ten-round finger-extension floor-plate option, and seventeen-round full-length with grip extension option. With the ten-round magazine and one in the chamber on my right side and the seventeen-round magazine on my left side... I've got twenty-eight rounds ready when carrying concealed with the SR9c.
One thing I do like about the SR9c is that it is smaller, but still feels like a full-size gun to us... unlike the Ruger LC9, the Sig Sauer 238, the Kel-Tec PF-9, Glock 26, or the Smith & Wesson Shield... which feel a bit small in the hand. The SR9c's sight radius is only one-half inch shorter than the full-size SR9. I typically carry our Ruger SR9's and SR9c's concealed in a Galco Cop Slot 3 holster, my Maxpedition VersiPack Jumbo, or a Fobus Holster. I'm in the process of looking at purchasing a Raven holster and magazine holder to try out which will likely result in more new additions to the holster box.
The triggers on all of our SR9's and SR9c's have been terrific right out of the box and I'm pleased with the consistent reset. The precision and accuracy with these guns has been great for all three of us. The SR9 can produce groups off the bench rest at twenty-five yards that are better than most shooters can produce off-hand at twenty-five feet.
While I'm not personally the biggest fan of three-dot sights, we still have the original sights on all of our guns...although some of those white dots have met their demise. I've been looking at some tritium replacements, but with the weapon lights... the tritium sights seem less needed, but I may add just a tritium front sight on each gun... still in the evaluation process there and considering AmeriGlo.
Now let's talk about the good and the not so good...
The Good: The SR9 and SR9c have great reliability, incredible precision, and accuracy... while you can measure with a ruler, they are and feel slender in the hand, particularly where the web of the hand meets the grip, with a good grip texture which pleases me and the gals... a good, consistent trigger pull and break... easy break down for cleaning with no tools... you can "feel" these guns in the dark with the loaded chamber indicator on top of the slide and cocked striker indicator at the rear of the slide... we love the holes in the magazines that give a visual of how many rounds are still loaded... the rear sight is easily adjusted with a screw-driver for elevation and drifted left or right by loosening a set screw... there's a reversible back-strap insert that can be changed from flat to arched... and the guns have ambidextrous safeties and magazine releases... you can get the guns in either stainless or blackened stainless... I've had a number of students in my NRA/Ohio CCW courses use these guns and everyone who has tried them like the ease of operation, accuracy, and they shoot pretty well with them... like everything Ruger, they have a great company backing them up and are one-hundred percent made in America...
The Not So Good: These guns are available in all fifty states which means they have a magazine disconnect which prevents you from firing a round still in the chamber while switching magazines... Ruger makes both the SR9/SR40 and the SR9c/SR40c for law enforcement without the magazine disconnect... oh, don't get me started... also, the slide stop is just that, a slide stop, not a release so you have to cycle the slide fully to the rear with your hand to chamber a cartridge rather than just hit the slide release... now that is a deal-breaker for some, but I've timed myself and there is about a half-second difference for me when reloading and I'm gettin' old... so that's something else you'll have to consider about these guns... Ruger recommends you have an empty magazine inserted when dry-firing the gun, which we do for practice... and finally, I wish Ruger had also put the SR9c's front slide serrations on the SR9 to compliment the rear serrations on both guns...
While I admit my Ruger bias... I'll go beyond the rhetoric... 'cause we're bettin' our lives on the... Ruger SR9 and SR9c Centerfire Pistols...
Great Posts! I've shot the SR9c before and liked it. Almost makes me wonder why I havn't picked one up yet.ReplyDelete
I have both the Ruger SR9 and Ruger SR9c, and I agree they are great guns. If I could get rid of the magazine disconnect and the annoying loaded chamber indicator, they would be nearly perfect.ReplyDelete
Check out videos on youtube for the mag disconnect...literally only takes a minute or two to remove and it's as easy as any thorough cleaning. Also, check out the LCI delete that Galloway Precision makes. They also have some other really awesome performance parts that are pretty affordable.Delete
Give the white dog holsters purebred a look before calling Raven. I sold my ravens but still have my purebred.ReplyDelete
That makes me feel great about our recent purchase of the SR9! Thanks for a great post.ReplyDelete
@BGU.. I'll check White Dog out... I'm not familiar with them...ReplyDelete
@Red... my gals love these guns...
The Magazine safety is easily removed.ReplyDelete
The slide stop work as a release on my SR9c? Is it not supposed to?ReplyDelete
Sweet! That was one that I was researching for a Conceal gun. Want to look over all my options before deciding.ReplyDelete
@RipRip... According to the Ruger manual, "Release the slide to move forward by pulling the slide fully to the rear andReplyDelete
release it."... Ruger wants the slide pulled fully to the rear and released to chamber a cartridge...
I'm not saying you can't use the Slide Stop to release the slide, but all of our SR9's and SR9c's take tremendous, thumb-busting downward pressure on the Slide Stop to use it as a slide release...
The Gals and I have no problem pulling the slide fully back to cycle the action for loading and reloading... but I mention it in the review as I know that is a deal-breaker for some...
Dann in Ohio
I wouldn't think it's different, I have the sr40, and the slide release was hard as heck witha an empty magazine....with a full mag it was like butter....and brand new out of the box...one thing people have told me isn't supposed to happen though is at times, not always, is when I slam a full mag in the slide chooses on it's own!! Weird but true....great gun thoughReplyDelete
Have both, carry the SR9c using a N8 squared pro holster -- IWB and its awesome! I added the ameriglo sights --super sights... need to do some 'machining' to get them to fit. Otherwise just awesome pistols.ReplyDelete
I've had my mag disconnect removed for a few years. The magazine disconnect can be removed very easily. Videos can be found on Youtube. Also, if you slam the mag in with more pressure at the rear of the mag, the slide will shoot forward and load a round. My Glocks and my Walther P99 do the same thing.ReplyDelete
hello site hello admin very good site ı m from turkey in hunting shop av malzemeleri Gals and I have no problem pulling the slide fully back to cycle the action for loading and reloading... but I mention it in the review as I know that is a deal-breaker for some...ReplyDelete
Enjoyed your blog for quite some time, thanks much. Here in north TX my wife and I both daily carry the SR9C, I in a White Dog Purebred IWB (with J hooks and optional sweat guard, very necessary here) and she in a White Dog Mutt. We are also fans of Ruger quality, value and customer service.ReplyDelete
First thing out of the box, I removed the mag safety disconnect on both pistols. Not necessary for us! Further, I had a Tritium dot front sight post installed on each and bought extra mags (the fail point of most quality semi-autos, IMHO).
Presently carry both with Speer Gold Dot 124gr molecularly bonded JHP and practice with that round and anything else these fine arms will eat, shying away a bit from steel cased ammo. Thousands of rounds down the line, they still run great and are more accurate than I.
@Tex... thanks for your comments and thoughts...Delete
Dann in Ohio
Had googled SR9c and came across your article. Greatly appreciate your comments, observations on the Ruger. Just purchased an SR9C and looking forward to taking to the range soon (live in WA, it's a bit cold right now to be outside shooting pistols). Have been impressed for a while with the Ruger brand but have not owned one til now. Your article is very helpful as I move forward with this gun.ReplyDelete
I have an Sr9c in stainless steel two tone does anyone know if I can buy a black slide and just switch it for my stainless slide?ReplyDelete
I'm not sure that I've ever seen that for sale separately... you might check with Ruger to see if they'd sell it as a "part"...Delete
I'm sure how much fitting, if any is necessary... matching a new slide to an existing barrel...
Dann in Ohio
I would advise against removing any safety device, including a magazine disconnect. If you ever have to shoot someone, you might get prosecuted or sued. The district attorney or plaintiff's lawyer will try to make you look reckless and trigger-happy, and one way to do that would be to show that you deactivated a safety feature. I doubt that removing the disconnect really improves the trigger pull, or that it allows significantly faster reloading. If you are really worried about getting jumped before you can insert a fresh magazine or whatever, then buy a pistol (Colt M-1911, S&W M&P auto) that doesn't have a disconnect in the first place.ReplyDelete
I agree wholeheartedly with Anonymous above. This is not a theoretical they-might-do-it idea. Luis Alvarez, a Miami cop who shot and killed a convicted felon who was drawing a stolen gun on him, was prosecuted for manslaughter, basically because the shooting caused a riot. (Sound familiar?) The State Attorney at the time was Janet Reno.Delete
Two of the issues (red herrings) brought up by the prosecution were: 1) His Smith revolver had, per accepted practice at the time, 2 coils snipped off to ease the trigger pull. The prosecution claimed that this "increased the firepower" of his six-shot revolver (even though it slowed the trigger return).
2) He had non-authorized plastic grips on his revolver. This somehow proved that he was a wannabe gunfighter.
During my 30-year LE career and now in retirement, all my serious-social-intercourse guns are factory stock.
The probability of actually ending up in court and having to defend removing the magazine disconnect is about zero in Idaho. Move to a State that's more good guy friendly.ReplyDelete