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Ruger SR9 Review

by G&A Staff   |  April 1st, 2010 29

Ruger-SR9_001Ruger’s long-anticipated striker-fired pistol is finally here! The polymer-frame SR9 semiauto 9mm represents an entirely new design platform for Ruger pistols, and gives Ruger a product that will be a strong competitor for existing powerhouse firearms in the personal defense and law-enforcement markets such as the Glock, S&W M&P, Taurus 24/7, and Springfield XD. Ruger enthusiasts and fans of these other modern-standard pistols are really going to like the SR9. It offers all the features users expect from current state-of-the-art polymer DAO duty-pistol designs, plus a variety of unique Ruger innovations.

In brief highlights, the SR9 is a full size striker-fired 9mm with a slide-activated cocking mechanism, and an integral trigger safety. The semiauto mechanism is a conventional cam-block recoil-operated tilt-lock, with a full-length recoil spring guide rod. The polymer grip frame has the same basic hand-pleasing contour as Ruger’s popular P345 hammer-fired pistol, with the slimmest, flattest grip profile in its class–in spite of the fact the steel magazine hold a hefty 17 rounds.

A cushiony rubber grip backstrap insert can be easily removed and reversed to allow either an arched or a flat grip contour, depending on user preference. The design also features a fully-ambidextrous (not merely reversible) magazine release, and a frame-mounted ambidextrous manual thumb safety system that allows “cocked-and-locked” carry in addition to the integral “must be pulled to the rear” trigger safety.

There’s also a visible/tactile cocking indicator at the rear of the slide, and a visible/tactile loaded-chamber indicator atop the slide behind the chamber. All the operating mechanisms–magazine release, safeties, slide lock/release–are low-profile, and conventionally positioned in traditional “M1911″ locations.

The three-dot SR9 sights are drift-adjustable for windage (front and rear) and the rear sight is also click-screw adjustable for elevation–the only pistol of this type to feature elevation adjustment on a low-profile combat sight. The bottom front of the frame features an integral equipment rail for attachment of a tactical light, laser aimer, or other accessories. All exterior surfaces are contoured and rounded to minimize holster wear or clothing snag in concealed carry.

The gun is constructed in modular components, with separate self-contained fire control module, trigger module, and cam block inserted into the polymer frame. This greatly streamlines the manufacturing and assembly process in the factory, and makes for an extremely straightforward and easy disassembly/reassembly process for user maintenance. To disassemble, you merely remove the magazine, clear the chamber, and lock the slide to the rear with the slide lock lever. Then use your fingertip to push out and remove the takedown pin from the frame, and just pull the slide/barrel assembly forward and off.

The barrel and captive recoil spring guide assembly can then be removed from the slide. It’s not necessary to manually hold the slide in any special rearward alignment to remove the takedown pin, just lock it back. Nor is it necessary to pull the trigger prior to removing the slide–an important safety feature that many other striker-fired pistols don’t have. To reassemble, you merely replace the barrel and recoil spring assembly into the slide, place the slide onto the frame and lock it back with the slide lock lever, reinsert the takedown pin, and let the slide go forward. Simple, easy, and safe in the extreme.

My personal favorite feature of the SR9 is the fact its magazine disconnect safety can be user-deactivated. As with a majority of today’s semiauto pistols, the SR9 comes from the factory unable to be fired with the magazine removed. However, unlike any other pistol of its type, the SR9′s disconnect can be deactivated simply by plucking out the disconnect link while the gun is disassembled, enabling a chambered cartridge to be fired even if the magazine is inadvertently dropped or damaged. I believe this is an essential feature for ANY personal defense or duty sidearm.

I’ve had the opportunity to extensively fire several first-production SR9s at the Ruger facility in Prescott, Arizona, and find it to be a reliable, accurate, and extremely good-feeling shooter. The new Ruger SR9 is a fine piece of design work, well worthy of the Ruger brand, and will be a welcome addition to the marketplace.

  • mike

    Yawn !!, I'll stick with my .40 P944.

  • L.J.

    Absolutely love it! Put 200 rounds through it in first few days with 0 dnf's or any other issue. From 50' can put clip after clip in 3 inch circle straight out of the box and no sight adjustments. I did reverse the grip back and went with the flat back even with big hands so that feature isn't really important to me, except that the pistol feels perfect in my hand. I wasn't crazy about striker fire designs and am admittedly a safety nut, but with the "round chambered" indicator and the two safeties I can get around the lack of a hammer. 17 plus 1 capacity is a plus but I don't know when that will ever be an issue except at the target range. I'm not quite ready to use it as my conceal carry weapon yet since I am very fond of my Walther PK380 in an ankle holster, but I just did get an inside waist holster for the SR9 and will give it a try soon. All you 9mm haters go ahead and keep your .40's. I like being able to afford to shoot my SR9, and with 17 plus 1 capacity of hollow points, if you can't handle the situation you shouldn't have been there in the first place. In short: RUGER ROCKS!

    • SheryllS

      L.J. I love my Ruger too, but I've come across a problem. My husband reloads and lately my Ruger has not been firing on all of them. The problem seems sporadic and happens with all types of primers. He takes the same bullets and they shoot fine from his Glock. I try firing the same bullet again hoping it will work and it does, but only on one or two bullets. I just got back from the range and only 7 out of 17 rounds worked. With new bullets from the factory, of course there is no problem. I hate to think that I will have to use only brand new bullets. My husband is very good at his craft and as I said, the reloads work great in his Glock. Anyone else out there have similar problems.

      • john

        check the height of your primers you my have to seat them different .

  • Kyle

    Howdy Glock owners I have the SR9 and 40 and well told my dad he can keep his glock and aint missed and havent had any issues yet Ruger Rocks….

  • keith henglefelt

    Owned one. Not a fan. Within a few months the safety in the trigger was causing me problems. I love ruger but looking for something else now…

  • Dirk

    So sad, why is Ruger the only pistol/revolver manufacturer on the face of the globe? Sure would be nice to buy another brand aside from Ruger. Oh well, as there are no others I guess I will have to buy my future 9mm from Ruger…..again. The only handguns I own are Rugers. I am sure if other brands existed I would buy them. Sadly Ruger is all there is.

    RUGER FOR THE WIN!!!

  • Filipino Gun Nut

    You americans are quite lucky! with your choice of firearms and relatively low cost. Bought my 1st US made handgun a Ruger P95 9mm it cost me 2x as much here in the Philippines than its retail price in the U.S. After i took it to the range and fired 200 rounds no problems whatsoever, no FTF's, FTE's. Accuracy was fair but it might on the account my shooting skills or lack thereof. Almost no felt recoil, superb reliability, ease of operation, cleaning and maintenance. Downside to my P95 is its quite bulky, double action trigger has long travel before it breaks but crisp S/A trigger. I dont mind how much i paid for it. Kudos to Ruger!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeffrey.tealfishie Jeffrey Tealfishie

    This Ruger beats the glock in every way, however golcksters are pigheaded and will never realize that their fav is an overpriced relic from the 1980's

  • Carl

    This is my first hand gun. I absolutely love it! Already put 100 rounds through it without any issues. I still need to practice my technique which I look forward to. I chose the Ruger mostly because it was about $200 less than the Glock and the Sringfield XDM and I know Ruger makes a good gun. No regrets.

  • Brian

    i have had my Ruger for 3 weeks now, i have put over 1000 rounds through it and have not had a single DNF, jam or other issue! i feel almost no recoil, my one and only complaint about this gun is the clip doesn't have the spring compression assist slid on the side for easier loading. will be buying at least one more of these, and it's bigger brothers too. ruger has made me a fan again.!!!

  • dr.killabrew

    Another oft-overlooked attribute of the SR-9 is it's thinness. I own a few different full-size, double-stack, polymer 9's, and the Ruger is by far the slimmest, which is important for concealed carry. It is much closer to a 1911 in overall footprint than most any other service 9. Not to mention, as observed by others, the excellent reliability of this pistol. I've got about 1k rounds through mine, a well-varied mix of handloads and factory loads, FMJ and JHP, mild to +P, and never once have I seen any gun-related failures.

  • Wickman

    Bought my girlfriend a Ruger SR9 about a month ago. We've been to the range twice and she has had problems with the extractor. Three times the gun has failed to extract a cartridge and caused a jam. Also, sometimes the extractor throws the cartridges straight back into her face. I like the gun because of all of the safety features, but it has not been performing well. My Glock 22 bought at the same time has had no problems. All ammo is store bought, no reloads. Anyone have any ideas about the extractor problem?

    • Brian

      send it back to the factory, they will gladly replace the extractor and even sand it down a bit. That way you will have smoother function then the average production gun off the line

  • LuvMySR9

    Maybe she's not keeping her arm stiff enough. The blowback isn't making the full cycle like it should. Does it FTE with you shooting it?

    I've had my SR9 for a year and love it! I'm even considering picking up the SR40 & SR45 later. I'm a large guy and carry my SR9 CCW with no problems.

  • Kent B Douglas

    I started with a Ruger Mark II and it's a most reliable gun. I love the hell out of it. Shot a hundred rounds through my new SR-9 though and I am extremely happy to bring another Ruger in to my little arsenal. 3 words . . . . . I Love it. Which is an understatement but you get the jist of it. I don't and won't knock any other gun out there but SR-9 rocks.

  • Greg Parsons

    i just purchaced a new sr9 is a great gun

  • Mike johnson

    I bought the Ruger SR9 in 2011 and couldn’t be happier with it. Outstanding reliability and feels great in my hand. I was very accurate with it right out of the box and didn’t have to make any adjustments to the sights. I also like the rubber backstrap that can be reversed to give it a slightly slimmer grip. Ruger hit a homerun witht he SR series in my opinion they could be asking more for the gun. I think it’s every bit as good as the M&P pistols but it sells for typically about $80 less. I think I will also purchase the SR in 45acp too.

  • at

    went to the local gun range and selected the SR9. Good grip, good feel, good sights. Only thing is it jammed quite often. not so bad but it was getting to become annoying

    • Ryan

      My SR9 was doing the same thing. Put some oil on the slide and no more issues.

  • Capt. Bryant

    Ruger’s are tough and dependable

  • COEngineer

    I purchased one last year. Could not be happier. It is a very nice shooting and handling gun. Reversed the back strap after I bought it – fits my medium hands perfectly.

    • thomas

      I justed purchased this gun and I hear several people talking about a back strap to fit their hands better.
      Can you explain more to me about this strap.
      Thank you
      Tom

      • Doug P

        There is a rubber “strap” that runs up the length of the backstrap. It can be removed, flipped over, and reinserted. One way it is flat, and the other it is curved. You can remove the pin that holds it in place with a paperclip. Pop out the pin, pull the strap, flip it over, reinsert strap, and reinsert the pin. All done, in about 30 seconds.

        I bought my SR9 about 7 months ago as my first firearms purchase, and I absolutely love it. Everyone that has shot it likes it.

      • Doug P

        There is a rubber “strap” that runs up the length of the backstrap. It can be removed, flipped over, and reinserted. One way it is flat, and the other it is curved. You can remove the pin that holds it in place with a paperclip. Pop out the pin, pull the strap, flip it over, reinsert strap, and reinsert the pin. All done, in about 30 seconds.

        I bought my SR9 about 7 months ago as my first firearms purchase, and I absolutely love it. Everyone that has shot it likes it.

  • motown

    I owned my Sr9 for 4 years and just like the you tube video’s show my gun also started to jam and the crazy part is its barely seen the range roughly less than 300 hundred rounds have been fired….This will be sold ASAP just a $500 paper weight at best. Buyer beware..

    • Vinny Barbin

      Probably shoot crappy ammo and never clean the weapon. You will find that you are a minority on this issue. Does that reveal anything to you?

  • Ronald Garrett

    I put another 350 rounds through mine last night and no issues, as usual. I love it, despite being DAO. it’s a light weight, but low recoil tack driver. The only thing is I polish my ramps routinely. You’ll hear that shouldn’t be necessary on a factory ramp, but if you’re trusting your life to a weapon you don’t worry about the time you spend giving it thorough attention. You guys having issues might want to watch this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQYCFedcLDw

  • jeremy

    I bought my ruger sr9 about 3 years ago and I love it never has this gun jam on me

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