I recently discovered that "Astrophotography" means stumbling around
on the driveway in the dark, trying to balance the awkwardly top
heavy weight of a tripod mounted telescope, and taking pictures of
either the Copernicus... or a backyard yard gopher
excavation, depending upon where in the out of control arc of "Go
To" software the
camera's shutter was released. What does all of this have to do with
the Ruger SR9c? Plenty. When the telescope
fell over and broke one of its tripod legs, the Ruger was the gun I
specifically selected to put it out of its misery. Just kidding...
No I'm not.
OK... What can I
say about the Ruger SR9c?
I don't know what group internal to Ruger is responsible for the
appearance and commercial packaging of their products, but whoever
did the work on the SR9c and LCP deserves a raise. In a sea of ugly
Glocks, utility SIGs and the yawn appeal of S&W, these Ruger autoloaders
are a standout. Beyond the functional form follows function touches,
the matte black finish goes well with the matte black fiber filled
nylon grip frames, giving the guns a look of... martial purpose with
a total absence of both utility clunkiness and video gamer fantasy.
Someone sat down with a clean piece of virtual CAD paper and said,
"If I were a concealable duty or civilian carry gun, what would I
The SR9c fits a significantly smaller envelope than a compact
SIG P229 and less than 2/10ths of an inch longer and the same height
as the diminutive CZ 2075. Within the same group the Ruger SR9c
is the most narrow of the group; both the SIG and CZ are 1.120" and
1.130" at the slide, respectively, where the Ruger is only 0.985".
At the grip, the SIG is 1.370", the CZ is 1.300" and the SR9c is
The Ruger SR9c's more compact dimensions help with concealed carry,
but don't carry a penalty of lesser capacity. The Ruger holds either
10+1 or 17+1 rounds, dependent upon magazine selected. Both types
are supplied in states where legal, two 10 round magazines in
others. The SR9c weights more than half a pound less than the SIG
and 2.5 oz less than the CZ 2075
10+1 or 17+1
Glass filled Nylon
|Weight - Empty
Our feature presentation...
Good thinking. Everyone loves freedom of choice. The Ruger hard
case contains a 10 round magazine with a floorplate finger
extension, a non-extended floorplate cover and a 17 round extended
grip magazine in states where legal. Two 10 round magazines are
packed in there where
the high capacity magazine is not legal. The magazine release is
ambidextrous. Another shooter option - By pushing through the pin
at the heel of the grip, the backstrap can be removed and reversed, changing the
backstrap contour from flat to arched. Nifty.
The sighting systems is clean; low profile, three dot white and
fully adjustable for both windage and elevation. Both front an rear
sights reside in dovetails, with dot planes precisely 5.5" apart.
The front ramp is serrated to reduce reflected light. A quick look
at Ruger's on line store and
Brownells suggest there are
two or three million alternatives for those who don't like to see
spots, even if it is only three of them. Fiber optics, Tritium and
hybrids types of both are available in the range of $50 - $80.
Personally, I'd spend a lot of shooting time with the factory sights
before making a change as they are very good as is.. There is also
an integral accessory rail on the grip frame's dust cover that
permits mounting of popular light and laser sighting accessories.
The fiber filled nylon grip frame is just that, a grip frame. The
parts that take a beating in use are stainless steel, both the cam
block and fore and aft slide rails. The fire control pieces are
arranged into modular assemblies for strength of design and to
facilitate ease of service.
The Ruger employs a camming locking scheme to lock the gun up solid
when fired and to drop the breech end of the barrel after firing to
allow the slide free passage. The SR9c has no separate barrel
bushing, like 99% of the autoloaders made these days. However, a
0.400" length of the barrel's muzzle end is slightly oversize;
0.575" compared to 0.566" specifically. The barrel port in the front
of the slide is actually oblong in shape, 0.005" larger than the
barrel at the vertical ends and less than 0.002" larger on the
horizontal plane. That leaves enough clearance to prevent vertical
barrel bind as it is cammed up and down during cycling, but the
closest side grip when locked up for accuracy.
Yeah, I know some people like to live dangerously, but I prefer to
be in the group with an average life span of 126 years. The Ruger
has a number of safety features and cues to benefit those in my
longevity ambitions, or anyone who finds themselves in an incredibly
stressful confrontation, with their heart working overtime,
adrenaline levels through the roof and a need to be working with a
reliable piece of equipment that will assure the proper outcome in a
life or death situation.
Safety and Firing Pin Block:
The SR9c is an improved striker
design. When the slide closed the striker is partially cocked, the
trigger safety must be depressed before the trigger can be pulled
fully aft to finish cocking the striker, releases the striker block
and disengages the internal trigger safety before releasing the
striker to fire the pistol. The trigger pull on this example
measured 5lbs 10oz, and it was crisp, nut the rubber band trigger
pull normally associated with a striker.
If the little trigger safety tab that is embedded in the trigger is
not depressed, the trigger will not budge. These features are
designed to prevent the gun from firing without deliberate shooter
intent to fire the gun. Dropping the gun or anything other than
direct face contact with the trigger over the full pull will not
result in discharge.
The Ruger SR9c's thumb safety prevents its trigger
from being pulled and it locks the slide closed. Operation is a
simple rotate up for on and down for off. The thumb safety operates
with isolated thumb movement and the slide stop and magazine release
are within an easy to reach 1 3/4" radius of the hand's web.
The back of the striker cannot be seen peeking
out of the striker cover unless it is semi-cocked. Status can be
determined with a quick glance and without moving the gun's muzzle
away from a target.
Loaded Chamber Indicator: There is a loaded chamber indicator
that protrudes from the slide when a round is in place. Not subtle,
in fact, when exposed the sides of the tab are bright red.. but then
who needs a subtle warning? The Ruger also has a magazine disconnect
to prevent the gun from firing if no magazine is inserted, even if
there is a loaded round in the gun's chamber.
I've heard the theoretical arguments for magazine disconnects and I
know they are mandated by a couple of states that have seceded from
the Union, so to speak, but I honestly can't see the practical
circumstance where they serve a purpose. I don't put the inclusion
of this device on Ruger, as much as I do on heavily applied
political pressure and I honestly see as few practical circumstances
where its elimination would yield a practical advantage outside of
having a full chamber so you don't get popped during the six and one
half milliseconds required to make a magazine change. As yes,
the feckless stuff message board discussions are made of...
Conclusions... so far
I'd like to begin by writing something interesting. So... "Something
interesting". Whew! I feel much better now. Breath in and breath...
The SR9c is one more example of how much Ruger is evolving these
days. Their guns have gone from utility bland to something quite
special in form and performance. The little Compact feels a bit like
my favorite Officer's Model 1911 in balance and heft, even though
the Ruger isn't even in the same weight ballpark. The SR9c fills my
hand and feels substantial in a way that gives a shooter confidence.
The workmanship is some of the best I've seen lately from Ruger and
a lot better than many of the other premium brand firearms I've shot
over the past couple of years.
The recoil spring is a tad stiff, but this is more of an issue with
all short barrel guns that have to manage slide mass. The
slide serrations are well placed and they make for an excellent
gripping surface. The molded checkering is sharp, but not
cheese grater sharp and it makes for a good grip on the compact
firearm gun. The finish is clean, very dark and very durable. It
should withstand a lot of holster rub and handling.
It is an accurate gun, with a very natural point, particularly with
the small finger extension in place. With the extended grip
magazine, I could see shooting for several days without running out
of ammo when it counts... Although 10+1 shots out of the small
magazine almost duplicates the capacity of those old western movie
revolvers that seemed to shoot all day without a need to reload.
During live fire the gun was rock solid reliable; no jams,
stovepipes, failures to feed or any of the other popularly used
terminology when an autoloaders doesn't reliably cycle.
I decided to put together a part II because I believe there is as
much of a story in live fire performance as there is in the
mechanical design execution, so we'll take a look at shooting,
accuracy and handload performance next installment.