Review of the Ruger SR9c
Review of the Ruger SR9c
By: John B. Holbrook, II
November 29th, 2010
I’ve written many product reviews in the past, and have made a career out of writing technical photo reviews of luxury mechanical watches in magazines and online (which you can read over on my wrist watch enthusiast community WATCH TALK FORUMS). But I’ve never done a review on a firearm – that is until today. While I’ve been a life time gun owner, I’ve really gotten serious about training with firearms over the past six months. During this time, I’ve researched several different guns and, thought I’d share my thoughts on the SR9c, and why I selected it has my personal carry weapon.
The Ruger SR9c is a striker fired 9mm semi-automatic pistol with a 3.5″ barrel that’s based in part on Ruger’s successful SR9 design. But the SR9c (the “C” stands for compact) isn’t just an SR9 with a shorter barrel but rather an entirely new design. The SR9c comes in two versions – one with a stainless steel slide, and the other with a Nitrodox Pro Black finish slide, designed to resist holster wear. The lower body is constructed from glass filled nylon. The gun is designed to be a defensive/tactical weapon that’s ideal for the conceal carry permit holder, and competes with similar models from market leaders like Glock, S&W, and Springfield Armory. Now let me talk about what I like about the SR9c.
While aesthetic considerations seem extraneous at best when talking about a life saving device like a firearm, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how much I like the looks of the gun. I’m a big James Bond fan, and the SR9c very much looks like a 007 sidearm.
I was also attracted to the safety features of the SR9c – it has more safety systems in place than any other hand gun I’m aware of. In the above photo, you can see two of the safety systems – the trigger safety and the frame-mounted safety switch. The SR9c also has a pop-up loaded chamber indicator which makes it very easy to determine if you have a round in the chamber:
Now, there are some schools of thought which say that the frame-mounted safety switch on the SR9c is completely inappropriate for a defensive weapon because it’s too easy to forget the safety is on which could get you killed in an encounter. Admittedly, 95% of the time when I carry my SR9c, I completely ignore the safety. But there have been a couple of situations where I did put the safety switch on and was happy my SR9c has this option available to me. I like options, so I’m happy that the SR9c has this feature.
Versatility is another key feature of the SR9c which I really appreciate. The gun ships with two difference magazines – a 10-round magazine, and a 17-round SR9 magazine, with a plastic sleeve which fills in the gap on the extended magazine:
Here’s a photo of the SR9c with the high-capacity magazine installed:
I like the idea that I can use the 10-round magazine when I’m carrying the gun, and keep the 17 round magazine in reserve, or use it as the primary magazine when I’m at home or at the range – very flexible. I do wish the gap-filling plastic piece on the 17-round magazine was fixed in place – because the gap-fill piece slides freely up and down on the magazine, it get’s slightly annoying when you go to add this magazine in a stressful situation, as I’ve found while shooting in competition.
For me, the the size and weight of the SR9c is an ideal choice for a carry weapon. Sure, there’s smaller and lighter single-stack firearms out there. But at about 23 oz, the SR9c is light without being so light that it jumps out of your hand when you fire it. For the sake of size comparison, here’s a photo of the SR9C next to my “full size”4.5 inch Springfield Armory XD(m) 9mm:
The shorter barrel and, more importantly, the shorter handle make it very concealable. I have a a very nice kydex holster (which you can read about by clicking here) for my SR9c, but during the colder months, I find myself just slipping the gun into my coat pocket. The form factor also makes it easier for both my 15 year old son and my 4’10″ wife to shoot.
The SR9c has several enhanced features which make it an absolute joy to shoot. Firstly, Ruger really went to work on the trigger of the SR9 when they designed the SR9c. The trigger is light and crisp with absolutely no perceptible take up or “slack.” In my book, you won’t find a better stock trigger from any other manufacturer. Ruger also created a brand new dual captured recoil spring and guide rod designed specifically for the SR9c to reduce recoil. As a result, I can’t tell any difference in recoil between my SR9c and my above mentioned Springfield Armory XD(m). And I shoot quite nearly as well with my SR9c as I do with my XD(m) too. The high-viability three-dot sights are excellent, and make the quick acquisition of a clean, clear sight picture very simple.
Because I do shoot it often at the range, I clean it often too – Ruger has designed the SR9c to be very simple to field strip. Just remove your magazine, lock the slide back, and push on the break down pin located on the front half of the polymer body, and pull it out from the other side as shown the below two photos.
Once the break down pin is removed, you can depress the slide release and bring the slide forward to remove it from the polymer body:
You can then remove the spring and barrel from the slide for cleaning.
It was only after I purchased the SR9c based on it’s tremendous feature set and great looks that I realized that it’s also a bargain relative to the other competitors in the marketplace with an MSRP of $525.00. That and the fact that my wife can shoot the gun well made it an easy decision to buy a second SR9c – one for my wife’s bedside table drawer, and one for me to keep in the car and carry. The SR9c is now a daily use item for me and I don’t like leaving the house without it.
Included here is the video supplement to my written review. If you enjoy this video, please do subscribe to my YouTube channel: