Ruger LC9


The Ruger LC9 is a semi-automatic small-frame pistol chambered in 9mm. It was designed for concealed carry and Ruger recommends it for “quick-drawing” situations.

Features include rounded edges so it can be pulled quickly from a holster, an aggressive checkered grip, a double-action only trigger, so users can more safely carry loaded, an internal lock that completely disarms the weapon with the turn of a key, a magazine safety that flips on and off and is intended for when holstered, and a loaded chamber indicator, which is a thin piece of metal that pops out when a round is in the chamber. And, it is also equipped with 3-dot sight that are adjustable for elevation and windage.



Caliber: 9mm
Capacity: 7
Sights: Adjustable three-dot sights
Features: Locked-breech system; finger grip extension; internal lock safety; mag safety; and load indicator
Action: Semi-auto
Size: Small
Trigger: Double-action only
Slide Material: Alloy steel/blue
Frame Material: Black glass-filled nylon
Weight: 1.1 pounds
Barrel Length: 3.12"
Twist: 1 in 10"
Length: 6"
Height: 4.5"

Editor Review

A Compact that Shoots Straight

Last week, I had my friend Sam and his wife out to the house for dinner.  I live way out in the sticks and don’t have any neighbors within half a mile.  So, as we are wont to do when we are bored (and when we are not), my friend and I went out wandering around in the woods—just made some polite pretense for our wives and headed for the hills.  I always take a gun with me.  I say it’s for snakes.  But I don’t shoot many snakes.  I live in this weird herpetological wonderland full of slithering reptiles, but only the copperheads are poisonous—and I try not to kill them unless they’re up by the house.   

But I digress.  I carried a gun with me because we were going out into the woods to—as they say in the parlance of our times—shoot shit.  That’s what we do.  We talk, philosophize, solve all the world’s problems and kill a tin can or two. 

I had found an old mason jar and set it up on a cedar fence post and paced off about 30 feet.  I pulled out my old Colt and chambered a round.  The stubby little G.I. nose sight was almost impossible to see at dusk.  But no worries.  I took a shot at the bottle and scared it good.  I scared the thing seven more times before the magazine was empty.  Good thing it wasn’t a snake.

I looked down at the gun, like it was the Colt’s fault, when a ninth shot rang out and the old jar disappeared in a cloud of powdered glass as Sam blew smoke away from the barrel of a little Ruger LC9.

I’ll admit that the old Colt 1911 was more than a little bit embarrassed. 

And I was impressed.  Sam had hit a mason jar from somewhere around thirty feet with a compact concealed carry gun.  This is not easy for either the shooter or the gun.  Maybe it was a lucky shot.  So I asked him to do it again.  I put up another target and he hit it.  He hit five more (and missed one) before he had emptied the magazine.

What Makes the LC9 Different?

There are way too many compact pistols on the market.  The makers really struggle to differentiate their pistols from one another.

So it’s no small wonder that at first glance, the LC9 looks just like the rest.  There seems to be little to distinguish the pistol from its competition.  It’s not the smallest, the thinnest, the shortest, the lightest, or even the most easily concealable. 

And that’s what makes it so right.

The good folks at Strum Ruger built a rock solid pistol, not an advertising gimmick.  The gun has a noticeable presence.  And that’s not a bad thing.  While I don’t want the weight of a pistol hanging off my belt like an anchor, I don’t want to forget that it’s there, either. And the weight helps to keep the muzzle flip down.  That element could be better, but I’m realistic.  The gun is going to kick—no two ways about it.

But the pinkie extension helps with the recoil.  This little ducktail of plastic on the end of the magazine makes all the difference in the world.  It makes the gun comfortable to hold and shoot.  And this last part seems important.


With a 3” barrel, the gun’s accuracy is limited, but let me remind you this isn’t a target gun.  The sight radius is necessarily short.  You do what you have to do.  But the three-dot sights make rapid targeting a bit more rapid.  But I watched a practiced shooter break a bottle at 30 feet.  That’s not too bad.  And he repeated the performance.  I was eager to see what I could do.

The next day, with copious amounts of ammunition at hand, we returned to our makeshift range.  With a target set out at 10 feet, I had no problems.  I’m not talking about one-hole patterns—but really tight groupings.  Eight shots in under 2”.

At 25 feet, I kept seven shots on the target.  That’s not bad for me—actually, it’s pretty good for me.  The spread was wider, but the pattern would have covered by a pie plate.

So we set up some more practical challenges.  We emptied the gun as fast as we could.  We practiced drawing from Sam’s in-the-waistband holster.  After a couple of mags, I could even do OK on a silhouette when shooting from the hip.  Six of eight shots in the central body mass from 10 feet.


Like most compact pistols, the LC9 has a single-stack magazine.  There are those who see this as a detriment.  I doubt it, personally.  The only problem I had with the limited number of rounds in the magazine was the constant reloading, and the gun only comes with one magazine.  Realistically, I think that’s fine, too.  That’s all I would carry. 

And I really admire the way that Ruger has rounded off all of the rough spots.  The gun has nice clean lines and no rough spots to snag on holsters or clothing.  The loaded chamber indicator is a nice touch.

If there is anything about the gun that I don’t like, it would be the safeties.  I don’t want an external safety on a concealed carry gun, but Ruger has made their external safety subtle and unobtrusive.  All of the attention to safety has made the gun compliant with California gun laws, which is a business decision that I can’t dispute.


After an hour or so, and more than 200 rounds, I tried my luck with a tin can at thirty feet.  I didn’t hit it, but Sam did.  I’m not jealous though because he has a lot more practice with the gun.  I, on the other hand, can make it do what it is designed to do and that’s fine with me.

My next gun purchase will most likely be a Ruger LC9.  I can’t sing the gun’s praises enough.  I like that it is a 9mm.  I respect Ruger’s design.  I respect the company’s reputation and their dedication to keeping American made firearms affordable.