What’s the best of both worlds? I’ve found a pretty good medium with the Ruger LC9.
Even with a wealth of features and 9mm caliber, the Ruger LC9 is a very compact gun. It is 6 inches long, 4.5 in height and just under 1 inch thick. On a good day, my wallet is thicker than this gun, and weighing in just a hair over 1 pound you almost forget it’s there after carrying it around for a few days. And overall, for a 9mm compact gun it’s pretty comfortable to shoot.
So there are a some things about this gun that I love, and a couple I can’t stand, but we’ll get there soon enough.
The LC9 has a manual safety on it, which I think is a necessity for a concealed carry gun. It is very easy to disengage the safety when drawing with a click downward with my thumb. I have yet to improperly click the safety down to fire the weapon. However, with my large man hands, re-engaging the safety takes two hands due to the awkward direction it needs to be pushed. For someone with smaller hands, this may not be an issue.
For a compact 9mm handgun the capacity is on par with the competitors at 7+1.
The trigger pull on this gun is loooooooooong. It’s about an inch and a quarter and only shoots double action. This is to help prevent accidental discharge of the gun when carrying, in addition to the manual safety.
After putting about 500 rounds through this gun I can handle it just like any of my other firearms. If you are going to carry for personal protection the only method for learning your gun is practice.
The LaserMax laser that came with the gun leaves much to be desired… That being said, here is my experience the first time I shot the gun: I put about 50 or 60 rounds through the gun and suddenly the laser stopped working. It would flicker but was not visible on target at all. I went home, took the cover off the laser and reset the battery, and it has worked fine since.
My second issue with the laser is that when you shoot, the recoil is enough to turn the laser off, and when you take a second shot, the recoil will turn it back on. Given, the first shot may be the most important, and the laser adds a certain level of intimidation, but if it doesn’t work I don’t plan on using it.
A nice feature of the LC9 is that the magazine comes with a very small extension that allows my pinky to actually grip the gun. With most pocket pistols, I struggle to fit my entire bear paw onto the grip and that little tiny piece makes it a lot more useable for me. It also comes with a standard flat plastic piece to put on the bottom of the magazine in case you do not need the extra nub sticking out for huge hands.
Two of the most important qualities for a concealed carry gun are accuracy and reliability. With a barrel length of 3.11 inches I was surprised at the accuracy I achieved with little to no practice. The first day I shot the LC9 I was standing 15 feet away from my six inch target. I put all but my first two rounds on target. The two misses were me getting used to pulling the trigger back about a quarter mile before the gun fires.
After putting 500 rounds through this gun I can shoot a 4 inch group at 25 feet which makes me perfectly comfortable with my proficiency at using it as a concealed carry piece. All in all this has been a great gun so far, 500 rounds without a single malfunction or hiccup.
The most minor thing to mention is that the stippling on the grip is a little too aggressive for my hands. After about 200 rounds the palm of my hand was raw. Maybe I am just being a little pansy but I though it would be worth mentioning in case anyone looks at this for a daily range gun.
There are things to love and hate when it comes to this handgun. All in all I think if you take into consideration that it was made as a concealed carry gun all of these features make sense. As for the LaserMax laser, I will keep you posted on what becomes of that as it unfolds. The gun is small, reliable and comfortable to hold. I have no complaints outside of the laser and I think that Ruger has and will continue to make a great concealed carry gun.