Ruger SR9 Pistol: New Handgun for Serious Self Defense

Sturm, Ruger and Company has released a new combat pistol for police work and self-defense: the SR9.

Ruger SR9

The SR9 is Ruger’s first striker-fired pistol, and it features a glass-filled nylon frame.  Essentially this is a polymer that has been reinforced with fiberglas to be extremely tough and durable.  It is comprable to a Glock or M&P handgun.  It is a full-size gun, not compact.  Even so, the pistol is relatively thin and could be used for concealed carry.  Width is only 1.27″.

Interestingly, even for a larger gun, the pistol is lightweight.  Unloaded, the SR9 weighs 26.5 ounces.  This isn’t much heavier than many compact pistols, and is a lot lighter than many full size guns.

The handgun is initially offered in 9mm (9×19), with other calibers being introduced at a later date.  (Editor’s note:  Since the original introduction of the Ruger SR9, the company introduced several other pistols in this line including compact versions and the .40 S&W and .45 ACP calibers.)  Full capacity magazines hold 17 rounds, which is adequate for both personal defense and law enforcement.  For less-free states, ten round magazines are available.  It is not known if the company will make super-low-capacity mags for New York.

Ruger SR9 safety

The backstrap on the frame is removable, so the shooter may adjust the overall circumference of the grip to best fit his or her hand.  This has become a pretty standard feature on many major handguns during the past decade.

Trigger pull is double action only and measures about 6.5 pounds. The pistol has an ambidextrous 1911-style safety, though it is much smaller than what many 1911 shooters may be used to.  The SR9 also has an ambidextrous magazine release. Ruger has also included a trigger safety, striker-blocker, and magazine disconnect. A visual and tactile loaded chamber indicator is also built in to this gun.

The SR9 has a standard accessory rail, so any shooter wanting to add a tactical light or laser aiming device will have no problem.

This pistol is sleek and handsome. I look forward to shooting it, and will let you know how it does.

Ruger SR9 backstrap

Ruger put together this short video on YouTube about the SR9.  It shows what they think are the best features of the pistol.

July 2008 Update

Ruger’s SR9 pistol was introduced in Fall of 2007 and became very popular with people looking for a full-sized, slim pistol. However, a small design flaw was found that could cause an unintentional discharge if dropped in just the right way. Ruger began a very large recall to fix this problem. I am unaware if any pistols ever experienced an accidental discharge that Ruger was able to produce in the lab.

One of the improvements on the SR9 is the trigger redesign which reduces overtravel and length of pull.

Ruger continues to upgrade the recalled pistols in a ‘first come, first served’ manner.

From Ruger:

Update- We have begun shipping the first retrofitted SR9 pistols and continue to send shipping boxes to customers on a weekly basis.

As you will see, a number of parts have been changed in the new design. These parts include:

The Trigger Assembly– A number of parts in the trigger assembly were replaced, but the trigger itself is most notable among them. Although the original design has a two-piece trigger, it was comprised of an inner and outer “shoe,” and the inner shoe was not visible. The new design incorporates a visible inner trigger of a blade design. The redesign has had the desirable effect of reducing trigger overtravel. In addition, with the inner trigger blade depressed, the length-of-pull is noticeably reduced.

The Magazine Latches– magazine latches were changed on a rolling basis during production of the original design. Retrofitted pistols with the older latches will receive the newer version, which will allow them to work well with any SR9 magazine variation.

The Magazine Disconnect and Magazine Disconnect Spring have been replaced with different units.

The Striker Blocker and Striker Blocker Spring have been replaced with different units.

Update – the Ruger 9E

Recently introduced as a “value-priced” version of the SR9 pistol, the new Ruger 9E is a 9mm handgun that retains many of the features of the original gun.  The new pistol looks and feels much the same, but has less machining on the slide, which reduces cost and gives the gun a slightly more blocky look.  The sights are fixed, three-dot sights that are dovetailed into the slide.

Ruger 9E

The 9E pistol retains the reversible backstrap and 17+1 magazine capacity.  Pricing is set at $429, so a sub-$400 price point is almost guaranteed.  As a bonus, the 9E should fit existing SR9 holsters.

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By Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, amateur historian and - most importantly - a dad. He's done a lot of silly things in his life, but quitting police work to follow his passion of writing about guns was one of the smartest things he ever did. He founded this site and continues to manage its operation.

3 replies on “Ruger SR9 Pistol: New Handgun for Serious Self Defense”

Have had my sr9 two months, shot about 50 far it is very stiff to jack, magazine hard to load , shells hang-up going in cylinder once in a while @ has a hair trigger.I hope that the recall will solve the problems

I bought mine today and put over 150 rounds in it immediatly after the inital cleaning. (lots of oil) It was awesome! I had no issues with a hair trigger, or shells hanging up. 1 of the magazines was a little difficult to load, but I assume that will get easier with time. Accuracy was great, and recoil was better than most 9mm I have fired.

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