Ruger EC9s – Inexpensive 9mm for Concealed Carry

The Ruger EC9s is one of the most expensive – yet reliable – 9mm pistols currently on the market. Designed for concealed carry, this micro-compact pistol offers a lot of features which I review here.

If you don’t want to read the whole article, here’s the bottom line: the EC9s is a good quality defensive tool. It isn’t ideal, but for the price, it is one of the best you can get.

Let’s dive in.

Where to buy a EC9s

Where to Buy the Ruger EC9s

The EC9s is an incredible value. You can purchase this gun online through the affiliate links below and pick it up at your local gun shop.

Introduction of the EC9s

Days ahead of the 2018 SHOT Show, Ruger announced a new handgun aimed at being an affordable self-defense pistol: the EC9s.

The Ruger EC9s was a new model, but one that design cues from the company’s existing LC9s. The two guns shared many features and were the same size.

Ruger EC9s Review

However, the EC9s was significantly more affordable with a suggested retail price that was nearly $200 cheaper. As you might expect, people flocked to the less expensive gun. Eventually, Ruger discontinued the LC9s.

In the years since its introduction, the EC9s proved to be a reliable performer. Some early adopters reported issues with the striker mechanism, but those complaints fell away and the company seems to have fixed any problems in the production line.

EC9s Features

Sized for concealed carry, the EC9s is chambered for the 9mm cartridge. The 9mm is a proven defensive round, and when you select high-performance ammunition, it will perform admirably for you. Let’s review some of the additional features that make this gun a good consideration for CCW.

New Ruger EC9s pistol

The EC9s feeds from the same 7-round magazines that run in the LC9s. This can work to your benefit as mags marked for the discontinued LC9s might be found at a bargain price.

It has a 3.12″ barrel and weighs about 17 ounces unloaded. It is relatively compact with a height of 4.5″. Its thinness – only 0.9″ – should help it to conceal as easily as the LC9s did.

This is a striker-fired pistol. As with many striker-fired handguns, Ruger added a pivoting safety lever in the center of the trigger. This helps to prevent accidental discharges when the handgun is dropped.

Like many of Ruger’s pistols, this gun has a small thumb safety on the left side of the frame. While many people do not see the need for an external safety, many of Ruger’s customers appear to appreciate this option.

One of the cost-saving measures used by the company is to use sights that are integral to the slide instead of replaceable sights that are dovetailed into place. Both the front and rear sights have serrations on their faces to reduce glare when shooting in bright light.

Another cost-saving decision made by the company was the inclusion of only one magazine. I always recommend having several magazines for each firearm you own as they tend to be the most likely point of failure in a gun. At least Ruger includes a pinky extension for the magazine floorplate.

Ruger EC9s

Originally, Ruger set the suggested retail price on these pistols at $299. After more than 5 years, Ruger continues to keep the price low on these guns. Currently, the suggested retail price is only $339.

Since dealers often sell Ruger products below full retail, it is conceivable that you could walk out of the local gun shop with one of these for less than $300 total with tax, transfer fees, etc.

All of the links above are to dealers with prices well under $300.

Ruger EC9s Specifications

Here are the specifications on the base model EC9s:

Model #3283
Magazine Capacity7 rounds
Included Magazinesone
Barrel Length3.12″
Overall Length6.0″
Finishblack oxide
MSRP – at launch$299
MSRP – current$339

EC9s Variants

With a gun this popular, it is understandable that Ruger would want to offer variations to appeal to as many different shooters as possible.

purple Ruger EC9s

Ruger offers the EC9s in a rainbow of colors including those with purple, turquoise, gray, FDE and Muddy Girl colors. You can see the full line of EC9s color options through this affiliate link and this one.

Last Update: July 2, 2022

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.

89 replies on “Ruger EC9s – Inexpensive 9mm for Concealed Carry”

Well, I have had to return the EC9s again for repair of the same problem: failure to fire because of a faulty striker assembly. Ruger replaced the slide and the striker assembly both times. Except for stovepiping a live round once per magazine (after 1st round, in the middle, or at the end of the magazine stack), it seems to run OK. The LCP II also had to go back a second time, this time with different problems: magazine dropped out with every shot; after racking the slide, it would fly forward when the magazine was ejected; spent shells would fly over or hit my head instead of flying to the right half the time; slide hold-open occurred on the last round only half the time. My Security 9 also will be going back a second time. The first time the firing pin would not retract causing failure to feed and the hammer broke. The second time is also a matter of the firing pin remaining extended causing failure to feed. Ah yes, Ruger reliability. I do like the pistols, just wish they’d work and be reliable. Quite concerned about concealed carry and self-defense. Ruger customer service has been very courteous and helpful.

After reading through the entire list of comments, I am rather perplexed. I currently have over 20 Ruger handguns and have never had to send any of them in for any reason. I do not understand where a lot of these complaints come from. It seems that some of the people have had a glitch because of the lack of proper cleaning and lubrication, and others are just passing on old wive’s tales. I am a certified NRA Training Counselor, Hunter Education Instructor, and I have taught Concealed Carry for over 20 years, and I have never had any of the problems that most of these people are talking about. Trigger pulls can be modified, but care must be taken. A gun for concealed carry is not range target firearm. You do not want a light trigger pull. Anyone ever heard of Adrenalin, or hyper-excitement in the face of danger, or just what accidental discharges are all about? Only an idiot would want a light trigger pull on a concealed carry firearm. Too many people today have no reality of what it is like to have to shoot someone because the other person is pointing a gun at your nose or at one of your loved ones. Get really excited sometime then try to shoot a target really fast because someone wants to shoot you, then maybe you will have a little credibility about what comes out of your mouth. If you pull that gun from concealment, then you had better be ready to pull the trigger and take a life, otherwise you are just talking trash and have been watching too much TV or shoot-em-up games. There is no reset or do overs in real life, you are dead for all time. When the time comes, you want a gun that will go bang each and every time you pull the trigger, and that trigger, under stress, will have no resistance at all, you will not even know you are pulling the trigger. Worrying about trigger pull is a shooting range issue only.

I purchased a EC9s for my wife and her complaint was the main spring was difficult to pull back. Do they make a lighter spring?

Hi Mike,

You can get lighter springs from companies like Wolff. However, the weight of the spring from the factory is designed for the best possible reliability. Going with a lighter spring may introduce significant reliability issues with the firearm.

A better choice might be for the two of you to head into the gun store where you purchased or transferred the pistol and let her find another gun that fits her hands. She’ll have an opportunity to try the trigger and slide. For example, the new Smith & Wesson M&P 9EZ is designed with an easy to manipulate slide that she may really like.

Good luck!


I was just looking for extra mags for my ec9s and came across an ad for Bass Pro for the Lc9s at $149. on clearance just sayin”

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