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Ruger LC9- Review

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by rockheadd, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. rockheadd

    rockheadd Well-Known Member

    First of all, I'm a CZ guy through and through although my dept makes me carry Glocks. So that's my frame-of-reference from the git-go.

    I decided that I'd like to get something for "deeper" CC that was small, light, reliable, didn't print... but did the job. I had a G26, Mak and Czech82 to start with, but all were too cumbersome/printed to just grab-and-go
    After looking at all the alternatives in .380 and .22 WMag I opted for the LC9 despite the negative reviews. You can check the specs elsewhere. Here's my take after 275+ rounds downrange:

    1. Smaller, thinner and less printing than any other 9mm
    2. Reliable
    3. Accurate
    4. Easy to remember to carry...just like a mobile phone or wallet with the right carrying system.

    1. Far too many safety features for anyone even remotely experienced in handling firearms
    2. The infamous trigger pull
    3. Sights

    I prefer the G26 as a weapon, but it prints too much due to it's width. I like the Mak, but it's too heavy for easy, care-free carry (and larger). My Czech82 is wonderful but too wide/heavy and larger as well...so the LC9 wins that battle as it's smaller, lighter and thinner than all the above.

    The accuracy is fine after one gets used to the trigger. Seriously, it's not a target pistol, but if you can't hit center body mass at 25' with repeated shots within a few seconds you probably need to consider something other than a pistol. Using an 8" cube "resealable" target at 25', it's pretty simple to hit the cube with every shot in under 2 seconds between rounds. That's well within tolerance for a personal defense weapon. At 30', hitting center body mass on a TQ-21 is still easy with some practice.

    It fed every type of ammo I fed it including HP. (Caveat- I polished the loading ramp with some Flitz and a Dremmel as I do all auto-loaders. It takes about 5 minutes and is well worth it)

    The sights are lousy and acquiring the front one takes some effort. I painted the front with some orange nail polish and it helped tremendously.

    Safety features: you have SIX of them on this pistol (just a bit of overkill).

    1. Slide/thumb/frame safety (whatever you want to call it)- might be trouble for the Glock Generation but no problem for everyone else. I'm a Lefty and have no problem using it.
    2. Magazine Disconnect Safety- Why? Useless and a nuisance. I took mine off after watching a YouTube video- 20 minutes (no you do not have to remove the trigger)
    3. Chamber loaded bar- Why? You can see if a round is in the chamber by looking in the back of the ejection port
    4. Lawyer lock- Once again, a redundancy that' s not needed. I'd hate to try and find that tiny key in a crisis.
    5. Trigger pull- There is no way in the world this pistol is going to fire accidentally. Absolutely no way. Carrying with a round in the chamber is absolutely safe against all but an amazingly stupid action by the operator.
    6. You can easily see if there is a round in the chamber by looking at the rear of the slide where the round ejects.

    Another note: you cannot release the slide using the slide-lever release alone. You have to rack the slide. Not a big deal, but just something to note. I never use the slide release lever anyway and quite honestly, no one should.

    Bottom line:

    For it's intended purpose, that being a personal defense/CCW pistol it is a very good alternative. If you want to hit moving targets in low light at 75'+ it's not a good alternative unless you put on different sites and install the aftermarket parts from Galloway....but why?
    After putting over 275 rounds through it, I'm perfectly confident that I can draw it and put the necessary rounds into the threat at 30' or less every time which is it's purpose after all is said and done.
    It's not a CZ, Sig, HK, or Glock...but for less than $400, it's an extremely capable CC weapon.

    Carry Options: Too many to discuss, but just to raise some hackles after 2 months of constant carry, I really like the VersaCarry- Small size. I have a Soft-Tuk, a Bianci IWB and a Blackhawk IWB. All work, but the VersaCarry is the least obtrusive and there is almost zero printing even with a moderately tight T-shirt. Yeah I know you can't re-holster without taking it off, but name someone who saved a life by being the first to re-holster their firearm. Yes I carry with a round in the chamber because like I said, I use the thumb safety and for the trigger to be pulled takes a concerted effort. If the weapon is fired it's because it was meant to be. An AD is impossible.
  2. redbone

    redbone Well-Known Member

    Shot a friends for the first time last weekend (breaking it in). The trigger was too much for me. I'll stick to my S&W 637 for deep concealment. Just my opinion.
  3. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Well-Known Member

    Good report.

    Feb 2011 I bought my first LC9.
    I just happened to be in the store when the gun was delivered. I liked the size, so bought it to try it out.
    In the first eight days I put over a thousand trouble free rounds through the gun. Actually, seven different people, including a couple ladies, fired over seven different kinds of ammo.

    I stopped counting at 1,700 rounds but I'd estimate I have about 2,000 trouble free rounds to date.

    The gun is right accurate and even at 52 yards it does pretty good standing two handed.

    I was pocket carrying it today. :)

    I liked the gun so well I've bought two more for spares.
  4. Kayaker 1960

    Kayaker 1960 Well-Known Member


    I picked one up a couple weeks ago. The trigger is just like a revolver. I thought about getting a Galloway trigger bar but I don't need it. Small, slim and light. It's a great little gun.
  5. Black Butte

    Black Butte Well-Known Member

    Ruger LC9 additional con:

    4. Stupid-looking over-sized LCI.
  6. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Well-Known Member

    Thanks for sharing. I also considered the Ruger (and am also left-handed.) The safety features steered me away, and I went with the Kel-Tec PF9 instead. Probably less comfortable to shoot than the Ruger due to its lower weight and thickness, but it has no manual safeties, and only one passive one (the trigger pull required to set it off.)

    As you said, these flyweight nines have a specific mission, and the operator certainly must do his or her part to help them achieve it.
  7. History.Doc

    History.Doc Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your review. I really appreciate it when guys write up guns like this. I ended up getting the LC380 for many of the reasons you mentioned. It has many of the drawbacks you mentioned as well, but I have been very happy with it.
  8. basicblur

    basicblur Well-Known Member

    As one who owns both, I'd add that the M&P SHIELD is a much softer shooting gun than the LC9.
  9. Kayaker 1960

    Kayaker 1960 Well-Known Member

    I generally shoot more powerful cartridges than 9mm. My LC9 seems to have pretty mild recoil and it's smaller and lighter than the Shield. Weight was a big part of the decision between the Shield and LC9. I wasn't looking for a range gun, I wanted a gun that is light and easy to conceal.
  10. gym

    gym member

    Worse wobble in the trigger of any gun ever made. Rugger 'tech,' admitted that they left it that way on purpose, the gun seized up upon rapid fire and heavy use. Tried the Galloway trigger and gun became unreliable, internals are flimsy at best, dumped it right after trigger #2. Not a gun I would risk my life carrying.
  11. Matthew Temkin

    Matthew Temkin Well-Known Member

    I find the LC 9 a hard gun to shoot during rapid fire--due to the trigger.
    (Also had many misfires with Remington ball ammo, but all other brands feed 100%)
    However, with standard velocity ammo and a very tight grip on the gun it is finally working for me.
    I carry it on security gigs where I want something bigger than my LCP .380 or 642 but smaller than my G 19.
    It this aspect it does fill a nice niche, but I am thinking of replacing it with a Kahr Micro 9mm after I test fire my friends gun.
    I also recently bought a S&W Shield in .40 and am very impressed with this weapon.

    Another note: you cannot release the slide using the slide-lever release alone. You have to rack the slide. Not a big deal, but just something to note. I never use the slide release lever anyway and quite honestly, no one should.

    Yes you can, but it takes a while for the slide stop to loosen up.
  12. gym

    gym member

    Get the PM9, I did after the Shied. I had the 40 shield and it dropped mags every 3d or 4th shot. "a known problem" I did like the gun, but the Kahr is smaller and extremely accurate. If you ca get a PM do so, the gun is dead on accurate, and smaller than the shield. I understand the 9mm shield doesn't have the problem of dropping mags. And there was a fix, but I am tired of these manufacturers recalling guns to be honest. I would rather stick with one that already had the recalls and problems fixed.
  13. kokapelli

    kokapelli Well-Known Member

    Shot a friends CL9 Thursday and liked it so much bought one for myself.

    I had a PF9 but it was really uncomfortable to shoot, so purchased a PM9 which is a great little pistol.

    I wanted another small 9mm pistol but the PM's are pretty expensive and I have been waiting for a CM9, but the CL9 works so well for me I decided to go with it.

    A CM9 would probably cost around $100 more than the CL, so I'm happy!
  14. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Well-Known Member

    This thread got me to thinking, I haven't shot the LC9 in a while, so I'm shooting it (backyard range).

    Yeah, I do like this gun.

    Accurate, totally reliable, kicks a little with hot loads, long trigger but not to bad.
  15. kokapelli

    kokapelli Well-Known Member

    Yes that's how I found it too. Felt recoil was less than I expected.
  16. bainter1212

    bainter1212 Well-Known Member

    Great review. I have thought about acquiring an LC9 and a good thorough review like this is perfect.

    I have shot the Walther PPS and I think it is a superior alternative to the LC9 in almost every way. I do believe it is a millimeter or so thicker. Decent sights and a great trigger. It is almost impossible to get one here in CA though....

    Thanks for the write-up.
  17. rockheadd

    rockheadd Well-Known Member

    Just thought of another benefit...Turning a negative into a positive.

    Fire the LC9 about 100 times and then grab your standard/duty/regular handgun. Your accuracy will be better.

    I have to believe it's due to better trigger control and not anticipating the break as sometimes happens.

    With the LC9 you have to hold on target longer so it instills better sight picture discipline which carries over. Plus you have to pull (or press) so long that you can't guess and therefore flinch when it finally goes bang.
    The recoil is not nearly as bad as I thought it would be, but reacquiring the target takes more effort than with a full-size 9mm/.40/.45 so training with the LC9 helps in that regard as well.
    I've noticed my accuracy with my G26 has improved and doing "failure drills" with both the G26 and G23 are a snap directly after 100 rounds with the LC9. With the CZ75B it's as if you're firing a .22...almost.
  18. kokapelli

    kokapelli Well-Known Member

  19. verdun59

    verdun59 Well-Known Member

    Well as Hickock45 says quite often it's the shooter not the gun that makes the difference. If only I could shoot half as well as he does...
  20. Bush Pilot

    Bush Pilot Well-Known Member

    This has been my experience also. I purchased the LC9 first and wish I hadn't.

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