Quantcast

Ruger SR9 vs. Ruger American Pistol

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by mordechaianiliewicz, Sep 2, 2017.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. mordechaianiliewicz

    mordechaianiliewicz Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,719
    Location:
    Western Missouri
    Why, oh why did Ruger make the Ruger American Pistol when they already had the SR9 out there?

    I've used both. The SR9 is a completely decent gun (and frankly I think the cheaper SR9E is a little better than the SR9 original).... It's not an awesome piece of machinery that I believe is superior to everything else. But, it's pretty good.

    So, why build the American? I've recently had a chance to use it, and it's no better than the SR9. It's actually much less quality for even more money.
     
    Armored farmer likes this.
  2. Mike J

    Mike J Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Messages:
    2,530
    Location:
    Georgia
    The only SR9 I ever shot was a range rental right after they first came out. I didn't like it. I don't like the way Ruger does their magazine disconnect safety & I didn't like the trigger or the ergos. (note-the SR triggers were supposed to be better after the release of the SR9c).
    About a year ago I bought my wife an American pistol. I like it much better. It doesn't have a magazine disconnect safety that can harm the gun. It does have a decent trigger & interchangeable backstraps to aid in fitting it to different size hands. I never liked the polymer SR series guns. SR 1911's I like.
     
  3. VThillman

    VThillman Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2015
    Messages:
    226
    Location:
    Southeastern Vermont
    If there were an SR45c I'd have one. I have an SR40c, and like it fine for CCW - except it's a 40, and would permanently deafen me if I fired it in my home in an SD scenario. The RAP compact ain't so very compact
     
  4. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Messages:
    2,513
    I just bought a RAP .45 and an SR9 was my first pistol. I think the RAP is a bit of an answer to a question no one asked, or at least Ruger spitballing what they would enter into the Military Trials. Overbuilt, stainless, modular back straps, modular chassis, sightly more aggressive look.

    My SR9 was one that had the barrel peen. I got a lot of rub on the slide due to that. Also, I hated the LCI flag.

    My biggest gripe about the RAP is the fat beaver tail needed to be slimmed down. Overall, I do like it.
     
  5. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    2,126
    Location:
    NC
    I'm not a Ruger person and I never fired a Ruger center-fire semiautomatic pistol before acquiring a RAP9. I liked the RAP9 enough to also acquire a RAP45 and have no regrets for doing so.
     
  6. Mosin Bubba

    Mosin Bubba Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,269
    I think the American pistol was Ruger's entry for the Army trials, and when that didn't work out they just decided to release it to the civilian market.

    I don't think the SR9 is very popular - I think the SR9E budget version is their big seller - so they don't care if the American steps on its toes at the $400 price point. They probably care more about launching a new product line (45s, compacts, etc) than protecting the SR9's sales.
     
  7. kozak6

    kozak6 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,259
    Location:
    Arizona
    Rightly or wrongly, the SR9 series has earned a reputation as a lesser "budget" pistol.

    The Ruger American pistol appears to have been designed as a "service grade" pistol in line with current market trends.

    Or maybe SR9 sales were lagging.
     
  8. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Messages:
    10,972
    The larger grip of the American Pistol makes it a gun I would actually shoot.

    SR series are way to narrow for my liking even with the largest blackstrap in.

    That alone is reason enough. I don't own and won't be buying either though, unless I get a smoking deal.
     
  9. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    20,345
    No time with the RAP but love the fit, finish, and feel of my SR9c, so much so that I really don't have a reason to go looking at anything else in a compact 9mm.
     
  10. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2017
    Messages:
    3,264
    Location:
    Confederate Country and proud of it!
    Have been shooting the SR9C for years. Just love this easy shooting, super reliable accurate gun. A extremely mild shooter that excels with fast point and shoot skills at 20 yards. Wonderful trigger. The gun weighs less than the Rap and has a proven track record. I have absolutely no reason to consider the RAP. The SR9C fits so well in my hand for great control. The SR series is one of Ruger's most successful Pistols. Bravo to Ruger on this one.
     
    bannockburn and VThillman like this.
  11. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    12,665
    Location:
    Georgia
    Your ears will never notice the difference.

    The SR9 is a budget gun for the casual civilian shooter. Perfectly adequate for most users who want to shoot a little and have a decent personal personal defense pistol. I have one and like it. But if push comes to shove and I KNOW I'll need a gun I'm reaching for one of the Glocks.

    The American pistol is designed for hard core use and high round counts for serious shooters who might use it in competition or carry it as a duty gun. Even the compact isn't designed for concealed carry. There is a lot that I like about the American, I'm 100% convinced it is the more rugged gun. It is bigger than I need, but I could see one in my safe someday. Just not a high priority item right now..
     
  12. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2017
    Messages:
    3,264
    Location:
    Confederate Country and proud of it!
    On the contrary, The SR9C is not a budget gun, but just a damn good value. And I really have to disagree with the comment that it is a gun for those that shoot little. LOL, that is ridiculous. These guns are owned by many high volume shooters. I know, I have shot thousands of rounds and the gun always ask for more. This gun is built like a tank. I am not at all convinced the Ruger All American is so much more rugged other than it weighs more. If you like Gock than that is fine. But your comment that you will reach for the Glock is purely subjective. Nothing against Glock, have shot many, but for me, I will stay with the dependable, reliable sweet shooting SR9S.
    Do not assume that just because a Pistol or any firearm cost more means it is a superior gun. The SR series have more than proven itself over the long term and I really doubt Ruger will make any changes. The Ruger American is not getting the praise like the SR's has for years with devoted fans.

    I get the feeling the RA was designed to meet the Miltary Specs for bid, but for some reason they backed out. One thing about the gun that appears to be common for many shooters, is the hand bite that his gun gives. It just has not hit the Public appeal that other comparative models have seen.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
  13. Mike J

    Mike J Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Messages:
    2,530
    Location:
    Georgia
    Looking at the specs on the RAP 9mm compact & the SR9c the only place I see the RAP 9 compact being at a disadvantage is in weight. It is smaller in every other dimension.

    RAP 9mm compact
    slide width 1.05" weight 29.2 oz. Overall Length 6.65" Height 4.48"

    SR9c
    slide width 1.27" weight 23.4 oz. overall length 6.85" height 4.62"

    The RAP .45 compact is not really very compact. I looked at the specs for it a while back & it is not a sub-compact type pistol. It is more of a compact in the sense that Glock calls their 23 & 19 pistols compacts.
     
  14. DPris

    DPris Member Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Messages:
    5,488
    As I've mentioned before- The SR9 is a "consumer grade" pistol built to that market.
    It is an OK design, it is not a great design.
    It was an evolutionary step in Ruger auto-pistols.

    The American is Ruger's first true "pro grade" centerfire pistol.
    It is fully service worthy, a distinct improvement over the SR9.

    Ruger built the American BASED on Army trials criteria, but did not enter it.
    They decided, literally, it was not worth the hassle.

    In the American, Ruger has finally arrived.
    Denis
     
    wanderinwalker likes this.
  15. wanderinwalker

    wanderinwalker Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Messages:
    2,239
    Location:
    SW NH
    Basically, I was going to say what Denis said much better than I could.

    Ruger has built a business on providing solid, reliable, consumer-level products for almost 70 years. Which is not to say they're inferior products. But when you actually compare most of Ruger's designs to the competition, it isn't hard to see the corners cut to lessen costs.

    The SR series are good pistols. If somebody on a tight budget asks me for a recommendation for a good service-size 9mm pistol, I'll recommend either a SR9E or a S&W SD/SV (whatever they're calling the Sigma this year). However, this doesn't change the fact that the "thumb safety" on an SR is a tiny little afterthought, you can damage the pistol by dry-firing without a magazine and generally the overall parts and design are on the "light" side for a high-round count gun.

    The American Pistol is a much more robust design overall, and does away with a lot of the "safety features" found on the SR-series than add little value to the pistol. As a bonus, the thumb safety-equipped versions of the RAP have a lever that is in fact actually usable for it's intended purpose without having to break your firing grip.
     
  16. bumbazine

    bumbazine Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2015
    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Orygun
    I bought a SR9C shortly after they came out a few years ago and like it quite a bit. I shoot it as well as I shoot my CZ85B. When an American compact appeared in the case at one of my LGCs last year, the clerk pulled it and one of their SR9Cs out and we spent some time playing with and comparing them. What I especially remember from that was that I found the grip on the American more comfortable and the safety lever(s) were a much better size. The trigger on the American was better than their SR9C also, but I'm pretty sure the trigger on my SR9C is also.
    Anyway, that's what I remember. Someday, if the opportunity presents itself, I'd like to shoot the two pistols side-by-side, and maybe replace my SR9C. Maybe.
     
  17. DPris

    DPris Member Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Messages:
    5,488
    They're really not in the same class.
    The American is a notably stronger & more durable pistol, with more practical current features intended for a different role.

    It's a professional approach, in line with current trends & thoughts, and more evolved than the SR9.

    Ruger's traditionally been behind the curve in keeping up with duty-grade centerfires, and this one puts the brand right up there on a competitive level.
    Denis
     
  18. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2017
    Messages:
    3,264
    Location:
    Confederate Country and proud of it!
    Unfortunately I don't see much enthusiasm for the RAP. I have been on the Ruger Forums for years and the Rap just does not seem to get much traction. Most SR series shooters seem to be quite content with theirs and the RAP holds no real advantage. I personally would not trade my SR9C for a RAP. The SR9C is just built so well and totally reliable for all these years. If I were to go strictly duty, I would go with the Sig 320. Besides even though I do a lot of heavy shooting, the SR9C will most likely outlive me.
    The comment "The Ruger SR9C is a ok design, but not great." Lol, A lot of Ruger fans might disagree. Regardless, maybe not great then I would say the same for the RAP, it is seems ok.

    The good news is they are selling below $350.00 They were on sale not long ago for $289. I guess you would say the RAP is a OK budget Duty gun.


    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
  19. DPris

    DPris Member Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Messages:
    5,488
    I've worked with both.
    I've put 5500 rounds through an American.
    I've nosed the SR9 around among three gunsmiths (two nationally known) as a project gun.
    None were either impressed or interested.
    A retired Ruger engineer advised privately about design issues when the SR9 was being developed.
    The SR9 has features that don't offer any benefit.
    It's not as rugged as the American.
    It's had issues (peening & so on).
    It's not built to the same standards or for the same role.
    It's a valid evolutionary step for Ruger, but it's not a service grade pistol by my definition, whereas the American is.

    I have an LE career behind me, including time as a department firearms instructor, along with 27 years of experience evaluating firearms for a living.
    I have good reasons for making my statements.

    The SR9 is a consumer-grade pocket camera.
    The American is a pro-grade Nikon.
    Both will take pictures, but the pro-grade product simply has more to offer in doing it, and it'll hold up longer in the process.

    If you like the SR9, buy the SR9.
    I've addressed the original question.
    If you don't like the answer, you're free to disregard it.

    The RAP is an under-rated value, and offers a major advantage over the SR9.
    Again- the two are not in the same class.
    Denis
     
  20. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Messages:
    2,513
    Once again, I have to say that I feel the RAP is a sizeable step up in quality from the SR9.

    I like the SR line. Very good shooting guns that probably fit my hands a touch better than the RAP. However, the ruggedness of the RAP is what won me over.

    The SR never struck me a gun that was built for the long haul when you compare it to most Ruger products. It didn't strike me as a gun that would be happily throwing lead 50 years from now like a Blackhawk, SP/GP, or even the old P-series tanks.

    They were a big step in the right direction, but I'm happy to see Ruger continue to refine their semi autos to match the ruggedness we've come to expect from their firearms.

    Keep in mind, I'm a dyed in the wool Ruger fanboy. I buy a lot of different guns, but a Ruger sits by my bed, goes on my hip when I hit the trail, and slips in my pocket in more urban environments.

    For $399, I think the RAP is a fantastic value and good step up in quality over the SR, and that's saying something as I think the SR is a lot of gun for the money.
     
  21. stchman

    stchman Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    2,485
    Location:
    Saint Louis, MO
    I own an SR9, SR40, SR45, and RAP 45. I can say I prefer the ergos of the SR to the RAP pistols.

    Why did Ruger make the RAP when the SR exists? I think they wanted to be in the conversation with the military and duty guns.

    Personally I think Ruger should have taken the SR pistols and:
    - removed magazine disconnect (easily removed by the end user)
    - make a no manual safety version
    - remove the LCI in favor of a peep hole

    All of my SR pistols have the magazine disconnect removed, I can ignore the manual safety, and the LCI does not bother me at all.

    I find it funny when people talk about durability of guns when in actuality they aren't EVER going to shoot them enough to wear them out. I've owned by SR9 for over 8 years, shot thousands of rounds through it, and it still looks almost new.
     
  22. DPris

    DPris Member Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Messages:
    5,488
    In that case, LE & the military should be just fine with Kel-Tecs, right?
    Denis
     
  23. dekibg

    dekibg Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2015
    Messages:
    272
    American's grip feels weird to me- especially the front
     
  24. Quackattack

    Quackattack Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Messages:
    13
    Early on I purchased one of the first SR9s in my area when they were released years ago. While it did everything that was asked of it and then some, I was never impressed. It was just sold last year.

    Now I am quite impressed with the RAP. I do agree with the above posts in that Ruger did the American well. I'm wondering if it will hold its on against the other plastic wonders on the market. One thing for sure, I will be getting a RAP in the very near future!
     
  25. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2017
    Messages:
    3,264
    Location:
    Confederate Country and proud of it!
    Lol, a Pro Nikon? Seriously? I have put through a lot more than 5500 rounds. and no issues. Never any Preening. Barrel still in great shape. I will stick to the SR9C and if it goes down, then who knows. Won't be buying a Rap. That Pro Nikon recently had a price tag of $289 when on sale. I will let you know when mine goes down. However, I would not hold my breath.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice