6 Best Ruger 9mm Pistols For Concealed Carry

December 3, 2018 7:00:00 AM PST

Which Ruger 9mm Pistol Should I Get? 6 Solid Choices

Interested in Ruger 9mm but don’t quite know which one to get? There are, after all, more than one outstanding candidate for a carry gun from Ruger. Not only that, they actually offer some of the most diversity of choices.

After all, a Glock 9mm is basically the same no matter what size you get. By comparison, there’s a Ruger 9mm to fit almost any taste or sensibility.

You have to suss out which is going to be the best Ruger 9mm compact or other format of pistol for you. Here, though, are 6 sensational Ruger 9mm pistols to consider.

Ruger LC9s

The slim, single-stack subcompact poly striker pistol is all the rage these days, which makes the Ruger LC9s one of that company’s most popular pistols. The LC9s has a lot to offer if it’s the kind of gun you’re looking for.

The Ruger LC9s is a bit short on features, but simplicity is for many a virtue. The LC9 family is the LCP architecture scaled up for the 9mm round. The LC9s uses a striker firing mechanism, with a lighter, shorter trigger pull and a bifurcated trigger and passive trigger safety system. The controls (magazine release, slide release and manual safety) are all on the left side, the magazine carries 7+1 of 9mm, and it wears adjustable 3-dot sights.

And that’s about it. Simple, streamlined, powerful but also pint-sized enough for pocket carry…and at a price that’s nice, too. Most examples can be had for less than $400; most go for closer to $300…or less.

Ruger Security 9

Then again, you can also scale up. The Ruger Security 9 is a compact, being roughly similar in dimension to a Glock 19 and – since we mention it – holds the same complement of 15+1 aboard in a double-stack magazine. The Security 9 is also lightweight and streamlined for use as a carry gun.

The Security 9 is simple, as you get LC-style controls with a magazine release, slide release and manual safety on the left side only for controls. The trigger is split and there is a passive safety system, so the thumb safety is totally up to you. The firing system is actually a light double-action-only, so the trigger has firmer take-up than most striker guns but is just as light, breaking at about 6 pounds.

Though you don’t get the swappable grip panels of many other poly-framed workhorse guns, you do get adjustable 3-dot sights and an accessory rail. Since the Security 9 retails for less than $400, it’s also a bargain.

Ruger LCR 9mm

Want a 9mm but can’t be bothered with that stupid slide? No big deal. There is a Ruger LCR 9mm. The 9mm round in a snubby revolver – yes, you read that right – so you get a tad more zing than .38 Special and will pay less for practice ammo in the bargain.

The LCR 9mm features the LCR’s polymer lower frame, for weight reduction, and non-stacking double-action trigger. Barrel length is 1.87 inches, and weight is 17.2 ounces, so it’s compact and light for easy toting. You better love black pistols, because there are no other colors. You better prefer guns to not have many features, because you get a notch in the backstrap and driftable front blade with a white insert for a front sight…and that’s it. It holds 5.

Not in love with DAO pistols? That’s okay. You can get the LCRx, a traditional hammered double-action version of the LCR, in 9mm as well. There is also a 9mm variant of the SP101.

Ruger SR9c

If you prefer a compact 9mm pistol with a bit more bells and whistles, the Ruger SR9c is a real sleeper. It doesn’t get the same press as the Glock 26 or S&W M&P9C but many owners and reviewers have commented that it’s just as good as those other guns.

The SR series was Ruger’s first foray into the poly striker pistol format. A tabbed trigger with passive safety is standard, but the SR9c also has ambidextrous thumb safeties. Other controls include ambidextrous magazine release buttons, with a slide release on the left side. The pistol includes a two-sided backstrap panel to dial in the fit. Magazine capacity is 10+1 with a flush-fit magazine, but you also get a 17+1 full-size magazine with a magazine sleeve in the case.

Additional features include adjustable 3-dot sights, front serrations for press checks and an accessory rail for mounting your favorite light or laser. The SR9c reduces barrel length to 3.4 inches from 4.14 inches and height to 4.61 inches, and weighs in at a reasonable 23.4 ounces unloaded. MSRP starts at $569, but finding an SR9c for less than $450 is not unheard of at all.

Ruger SR1911 Lightweight Commander 9mm

Ruger SR1911 9mm

Okay…we lied. There is really only one Ruger 9mm for concealed carry; it’s just that they make others you could think about if you wanted to waste time. That pistol is the Ruger SR1911 Lightweight Commander 9mm.

The Ruger SR1911 series are made in the USA, with a black anodized aluminum frame that brings weight to 29.3 ounces. Standard Commander frame dimensions (4.25-inch barrel and so on) apply. It holds 9+1 seeds of freedom, though you can bump that up to 10+1 with aftermarket magazines.

What features adorn this piece of pistol perfection? Chevron serrations on a stainless steel slide for easy manipulation. Novak 3-dot sights (ergo Novak sight cuts) and a competition-style manual safety. Skeleton commander hammer and upswept beavertail grip safety with a memory notch for a high, tight grip. A skeleton trigger sits inside the trigger guard, and the firing system is Series 70 for a light, crisp pull. This gun is built to run.

MSRP is $979, but you can find it for $800 or less without too much difficulty, which – for the features you get relative to price point – is the bargain of the century. Frankly if you have a chance to pick one up and pass on it, you’re demented.

Ruger American Compact 9mm

Ruger American compact

The Ruger American is/was billed as something of an improvement on the SR9 series, intended as something as a more rugged duty pistol or something along those lines. The Ruger American Compact 9mm, of course, is the CCW-friendly version.

The Ruger American revised the striker trigger for a lighter, crisper pull. The frame was revised to add swappable backstraps, a 1913 rail instead of a universal rail, Novak sights and a revised takedown that doesn’t require the usual dry fire. Manual safeties are optional; you can get a model with or without as you choose. The magazine release and slide release are ambidextrous.

The Compact model employs a 3.55-inch barrel instead of the standard 4.2-inch unit, and – just like the SR series – has a flush-fit 10-round magazine with a pinkie finger rest. It’s tactical and practical, and has a price that’s fairly nice. MSRP is $579, but you can find it for $500 or less without much hassle.

Ruger 9mm Pistols Side By Side

Want a visual guide? Here is the cheat sheet of Ruger 9mm pistols for CCW compared side-by-side. The one you want is the SR1911 Lightweight Commander, but you can look at the other ones too.

Ruger LC9s Ruger Security 9 Ruger LCR 9mm Ruger SR9c Ruger SR1911 LW Cmdr Ruger American Compact
Barrel length 3.12 4 1.87 3.4 4.25 3.55
Capacity 7+1 15+1 5 10+1/17+1 9+1 10+1/17+1
Unloaded Weight 17.2 oz 23.7 oz 17.2 oz 23.4 oz 29.3 oz 28.7 oz
Dimensions (LxWxH) 6″x0.9″x4.5″ 7.24″x1.18″x5″ 6.5″x1.28″x4.5″ 6.85″x1.27″x4.61″ 7.75″x1.34″x5.5″ 6.65″x1.4″x4.48″
MSRP $300+ $379 $669 $569 $979 $579

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