Firearms Review: The Ruger LC9

With the addition of the LC9, Ruger has the concealment market pretty well covered with this, the LCP, and the excellent little LCR

What is “the next handgun you must own?” Well, Ruger recently made the claim that the introduction of the LC9 answers that question. The LC9, as the name suggests, is chambered for the 9mm Luger cartridge and is a single-stack pistol designed for concealed and back-up carry. The diminutive little pistol looks very much like an LCP but there’s more to it than just increasing overall size to accommodate the bigger cartridge.

The LCP is Ruger’s micro .380 that was introduced a few years ago. The pistol has been a great seller but did lack a few design features. One of the most common complaints is the LCP’s lack of any real sights. The LCP uses a couple of bumps for a rear sight and another bump up near the muzzle for a front sight. Also, the gun has no internal slide lock and does not feature any external safety. Some find these features unnecessary but many customers like these traits on a handgun.

The LCP, despite the lack of the features mentioned above, has been a great success for Ruger and has continued to sell well even in our slow economy. It is a great concealment gun, especially for women or those who want that little sense of security. Not wishing to rest on the LCP, Ruger listened to their customers and announced the LC9 in February. Like the LCP, this pistol is polymer framed and hammer fired with a long double action trigger that’s reset by the reciprocation of the slide. The LC9, also like the LCP, uses a single column magazine. That’s where the similarities end.

A Variety of Features
The LC9’s magazine holds seven rounds for a total capacity of eight with one in the chamber. The pistol uses a loaded chamber indictor that can be seen or felt depending on the situation. This indicator is mounted into the slide right in front of the rear sight. It extends into the slide’s breech face and pops up when there’s a round in the chamber. This is a good design and actually works to show a potential user that the pistol is loaded. Still, I would never rely 100 percent on such a device and will always visually inspect the chamber as a safety precaution. But it’s nice to know that the pistol has a useful indicator to help confirm the status of the pistol. In addition to the loaded chamber indicator, the pistol has a manual thumb safety and a magazine disconnect.

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