Sunday, April 25, 2010

I've Given in To Ruger... Again

I know what you're thinking. "This guy is about as indecisive as a high school cheerleader... except with guns." And you're probably correct. All this time, I've had my heart set on that new Beretta 92 A1 pistol. I love Beretta. And if all handgun companies except one had to go under, Beretta would still win the day - except not all gun companies need go under and my favorite gun manufacturer is still Ruger Firearms. To date, almost half of the guns in this house have Ruger's name on them.

I personally own two Ruger handguns: a Ruger SP101 and a Ruger LCP. Both are fantastic, and both were relatively inexpensive to buy. Each are built like tanks. They are solid. The fit and finish is on par with guns in the next tax bracket. The Ruger SR9 is no different.

I took the opportunity, while out of the house, yesterday to hit the gun shop and look at the SR9 up close and personal. I have been researching the heck out of this gun and, though I didn't care for it at first, it has really grown on me. Let's face it, the SR9 is pretty ugly. It isn't nearly as pretty as the Beretta 92 A1 or even my beloved Beretta 92 FS. Heck, it isn't even as good looking as my new Ruger LCP. The SR9 is kind of like the ugly duckling of semi-automatic pistols. Well, I take that back. Glocks and S&W guns are uglier.

I never got into the P-Series Ruger automatics. I just couldn't stand them. I've always been a big fan of Ruger revolvers and I wish I owned more of them. Until the Ruger LCP came along, I was pretty oblivious to the big changes that Ruger made when it came to new autos, especially the Hard-R line of guns. After buying the LCP, which is plastic, it didn't take long for me to understand just what I'd been missing with polymer-framed guns. My LCP has been an amazing companion and I really enjoy shooting it and carrying it. The price was not bad either.

Price is always a consideration when purchasing a new gun. It doesn't matter if you make $20,000 a year or $120,000 a year, when purchasing a gun, price does matter. I'm not big on buying names. What I mean by that is I won't buy a Smith and Wesson just because it is a Smith and Wesson. I won't buy a Kimber just because it's a Kimber. For that matter, I won't buy a Ruger or Beretta just because I like both brands. Granted, I will gravitate towards both Beretta and Ruger, but it's not because they have cool names; it's because their products work. But like any company, I'm not going to buy into fads or just because everyone else buys it. I'm on record in a few places talking about how I hate the Beretta 90-two or the storm line of guns. They are ugly and stupid. My cup of tea, in Beretta world, is the 92/96 series of guns. The same goes for Ruger. I'm not big on the P-series of guns. I think they are butt-ugly and can't stand them. But I can't find fault with any Ruger revolver out there. My Ruger forte is most definitely revolvers, but I've come around to their automatics. I asked for two quotes from my local gun shop. I was told $630 for the new Beretta 92 A1 and $435 for the Ruger SR9. At nearly $200 less than the Beretta, the Ruger wins in price hands down.

The other problem I was having is that the Beretta 92 A1 isn't available yet. I know, I know. Suck it up and wait a few months for it to hit the gun shops. But the newest Beretta hasn't been market tested yet. I'm sure the engineers over at Beretta have thoroughly tested their newest creation, and I'm sure that since no changes were really made to the internals, the gun will handle and operate just fine. I'm just not comfortable dropping that much money on an untested gun anymore.

On the other hand, the Ruger has been out for a couple of years. Ruger has already experienced teething issues with this gun and has time to correct any problems it had. Thus far, it has been a very good weapon for many shooters. Additionally, Ruger has a reputation for awesome customer service and I feel the company will go above and beyond to make me a happy customer should I experience any issue with my SR9.

Okay, enough babbling. Let's get to the meat and potatoes. Specs!

Ruger only makes a stainless SR9. But I want a black one. Problem solved. the finish of the metal slide is Nitrodox Pro Black over stainless. Yep, it is a stainless gun that has been finished with a hardened black finish the resist scratching, but most importantly a stainless gun resists corrosion better than regular steel and is better for self-lubrication. I know this because most of the handguns in this house are stainless. I'd opt for the bright stainless, but this gun will be used as a companion to my AR 15 and thus I want it black.

Caliber: proven 9mm Luger (shares ammo with my trusted Beretta 92 FS)
Capacity: 17+1
Frame: Black, glass-filled nylon. Yep, it's plastic.
Sights: Adjustable 3-dot (highly visible I might add)
Barrel length: 4.14"
Height: 5.52"
Length: 7.55"
Width: 1.27" (comparable to a 1911 pistol)
Weight: 26.5 oz (just a couple oz heavier than my SP101 and about 9 oz lighter than a Beretta 92)
Grooves: 6
Twist: 1:10 RH

At first, the striker-fired concept for a full-size gun worried me. But I have discovered, through a lot of research, that the striker-fired concept has been proven over and over again in Glock pistols. Note: Glocks are ugly bastard children. With all the hype about strikers being unreliable behind me, I'd ready to get behind a striker-fired gun. Hey, it's the 21st century after all.

The other worry was the nylon frame. Plastic can crack. But so also can aluminum or steel. Let's not forget also that the furniture on nearly all modern assault weapons are made of plastic too. It is strong, yet lightweight - even lighter than aluminum. If taken care of (IE: don't use the gun as a hammer), the plastic will give no issues, and certainly won't rust. another added benefit is that if uses in really cold weather, my hand won't freeze to a plastic frame. Metal framed guns get COLD! The opposite holds true in really hot weather.

Let's not cloud the waters here. In no way am I saying that I'm not going to buy the new Beretta 92 A1. I'm simply waiting. I want to see it up close. I want to read reviews and watch videos online. I want to hear what others have to say. Then, when I'm satisfied, I will buy one. It's just at this time I want to keep an open mind about other guns too, and as everyone probably already knows, I don't need an excuse to buy a new gun.



  1. I came across your article today, and was enjoying it until I read where you think the SR9 is "pretty ugly". I am totally the other way. I like the looks of the SR9, especially when you compare it to the Glock. But then I did see where you said that the Glocks and S&W guns are uglier, so I guess I felt a little better. I guess you're comparing it to the Beretta. But that's a different style all together - more chiseled I guess. Reading on to other posts, I see that you came to like the SR9 which is understandable. I love it.

    Good article. I like your take.

    Gun Enthusiast Speaks

  2. Hi Bodrie. Historically, I've never been a fan of plastic guns, but I warmed up to them really fast with the Ruger SR9. Having owned it for a couple years, and after carrying the SR9c around for the last year and a half, I've really come to respect its functionality and it's brute looks. I liken the SR9 to the A-10 Thunderbolt. At first, you think it's kind of hideous, but then you get a good look at that multi-barreled cannon sticking out of its nose. Then you realize that the charm is not in looks alone, but just how bad ass it really is. That's the SR9 in a nutshell. She may not be as pretty as the Beretta 92FS, or as refined as the S&W M&P, but she's one mean firearm and handles like a crazy chick in the sack. Gotta love it!