Sunday, May 2, 2010

SR9 - First Trip To The Range

Today, I had some free time after the children went to sleep for their afternoon naps, so I took my new Ruger SR9 to the range to run 100 rounds of 9mm through it. The purpose of this was to give it a shakedown and see if there were any issues with it. Every good gun owner knows to first fire their weapon in a controlled setting before ever relying on it for self-defense. Plus, I wanted to make sure the sights were aligned for my eyes and shooting technique. I have no doubt they were mechanically zeroed at the factory.

Before actually shooting the gun, I loaded both factory 17 round magazines that the gun came with. Ruger also provided a magazine loader to assist loading the magazines. It came in handy. It made loading the magazines fast and saved me from having a sore thumb afterward. After loading, I inserted a magazine into the gun and held it for a bit. I wanted to see how the gun balanced with a fully loaded magazine. It does well. I took aim. The gun aims naturally and effortlessly.

Finally, I took aim at the first target and fired. I fired 5 shots downrange at 7 yards (21 feet). I checked the shot placement on the paper. They were about 5 inches high. I cranked down on the elevation adjustment screw, loaded on top of the gun just in front of the rear sights. There is a positive "click" between settings and that is welcomed! After an adjustment, I fired another 5 shots. The point of impact was still about 3 inches high, so I cranked down on the adjustment screw about 4 clicks down. After firing again, I noted all rounds were landing just above the little black target ring. After a few more clicks, I was sighted in. The gun now shot dead nutz center of the little targets. No windage adjustment was necessary because my groups were spread along the center of the targets. My best group was a cool 2" - not bad for a gun I've never fired before and a safe trigger I was not yet used to.

Now, let's sit back a second here and let me explain something about shot groups. This gun isn't a range queen. It's not the kind of gun with a super crisp, lightweight, single action trigger pull. This is a defensive gun with a heavy, deliberate, double action style trigger pull. If I was interested in putting 1/2" groups onto the paper, I would buy a 1911 style pistol and really work the trigger, and accurize the heck out of it. But honestly, I couldn't carry a gun like that in the real world. There are too many variables that come into play and a super accurized gun with a super light, super short, super crisp (and very VERY delicate) trigger pull has no business in a concealed carry or combat application. Sure, it's one thing to impress your friends with sub 1" groups, but it's a whole other ball of wax to carry a gun with a combat trigger and still shoot it like a professional.

The Ruger SR9, like any other self-defense pistol, is meant to be durable and dependable. This comes with a sacrifice. When you make a trigger safe and reliable, sometimes supreme accuracy suffers. But how much does it suffer? Well, in my instance not that much. I still put down a small enough group to get all the bullets either on the chest of a bad guy or in the head. That's pretty good. As my experience with this gun increases, so will my accuracy with this gun. My SP101 is dialed in, so to speak. I can shoot all 5 shots inside the 10-ring and have all of the holes touch one another. It's just a matter of getting to know your weapon.

I watched my group sizes shrink as I went. Each 5 round group got smaller and smaller. I have no doubt that if I had 100 more rounds of ammo to burn up, I could have been shooting them all in the 10 ring. But I'll take the next ring out this trip.

Overall, I'm happy with the design and function of this gun. The safety style trigger was easy to get over and the feel of the gun made it easy to shoot and very manageable. I'm a satisfied Ruger customer... again.



  1. How does it compare to the beretta ?

  2. If I'm honest with myself, there really isn't a comparison between the two. The Beretta is so much more gun than the Ruger in terms of size and quality - not to mention price. As for accuracy and handling, if you're a big guy like me, and you can get your meat hooks around that large Beretta grip, then it should handle the same as the Ruger. But smaller people might find the Ruger more enjoyable simply because the grips are more ergonomically designed to fit the human hand. That is my favorite part about the SR9; the grip is amazing.