Ruger must be listening to its customer base because earlier today, they introduced the Ruger LC9. This gun has been making the rounds on the blogosphere, so I figured I better add it to mine. The LC9 is a high speed, low drag compact pistol based on the highly successful Ruger LCP, but with some of the convenience and safety features offered on the larger SR9c.
From Ruger's Webpage:
The LC9 is a double-action-only, hammer-fired, locked-breech pistol with a smooth trigger pull. Control and confident handling of the Ruger LC9 are accomplished through reduced recoil and aggressive frame checkering for a positive grip in all conditions. The Ruger LC9 features smooth "melted" edges for ease of holstering, carrying and drawing.
The LC9 looks like the SR9c and the LCP had an affair and this was their love child. And what a child it is! This gun has all the stuff the LCP has, and more. The LC9 features a mechanical frame mounted safety (which may or may not excite you). It has a loaded chamber indicator, similar to that found on the SR9c, and the slide locks back after the last shot is fired. These considerations will appeal to many consumers who are looking for a simple, economical, and easy to handle pistol.
The LC9, being a 7+1 shot pistol, is bigger. Just how much bigger? This much.
comparison between LC9 and LCP
It stands a bit taller than the Ruger LCP, and it is a bit longer, but The extra material doesn't really cost you as much in the way of concealed carry as you may think. Look at the distance from both gun's grips to their respective trigger guards. There isn't much of a difference there. This tells me that the LC9 might be as easy to conceal as the LCP, considering those critical dimensions are very close.
What you lose in overall compactness, you gain in great abundance with the sighting system. The LC9 has an actual 3-dot sighting system, reminiscent of the Ruger SR9c. It is windage adjustable in the rear, fixed in the front. Many LCP owners are often dissatisfied with the sights (or lack thereof) on their pocket pistols. While I personally have never been a fan of them, the fact that the sights are garbage never bothers me because the LCP is not a target pistol. However, on a bigger gun, it is necessary to offer a decent set of sights so that accurate fire may be attained. The LC9 sights are basically low profile SR9c sights and this one advantage over the LCP makes the price tag (MSRP $443) worth every penny.
As far as compact goes, this gun definitely pushes the envelope of that definition. The overall dimensions are not much smaller than the Ruger SR9c. Coming in at 17.1 ounces, unloaded, it is only 6.3 ounces lighter than the SR9c. However, don't let that dismay you. That's almost half a lb less than the SR9c, and when it comes to all day carry, less is still less. The LC9 comes in at an overall height of 4.5 inches, which is .1 inch shorter than the SR9c. I'd like to see a comparison between the overall grip height and distances to the trigger guards on both guns. Overall height isn't so much a concern as grip length from the frame. This may be where the LC9 will really shine. Overall length on the LC9 is 6 inches, which is still very short. Compared to the short SR9c's overall length of 6.85 inches, the LC9 is .85 inches shorter, but the barrel is only .38 inches shorter than the SR9c's 3.5", coming in at 3.12 inches long. Again, not a bad trade. This is also likely due to the fact that the SR9c is a striker fired gun, and the LC9 is a double action, hammer fired gun. The LC9 is also a lot thinner than the SR9c, coming it an .90 inches wide vs. the SR9c's width of 1.27 inches.
For the record, the LC9 is only .08 inches wider than the LCP, and that is huge. Well, it's not huge in the sense that is it really big; it's huge in the sense that it is an 8 shot 9mm and it is less than an inch wide! Okay, yeah, other brands have done it. Single stacked 9mm autos are nothing new, but I'm a Ruger fan. I've handled the Kahrs, the Kel Tecs, the Sigs, the Walthers, and such. They've never done anything for me. But when a new gun comes out that has Ruger's logo stamped on it, I take notice. Not only does Ruger make a fantastic weapon, at a price point that I really appreciate on my blue collar wages, but they stand behind their products like no other company I've ever seen. Ruger is really proud of their product, and the fact that they have the best customer service I've ever witnessed from a firearms company makes me proud to own a Ruger. Okay, enough fanboy talk.
So, is the LC9 worth a look? Yep! Is it worth selling your SR9c or LCP over? Hells no! Now, is it worth adding to the existing collection? You bet! The combination of these three guns gives one the ability to adapt to any carry situation and attire. Be it summer, fall, spring, winter or whatever, you will always have the option to carry whichever suits your needs. I've said it before. Having multiple guns for carry is always a good thing. Being able to adapt to the weather and situation is paramount when carrying a concealed weapon. Just be sure to train with your weapon(s) of choice.
Will I buy the LC9? We'll see.