Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Official Ruger LC9 Range Report

On May 22, 2011, I took my newly acquired Ruger LC9 out to the woods for a shakedown test.  I also brought along some other guns for comparison: the Ruger SR9, SR9c, and LCP.  I will do a comparison post at another time.  For this entry, I want to focus on the Ruger LC9.

First, off, let's talk about ergonomics.  The LC9 is a slim gun with a very slim grip and profile.  It is contoured to fit the hand pretty well.  For me, it is a good feel.  The gun is effortless to point and hold out.  The gun aims naturally for me, and a lot of this has to do with things like the grip angle, width, etc.  The controls are all within easy reach, so I don't have to try hard to get to them during operation of the weapon.  Everything is within easy reach and is familiar.

The magazine is a single stacked 9mm with a finger extension for the end of the grip.  You can also get it with a flat plate instead, but I prefer the extension for my large hands.  As an aside, I have not noticed the extension sticking out during concealed carry on my SR9c.  The LC9 magazine itself is easy to load, and holds 7 rounds.  The magazine has holes in it as well as numbers to quickly show you how many rounds are left in the magazine.  Since it is a single stack magazine, it too is very slim and low profile - not bulky like double stacked magazines for larger guns.  It hides well in a jacket pocket and isn't heavy at all, even loaded.

The sights on this gun are perfect.  They feature 3-dot drift adjustability and are easy to see and sight down on the target.  They are also curved, rounded, and radiused so they will be less likely to snag on clothing or gear (or anything else for that matter), which is a nice touch.  There are no sharp edges on them to speak of.  As far as sighting goes, I'm fairly accurate with it.  While I wasn't shooting paper this time out, I was shooting at clay pigeons, which are about 3-4" in diameter.  I was shooting at a combination of ranges from 7 to 20 yards.  At 7 yards, I had no problem putting the bullets where I wanted, but at 15 or so yards, the gun was shooting a touch low.  No problem, I simply covered the targets with the front sight and they disappeared as I pulled the trigger.

The trigger on this gun is metal.  I mentioned that because the LCP trigger is plastic.  Additionally, the trigger has a long double action style trigger pull, but it is smooth all the way through.  The gun broke clean and I didn't really feel any over travel when shooting it.  A word of note here: In order to reset the trigger after the shot breaks, you need to let it almost all the way out.  Otherwise, it will not reset and the gun won't fire.  It's not something you think about though during normal operation.  Most of the time, I just released it completely and went on shooting.  Staging this trigger is very important for accurately aimed shots.  Rapid fire on this gun revealed a lot of controllability, as illustrated in my video, where I shot a 1 gallon milk jug at social distances 7 times as fast as I could pull the trigger.  Overall, I'm satisfied with the trigger on the LC9.

This brings me to my next part: recoil.  Recoil wasn't bad in this gun.  Granted, I'm a walking recoil absorbing machine and will make almost anything look tame, but I'm here to tell you that the recoil on the LC9 wasn't harsh or bad at all.  It is brisk.  I will give it that.  But a brisk recoil is nothing to fear.  It just doesn't have the typical push that my heavier 9mm guns have.  The LC9 definitely barks when fired.  Again, it's nothing to fear, nor is it punishing.  It is actually quite pleasant.

Mechanically, this gun handled almost flawlessly.  I do have to say that there were a couple times that the slide did not hold open after the last round was fired from the magazine, and it threw me off.  But overall, it acted predictably.  It did not experience a single failure to feed, extract, or fire.  It consistently throws the spent cases over to the right of where I stand when shooting, and they are not all over the place.  I will be watching the hold open in the future to determine if maybe a magazine is at fault or if it is the slide lock itself.  Overall, it's not a big concern at the moment. 

I have another shooting trip coming up Memorial Day weekend and will have another opportunity to shoot the LC9 and continue testing.  Perhaps I'll have some paper targets to shoot at as well.  Either way, there will definitely be more videos featuring my LC9 in the future.

Oh yes, I also indicated in an early entry that I removed the magazine disconnect.  This has not affected the function or performance of the LC9 in a bad way at all.  Since I removed the disconnect before firing, I cannot compare the trigger to what it might have been before.  However, as it is a piece of metal that slides against the trigger's fulcrum, I can only imagine that it doesn't do any good for accuracy at all.  Either way, I'm glad I took it out.

Look for another report and more videos in the future!

-James

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