How should one begin to explain the Ruger LC9? How about 'The Ruger LC9 is a DOA, hammer-fired, locked-breech, recoil operated 9mm pocket gun with a smooth trigger pull.'
Nah! That won't do justice to for this pocket Ruger!
How about 'Attention Gunsumers! We have here the 2011 'Gun of The Year' from the same manufacturer that bagged the same award for four consecutive years, as well as a record breaking seven times in total!'
That sounds better.. Now let the review begin!
The LC9 is an enhanced version of the popular Ruger LCP, and it's here because the consumers wanted it, an LCP chambered in 9mm. The big brother to the diminutive LCP, the LC9 is almost exactly what you'd expect from Ruger with added surprises.
Mechanically, the LC9 is a traditional DAO, hammer-fired, recoil operated, locked-breech pistol that features a long yet smooth trigger pull. The semi-automatic mechanism features a dual recoil spring assembly that guides the stainless steel slide across a nylon rod.
With Ruger even the smallest guns are supposed to be strong. The LC9 further features a pivoting external extractor design typical of Ruger's committed approach to rugged reliability. The extractor is notably more massive and heavy-duty than most extractors on similar-size compact 9mm automatics.
Externally the LC9 is a true Ruger initiated utilitarian. The frame is a lightweight polymer reinforced with aluminum inserts. The barrel and slide are of stainless steel with a Melonite corrosion resistant black matte ranking a solid 68 Rockwell. LC9 also has several safety features. Firstly, a slide lock holds the slide back when the magazine runs empty. Secondly, a single-sided manual thumb safety and a magazine safety to prevent a fire when the magazine is removed. Thirdly, the loaded-chamber indicator is located atop the slide for obvious visual and tactile confirmation. If a round is in the chamber, you'd know. Finally, Ruger has put a lot of thought into the design of the magazine release button. It protrudes enough for a quick magazine change, but melts into the frame towards the front of the weapon. The flush prevents the accidental release of the magazine while carried concealed.
Ergonomically, LC9 features aggressively checkered sides for a secure grip during rapid fire sessions. All remaining 'edges' and surfaces are beveled and rounded for ease of holstering, carrying and drawing. The LC9's low-profile 3 dot sights offer a distinct improvement over the LCP. Now both the front and rear sights are drift adjustable for windage. The rear sight also has a locking screw for stability.
Aesthetically, it cannot be denied that the Ruger LC9 is one sophisticated conceal carry pistol. With Ruger's trademark gamer like attention to detail, the pistols' snout tapers inwards at the end of the barrel. Ruger has toned down the SR9c's garish graphics to a more chilling LC9 design. The striations on the front of the slide have been dropped in favor of a smooth swage line and a sculpted nose seamlessly morphs into an elongated trigger guard.