LC9 Ruger Review and Range Report. I purchased the LC9 Ruger 9mm subcompact pistol from Scheels for $369.99. This is a great price because you can find the same Ruger LC9 for sale online from Buds Gun Shop for $389.99. I just couldn’t pass it up at this price.
It is small pistol designed for concealed carry or for use as a backup. It is just a bit larger than the Ruger LCP .380, and about the same size as the Kel-Tec PF9, and Kimber Solo. The LC9 is narrow at .9 inches and weighs only 17.1 oz. The pistol felt slightly barrel heavy at first but after a few shots I forgot all about it. The first shots also seemed to have quite a bit of recoil to me. It may be that I am accustomed to shooting larger 9mm pistols and the light weight LC9 had a different feel because of the narrow grip and light weight.
It comes with one well built quality 7 round magazine with a flat base plate and an extended finger rest base plate. The base plate is easily removed and installed. If you have ever tried to change a Glock base plate you will appreciate how easy it is to remove and change the LC9 magazine base plate.
The first day I shot using the extended grip. I noticed that my middle finger was rubbing against the trigger guard and started to cause some slight pain after 100 rounds or so. The next day I changed to the flat floor plate and shot over 250 rounds with no grip problems at all. The extended pinky grip caused me to force the pinky on the extension which forced the middle finger up against the edge of the trigger guard. Using the flat plate eliminated this problem for me and made the LC9 quite comfortable for me to shoot.
Shoot at 15 yards I had fairly consistent 7″ and 8 ” groups. Shooting at 7 yards and I was able to get some fairly consistent 5 and 6 shot groups in the 2” bulls eye. The trigger takes some getting used to; it is long and breaks far back with the trigger almost touching the frame. I found that too slow a pull caused me to anticipate and jerk the trigger. Getting the pull speed just right and keeping my eye on the front sight resulted in several 5 shot groups in the bulls eye which makes the this small pistol plenty accurate for my needs.
After shooting 175 rounds of cheap Wolf Classic 115 grain FMJ, 50 rounds of Federal 115 Gr. FMJ, and some self defense ammo including Federal Classic Hi-Shok 115 grain JHP, and Remington Golden Saber 124 grain +P JHP I experienced 7 failures to fire. Reloading these rounds into the chamber resulted in them firing but it took several strikes to do it. I wasn’t sure if it was an ammunition problem, maybe the chamber was dirty and the rounds weren’t seated fully, or if it was a firing pin problem.
During cleaning I disassembled the firing pin assembly to find that it was very dirty, oily, and had small pieces of brass metal debris in the spring and firing pin tunnel. After a good cleaning I coated the firing pin with oil and then vigorously wiped it off completely with a clean rag. Reassembled the pistol and took it back to the range.
This time I shot 250 rounds of mostly cheap 115 grain ammunition without one problem. The last rounds included Remington Golden Saber 124 grain JHP, Sellier & Bellot 124 grain JHP, and Federal 115 grain JHP. Shooting the Remington Golden Saber JHP and Sellier & Bellot FMJ caused the same light strikes and FTF.
During cleaning I found the following: The firing pin chamber was dry and not oily at all. The firing pin would fall through the hole by its own weight. I did find a considerable amount of metal bits that looked like brass but some filings were silver in color. It took 4 or 5 solvent wet swabs, and dry swabs to get the firing pin tunnel clean of metal flakes. I also noticed that item #34 the Firing Pin Retainer was slightly bent. This is a very small part. I assume this damage is from dry firing. I will only dry fire using a snap cap from now on.
Will have to wait a few days until the range opens so I can test it again.
My initial feeling about the Ruger LC9 is good. It is not a perfect gun but so far it has shot everything I fed it regardless of bullet weight, FMJ, JHP, +P, or standard ammunition. At this point I am favorably impressed.