Ruger LC9

Ruger sent me their LC9 for T&E.  It is a compact, slim single-stack pistol chambered in 9mm Parabellum.

Included in box:  Instruction Manual,  padlock,  soft case,  low-profile floorplate,  two internal lock keys and one pre-fired 9x19mm cartridge case.

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First thing noticed was the incredibly slim grip circumference.  The molded polymer frame is free from any rough edges and feels good in the hand.  The hardened alloy steel slide is smooth and finish is evenly applied.  With no sharp corners found on the slide or frame it’s obvious this pistol was designed for concealed carry.
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Pistol specs:

Manufacturer:  Sturm, Ruger & Co.
Model:  LC9
Caliber:  9x19mm Parabellum
Capacity:  7+1
Weight w/out mag:  15.0 oz.
Weight w/loaded mag: 20.2 oz.
Length:  6 in.
Height w/flat floorplate:  4.44 in.
Height w/ext. floorplate:  4.91 in.
Width:  1.05 in. (safety included)
Barrel:  3.125 in.
Grooves:  6 (mfr)
Twist:  1:10 in. RH (mfr)
Trigger pull:  5 lbs. 9.0 oz.

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Soft pistol case, internal lock keys(2), one magazine and flat floorplate.
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Three dot sights:  Rear is windage adjustable – Front is dovetailed
     

Slide features a loaded chamber indicator:
Empty chamber (L) – Loaded chamber (R)
     

Along with the loaded chamber indicator there is also visual indication of a loaded chamber.
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Slide stop and manual safety are located on left side of pistol.
Safety OFF (L) – Safety ON (R)
     
The safety lever is small and unobtrusive but still offers adequate purchase with positive engagement and disengagement.
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The slim LC9 grip is finely checkered.

Internal lock is located on the right side of frame.

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Smooth trigger

Low-profile magazine release

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 Disassembled for cleaning and familiarization
Note: Internal lock key is also required for the removal the takedown pin to disassemble.
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Feed ramp

Detailed breech

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Slide bottom (L) – Frame innards (R)
     

Trigger pull average of 5 lbs. 9 oz. (Lyman digital gauge)

LC9 compared with LCP

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From the first second I picked this pistol up and fondled it I could tell it was designed for deep concealment.  While not quite pocket pistol sized like the LCP, its slim design should facilitate concealment and permit prolonged carry.  It has the look and feel of a good covert handgun but I need to find out how well it will perform.

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Range report

At the range temperature was 102°.  Elevation approx.470 ft.  Light and variable winds.  Winchester Value Pack and PDX1, Speer Gold Dot, and Federal Hydra-Shok ammunition was acquired for the test.

     

First thing – all ammunition was chronographed at 10 ft.
Shooting Chrony F-1 Master

All primer strikes appear sufficient

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Velocities:

Win. 115 gr. FMJ Value Pack ………………. 1050 fps.
Win. PDX1 124 gr. +P JHP ………………….. 1090 fps.
Speer Gold Dot 124 gr. +P Short Barrel ….. 1078 fps.
Federal Hydra Shok 135 gr. Low Recoil ……. 954 fps.

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Head group is 5 rounds of Winchester 115 gr. FMJ at 3 yards, offhand.
All torso groups are 5 rounds at 7 yards, offhand.
Left: Win. PDX1 – Right: Fed. Hydra Shok
Center: Speer Gold Dot

20 yards

3 round groups were fired from 20 yards off a benched sandbag.

Win. 115 gr. FMJ

Speer Gold Dot

Fed. Hydra Shok

Win. PDX1

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Note: Targets’ center – 2″ dia.; middle ring – 4″; outer ring – 6″.

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 The LC9 is a sleek compact well suited for concealed carry.  I can’t think of another 9x19mm that I have shot or even handled that is this slim.  It is as slim or slimmer than most .380 ACPs.  Though its grip is narrow, felt recoil was controllable and I was able to keep a firm hold throughout the range session.  With sweaty palms the pistol stayed secure even while firing +Ps.  Through 100 rounds of both FMJs and hollow point ammo not one malfunction was experienced.  Ammunition was limited hence the three round groups.  Up close the short barrel was capable of respectable groups but moving back to the 20 proved to be a challenge.  While the trigger weight is only 5 pounds 9 ounces the travel is excessive and requires quite a long pull.  I somewhat understand their safety concerns with the extremely long pull but on a pistol equipped with a manual safety it’s overkill.  This pistol has ample safety features; a magazine safety disconnect, an internal lock safety, a manual external safety and the lengthy trigger pull.

It was designed for personal protection and with its 9mm punch should serve the purpose effectively.  Practice and getting accustomed to the trigger will make this LC9 ideal for concealed carry.