It has been three and one-half years since
Ruger introduced their excellent LC9 semiautomatic
9x19mm pistol has sold very well, proving to be a reliable and
accurate compact auto-pistol. The only real complaint that I
have ever received about that pistol is that some shooters do
not like the long trigger pull. While the resistance was not
excessively heavy on the LC9, some shooters had a problem with
the length of the trigger stroke, as well as the reset. Having
large hands, it never bothered me any, but with the new
striker-fired LC9s, Ruger has dramatically improved the trigger
on this latest pistol.
The LC9 has an internal hammer to fire the
weapon, but the LC9s uses a striker, eliminating the hammer, and
allowing for a shorter, slightly lighter trigger stroke. The
trigger pull on the LC9s prototype that I fired at the Mayodan,
NC Ruger factory a couple of months ago was so light, that the
engineers had to increase the pull weight for safety reasons.
That dandy little pistol had a trigger pull resistance in the
two and one-half pound range! The production pistols have
increased that weight to just over five pounds resistance, but
it is still a butter-smooth, delightful trigger pull, which to
me feels even lighter than it measures on my scale. Perfect.
Back to my visit to the Mayodan factory; I
was there for another reason, but Ruger CEO Mike Fifer was there
as well, and he brought the LC9s prototype with him, and allowed
me to coon-finger the pistol for a while, as well as allowing me
to fire it outside the plant in the adjoining woods. The LC9s is
built at Ruger's Prescott, AZ factory, but I am glad that Mike
had brought one with him to North Carolina to show me, as I had
at that time heard of, but not seen the LC9s.
Like the LC9, the LC9s is a compact, smooth,
reliable little pistol, which is sized just about right for easy
concealment, whether in the pocket or a holster. The LC9s weighs
just slightly over a pound with an empty seven-round magazine in
place. The pistol wears a very good set of windage-adjustable
sights that are, thankfully, made of genuine carbon alloy steel.
The carbon alloy slide wears a matte black finish, which matches
the polymer frame perfectly. The grip is slim, but allows a good
hold upon the pistol for positive control. The magazine base is
flat, but the pistol also ships with a finger-extension magazine
base plate, which gives purchase to the little finger of the
firing hand. The magazine release is exactly where it should be,
and is easily operated by the thumb of a right-handed shooter or
the trigger finger of a left-handed shooter. The trigger
incorporates an articulated safety lever in the center. After
about one quarter inch of lighter take-up, the trigger stroke
covers just over three-eighths of an inch, and positively resets
in the same distance of travel. While perfectly safe, this
trigger is easy enough for anyone to use comfortably, even if
the hand strength is weak. Again, perfect.
The exterior of the LC9s is very smooth, with
no sharp edges to cut the hand nor any roughness to abrade
clothing. With a seven-round steel magazine, the LC9s can be
carried safely with the chamber loaded, for a ready capacity of
specifications for the LC9s pistol are listed in the chart
below. Weight is listed in ounces, and includes the empty
magazine. Linear dimensions are listed in inches. Trigger pull
is listed in pounds of resistance, as measured with my Lyman
digital trigger pull scale. Height includes sights and magazine
base with the flat magazine base in place. Maximum width is
measured across the frame, including the manual thumb safety.
|Weight with Empty Magazine
|Magazine Disconnect Safety
||Yes, Right Handed
|MSRP, as of July 2014
fired the LC9s with a variety of ammunition over the chronograph
to check velocities, with the results listed in the chart below.
Velocities are listed in feet-per-second. Bullet weights are
listed in grains. JHP is a jacketed hollowpoint bullet. DPX,
Buffalo Bore Lead Free, and Double Tap Tac-XP
are hollow nose homogenous copper bullets that are made
by Barnes Bullets. Guard Dog is a FMJ with a soft plastic core
to promote rapid expansion. FP is a frangible, pre-fragmented
flatnose bullet. FMJ is a full metal jacket roundnose bullet.
FMJ-FN is a full metal jacket flat nose Buffalo Bore Penetrator
bullet. PB is Pow’RBall, a specialty bullet from Cor-Bon.
Glaser is a pre-fragmented bullet. Velocities were taken at an
elevation of 541 feet above sea level, with an air temperature
of eighty degrees Fahrenheit, and a relative humidity of
forty-one percent. Velocities were recorded at ten feet from the
|Double Tap TAC-HP +P
|Double Tap FMJ +P
|Remington Home Defense
|Atomic HP +P
|WCC NATO FMJ
|Buffalo Bore FMJ-FN
|Buffalo Bore JHP
|Buffalo Bore +P+ JHP
|Buffalo Bore +P JHP
|Cor-Bon Glaser +P
|Cor-Bon JHP +P
|Cor-Bon PB +P
|Cor-Bon +P DPX
|Cor-Bon JHP +P
|International Cartridge FP
The LC9s, as expected, performed flawlessly.
The pistol fed, fired, and ejected each of the ammo types listed
above, without fail. The slide never failed to lock in the open
position on an empty magazine. The smooth, short trigger pull
allowed me to utilize the pistol's inherent accuracy to its
fullest, making head shots offhand quickly from ten yards on a
human silhouette was easy to do, as was keeping all hits tightly
clustered at fifteen yards, and keeping all hits in the vitals
of a full-sized human silhouette at twenty-five yards, all
standing and shooting with a two-hand Weaver hold.
The LC9s is as safe as any mechanical device
can be, incorporating a manual safety, trigger safety, and
magazine safety. Included is an inert orange plastic magazine to
use for disassembly and dry-fire practice. It also has a visual
inspection port at the rear of the chamber, which allows the
operator to visually check for a cartridge in the chamber,
without retracting the slide.
The LC9s uses the same holsters, magazines,
and laser sights as does the standard LC9, so these accessories
are readily available from Ruger and aftermarket sources. The
LC9s, from a shooter's perspective, can be viewed as an improved
LC9. It weighs the same, and feels the same, but the LC9s has a
much-improved trigger feel, making it much easier to operate for
most shooters. The LC9s is made in the USA, and ships with one
magazine, finger-extension magazine baseplate, soft case, inert
magazine, Ruger decal, and instruction manual. As of the date of
this review, the suggested retail of the LC9s is $449 US.
Check out the new LC9s and other Ruger
products at www.ruger.com.
To buy extra magazines and accessories for
the LC9s, go to www.shopruger.com.
For the location of a Ruger dealer near you,
click on the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.
To order the LC9 online, go to www.galleryofguns.com
order quality 9x19mm ammunition, go to www.buffalobore.com,
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