Rugerís Improvements to the SR9 Auto Pistol


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn

July 14th, 2008




Last November I reviewed Rugerís then-new SR9 striker-fired auto pistol. The SR9 was a new design for Ruger, being a polymer frame striker-fired pistol, but the slim 9mm pistol was a big hit with handgun buyers, and the one that I tested shot very well. It fit my hand, was comfortable to shoot, and functioned perfectly. As can be seen in the video that accompanies that earlier review, the muzzle rise is low, and the pistol is very easy to shoot.

I also commented, at the end of that review, that the SR9 is backed by Rugerís stellar reputation for customer service. Being the editor of, I get feedback everyday about customer service in the gun industry; good and bad. I can tell you without even trying to take a poll that Ruger is at the top of the heap in customer service. Some firearms companies have the attitude that there cannot possibly be anything wrong with one of their firearms, and that any problem found must be the customerís fault. Ruger ainít like that. Not long after I published that SR9 review, Ruger realized that there was a problem with a few of the SR9s, and that it could possibly lead to an accidental discharge if the pistol was dropped really hard with the safety in the ďfireĒ position. Ruger immediately stopped production of the pistol, and recalled every SR9 that had been shipped at that point.

When Ruger discovered that there was a potential problem, all their new projects came to a screeching halt, and they put every engineer that they had onto redesigning the internals of the SR9. Ruger has a couple of very interesting new firearms in the works, and hopefully, I will be able to report on those soon. I am chomping at the bit to get my hands on one of their newest, but it is to Rugerís credit that they put customer safety and satisfaction before sales of a new firearm.

Anyway, with a couple of internal parts redesigned, I have one of the SR9 pistols that has went through the recall process. The most noticeable change to the outside of the SR9 is the trigger blade. Several internal trigger parts have been replaced, but SR9 owners will immediately notice the trigger blade itself. It has a pivoting center blade which looks just like a Glock trigger. This blade must be depressed to allow the trigger to be pulled. It also serves as an overtravel stop. Some of the earliest SR9 pistols had a different magazine latch than did the latter ones, so they are being upgraded to the new style if needed, allowing the use of early or later SR9 magazines with the pistol. Also, the magazine safety disconnect and striker block have been redesigned, and are being replaced.

The rebuilt SR9 sent to me was fired with a wide variety of 9mm ammunition, and as expected, it worked perfectly will all ammo tested. The only problem encountered with the test pistol was that it had a sticky magazine catch at first, but that problem corrected itself after a bit of shooting. The new trigger seems to be a real improvement. I liked the trigger just fine on the early version, but the new SR9 trigger feels smoother, and a bit easier to reach. The trigger pull on the SR9 measured six and three-quarters pounds. The trigger travel is about three-eighths of an inch, and the reset is only about one-quarter inch. This short trigger reach, combined with the excellent grip of the SR9 makes it very easy to shoot well and shoot quickly.

The accuracy displayed by the SR9 was pretty good. Seven yard rapid fire drills kept every shot in the kill zone of a reduced-sized human silhouette target with ease, and five-shot twenty-five yard groups from a handheld rested position measured between two and one-half and three and one-half inches using high performance combat ammo, depending upon the load chosen, and did a bit better with my handloads. The rear sight is elevation adjustable to accommodate various ammunition, and both front and rear sights are windage adjustable by drifting in their dovetail cuts in the slide.

I wonít cover every detail of the SR9 again here, but refer the reader to my previous review. My purpose here is to highlight only the changes that Ruger is making to the recalled SR9 pistols, but I will make a comment that I am still delighted with the feel and handling qualities of the SR9. The grip is much thinner than a 1911 auto, yet holds seventeen 9mm cartridges instead of the 1911 holding seven or eight .45 ACP cartridges. I still love the good old 1911 design, and carry one often, but an eighteen-shot 9mm with a thinner grip has a lot to offer as well. It is like having a built-in reload.

Ruger has already shipped the first batch of recalled pistols back to their owners. They are trying to process about one thousand pistols per week, and they are calling the guns in at different times, so that the gun owner will be without his pistol no longer than necessary. Ruger pays shipping both ways, will try to get the guns in and out in a week, and gives the SR9 owner a free extra magazine for his trouble and inconvenience. Ruger is spending a lot of money to do this, but they are obsessed with safety at Ruger, and are still retrofitting the early Blackhawk, Bearcat, and Single-Six revolvers with new lockwork, even though they were all built decades ago. Ruger seems to be very committed to customer service. I wish that all gun makers were the same.

Look here for more details on the SR9 recall.

Check out the full line of Ruger products here.

Jeff Quinn





The SR9 is a perfect fit for the author's hand.



Compared to the beloved 1911A1 pistol (left), the SR9 (right) is slimmer, lighter and holds substantially greater firepower.



Seven-yard rapid-fire group shows the SR9 would is a handy and capable defensive weapon.



The SR9 is simple and easy to disassemble for cleaning.





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Click pictures for a larger version.





The SR9's redesigned trigger.



Rear sight is screw-adjustable for elevation, and both front and rear sights are drift-adjustable for windage.





The magazine holds seventeen 9mm cartridges...



... almost a whole box of ammunition!