The Ruger LC9s is a handgun that was created by popular demand. Ultra-compact handguns for concealed carry are popular, but to be practical they have to find a balance of features, taking into consideration caliber and capacity as well as size. Shooters had greeted the Ruger’s previous ultra-compact, the LC380, with a great deal of enthusiasm – and it remains very popular to this day – but there was still a call for a larger, more energetic caliber. Ruger knew that they had to come out with an ultra-compact in 9mm caliber, resulting in the LC9 DAO. Now, with the LC9s, Ruger has taken the concealed carry pistol to another level.
The first, most noticeable, feature of the LC9s is its size. This handgun is more than just about the dimensions, however; while any Ruger LC9s handgun review would naturally begin with the dimensions, the other features are just as important. A pistol review should describe the whole package, including reliability, accuracy and safety.
First, however, the measurements: with a 3.12″ barrel, the entire length of the handgun is kept down to 6.0″. The designers chose to use a single-stack magazine (unlike its predecessor, the LC9), which keeps the capacity down to 7+1, although there is a 9-round extended magazine available. As a result, however, the single-stack configuration also allows the pistol to be fantastically thin: it is a stunning 0.90″ at its widest. With a weight of just 17.2 ounces (unloaded), this is obviously a strong candidate for a concealed carry pistol. The dimensions and light weight make it a pistol that can be comfortable carried all day without becoming a burden.
But an outstanding concealed carry gun is about more than just small dimensions and light weight. Ruger has always been all about tough, and they didn’t skimp with the LC9s. The barrel is made of alloy steel, blued, with a 6-groove 1:10 inch right-hand rifling. A blued through-hardened alloy steel slide sits atop a black, high-performance glass-filled nylon grip frame.
The pistol has a striker-fired action (the “s” in the model number designates this), which gives a short, light and crisp trigger pull with a break at about 5.5 pounds. This smooth action also adds to the handgun’s ability to deliver faster, more accurate shooting. Equally important, since a striker action does not require a protruding hammer, it reduces the opportunity for snagging when being drawn from a concealed carry position.
The ergonomics of pistol are also well thought-out: the grip fits a range of hand sizes, an important consideration in an ultra-compact handgun. The choice of magazine butt styles also allows the length of the grip to be extended. Furthermore, the grip is canted at a comfortable angle that lends itself to instinctive shooting. For aimed shooting, the three-dot sights include a windage-adjustable rear and fixed blade front.
Safety features are well considered. A left-hand manual safety compliments an integrated trigger safety. In addition, there is a magazine disconnect. The pistol also features a visual inspection port that indicates if a round is in the chamber.
The Ruger LC9s comes with one 7-round magazine and one inert magazine for cleaning, a magazine extension, a soft case and a gun safety cable and lock. Additional magazines are available in both flat-bottom and finger-extension configurations, as well as the extended 9-round magazine. Laser aiming systems and holsters are available for this model as well.
The LC9s offers a new choice in the Ruger line-up of handguns. The combination of compact size, light weight, multiple safety features and, of course, the striker action provides shooters – and particularly individuals interested in a firearm for concealed carry – yet another selection when searching for just the right pistol.