** Written byExpert Guest Blogger Gracie of Packing Pretty **
The Ruger LC 9 is what is often referred to as a “pocket pistol” because it is a slim, compact handgun that fits easily in your pocket. These little guns are great for deep concealment so , naturally, I was excited to finally get my hands on one, and this is what I found:
One of the things I liked about the Ruger LC9 shoots 9mm Luger. This is a fairly decent defense round when the right defensive ammunition is shot through it.
The LC9 holds 7 rounds in a single stack magazine. That means that cartridges sit inside the box magazine in a single row instead of staggered like in double stack magazines. The upside to a single stack magazine is that it is thinner or flatter, allowing the grip and frame of the gun to be slimmer as well. The downside to a single stack magazine is that it has a lower round capacity. Round count is sacrificed for size in this model. Overall round capacity for the LC9 is 7+1.
The trigger is double-action. This means that every time you pull the trigger it cocks the internal hammer before releasing it, making it a long, heavy pull compared to a single action. The reason for this is so that the trigger doesn’t get pulled unintentionally. There are many pros and cons to a double action trigger which I won’t get into in this post. It is important to note, however, that a double action trigger can take a little more training and practice to master, but is a good option for concealed carry.
The LC9 trigger does not have a re-strike feature. If a cartridge fails to fire, the shooter will need to rack the slide like with most any other semi-auto.
This handgun has a nice large trigger opening due to the (comparatively) large trigger guard. While I didn’t find the LC9 extremely comfortable to shoot, it was less painful then the comparable Kel Tec PF9 which had a smaller area around the trigger, causing an annoying and often painful slap when the gun recoiled.
Due the larger trigger guard, the LC9 has no tactical rail for attachment of accessories...no big deal to me personally, but something to be noted. For those who can’t live without the “tacticool” accessories, Crimson Trace makes a laser sight for the LC9, and it includes a pocket holster made specifically for this combo.
The LC9 comes standard with an internal lock, manual thumb safety. The thumb safety on the LC9 cannot be engaged unless the pistol is cocked. I like this feature, as it allows the user to check status in the dark. That, coupled with a tactile/visual feedback loaded chamber indicator, is a welcome addition.
I was happy with the accuracy of this gun, but it only had about one hundred rounds through it. Just like any other new handgun, it will take between 200-500 rounds to fully break in. Once the break in process is complete it should shoot smoother and more accurate.
This LC9 comes standard with three dot sights that are fairly easy to align and get a sight picture with. However, as with any pocket pistol, because the sight radius is so short that it is harder to shoot accurately. This doesn’t mean the gun isn’t accurate, it means it’s harder for the shooter to be accurate.
As I mentioned before, it wasn’t necessarily comfortable to shoot. Then again, most handguns that size aren’t. What I did notice was that the LC9 was far more comfortable than most of the comparable guns in this size and caliber. The “kick” of the gun, or recoil, was in no way uncontrollable for a novice to experienced shooter. These little pistols aren’t designed to absorb the recoil like heavier, larger guns do, but these are just some of the sacrifices we make when we choose to carry a smaller gun.
A Few Concerns:
One of the things that concerned me as a defensive handgun shooter is that the trigger is very much like the LCR (revolver) in operation. It must be relaxed fully forward to reset. There is a 'false reset' click that will fool most semi-auto shooters. If fooled by the ‘false reset’ you will pull the trigger back and the gun will not fire because the action has not fully reset. This is covered in the LCR manual, and I assume they include it in the manual of the LC9 as well.
The other concern I have, and what makes the LC9 a deal breaker for me, is that the Ruger LC9 comes from the factory with a magazine disconnect. This means, if the magazine is not in the gun, it will not fire. This can be a huge tactical disadvantage when doing magazine changes with a round still in the chamber, or when employing retention shooting tactics. For combat or defensive shooting magazine disconnects are highly discouraged. For this reason I would only consider carrying the LC9 as a backup sidearm.
Overall, I think the LC9 is a decent pistol for the price. I would not recommend the LC9 or any pocket pistol for a beginner because of the recoil, short sight radius and the tricky trigger reset. However, for a more experienced shooter, I think the LC9 is a viable option as a back-up weapon for concealed carry.