Concealed Carry

Ruger EC9s — A True Economy Pistol

Ruger EC9s

Building on the success of the beloved LC9s, Ruger created the EC9s for those on a tighter budget or who simply do not need the additional features the standard model provides. The Ruger EC9s is the embodiment of the concept of a no-frills handgun that just gets the job done. But how does it fare as a concealed carry pistol, and what are you really giving up with this model?

Ruger EC9s Features

The Ruger EC9s is the “economy” form of the company’s popular LC9s model. As such, it utilizes a similar design without some of the additional features. Dovetailed sights are replaced with a blacked-out fixed variety that are milled into the slide. The economy pistol is a touch heavier (by about 0.7 oz) and features wider spaces between the slide serrations.

Ruger EC9s pistol
The Ruger EC9s is a no-frills handgun that works well.

One final measure Ruger used to cut costs was a black oxide finish on the slide instead of the traditional bluing — something many wouldn’t even notice. Overall, the pistol uses the same 7-round magazine, trigger, magazine disconnect safety, and manual thumb safety (though the LC9s is available without this) as is the standard model.


Manufacturer: Ruger
Model: EC9s
Caliber: 9mm Luger
Capacity: 7+1
Trigger: Double-Action-Only
Barrel length: 3.12 inches
Overall Length: 6 inches
Height: 4.5 inches
Weight: 17.8 ounces

Range Time

I experienced no hiccups with the Ruger EC9s at the range. Reliability was 100 percent, with no malfunctions of any kind. Accuracy was to be expected of a pistol this size with rudimentary fixed sights. You’ll need to find ammo with a point of impact that lines up with where your pistol shoots, because there’s no way to adjust your sights. For close self-defense distances this is not an issue, but as you stretch farther out, this may come into play. 

Ruger EC9s and Target
The Ruger EC9s grouped well for a self-defense pistol of this size.

Recoil was snappy but controllable — especially for a pistol this size. That is a small sacrifice to get a pistol this concealable. The trigger isn’t match-grade and is a bit mushy, but it functions as it should. The trigger has a long reset, similar to a double-action revolver. The magazines ejected positively, making for fast and smooth reloads. The slide serrations worked well, even with sweaty hands, and slide manipulations were easy. 

Carry Options

To evaluate this pistol as a carry gun, I wanted to find some holsters and accessories that wouldn’t knock it out of the budget realm. This slim-line nine is well within the parameters for pocket carry, but it’s important to have a proper holster to protect the trigger. I have found the Sticky Holsters pocket holster to work well for its modest price. The material is thick enough to prevent the trigger from accidently being pull and it’s textured to keep the holster securly in the pocket during the draw. 

Three pistols on shooting range bench
The EC9s shot well among its counterparts.

For inside-the-waistband carry, the DeSantis Sof-Tuck provides comfort and security without breaking the bank.  This tuckable leather holster allows you to adjust the cant to position the pistol to best fit your body and preferred carry method. 

Due to the single-stack design of the Ruger EC9s, you may find yourself wanting more ammunition on hand. I reccomend sticking with OEM magazines for carry, and luckily Ruger offers an extended 9-round magazine that would be perfect to use as a spare. Slim single-stack mags such as this are easy to tote in an off-hand pocket or magazine carrier.

Ruger EC9s magazine
Ruger’s extended 9-round magazine is a great backup.

Final Thoughts

So, how does the Ruger EC9s stack up against other options? There’s no doubt that single-stack pistols are a little outmatched by modern competitors such as the SIG P365, Springfield Hellcat, and S&W Shield Plus. Even Ruger now offers its MAX-9 to compete. However, these pistols are over twice the price of the EC9s and have a slightly larger footprint. If you’re not as concerned with capacity and features, the EC9s is an attractive option. Those looking for a no-frills pistol that’s simply business would be wise to consider the Ruger EC9s. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better bang for your buck.

What do you think of the Ruger EC9s? How do you think these single-stack options fare against modern alternatives? Share your answers in the comment section.

About the Author:

Alex Cole

Alex is a younger firearms enthusiast who’s been shooting since he was a kid. He loves consuming all information related to guns and is constantly trying to enhance his knowledge, understanding, and use of firearms. Not a day goes by where he doesn’t do something firearms-related and he tries to visit the range at least a couple of times a month to maintain and improve his shooting skills.

His primary focus is on handguns, but he loves all types of firearms. He enjoys disassembling and reassembling firearms to see how they work and installs most of the upgrades to his firearms himself, taking it as a chance to learn. He’s not only interested in modern handguns and rifles, he appreciates the classics for both historical value and real-world use.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (17)

  1. I like the pistol. The price was nice, and it shoots fine. Retracting the slide takes effort, and there is not a slide release. In a pinch, would that be a concern? For the average person, it should get the job done. I agree with shooting different brands and weight to detrime the POI vs POA. I went through five different types of ammo, before I found a match. For me, 115gr Fiocchi worked.

  2. You rarely see any rightups on the EC9. I too have a safe full of everything. Most cost 2 to3x’s or more. I find myself carrying the EC9 daily. Eats all the different ammo. I added a crimson sight and can maintain a reasonable grouping at 25yards. And talk about bullet proof. I don’t think the EC9 can be hurt or worn out. If there was a con it could be round count other than that you cannot go wrong.

  3. I’ve got an LC9s and it’s been a great carry gun that’s very accurate and has performed flawlessly for me. My son has been kicking around the idea of purchasing an EC for his edc since they’re economical and he doesn’t want to worry about banging around an expensive gun at work. I’ve seen these ECs as cheap as $229 a couple of times in the last year or so.

  4. Bought this for concealed carry, and I am totally satisfied with its performance, features, and handling. It is thin, light, and…super Dependable! It fits easily in my IWB and is comfortable enough for daily carry. I have put all kinds of ammo through this pistol, and NEVER had a glitch! However, I am planning on putting a drop of bright orange nail polish on the front sight, just for faster target acquisition! Love my Ruger EC9s!! No regrets at all!!

  5. Agree with all the positive comments above. Wanted a reliable EDC that wouldn’t be a great loss if, God forbid, you had to use it and LE gave you a hard time about returning it. Saw it on sale at CTD for $235, snapped it up. Great little gun! And don’t jump on the first OEM mag you see, can be found much cheaper.

  6. I have quite a few guns but the EC9S is and has been my go to. Several years, several thousand rounds and accurate enough for an easily concealed gun. The only modification that I’ve made is a dab of white nail polish on the front sight. I usually carry in a simple slide over my right hip pocket, it’s slim enough to disappear under an untucked t-shirt. Just absolutely a great value.

  7. I own both and like each. Bought them for an economical price and keep one in each truck. Never any failures and accurate for at least 25 yards.

  8. Although mine is a LC9s, out of the 40+ pistols I have ( most of them are Ruger) the LC9s is the one that goes with me everywhere. Small, conceilable and easy to shoot. It is accurate out to at least 50ft. WHICH IS enough for personal protection.

  9. I have owned and carried my EC9S for 4 years now. The only upgrades that I have made to it are a Hogue grip sleeve and painting front sight orange with the rear one white. These tightened up my groups to 1.25 inches at 7 yards with dimished recoil.

  10. I Have carried the EC9s for about 3 years now. I have by no means pampered this gun. I’ve run every kind of ammo thru it from high dollar Hornady self-defense, to dirty Russian made steel cased junk and the thing has never missed a beat. It even spent a week in the bottom of a stock pond until I finally fished it out.. rinsed it off lubed it up and it just keeps on working. I love this gun. I have several S&W, Ruger and SIG hand guns 2 to 3 time more expensive than this one.. but this little gem goes everywhere with me. For the price it is a great CC gun. I use a frame clip instead of a holster for CC. took a bit to get use to it, but, I don’t think I could go back to a CC holster

  11. Excellent review except omitting the Ruger EC9 (and LC9L) *are* rated for +P ammo.

    Ruger says
    – limited amount of +P ammo.
    – NO +P+ ammo.

  12. Nice feature of the EC9s is that all of the RUGER LC9s accessories will also fit the EC9s. Also makes a nice “back-up” or “partner” to your LC9s primary firearm, RUGER firearms have always been built like a Russian T-34 Tank, and like the T-34, have some rough edges. BUT, will work even when you think they should have failed.

  13. I have the same model for my EDC added a Technaclip to the frame and ditched the finger extension from the mag. Makes for a very nice tuck or even appendix carry with easy reach an draw. Holsterless with this pistol is definitely a plus in summertime weather

  14. I have carried an EC9s for years. Great little pistol. Shoots everything I put in it. I even mixed a magazine with premium Hornady hollow points and Tula steel case FMJ to try to jam it up; the gun has literally never jammed on me, ever. As the author noted, the pocket grip style holsters work well with this gun; mine is a Desantis. I have revolvers, a 1911, Glock 17, but the little Ruger is the one that goes everywhere with me and I trust it implicitly. Granted, the sights are very limited but in reality are you going to use this pistol (or even an LC9) for 50 yard shots? Doubtful. This gun’s purpose is to be on hand if I need it, in situations where my larger semiautomatics and revolvers are precluded due to the need to be discreet. 100% recommend this gun.

  15. Good info. I have 3 Rugers at this time and have always found them to be reliable. The EC9 is worth a look

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