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.
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.
Caliber: 9mm Luger
Barrel length: 3.12 inches
Overall Length: 6 inches
Height: 4.5 inches
Weight: 17.8 ounces
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.