The Ruger SR9c: Gun Review

Ruger’s SR9c has been available on the market for some time now, and we’ve taken that time to put our test model through some rigorous testing on the range and through day-to-day concealed carry.

A smaller version of the popular SR9, the SR9c has a smaller grip and a slightly shorter barrel and slide, making it more suitable for concealment under light clothing. Fans of Ruger’s full size SR9 will appreciate the SR9c that much more, as it basically follows the same form and function of it’s big brother.

Features of the SR9c

Our SR9c arrived from Ruger in a nice hard plastic case and included the pistol, a gun lock, one 10 round magazine and one 17 round magazine, as well as grip extensions. This all inclusive package is the right move by Ruger. Other manufacturers offer extended capacity magazines and grip extensions, but Ruger includes this as a standard part of the SR9c, making it that much more of a value. Why spend hundreds of dollars on a handgun and then have to go spend hundreds more on the accessories that should have been included with the pistol?

The SR9c with various grip configurations.

There are three types of grips and baseplates you can use with the SR9c. Both magazines include standard flat baseplates, although the 17-round extended magazine has a polymer sleeve that fits over the portion of the mag that protrudes from the grip, providing you ergonomics similar to a larger full-sized handgun. The baseplate on the smaller 10-round magazine can be removed and replaced with an grip extension that provides room for an additional finger to wrap around and further stabilize the pistol. Having just one more finger on the grip helps to enhance recoil control on the already soft-shooting pistol.

Like the SR9, the ergonomics of the SR9c are  enhanced with the inclusion of a reversible backstrap so you can customize the grip. The textured backstrap is easy to remove by simply pushing out a pin located on the bottom of the grip. The backstrap then slides out the bottom and can be reversed to reveal a palm-filling swell that will better fit those of you with larger hands.

The pistol itself is available in all-black or two-tone finish. The two-tone model sports a stainless steel slide, while the all-black model has an alloy steel slide covered with Ruger’s proprietary Nitrodox Pro finish. Both models weigh in the same at just over 23 ounces unloaded.

The SR9c comes with factory installed 3-dot sights which are dead-on right out of the box. The front sight is drift-adjustable for windage, and the rear sight is elevation-adjustable using a small screw. Despite the small size of this pistol, it is incredibly accurate out past 7 yards: the typical distance for a concealable defensive pistol. Groups were usually under 4 inches when shooting off-hand. Recoil is light and easily managed, and the pistol is easy to get back on target for quick follow-up shots. As expected, the handgun performed flawlessly on the range, digesting 115 grain 9mm BVAC ball ammunition with nary a hiccup.

Like the larger SR9, the SR9c is loaded with safety features that users have come to expect from Ruger. An ambidextrous manual frame mounted safety, magazine disconnect, internal trigger bar disconnect and a striker block safety all combine to ensure that the pistol will not fire unless properly loaded and the trigger pulled. A large orange chamber-loaded indicator lets you easily see and feel when the gun is loaded.

Disassembly of the SR9c is fairly straightforward.

  1. Lock the slide back to the rear and ensure that the chamber is clear.
  2. Press down the ejector into the magazine well.
  3. Using a non-marring tool press out the take-down lever.
  4. Carefully pull back the slide and then ease it forward off of the frame rails.
  5. Compress and remove the dual captive recoil springs and the barrel simply drops out afterwards.
  6. Reassemble in the reverse order of disassembly.

Ruger SR9c Specifications

  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Frame: Polymer
  • Sights: Adjustable 3-dot
  • Rifling: 1:10 twist, right hand
  • Capacity: 10 rounds (standard) 17 rounds (extended)
  • Trigger Pull: 5 pounds
  • Weight: 23.2 ounces
  • Barrel Length: 3.5″
  • Overall Width: 0.9″
  • Overall Length: 6.85″
  • Overall Height: 4.61″

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Have you used the SR9c? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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Comments (15)

  1. I have a SR9c I bought new in 2012…I carry it daily and it now as 7900 rounds through it with zero issue. I do have a aftermarket recoil spring and have removed the magazine disconnect.

  2. Has anyone else had the problem of the Extended Magazine Sleeve falling off? It was kind of embarrassing when it happened while my boss was handling it.
    Is there a fix for this?
    My XDM doesn’t have this problem.

    1. I did give it a shot. Yes , it doesn’t fall off any longer. However, retention is still an issue. Furthermore, plastics will eventually go back to their original shape, thus, it will fall off again one day.
      I emailed Ruger. They say it is designed that way. Who’s the genius that thought this was acceptable?
      A guy I work with has one as well. He keeps the “Magazine Adapter” in the box and uses the extended mag without it.
      So why was it engineered with the sleeve to begin with? ( I left the rest off because…it wouldn’t be beneficial.)

    2. My second email was not responded to. However, I met with one of the Ruger reps at the 2015 NRA convention. I explained my problem to him. He left for a moment and returned with 4 sleeves for me.
      I can now quit my whining.

  3. I recently developed a problem with my SR9c. The safety has become loose to the point that it comes off safe just by walking with it in both my ITW or belt holster. When I called Ruger they stated since it is 4 years old and I train by using the safety switch, it is not covered by their non-written warrenty. I have owned multiple Rugers over the years and have never had a problem with any of them. How can they sell a self defense (EDC) pistol then hold it against you if you train with it? So now I have an SR9c with Crimson Trace laser and night sights that I cannot carry confidently so I bought a Smith and Wesson Shield. Thumb safeties are a personal issue but I prefer and train with them. This has soured me on Ruger. The old man (Bill) would be ashamed of his company.

  4. When it was brand new the action was stiff and had a couple of misfeeds until I racked the slide a couple of hundred times manually and also ran about 200 rounds through it. Now it performs flawlessly. I shoot about 100 rounds every month with it, and haven’t had a single problem since break in. Very accurate, reasonable recoil. Nicely finished.

  5. Having extractor jamming issues with Remington ammo. VERY stiff action, I hear it improves with time, 200 rounds and no improvement yet. I wouldn’t recommend this gun for someone with limited hand strength, they are going to have an issue working the action. Unfortunate since the size of the gun makes it perfect for a younger shooter or someone with smaller hands.

  6. The Ruger SR9 series (including the SR9c) has an engineering design flaw that can cause the pistol to jam when extracting a round by hand.

    The EXTRACTOR is in the right side of the gun and the outside of the EXTRACTOR sticks out a bit beyond the serrations for racking the slide. When you rack the slide and your thumb is on the serrations and on the EXTRACTOR you are putting pressure on the EXTRACTOR.

    Depending on how hard and where the operator grips the slide,
    (a) the extractor lets go of its grip the round. The round is free to drop vertically and the back rim of the round hangs up on the top forward lip of the next round in the mag, and jams the action.
    OR if the operator grips the slide with more pressure..
    (b) the extractor lets go of its grip on the round entirely. The round is free to move vertically and horizontally. The round falls loose in the feed area and the slide trys to feed the next round under it and both rounds jam the action.

    You can do this experiment with any SR9 or SR9c, to isolate the hand-pressure variable..
    1. Take the slide off, remove the return spring and barrel.
    2. Take the naked slide, and slip a round up under the EXTRACTOR so it is held by the EXTRACTOR and the breech face.
    3. Hold the slide vertically right-way-up – the way it sits on the gun.
    4. Look down on the slide and see the round being held horizontally by the EXTRACTOR and the breech face.
    5. Press the side of slide on the serrations and on the EXTRACTOR behind the pivot point.
    6. Watch the round fall on the floor!
    On the Stoeger Cougar for example the EXTRACTOR is well away from the slide-racking serrations, and well recessed. You couldn’t put thumb pressure on it while racking the slide, even if you tried. And the same goes for most other pistols.
    The quick fix for Ruger is to plane about an 1/8″ off the outside face of the EXTRACTOR so it does not protrude into the slide-racking serrations, making it thereby more-or-less immune to thumb pressure. The proper fix is a major redesign of the SR9 series.
    In the meantime, if you get a dud round when the chips are down, be careful where you put your thumb when you rack the slide. Otherwise you might wind up with the slide jammed 1/2 way back.
    Some pistols like the Beretta Bobcat or the Beretta Tomcat or the Taurus 22B don’t even have an extractor, yet you can rack the slide to chamber the first round in the mag, and fire off and eject a magful of ammo with absolutely no problem. An extractor is not necessary to chamber a round because the movement is forwards not backwards. Nor is an extractor necessary after a round fires fires because the empty round pushes itself back against the bolt face, the extractor doesn’t pull the round out. You only become aware of the absence of an extractor when you have to extract a round by pulling back on the slide by hand, and that is when the SR9 fails.
    On the SR9 the right side of the extractor protrudes slightly from the right side of the slide, and looks like a steel bar. The section of this bar to the rear of its pivot pin is the manual extractor release. You press it in to release the extractor. The problem is Ruger has mounted the manual extractor release on the hand serrations for racking the slide.
    You can’t rack the slide in the Ruger-recommended manner (on the serrations) without operating the manual extractor release.
    This is an engineering error equivalent to putting the disable switch on top of the enable switch!

  7. I have an SR9C also – love it. A couple of months ago, I got an LCP – waaaaaaay to much recoil. I’ll stick with the SR9C.

  8. Great little gun. I have an SR9. The gun was very tight and stiff at first, but breaks in very very nicely. Probably the most improvement I’ve ever seen, going from New to well broke in at about 500 rounds. Trigger pull gets a lot better with regular use. Over-all a very very nice piece, particularly in light of the low cost.

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