Since its announcement at 2011’s SHOT Show, the Ruger LC9 has generated unending complaints about its onerous trigger pull. At the end of July, 2014, the company released a striker-fired version of the LC9, called the LC9s, with the primary selling point being a shorter, lighter, crisper, and in all other ways better trigger. Thanks to a great FFL in my area, Best Buy Surplus, who suggested I borrow one of each model from their stock, I’m able to provide the following side-by-side comparison . . .

First, by way of saying thanks, give Best Buy Surplus a call next time you’re pricing out an online firearm purchase (assuming you aren’t local and can’t just drop by). There’s plenty of stuff on their website and listed by them on GunBroker, but you’ll likely get even better pricing over the phone. They work with multiple distributors so can get just about anything, plus have ~250 or so firearms in stock including lots of police trade-ins and some hard-to-find models. I believe the going rate on LC9s’es is ~$359, and they do have ’em in stock.

Ruger’s LC9 uses an internal hammer, while the LC9s is striker-fired. Although they likely could have re-engineered the trigger system in the hammer-fired pistol to create a shorter, smoother, lighter pull, I think it’s fair to say that market demand leans towards striker guns in this category of small, polymer framed pistols, and Ruger chose to respond.

The comparison here is on trigger pull. There is really no other substantive difference between these two pistols for the shooter. The only item of note, the only other thing that stands out as being at all different is that the LC9 has a loaded chamber indicator (LCI) “flag” on the top of the slide, and the LC9s does not:

lci

I assume Ruger did away with this once it became impossible to get new pistol models onto California’s roster of not-unsafe handguns approved for sale in the state. Instead of a bar of metal that rises up, the LC9s simply retains the notch in the chamber that the loaded chamber indicator used to fit into, but it now works as a viewing port, allowing the user to see the rim of a cartridge (or not) in the chamber. This is a really minor difference, but is my preference between the two options here. It may be slight, but any physical loaded chamber indicator will impede the round’s progress into the chamber by some degree since it has to push the indicator out of the way at the same time.

Trigger Pull

Let me first say that the trigger pull on the LC9 isn’t as bad as they say, or at least is no longer as bad as it has been historically. I have no idea if Ruger’s made changes to the mechanism, but the trigger on the new production LC9 I borrowed was very smooth. It’s still long and it still stacks at the end, breaking at the rear of the trigger guard and overtraveling the little remaining distance into it. But it isn’t the horrific, gritty trigger a lot of folks talk about. The one I used in the comparison was smooth. It also broke in the same place every time — a consistent, decently clean break. I measured the trigger pull weight at 6.75 lbs.

Both triggers suffer from a near complete lack of an audible or tactile reset. This remains the sole legitimate flaw on the LC9s’ trigger, and it’s a pretty big one in my opinion. I like to ride the trigger reset when I’m shooting, and it really isn’t something you can do on either of these models. They’re both identical in this regard, and they’re both horrible in this regard. You basically have to slap the trigger, because there’s no other way to know if you’ve let it out far enough to reset. Both triggers reset at the extreme front of their travel.

Although I was pleasantly surprised by the smoothness of the LC9’s trigger, the LC9s‘ trigger is undeniably much better. It only travels rearwards about half the distance, before a clean and crisp break. There is no change in pull weight leading up to the break (no “stacking”), and there is very little overtravel. The trigger stops well ahead of the back of the trigger guard. It’s definitely easier to shoot this trigger rapidly and accurately. Pull weight came in at about 4.8 lbs.

Both triggers are metal, which I like. The LC9s trigger does get a little blade safety a la GLOCK, which the LC9 trigger doesn’t.

The video at top has close-up, slow trigger pulls and resets so you can see the difference in travel length, break, and reset distance with your own eyes.

Conclusions

I wouldn’t be surprised if Ruger phased out the LC9 completely. Considering it has an internal hammer so it cannot be manipulated manually, and it isn’t a true double action in that the slide does have to cycle in order to reset the system, I can’t think of one reason whatsoever why anybody would want the hammer-fired model over the striker-fired one. The trigger on the striker gun is simply better in every way in which they differ.

lc9 mag block

Both guns require a couple more steps to field strip than the norm, but the striker gun does add the need to pull the trigger first. As both pistols have magazine disconnect safeties (trigger will not pull unless a magazine is inserted), the LC9s actually ships with a dummy magazine. This way dummies can insert it in order to pull the trigger while reducing the likelihood of having an ND. I guess.

Ratings

The LC9s wins. I’d expect the LC9 to go the way of the Dodo.

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80 Responses to Gun Comparison: Ruger LC9 vs. LC9s

  1. I’ll stick with my J Frame thanks . Never had a totally reliable pocket 9. I’ve owned db9 Rohrbaugh r9 pm9 and several others. I’ve never owned a lc9 but I have owned a lcp380 and the trigger bar (I think it’s called) snapped around round 300. Ruger customer service was excellent about the whole thing but I was never comfortable with the gun again. Same thing happened to my db9 at round 742. Another company that took care of the problem very quickly, I just don’t trust the product anymore.

    • The Nano had a bit of a rough start when it entered the market (mostly just refusing to eject target ammo, especially w/ light bullet weights), but mine was from after the change to the barrel hood and it has never stopped on me. I’ve run 92 grain to 147 grain with all sorts of bullet shapes and designs mixed in there, all sorts of loads from minimum power factor cheap reloads to +P stuff, and it has fed, fired, and ejected absolutely every last round. Plus it’s surprisingly accurate. Reliable pocket 9’s are out there. Seems like the Shield, XDs, and some others have solid reputations for long-term reliability and durability as well.

      • I had a nano for a few months and it was very reliable with low recoil. However, I could never (and I mean never) hit the paper on the 2nd shot of a double shot. Tried regular & extended magazines, changed my grip, technique – nothing helped…

        I’ve since moved on to a P938. Totally different animals, but it serves me well…

      • I had the misfortune of buying a Pico. Same problems. FTE on first 5 of six shots out of box with Winchester range ammo. Plus i got some nasty bites to web of hand. Beretta CS said I should use high power ammo ie Hornady Critical Defense. I had absolutely no faith in the thing and wanted to trade it in where I bought it and they would not take it in trade (offered me $50). Has a terrible reputation. I would not be suprised to see it discontinued.

    • Glock 26, Ruger SR40C, and believe it or not Keltec P11 (after a couple of upgrades like the plastic guide rod) have been 100% reliable. I don’t go out and just blow 1000 rounds, but more realistically, I shoot around 50 rounds per session and over many months. The Glock is very accurate out past 70 yards, and would be my first choice, but it is pretty bulky. I love the SR40C, but it is a little heavy, so the P11 is most often the carry gun.

  2. I purchased an LC9 and then heard they would be putting a striker fired version in production a month later. I was pretty poopy.

      • That would be the honorable thing to do. Ruger would gain some die hard customers. As it is, this isn’t cutting it!

        • Kevin mentioned the trade in program by Ruger for LC9 owners but it is not a good offer. Ruger encourages owners to trade in their LC9 at a gun shop for credit towards an LC9s, which you will loose money for your LC9 because you will never get good resale value when trading in a gun for another. Then you have to supply Ruger with the LC9 serial #, the new LC9s serial # and a photo of your receipt. Ruger will then send you a $100 gift certificate to their shopruger.com website. You do not get full value for your LC9 and the $100 is for ruger products only, not a good deal, just need to give customers $100 period for loosing money on their LC9.

  3. Bought the LC9 about a year and a half ago. The firing pin broke in 2 places during dry fire practice. They really mean it when they say don’t dry fire this gun in the manual! Ruger replaced the whole slide very quickly. I didn’t carry it much anyway. But, recently I was preparing to take a job that would have required weekly travel to Philly and I wanted to get some practice drawing from deep cover. I found that EVERY time I would draw under even a slight amount of stress, my thumb would hit the mag release. I dodn’t have this problem with any other gun I own. Not worth teaching myself a new grip, just changed back to my Springfield XDS. Anyone wanna buy a LC9? LOL!

    • The firing pin probably broke due to the magazine disconnect safety, which is essentially a metal bar that lies in front of the firing pin until a magazine is inserted. At least that is what I had in my P345, but I removed it. When I sold it to a friend, he put it back in and dry fired it. He got lucky though as the safety bar broke instead of the firing pin.

      • In the LC9 & LC9s, the magazine disconnect safety is actually not a firing pin block. Removing the magazine blocks the trigger itself from moving rearwards. There’s no way to ‘strike’ the firing pin at all w/out a magazine inserted. If you jump to 5:12 in the video you’ll see what happens…

    • Dry firing is fine as long as an empty magazine is inserted to move the magazine disconnect out of the way.

      My SR9 had the same warning, but I removed the disconnect (a VERY easy task on the SR series).

    • That’s funny. I bought the LC9 and then turned around and bought an XDs .45. I’m really sorry I spent all that money on the LC9. It has issues with corrosion and hollow points jam it up hard. I’m going to have to replace the barrel and get it Cerakoted to fix these issues.

      • Less than a week, I found rust popping up on safety lever. Sent it in and came back with some oil rubbed on it. Didn’t except it and they sent it back. This time the blueing was corrected or replaced the bracket. A year or better I now have corrosion in several places. Not impressed.

    • Dude, just because that gun does not fit your hand perfectly does not mean it is a bad weapon. I carry an LC9 every day and practice quick draws from inside the waist band every time I go shooting, it is perfect for me. Maybe not you, but what pistol could possibly fit EVERY persons hand just right?

    • Just read the problem with magazine on LC9s have same problem. Im constantly pushing the magazine back into place.. wish it was located somewhere else but room on handle is sparce so I’ll learn to live with it. Other than that nice pistol. Wife has the LC9 same problem. But likes the gun and hits center from 15 yards with it.Ruger does a good job . Just wish the mag would stick.

  4. The LC9 tempted me some, and the LC9s is better. Now a single stack Glock 9mm subcompact would probably make me whip out my credit card.

    • I’d probably prefer the Glock myself, but I wouldn’t expect the trigger pull to be as good (I would actually expect it to have a reset, though!). The LC9s trigger pull is really smooth and nice, with a good break, and the steel trigger blade/shoe itself is comfortable and feels better than a Glock one to me.

  5. How in the hell do you think the LC9(s) are hard to field strip?

    I am mechanically challenged and never had any issues assembling or disassembling the LC9 I owned.

    • I admit it’s actually possible I was thinking of a different gun. I thought there were more steps to the LC9 and LC9s field strip. It’s still not as quick and tool-free as most of its competition, though, and the LC9s adds extra steps since you have to insert the dummy magazine and then pull the trigger. I heard conflicting information on whether you then had to pop out the dummy magazine or could leave it in.

      If I understand it correctly, you first have to lower the takedown lever. Many people can do this by hand but sometimes it’s really stiff and you need to push down on it with a tool? Then you typically have to use a tool to punch the takedown pin out from right to left? Then the slide will come off the front? While there’s no technical difficulty here, just requiring a tool at all is enough to turn off some buyers who demand tool-free field stripping in their firearms.

  6. I understand that Jeremy obviously felt obligated to give Best Buy Surplus a plug after they furnished the two pistols for evaluation, but a check of their link revealed there are no Ruger firearms whatsoever listed on their website, but they do offer Taurus pistols at full retail. I didn’t see anything on the Best Buy Surplus website that even comes close to competitive with discount online dealers like Buds, PSA, or CDNN.

    • I think the website is just a data push from a distributor or something, which is why I said call them up for good pricing. The owner likes saying, “we love cutting up the big box stores,” and they do have some good deals. If you don’t like the phone, they’re probably not the guys for you (although deals to happen through them on GunBroker).

      …it’s possible the site could change, btw. It has only been up for a couple of months. I wouldn’t call them “old school,” but they’re no e-tailer either 😉

      And I believe they have one very lightly used LC9 and one very lightly used LC9s in stock at the moment haha. They’re even “as seen by dozens of people on YouTube”!

  7. Instead of phasing out the LC9 they should make an exposed hammer DA/SA model. They’d have that market almost to themselves.

      • The PX4 SC is a great feeling and looking gun, but it is HUGE in all dimensions in comparison. I really wanted it to work as my CCW, but it is just too thick and tall.

        • I also had a PX4 sub compact that I purchased for concealed carry, but I ended up selling it to purchase a M&P shield. It was just too thick and heavy, and the slide mounted safety/decocker would dig into me while carrying it. My Glock 19 also concealed just as well as it did, so I didn’t see the point in keeping the PX4 SC.

      • Yes, my wife has the Storm SC, but it’s a double stack and a bit of a porker compared to the LC9. Nice shooter though, but that’s usually the tradeoff. There’s a few DA/SA .380s out there (S&W PPK, Bersa) and plenty of DA/SA full size pistols, but I’m not coming up with any single stack 9s.

        Rokurota, you need to reexamine your wardrobe not your pistol. I had no problem concealing a full size 92 before I switched to a GP100. You can carry just about anything with a baggy t-shirt.

        • Have Bersa Thunder9 Ultra Compact Pro. Even at 23 ounces, Barrel Length: 3.25″ still fits nicely in blue jean cargo pants. Came with 2 ten round magazines, paid around $400.00 nib. Had not shot it in a while so took it out and ran 120 rounds thought it, not any problems. I have some pretty expensive revolvers, but think this might be my back up conceal carry. Would recommend it over a Ruger and I have a number of Rugers, just don’t like their 9mm pistol offerings.

        • I’ve never handled the Bersa, but it seems pretty similar to the Storm SC. The Beretta’s a couple ounces heavier and holds 13+1. We paid $400 NIB (+shipping, transfer) from an online auction, which I think is as good of a price as could be found. We did have one issue with it, the magazine follower on one of the mags caught on the notch for the magazine catch and I had to file it down or you could only load 5 rounds into it. Once I filed it down it usually won’t lock the slide when empty now. Not a big deal since she doesn’t even carry an extra mag and the one with the click grip works fine anyway.

          I’m a huge Ruger fan, but my issue is that they don’t make a single DA/SA auto pistol anymore. I’m just not into the strikers. But then I like revolvers better anyway.

        • Hey, Guv, why just re-examine my wardrobe? My raison d’etre isn’t to carry a big gun; it’s to carry a capable gun every day. There is a whole continuum of examinations to be made — wardrobe, body shape and size, under what conditions you carry, and so on. I’m happy for anyone who can and wants to wear baggy shirts, photog vests, whatever. In the work I have chosen, I would stick out like a rotting tangerine if I dressed like that. Right now I’m wearing my LC9s under a close-cut untucked shirt with minimal printing. I couldn’t do that with my Glock 26, due to the blocky end that printed like Gutenberg, so I often bumped down to my .380. I got tired of leaving the Glock behind, so I made the switch and never looked back.

          I’ve heard this whole argument for carrying full-size guns, and appreciate your view on the matter. I do enjoy carrying mid or full-size guns when I know I can. For my situation, with my body type and professional demands, the LC9s is the perfect gun, even if it has half the capacity of the PX4 SC. And no pokey safety levers.

        • Well yes, for some of us work requirements limit our wardrobe options. Anyway, I have no problem with small pistols. I was making the point that with the right wardrobe you can carry just about anything, so a Storm SC shouldn’t be such a big deal. But then the only advantage to the Storm over the LC9 is capacity which isn’t likely to be needed anyway. Probably a little easier to shoot. I do think a lot of people go out and buy the smallest pistol they can find when they start carrying thinking that they could never conceal their 1911 or Beretta 92, until they actually try it.

          The other thing that helps with the bottom of the grip printing is to find a holster with more forward cant. If you’re carrying on your hip with the barrel pointing strait down the bottom of the grip tends to be held away from your body, so it’s not just the thickness of the grip but the inch of space between the grip and your side.

    • Gov., that’s a cool idea. It probably would sell. I can’t think of any DA/SA hammer-fired pistol in this size category. There are some small pistols like this — the already-mentioned ones, CZ Rami, etc — but nothing that’s under an inch thick and like 4.5″ or less in height.

      • I can only speak for myself, but I’d probably be a buyer. I’m a huge Ruger fan, but I don’t care for striker pistols, which is all Ruger makes right now. They were selling the crap out of the P95 but they dropped it last year. Hopefully they’re retooling and redesigning something better. But yea, I’m still trying to think of a single stack 9mm DA/SA pistol. I don’t think they exist.

        • Well, Ruger makes a couple 1911s also.

          In 9mm single stack DA/SA, I was thinking about it a bit more and came up with a few, but none are really pocket-sized. Sig P239, P225/P6… P290 would be close if it had a SA mode. S&W CS9 or 3913/3914 or 908, Plenty of single stack 9mms are either SAO or DAO, but it’s harder to find ones that are DA/SA…

          We only said “9mm” so does 9mm Makarov count 😉 ? If so, there are a few more guns that spring to mind (a Mak, P-64, etc).

        • The Makarov is probably the closest thing I can think of. Does anyone still make those? And where the heck do you find ammo? Of course you could always include the original Luger pistol and the Walther P38, but there doesn’t seem to be anything that could be considered competition to a DA/SA LC9. With modern metallurgy Walther could make a 9mm version of the PPK (just don’t license it out to S&W please), James Bond with stopping power!

    • I’d be all over that in a heartbeat. The problem is I think we’re a distinct minority in the handgun market.

      Very early on, I settled upon DA/SA with a decocker as my preferred action for defensive handguns. Simply put, I don’t trust myself to remember to thumb the safety under stress, or to not accidentally trigger a SA/striker trigger prematurely in a defensive scenario. But since no such gun exists within the micro-compact size, my order of preference goes:

      1. DAO (Nano, LC9)
      2. Striker w/o safety (PM9, LC9s)
      3. Striker/SA with safety (Sig 938, M&P Shield)

      My problem is that my least favorite style is also the one with the best ergonomics for my hands – the Sig 938. So for now, my CZ RAMI BD will likely serve as my carry weapon once my CCL gets approved.

      • The other thing you might consider is going with a revolver. DA/SA, no safety, available in .357 magnum. The LCRs are just about as small and light as any semi-auto. Even the snubbies are surprisingly accurate.

        Personally, my philosophy is that I’m probably more likely to have a brain fart with a firearm than to need to fire a weapon in anger. I like the heavy trigger pull for safety with the option of taking a well aimed single action shot if necessary. The safeties don’t bother me either, you just need to practice with them.

        Even if we are in the minority, if you’re the only one making a product, even a niche product can be pretty profitable.

  8. I’ll keep my S&W shield in 9mm. Slightly more money, 2 mags (one of which is an 8 rounder), nicer trigger, audible reset, and no mag dis-connect.

  9. I bought an LC9s the week it came out, something I never do. I had been “carrying” a Glock 26 and found I left it in my safe more often than not. With the new recoil assembly, much-reduced LCI, Glocky trigger and 7-rd capacity, it hit all my marks. Even though the slide is only 0.1″ thinner than the Glock, it feels so much less bulky. AND I can actually pocket carry the gun (with a trigger cover and the safety on). The only thing I have to get used to is the safety. 7+1 isn’t as good as 10+1, but it’s a worthwhile tradeoff for a true EDC.

    I don’t care about audible reset on my carry gun. I don’t plan on shooting bullseye matches with it. Although I did find it to have more inherent accuracy (that is, I shot it better in slow fire) than the G26.

  10. I had no idea
    people had so many problems with their vaunted Rugers. Never had a problem with my lowly Taurus Millennium Pro. I guess any company can put out crap. Oh well…

  11. Had a lowly Taurus Millennium Pro, sold it at Pawn Shop after 1st. time at the range with it. Will never buy a Taurus again. ” I guess any company can put out crap”, see how that works? Each to their own.

  12. Are you sure it’s not “touchy gal”? Maybe you were limp wristing. And my next gun will most likely be Taurus…see how that works:-)

    • Never said sold it because of it’s performance, it shot just fine. Sold it because it was too big for comfortable CC. It was an impulse buy @ Academy one day, my bad. Used the money to purchase Bersa Thunder Pro Compact Ultra 9mm, 13+1 magazine available, small enough to pocket carry, heavy enough for better recoil control.
      Personally don’t care for the Taurus brand but some don’t care Bersa brand, so again each to their own.

  13. I have to agree, LC9s trigger is amazing … probably more so than a shield or Xds (but that is debatable). I have zero malfunctions after 600 rounds with my LC9s compared to my Glock which has 3 (though about 400) – which is actually pretty crazy.

    • Neither of these pistols liked reloads. Both had a couple of failures to extract in just the ~6 magazines I put through each. They were brand new though so that may have changed after a little bit of a break-in. No hiccups with factory ammo. Apparently they found the reloaded brass “sticky”…

      • Hmm, ya I have not put any reloads in it to this point, thanks for the tip – I will avoid using reloads in the future. I have only put Winchester FMJ and the new federal aluminum though it along with my daily carry golden saber. It was just really surprising because I am used to experiencing a couple of malfunctions in the “‘break in” period for almost every firearm I own, except my LC9 … maybe ill start getting them soon, who knows.

        • Ehhh, I’m kind of a fan of reloads for the obvious pricing reason. I haven’t had any more bad ammo issues (dud primers, bent brass, etc) with them than with factory new ammo. Obviously they’re for range use and not for self defense or other “serious” use, so if a gun jams on one because the brass is a little soft or whatever the case may be, it’s not a big deal. This is the exception, though. Most pistols run them just like anything else, which makes sense as most of the time they’re basically indistinguishable from new ammo anyway.

          That said, both of these guns jammed multiple times, only on the reloads. The chambers must be a bit tight or could use some polishing or possibly the extractors aren’t quite as strong or wide (in terms of how much rim circumference they grab) as they could be.

  14. Gotcha, ya they do save you a ton of money. Have a friend who reloads all of his 45 acp because that is the only way he can afford to shoot it. mm you’re probably right about the chamber being a bit tight, I have thought as much just from taking apart the thing but never had any real evidence to prove it – I would be curious to know the absolute real reason it doesn’t like those “softer” rounds. Makes me want to get some reloads and see how mine performs. Anyways, thanks for info, I have a lot of confidence carrying the gun around, still can’t figure out why everyone seems to try and bash this gun with their perfect shield or Xd, all 3 are great single stack nines … it didn’t hurt that I got to meet the CEO yesterday at my local gunshop, he made a very strong case for it talking about a 18k + reliability test they conducted. He also told me about how the governor of Texas carries an lcp everywhere he goes haha.

  15. I have an LC9. Great carry gun, but it is not a range fun. Reliable, nut reliably uncomfortable to shoot a lot. The trigger lock is a waste. Although trigger pull is horrible, the people who carry guns in loose holsters or pockets have probably been saved by it. It has a very specific purpose and intended market. I tend to carry my 938 or XDS more often though.

  16. I have seen the complaint about “trigger reset” before, and while I didn’t exactly understand it, I didn’t comment. In fact, I once saw it concerning a revolver! Here’s a clue, guys, a DAO semi or a revolver does not have a trigger reset, you have to return the trigger to the full forward position in order to reacquire the mechanical linkage used to move the firing mechanism against the spring. “Trigger reset” has nothing to do with mechanical linkage, it is what prevents full auto fire, the gun is already cocked and the reset must be done to enable the release of the already cocked hammer/striker. Complaints should be answered with “don’t buy a DAO”. Complaining about the “trigger reset” on a revolver demonstrates a frightening lack of understanding how a gun works.

    • The LC9s is no different. Near the front of its trigger’s travel, there is really no noise or click to let you know it has reset. It results in sloppier trigger pulls as your finger must leave the trigger blade and then come back and contact it again. Consistency is not as good as when contact is retained on the trigger throughout shooting. That’s the primary advantage of an audible and tacticle “click” on the reset. As most competing pistols have positive resets, it’s a hit against these two that they don’t.

      Additionally, the S&W 37-2 I have here does have a very positive reset in double action and you can easily fire this gun rapidly without slapping the trigger. Moving the trigger far enough forwards to reacquire the mechanical linkage is what reset is, and most guns will let you know when you’ve gotten to that point. It is false that all double action triggers must move all of the way forwards in their travel in order to reset. Many do it before that point, as there can still be slack/takeup in a DA pistol. I grabbed a CZ and a Tanfoglio I have here, and in DA they still click at the front of the travel in a manner that you can hear and feel.

      Single action only or “combo” triggers (like these LC9/LC9s examples — P.S. the LC9 is not double action — Glock, most any striker-fired gun, etc) still have to come back forwards for the same reason — to reacquire whatever it is that they pull against to release the firing pin — and they should all reset in a manner that you can hear and feel. A Glock trigger, for example, has plenty of slack in it and if you couldn’t feel the reset you’d end up letting the trigger out 50% farther than necessary on each shot. Riding the reset on a trigger makes you faster and more accurate…

  17. The guys where my friends work got her an LC9 last year. She doesn’t shoot it much because it hurts her hand. i think i’ll stick with my GLOCK 42.

  18. Your comment about not understanding the need for the dummy magazine indicates that you don’t do very much (any) dry practice. Guns with magazine disconnect safeties are a total PITA to use for dry fire. On a striker fired gun without a mag disconnect, all you have to do to dry fire it again is rack the slide.

    For the LC9s, if an empty magazine is inserted, that should lock the slide back, and using the slide lock as a release won’t let the slide go forward — because that’s the slide lock’s job. So to get the gun to fire another dry shot, you have to go through a pointless and time consuming process of dropping the mag down, then racking or releasing the slide, then pushing the mag back in so you can dry fire the damn gun. The dummy magazine makes that process as easy as it would be with a proper gun without the mag disconnect safety.

    The benefits of dry fire training are substantial – perhaps it’s something you should look into, enough that you can consider it when you do future gun reviews. If you had even spent 10 minutes doing a basic set of dry fire draws, you would immediately have understood the need for the dummy magazine. I’m not a Ruger fan but I give them credit for finally understanding enough about the needs of those who take shooting and training seriously to provide that useful accessory as a stock item.

    • Thank you, that should sufficiently fill my condescending comment quota for the week.

      It’s easy enough to rack the slide with a thumb on top of the slide catch so it doesn’t catch. Turns out the LC9s slide only needs to go back like 1/2″ to reset the striker anyway, so you can do it with the real magazine inserted without it locking the slide back in the first place.

      At any rate, ease of dry firing is an extremely distant second to general safety.

      My comment wasn’t about not understanding the need for a dummy magazine, as I get why they included it. I probably didn’t expand enough, but I think it’s more dangerous to tell people to insert a dummy mag before pulling the trigger to disassemble. That’s my “beef” with it. I’m concerned about a possible false sense of safety from the process of ejecting a real magazine and inserting a dummy mag, then pulling the trigger. The middle step of “rack slide to remove round from chamber, and verify empty chamber” seems more likely to be left out due to the perceived safety of a dummy magazine. While I’m against LCIs as I think chamber status should be verified in a more meaningful way rather than relying on on a little mechanical piece, it’s interesting to me that Ruger removed the LCI while also adding the requirement of pulling the trigger to disassemble, plus instructs to use the dummy magazine to make it safer. It’s my personal perception that the dummy mag is less safe and may lead to more NDs rather than less.

      Ability to easily dry fire is not a purchasing requirement for me, so possibly that’s a reason I have neglected to mention it in the past. I also worry that my reviews are ridiculously long much of the time anyway, so cutting out banal details has to happen to cut back on that. In this case, the write-up is primarily about the differences between these two guns, and there is no difference in this regard. Both require the slide to be partially racked to reset the trigger and both have mag disconnect safeties. If your assertion that the dummy mag is primarily for dry fire practice is true, then the LC9 would come with one as well, which it doesn’t.

  19. we I was wanting a lite carry pistol when I bought a sr40c my son wanted it got a sccy in a trade and someone else wanted it worse than I did I ordered the lc9s and man to my surprise it shot well great trigger pull..i have fired and owned several other pistols and not one other than my 1911 is anywhere close ..great pistol…

  20. Having read news items about ladies shooting themselves or being shot by their own kids in Walmart, it is clear to me why the LC9 was developed and why it should be considered for purse carry as well as pocket carry.

    • Purse carry, like all off-body carry, sucks. And if one DOES purse carry, one should make sure the gun – any gun – is in a holster. The trigger must be covered! Oy.

  21. Used to be a fan of Ruger until the LC9. This is easily the worst gun ever produced. The pull is sooooooooo long that by the time it fires, you’ll be off target a half a foot at 10 yards. Reset is a ridiculous distance back forward. AND…. the magazine falls out of the gun randomly WITHOUT a thumb on the release. Just the pinky finger pressure on the magazine causes it to fall out randomly. Relying on this gun can get you killed. I tried planting two hands on a bench WITH the laser on and a death grip to stabilize it and cannot get two rounds within a foot at ten yards. Get ANY other gun but this thing. A sling shot would be more reliable.

    • I couldn’t disagree with you more Ron. I’ve had my LC9 for over a year and a half now, and have fired over 1,000 rounds. I’ve NEVER had a jam or stovepipe. This little bugger is a friggin’ nail driver. I can honestly say that I’ve never been more accurate with any other pistol. I’m getting center mass kill shot’s every time at 25yards! It sounds like you’ve got a rare malfunction of some sort. There are way too many variables in your statement to narrow the blame to the firearm. Keep in mind, that laser could be garbage too. I’ve included a link to my 25 foot shot on a paper target, 7 rounds all in the black with 5 touching (standing, without a rest obviously). There will never be a pistol that pleases everyone, and this one DEFINITELY has a very long trigger pull that many folks dislike. It works for me because I can apply proper pressure just before the hammer breaks and get on target. This has been the perfect pistol for me. I got it used for $235, and it came with 3 mags, all with the extended mag base. It’s very slim and small, which I need being a skinny athletic build. Literally the perfect pistol for me. The only other thing that’s odd about this pistol is the field strip process, but you get used to it. I threw the metal Techna holser clip on there and it’s a dream.
      http://s809.photobucket.com/user/thebigjustino/library/

  22. In reading this comparative review and all the replies, I am BAFFLED that NOT ONE individual has mentioned the Ruger LC9 trigger-bar upgrade invented by sold by Galloway Precision (www.gallowayprecision.com ).
    I bought my LC9 with a red laser front sight some years ago when I was searching for a ‘concealable’ 9mm pistol with decent round capacity. And, yes, when I took it to the range for the first time, I, too, was appalled by the horrendously-long trigger pull.
    Fortunately, many of my shooting associates have connections and contacts, and I was told after a time about Galloway Precision. They have a number of improvements for semi-automatic handguns which are capable of converting a ‘sow’s ear into a silk purse’!
    oway and explaining my needs and letting him suggest a few parts’ swaps.
    He suggested, in addition to their trigger bar conversion, a metal guide rod, and 20# spring kit.
    I received a copy of his FFL, packaged the pistol (without magazine), and shipped it via FedEx 2-day service on a Friday, and the following Monday, I received an invoice via e-mail, and the following Friday (just ONE WEEK FROM SHIPMENT to them) the FedEx courier was at my door with my ‘miraculous transformation” in my sweaty palms, just itching to get out to the gun range.
    This ‘new’ pistol was amazing! The only outside appearance of any changes was a black plastic trigger with a screw in the back for overtravel.
    At the range, I COULD NOT BELIEVE THE TRANSFORMATION!!!!! Short trigger pulls, easy let-offs, reduced recoil, and the groups!!!
    At 30 ft shooting two handed, I was able to keep all ten rounds (extended Ruger magazines) within the 10-ring, with average groups measuring under 2-3/4 inches!!!
    Small, easily concealable, high round capacity, and accurate. How much more do I need?
    And, yes, I do have other ‘pocket pistols’, including a 9mm Shield and 40S&W Walther PPS. Both are much larger than the Ruger.
    A man once said, “regardless of the qualities of various pistols, you’ll always grab the smallest pistol for daily wear”, and he was correct!!
    I’ve added tritium sights (but that damned loaded chamber indicator is a distraction!!), and have now cycled over 1,000 rounds in various 115 and 124gr varieties through the pistol with nary a hiccup.
    And that Shield wasn’t all that impressive, either. After my obligatory 500 break-in rounds of ammo, I wasn’t able to get that pistol to keep its hits within 14 inches on a standard silhouette, and it was shipped back to Springfield, Mass., for evaluation. It was returned with a new barrel and all, now, is finally good.
    So much for gunsmiths working the assembly lines in pistol factories! Not the with availability of CNC machines, where the parts are all ‘within spec’ and just ‘slapped together’ and shipped to the dealers.
    If any of you reading this still have your LC9s, don’t trade them and take a loss, ship them to Galloway for the pistol you’ve always wanted and won’t give up very easily.
    Just my .02

    • Hank, good comment. I have an LC9 that was purchased right after they came out. I like it and it carrys well in a Rubicon Tactical IWB holster.

      I don’t seem to be having all the problems others have had and I can even shoot it decent with the trigger as is. I have been considering some upgrades however and have a few questions if you don’t mind.

      > I have truglo sights on my G23, like them, and was thinking of adding them to the LC9. What is the issue with the LCI?
      > What was the cost of the Galloway upgrade?

      Thanks.

      • I also purchased a set of front & rear tritium sights which significantly complemented the Galloway trigger bar enhancement to the LC9. There aren’t many brands of luminous sights made for LC9, and the set I bought (didn’t save the package but the tritium inserts are all green FWIW) sit low on the slide. As a consequence, with a round ‘up the tube’, the LCI is sticking up and slightly blocking the the view of the front sight. It’s a PIA. There are a number of ways to modify the LCI to prevent or reduce it’s interference with the sight picture and a web search will give you a few choices. Good luck!

        • Sorry, I forgot to mention the price for the trigger bar modification by Galloway is MUCH LESS than what you’ll lose if you decide to trade your LC9 for a LC9s. Check the Galloway website (www.gallowayprecision.com ) for a complete list of upgrade options for your Ruger LC9 along with prices. The price is significantly out-balanced to the benefits reaped by the changes/improvements to the pistol.
          Let me add that I’ve been a handgun shooter (paper punching and then moved up to a CCW) for the past forty years and I prefer then smooth cycling of a well-polished double-action revolver to a striker-type pistol. I’ve had a significant number of early Smith & Wesson revolvers and had my revolver FCGs (to borrow an AR-15 term) polished to improve functioning. I got to instinctively know each revolver’s DA length of pull and was able to momentarily pause just before let-off when paper punching at the range. The striker-type pistols aren’t as smooth.I have to believe the striker mechanism is a compromise to a true trigger mechanism and clearly cheaper to manufacture. That’s not to say I don’t own any striker pistols (two Glocks and a Shield). Just my .02.

  23. I checked Galloway and they are not taking in any work at this time because of an FFL issue. Your information helps. Thanks.

    • Stay on their case and ask them to be sure to send you a copy of their FFL when the current FFL issue is resolved. You might want to resend them an e-mail every few weeks just to remind them you’re waiting for the FFL copy.
      I wouldn’t be so persistent, but they did such a great job on my LC9. I can see them phasing out the LC9 trigger bar upgrade as a consequence of the discontinuance of that model. Good luck!

  24. I bought a Ruger LC9 right away when they came out and had a lot of problems getting used to the trigger pull. So I decided to change the trigger bar to a Galloway trigger bar and trigger kit. Which made a big difference about 35% less travel and took off about a 1.5 lbs on the trigger pull. This made this gun totally different and much more accurate .

    I just bought a Ruger LC9S and the trigger pull is very nice. Have no problems at 15 to 20 keeping my shots in a 8 inch party plate.

    The only thing I didn’t like about both guns is that you have to have a clip in it to fire the gun. My LC9 I removed the mandatory clip assembly. I may end up doing the same to the LC9S not sure at this time.

  25. I bought the LC9S today and have yet to really test it out. I sent some hot lead downrange but not enough to really gauge the weapon. It will be replacing a Taurus PT111 G2 that I was talked into purchasing several months ago after shooting a couple of them. I’m done with Taurus. It failed miserably and will be on at least a one year waiting list for return to me by the factory if I decide to send it to them, which I most likely will. The weapon’s failure and Taurus’ customer support sold me on buying American. The Taurus only mustered 15 rounds of factory ammunition through it before it failed miserably. So, I’m staying with American products now. Heck, I can drive to the factory without my passport if I want/need to hand deliver it. Besides, the Taurus was a bit too large for my pocket and it was a rattle trap. But enough on the Taurus. The Ruger L9s fits in my front jeans pocket perfectly without the mag’s pinky extension. This sights don’t snag, they’re low enough profile and rounded enough to fit in my jeans without worry. In the interim after the Taurus failure I was temporarily carrying a .22 semi sub compact until I could remedy the preferred 9mm conceal carry problem I had. Of the 50 rounds through the Ruger LC9s I shot (TMJ 124 RN), all 50 were on the silhouette at ten yards. Most in center of mass. No FTFs, no FTEs, no magazine problems whatsoever. But again, that was only 50 rounds. The sights weren’t spot on but they can be adjusted. The trigger pull could be better, wasn’t horrible and definitely could be a lot worse. I’m good to go with the Ruger… for now. I’ll give it a bunch more rounds before I decide whether it’ll be a keeper of mine or not. But for now it’ll be tucked away in a nice pocket holster and employed as one of my CCWs. I’m just happy to get past the Taurus and up the ante from the short term .22 carry.

  26. I would like to get LC9s, but I live in Commiefornia, so I’m stuck with my LC9. It took awhile to get used to the trigger, but now it doesn’t seem as bad.

  27. I have an LC9s Pro. had it for approx. 1 year

    while it is definitely not a range gun, the need for break-in, and to establish its reliability had me firing it at the range several times. {several = 7 or 8 range visits with the pistol and my JHP carry ammo}

    no issues presented themselves ….. not one hiccup, fail to feed, fail to fire and eject, etc., etc.

    I can see, tho’, that hollow points with a wide nose opening could create a feed issue. I would suggest that anyone using an LC9, or LC9s fire their pistol WITH THE INTENDED CARRY AMMO. It does little good to fire FMJ range ammo, and have no issues, when the test which is critically needed is one in which the carry ammo demonstrates it will feed, fire, and eject with NO ISSUES. I hope I am ‘preaching to the choir’ here….. and that most or all folks realize the importance of wringing out the pistol with the same ammo which will be in the pistol when carried for self defense.

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