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January is always a big month for new releases with the annual SHOT Show coming up. There are usually some surprises at the show, but a lot of companies start dropping new products early so that folks going to the show know to come check them out. Ruger just did that with the latest version of the MAX-9, now with a 4-inch barrel. The short grip frame and longer barrel and sight radius setup is popular with concealed carry folks since it gives you a gun that’s easier to conceal but that shoots more like a full-sized pistol.

With a 4-inch barrel, tritium front sight and 12+1 capacity, the MAX-9 does rival some full-sized carry guns, but it does it while still being less than an inch thick and weighing under 22 ounces.

MAX-9 with 4-inch Barrel

The MAX-9 boasts all the features of a full-sized handgun in a size that is more comfortable for everyday carry. It’s now available with a 4-inch barrel. The new longer barrel and extended slide provide better balance, a longer sight radius and reduced felt recoil for a better overall shooting experience. The gun is chambered in 9mm Luger boasts a 12+1 capacity.


Capacity: 12+1
Slide Material: Through-Hardened Alloy Steel
Slide Finish: Black Oxide
Slide Width: 0.95″
Safety Option: Standard Model – With External Manual Safety Lever
Grip Frame: High-Performance, Glass-Filled Nylon

Feature: Optic Ready
Barrel Material: Alloy Steel
Barrel Finish: Black Oxide
Barrel Length: 4″
Front Sight: Tritium Fiber Optic
Rear Sight: Drift Adjustable
Magazines Included: One 12-Round and One 10-Round

Overall Length: 6.80″
Weight: 21.2 oz.
Height: 4.52″
Grooves: 6
Twist: 1:10″ RH
Suggested Retail $439

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    • They are solid guns, but are pretty big, thick, and heavy. The Max-9 is pretty small, thin, and light. They are different categories.

    • It’s a small gun. I frequently pocket carry mine with the flush fit 10 round magazine.

      That said, they should also make a version with a longer grip and 15+1.or 16+1 capacity, or even just a bigger magazine with the grip extension.

      • Of the two choices, I would pick a longer mag with a grip extension, rather than a longer grip. That would allow a person to use a lower capacity mag when the increased concealability of the shorter grip is more important than the extra rounds.

  1. They have lost all ability to innovate. “Better Late than Never” should be their motto. They are obviously run by bean counters.

  2. I’m all for innovation and a robust product offering, but nowadays there are so many models and new releases that all look/seem so similar to what already exists, that announcements like this one become white noise. I take a peek, yawn, and move on.

    Sorry, but that’s the way it is nowadays. This gun looks really nice, but it also looks like a dozen others. So…

    • Wood griped royal blue revoling catches my eye.
      You don’t see those often.
      All plastic gunms look like HiPoints to me

      • Actually, that’s exactly what I was thinking of (LOL, really!) as I typed my comment.

        “Show me a nice, classic, Made-In-USA, blued revolver with wood grips in .357 or .44, and you’ve got my attention.”

        Oh wait…now I’m thinking like a possum (facepalm)

        • Henry did just that in .357.
          Almost asked my wife for one paired with a lever in the same caliber. Which means I would have been paying for them.
          Thought better of it, can’t shut my safe door as it is.
          So I asked for a PS5 w/ Madden.

  3. The real question people should ask themselves:

    How is this new piece better than what I am already carrying? (Since it appears to be directed as an EDC.)

    I started with a shrouded hammer J Frame after my attempts to conceal a Colt Officer’s and old Detonics .45 proved to difficult. 15 months later Glock introduced the original 43 and it became obvious real advancements had been made in 9mm defensive ammo, so got one and used it. Sometime later my bro let me play with his Sig 365.0 and I’ve been using one ever since.

    Like bikes, golf clubs, beers, martinis and other things that don’t require time payments or a mortgage, a lot of people will buy on an impulse rather than a need. Fine. It keeps the economy alive despite Biden and those who hold the strings and write his garble, but the change has likely not saved lives. A lot of the frugal faithful also gravitate to Ruger as well for some reason.

    Thanks for the review but I’m already well-covered and the last thing I need is yet another plastic 9mm.

  4. It’s homogenized and antiquated, appears to have a one side manual safety. However the fork trigger design looks broken and more prone to snag on unimaginable little things that can cause a quick trip to an ER followed by apologies, blame games, etc. Probably a good Gun if you have no gun.

    • Which is good. We’ve reached a point in our firearms history where you can buy a gun, brand new, load it and carry it without ever test firing it and be reasonably sure that it will work.

      Is it exciting and sexy? No. But guns need to work.

      • Also, more choices means more competition which usually means lower prices. I just checked Ruger’s site. Their Security-9 has the same specs as the popular Glock 19. The MSRP for the base model is $369! A quick check of some reputable retailers shows they are selling it for $260!! This is the inflation-adjusted equivalent of buying a reliable “compact/standard” handgun from a reputable manufacturer five years ago for $213!!! That’s actually amazing. We’re too jaded to notice.

        • In many ways these are the ‘good old days’ of gun ownership. Even po folk can have a reasonably priced gun that works. And will work for years to come.

          In my youth the po had to settle for Ring of Fire handguns.

        • Yep, gunm prices have gone down, but at the same time the price of ammo (food for the gunms) has skyrocketed.
          They should throw in a couple free boxes of ammo with each gunm purchase (like getting a full tank of gas when you buy a car), but at today’s ammo prices, that would practically double the price of the gunm!

          When Ruger increased the barrel to 4″, they should have added a few Picatinny rail slots to put a light or laser on the gunm. There’s certainly enough length for a light rail on the 4″ barrel version, but would a rail make the slide too wide?

      • Good for some…not me. Everyday cheap ordinary doesn’t work for me but honestly, to each their own. If a person is attracted to it, wants their first carry weapon, by all means, get training and carry it. For me though, I’ll carry my P229 or HK P30.
        I’m a very firm believer in this one rule and I have lived my life by it. Don’t buy what you need, buy what you want and you’ll always be happy.

  5. Ruger wins having the ugliest plastic guns. I realize they spend most of the time in holsters but come on!

    • I cannot make that claim. I own a Gluck 19 and a Mosin Nagant 91/30.

      I try not to show either to pregnant women or children under the age of 5. No telling what damage the trauma could do.

      Honorable mention goes to the Lee Enfield I no longer own.

    • @Jimmy James
      Besides the fact that it’s just more cheap-ass striker crap, which is exactly the reason I took a Ruger LC9 I inherited to the pawn shop, got two bills for it and went to the local gun store and bought my P30sk

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