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The New Ruger SR9 Pistol: HELL FREEZES OVER! Details at 11!
Okay, so Remington’s announcement yesterday of their first “black” — actually, Advantage MAX-1 HD Camo-colored — AR-15 style rifles, the R-15 series, isn’t exactly a bolt from the blue. I’ve been predicting the Remington AR product ever since Cerberus Capital Management, also owners of veteran AR guys Bushmaster, purchased Big Green a few months back. The first Remington high-tech rifles are aimed straight a varmint hunters, available in .223 and .204 Ruger with 18 or 22-inch barrels.
It probably doesn’t require a degree in prognostication and a pet monkey to guess that Remington will be rolling out an LE version to match their natty LE shotguns and bolt guns— probably in black but hey, one can never tell; according to the fashionistas, orange is the new black — in the very near future.
However, what put the frozen icing on the Old Firepit Below this week, though, is not from Big Green, but from Big Red. Today Ruger enters the plastic service pistol market in a big, big way with their new SR9 9mm polymer-framed, striker-fired 18-shot wondergun. And it’s not just that the gun is superb, which it is, but also that it is available…now…no, really…we’re not joking.
The usual modus operandi from gun companies is to announce a new gun with much fanfare, slip a few toolroom versions out to the gun mags for cover photography and then, a year or so later, actually deliver a few guns. By which time the hapless consumers, driven into a gun-buying frenzy by all the advance hype, have given up and bought Glocks. Ruger, though, decided to try something different.
They formally announced the SR9 today; yesterday they shipped 2000 of them out to the dealers. And the factory is in full swing production on Ruger’s first entry into the striker-fired sweepstakes.
How do I know this isn’t hype?
Hey, I went out to Ruger’s Prescott, AZ, factory and looked for myself. The video went up on DOWNRANGE.TV.
I was also one of the very few journalists allowed an advance shooting of the SR9, and I was mightily impressed with the gun as well as the launch. What’s not to like about a high-capacity 9mm polymer-framed gun that feels like a skinny 1911! Here are my shooting impressions:
• The ergonomics are outstanding. The gun is very slim…something I am a huge proponent of in a gun you’re going to carry. The flat grip configuration especially works well with my girlie-man hands.
• The SR9 “shoots light.” Of course, most striker-fired 9mms shoot light, thanks to an enhanced focus on ergonomics, but the SR9 is exceptional in that arena. This is a gun that made it easy for us to keep running 9mm ball through it all day.
• Two big ole thumbs up for the manual safety! I am a huge fan of manual safties. That’s because twice in my life I have looked at a living human being over a set of gun sights, and I have first-hand knowledge of the physiological changes to the person holding the gun. A real plus is a manual safety that mimics the 1911 safety…John Browning, in fact, knew what he was doing.
• The new SR9 fits an existing Glock holster. Smart…very smart! Even my beagle Alf has a Glock holster.
• The sights are excellent. I heard no complaints about the proprietary Ruger front and rear sights. Good clean sight picture; 3 dots on the rear, which I can either take or leave; a night sight option (of course). If I was going to campaign the gun — which I just might — my inclination would be to go to Heinie Straight-8s, which I’m sure will be quickly available for the SR9.
• The trigger pull is exceptional for a striker-fired gun. I tried as many of the 50 test guns as I could, and all of them fell in what I think of as a “comfortable” range. My current thinking on triggers is that we as alleged experts have put far too much emphasis on the trigger pull weight, which is really not nearly as important as our ability to pull said trigger regardless of weight. Suffice to say competition ace, and regular Michael Bane Blog commenter, Patrick Sweeney was running some super fast runs with the SR9 on steel after only one magazine of warm-up.
• Disassembly is a cakewalk. Sadly, no one at Ruger has any idea whether the SR9 is dishwasher safe or not, a stunning lack of testing, if you ask me. Also, it doesn’t come in colors.
• The magazine release is too stiff. I was at the factory while the Powers-That-Be at Ruger made the modifications on the production models. I’m looking forward to getting my T&E gun next week, so I’ll make sure the changes have been made.
• It’s an intelligent platform for the next steps. Although Ruger execs declined to comment, of course compact versions and additional calibers are in the design pipeline. With the manual safety and the super slim outline, a compact version of the SR9 has the potential to be a true category killer of a carry gun!
• The price structure is “aggressive.” Means the SR9 will be less expensive that its competition.
OVERALL VERDICT — The relatively new management team at Ruger has a stone hit on their hands, and the polymer-frame striker-fired pistol market has been turned on its head. Can’t wait to take this one through GUNSITE (which I plan to do after SHOT Show)! Check out OL's article on the SR9, and catch a glimpse of the gun in action on DOWNRANGE.TV. Get out your ice skates, kiddies.