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Ruger SR9c

The Ruger SR9c is the compact version of the previously reviewed full sized SR9. The SR9c has been on the market for a couple years now, but like its big brother, doesn’t get the attention I think it deserves.


Caliber 9mm Luger
Grip Frame Black, High Performance, Glass-Filled Nylon
Length 6.85″
Height 4.61″
Width 1.27″
Weight 23.40 oz.
Grooves 6
Barrel Length 3.50″
Twist 1:10″ RH

SR9 Compact Features

The Ruger SR9c has virtually all of the features of the full-sized SR9, even the features I don’t like (loaded chamber indicator, magazine disconnect). As such, instead of reiterating the features of the SR9, I will instead focus on the features that are different on the SR9c.

Front Slide Serrations

The SR9c has front slide serrations, making it easier to both manipulate the slide and to press check the chamber. I like the front serrations, as they provide a better front slide grip for press checks over the full-sized SR9.

[framed_box]The addition of these serrations on the SR9c sort of validates my assertion that loaded chamber indicators should be ignored, and that press checks should be performed instead.[/framed_box]

Two Guns in One

The SR9c comes with two magazines – a 10 round magazine, and, if you live in a more free state, an extended 17 round magazine. The setup on the extended magazine is very nice. Essentially, the 17 round magazine is a full-sized SR9 magazine, and comes fitted with a removable grip adapter. When you have the 17 round magazine inserted with the grip adapter, you have virtually the same grip as the full-sized SR9.

I really like this feature, and it in a way makes the SR9c “two guns in one”. I carry the gun with the 10 round magazine, and carry the 17 round magazine as a spare. That’s 28 rounds of 9mm (10+1, 17 on the reload), which should do just fine in most social situations.

Concealed Carry

I carried the Ruger SR9c for several months in a Crossbreed SuperTuck Deluxe, which is an excellent holster and is very comfortable. The SR9c isn’t super lightweight, but it’s also not super heavy either. It is a fairly slim and compact gun considering it holds 10+1 rounds of 9mm in a flush fitting magazine.

I didn’t have any trouble carrying the SR9c, and I really liked having the option of the 17 round magazine.

Shooting Impressions

In my opinion, even though the SR9c is a smaller gun, it shoots just as well as the full-sized SR9. The trigger on my SR9c is actually a little lighter and breaks just a little more cleanly than the trigger on my full-sized SR9, though I have to shoot them both in the same range session to notice. The gun isn’t super lightweight, and as such, recoil is pretty mild.


My gun has been 100% reliable with all types of ammunition except Winchester White Box (WWB). With WWB, I have had pretty consistent light strikes of the primer (I’d ballpark it at 10% failure rate). A light strike is where the striker hits the primer, but not hard enough to ignite the powder. From my extensive research googling, this is a fairly common problem with the combination of Winchester White Box ammunition and the Ruger SR9c.

Update 8/1/2012: I recently tried WWB ammunition again in my SR9c, and it went bang as expected. I’m hopeful that Winchester has the hard primer issue sorted out, but will continue to keep my eye on it.

Wrapping Up

I really like the Ruger SR9c. I think it’s an excellent gun and is highly underrated (and even ignored) by a lot of people. If I could get an SR9c without an external safety, loaded chamber indicator and magazine disconnect, then I think it would be well on its way to being the perfect compact concealed carry handgun.

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38 Responses to Ruger SR9c

  1. Ftown March 29, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

    I have owned an SR9c for 7 months and I’ve had two phases of ownership. The first was when the trigger had reset problems. About every 7th round would cause the trigger to hang and not reset. After calling Ruger and returning the gun for repair, it has had no problems. I really love it now. Cycles everything, and I have not had the light primer strikes that you mentioned.
    I’ve added a Viridian C5L laser light, and a hiviz front sight. Now about 1500-1800 rounds, the gun is very well broken in and it extremely accurate. In fact, I regularly shoot out the 2″ center of my targets at 20 feet. Just a well-made firearm with literally no faults for me. The LCI is a little gimmicky and I don’t mind safeties.
    Ruger semi-autos seem to have a 2nd class stigma to them, and I’m finding that in reality they do everything I’ve wanted.

    • Brandon March 29, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

      Awesome, thanks for commenting man.

  2. Mike March 31, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

    I love my SR9c. Mine eats WWB without a problem. Did you try cleaning the striker channel? Maybe it’s full of gunk.

    • Brandon March 31, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

      No, I haven’t tried that. I doubt that’s the problem, since it fires every other kind of ammunition I’ve tried.

  3. Terry April 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

    My sr9c had the same issue with light primer strikes with all brands of ammo I used contacted ruger they sent me a prepaid label to send it back in they said the spring in the striker assembly was weak they replaced the striker assembly that was a year ago and haven’t had a problem with it since fires any kind of ammo I put in it

    • Brandon April 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

      Awesome, thanks for sharing, boxing mine up next week.

    • Tony October 16, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

      I have been experiencing light strikes also and your comment was very helpful. Thank you

  4. Terry April 7, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    Cool hope they get it fixed up for ya. Ruger has great costumer service. Had mine back just shy of three weeks.

  5. Larry April 16, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

    Great Review. I really enjoy shooting my SR9C–the action is smooth as silk, and, fortunately, I have had no jams or misfires of any kind using a wide array of available 9mm ammunition (had the gun about a year). I actually like the safety, as I prefer to keep a cartridge in the pipe.

    I was pleased to read that you carry yours as I do mine–with the 10 round in the gun, the 17 round clip there as backup. I live in Alaska, so I can conceal carry the gun at most times with a light jacket. The LCP acts as a backup, or my primary when concealing the SR9C is impracticable.

    So glad I found your website–after reading just a couple of your reviews, I’ll be back–keep up the good work!

    • Brandon April 16, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

      Thanks Larry!

  6. Rodger May 20, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

    I have had my SR9C for almost 2 years now. I have shot it side by side with my Glock 19, Steyr S9-A1, and a couple of .45’s. This Ruger puts them all to shame. I love this weapon. Polished the trigger assembly, now smooth as glass, replaced the firing pin spring with a stronger one, and no misfires ever. Ground the tip of the loaded chamber indicator so it only sticks up a couple of centimeters, removed the magazine disconnect. I usually buy and sell every few months, but this handgun is a keeper.

    • Brandon May 20, 2012 at 6:05 pm #


  7. Shawn June 19, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    I’m a novice and looking into purchasing my first gun and was told to start with a Ruger. I went to the gunshop and the first gun presented was the SR9C. Because I have large hands they really ate up the grip with the 10 clip in but when the salesperson exchanged it with the 17 it was a perfect fit. I’m really intrigued with it and it’s first on my list with my research but aside from your review is there anything a first timer should know about this gun? Can I purchase another 17 instead of using the 10?

    • Brandon June 19, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

      The Ruger SR9 and SR9c are both great guns. Yes, you can purchase additional 17 round magazines instead of the 10 rounders, you’ll just need to also purchase additional grip adapters (or swap the grip adapter when you change mags, or deal with the “gap”). Since you’re new I’ll point out that the SR9c (with the 10 round mag) is for concealed carry, hence the shorter grip. If you don’t care about having the shorter grip, you might consider the full-size SR9.

      Hope that helps!

  8. Will June 23, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

    I noticed you own/owned both guns that I am having a hard time deciding which to purchase – Ruger SR9c and Walther PPQ. My gun range only has a SR9 for me to rent/shot, bummer I know. I do plan on CCW with either gun as well as open cary in my vehicle. The majority in my area keep saying Glock but when I held it I didn’t like the way I had to cock my hand downwards to line up the sites. The SR9c/PPQ were perfectly straight at my normal firing postion. The downside to the PPQ that I have found is the price for additional mags and $150 more then the SR9c. This being said the manufacture that makes the mags for Walther you can buy direct for half the price around $24…

    I wish I could find pictures of both guns stuck together for sizing reasons but have fallen flat on that. I know on the P99 you could pull back the top of the gun 1/4″ to cock it w/ one hand. Can this be accomplished w/ the PPQ too? The Ruger takes one to hold gun the other to pull back.

    Hopefully you can shed some light on which gun I should really go w/ or which one you would choose. I really like them both. Thanks in advance

    • Brandon June 23, 2012 at 8:05 pm #

      Well they are both good guns, but there are a couple differences that you should make sure you are aware of. The first and most obvious difference is the size. With the flush fitting magazine, the SR9c is noticeably smaller than the PPQ, meaning it will be easier to conceal. The flush fitting mag holds 10 rounds, the PPQ mag holds 15. So you’re giving up some rounds with the SR9c in exchange for concealability.

      The second biggest difference is the controls – the SR9c has a manual safety, the PPQ does not. The SR9c has a button style mag release, the PPQ has a paddle style.

      Don’t worry about the expensive mags.

      There are other differences of course, but they are more minor IMO. I think it really is going to come down to what size fits how you want to conceal the gun, and which guns features you like best. My opinion: the PPQ is the better gun, but it might not be the right choice for concealed carry.

      I don’t know exactly what you mean when you talk about cocking the gun by pulling back 1/4″. You need to properly rack the slide to chamber a round.

      If you like us on Facebook and post a reminder, I’ll take a photo of the two side by side for you.

      Hope that helps!

  9. Will June 24, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    I appreciate you taking the time to get back to me Brandon! Below is the video but I guess I remembered incorrectly as I just rewatched it. It took me a bit to find the video but the P99 has a unique trigger system: click to 2:40 in the video.

    I liked you on FB and will send you a reminder there. I checked out the Crossbreed IWB holster and liked them but also found N82 have any experiences with these?

    • Brandon June 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

      Gotcha – yes, I suppose you could do that with the PPQ if you really wanted to. Not sure it’s a great idea of very “real world”, but hey, it’s a feature LOL. I don’t like the N82 holsters – I’m not a fan of having so much material behind the grip area of the firearm I think it makes it hard to get a full firing grip on the gun. If there’s going to be sweat shield material, I prefer a “combat cut” so that most of the material is removed. Having said that, some people don’t mind it at all and love N82.

  10. Mike September 29, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

    I got the LS9C six months ago and I was wondering if it is possible to use the new hornady critical duty +p ammo in it?

    TNX Mike

  11. Marco October 12, 2012 at 1:24 am #

    Just ordered by SR9c yesterday. Did a lot of research before I decided on a pistol. I need something that I can carry with me every day but the Glock 19 was to uncomfortable in my hands and the regular Glock 17 and SR9 (and every other full size pistol for that matter) was too big to conceal. The fact that you can change the SR9c between compact to conceal and “full size” to have fun with, with the 10 and 17 round mags respectively was the deal maker. The H&K P30 was a strong contender, but where I live they are rare and very expensive. Just waiting for my license to be approved now. Can’t wait!!

    Tanks for the info


    • Brandon October 12, 2012 at 7:20 am #

      Congratulations, the SR9c is a great gun that doesn’t get enough credit. Did you find a holster yet?

  12. Brad November 14, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    I got my new SR9C three days ago. I’ve put 100 rounds through it already and it hasn’t skipped a beat. I have smaller hands and this is the perfect fit. It doesn’t shoot like a compact though. The SR9C shoots like a full size handgun with no excessive recoil. Ruger really had their customers in mind when equipping the gun with a 10 and 17 round clip. The 10 rnd clip is perfect concealing and the 17 rnd allows the shooter to have a little more fun without having to reload as often. I had a friend shoot mine the first day I got it, and after shooting it, he wants one of his own. If you’re on the fence, just buy it. BTW, with kids in the house, the extra safety feature are a plus for me, not a nuisance. Happy shooting everyone!!

    • Brandon November 14, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

      Thanks for the feedback Brad.

  13. James Bonanno December 3, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    I carry my SR9c as often as possible in an Old Faithful Holster. The firearm has never malfunctioned to date and I have put many different types of ammo through it. Reliable, accurate and sleek looking. Ruger really created a winner with this gun. I recently qualified with it at 50′ and had to put 8 of 10 rounds in an 8″ circle. All rounds hit there mark and thats quite nice for a carry piece. Thanks for a fine review and thanks to Ruger for an excellent, dare I say, weapon!

    • Brandon December 3, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

      Thanks for the feedback James.

  14. Gordon H December 7, 2012 at 7:32 pm #

    I bought my SR9c a few months ago. I reload ammo, and have found that it does NOT like lighter loads. The gun does not fully cycle on a lighter load, say in the lower 50-60% of the range for a given powder. So long as I load at about 3/4 of the way between the lowest charge weight and full “do-not-exceed” charge weight, I get a full cycling without extraction or feed problems. With factory ammo I’ve had no problems at all. I like this gun (and my other Ruger, a P90) a lot.

  15. American Heretic December 17, 2012 at 11:26 pm #

    I wanted something concealable and had decided on an LC9. The LC9 felt so compact in the shop. Fortunately, while in the gun shop, I received an emergency call and had to leave. Two days later I demo’ed the LC9 at The Range. The double action trigger on the LC9 is horrible. It is a very long pull on every shot with significant stacking. At 10 yards, I was missing the six inch target completely.

    So, I decided to try the SR9c. I ran 40 rounds through it. It was love at first shot. On the last target I shot out the 1.5 inch bulls eye at 10 yards. It is so much lighter and easier than my XD40.

    I am aware that both the LC9 and the SR9c have had some trigger reset problems, but I sent an email to Ruger and they responded that they will stand behind and repair any defects or replace the weapon. I pick up my new SR9c in two days.

  16. Rodger December 18, 2012 at 8:32 am #

    I have owned my SR9c for a couple of years now. I am very impressed with it just like everyone else who owns one. At one point I carried it concealed constantly, practiced drawing religiously, and it really is a wonderful carry piece, but the only problem that I have with it is the thumb safety. To me a thumb safety on a concealed carry gun is a bad idea. I now carry a Caracal C, which is a little smaller than a Glock 19, with no thumb safety. I feel much more confident and safer with this type of gun, but to each his own. I still own the SR9C but never carry it anymore, it is a good gun if you can get used to the thumb safety.

  17. Allen February 10, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

    I am looking a purchasing a 9mm CCW. I have settled on the Beretta Nano, XD9, and SR9c. Which do you feel would make the best CCW, and what holster do you feel would make the best OWB holster. Thank you

    • Brandon February 11, 2013 at 8:08 am #

      You need to try and get your hands on all of them to see what works best for you. Look through the website, we’ve reviewed a bunch of different holsters. I’m partial to Kydex rigs.

  18. rob March 30, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    Just got my sr9 and I love it. I have shot my share of 9mm and this gun in my opinion is the best . You can not beat this gun and the price even makes it better.Ruger got this gun so right. This sr9 shoots like a dream. I would take this over a glock or XD anyday. Not running down other guns just my thoughts. Lovede your review,keep up the good work.

  19. David September 10, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    I am looking for a more concealable alternative to my g19. I have not fired an sr9c but have fired the full size and loved it. So I am sure I would have no issues with the c. I have also fired the shield and loved that as well. Bearing in mind I already have the g 19 which one of the two wouldgive me a better smaller carry ooption?

    • Brandon September 10, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

      It really would come down to personal preference. You should also look at Glock 26, since it would have magazine compatibility with your Glock 19, as well as the same ergonomics and grip angle.

      • David September 10, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

        Yeah I have considered the 26 for that very reason. Its a wonderfull gun shoots great and I have zero complaints with the ergos of it. But its the carry part of it that I have a concern with. While its smaller its still just as “glock fat” lol. I feel like if i’m going to go with a smaller pistol I want it to be thinner two. I don’t want to buy a 26 and then not carry it because its just as fat as my 19. And unfortunately while I can easily shoot any of these recommendations, I can’t throw one in a holster and walk around for a few days. I know you own/ carry a shield sr9c and a g19. So its a good opportunity to find out what you think about each. I had my heart set on the sr9c until I fired my friends shield. The gun shoots amazingly for its size I really didn’t expect it to be that enjoyable to shoot. My thinking is if it shoots good for me and is smaller/ more concealable than the sr9c than it would be a better buy for me.

        • Brad Smith September 11, 2013 at 10:33 am #

          I have an SR9c and the M&P Shield 9mm. I love both guns. I have no problem carrying either of them. I love the fact that the Shield is somewhat thinner but I mostly send it with my wife and I mostly carry my SR9c. I like the extra two rounds in the magazine and the option of sticking in 17 rounds if I ever need them. Both pieces are exceptional. You can’t go wrong with either. Do like I did; buy both haha. Happy shooting!

          • Joe B. November 12, 2013 at 8:16 am #

            Ah! Exact same here. Love that Shield, but we bought it for her. She fell in love with it as soon as she saw it and got her hands on it. Moonstruck when she fired it. Probably carries her LCP more, though.

            Me, I carry her Shield sometimes when she’s not. The thing is not only invisible but like a butterfly when it comes to weight. Too bad a lot of the weight reduction is due to the low cap mag. But that’s the tradeoff.

            Since for years (since about 1994/95) my EDC has been a DAO KP94 in 40 with 10 round magazine, the SR40c was a *relief* when it came to weight. Actually has more firepower (since it has a 15 round mag for my mag pouch), and really, in spite of the weight reduction from the P94, I don’t notice a great difference in recoil.

            I think the SRc in either caliber is a huge tribute to Ruger’s gun manufacturing mentality. They don’t rush their design. And when it finally comes out, they kick arse! (and don’t charge an arm and leg to do it…).

  20. Joe B. November 12, 2013 at 8:08 am #

    Other people with light strikes cleared it up by cleaning the striker channel (me, no problems with mine, but I bought mine used — factory goo was gone by the time I received it).

    Also, if you do night shooting, you may come to like the loaded indicator. You don’t have to look. You can feel it quite easily with your thumb. Once I noted that advantage, I liked it a whole bunch.

    External safety, I don’t use it. Magazine disconnect, I don’t appreciate it much. I think I might remove it. Just not enough concern over it to do it yet.

    Hickok45 loves the s40c and sr9c. That’s plenty sufficient endorsement right there.

    My 2 cents.