We were oh so close to bringing you news of the new Ruger pistol in our last issue, but that whole "best laid plans" thing reared its ugly head. Patrick Sweeney is conducting an extensive torture test of the gun even as we speak, but we can give you a sneak peek based on what I saw at a small gathering at Ruger's Prescott, Arizona, facilities last October.
The SR9 is a striker-fired 9mm with a pleasingly slim grip, polymer frame and stainless steel slide and barrel. Inside that slim grip is housed a 17-round magazine for maximum firepower (10-rounders available for states that mandate them). It has a hinged trigger that borrows heavily from the Glock design, but chief among its distinguishing characteristics is a user-removable magazine disconnect. It can be removed by driving out a pin, pulling out the striker assembly and then taking out the disconnect.
This means the SR9 becomes an option for law enforcement agencies that require a disconnect, and with fingers crossed it should also mean I can buy one in California, which now requires this feature.
I mentioned the slim grip, which is great for folks with small to medium-size hands, but the SR9 has another nifty feature worth noting: a reversible backstrap. By driving out a pin, removing the backstrap and flipping it around, you can switch between an arched-mainframe configuration or a flat-profile one.
I'll leave the rest of the technical details for the upcoming feature article and just relate a few impressions from my morning's shooting session with the new gun. I loved the grip and found the gun to be really comfortable and controllable. Sure, it's a 9mm and you would expect it to be pleasant to shoot, but I found it particularly well-behaved: muzzle flip was minimal and, for me, the sights came back into alignment quickly.
There were a lot of folks--Ruger staffers and a few writers--shooting the guns, which had come right off an early run on the production line. I don't know how many cases of 9mm we fired, but there wasn't a moment's silence on the range. Through all the rapid-fire volleys, steel-plate runs and practical-shooting courses of fire, there were no malfunctions reported.
I did notice on a few of the guns that magazines did not drop from the wells readily, despite Herculean pressing of the magazine release button. So I talked to Ken Jorgensen at Ruger and learned that the company has made a change to the mag release for the first true production guns, which should be on dealers' shelves right now.
I really think Ruger has a winner on its hands. And it just occurred to me it even has my initials on it. A "Scott Rupp" 9. So for that reason alone I may just have to get one.