View Full Version : Ruger SR9 torture test ??

01-15-2009, 04:23 PM
Been hearing about a 12,000 round in one session torture test of the SR9

Anyone got a link or can give up some detail ?

Steve Koski
01-15-2009, 04:42 PM
I can't find anything on da web.

I hate the friggin' safety lever gouging my poor little hands.

JimRuger9 torture tested his for a couple months before unloading it on some sucker.

01-15-2009, 04:56 PM

01-15-2009, 05:15 PM
Whaddya think ?

I like the mag safety being removable. Not sure I understand the reference between cast/milled parts and the reloading comment...

Here's a copy and paste of the article from the uspsa.us site :

It is one of the cheapest guns that you can use and trust (great for the beginner and can be found under $400)

* By Patrick Sweeney

TYPE: Semiauto double-action only
BARREL LENGTH: 4.1 inches
OVERALL LENGTH: 7.55 inches
WEIGHT: 26.5 ounces
SIGHTS: Adjustable three-dot
STOCK: Polymer
FINISH: Black polymer, stainless
PRICE: $525

I recently flew off to Arizona for an exclusive first look at the latest Ruger pistol, the SR9. Aimed squarely at the police/defensive market and intended to go head-to-head with the current market leader, the SR9 may be seen by some as late to the table. Au contraire; the delay means Ruger has learned from others and made changes to suit its manufacturing style.

The first thing you notice is that it looks a lot like other striker-fired pistols: angular, enclosed and with a polymer frame--a pistol that looks a lot better than previous Ruger pistols but still a blocky blaster. Pick it up and your impression will change. Gone are the chunky Ruger lines, clunky grips and slippery surfaces. The frame is sculpted, so your hand grasps it comfortably and easily. And it is slim. Through the frame at the point where your thumb rides, the Ruger SR9 is slimmer than any other hi-cap pistol, yet it still holds 17 rounds of 9mm goodness in the magazine.

I had the pleasure of a tour of the Prescott plant to see how the new SR9 is made. In a nutshell: a mix of the modern and the timeless. Where machines do a particular job best, Ruger has rows of CNC-machining stations cutting into castings: slides, frames, etc. Where handwork is best, as with the polishing and fitting any handgun requires, rows of skilled craftsmen (and -women) make sure every part of a Ruger pistol is within spec.

I saw a small pile of slides being set aside for rework: cosmetic blemishes that I could not spot until they were pointed out to me. I have been a grumbly reviewer of Ruger pistols and their looks in the past. I don't know if it was me in particular or the reaction of the gun-buying public in general, but Bob Stutler, VP of operations at the Prescott plant, mentioned that Ruger worked hard to make the new SR9 not just a good-feeling gun but a good-looking one, too.

The second thing you notice is the safety. That's right, an external thumb safety. And it is ambidextrous to boot. Ruger is going to win a lot of converts on that feature alone. The list of features continues: The magazine release is ambidextrous, the backstrap is reversible, and the sights are both adjustable and durable. The striker has a passive trigger-activated safety bar, so the striker can't reach the primer unless you've pulled the trigger.

One aspect of modern pistol design that always causes arguments is the subject of a magazine safety: yes or no? The Ruger SR9 has one, but it is not only the best of both worlds, it is the best of either. First, it does not add parts to the trigger linkage. The magazine disconnector/safety is activated by one of the magazine feed lips. When the magazine is out, it blocks the striker. When it is in, the striker has clearance. It does nothing to the trigger pull, whether the safety itself is in or out of the slide. And best of all, you can remove it in less than a minute. If you don't want it in, take it out. If you simply must have it in, put it back.

Oh, and that striker? Oil it all you want. The striker and its spring are a self-contained assembly, so when you take it out of the slide you do not risk launching springs, cups and assorted parts across the room. As the assembly lacks special polymer parts, oiling it does not cause a problem.

The safety is in a seemingly strange location for those with 1911-conditioned hands. At first I was worried that the safety tab was going to spear my hand on each shot--that is, if I could swipe it off when drawing. I need not have worried. After half a case of NATO-spec ball I could see where the safety was hitting me, but it did not otherwise bother me. I also had no problems in pushing the safety to the Fire position as I picked it up or drew each time. The ambidextrous magazine catch was a bit more of a problem, as it took me a little fussing to find the right pushing angle to get the catch to release.

The only time I found it a problem was in checking capacity of a nearly full magazine. And then only if I simply mashed the button, as if it were a mag catch on a highly tuned IPSC 1911. After a few tries the new button was old hat. And the grip contour? For those of you who might be worried, think 1911. If you've gotten used to that, the SR9 is going to feel very much at home.

Replaceable backstraps are all the rage. And for good reason: We do not all have the same-size hands. While the idea of a slew of different-size inserts is good, we all know what will happen: Most of us will lose most of them. The SR9 backstrap is simple: reversible. One side is flat and checkered, the other side is arched and checkered. Want to change? Pull it out, turn it over, and put it back in. You can't lose it if there is only the one to be used. With the arched side up, it points like a 1911. With the flat one in, it points like a Glock.

The famous Ruger casting process goes into various parts of the SR9, but not as many parts as you'd think; at present Ruger only casts six parts, and it plans to bring that down to four in the near future. Apparently, some parts are simply easier to make when machined from bar stock, and Ruger tracks the time and cost of parts very closely. Which is why you can buy a Ruger handgun for less than what its competitors' pistols typically sell for. In this era of exorbitant ammunition prices, many are coming back to reloading.

The SR9 barrel starts as a casting, then is bored, reamed, honed, rifled and the outside is profiled. It has no problems with lead bullets--no Ruger handguns do. The barrel is stainless steel and through-hardened; it should last you a good long time. The slide as well as the cam block in front of the magazine well are also through-hardened.

After all the machining, the SR9 slide and frame get laser-cut markings and serial numbers and then go off to assembly. Test-fire comes next, then boxing and shipping.

The important part is not how it looks but how it shoots. And I can report that it shoots very well indeed. After the tour, rundown, exploded diagrams, coffee and new-product fondling in the factory, the small number of us who were there went off the next morning to a nearby range to get a feel for the latest Ruger pistol. What I found was quite interesting.

First of all, the flatness and the checkering of the frame keep the SR9 from squirming in my grip. For me, anyway, a lot of the pistols with a more-rounded profile try to twist in recoil. I find on some of them that I have to struggle to keep the sights from dancing around. Not so the SR9. It tracks up and down for me. I can hammer close targets at warp speed and know the sights won't drift right or left.

At the range session we were joined by Bob Stutler and a slew of Ruger engineers and salesmen. Once I found how the sights tracked, I was able to hammer the steel with ease. Lest you think the SR9 is simply a close-range bullet hose, I found myself drawn into an impromptu but ongoing staff contest. At the range Ruger uses, there is a rock partway up the "mountain" that serves as a backstop. The Ruger employees plink at it for fun (and for all I know, "loser buys the soft drinks" back at the office).

I figured it at just over 200 yards, and the rock was maybe two feet across. Someone said, "Hey, have a go at it." Big mistake, as I had spent several range sessions in the summertime working on extra-long handgun shooting. It took me three shots to get the range, and then I hit the rock with most of the shots left in the magazine, without slowing down much to refine the sight picture. I stopped when the mag was done to avoid looking like a show-off. If the SR9 you get is anything like the early-production one I used, it will be accurate.

When the first of the production guns were released, I had one the next day. I did some chronographing and accuracy testing and found this production gun to be as accurate as the preproduction sample I'd shot in Arizona--not a Bullseye gun but certainly plenty accurate for anything else. Also, the barrel was as fast as any other I've tested so no need to worry about the "short" 4 1/8-inch barrel causing you problems. The Ruger is so new and the deadlines of getting you the latest info are so unforgiving that I haven't had time to do much shooting.

To test the newest Ruger, Erik Leslie of Magtech sent me 10,000 rounds of 9mm ball ammo with which to thrash the SR9. My testfire crew and I have "only" managed to put all 10,000 rounds of Magtech 115-grain FMJ ammunition through the SR9--plus another 2,000 rounds of other brands and weights--for a grand total of zero failures. Oh, there was one shooter who mentioned a failure to fully close, but since the SR9 was smoking-hot (literally) at the time, and he had a huge leather lineman's glove on his left hand, we suspect the glove caused the glitch and didn't blame the pistol. We did all that shooting in two afternoons! Halfway through we slipped a Streamlight tactical light and laser on it. Despite being very smoky, the gun still worked fine. And we didn't clean it once.

Accuracy testing and chrono comparisons of the same ammunition after all that shooting have uncovered no change in the accuracy or velocity of this pistol. If anything the SR9 is better. The trigger certainly is. It started at what Ruger calls 6 1/2 pounds and is now a bit lighter and smoother. At first my testers were complaining about the trigger pull: "Ruger calls this 6 1/2 pounds?" Uh, guys, do the dry-firing with the magazine in place. With the mag out, the magazine safety drags on the striker and makes the trigger pull feel gritty and heavy. Put the empty magazine in place and it feels just fine, even lighter than the 6 1/2 pounds Ruger promises. I plan to make up a dummy dry-fire magazine so I can get the actual trigger pull and not beat up live mags in dry-fire practice.

Does Ruger have a home run on its hands? I sure hope so or my faith in the gun-buying public will have been in vain. The MSRP of the SR9 is $144 less than that of the big black dog in the striker-fired market section, and if you add in the "Made in USA" quotient, the SR9 will attract a large number of buyers. The magazine safety is whatever you want it to be, the thumb safety is new for striker guns, and the gun runs flawlessly. The only problem I can see Ruger having with the SR9 is that it's so durable, you might not ever have to buy another. At least not until the compact one comes out, and then, well, you get the idea.
<!-- / message -->

01-15-2009, 05:18 PM
The gun was torture. Could not hit the broad side of a barn with it. Neither could Koski. Bought for 400 sold for 400 8 months later. Buy a Glock 17

Steve Koski
01-15-2009, 05:26 PM
Before the recall it had a pretty decent trigger. It came back with some monstrosity that felt like 14 lbs. HORRIBLE TRIGGER. I was pissed, and it wasn't even my gun.

01-15-2009, 05:27 PM
I love my SR9. It is safe in my "DO NOT TRADE OR SELL" pile for a while.

01-15-2009, 05:29 PM
Anything written by Sweeney is unbiased gospel.

01-15-2009, 05:29 PM
The gun was torture. Could not hit the broad side of a barn with it. Neither could Koski. Bought for 400 sold for 400 8 months later. Buy a Glock 17

That sounds like a pretty good summary of a "torture test" right there

01-15-2009, 05:38 PM
I'm gonna go kiss a G17. BRB

01-15-2009, 05:49 PM
I don't want one, I just wanna shoot one.

I ran across a reference to the torture test and wondered if it was legit.

Besides, I got a 9mm barrel for my 23

Still like the looks of the SR9, but, if it sucks, it's just abother crap pistola.

Tell me about yours JH

Steve Koski
01-15-2009, 05:55 PM
JimRuger9 had some crappy ammo that wouldn't group minute of pie plate at 15 yards.

With decent bullets, we could both hit just fine with it. After the trigger downgrade (disguised as a recall) it would be a lot harder to hit anything with it.

01-15-2009, 06:08 PM
Does dat mean he ain't JimRuger9 anymore ?

01-15-2009, 06:37 PM
Does dat mean he ain't JimRuger9 anymore ?

JimG17, gotta good sound to it

01-15-2009, 08:00 PM
Still own a Ruger P95 that what started thiw whole Shooting obsession as my wife calls it

01-15-2009, 08:02 PM

the thing had a great feeling grip, My 14 year old Daughter loved it with her small hands. She can handle the G17 great also.

01-15-2009, 08:31 PM
I don't want one, I just wanna shoot one.

I ran across a reference to the torture test and wondered if it was legit.

Besides, I got a 9mm barrel for my 23

Still like the looks of the SR9, but, if it sucks, it's just abother crap pistola.

Tell me about yours JH
Every person's tastes in shooting is different, 'Slick. If'n you ever make it back to God's Country, I'll let you try it out so that you can make your own opinion.

01-15-2009, 08:46 PM
Thanks JH ;)

I just like da looks of it, kinda a cross between a CZ an a Sig in appearance. I had good results wit a couple Rugers, not so good results wit a Mini 14 an da price is right for em, so I decided ta check into em a little when I seen da torture test mentioned.

Seemed if it lasted 12k without a malfunction it might be worth findin out about.

But, any gun writer's review of any gun is gonna be biased if it gets in a gun rag cause of ad revenue.

I don't do DAO guns, so it a hafta be extra nice cain't live witout it good before I start savin up for one

01-15-2009, 08:51 PM
It is Ruger stout and Ruger reliable. I like the trigger since the recall. Not bad at all. I would buy a second one in a heartbeat.

01-15-2009, 08:59 PM
Might make a nice lil range gun, jus for S&G kinda thing, or for newbies, already got my carry rigs.

I also ran across a couple mentions of the compact (also in the article reprint above) and I'm wondering how compact they're talkin about.

I like lil, inexpensive (compared to a lotta others) reliable shooters. I'm kinda gettin over da fancy stuff, since it either cost too much or didn't work better than a moderately priced equivalent. I keep just a bare minimum of pistols now, prolly be a long while before I buy another - if I do.

I always lookin to shoot somethin different, an da SR9 is different, so I was just wonderin

Steve Koski
01-15-2009, 10:36 PM
I really WANT to like the SR9, but the safety climbs up over the side of the slide and boogers up the feel of the whole thing. Maybe dremel off the manual safety to clean up the slide and be done with it.

Why they gotta go and put a manual safety on it anyway? It's a glock copy with a 14 lb trigger.

01-15-2009, 10:38 PM
I'ma go hug mah G17 agin'.

01-15-2009, 11:47 PM
When they first came out I felt one up at a gunshow and man, they are SLIM. However, the local 'smith had worked on one and when I asked him about it he said what Koski said, that the trigger was bad. The mag safety can be undone the same as the Ruger 345 I believe. Drift the rear sight a bit and it pops out. However this does NOT improve the trigger pull "a la" Browning High Power according to guys on the Ruger Forum.

Here's the Ruger Forum's fix for the trigger, boys:


01-16-2009, 07:35 AM
Never got interested in the SR9. The only other polymer gun that I like is the XD. I'll bet the XDm is sweet.

01-21-2009, 03:05 PM
I remember handling one last year before the recall and thought the trigger felt fine. And also like the capability of removing the stoopid mag safety, as the gunshop owner had already done.

Picked another up at the local price gouger gun shop in town and it's one of the few handguns where I didn't like the trigger at all, the post recall jobber I mean. I like the slimness of it though. Would I get one? Not unless I was sure I could do something to help that trigger. I like the way it looks too.