Ruger EC9s Review: Low Cost, Long History
Sturm, Ruger & Co. has been making firearms in the U.S. since 1949. It has had great success in recent years with guns like the compact .380 LCP and the Ruger Precision Rifle, both of which defined their market niches. Ruger was also one of the first companies to release a compact 9mm single stack pistol, coming out with the 9mm LC9 in 2011. A few years later, in 2014, Ruger rolled out the LC9s, updating the action on the LC9 from a hammer-fired gun to a striker-fired gun. 2017 saw the introduction of the Ruger E9s, a lower-cost version of the LC9 with fixed sights, black oxide finish, and a slightly different slide.
Ruger EC9s: First Impressions
The Ruger EC9s ships with one seven round magazine, an instruction manual, a cable lock, and a takedown tool. While this may seem a bit sparse, the EC9s is compatible with accessories and magazines for the LC9s. This greatly increases your options for concealed carry holsters and other gear for your gun.
The EC9s feels just like similar guns from Ruger, such as the LC380 that I tested earlier. Like those guns, the EC9s feels slimmer than it really is. There are slight indentations on the top of the grip that make this already slim gun (already one of the skinniest guns in our test) feel even slimmer.
Ruger EC9s Range Impressions
The Ruger’s trigger is quite nice. At just under 4 pounds of weight, it’s one of the lightest triggers I’ve ever tested. That light trigger made the gun shoot fast. I was able to quickly put rounds on-target with very little effort. Carrying a gun with a trigger that light on a day-in, day-out basis does give me some pause, though. Negligent discharges are a thing. While I’m very careful to make sure any holster I use covers the trigger, the trigger on the EC9s is approaching the region where I would consider it too light for safe use in a daily carry gun. I would need another safety beyond the blade safety built into the EC9s’s trigger.
Lucky for us, Ruger thoughtfully provided just such an additional safety. On the right side of the frame of the ECPs you’ll find a small safety lever. Normally, I don’t like manual safeties on carry guns. They are a chance for something to go wrong in between the need to draw your gun and the need to press the trigger. However, in this case I found the safety easy to flick off with my thumb as I drove the gun towards the target. That manual safety is an extra layer of security, and it doesn’t subtract from the functionality of the gun.
Shooting from 15 yards off of a rest, the Ruger EC9s was the least accurate of our test guns. Even though it has a great trigger, the rest of the gun was not up to the task of placing higher than 10th of the ten guns we are testing. Now this is not to say that the Ruger is ineffective as a defensive gun. After all, less than one and one-half inches of group size separates first place from last place. So the EC9s will do just fine as an everyday carry gun.
American Eagle 115 Grain FMJ
Average Group Size: 4.67 Inches
Minimum Group Size: 3 Inches
Maximum Group Size: 6.1 Inches
Average Velocity: 1063 fps
Average Group Size: 3.7 inches
Minimum Group Size: 2.8 inches
Maximum Group Size: 4.5 inches
Average Velocity: 1004 fps
Federal 147 Grain HST JHP
Average Group Size: 4.1 Inches
Minimum Group Size: 4 inches
Maximum Group Size: 4.2 inches
Average Velocity: 905 fps
Average Group Size (All Ammo): 4.16 inches
The Ruger shot all 300 rounds in our test with no issues. The gun was also quite comfortable. It was no problem shooting 300 rounds through the gun over the course of a few hours, even with the pistol’s extra slim profile. Ruger knows how to make inexpensive, reliable guns, and the EC9s certainly fits that bill.
One of the things I liked about this pistol are the sights. I find the conventional three dot setup (one on the front sight, two on each rear sight) to be a bit confusing. If all three dots are the same size, my eyes tend to bounce between the front sight and rear sight, and that slows down my aim a bit. With the Ruger EC9s, though, the front and rear sights are flat black. This means I can either add a dab of high-visibility paint to the front sight or leave them the way they are. As most of my competition guns are set up for a flat black rear sight and a high visibility front sight, I like having that option available to me.
As I said before, Ruger knows how to pack their guns with the features you want, but still keep the price at a level you can afford. This pistol is easy to shoot and has a wide range of accessories. It would be a good deal if it had a street price in the $400 range. With an MSRP of just $299, the Ruger EC9s might be the best value out of all the guns we’ve tested.