A handgun that doesn’t get a lot of attention is the Ruger LC9. Credible, affordable, and reliable, this single stack 9mm brings a lot to the table. The new Ruger EC9s is an affordable version of the LC9.
My daughter-in-law carried a Beretta 92 during tours in Iraq and Afghanistan but now carries a Ruger LC9 concealed. The LC9 isn’t as easy to fire well as a full-sized handgun, such as the Glock 19, but it is very light, handy, and useful. The new style, striker-fired Ruger LC9s is the pistol the EC9 is based on. This striker-fired design features a crisp trigger action.
The trigger features a trigger lever, inset into the face of the trigger that prevents the handgun from firing unless the lever is fully depressed. There is also a safety that is a true cocked-and-locked safety—a rarity among striker-fired handguns. The safety locks the slide in place when applied. The Ruger trigger is crisp, clean, and easily manipulated, and that is all we may ask of a personal defense handgun.
Ruger is a giant manufacturer, but it listens to consumers and moved rather quickly considering its size. The Ruger Security 9 is just one example of a pistol designed to meet consumer demands for affordable handguns. The EC9s is another. The EC9s is a version of the LC9 intended to sell for just a little over $200. While the MSRP is $299 you will find the pistol for sale at much less.
The EC9s is a compact pistol. The barrel is 3.1 inches long, the pistol is just six inches long, and the slide is only .9-inch wide. This 9mm handgun weighs just 17 ounces unloaded. There are certain corners cut in order to provide a reliable and effective handgun at an affordable price.
The pistol features sights that are integral with the slide rather than the LC9’s drift adjustable sights. This results in considerable economy in machining costs. The EC9s is supplied with only one magazine. While I had rather have a spare magazine, this keeps the MSRP down. A feature some will like more than others is a magazine safety. The pistol will not fire with the magazine removed.
To test the EC9s, I first examined and lubricated the pistol before firing. The pistol had no visible tool marks and was well fitted and finished. I chose several reliable and useful loads for this review. The first was the affordable CCI Blazer 115-grain FMJ. This is a clean burning load with plenty of practical accuracy. I loaded the 7-shot magazine and fired a box of Blazer 9mm at man-sized targets at 5, 7, and 10 yards.
The pistol is comfortable to fire, but the thin cross section of the grip isn’t as comfortable with larger handguns, because the recoil is concentrated—that is the name of the game in such a light handgun. Firing results were good. The trigger was controllable and allowed rapid work and accurate firing. I centered the bullets in the X-ring in rapid fire at 7 yards.
At 10 yards, you have to slow down to get the same accuracy, but the pistol offers excellent practical accuracy. I also tested a number of personal defense loads. The Federal 150-grain HST is specifically designed for good control and reliable expansion in short barrel handguns. Control was good with this defense load and accuracy more than acceptable.
Lastly, I fired the Federal 135-grain Hydra-Shok deep penetrating load. This 9mm is an answer to a need for good penetration against felons that may be heavily clothed or behind cover. The Federal 135-grain Hydra-Shok is controllable and offers a good balance of expansion and penetration. I fired 20 rounds each of the JHP loads with good results.
The final effort was to fire a controlled group from the standing barricade at 15 yards to gauge accuracy. I fired a 5-shot group with each of the Federal HST. The result was a group of less than three inches at 45 feet. The pistol is more than accurate enough for personal defense. I continued to test the pistol with different types of ammunition. The Federal American Eagle 124-grain FMJ and Federal Syntech have each demonstrated good accuracy potential.
The Ruger EC9s is a reliable, accurate, light, and useful handgun with much to recommend. It will not break the bank and provides a good defense option for those on a tight budget.
Are you a budget-minded Ruger fan? Do you carry a Ruger EC9s? What is your experience with it? Share your answers in the comment section.
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