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Ruger EC9s Review

Ruger EC9s Review
Ruger recently introduced the low-priced Ruger EC9s to the handgun market. With an MSRP of only $299, it’s easy to assume that you’re forfeiting some quality with this choice, but that’s not necessarily the case. Our team at We The People Holsters recently spent some time with the Ruger EC9s to find out if Ruger’s new low-priced handgun is a cheap alternative or simply an affordable option for those who are looking for a handgun that doesn’t break the bank.

How Is the Ruger EC9s So Cheap?

Since the old saying goes “you get what you pay for,” it’s easy to take a look at a handgun that comes in below $300 and assume that you’re getting a firearm that’s going to jam with every round and fail to consistently feed ammo. However, fortunately, that’s definitely not the case with this gun.

To understand how Ruger made the EC9s so affordable, you’d have to understand a little more about Ruger’s manufacturing process. In a recent interview with Ruger’s Public Relations Manager, Paul Pluff,  Pluff discussed how Ruger doesn’t follow the same manufacturing pattern as many other firearms companies. Most manufacturers move each component of the firearm from one assembly area to the next. However, this process leads to an increase in man-hours and machine usage, both of which carry costs that have to be passed on to the consumer. In contrast, Ruger uses machines that perform multiple operations and relies on an assembly line process for each product. Since Ruger doesn’t have to spend time setting up manufacturing specs for each component of the Ruger EC9, they are able to cut costs and put a more affordable gun into the hands of their customers.

Ruger EC9s Sights

The sights on the Ruger EC9s are manufactured directly into the slide. While this means that you don’t have the option to adjust the sights, they are still high-quality parts of the weapon. The direct-mounted sight also contributes to Ruger’s ability to offer the weapon at such a low price. One thing to note is that the spaces between the serrations are wider on the EC9s than what is typically seen. Customers who are impressed by the aesthetics of a handgun may prefer the narrower serrations, but we found that the EC9’s wider serrations made it even easier to handle the gun.

Feel of the EC9s

If you’ve handled Ruger’s similar LC9 model, you will already be well acquainted with what the EC9s will feel like in your hand. All four sides of the grip are textured which provides a rough, yet non-abrasive grip. The grip swells slightly towards the backend which gives ample room for your middle finger, ring finger, and pinky. The curvature of the slight grip leads to the user feeling a bit more of the recoil. This is primarily because the pocket isn’t as deep as it is on some other models. Naturally, the way a gun feels to its user is a subjective matter, so the way that our team felt about holding the weapon may not be the way it feels to you. Spend some time at the range with the EC9s and decide if the weapon feels right in your hand. 

Ruger EC9s Finish

Ruger went with a different finishing process for the EC9s than what is seen on similar guns. Unlike Ruger’s LC9, which is finished with a “bluing” process, the EC9’s slide and barrel are coated with an inexpensive black oxide. This process of coating the weapon with black oxide is done on Ruger’s assembly line. Conversely, the bluing process, used on other models, requires that the components be placed in multiple tanks so the finish can penetrate the slide and barrel of the weapons. Using black oxide was another step Ruger took to make the EC9s more affordable while still providing a sleek looking, weather-resistant firearm. 

Features of the EC9s

If you’re looking for a handgun that is loaded with bells and whistles, the Ruger EC9s may not be the right choice for you. To make it so affordable, Ruger stripped away virtually any “extras” from the firearm. The Ruger EC9s is ultimately a point and shoot option. This is a great option if you’re good with your handgun and need a no-frills personal defense weapon. However, if you’re interested in a firearm with a ton of bonus options, you may want to put your $300 towards a higher-end model.

Functions of the EC9s

The EC9s’ functions were designed primarily for first-time gun owners. Since new gun owners need to be even safer with their new weapon, Ruger put some serious safety measures in place to reduce the risk of an accidental discharge. Ruger incorporated a manual safety, a trigger safety, a magazine safety, and an indicator that lets the user know that there is a round in the chamber.
The manual safety on the EC9s is about as traditional as it gets. Near the back of the handgun, there is a switch that you must flip in order to deactivate the safety. This is a wonderful option for someone who may be new to using a firearm. Magazine safeties are highly debated by gun enthusiasts and many people aren’t a fan of them. 

The trigger safety on the Ruger EC9s is heavy. In our tests, it broke between 7.5 and 8 pounds of pressure which means that you have to knowingly be putting pressure on the trigger. To make the trigger even safer, Ruger set it up to require two stages of increasingly significant pressure to be able to fire the weapon. The rebound can barely be felt, but there is a clicking sound that the owner will notice when the trigger resets. Finally, the indicator that there is a weapon in the chamber allows the user to be fully aware of the presence of a possibly forgotten round. Essentially, Ruger put a four-step safety process in place when designing this gun. It is functional for a gun expert, but designed for a gun novice.

It should go without saying that having four safety measures in place is no substitute for undergoing proper firearm safety training. Take your Ruger EC9s with you to a gun safety course and allow a professional to educate you on how to be even more responsible with the firearm.

Performance of the EC9s

Ultimately, nothing matters more than how a gun performs. Whether you’re looking for a firearm to take out for a day of fun on the gun range or whether you want something to protect your home and family with, you need that the firearm you choose will consistently do what it’s intended to do. If you find yourself in a high-pressure situation where your firearm is your only line of defense, you shouldn’t have to wonder if you’re gun will be good enough to avoid a jam. Fortunately, that doesn’t seem to be a problem with the EC9s. 

Obviously, Ruger didn’t make the EC9s with competitive shooting in mind. As a result, firing the weapon from 7 yards away seems like a plausible range for a self-defense situation. While using a variety of ammunition brands, the Ruger EC9s tested consistently and reliably. Yes, there are probably more accurate weapons on the market, but the EC9s did exactly what we expected a $300 dollar weapon with fixed sights to do. It consistently hit the target from slightly north of 20 feet in a way that you could protect yourself, your family, or your property in an emergency situation. Even at 15 and 20 yards from the target, the EC9s continued to produce consistent and quality rounds that were within satisfactory range for a self-defense trial.

Number of Rounds in the EC9s

It isn’t uncommon for smaller handguns to hold a small number of rounds. In some cases, new gun owners are encouraged to find a weapon that holds 5-6 rounds at most so they can get used to loading and reloading a weapon without worrying about an excessive number of bullets. The EC9s holds 7 rounds (plus 1 in the chamber). While some smaller handguns will sometimes fail to cycle unless the shooter keeps a death grip on the weapon, the EC9s seems to cycle through flawlessly, even when being fired with a loose grip.

Final Thoughts on the Ruger EC9s

Ultimately, the Ruger EC9s is a great option for what it is. Ruger wanted to make a firearm that was affordable and they certainly did that. In fact, there are some stores where you can find one for $250. To make this possible, Ruger did have to cut out some of the extras that gun enthusiasts are often infatuated with. Again, the EC9s is a point and shoot weapon. No bells, no whistles, and no frills. But it will consistently fire at what you’re aiming at. As is the case with any firearm, your ability to effectively use the Ruger EC9s will depend on how much you’re willing to practice with it. Time at the gun range, shooting at targets from various distances, will result in more comfort and more proficiency with your weapon. 

We definitely recommend the Ruger EC9s if you’re looking for something to take to the range or something to defend yourself with. Its compact size makes it a great option for concealed carry gun owners who don’t want to deal with a heavy, cumbersome weapon strapped to their waist. If you find yourself purchasing an EC9s, be sure to come back and check out custom Ruger EC9s holsters.

Here at We The People Holsters, we know how important it is for you to be comfortable with the handgun that you choose. Should you find yourself in a high-pressure situation, you don’t want to have to worry about the weight of your weapon, excessive recoil, or any other factors that can take your focus away from your target for even a split second. We strive to keep our readers educated about all of their options when looking for a firearm that they can use to defend themselves, their family members, and their Second Amendment rights.