I have had the chance to spend a fair amount of time behind various iterations of the Ruger SR9 and my friend Dann at God, Gals, Guns, Grub has put thousands of rounds through them in training. With that experience, I am fairly comfortable recommending them to people who just can’t or won’t spend on a Glock, M&P, or similar. At around $425 retail, they are a good value but apparently not a good enough value for Ruger…
They recently introduced the Ruger 9E which is very obviously a derivative of the SR9 series with a very attractive price. The MSRP is around $100 less than the SR9! That puts this handgun in the ballpark of the now discontinued Ruger P95 in terms of price. I suspect that you will see this on gun shop shelves for less than $350 which is pretty amazing for a USA made handgun of reasonable quality from a company with great service like Ruger.
Ruger is saying that the 9E is “Everything You Need, and Nothing You Don’t,” which may lead some to believe that it is a stripped down version of the SR9. Well, I guess it basically is a stripped down version of the SR9 but some shooters may actually find it MORE appealing. They actually removed one of the worst features of the SR9 in the gaudy loaded chamber indicator. That has been replaced with a simple notch that lets you check the chamber visually. Too bad they didn’t remove the thumb safety and the magazine safety while they were at it (the magazine safety is user removable without too much trouble).
Ruger has also done away with a few machining operations on the slide. There are fewer serrations and fewer contours around the muzzle end. The black finish is now less expensive black oxide rather than the nitride finish used on the SR9 series. Ruger also replaced the chunky adjustable sights found on the SR9 with fixed sights on the 9E (which, in my eyes, is an upgrade). The 9E will ship with just 1 magazine.
The fact that the 9E is a derivative of the SR9 is a good thing. There is already a fairly good track record associated with it and it is dimensionally close enough that most holsters should be compatible. Magazines are also readily available and affordable.
Much of my interest in the 9E is predicated on it being basically identical to the SR9 internally. If that isn’t the case (it isn’t completely clear yet) then I’ll be disappointed. If it is the case, the Ruger 9E looks to be a whole lot of gun for the money. Check out the 9E at Ruger.com.