Tag Archives: new ruger

Of My Time with the GX4

Taurus announced the new micro-compact semi-auto pistol, the GX4, in May, billed as an 11+1 shot 9mm that was roughly the size of a traditional .380 pocket gun that had half the capacity. The specs of the polymer-framed striker-fired handgun– 5.8-inches long with the small backstrap installed, about an inch wide, and 4.4-inches high with the flush-fit magazine inserted– put it in the same boat as the Ruger MAX-9, Sig Sauer P365, Smith & Wesson Shield Plus, and Springfield Armory Hellcat line.
I’ve been kicking around the new Taurus GX4 over the past couple of months, having run some 500 rounds through it, and have some things to say about it.

The 11+1 shot Taurus GX4 is definitely compact. Micro compact, you could say.

Ruger May Have Just Changed Pocket Carry Forever

For better or worse, I have practiced pocket carry off and on for almost 30 years. Sure, while in uniform I had a duty holster and a BUG on my ankle because my pockets were tough to get into due to my duty belt, and today I most often carry IWB concealed at about the 3 o’clock position, but I have always thought that pocket carry has its place at times and have defended the practice.

Speaking of this, one of my all-time faves for pocket carry was the S&W Centennial series (Model 642, specifically) but the Ruger LCP got my attention when it came out in 2008. I mean come on, a 9.4-ounce 6+1 .380 that disappeared in your pocket, who wouldn’t like it?

I liked the original LCP so much for pocket carry that I bought one of the early ones in 2009, had it Cerekoted FDE before it was a factory option, and installed Mag-guts spring kits to gain a 7+1 capacity in a flush-fitting mag.

Then came the LCP II a few years ago that changed the profile to make it easier to handle, and added an ounce to the frame and slide, but didn’t change the footprint.

However, the introduction of the current crop of “Micro 9” pistols, double-stack subcompacts– like the Sig P365 or Springfield Hellcat– that carried over 10 rounds in a flush-fitting mag, has swept the carry market.

To that, Ruger has replied with a Micro 380, the new LCP MAX, which is the same rough size as the LCP II, but carries 10+1 rounds in a flush fit or 12+1 rounds in an extended mag, and still fits in a pocket holster.

Nice.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Have $400 and Want a Micro 9 with Change Leftover?

Taurus is looking to take on the big boys with its new micro pistol, which is designed to deliver maximum concealment without sacrificing capacity or ergonomics – the GX4.

Getting the specs out of the way, the 11+1 shot 9mm is the size of popular .380 “pocket guns,” using a 3.06-inch barrel to tape out to a maximum 6.05-inch overall length. The gun is slender, at just over an inch wide, and it is 4.4 inches high at its tallest. The unloaded weight is 18.6 ounces. Fully loaded with 12 rounds of 147-grain JHPs, I found my test gun to hit the scales at 23.9 ounces.

Compared to other recently introduced micro 9s, such as the Ruger MAX-9, Sig Sauer P365, Smith & Wesson Shield Plus, and Springfield Armory Hellcat, the GX4 is a dead ringer as far as size goes. Plus, its flush-fit mags hold one extra round over the Sig or S&W’s comparable magazine while being on par with the Springer and one less than the Ruger.

However, where the GX4 cleans house is the price: $392. That’s the MSRP, meaning that “actual” prices at your local gun store will probably hover closer to “Three Fiddy.” 

More in my column at Guns.com.

The Micro 9 Race is Heating Up

Every 25 years or so, handguns catch a big developmental wave. For instance, the last one prior to modern times occurred with the “Baby” Glocks of 1994, when the company debuted subcompact 10+1 shot pistols to make the most of the federal assault weapon ban. Those guns proved so successful that Glock now makes a subcompact model in all of their calibers– including the only company that makes a 10mm Auto pocket gun– while others have increasingly tried to imitate, duplicate or one-up the concept.

This brings us to 2018 when Sig Sauer brought their new “micro-compact” P365 to SHOT Show. Even smaller than the Glock G26 but with the same magazine capacity, it was a smash. Since then, Springfield Armory has brought their Hellcat to the market, with much the same concept, as had Taurus with the G3C.

Well, on the same day this week, both Ruger and Smith & Wesson announced their own separate P365/Hellcat/G3C competitors, the MAX-9 and the Shield Plus, respectively.

Ruger’s new MAX-9 Pistol, which, importantly, is optics-ready for under $500.

S&W M&P Shield Plus

Here is a snapshot of who they stack up when it comes to specs:

As for how they compare against each other in real life, the jury is still out on that one.

Ruger goes pistol with their PC Carbine

Based on the company’s popular PC Carbine, Ruger’s new feature-rich PC Charger pistol just hit the market. It was likely supposed to debut at the NRA Show next month but as the annual event, along with everything else in the country, is canceled, Ruger released it digitally.

Using a 6.5-inch threaded barrel and a glass-filled polymer chassis system that allows for the use of standard AR pistol grips, the takedown PC Charger is 16.5-inches long overall. Hitting the scales at 5.2-pounds, it comes with an integrated rear Picatinny rail for pistol braces.

The Charger uses a hard-coat anodized aluminum handguard with Magpul M-LOK-slots at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions and comes with a factory-installed handstop.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Seems like everyone has a new .22LR pistol for 2020

Only a few weeks into 2020 and the domestic U.S. firearms market has seen a flood of new .22LR pistols from some of the biggest names in the business.

Last month saw the 42nd annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas where more than 2,600 exhibitors gathered from around the globe to display their freshest wares. When it came to rimfire handguns, there were lots of new faces in the aisles.

More in my column at Guns.com. 

Ruger brings (hammer-fired) budget subcompact to market

When it comes to subcompact 9mm carry guns, the “baby Glock” G26 has been king of the block for nearly three decades. I mean what’s not to like in a 21.5-ounce, 10+1 capacity handgun with a 3.42-inch barrel. Sig’s P365 has the same capacity while going just slightly smaller and has been a hit since it was introduced two years ago, giving the G26 a good fight. However, there now seems a bit of a red hawk flying on the horizon.

Two years ago, Ruger introduced a hammer-fired (both the G26 and P365 are striker-fired with one having a noteworthy issue with striker drag) polymer-framed pistol based on the LCPII’s fire control system. The Security-9, with a 4-inch barrel and 15+1 capacity, was/is pitched as a budget home defense gun and has been well received. I have a friend who has used one extensively and she loves it.

Now, Ruger has shrunk the Security-9 to a compact version which is a 21.9-ounce, 10+1 capacity handgun with a 3.42-inch barrel (seem like a familiar dimension neighborhood?) that debuted this month.

Ruger Security 9 compact

Unlike the G26, though, the Compact Security-9 is hammer fired, has front slide serrations, adjustable sights and an accessory rail. Plus, it is likely to run about $100 to $150 cheaper than its Austrian competitor, which should be interesting.

I’ll be sure to check them out in Indianapolis later in the month.

Check out more in my column at Guns.com.

Ruger bringing affordability to the 9mm CCW game

While no one was looking, Ruger slipped two really sweet 9mm’s on the market, a $200-ish single stack compact and a $300 double-stack midsize, both of which I’ve touched on for Guns.com.

The new EC9s, a no-frills version of their LC9s series, is a single-stack 7+1 9mm polymer-framed striker-fired pistol with sights machined integrally with the slide. Billed as about an inch taller and an inch longer than the .380ACP-chambered LCP, the newest 9mm in Ruger’s stable tips the scales at 17.2-ounces with a 3.12-inch barrel and 6-inch overall length.

Best of all, the MSRP is $299, and a quick search shows dealers already taking pre-orders in the $220-$230 range. This puts the new EC9s in the same size envelope as S&W’s new M&P9 Shield 2.0 and the Glock 43, a point Ruger subtly pokes at in their email announcing the new gun.

Then there is the Security 9 in an ode to the classic Ruger Security-Six revolver of the 1970s and 80s, the newest double-stack in the company’s catalog has a 4-inch barrel and 7.24-inch overall length.

Unlike popular striker-fired competitors in the $379 MSRP neighborhood, the Security 9 uses a hammer-fired system evolved from the one found on the LCP and LCP-II line but includes both a bladed trigger safety and a manual frame-mounted safety.

Additional features of the Security 9 include an accessory rail, front and rear cocking serrations and dovetailed sights with various color options available. The alloy steel slide and barrel, aluminum chassis with full-length guide rails, and nylon frame give the pistol a 23.7-ounce overall weight. The gun ships with two 15-round mags

I will be sure to check out both on the range at SHOT.

Ruger’s Wolf (ammo) eater

So Ruger just introduced their new American Rifle Ranch model, a bolt-action 7.62x39mm– because what is more American than that, right?! The lightweight (~6lb) rifle has a free-floating 16.10″ medium-contour, cold hammer-forged barrel with a 5/8″-24 threaded muzzle for cans and devices.

It takes Ruger Mini-30 mags, which is nice but would have been nicer if it took AK mags. Still, expect it to run in local stores by this fall at around the $550ish mark, comparing nicely to the CZ 527 carbine, which is roughly the same concept but with a walnut stock and slightly longer barrel but costs more like $700.

And best yet, it chews through Wolf import ammo.

An 8-shot 357 and the .44Spl returns to Ruger’s wheelgun line

ruger-brings-new-caliber-options-to-revolver-line

Ruger announced Wednesday they will produce their well-loved double-action wheelguns in some new offerings including a 5-shot GP100 in .44 Special and an 8-shot .357 Mag Redhawk.

The GP 100, as detailed in the above video, has been around in a bunch of .357/.38 and .327 loadings, but that was about as beefy as it got. Now, some 30 years after its introduction, is being offered in a 5-shot .44 Special with a three-inch barrel.

I’ve always been a fan of the .44Spl and for about half a decade carried a Charter Arms Pug as my CCW piece.

The once-vaunted .44 Special dates back to before World War I but fell out of favor after Elmer Keith campaigned successfully for his hard-hitting .44 Magnum in the 1950s. With just a few manufacturers marketing new revolvers chambered in the easier handling but still effective .44 Special by the 1990s, the round seemed to be staring into the abyss. Now, with modern self-defense loads (Hornady Critical Defense, Speer Gold Dot, et. al) upping the ante on what the near cult-status round brings to the table, the new Ruger offering will no doubt be popular with .44 Specialists.

MSRP is $829 but you can expect prices at your dealer or online to be closer to $700, and if I like how it handles at SHOT Show, I may be a huckleberry.

Another new entry from Ruger is a .357 Magnum variant of the Redhawk, which hasn’t been offered since 1991. Best yet, the cylinder has been reworked to accommodate 8 cartridges, which brings a whole new element to the famous “Feel Lucky Punk?” scene.

ruger-redhawk-8-shot-357-relieved-cylinder-for-moon-clips

The new 8-shooter, which still fits in standard Redhawk holsters, comes with 3 full moon clips for its relieved cylinder and a 2.75-inch barrel. MSRP is a respectable $1079.

More info (including vids) are in my column at Guns.com.

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