Ruger 9E Pistol Review

By Bob Shell

Ruger 9E pistol review
Ruger 9E Handgun
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

Apache Junction, AZ –-( Ruger has been making some new types of handguns and one of their newer models is the Ruger 9E Handgun.

It is a full size model capable of 18 shots loaded. The market is saturated with DA 9’S so for one to be commercially successful it has to have some features to offer the consumer. Among them is a reasonable price and reliability.

A good trigger and sights are other features that a consumer would look for. As for looks, most of them leave something to be desired but that is the least important feature one should look for.

Even an ugly gun with good features would endear itself to me rather then a pretty paperweight.

One of the Ruger 9E Pistol features are is it is light and feels good in my hand. It has the typical 3 dot white sights which enables us to pick them up rapidly and a major plus in a defensive gun.

The two-position safety is located near the back end and is awkward to release. I am not crazy about its position, as it isn’t the best place for rapid use. It is however positive and prevents the gun from going off accidentally.

The magazine release is both very positive and convenient to use rapidly. The gun will fire with the magazine removed, which is a good feature in my view. It has a lug beneath the barrel, which will enable the owner to mount a laser or flashlight.

Personally I prefer the Crimson Trace system and hopefully they will be available for this model.

Ruger 9E Handgun Magazine
Ruger 9E Handgun Magazine, Note the round counter.

The recoil spring is strong and someone with small hands or not a lot of strength may have a little difficulty chambering a round. Shooting may loosen that up. It comes with one magazine but I strongly suggest an owner buy at least two more. The magazine is usually the weak link in a semi so a couple of backups are necessary. You can see a loaded round in the chamber and if it is cocked the back of the firing pin protrudes from the back of the receiver and moves rearward when the trigger is being pulled. The trigger is an improved striker fired mechanism and is better then many others I have shot. The manual covers everything well including dis assembly and cleaning. If I am reading correctly the length of the warranty depends on where you live. Interesting but I imagine Ruger would make good on any gun they produced unless it was abused.

The retail price (MSRP $429.00) is within the means of most consumers, another attractive feature.

Ruger 9E Handgun range review
This young lady enjoyed shooting the Ruger 9E Handgun

As always other shooters will have an opportunity to try each gun as part of my review. Its a method I use when evaluating a gun. Everyone has different tastes so it is only fair to have shooters of both genders and different experiences to try it out.

Several shooters tried the gun and the comments were favorable. They liked the trigger and the general feel. The way the gun fits a shooter is a personal thing and any person contemplation on buying a serious gun should try various brands to see what fits them the best. Any personal defense gun should fit and be the largest that you can handle efficiently. Small guns are convenient to carry but are more difficult to shoot well. Small caliber guns may be more prone to malfunctions. The 9 isn’t my favorite caliber but with modern ammo and a high capacity magazine it will do well in a social situation. Of course it has to be 100% dependable otherwise it is a paperweight. This Ruger measures up.

Naturally, the bottom line is how does it shoot?

Sig Sauer V-Crown 9mm Ammo
Sig Sauer V-Crown 9mm Ammo ran well in this gun and others.

We started out with some Wolf steel case ammo which is perfect for practice. It shot well but if you limp wristed the gun they would occasionally stovepipe. Again, that may go away after a few hundred rounds. The Sig and Double Tap ammo performed flawlessly.

However, I had some cast bullet loads and it did not like them as they frequently jammed. Since they were just some left over ammo from previous tests I wasn't too concerned. I will make up some newer cast loads and retry them.

I was running some test with Hodgdon HS-6 so I used it for these reloads. It is a mild powder for the 9 and if velocity is your goal another powder may be your choice. I use a lot of 231 and similar powders for most of my 9 mm loading. The 130 grain bullet was made for a 38 but since it is a round nose I sized to .356 and it works well.

Like any gun it is important to see which ammo runs best especially in a defense gun. The trigger pull is decent and shouldn’t give anyone a problem unlike some other 9 mm guns I have previously tested. It has some creep and travel but it is entirely usable.

A new brand of ammo well worth checking out is the Liberty Brand. They make a 50-grain bullet that clock in the neighborhood of 2000 FPS depending on the gun. Recoil is light and in every gun I have tried it in there have been no feeding problems. They make it in several calibers and I believe that it will catch on.

LOAD                                 BULLET                             VELOCITY                        COMMENT

7 grains HS-6                    115 grain cast               1187                              decent load

6.8 X HS-6                        115 grain FMJ                1095                               mild

Barnes                                115 grain Tac TP         1053                                mild

Blaser                                 115 gr FMJ                    1132                               consistent

Winchester                       115 gr FMJ                   1148                                nice

Wolf steel case                 115 gr FMJ                    1105                                consistent

SIG                                      124 gr JHP                     1103                               nice

6.5 grains HS-6                  125 gr Berry                953                                accurate

6 grains HS-6                     130 gr FMJ                    906                              consistent

Double Tap                       147 gr JHP                     988.1                                decent

5 grains HS-6                      147 gr Berry                 717                               mild

Double Tap                       165 gr                            868                                interesting

The gun has been shot several hundred times with no issues except those lead bullets, which isn’t a problem in my view. Everything else worked which would make it a good candidate for a carry gun.

Since it handles hollow points of various shapes, your social ammo shouldn’t be hard to get. As with any serious protection gun, you should try several brands of ammo to establish what you are comfortable with and what the gun likes. Other things to look for is availability of your ammo.

Handloads can be used but caution should be observed if you use them for self-defense. If you live in an area that has an anti-gun AG they may try and prosecute you for using handloads. Yes, it is ridiculous but so is every anti-gun argument but they will pursue it nonetheless.

Results: A good, reliable, simple to use weapon for self defense or sport shooting. Read more Ruger 9E Pistol specs here:

About Bob Shell
A Custom Reloader of Obsolete and Antique Ammo, Bob Shell, writes about the subject of Guns, Ammo, Shooting and Related Subjects. Visit:

  • 56 thoughts on “Ruger 9E Pistol Review

    1. Old post but I’ll post my experience anyway;
      Bought mine 13 months ago at Fin Feather(OH), just under $300 out the door. First 350 rnds were problematic. Nine Load/Eject fails and a few stovepipes with three different ammos (Fed/Win/Rem). I know it wasn’t fully broken in but called Ruger anyway. The guy I spoke to was very informed and courteous, he said “Thats not acceptable, send it in.” Immediately sent me a return shipping label and away it went. This was my first firearm return. I was nervous about no written warranty and loads of horror stories in forums. No need…9-days from shipped until it was back in my hands. I had no idea how rare that is until I told a few guys. More education followed when I sent my Bersa back…7 weeks and $65 later, it came back with same issue. (another story). Back to the 9e; they replaced the barrel, extractor, trigger bar assembly, trigger bar reset and ejector..pretty much rebuilt the gun. Didn’t cost me a penny and has had one single malfunction (fail to eject) in the last 1583 rnds. I’d say they fixed it, very quickly and for free. Even sent it back with a nice wipedown cloth. I have horror stories with Taurus and Bersa products, despite their so-called “Lifetime” warranties. All this has turned me into quite a Ruger fan. My 9e is my nightstand/range gun, its accurate, fits me perfect and is very reliable. Sidenote; I sent my SR22 back last week, a slide release button that would occasionally hang up. Tracking says it’ll be here Monday…I’m betting its fixed also. Ruger knows customer service!

    2. Please understand that jams can happen if you don’t break the 9E down and give it a good cleaning before shooting, it’s happened to others, myself included. After many jams the first round at the range, cleaning it made all of those problems disappear.
      The first 125 made me frustrated with dozens of jams, after cleaning and some light oiling, I’ve run 300 rounds thru it and not a single jam since. American Eagle FMJ +P 125 and 115 gr seem to do a fine job for me, most folks have said the 9E will run about anything they throw at it.

    3. Purchased my 9E a little over 1 year ago. In a full size 9 I usually my trusty Browning HP I have owned since 1995 but switched to the 9E. Have probably run 750-1000 rounds through it, different brands, loads from nasty cheap ammo to expensive carry ammo. Not one jam or hiccup, am as accurate with the 9E as I am with my HP that I have shot thousands of times. I like it better than the more expensive Ruger SR9, which in fact this gun is except the SR9 has an indicator to let you know there is a chambered round (9E has a small port to see and firing pin protrudes) and the finish on the SR9 is slightly better. I recommend highly, a pleasure to shoot.

    4. Mine was 229.00 as well. I’ve had no negative issues at all with it. It’s probably the 10th or better Ruger I’ve owned and haven’t had any problems with any of them. I do hope someone starts making night sights for it. I’ve gotten used to them and miss them on this gun.

      1. From what I have read, any set of low-profile Novak dovetail sights will work in the 9e, a welcome change from the proprietary SR9 style.

    5. Purchased a 9E brand new at local gun shop for $229. Liked it so much I went back and purchased another, same price. It was his last one. My friend purchased his at Cabela’s on sale for $199 same weekend. Great guns, great price. Worked undercover for 10 years (retired now) and love carrying this gun.

      1. Could I ask how you carried it? I just got my Ruger 9E and have not yet purchased a holster.
        What did you find most comfortable?

        1. Hi Rob, I have several holsters for it. The one I use the most is a Galco COP OWB that I purchased from Midway USA. It rides nice and tight and high enough for edc with an untucked shirt covering. When I carry IWB I use a nice Tagua leather IWB. I also have a Blackhawk CQC which fits it nicely but holds the gun a little too far away from my body for effective concealed carry. But of the three, the Galco is the best in my opinion.

          1. Actually, after checking out the holsters I could, I settled on the Mitch Rosen OWB. Holds it tight in. I’m pretty satisfied with it so far. It was a bit expensive, but I think with holsters, you get what you pay for.

    6. Just got my CCW certification I November. I’m going to buy a 9E to conceal carry. I’m in Ohio and don’t know if the store Fins Feathers and Furs Outfitters is outside Ohio but there is 3 locations in my state and they have this gun on sale for like 269.00 through the 31st….great deal!

    7. Gander mountain sells there guns full retail I can buy any gun they sell at rural king for 100.00$. Cheaper They are a rip off. Beware

      1. Just bought my 9E at Rural King on sale for $289. Was in the soft drink department and there was a flyer
        posted next to where I was shopping showing the 9E. Went straight to the gun dept. looked at one and bought it right then.

    8. Just got my 9E .. $350 out the door and found my rear site to not have its white dots.. lame.. but can out new or different site on from what I see…. feels great. Will test at range tomorrow. Hopefully, no jambs. Am skeptical due to pricing as i see others are.. will follow up..

    9. have a 9e real like but shoots 5 in low how do I fix that with no site screw its alrite because I know where to aim for but would like it on target

      1. As an instructor and coach this makes me cringe. No way is this a proper grip. Her strong hand is so far down on grip there is over an inch gap from the tang to the web of her hand. This also puts her trigger finger at an angle so she obviously not pulling straight back but rather down. The angle of her grip also places the sights (and entire gun) at a downward angle. Not going to even mention her support hand as it is obvious she has had no training. This is a very bad image to show in a publication.

    10. I just bought a new 9e from gander mountain and I paid 399 plus tax from the comments I’m reading I pretty much just got ripped off

    11. Just bought the 9E for my teenage sons. Unlike most comments this 9e has misfired 20 out of 200 rounds. I have run different brands of ammo with the same results. When field stripped at the range and cleaned the gun runs fine for one magazine then hiccups on the next mag. Field strip clean breech and the gun runs well for one mag and I have alternated mags. I carry a glockk 23 and have run over 3000 rounds without any misfires. The inconsistencies with the ruger have me a bit baffled.

    12. Bought a 9E about a year ago.Had never fired it till this passed week-end.Have to say it was one of the most accurate sidearms that I have fired.My other gun of choice is a Glock model 23 Gen 3. I am still dumbfounded as to the difference of accuracy camparison. No doubt which weapon I would go for if I ever needed for personal protection.

    13. Bought mine just over a year ago when I was new to the sport. Was a bit skeptical because it was the “cheap” version of the standard Ruger 9. Paid $300 from on-line retailer and 690 rounds later have never looked back! Not one hiccup, burp, etc. and the recoil is very manageable. Easy to clean/upkeep and 17+1 capacity a big plus. Smooth trigger, good balance/fit, and moderate slide racking force. Rail is big enough to accommodate a variety of lasers/lights. Have shot 10 rounds within 1″ group at 7 yards. I own at least one compact and one full-size semi-auto in each of 22, 9, & 45 cal’s and “this” is my go-to firearm for daily use. Highly recommended!

    14. Have been doing a lot of reading about the Ruger 9E before purchasing . Our Rural King has it listed this week for
      $299.00 plus tax. I will see. If the Alamo has one for rent so I can compare it against my Sccy.

    15. is stove piping common with the e9 mm when using reloads fmj ammo. I’m new to ruger handguns but sure like this one. I’m also new to 9mm, handguns. What ammo does anyone recommend to be good for this handgun, in the defence mode. home defence

    16. I just got one from Grab a Gun for $299. It is sweet. So it’s not a Limber. Did I mention $299?
      One of the best $299 I’ve ever spent.

        1. I am shocked at your comment…I went to Gander Mountain this morning and saw a Bersa Thunder .380 that had a $599.99 pricetag on it…I bought one a week ago for my wife at Academy and paid $289.99 for the same gun…Gander is higher than a cat’s behind in myopinion..

    17. The issue with using handloads comes from being able to replicate results. Massad Ayoob wrote about a story where a guy loaded up some light 38s for his wife to use for home defense. The wife became suicidal. There was a struggle over the gun and in that struggle she shot and killed herself. The husband was convicted in part because of the lack of gun shot residue around the wound. He had used brass from a +p defensive round and that is what they used for comparison. Which made it look like he had shot her from across the room. They won’t use what is left in the gun because that would destroy evidence and they won’t accept your reloading journal because that was manufactured by the defendant. Just some food for thought. If I recall correctly that story is in the gun digest book of concealed carry by Massad Ayoob. He also discusses many other points in the book enough so to make it worth the purchase.

    18. You can buy a new Ruger 9E right now for $299 from Grabagun. Sorry, but I’ve never seen a new Glock 19 for anywhere close to that.

      As for the author, you say that a person might be more likely to be prosecuted for using hand loads in a self-defense gun. That sounds like the type of ridiculous banter you’d hear from a goofy teenage clerk in a gun store. Can you cite even a single case where someone has been prosecuted for using hand loads in a self-defense situation? If so, I’ll happily rescind my comment. Otherwise, as a lawyer of 20 years myself, I have to call “BS” on that claim.

      I’ll never understand why some gun owners like to parrot ridiculous baloney they read or heard somewhere. As a group, it doesn’t help our credibility at all. On the contrary, it reinforces the negative stereotype that we’re all a bunch of illogical, paranoid people who have trouble sorting fact from fiction.

      1. Agree, I’ve been told the same B.S. Hand loads will make you look like an assassin if you use them. The load used will be trifle in the grand scheme of things. Surviving won’t be. I’m glad a lawyer stepped up to the plate on this issue.

        1. Also I believe this gun does have a magazine disconnect safety which the author says it doesn’t. It can be removed. There are youtube videos showing you how.

          1. It does and it’s pretty easily removed. It will sound and feel like it’s releasing the striker with the mag removed but it’s seems to sort of bind it at an angle which didn’t seem like it would be good for it. I asked Ruger and they say it would take several times doing it but that it would damage or destroy it. I don’t know what several times means. So I removed the magazine disconnect which can simply be pulled out when the striker is removed. Some of the videos sort of skim over exactly what is going on so feel free to ask and I’ll explain exactly how to do it.

      2. The issue with using handloads comes from being able to replicate results. Massad Ayoob wrote about a story where a guy loaded up some light 38s for his wife to use for home defense. The wife became suicidal. There was a struggle over the gun and in that struggle she shot and killed herself. The husband was convicted in part because of the lack of gun shot residue around the wound. He had used brass from a +p defensive round and that is what they used for comparison. Which made it look like he had shot her from across the room. They won’t use what is left in the gun because that would destroy evidence and they won’t accept your reloading journal because that was manufactured by the defendant. Just some food for thought. If I recall correctly that story is in the gun digest book of concealed carry by Massad Ayoob. He also discusses many other points in the book enough so to make it worth the purchase.

      3. same goes for the old days when we used wheel guns in LE. We were told not to have anyone work on our guns to make the trigger smoother as we would get sued for making the gun a more efficient deadly weapon. Bullcrap! I dont know where these folks get these opinions but they evidently have too much time on their hands.

    19. Locally the 9E runs $340. I owned one for a while. It was a great gun, had the best trigger of all my striker fired pistols.

        1. How much is shipping and FFL Fee?
          I just bought one at local dealer for $339 and walked out the door with it after background check.

    20. Ruger has always made a fine weapon, that being said, for almost the same money you could buy a new Glock 19. It is a well established side arm and doesn’t care what you feed it! (With ammo prices what they are, that’s a great thing.)I do have a question/comment: what the hell kind of grip is the woman using??

      1. Except for the same price you cannot get a Glock 19. I have purchased 2 Ruger 9E’s in the past 6 months ~ $310.00 and I expect the price will drop further as supply increases. If you spend more for this handgun you are not looking hard enough.

        1. Just bought the 9E at Academy Sports-$349.99 , normally $389.99…was happy with the price …love the gun…just wish there was a good instructional video of breaking it down…looking at photograph descriptions doesn’t do it justice…

          1. Got my 9E at Fin, Feather, and Fur for $279 + tax right after Christmas. Very happy with the price and the gun. Starting to assemble some ammo to test out a bit later. Fits my hand well and I have small hands. Points right where I aim it better than almost all other handguns I own. Have not broken it down yet. Will refer to vid mentioned below. Maybe it should be the new service sidearm. So inexpensive you could arm 2X as many soldiers, which would be a hit with the troops (although I’m sure who can carry a sidearm is well regulated!).

      2. Actually, the grip she is using does give a firm hold on the gun. It doesn’t work for everyone, you just need to try it.

      3. Ditto. That grip stood out as awkward at best. The web of her hand is like an inch lower than where it should be and her weak hand is wrapped around her wrist. I thought this method went out of style in the late 70’s.

      4. I just bought a pair of 9e’s for $556 shipped, no tax, $10 transfer. That’s $278 each. I’ve never seen a new G19 for less than $450, generally closer to $550.

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