Ruger SR9 Pistol Review
Part 6 - Range Test
January 27, 2013

Ruger SR9 Review

In this part of the review, I show my range test results for the Ruger SR9 Pistol.  I selected a variety of premium and value 9mm ammunition for the range tests.  This ammunition also varied in bullet weight and bullet style.  I also tossed in one type of +P ammunition.  The Instruction Manual states the following about the types of 9mm ammunition that can be used in the SR9 pistols:

  • The RUGER® SR-SERIES pistols are chambered for the 9mm Parabellum (SR9 and SR9c) ... cartridges. Do not attempt to load any other cartridges into the magazine or chamber of the pistol.
  • The SR-SERIES pistols are compatible with all factory ammunition of the correct caliber loaded to U.S. Industry Standards, including high-velocity and hollow-point loads, loaded in brass, aluminum, or steel cartridge cases. No 9mm Parabellum ... ammunition manufactured in accordance with NATO, U.S., SAAMI, or CIP standards is known to be beyond the design limits or known not to function in these pistols.

Since the Instruction Manual didn't specifically state that +P ammunition was compatible in the SR9 Pistol, I did a little more digging at the Ruger website and found the following on their FAQ page.  The question was "What type of ammunition should I use in my Ruger 9mm pistol?"  Their answer was similar to the above but did add some more clarification in the area of +P ammunition.

  • The Ruger 9mm pistols are chambered for the 9x19mm NATO Parabellum (9mm Luger) cartridge, compatible with the U.S. and foreign military or commercial 9x19mm loads manufactured in accordance with NATO, U.S., SAAMI, or CIP standards, including high-velocity, subsonic, tracer, hollow point, ammunition loaded in aluminum, steel, or brass cartridge cases, +P and +P+ ammunition.

The ammunition used in my range tests is listed and shown below.


Figure 1
Ruger SR9 Review

With the difficulty of getting 9mm ammunition in today's current environment, I decided to keep my bench time to a minimum and focus on gathering some basic accuracy data at 7 yards along with velocity data.

Figure 2
Ruger SR9 Review

Ammunition Average
Std. Dev.
Federal Premium 147gr Hydra-Shok HP 948 15 293 1.59
Herters 115gr FMJ 1111 20 315 1.14
Hornady Critical Defense 115gr FTX 1102 13 310 1.26
Hornady Critical Duty 135gr +P FlexLock 1057 9 335 0.88
Wolf WPA 115gr FMJ 1126 5 324 0.92
Wolf Gold 147gr Copper JHP 844 14 233 1.38
Average for all groups = 1.20
Five shot group fired from a bench at 7 yards.  Velocity data taken with chronograph ~10 feet from muzzle.

The table above shows that my average group size for all types of ammunition used was 1.20" at 7 yards.  I would imagine that most of the spread comes from my shooting ability because the groups all seemed to be slightly taller than their width.  Maybe one day I will purchase a Ransom Rest to get rid of my inaccuracies, but that seems like it will take the fun out of shooting.  The sights were adjusted from the factory to be nearly perfect for this distance.

Figure 3                                                                 Figure 4
Federal Premium 147gr                                                Herter's 115gr        
Ruger SR9 Review   Ruger SR9 Review

Figure 5                                                                 Figure 6
Hornady Critical Defense 115gr                              Hornady Critical Duty 135gr +P
Ruger SR9 Review   Ruger SR9 Review

Figure 7                                                                 Figure 8
    WPA 115gr                                                       Wolf Gold 147gr
Ruger SR9 Review   Ruger SR9 Review

After shooting these groups, I chose to shoot off hand at my Arntzen IPSC Steel Plate Target from varying distances and quickly burned through about 200 rounds of ammunition.  Hitting this large plate in the critical areas with multiple fast shots was easy to do and the recoil of the SR9 seemed very manageable.

I recently got the Blackhawk Serpa Holster and decided to work on some shooting drills that involved me drawing the pistol and shooting a 6" gong at about 15 yards.  I shot another ~50 rounds and the only thing that seemed to stand out other than putting lead to steel on nearly every shot was that I wish the manual safety had a slightly larger profile.  I'm sure some people will ask the question why I was using the manual safety anyway.  They do have a point, but regardless, for those who want to use the safety even when holstered, you need to practice drawing and shifting the safety off to train your movements.  After all my shooting, the SR9 was 100% reliable throughout my range tests.

Figure 9 - SR9 in a Blackhawk Serpa Holster
Ruger SR9 Review



I have been pleased with the Ruger SR9c for the past two years and I'm even more pleased with this full size SR9 Pistol.  The trigger is slightly better (luck of the draw) and the pistol seems accurate and easy to shoot.  Throughout my range tests, I shot between 250 and 300 rounds of ammunition and the SR9 was 100% reliable.

For more detailed photos and commentary, make sure you check out the other parts of this review and feel free to leave comments on my Reader's Comments page.  The following links are provided to help you see other parts of this review. 

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