Exclusive: Carries Well, Shoots Well

Sometimes smaller guns make the Concealed Carry Favorites list because even though they’re more difficult to shoot, they’re at least small and easy to conceal. Practice, however, does wonders to make small guns more shootable.

Sometimes larger guns make the list because while they’re difficult to conceal, they’re fantastic shooters. A little clothing creativity, however, does wonders to help conceal larger guns.

Sometimes a smaller gun shoots really well and that’s when you know you’ve got something good for concealed carry. In fact, after just a few sessions on the range and a few months of concealed carry, the Ruger LC9 headed to the top of my Concealed Carry Favorites list. Here’s why:

!DSC_6585The Ruger LC9 is thin, lightweight and therefore easily concealed. It carries comfortably in a Versacarry or Galco Stow-N-Go holster (both are inside the waistband) without gouging my side or feeling out of balance. Yes, I wore a gun belt and yes that helped. It always does, even with smaller and lighter guns. Although you can put a shortened magazine baseplate on it, it doesn’t do all that well in a front pocket.

The Ruger LC9 is enough gun. With 7+1 rounds of 9mm on board, I’m carrying more than a typical revolver and more than enough for a civilian defensive situation.

The Ruger LC9 is feature packed. Some may disdain the magazine disconnect safety and chamber loaded indicator; that’s a discussion for another day. The LC9’s best features, however, include its long, double-action trigger pull and frame-mounted thumb safety — an interesting combination. Some prefer none of these features on a pistol and understandably so, but as long as a person follows the the basic gun safety laws and trains appropriately with them, they should not be a hinderance.

But here’s what I really like:

!DSC_6581In my range or training sessions I am able to quickly and safely draw the Ruger LC9, sweep the safety off, and consistently put rounds into the center mass of the targets at which I am aiming. The sights, while small, are still functional enough for this kind of short range work. The double action trigger, while long, is very smooth, and doesn’t work against me in terms of accuracy or speed. And every round chambers, fires, and ejects reliably.

Like I said, sometimes you can find a gun like the Ruger LC9 that carries well and shoots well.

What have you found that meets that criteria?

— Mark Kakkuri

Get more information on Ruger and other firearms related companies at the Guns Magazine Product Index.

16 thoughts on “Exclusive: Carries Well, Shoots Well

  1. BP

    Sub-compact Glock, S&W Shield…haven’t heard many good reviews from friends and family on any Ruger pistol. Not until they send it back and get it fixed that is.

  2. DAL357

    I’ll second the opinion that the LC9 isn’t really a good gun for pocket carry; a J-frame is much better suited to that mode. With some form of IWB, however, it makes a dandy small carry gun. Mine is surprisingly accurate and, although I wouldn’t want put 50 rounds through it successively, easy on the wrist and hand to shoot. My only complaint is that when I carried it in a belly band the exterior of the slide closest to my body started to get pinpricks of rust, so I can’t carry that way again until I can get the slide finished with some type of protective coating (Robar?).

  3. G

    I will actually disagree with the pocket carry bit, I pocket carry my LC9 on a daily basis without problem.

    In addition to the above, I have put nearly 1000 rounds through my LC9, often several magazines worth after a month or two of daily carry without cleaning, and have had ZERO manfunctions, of any type. That’s with my carry ammo choice (speer gold dot 115 hps), and a mix of factory 115 fmj and reloaded 115 fmj ammo. At this point I konw that it will go bang when it needs to and trust that it will go bang 6 more times without incident.

  4. roadbikedds

    Nice smaller gun, we don’t have to worry about concealing, our state is open carry and I usually do.

  5. randy adams

    I carry an LCP that’s been upgraded some because I can move it all around my body including my ankle and it’s barely noticed. I also open carry a S&W 36 and 9 mm Shield which are awesome and easy.My P238 SIG is a great gun to carry when taking a road trip because my GF has one also and we just share the ammo.

  6. Redleg6

    SigSauer P938 — 9mm 8 round pocket pistol built like a 1911. No reason to leave home without it.
    Also love my S&W MP 9C — Compact with 12 rounds of 9mm double stacked.


    Any 3-400 dollar pistol capable of firing 1-2 mags reliably is all that is required for ccw. After defensive use the pistol will be confiscated as evidence and it may be months or years before it is returned. In the case of a fatality it may never be returned. Save the big bucks for a first class range gun to keep the skill sharp.

  8. Grippo

    Beretta Nano 9mm is a great option. It’s easy to conceal, easy to carry all day, and under 10 yards you can drive nails with it.

  9. Mike Kolendo

    Even though I’m not a 9 mm guy, now that I’m carrying as a civilian, I really like my Kimber Solo. Very compact and light, superb trigger and sights and made like a Rolex watch. But, if I’m going somewhere that warrants a bit more gun, my ParaOrd PDA/LDA is amazing. It’s 7 rounds of full house 45 ACP, small and light enough to pocket carry and the LDA trigger is as good as any K frame S&W, and can be carried safely with a loaded chamber, ready for action. Yep, a 1911 that doesn’t have to be carried “condition 1.” That LDA trigger of ParaOrd’s is really excellent.

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