Finally had a chance to take her out for the maiden shooting session. Some background:
Rationale - Add a 9mm auto to the lineup for easy CC and more firepower than the .357s give me.
Selection criteria - No Glocks, as I've tried them in various flavors and they don't work for me. Must be a compact 9mm, with stellar reliability, reputation for eating any and all ammo, high capacity, good trigger, good ergonomics, easy takedown and cleaning, simple operation, affordable.
Over the past year I've tried quite a few semiautos and the S&W M&P was definitely a finalist. But when Gander Mountain offered the SR9c for $399, it was a no brainer. You get a 10- and 17-round mag, loading tool, a pinky extender for the short mag and a grip extension for the large one, making it feel identical to the full-size SR9.
Reports on the SR9c are clear on the trigger - it's better than the SR9's and doesn't need any work.
After purchase, this one, like all Rugers NIB, was heavily coated in packing oil/grease, so step one was to clean the gun and mags thoroughly, applying a small amount of Royal Purple gun oil to the rail and moving parts.
Step two was to remove the magazine disconnect safety. Very easy job, explained in detail at the ruger forum and also in a YouTube video. It took me about 5 minutes, but I work slow. So I did that, and also was able to clean and lubricate the firing assembly.
Cleaning and loading - Takedown is easy. You nudge out the locking pin and it comes right apart. I used a punch but anything like pencil eraser or similar would do it. The factory springs are stiff! Working the slide takes some muscle. The magazines have strong springs. I can load them by hand, but using the Ruger loading tool makes this easier.
Range trip - Now familiar with the operation and mechanics of loading and arming, it was time to test it out. One box of Wolf 9mm Luger 115gr and one box of Blazer 9mm 115gr, for a total of 100 rounds. Didn't have lots of time, so this would have to be the first run through.
Set up the first target - a 12x12 bullseye at 10 yrds. The Wolf ammo was chosen because it's cheap and bottom of the barrel. All 50 fired perfectly, with zero FTF's or FTE's. The rounds grouped well, but up in the 10 - 11 o'clock area. Rather than adjust the sights, I assumed operator error.
Loaded up with the Blazer and worked on breath control, grip, and trigger pull. Bingo: it began shooting to point-of-aim:
As you can see, the rounds started to walk right in toward the x-zone.
Impressions - For me, this is around the high end of the amount of weight I want to CC, at 23.4 oz. This weight does, however, control muzzle flip and helps keep the sights on target. It's a bit snappy, but on a par with the revolvers shooting .38 spl.
Trigger pull is just crazy light and smooth. Using the 1911-style safety is probably a good idea with this one. You can start to pull slow and the break will surprise you, giving good accuracy. Sight picture is excellent and there's no interference by the loaded-chamber indicator.
With one in the chamber, I dropped the mag and fired the chambered round, confirming successful removal of the mag disconnect safety.
Magazines insert smoothly with a smart "snick," no jamming or forcing needed, and even empty, their weight drops them right out when you hit the release. The mag release button is located in a good position so that you aren't likely to hit it by accident.
Around rounds 60-80, it was getting easier to load the mags and it became easier to slingshot the slide. As others have reported, the more you shoot it, the smoother the springs should get. I can attest to this. Don't judge this gun by how it shoots out of the box. Give it at least 100 (I'm going to fire another 200 or so) before making an evaluation.
Overall - Of course this was voted "gun of the year 2010." It's a tack driver. Like hickok45 demonstrates, it's accurate, holds, points and shoots naturally, and so far is flawless with junk ammo. The next round of testing for me will include my carry round of Corbon +p JHP.
Concealability - The Forbus paddle holster I got with it is sort of OK. It will conceal with a jacket, but this OWB holster is probably better for range duty and OC. I've ordered the Mitch Rosen and will see if it works better.
I'm very, very happy with this gun.