Sturm, Ruger & Co. is one of the most popular and prolific gunmakers in America.
Whether you’re looking for a tiny micro pistol for concealed carry or a hefty revolver for big game hunting — Ruger’s got you covered.
Because Ruger makes a bunch of quality handguns, choosing just one of these “rugged and reliable” firearms can be a tough decision.
To help you out, we’re going to take a look at some of the best models Ruger has to offer. We’ll look at the pros and cons and also talk about why you might want to add it to your gun safe.
Hopefully, this will help narrow the field of options.
However, you may still end up wanting more than one. Consider yourself forewarned.
Table of Contents
Why Buy a Ruger?
Sturm, Ruger & Co. entered the firearms scene in 1949. Although the company is relatively new to the industry, they have been producing consistently awesome firearms from the very beginning.
Ruger caters to regular everyday Americans who want well-priced, well-made weapons.
You might not find a ton of fancy trappings on a Ruger handgun, but that’s because these firearms are designed to be practical.
Across the board, Ruger’s firearms are reliable, capable, and reasonably priced.
How reliable is a Ruger? Insanely reliable.
If you don’t believe me, I’ll just casually mention that Ruger has had very few product recalls in recent years.
There aren’t many major firearms manufacturers who can say the same.
Best Ruger Pistols
1. Ruger Mark IV Standard
We have to start with the Ruger Standard, because this is the pistol that launched the Ruger lineup.
Introduced in 1949, the Standard was the first firearm manufactured by the legendary Sturm, Ruger & Co.
The Standard is now in its fourth iteration (hence the Mark IV), but the current model isn’t all that different from its forerunner.
A Mark IV Standard features the same internal slide as the original. It also has a one-button takedown system that makes maintenance virtually effortless.
This relatively inexpensive .22 caliber rimfire pistol is perfect for target shooting and backyard plinking.
Its nearly non-existent recoil and ultra-easy handling also make it ideal for introducing young shooters to the sport.
You can read our full hands-on review of the Ruger Mark IV here.
2. Ruger Security 9
This compact pistol has dimensions similar to the Glock 19. Like the G19, the Security 9 holds a 15-round double-stack magazine.
The biggest difference between the G19 and the Ruger Security 9 is the price tag.
Somehow Ruger manages to keep this awesome carry pistol at a price point that won’t send an average Joe into sticker shock.
A savvy shopper can easily buy the Security 9, a holster, and plenty of ammo for less than the price of a Gen. 4 G19.
Ruger is known for providing plenty of value for every dollar you spend. Despite the economical price tag, the Security 9 is durable, reliable, and incredibly accurate.
3. Ruger American Pistol
However, Ruger ultimately declined to enter the competition and instead released its American Pistol directly to the civilian market.
Although the RAP never entered the running for a military contract, this pistol is engineered to withstand the rough use and harsh environments service sidearms regularly encounter.
It tackles water, sand, mud, salt, and extreme temperatures without breaking a sweat!
At first glance, the RAP looks like a standard polymer-framed single stack. However, in this case its looks are a bit deceiving.
It’s what’s inside that actually counts. Instead of a serialized lower receiver, the RAP features a removable chassis that contains the fire control group.
The chassis is made from billet stainless steel which provides extra strength for handling high-pressure loads.
This is a seriously durable sidearm.
Prices accurate at time of writing
Prices accurate at time of writing
4. Ruger LCP II
If you’re looking for a weapon that’s easy to conceal, it doesn’t get much easier than this.
The LCP II weighs less than 10-ounces, is just under 1-inch wide, and measures a scant 5.16-inches from end to end.
A young college girl on a bikini-clad spring break could conceivably conceal this thing. It’s that freakin’ small.
Warning: If you have big gorilla hands, you’re going to have a hard time with this pistol.
While the LCP II proves just how shootable a micro pistol can be, at the end of the day, it’s still a micro pistol.
If you have beefy fists, you’ll probably struggle with your grip.
You should also expect the magnified recoil that is synonymous with a pocket pistol.
The recoil is a tad on the snappy side, and some shooters have a hard time keeping the nose down when making follow-up shots.
Want to know more about this awesome, American-made pocket pistol? Check out our full review of the Ruger LCP II.
5. Ruger LC9s
Like most of the handguns in Ruger’s line-up, the LC9s doesn’t have a bunch of bells and whistles.
However, when it comes to concealed carry weapons, simplicity is usually a virtue.
The LC9s is an uncomplicated single stack, striker-fired pistol.
It holds 7+1 rounds of 9mm and an affordable price tag.
A pro to this platform? It features a light, short, consistent trigger pull.
This simple, stream-lined pocket pistol is one of Ruger’s bestsellers.
Although it is about as uncomplicated as they come, the LC9s has this super cool, ultra-sleek look that just screams secret agent…especially when you slip it into a chic ankle or corset holster.
We take a closer look at the Ruger LC9s in this thorough review.
6. Ruger SR1911
Pretty much everyone makes a 1911 these days, and Ruger is no exception.
What Ruger brings to the 1911 table is what Ruger brings to every table: the perfect balance of performance and affordability.
The SR1911 is NOT a high-end, custom-fitted 1911.
It also isn’t a bargain-basement paperweight, either (I’m looking at you, Hi-Point).
However, the SR1911 does sit perfectly in the spot where quality and cost-effectiveness intersect.
This makes a practical carry gun if you like the 1911 style but don’t want to put a super-expensive version through the stress of EDC.
Best Ruger Revolvers
7. Ruger LCR
When it comes to concealed carry revolvers, the snubnose LCR is insanely popular.
The Ruger LCR is a super short, super lightweight (13.5-ounces), hammerless revolver.
It’s available in .22 WMR, .22 LR, 9mm, .327 Federal Magnum, .38 Special, and .357 Magnum.
Ruger transformed the revolver world by designing the LCR around a lightweight polymer frame.
The company also used aerospace-grade aluminum to keep the weight manageable enough for easy concealment.
The LCR is indeed a serious lightweight. Although its paltry poundage and squatty barrel make concealment a breeze, both make effective shooting problematic.
Accuracy at ranges beyond 7-yards is a struggle, even for experienced shooters.
8. Ruger Single Six
The Ruger Single Six was first introduced in the early 1950s, which also happened to be the heyday of cheesy cowboy westerns.
Although Ruger was definitely catering to the Gunsmoke crowd, modern shooters will find this wheel gun just as appealing.
What originally made the Single Six so popular was the way Ruger combined the timeless lines of an Old West revolver with modern manufacturing techniques.
Chambering the wheel gun in the easily accessible .22 LR cartridge certainly didn’t hurt, either.
While the Ruger Single Six definitely isn’t a gun for defensive shooting, sometimes the personal protection card gets overplayed.
Not every firearm needs to slay bad guys, even ones that look like they belong on a lawman’s hip.
So what is this gun good for?
First, it puts the fun back in shooting. Sometimes we get so focused on utility that we forget shooting targets is just doggone enjoyable.
Second, with its solid weight, light trigger pull, simple function, and user-friendly sights, the Ruger Six is pure gold for teaching newbs the fundamentals of shooting.
Plus, you get to feel like a real-life cowboy, which is a selling point that should not be overlooked.
9. Ruger Blackhawk
After Ruger’s success with the Single Six, the next logical step was to design a more practical and powerful revolver.
Much like the Single Six, the Blackhawk took a basic single-action wheel gun and turned it into an effective modern firearm.
The original Blackhawk was chambered in .38 Special/.357 Magnum. Today, shooters can choose from a variety of chamberings.
Ruger even offers “convertible” models that come with interchangeable cylinders.
The cylinders can be swapped without tools, and allow you to shoot .357 Mag/9mm Luger or .45 Colt/.45 Auto from the same gun.
Shooters can also choose from a variety of Western-styled hand grips and blued or stainless steel.
Attractive, reliable, and easy to shoot — it’s no wonder the Ruger Blackhawk has become one of the most popular firearms ever produced in the United States!
You can read our full review of the Blackhawk here!
10. Ruger Super Redhawk
The Super Redhawk is a solid option for bear defense and big game hunting.
It comes chambered for hard-hitting cartridges like .44 Rem Mag, .454 Casull, .480 Ruger, and 10mm Auto.
And it even features integral mounts for attaching a modern optic.
Built from corrosion-resistant stainless steel, the Super Redhawk is plenty durable for powerful cartridges and dangerous country. This is definitely not a feeble firearm.
The .44 model weighs well over 3-pounds before you add even a single cartridge.
However, the wheel gun’s heft and weight do a lot to tame the punchy recoil of big caliber cartridges.
Honestly, despite its ominous appearance, the Super Redhawk is surprisingly controllable.
All of Ruger’s pistols and revolvers offer rock-solid reliability, so it was difficult to narrow them down, but we did it! From the sleek LCP II to the wild wild west Single Six, this list really showcases the breadth of Ruger’s inventory.
We really had to resist the temptation to include them all!
If we missed your favorite, please don’t take it as an insult. However, you should definitely consider it an invitation to rant about it in the comments below. We want to hear all about your Ruger faves.
Have a favorite Ruger? Want to get one? Tell us all about it in the comments! Ruger not quite your style. No worries, we also have a complete list of our go-to Glocks if polymer is more your speed.