Recently, I came across the Ruger EC9s, and wasn’t sure how I was going to react when I opened the cardboard box it came in.
When I saw it, thoughts of tuxedos, fast cars, and double-crosses floated through my mind.
Maybe it was the size, shape, or the two-tone silver and black that had me thinking of dry martinis and beach rendezvous. Unlike James Bond, I wouldn’t fall for just a pretty face.
For many, a gun needs to look a certain way to enjoy it — but performance is critical to everyone. I took the EC9s out to the range to see if it would live up to its code name.
I’ll share the results of this not-so-secret mission along with some features and pros/cons with you below, so read on!
Table of Contents
Pros & Cons
- Good trigger
- Tool required for takedown
- Fixed sights (cannot be upgraded)
- Single magazine
The Bottom Line
Very simply put, the Ruger EC9s is a good quality gun for the price. There are many things that make it seem bargain basement, but the performance is there. If you’re on a strict budget, this is a good option for concealed carry.
Specs & Features
- Caliber: 9mm
- Width: .90”
- Length: 6”
- Barrel Length: 3.12”
- Height: 4.50”
- Weight: 17.2 oz.
- Capacity: 7+1
- Trigger safety
- Manual safety
- Grip extension floorplate
Source: Ruger EC9s
Prices accurate at time of writing
Prices accurate at time of writing
Ruger seems to have built upon the success of the LCP in the concealed carry market and went just a little bigger for capacity. At the same time, they kept the cost of the EC9s extremely low.
Some of those cost-saving measures make a lot of sense, while others ended up being pretty limiting.
Who Is It For?
This is a solid performer of a concealed carry pistol that is very inexpensive. Anyone looking for 7+1 capacity in 9mm coming in just above $200 would be well suited to select the Ruger EC9s.
It also comes in a dizzying array of different colors so you can select the one that’s right for you.
Fit & Feel
I was honestly surprised the ergonomics were as good as they were. Most tiny guns don’t mix well with my hands, but the grip shape and trigger placement had my digits reaching all the controls.
The beaver tail is modest but does the job of keeping the slide off my hand. Grip texture is somewhat aggressive along the sides but smoothed on the corners to allow for an easier draw from concealment.
The extended floor plate is a must, though, in order to get all fingers on the grip. A standard one is included for people with smaller hands.
The sights were definitely not from Q Branch. Hewn from the very slide, they are no doubt tough and functional, but that’s about it.
You get a post in the front and U-notch in the rear. Both are serrated but fully black and lacking when it comes to dots or contrast.
With the EDC9, they must have figured you’d end any conflict with your 7+1 rounds because you only get one magazine. However, this ejected cleanly and locked in solidly each time I loaded or dropped the mag.
The trigger is pretty good for a striker-fired weapon. It came in at 3 pounds 5 ounces on my Lyman digital gauge and had a bit of travel before resistance, built to a wall, and broke cleanly.
Reset occurred after almost the entire return stroke of the trigger and was barely audible and not really tactile.
How Does It Shoot?
The EC9s shoots well for the bargain you get. It’s reliable, and I got used to the trigger pretty quickly and was able to repeat a certain level of performance.
It wasn’t incredible. Some three-shot groups were 1 inch at 7 yards, but most averaged between 2 and 2.5 inches.
The sights, somewhat challenging to see depending on the target, had pretty good gaps between them. Despite this, I was able to comfortably hit my targets and manage recoil thanks to good ergonomics.
What Sets it Apart?
Without a doubt, the thing that sets this gun apart is the capacity for the price. You can sometimes find yourself scratching your head over one feature or another, but when you really think about the cost of the gun, it seems silly to quibble.
By the Numbers
For the 300 rounds of 115 FMJ we fired through the EC9s, there were zero malfunctions. The magazines fed reliably, dropped cleanly, and the weapon cycled perfectly.
Despite the size, the gun is designed well and accommodated my 2X hands nicely. While the controls were within reach, the EC9s takes a hit for lack of ambidextrous controls.
The sights feel very old school and are functional, but nothing to write home about. The trigger is really pretty good for such an inexpensive firearm and salvages much of the accuracy potential in his gun.
You cannot add upgraded sights. The most you could do would be to paint the front post. There aren’t a great deal of accessories you can add to the EC9s either. However, I counted 17 distinct models, most of which were color options.
At street prices between $200 and $250, it’s hard to complain about any of the gun’s shortcomings. Ruger set out to provide good value at the price point, and they absolutely delivered.
Prices accurate at time of writing
Prices accurate at time of writing
Upgrades for Ruger EC9s
There is an available 9-round magazine if you want to push the boundaries of what’s concealable in exchange for more shots. Sadly, you cannot upgrade sights as they are machined integrally with the slide.
I was able to find a weapon light and laser (no Mr. Bond, I expect you to die) from Viridian, though, so that’s encouraging.
Prices accurate at time of writing
Prices accurate at time of writing
While I didn’t care for the sights or sole magazine you get, the trigger was decent, and the ergonomics were surprisingly good. The overall package is thin and very concealable.
Whenever I found myself fussing about a feature, I remembered the price of the gun. I’ve seen far worse deals.
So, Bond on a budget? Now that’s real government work in action!
Have you used the Ruger EC9s? Let us know in the comments below and for more concealed carry favorites, check out our 12 Best Concealed Carry Guns!
42 Leave a Reply
I carry my EDC9s in my pocket daily and hardly notice it. It is surprisingly accurate at short range for a fixed sight gun. I can not only keep tiny groups in the 10 range of a silhouette target at 7 yards but got bored and started shooting out the little numbers in each range. Most disappeared in one shot but a couple took two rounds. Definitely minute of bad guy at that range.
I have two concealed carry sidearms, the EC9S and a Beretta PX4 Subcompact. I prefer my Beretta with its DA/SA action and decocker, which gives me more confidence in safely carrying the sidearm with a round in the chamber. Plus, it is wickedly accurate. That said, the PX4 Subcompact, with its 1.4" width, is pretty bulky on my small frame and prints easily I can easily conceal the EC9s under even light clothing.
Firing the same rounds through each gun, it is much easier to control the Beretta with its added weight and chunky grip compared to the minimal grip on the EC9S, but with careful gun control (cough, giggle) the EC9S is a very accurate gun for its purpose. And the gun you have on you is far more useful than the one you leave home.
So my bottom line is the Beretta is my preferred sidearm for winter and heavy clothing and the EC9S is great for easy concealment the rest of the time. And it definitely is a cheap date.
Amazing. I have the same two concealed carry sidearms! I much prefer the Beretta for the DA/SA action and decocker, for accuracy and shootability, and because it has twice the ammo when fully loaded. However, the PX4 is just a bit too fat to pocket carry. I've tried to make it work; but I end up having to fumble with the gun to get it out of my pocket, which could be a death sentence if I have to shoot it for real. The Ruger EC9S, on the other hand, slips easily out of my pants pocket; and I can get it out of my pocket pretty easily even when I'm sitting in the car! And fully loaded, it weighs less than the Beretta. It is light enough to carry all day almost without noticing it. An Ammo-Armor sleeve will allow you to carry an extra magazine in the other pocket, so the amount of ammo is about equal between the two guns.
Either gun is extremely reliable if you keep it clean and if you put a good grease (not oil) on the slide.
I don't mind the minimal iron sights - I put a spot of white paint on the front sight. I like my EDC to be simple and low-tech -- less to fail if you have to shoot it for real. And drawing and firing it becomes a habit -- you don't have to think about it -- when you carry the same gun day after day, month after month, year after year, winter, spring, summer, or fall. For this reason, the Ruger EC9S wins hands-down for me as my EDC.
Interestingly, I just put the Hogue grip sleeve on the EC9s and it makes a major positive difference in control and shootability. For some reason when I bought my EC9s the Hogue grip was not included. Not sure why, but glad I bought it.
Maximized simplicity stylistically and mechanically.
Would it be worth exchanging my LCP 380 for the ECP9? I love the size of the Ruger LCP. I can easily clip the holster on my belt or put in a pocket holster. I would have bought the ECP9 had I know about it….
If you want a small gun (just slightly bigger than the LCP), if you want a thumb safety, and if you want to move up to 9MM, then the EC9S is probably your gun. Find a range that will let you rent an EC9S, so you can try it out for sure. It's a bit snappy to shoot, so be aware of that.
A friend owns one and I've fired it quite a number of times. I found a number of faults when comparing it to my P365 or PPQ, but considering the price point is several hundred dollars less than my high end guns. I had to keep reminding myself of that point. The EDC9s sights are not quite atrocious, but that'sone area Ruger cut too far back on IMO.
My brother in law has a Taurus G2, and I'd like to get the two of them together and then compare the Ruger to the Taurus to see what I think between the two guns.
Or maybe PewPew can give us their analysis (hint, hint).
Hey Berserker, I couldn't agree more. It is far from perfect but in relation to the price, it's a good little gun. On a straight up run off with the G2, it's hard to say, I'd need to try them together. I can tell you I really like the G series guns! I recently tried out the GX4 Toro based on reader feedback and was very impressed, and a little surprised.
How is the recoil for a gun this small in 9mm?
Lindon, it is a little snappy but not unmanageable. With the extended floorplate, it's easier to control.
Nice little gun, I like the smooth design but too long for me for pocket concealment. I did get a 9 round magazine for larger capacity. I found it shoots to the left for some reason, I suppose could be corrected with a Laser attachment. All considered I like it for the price.
I've had one since they first came out.
I treated myself to an early Christmas present at Cabela's. For under $250 you can't beat it.
I carry mine at work where I don't care if it gets dirty or greasy. I can just wipe it off and go on.
I painted my sights for better visibility.
And it runs perfect!
John, the upgrade of painting your sights makes a lot of sense for better contrast.
I liked mine so well I have 2, one is black and one is in the flat dark earth. They shoot great, easy to carry all day long because of their lightweight and slimness. Mine came with 2 seven-round magazines and I have a couple of 9 round magazines that are in my carry bag. One of the best things that you didn't mention was Ruger's warranty. Something goes wrong? Call customer service they will generate a shipping label, send it to them, fix it and send it back, in my case at no expense, when I broke a piece. In closing Great little EDC pistol.
Thanks Mario, that's a great point. I have heard good things about their warranty program.
howcome one buyer got 2 7 round mags?
Bought the EC9s for a cheap 9mm to take kayaking so if it drowned I wouldn’t cry much. After shooting it, I was very impressed with the gun. I would not feel under-gunned should I need it for concealed carry instead of my Sig.
It does border on being a "disposable" gun with the price so low. Interesting approach Clay, thanks.
Owned one of these. Sold it to my daughter during pandemic. Works well for first time gun owners. Light and accurate, it has a minimum of felt recoil. Just about perfect for new gun owners
Glad it's working for you both Robert!
I have carried an Ec9s for 5 years. The gun is very reliable, easy to conseal, and functions flawlessly. I did purchase the 8+1 magazine. Carry the 7+1 as an extra. The larger mag fits my hand better.
Thanks, it's good to know there is an extended mag for this gun.
David, there's also a trigger upgrade according to Dano.
Thanks for the long term perspective Norm. I'm also glad to hear the extended mag is working better for you. I'd likely do the same.
I have been carrying my EC9S for several years,I have been using a bugbite calf holster under my scrubs and without the magazine extension but WITH a hogue handall grip sleeve it is very manageable. I also run a laser max red laser but am considering replacing it with a laser/light combo.
The main draw for me? It is 100% reliable, several thousand rounds zero malfunctions.
I have considered having the slide cut for a red dot optic but I am still considering the impact on concealibility.
All in all, the most reliable gun I own.
Wow Lloyd, that's quite a testament! During testing, it felt like it had the potential to just keep running though that's an intangible opinion and not worth much. I'm pleased to hear you've actually tested it out.
It’s my EDC and has never malfunctioned after close to 1k through it.
Is it possible to attach a suppressor to an EC9?? If yes, which make and model would you recommend???
Robert, I imagine just about anything is possible but in this case it would not be easy or inexpensive. I don't think there are any threaded barrels out there for this gun. Investing the amount of money you'd need to make that happen kind of defeats the purpose of such an inexpensive gun.
Thanks for the response Sean...better get a Glock 17 for the suppressor!!!
Sean, I get the review. I understand. But, no the “S” is not for sexy. It “S”tands for “S”harp safety (it’ll cut like a losing knife of Forged in Fire”, and “S”ubpar everything else.
Everything about this pistol is cheap and “S”tinks. Do yourself a favor and “S”kip this pistol.
Actually, the S stands for Striker. The LC9 was hammer fired and Wannie doesn't know what he's talking about. The EC9s is a basic, reliable, affordable and well-made pistol. There is an aftermarket trigger upgrade from Galloway Precision that I installed on my EC9s that takes up most of the travel and shortens the reset for faster results. The upgrade does not change the weight of the trigger pull. It is machined from aluminum and replaces the Polymere original trigger. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and some people need to have a show gun for their friends to admire like Wannie, I guess. I have 4 Ruger pistols and have owned others over the years. Ruger knows what they're doing and has provided a quality firearm for the masses to own without spending $1,000.00 dollars on something to impress your fan boys. This is a working mans pistol that is capable of saving your life.
Dano, that's the perspective I came away with after I reviewed it--it's a great value for the price. And thanks for the tip on the aftermarket trigger!
Correction, the original trigger on the EC9s is not polymere. I also have the LCP Max which came with the polymere trigger which I also upgraded. I was thinking of the Max when I incorrectly wrote my comment above. The original trigger on the EC9s is metal. Galloway Precision has triggers for both pistols and I have installed them on my EC9s and my LCP Max. They are great upgrades for both pistols.
It’s not about a 1,000$ gun. It’s about having a good gun. A capable gun. And for an extra 100$ You could get a used glock. The price alone does not make this a “good” gun. The sights are terrible. The capacity is low. It’s got a rough finish. Not a duty worthy weapon. The accuracy is supbar, the trigger needed to replaced apparently in your case. Yeah, sure for the price is a “good” value. But, that does make this a good choice.
Former certified NRA instructor here on shotgun and semi-auto pistol. Three years in the field as a cop and then 38 years as a private investigator. I completed the NRA course with a Browning Hi-Power. On the line we were instructed to load empty casings randomly into the mag to cause a jam. The Glocks were locked up, the Browning fed the empty cases into the chamber, that's reliability. I still favor my Browning. My two Ruger semis are reliable too. I've carried many different pistols and some revolvers over the years. The best firearm is the one that works and fits your needs. I knew when Wannie commented that he was a Glock fan boy. They are always the first to complain about this or that pistol. I owned two Glocks and sold them. In my personal opinion the S&W M&P 2.0 compact is a much better pistol than the Glock for ergonomics, reliability, trigger and quality. They have metal sights strong enough to work the slide if your hand is injured and they have 3 interchangeable grips for different sized hands. This and my Browning would be my go-to pistols under trying situations and at home but too heavy to carry outside and more difficult to conceal. When out, I carry my EC9s or My LCP Max and I feel very confident that both are up to the challenge if things go bad. Like I said, chose what works for you.
PS, Neither the Max nor the EC9s need trigger upgrades and are fine as they come from the factory. All firearms modifications are for personal use and performance. The Galloway triggers only take up travel for faster repeat shots. They do not lighten the trigger pull. As for the finish, Ruger uses a black oxide finish to cut the price, same as the sights. The finish is not rough, it's a working gun not a safe queen. The Ruger LC9s now discontinued had a nice blue finish and changeable metal sights that increased the cost, but they were prettier. The Glocks I had wore cheap plastic sights. When firing my first owned G19, the rear sight flew off the pistol. I sent it to the factory, and they replaced it. Neither the Max nor the EC9s are meant to be duty guns, they are every day civilian carry guns at a great price. Ruger didn't cheapen the guns the used different manufacturing to lower the price of the more expensive LC9s which is also very popular. However, many police officers carry an LCP and EC9s for backup. That alone says a lot. I also have the original LCP and it has never failed to go boom.
Wannie, I fully respect your opinion. What works for me may or may not work for you.
As for the sights, I put a spot of white paint on the front site. This is not as good as other sights out there, but it is sufficient. And I have practiced a lot in the privacy of my home, drawing the gun, turning off the safety, focusing my eyes on the front sight, lining up the back sight with the front, aiming at the target, and my trigger finger on the side of the gun. As I do this drill more and more, I am getting to the point where if I ever have to use this gun for real, it will automatically be out, pointed at the target, safety off, with my eyes focused on the front site. An instant later, I will pull the trigger.
Reliability, small size, and a thumb safety are what allows me to carry this gun during my every waking hour, every day, year round. If any of those three characteristics were missing, I would find another gun to carry.
As I said in another post, I much prefer shooting my DA/SA Beretta PX4 Storm Subcompact. But not as an everyday carry gun. It just doesn't work for me as an EDC. The Ruger, on the other hand, is the perfect EDC for me.
Haha, I hear you Wannie, it's definitely not for everyone. But based on feedback alone, the gun has quite a few fans out there.