December 2007

9mm Polymer Pistols: Ruger’s SR9 Is Good, But Not Great

Rugerís brand-new SR9 has promise, but we preferred Springfield Armoryís $543 XD9 Service pistol. Also worth a look is Heckler & Kochís P30, but it costs quite a bit more.

In this test our evaluation will include a new pistol that snuck up on everyone. On Tuesday, October 16, 2007, Ruger announced its SR9 9mm pistol, with an MSRP of $525. By Thursday, pistols began to arrive at retailers. By Friday, we had one to test.

The keynote of this design was its grip similarity to the 1911, including ambidextrous thumb safeties and a choice of backstrap (flat, or palm swell design). Would sharing ergonomics and active safety features with the Browning design convince more traditional shooters to switch to a striker-fired double action pistol?

Our second pistol was also a recent entry. The $939 Heckler & Koch P30 is a new vision of the P-series pistol that features the most adjustable ergonomics yet. Distribution has been limited but we found one at Fountain Firearms in Houston (

Our third 9mm pistol was the $543 Springfield Armory XD9 Service Four-Inch. Lacking from a list of the XD9ís features found on the company website ( was an adjustable grip. Nevertheless, XD9 has been recognized as offering superior ergonomics, and like the SR9, the XD also shares some of the safety features found on the 1911.

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