February 2009

Three Small 9mm Pistols Redux: Sig Sauer, S&W, and Ruger

We retest a trio of self-defense 9mm semiautomatics to see if recent modifications, factory recalls, and the passage of time have improved the handguns, or simply made them older.

This month we take a look at three combat pistols that have graced our pages previously, to see if they improved from our previous evaluations. Since last reviewed in December 2007, the Ruger SR9 ($525) was subject to a massive safety recall. Despite its double-action design, the gun could go off when dropped, if the manual safety was not engaged. As a result, Ruger redesigned the entire trigger group. The most visible change was a twin-blade trigger, rather than its original single-blade design. The recall process was far from smooth, and was chronicled on our sister website, www.gunreports.com. We recently looked at the Sig Sauer P250 in the two-tone option back in April 2008. This time we had the Black Nitron No. 2509005 version ($699). Both models recently received a trigger-bar upgrade, said to increase its lifespan from 20,000 to more than 50,000 rounds. The last gun in our trio was the Smith & Wesson M&P Compact 9mm No. 209304, $656. A gun in this series posted a poor grade back in April 2007 when it failed to feed the last round from the magazine, locking open in the process. Other M&Ps had fared well in other tests, so we wanted to look at the Compact once more in hopes Smith & Wesson had fixed what ailed the gun.

In the process of the doing the reviews, we found another test could be performed: both Sig Sauer and Smith & Wesson had initial problems requiring factory attention. As a result we could now rate their responsiveness to resolve each gunís problems.

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