Gun Of The Week: Davidson's Exclusive Ruger MAX-9 Leopard

posted on May 19, 2023

This, of course, is yet another exclusive from Davidson’s, which means that this particular finish can only be ordered from the company’s Gallery Of Guns or one of its nationwide network of retailers. Davidson’s is one of the largest firearm distributors in the world, and because of that, it develops special models with different manufacturers, bringing unique one-offs to market that you won’t see anywhere else. Of all manufacturers, though, Davidson’s has a particularly productive relationship with Ruger, and the result of that is an incredible assortment of unique designs. Watch the video above to see the exclusive Ruger MAX-9 in use on the NRA Tech Range.

GUN OF THE WEEK title screen text on image leopard print gun ruger max-9 optc-ready micro-compact pistol handgun 9 mm luger right side

This latest collaboration is based upon Ruger’s MAX-9 platform, which is an updated, capacity-rich concealed-carry pistol designed as an improvement over Ruger’s popular LC9. Today, micro-compacts are the hottest element of the concealed-carry market, and Ruger’s development of the MAX-9 allowed the company to offer a competitive CCW gun at an attractive price point.

Ruger MAX-9 micro-compact handgun pistol 9 mm luger leopard print gun optic-ready pistol left-side view full size

Ruger’s MAX-9 isn’t the highest-capacity or the smallest gun in the micro-compact category, but it has a lot of features going for it. For one, in American Rifleman’s testing, Editorial Director Mark Keefe noted that it was one of the softer-shooting, easier-to-handle guns in its category. It’s no slouch in the capacity department either, with a flush-fit magazine capable of accepting 10 rounds of 9 mm Luger, as well as a 12-round extended magazine available, too.

mosaic tiles images screenshots man shooting gun pistol handgun RUGER MAX-9 micro-compact 9 mm leopard print

At the top of the gun, a milled slide with a J-Point footprint makes it easy to attach a micro red-dot optic, and the iron sights can be easily swapped out for aftermarket options. The front sight is the same pattern as the S&W Shield, while the rear sight dovetail accepts all S&W C.O.R.E.-compatible options. Ruger also borrowed the styling, ergonomics and grip texture from its Security-9 and incorporated it into the MAX-9, which provides greater control, a natural point of aim and an easily accessible trigger, thanks to the enlarged guard.

Ruger MAX-9 handgun pistol leopard print gun camo stainless steel magazine left-side view

When it comes to Davidson’s collaboration with Ruger, the companies chose to offer a unique personal touch for folks who are looking for something a little different. This leopard-pattern print incorporated into the grip frame makes the gun stand out from the crowd of micro-compacts. So if you’re looking to inject a little of your personal character into your personal-defense gun, Davidson’s makes it possible. Davidson’s offers nine different configurations of the MAX-9, so you’re sure to find one that fits you.

Man wearing cap earmuffs shooting RUGER MAX-9 pistol handgun downrange forward view remote camera

On the range, we definitely noticed that the MAX-9 was among the most-shootable micro-compacts in the marketplace. There’s no doubt that the gun’s slightly larger size helped, but the ergonomics also came into play, too. We appreciated the low-profile manual safety located on the left side of the frame, which is small and unobtrusive but can be easily engaged with a little practice. All in all, Ruger’s MAX-9 is a great defensive package at a price that’s hard to beat.

Davidson's Exclusive Ruger MAX-9 Specifications
Manufacturer: Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc.
Action Type: blowback-operated, semi-automatic, centerfire pistol
Chambering: 9 mm Luger
Barrel: 3.2" alloy steel, oxide finish
Frame: glass-filled nylon, Leopard camouflage finish
Slide: alloy steel, oxide finish
Magazine: 10- and 12-round detachable box
Sights: dovetailed; square-notch rear, fiber-optic post front with Tritium
Overall Length: 6"
Height: 4.52"
Weight: 18.4 ozs.
MSRP: $446.99


Thompson submachine gun on set with militaria gear
Thompson submachine gun on set with militaria gear

I Have This Old Gun: M1/M1A1 Thompson Submachine Gun

As World War II developed, engineers found ways to simplifying the Thompson submachine gun, and later M1 and M1A1 Thompsons were easier and less-expensive to produce.

New For 2024: Legacy Sports SCSA Taipan X

A straight-pull, pump-action design developed by an Australian firearm company, the SCSA Taipan X is now being imported into the U.S. by Legacy Sports International.

2024 Optic Of The Year: Trijicon RCR

American Rifleman is pleased to announce the 2024 Optic Of The Year Award goes to Trijicon.

Review: Walther WMP

Near the end of 2022, Walther took its handgun lineup in a fresh direction with the release of the sporting WMP pistol chambered in .22 WMR, designed for field use as a "kit gun."

Rifleman Report: Individual Liberty & Innovation

When it comes to the design, manufacture and sale of innovative firearms, the intuition and innovation of unique personalities are often the common threads that result in success.

Henry Salutes America’s Most Decorated Living Veteran

Henry Repeating Arms honors U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Patrick Brady, our most decorated living veteran, with a limited edition rifle, which underscores the brands commitment to American heroes, past and present.


Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.