NRA Gun of the Week: Ruger MAX-9

Is Ruger’s MAX-9 the perfect concealed-carry gun? To help answer that, American Rifleman staff headed to the range this week with Ruger's optic-ready semi-automatic.

right side black gun pistol handgun plastic metal text noting make and model "Ruger MAX-9"


It is apparent that Ruger made great strides in its concealed-carry lineup when looking at the design and functionality its MAX-9 semi-auto pistol has to offer. Compared to its popular predecessor, the LC9, the MAX-9 offers up increased capacity with enhancements that further bolster the gun’s capabilities in the hands of its operator.

Pistol slide black metal sights serrations lines screws logo


The Ruger MAX-9 bears little in common with its slim sibling—it features a slightly wider grip frame molded from glass-filled nylon that accommodates a flush-fit 10-round magazine and an extended 12-round unit. The frame contains generous stippling on all sides of the grip, and the undercut trigger and heightened beavertail for improved recoil control.

quartering view black pistol handgun plastic metal small green sight


Weighing in a little more than 18 ounces, Ruger’s MAX-9 is a striker-fired design that, regardless of whether or not you choose the manual-safety-equipped model, comes with a blade-in trigger safety and a machined slide for reflex and red-dot optic mounts. A cover plate is supplied and installation of optic requires a JPoint footprint.

detail image of pistol sight optic glass reflex back gun metal


Ruger supplies S&W-pattern sights with a flat-faced, all-black rear sight along that works in conjunction with a bright-green, fiber-optic front sight that contains a tritium-illuminated circle. From our experience on the range with Ruger’s MAX-9, the gun proved that it may not be the smallest or have the most capacity, but it’s among the easiest-to-shoot guns within this corner of the marketplace.

dynamic view black pistol handgun gun plastic metal green sight


Watch our NRA Gun of the Week video above to learn more about the Ruger MAX-9 pistol.

Ruger MAX-9 Specifications
Manufacturer: Sturm, Ruger & Co.
Action Type: recoil-operated, semi-automatic, center-fire pistol
Chambering: 9 mm Luger
Barrel: 3.2" hammer-forged steel
Slide: steel
Frame: glass-filled polymer
Sights: drift-adjustable for windage; tritium and fiber-optic front dot
Trigger: striker-fired
Height: 4.95"
Length: 5.95"
Width: 1.06"
Weight: 18.2 ozs.
MSRP: $499

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