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Ruger American vs SR9: Which Is The Better Pistol?

Ruger American vs SR9

The demand for using high-quality guns is increasing rapidly. To cater to varying purposes and preferences, many manufacturers are trying to carry out new innovations to provide thousands of the best products in the market.

However, because of this variety, the customers also end up having trouble deciding between all these suitable products. In this article, we’ll be focusing on two pistols that are considered to be of high quality by a lot of gun enthusiasts.

We’ll be comparing the Ruger American vs SR9 side by side and provide their respective features and details that set them apart from each other.

They might seem similar at first glance, but there are a couple of characteristics that make them different from one another.

Ruger American Pistol

ruger american pistol with loaded magazine

Ruger American Pistols are polymer-framed, semi-automatic pistols that are available in 9mm and 45 ACP.  It has a trigger featuring a short take up along with a positive reset and a high capacity of about 17 + 1.

You can use P ammunition for this model, and it also has the modular wrap-around grip in its system to take care of sweaty palms and fingers.

For the Ruger American, you’ll be surprised with the ambidextrous slide stop and magazine release that allows actuation with either hand. It also has a safety function like the automatic sear block system and ambidextrous manual safety feature.

Both pistols have durable steel magazines for small, medium, and large grip modules.

Moreover, this pistol was designed with non-slip surfaces that have functional slide serrations and enhanced adjusting with the purpose-oriented grip frame texturing.

It has the MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail that works as a linked point for a series of standard lights and infra-red illuminators as well.

Ruger SR9 Pistol

SR9 Pistol

We can say that SR9 is a new design platform for Ruger pistols, and it created a strong wave in the personal defense and law enforcement market.

It provides a ton of features that users can expect from the current state of art polymer DAO duty pistols, but with the addition of plenty of unique Ruger qualities.

This model is the full-size striker-fired 9mm with an activated cocking mechanism slide and integral trigger safety. It’s one of the most good-looking pistols that use a glass-filled polymer frame and a stainless steel slide.

You can easily use this pistol and adjust the three-dot sights. It also has a variety of safety features such as the large flip uploaded chamber indicator, the magazine disconnect safety, and the striker indicator.

A lot of users found this gun easy to stay on the target. Some were even able to put 17 shots in a four-inch area and were able to fire offhand at 15 yards as quickly as they pulled the trigger.

It also comes in a compact size and affordable price range, so it’s definitely a pistol that’s worth considering.

Ruger American vs SR9: Side-By-Side Comparison

Man holding Ruger American and SR9 pistols with one hand

In general, the two of them are quite similar, but there are a lot of differences that are worth mentioning.


Price is usually the deciding factor if you buy one product over the other. However, the SR9 is a little bit more affordable than the American by about ten dollars, so this factor isn’t much of a deal-breaker in this situation.


For physical appearance, the slide of the American Ruger is black nitrate, while the SR9 has a bit of silver stainless steel.

The American also has a slightly wider slide and grip, but the length is approximately the same as the SR9. This makes the American feel like a thicker and sturdier gun.

The backstrap on the SR9 is reversible, so you might have to play around with it a bit and see how your hand size can fit well into it. On the other hand, the American comes with three bonds that would be able to fit most hand sizes much better.


The American is loaded with 17 rounds and weighs 38 ounces, while the SR9 is loaded with 17 rounds and weighs 33.25 ounces.

This makes the American a bit heavier than the SR9. If you’re looking for something more lightweight, then the SR9 could be the better choice for you.


For the American and SR9, both are similar and have a 17 round magazine. However, you can’t interchange these magazines with each other. The mag release is also located in different places for each gun, and the slide release isn’t present at all on the SR9.

Stippling on the Grip

The stippling on the grip for both guns has decent texturing, but it’s more aggressive on the American than the SR9.

Stippling can help give a gun a better grip, so the American has the advantage for this one.


One of the biggest differences between these two pistols is the safety features. On the SR9, there’s a thumb safety, loaded chamber indicator, and a magazine disconnect. The American does not have any of these.

The trigger of the SR9 is also more familiar to gun users, so a lot of people enjoy and find this pistol easier to use compared to the American.

The Rear

For the rear design, the front and rear are adjustable for both, but the sights on the SR9 are smaller compared to the American.

A lot of people favor the American in this regard because it’ll be easier to acquire the target.


For the rail, the American comes with a 1913 rail, while the SR9 only has an accessory rail.


If size and weight aren’t big factors for you, then the American could be the better choice because it’s sturdy, easier to acquire the target, and it has a bunch of features like more trigger options compared to the SR9.

On the other hand, the SR9 can be a great pickup for you if you’re looking for something more compact, lightweight, but still feel durable and of high quality. The magazine disconnect is a standout innovation of the SR9, so that’s also something worth considering. The SR9 could work perfectly for women who are looking for a reliable pistol.

Before you make your decision, it would be best to compare them side by side and recognize your needs first. After reading this article, we hope you can come to a conclusion and make an easy choice about which pistol is more suitable for you!



September 13, 2021 - Reviewed and updated article links

About the author

Christopher Wade

Christopher Wade is a true outdoorsman. After spending most of his career as a firearms expert and instructor in Nebraska, he retreated to the great outdoors to enjoy retirement.

Christopher’s expertise in handling firearms and hunting gear are what propelled him to create the Shooting Mystery blog. He hopes for all readers to gain useful and practical knowledge for enjoying their time outdoors.