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Ruger American vs SR9: Which Is The Better Pistol?

Ruger American vs SR9

To cater to varying purposes and preferences, many manufacturers are trying out new innovations to provide the best products in the market.

Because of this variety, the customers end up having trouble deciding between all these suitable products, myself included.

In this article, I’ll be focusing on two pistols that are considered to be of high quality by a lot of gun enthusiasts: Ruger American vs. SR9

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

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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 I also commend its modular wrap-around grip that takes care of my sweaty palms and fingers.

For the Ruger American, I was surprised by 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. I find it perfect for left-handed shooters!

This pistol has 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.

I guarantee you’ll find a use for it.

Ruger SR9 Pistol

SR9 Pistol


I can say that the SR9 is one of the newest platforms among Ruger pistols.

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 plenty of unique Ruger qualities.

This model is a full-size striker-fired 9mm with an activated cocking mechanism slide and integral trigger safety. 

It’s one of the most good-looking pistols, If I do say so myself, that uses a glass-filled polymer frame and a stainless steel slide.

I 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 like me have found it easy to keep this gun on the target.

I was even able to put 17 shots in a four-inch area and was able to fire offhand at 15 yards as quickly as they could pull the trigger.

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

I’d recommend it for concealed-carry users.

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 Ruger 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, making 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 17-round magazines. However, you CANNOT 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 I’d give the American the advantage on 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 Ruger 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 sights 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.

I generally prefer and recommend guns with LARGER rear sights.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Ruger Make a 40 Cal?

Yes, Ruger is one of many manufacturers that makes 40 caliber handguns.

Other popular manufacturers include Glock, Smith and Wesson, and Sig Sauer, with the Glock 40 being the most popular.

Is the Ruger SR9 Discontinued?

Yes, the SR pistols have been discontinued by Ruger due to poor sales and wanting focus on selling the higher-end American 

Which Is Better, Ruger or Glock?

Both Ruger and Glock pistols are great in terms of value and reliability, so you couldn’t really go wrong with either one.

However, I would give the upper hand to Ruger for its affordability and value.

But don’t count out the Glock just yet as it also has many to offer even for a Ruger person.

Conclusion: Which One Is Right For You?

The Ruger American could be the better choice for its sturdiness, easier target acquisition, more features.

However, the SR9 can be a great pickup for you if you want something more compact, and lightweight, that still feels durable and of high quality. 

The magazine disconnect is a standout innovation of the SR9, so that’s also something worth considering.

I personally choose to switch in and out between the two of them!

Before you make your decision, it would be best to compare them side by side and recognize your needs first.

After reading this article, I hope you can come to a conclusion and make an easy choice about which pistol is more suitable for you!

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