Ruger MAX-9 DEALS
Video transcript below:
Today, we’re taking a look at the Ruger MAX-9, Ruger’s Micro-Compact 9 that holds 11 rounds.
I finally got my hands on a Ruger MAX-9. This is the last Micro-Compact 9 that I hadn’t shot. When I say Micro-Compact 9, I’m talking about pistols in this size but also have the higher round count like the Ruger MAX-9, the Springfield Armory Hellcat, SIG 365, and the Taurus GX4, I think that’s it.
There are other pistols this size, but they don’t have the higher round count. The 10+1, or 11+1 like these. So these are the only ones I’m talking about. So this is the Ruger MAX-9. It comes with a standard 10-round magazine giving you 11 rounds total when you’re carrying with one in the chamber, as you should if you’re carrying concealed. It also comes with a pinky extension which I put on the standard magazine right when I got it. That’s not part of the gun that may potentially print when I’m carrying concealed, so I always use a pinky extension on these size pistols so I can get a full grip.
It also comes with a 12-round extended magazine, giving you 13 rounds total. If I were to carry this gun concealed, I’d probably carry it with the extended magazine. My daily everyday carry gun is a Glock 48 with the Shield Arms 15-round mag. And as you can see, it’s roughly about the same size as the Glock 48 with the extended mag, and I have no problem concealing the Glock 48. So that’s probably how I would carry it to give me a couple of extra rounds.
One of the features I like the most about the Ruger MAX-9 line of pistols is that every single model is optic ready. So you don’t have to pick one or the other, and you don’t have to pay more for the optic ready model. I’ve said before, I think all concealed carry pistols should just come optic ready these days. And that’s what Ruger did here. That said, it seems to have a slightly different footprint than the Shield Sights RMSc footprint. I believe there’s 15 models of red dots that you can mount directly to the slide. And for this review, I use the Holosun 507K and let’s see if I can get this on camera.
So this is a Springfield Armory Hellcat, and this is the Ruger MAX-9. You can see the front recoil lugs are just slightly different shaped but also, it doesn’t have the rear recoil lugs, which that allows you to put the Holosun on it. And like I said, 15 other models, and I’ll pop that up on the screen here. So I think that’s pretty awesome. You don’t have to go out and buy a plate or anything or do any modifications. Like the Glock 48, you can modify the rear lugs to where you can mount the Holosun 507Ks to them.
For sights, you’ve got a drift adjustable blacked-out rear sight that also co-witnesses with your front sight with the red dot. And you’ve got a Tritium fiber optic front sight. Usually, something like that is an upgrade that you’re gonna have to pay more for but it comes standard with all MAX-9 models. You’ve got a through-hardened alloy steel slide that has serrations on the front and the rear and also has some corner cuts toward the front that probably cuts a little bit of the weight off. Looks kind of cool too. The barrel is 3.2 inches and hammer-forged, which might help with accuracy. Might be a little overkill for a pistol like this, but hey, I’ll take it. It also has a small hole in the top so you can check to see if the chamber is loaded or not. I like the grip on this gun.
When I first picked it up, it just feels thinner than some of the other pistols because it is slightly thinner, and it kind of just feels like a Ruger. I don’t know how to technically explain that, but it just kind of feels like a Ruger. I like it. I feel like it’s pretty streamlined, like everything’s pretty flat. You don’t have any bulges or anything, you have a small groove here for your fingers, but other than that, everything’s nice and flat compared to, say, the Hellcat. You’ve got some concave and some bulges for finger grooves and whatnot. Not that I don’t like the Hellcat, but I do like the feel of the Ruger. It feels very good in my hand. I like it.
You’ve got the skateboard kind of texture, microdot texture on the grips that a lot of guns are coming with. You’ve got that on the side, back, and front and the magazines also have it. So you’ve got that same grip on the front and a little bit on the sides. The trigger guard has an undercut to allow you to get your middle finger higher on the grip, which I like the way that feels. I was trying to look at some of the other pistols and see the differences. You notice it has an undercut. It goes up, and then it kind of tapers out. Unlike the Hellcat, you’ve got the finger groove, but it’s not as tapered as much. So I think that’s another thing that it feels good when it’s sitting on my knuckle versus the Hellcat, almost feels a little jammed in there. Again, don’t have a problem with the Hellcat, but I do like the feel of the Ruger MAX-9. It just feels really good in my hand. Pretty sure I said that already.
The controls on a Ruger MAX-9 are really nice. You’ve got a little minimal slide stop that’s sitting in this little pocket. It doesn’t bulge out too much, but it also is easy to hit. I didn’t have to go over the top to rack the slide back on a reload or anything, I was able to just quickly hit the slide stop. I’m probably running some video over the top of this, so you can see that. This model that I got sent does have the manual safety. If I were to carry this gun, I would choose the model that does not have the manual safety, and that model is called the pro model, same price, same exact features as this model, it just has a manual safety, and the other one doesn’t. Your magazine release is pretty minimal, too. It’s got a few serrations on it. I had no problem doing reloads with that. You can also swap it to the other side so that it’s ambidextrous.
Now on the left side, you’ve got your takedown pin, which is covered by this little takedown window. So the takedown process is a little different. You’ve got a little opening here on this side, so you need to have some kind of tool. They say like a paperclip or something like that. I used a little tiny hex bit, pushed it in through, and pull it out the other side. I’m not crazy about having to have a tool to take it down, but it’s not that bad once you just put that window down. But remember to put the window back up because I didn’t when I was first taking it down, and I was doing some dry firing, and the slide seized, and I was kind of trying to figure out what happened, and the window was down. And when I was doing dry fire, it worked the pin out just a little bit and stopped the slide from going back and forth. So just remember to keep that window up after you clean it, disassemble it, and put it back together.
And lastly, you’ve got some serrations on the front of the trigger guard. I guess for people that hold it with their index finger wrapped around that, I don’t shoot like that, so whatever, but it’s there if that’s how you shoot. So I’m gonna throw some specs on the screen here of how it compares to the other Micro-Compact 9s that I mentioned at the beginning of the article. As you can see, it’s on par with all the others, except the Hellcat, which has 11 rounds plus one. This is 10 plus one. The width, the height, and everything, the weight is all pretty much the same. It comes in at an MSRP of $559, which is a great price for the pistol and the features you’re getting. Again, you’re getting a Tridium front sight, it’s cut for an optic, you get a standard mag, you get a pinky extension, you get an extended mag, so not bad for $559.\
How Did the Ruger Max-9 Shoot?
I can say that I did have fun shooting this gun. It wasn’t too snappy. Some of these Micro-Compact 9s can be a little snappy, but I don’t know if I’m getting used to it or not, but it’s not that bad. You can see the results of the recoil meter test that I used with the Mantis X to see how far it went back and how quickly I got back on target. To do that, I just put a Mantis X adhesive adapter on the bottom of the plate and stuck my Mantis X on there. I will be doing a comparison video of all five pistols, so keep an eye out for that. Out of all the other Micro-Compact 9 pistols, I’ve shot the Hellcat a lot more, and I have to say, I like the way this shoots better than the Hellcat. As I said earlier, just feels better in my hand. I didn’t get to put it through the sweat test that I usually do since I’m down here in the New Orleans area. It was actually cool when I was at the range for a change. So I don’t think this gun’s gonna be jumping around in my hand if I’m sweaty or anything like that. As I said, it’s got pretty much the same texture like all the other new pistols have. So it shot really well.
I had zero malfunctions after shooting roughly about 500 rounds through it. Most of the ammo shot was Red Army Standard 115 grain full metal jackets, but I did shoot some other ammo like some Fiocchi and some other random hollow-point defensive rounds that I had with me, and I had zero issues zero malfunctions whatsoever. The accuracy was great. After I zeroed the red dot, I was shooting between seven and 15 yards, and accuracy was what you would expect from a Micro-Compact 9. I wasn’t doing any kind of 50-yard shots or anything like that because I would never be taking a 50-yard shot with a pistol like this, most likely.
Now, something I did notice about this after I got it home and took it apart and put it back together is it rattles. So at first, I thought something was wrong with it, or I put it back together wrong. But after a quick Google search, I found a Reddit thread, and that seems to be a normal thing on the Ruger MAX-9 and some of the other Ruger pistols. Some people reached out to Ruger customer support. They said the rattle’s normal due to tolerance, it doesn’t affect the performance at all, and the gun ran just fine. And if you have this thing in a holster, it’s not like it’s gonna be rattling around when you’re walking. So, to me, it’s not an issue at all. Just know that if you’re gonna pick one of these up.
So I would have no issues carrying this as a concealed carry pistol. I don’t think I would do any upgrades to it, I’d leave the sights the way they are. It’s already cut for an optic, so the only upgrade you would need, or you may not need, is putting a red dot on it. Like I said earlier, I would get the model without the manual safety, again, at the same price. So other than that, all you need to find is a good quality Kydex holster, and you’re good to go. I’d probably pick up a few more extended magazines ’cause, as I said earlier, I’d carry it with the extended magazine, so I’d at least have one more to carry as a spare magazine and then maybe two or three more for training because you wanna keep your training mag separate from your actual carrying mags.
And I think that’s gonna wrap up my review of the Ruger MAX-9. If you’re in the market for a Micro-Compact 9, I hope this review helps your buying decision. I don’t think you can go wrong with it, especially at the $559 price point and the features they give you for that price. And if you like this review, please leave a like, hit the Subscribe button while you’re down there, hit the bell to be notified of new videos, leave a comment, and all that stuff. That stuff really helps the video get out to more people and helps the channel, really appreciate it. And with that, I’ll see you in the next one.