American Rifleman - April 2021 - 40

COVER STORY

HIGH
MARKS

Ruger's MAX-9
odern Ruger semi-automatic pistols, and
to that group I shall include the justintroduced MAX-9, don't quite fall into
the late Rodney Dangerfield's " I don't get no
respect " category, but I think it is fair to say
that they do not receive the full faith and credit
they deserve.
While Ruger has its fans, and I count myself
among them along with the NRA-affiliated Ruger
Collectors Ass'n, the company's pistols don't have
legions of " fan boys " eagerly willing to gobble up
and gush over even the most minor variation with
gusto. No, Ruger semi-automatic pistols, all made
in the USA, of course, actually need to compete
on the bases of features and price. Often when
Ruger enters a category, its actual price will be
lower than that of competitive designs, and that
is based typically upon volume and manufacturing efficiency. In case you were wondering, that
efficiency also occurs as Ruger's engineers are
designing the guns to be manufactured. When
you make a lot of things very well-which might
as well be plastered above the door on your way
into a Ruger factory-you can afford to keep the
price competitive.
Such is the case with the new MAX-9, which
delivers the en vogue increased capacity of
a 10- or 12-round magazine in a gun that is
still small and light enough to be carried in a
pocket-albeit a man-size pocket.
For Ruger, it appears that nothing is as easy
as it seems. The intent with the MAX-9 was to
simply take the top of the affordable and proven
LC9 and mate it with a slightly wider grip frame

40

APRIL 2021

that accepts a double-to-single-column magazine
rather than the LC9's seven-round, single-stack
box. In the end, though, Ruger engineers tinkered with and upgraded the parts and features,
and ended up with a pistol with surprisingly
few, if any, interchangeable parts to its parent.
It may not be a completely new design, but the
parts for it sure are.
This is a recoil-operated, striker-fired, 9 mm
Luger pistol that measures 5.95 " long and either
4.69 " or 4.95 " tall, depending on which magazine
is in the gun, which we will get to in a moment.
The grip area of the black, glass-filled-nylon
frame is 0.955 " wide and 1.91 " front to rear. But
there are some very subtle ergonomic touches to
it. The beavertail at the frame's rear sits pretty
high, allowing the shooter to get the web of
the hand well into the gun. On each side there
are slight thumb rests that taper from 0.955 "
to 0.893 " . There are also panels of stippling on
either side-into which the Ruger name and
logo are molded-and the stippling isn't terribly
aggressive. Panels are also on the frontstrap and
backstrap. The trigger guard is undercut at its
base to allow the middle finger to ride just a little
higher on the frame.
In terms of width, the gun measures 1.04 " at
the safety (because the Pro model lacks a manual
safety it is a bit narrower), 0.94 " at the slide and
1.06 " at the widest point of the frame (the magazine release). All controls are on the left side of
the frame.
The MAX-9 includes a slide lock between the
takedown pin and safety, and the gun locks back
AMERICAN RIFLEMAN



American Rifleman - April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - April 2021

Contents
American Rifleman - April 2021 - Cover1
American Rifleman - April 2021 - Cover2
American Rifleman - April 2021 - 1
American Rifleman - April 2021 - Contents
American Rifleman - April 2021 - 3
American Rifleman - April 2021 - 4
American Rifleman - April 2021 - 5
American Rifleman - April 2021 - 6
American Rifleman - April 2021 - 7
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American Rifleman - April 2021 - 40
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