Ruger MAX-9 Pistol: Optics Ready Concealed Carry
The Ruger MAX-9 was one of the new guns of 2021. Designed for both EDC and concealed carry (which, let’s face it, should mostly be synonymous), the newest striker-fired Ruger 9 is optics-ready.
Read on for some details, updates, and news of accessory options.
Ruger 9: MAX-9 OK for EDC?
MAX-9 First Look
Kat Ainsworth, 31 MAR 21
In the world of self-defense, we’re always watching for the perfect answer to concealed carry. For many gun owners, this comes down to capacity. For others, it’s all about being tiny and highly concealable in non-permissive environments. This means when something new hits the market everyone turns an interested yet critical eye to its design and specifications in an attempt to decide whether it’s good for them.
Here’s the thing about EveryDay Carry (EDC) guns, though: there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all gun. What works ideally for your instructor or for your best range buddy may not work for you (what works for a gun writer might not work for you, either). There’s only one way to find out.
Check out the details of the newest concealed carry “Ruger 9”: the MAX-9.
The Ruger Max 9 is a striker-fired micro pistol chambered in 9mm. Its frame is noticeably lighter-weight than the slide thanks to its being made from high-performance, glass-filled nylon. The slide is through-hardened alloy steel with a black oxide finish. Through-hardened means the steel was rapidly quenched to give it consistent hardness from its surface to its core, a process that gives it greater durability and wear-resistance. Slide serrations are located at both the forward and rearward portions of the slide.
Other features include tritium sights, an optic-ready design with a removable plate, and a capacity of either 12 +1 or 10 +1 depending on the model. The Max 9 has an overall length of 6.0 inches, a height of 4.52 inches, and an empty weight of 18.4 ounces. It’s available with or without an external thumb safety.
Out of the box, the gun first appears to be a simple model: small black pistol, 9mm, recognizable Ruger grip texture. Once you take a closer look you realize it comes standard with a tritium fiber front sight and a drift-adjustable, blacked-out rear sight which takes care of our usual desire to change sights on our carry guns. Then there’s the removable plate that makes it optic-ready, something we wish more manufacturers would offer on all handguns, but especially those intended for concealed carry.
This gun has promise.
The weight of the slide is evenly distributed so even though the frame is much lighter than the slide it should be reasonably balanced. Then there’s the fact a heavier slide will negate felt recoil, minimize muzzle rise, and create the opportunity for better accuracy.
The texturing on the grip, which is quite similar to the texturing on the LCP2, will certainly give shooters a firm grip even with sweaty hands. And if you do choose the model with the external thumb safety you’ll find the safety is easy to manipulate without adjusting your grip whether your fingers are long or short.
The Ruger Max 9 is small enough to conceal well while remaining larger enough for a greater number of shooters with varying hand sizes to run it effectively. This doesn’t mean it’s the perfect gun for you but simply that it’s worth trying out.
Ruger has a history of producing pistols that become popular for their reliability and usefulness and the Max 9 seems poised to join the trusted ranks of that firearms family. Time and rounds sent down-range will tell. In the meantime, check out the specifications and images but be sure not to form an opinion without actually putting your hands on the gun for yourself. It has already been shipped to dealers, so go take a closer look. We think you’ll be glad you did.
Ruger MAX 9 Specifications
Capacity: 12 +1 or 10 +1 models
Slide Material: Through-Hardened Alloy Steel
Slide Finish: Black Oxide
Slide Width: 0.95-inches
Safety: Standard Model comes with External Thumb Safety; Pro Model comes without External Thumb Safety
Grip Frame: High-Performance, Glass-Filled Nylon
Barrel Material: Alloy Steel
Barrel Finish: Black Oxide
Barrel Length: 3.20-inches
Front Sight: Tritium Fiber Optic
Rear Sight: Blacked-Out, Drift-Adjustable
Magazines Included: One 12-round, one 10-round (with 12-round model)
Overall Length: 6.0-inches
Weight: 18.4 ounces, empty
Twist: 1-in-10 RH
MSRP: $499.00 (at the time of this writing)
MAX-9: Ruger’s Optics Ready Pistol for Concealed Carry
Stephanie Kimmell, 16 MAR 2021
Recent developments in the concealed carry handgun market lean toward obtaining higher capacities while maintaining concealability. There’s also been a fairly sweeping movement to get red dot sights on them, so more and more manufacturers are releasing their own Optic-Ready models. Well, Sturm, Ruger & Co. just announced a new handgun that checks all the boxes. The new Ruger MAX-9 steps right up as a higher-capacity, compact, optics-ready handguns for concealed carry.
Here’s how Ruger describes it:
The MAX-9—a pistol with all the features of a full-sized handgun in a size that is comfortable for everyday carry. Chambered in 9mm Luger, the Ruger MAX-9 has an impressive 12+1 capacity. It measures just 6” long, has a slide width of less than 1”, weighs 18.4 ounces, and is equipped with a 3.2” barrel.
The 10-round magazines fit into a comfortably sized, medium-textured grip and 12-round magazines not only provide additional capacity, but also increase the surface area of the grip. Standard models are available with an ergonomic and intuitive thumb safety that operates similarly to those found on 1911-style pistols, and Pro models are available without the external manual safety lever. All models feature an integrated trigger safety and a loaded chamber viewport that provides visual indication of a cartridge in the chamber.
“The Ruger MAX-9 is a game changer,” said Ruger President and CEO Chris Killoy. “With industry-leading features at a highly competitive price, this American-made handgun will provide a versatile option for consumers looking for a superior offering in the popular micro-compact market.”
Three Comp-TAC holsters for the Ruger MAX-9
Stephanie Kimmell, 22 APR 2021
With the recent release of Ruger’s MAX-9, owners on the lookout for a compatible holster might want to take a look at these. Comp-Tac just added three new Ruger MAX-9 fits for the Sport-TAC, Infidel Max, and Warrior holsters. And yes, they’re optics-compatible.
Comp-Tac general manager Gordon Carrell said, “As new weapons come out, Comp-Tac strives to expand their holster selection to match. The Ruger MAX-9 is the latest weapon released that is built to accommodate a micro red-dot sight. As we design and release new holsters, we make sure to accommodate the newest features. All the holsters for the MAX-9 come with optics compatibility. For concealed carry, range use, or even competition, we want our holsters to work with the most popular gear that is available.”
Here’s a look at the new holsters.
As described by the company, the Sport-TAC Holster is a hybrid, inside-the-waistband holster designed to comfortably carry a 4” handgun at the 4-5 o’clock position. The Sport-TAC features a 600D interlock padded backing that provides cushion and flexibility for extreme comfort, while the Kydex shell holds your handgun securely with adjustable retention.
The Infidel Max Holster is an all-Kydex IWB holster designed to be worn behind the hip at the 4 o’clock or 5 o’clock positions. With an easy-on, easy-off single clip, this holster is a favorite for users who want the ability to put on their gun or take it off as their environment changes.
The Warrior Holster is an outside-the-waistband holster that was recently tested and recommended by the National Training Officers Association (NTOA). The all-Kydex, pancake design is excellent for concealed carry or general range use.
These new holsters can be found at Comp-Tac. To easily find the holsters available for the Ruger MAX9, just use the “shop by gun” feature at the top of the website.
Stephanie Kimmell is the firstborn daughter of Missouri’s Pecan King, worthy scion of a Vietnam veteran sailor turned mad engineer-orchardist-inventor-genius. With a BA in technical writing, she freelances as a writer and editor. A Zymurgist greatly interested in the decoction of fermented barley and hops, she is in many ways a modern amalgam of Esther Hobart Morris, Rebecca Boone, and Nellie Bly. She hunts, fishes, butchers, and cooks most anything. When not editing or writing, she makes soaps and salves, spins wool, and occasionally makes cheese from cows she milked herself. Kimmell is a driven epistemophilic who loves live music and all sorts of beer.