The Ruger EC9s is an incredibly affordable pistol that is touted to be designed around being a compact 9mm aimed at comfortable everyday carry. Various versions can be obtained for less than $300, with there being several distributor exclusives and limited-availability colors and patterns. The Ruger EC9s is considered by many to be an improvement over the LC9s, making it a perfect candidate for those who need a full-featured, full-powered concealed carry or backup pistol. The integrated sights that are machined directly onto the slide help compact the form factor even more.
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What Makes The Ruger EC9s A Popular Gun?
In terms of manageability, the Ruger EC9s is created to be a super-comfortable centerfire pistol without sacrificing power or price. It is only 6 inches long, and 4.4 inches tall before installing the 0.5-inch finger extension magazine baseplate. To get a little more room for medium-sized mitts, the extension baseplate brings the total height to 4.9 inches, still a highly convenient size. The Ruger EC9s is also designed for zero snags and reduced wear patterns on your holster. All edges and corners on the EC9s have been beveled to a smoothly rounded profile. This gives it a very smooth and sleek look and feels, while not affecting its safe draw and operation.
So What’s Not To Like?
The Ruger EC9s is an incredibly popular and powerful gun, so why are so many people having problems with them, and what is going wrong? While the EC9s is powerful, sleek, and reliable, there are some common issues that users experience that may frustrate those new to this Ruger line. When having some of the issues that are commonly being reported, inexperienced shooters and experienced shooters alike can become increasingly worried that they may have bought a lemon. This can be even more common with some of the problems that have more than one potential cause.
This isn’t necessarily the case, however. There are some common problems, but there are also some common solutions. In some situations, you may need to do a serious inspection of your gun to find out what the root cause is. In some extreme cases, the gun may need to be sent to Ruger directly to have the issue investigated and corrected.
We’re going to look at a handful of the most commonly reported problems with the Ruger EC9s, and how other shooters have fixed, worked around, or simply dealt with them. The problems range from issues with the firing cycle to potential hiccups when shooting a brand new gun, and some other occasional problems with fundamental functionality that may be dealbreakers for some people researching their next pistol.
1. Failure to Feed
Some users have reported feed issues that begin only after having owned the gun for a while and put several dozen rounds through it at a minimum. The symptoms are often seen when magazines are filled to capacity, and it is rarely or never encountered when using magazines that were only partially filled. These issues include both misfeeds as well as feed failures. In these situations, the users are often incredibly frustrated since the issue will occur randomly, regardless of the magazine make or the cleanliness of the gun.
This problem has been solved through a careful and well-lit inspection of the feed ramp and breech, making sure the bullet has a clean and smooth path. Occasionally, an inspection can reveal a machining inaccuracy in the c-shaped glide path. In some situations, there is a small degree of unevenness that leads to the round being shoved side to side, which eventually leads to a significant marring of the feed ramp.
The only fix for this is to replace the barrel entirely. Often Ruger will send a replacement barrel for free or offer free repairs if the problem can be illustrated with pictures for their customer solutions team. Users report that the replacement of the barrel does eliminate the problem completely.
2. Failure To Eject
Since the Ruger EC9s uses an external extractor, it can be a potential area of failure for a full ejection. In some cases, the ejector will become misaligned or otherwise deformed and will cause either a failure to eject or a jam.
For a detailed breakdown of how the defective extractor is diagnosed and repaired, watch other experienced shooters address the issue. Take a look at this video addressing extractor failure, as well as this one that shows the full repair.
3. New Gun Stovepiping
In some cases, new owners will experience a round that rotates during the feed cycle and orients itself vertically, causing a jam. This is referred to as a “stovepipe” and can be caused by several things. In new guns, it is nearly always caused by a failure to fully clean and oil the gun before its first use. Many times the gun will still have assembly lubricant present on its parts that can become sticky if left to sit for too long. Before the first use, this lube needs to be stripped from the moving parts of the gun. This means stripping the gun down, cleaning, and properly oiling it.
4. Slide Issues
There are reports of the slide being stuck closed in some situations. There are several causes for this, from slide lock deformation to a challenging safety indicator. This is one of the less common malfunctions, but it still happens enough that it has needed the Ruger shooting community to discuss it. For more information on a fix, take a look at this video which shows a common fix for a stuck slide lock.
5. Magazine Release Issues
One other commonly reported problem is that the magazine release fails to drop the magazine cleanly and without manual assistance. There are two different “feelings” that users report. In one version, it is reported that the magazine feels like it gets stuck or snagged on the release button, and in the other, there is a general feeling of additional friction or stickiness when releasing the magazine. For the first type of release delay, it may be an issue with the extremely close tolerances used in the construction of the Ruger EC9s that lead to the necessity of the button being pressed cleanly and from a particular angle for an easy release. Many users find the difficulty lies in their pressing the release button with slightly forward pressure, instead of perpendicular to the plane of the grip.
If this is the issue you are experiencing, try pressing the magazine release with a different form. First, be sure that your grip opposite your thumb isn’t pressing the button in an opposing direction. Rather than reaching your thumb forward and pressing the button on the way, set the pad of your thumb slightly ahead of the button, and press it as you bring your thumb back across the button. This will help you put pressure in a more perpendicular direction, allowing a cleaner release. If your magazine release issue feels more like there is just extra friction then you may have a spring issue. In some cases, the magazine release spring may not have the required tension to push the magazine out with enough force. The fix for this is to bend the v-shaped spring to be closer together by a marginal amount, often only 1/16th of an inch, to provide more tension to the inserted magazine. An alternative fix is reducing the tension on the magazine latch spring.
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