Gun Digest

Ruger Max-9 Micro-Compact Hits The Scene

Ruger takes on the micro-compact market with the affordable Max-9.

Offering greater capacity in a smaller package, it's of little surprise the micro-compact has proven so popular. Though, the rate at which companies have embraced the pintsized pistols. Fresh options appear, but not exactly at a breakneck pace—more like a steady drumbeat.

The latest to throw their hat into this growing niche is Ruger with its Max-9 micro 9mm. While it falls in line size-wise with others in its class and comes with the extras shooters have come to expect, it does differentiate itself from most of the competition in one decisive factor—capacity. While it doesn’t beat all, its 12-round magazine puts the Ruger Max-9 near the top in ultra-concealable pistol firepower. Along the way, it also delivers a fairly shootable package.

To this end, it’s the extended-capacity magazine that’s to thank for the Max-9’s manageability. Adding enough height to the grip, even shooter with large mitts generally can get their entire hand on the gun. Not quite so with the 10-round flush fit, which leaves the pinky dangling, but that’s to be expected. Additionally, Ruger does a solid job texturing the grip with a very positive pebble surface on the side panels and front and back straps that allots a strong purchase, but not at the expense of comfort.

As to the tale of the pistol’s tape, it measures 6-inches long, 1 inch in width, boasts a 3.2-inch barrel and weighs in at 18.4 ounces unloaded. By most people’s standards, that’s fairly compact, enough to stay undercover in light summer garb, but without having to compromise firepower.

Commonplace with most new pistols hitting the market—competitive and defensive alike—the Ruger Max-9 is optics ready. The striker-fired’s slide is cut to accept Shield SMS2, RMS, RMS2, RMSw, SMS, SMSc, and RMSc, Holosun 507k and 407k, Swampfox Sentinel, Crimson Trace 1500 Series, Sightmark Mini-Shot A-Spec M3, Hex Wasp, Sig Romeo-0, and Jpoint MRD micro red dot sights micro red-dots. It also features a day/night front sight and drift-adjustable rear that co-witness with Shield- or JPoint-pattern sights.

The Max-9 comes in three variants, including a 12+1 variant with external manual safety, a 10+1 model version with manual safety, and a 12+1 pistol without a manual safety. It features rugged construction thanks to a through-hardened alloy steel slide, a one-piece, precision-machined fire control chassis, and a glass-filled nylon grip frame. As to price, the Ruger Max-9 has an MSRP of $499 regardless of the model.

Max-9 Specs
Capacity: 12+1 or 10+1 rounds
Slide width: .95 inches
Sights: Tritium fiber optic front, drift adjustable rear
Barrel length: 3.2 inches
Magazines: 12+1 (1) and 10+1 (1), or 10+1 (2)
Overall Length: 6 inches
Weight: 18.4 ounces
Height: 4.52 inches
Twist: 1:10 inches
MSRP: $499

For more information on the Ruger Max-9, please visit

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