June 28, 2019 3 min read

When it comes to personal protection, it’s hard to outshine the versatile, rugged, and reliable line ofRuger pistolsavailable for concealed carry and home defense. 

Likewise, when it comes to further narrowing down a selection of the top four Rugers for self-defense among the vast selection that Ruger offers in personal defense weapons, we had our work cut out for us. Only the most universally loved, used, and dependable Ruger handguns made the cut.

1. Ruger SP101

Best Choice for New Pistol Owners

Falling in line with Ruger’s philosophy, the SP101 is one of the most robust yet affordable revolvers on the market, and it offers extreme value for its price.

The perfect choice for new or novice shooters, the Ruger SP101 is a double action pistol that is easy to learn to shoot. Despite its compact frame, the handgun is substantial without being too heavy, weighing in at around one pound and 9.1 ounces.

The .357-chambered barrel measures in at 2.35 inches and consists of an all-steel frame and cylinder, which is where this snubbie gets its heft. Because of its short barrel, the SP101 offers a 4-inch sight radius and, while even slight movements during firing equate to big movements down range, the sight radius remains impressive for a snub-nose.

Because it is specifically designed for concealability, the SP101 makes an excellent choice for concealed carry with your Ruger holster.

2. Ruger GP100 

Best Choice for Home Defense

When it comes to finding the perfect gun for home defense, homeowners are typically looking for two things: reliability and stopping power. In both of these departments, the Ruger GP100 is the standout choice.

A more sizeable and powerful-looking revolver than the SP101, the GP100 is Ruger’s answer to the need for a modern revolver that does not require the cumbersome barrel length that is typically required to handle .44 magnum rounds.

Featuring the quintessential Ruger brushed satin finish and absolutely no other embellishments, the GP100 is a brutish handgun that gets the job done with its large, entirely unfluted cylinder which, unlike other L-shaped models, only holds five rounds.

For a wheel gun, it is a surprisingly fast and accurate shooter, largely due to its wide Hogue Monogrip handle, which affords less felt recoil for its handler. The GP10o offers one of the best factory sights available on a revolver, including both a fully adjustable rear sight and a fiber optic front sight.

3. Ruger LC9s

Ruger LC9s

Best Choice for Women

Moving away from revolvers to Ruger’s selection of striker-fired pistols, the LC9s cannot be ignored when it comes to finding a high-quality pistol at a reasonable price.

The seven-round single stack magazine makes for a slim, compact profile that can easily be concealed for concealed carry and makes an excellent choice for women, as its smaller grip is designed for use by those with a smaller frame or smaller hands.

The next generation of Ruger’s popular LC9 model, the LC9s benefits from improvements made to the trigger design for better accuracy and control. This includes a hammer-fired double-action-only setup that offers an incredibly smooth take-up and a smooth break when firing.

Because of its comparatively diminutive size for a 9mm pistol, it makes an excellent carry for women to utilize in close encounter self-defense situations. 

4. Ruger SR9C

Ruger SR9C

Best Choice for Concealed or Open Carry

When it comes to Ruger pistols, the Ruger SR9C is a favorite among seasoned open and concealed carriers for various reasons and, as a compact striker-fired pistol, it may just replace your old standby as your new primary carry gun.

A striker-fired compact model, it is one of the thinnest and concealable double-stack handguns available on the market, with a grip that measures in at no more than 1.18 inches in thickness. With an overall length of 6.85 inches, a barrel length of 3.5 inches, and a height of 4.61 inches, the SR9C weighs in at just 23.4 ounces—a universally manageable weight for most carriers.

One of the unique features of SR9C is its multi-layer safety mechanism system, which includes an internal bar trigger interlock, a magazine disconnect, a loaded chamber indicator on top of the slide, and an ambidextrous manual thumb safety.

Finally, the SR9C’s incredibly streamlined and simple design makes for a firearm that is exceedingly simple to strip and clean—an absolute must for everyday carry.

The Takeaway

Deciding on which handgun to use as your personal protection firearm is a big choice. After all, it’s about a lot more than choosing a gun that will look good: It’s about choosing the gun that you feel most comfortable reaching for and relying on when a situation turns dangerous.

If the handgun you are reaching for is a Ruger, you can rest assured that you are reaching for one of the most dependable, robust, high-quality brands on the market today.

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