I have reviewed a couple of Ruger pistols here before, the LCP and the SR9. I though both were very well made and decent firearms. I did state in both reviews that they appeared to be copies of pistols made by other companies. I never accused Ruger of blatantly ripping off its competition...but its getting harder not to lay that claim to their design team.
When Ruger made the announcement that they would be revealing their new offering last week a bunch of speculation arose on a post on the We The Armed boards I frequent about what it would be. I, personally, saw them announcing a 1911 pistol to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the 1911 .45 by the US Army. Some people claimed that they would copy Kel-Tec again. Those people got it right.
Meet the LC9, Ruger's response to the Kel-Tec FP-9..a slim, single stack 9mm designed specifically with the CCW crowd in mind. Spec wise, it pretty much is DNO with the PF-9. Cost wise, just like the LCP vs. PTA3 its gonna run you about a cool hundo more than the Kel-Tec offering. The Ruger LC9
Now the PF-9 has been on my radar as a possible replacement for the LCP if I ever decided that I needed the extra "oomph" that 9mm offers over .380 ACP in a pocket pistol. The problem is that I can't quite justify getting rid of such a small package as the LCP. It just carries everywhere so nicely. So I don't think that I would be in the market for the LC9 either...a small 9mm will most likely be found for me in the guise of a Glock G26 to keep all the horses in my stable of the same family.
Outwardly the LC9 resembles more of a beefed up LCP than a PF-9. The biggest differences visually are the lack of aggressive checkering used by the PF-9 and an internal - versus the external PF-9 style - extractor. I am sure there will be many more in depth comparisons in the near future between these 2 pistols.
I can only guess that Ruger must have one of the best patent busting lawyers in the business.
I can see already that the gun rags will LOVE this pistol and probably jump on the "must own" band wagon in their opinions. There will most likely also be a "cool" factor that will drive sales in the first few months anyway.
For me, the initial reaction is a resounding "MEH!". I do not see the LC9 as either the pistol I need to own right now or the "next handgun you must own"...however you want to put it.
And with Ruger's now comical reputation for recalls, I wouldn't be surprised if it was a safe bet to wait a while until any bugs get "worked out in real life scenarios by real people" before getting one. Besides, gun rag fan boys will probably snatch up the first batch like vultures on a wounded rabbit before you can get your hands on them anyway....