A question of purity

As the gap closes between the start of The Quest for Master Class and myself, I’m faced with a difficult question.  As I asked on my Facebook fan page (sign up!) the Ruger SR9c that I’ll be shooting comes with two types of magazines.  The first magazine is a flush fitting 10 round magazine.  This doesn’t add any length to the grip of the pistol, and is definitely easier to conceal.  My other option is to use the 17 round magazines that are normally designed for the SR9 full size.  When used with the grip adapter, these add about an inch and a half to the length of the grip of the SR9c.  They really make the gun easier to hold on to, and since I’ll be shooting this gun in competition will definitely make the gun more controllable in fast shooting.

Here’s my ethical dilemma though.  I’m going to carry the gun in the exact same condition that I shoot it in competition.  That means that if I’m shooting the big mags in competition, then I’m carrying the big mags.  The issue arises in that I feel like using the big mags is partially subverting the whole point of the exercise – which is to prove that you can not only compete, but compete at a high level with your carry gear.  I kind of feel like using the big mags with their extended and easier to hold grip isn’t in the spirit of that exercise.

But it’s not my decision to make – the Quest for Master Class is about what you want to see, so I’ll put the question to you guys.  Should I use the compact 10 round mags, or use the 17 round magazines with the extension?  Both types of magazine come with the pistol and are viable carry options, so the decision is yours!  You can either comment here or go to my Facebook fan page and leave a comment.


  1. Damn Caleb, you’re doing my homework for me.

    Here’s what I’m thinking when I get my baby Glock: it gets carried, and therefore concealed, with the 10 round magazine in the gun. The spare mags in the pouch will be the bigger mags (17 rounders) with grip extensions.

    My reasoning for this is that I’m purchasing the gun for concealment because of the shorter grip length. If I go to bigger mags, it means I could have just bought a bigger gun. I use the local competitions to practice with what I carry, so I need to have that short mag in the gun when it clears leather at the range.

    I think theres a saying going, “practice with what you carry”. If you aren’t going to carry with the long mags, then you don’t get to practice with them.

  2. What Freiheit said. Practice and competion with what you carry, the way you carry.

  3. If it were me, I’d have the shorty in the gun, but I’d be reloading with big mags. That’s how I’d carry it on the street, too. More bullets are almost universally a good thing.

  4. Freiheit is correct. Carry 10 rounder loaded and 17 rounder as spare. I carried a Glock 26 which I bought used so it came with a 10 round mag and a 15 round Glock 19 mag with a sleeve thing. I’d carry the gun loaded with the 10 rounder when I left the house but I’d load the 15 rounder when I got home and was carrying it around the house or when I left it on the night stand when I went to bed.

  5. Are there any options in between? My m&p compact came with one flush mag and 3 with pinky extensions. Those are long enouh for you whole hand, but not as long as the fullsize mags. There’s a similar accessory for glock mags.

  6. Use the 10 round mags, reload with the 17 (if that is allowed, I don’t know the rules). Alternate between the two if possible.

    1. The gun is really designed to be carried with 10, and 17 on the reload. You should probably test it that way.

    2. It would be a good test of your abilities, which in part is what this is all about: Can you transition from the short to full grip, and back again? Can you do that while under the stress of a ticking clock?

    3. I imagine you’ll come out on the other side with some really helpful insight for your readers.

  7. I like the way you guys are thinking on this issue; we’ll have to see how it works out in competition.

  8. Late to the party, but here’s my take. What’s your goal? To get to Master Class? If so, do what will get you there. If it’s to get more proficient with carry related scenarios, then you need to do that which would make you better, even if it hurts your Quest.

    Or you could try a little of both, randomly arranging reloads so that you’re picking either the short or long mags…

  9. Seriously? These are the things that keep you up at night? *eye roll*

  10. It does not matter which mag you use. You have a medium size body so using the short mag makes the weapon more concealable for you. Someone with a larger body and hands would probably use the larger mag but the weapon would be just as concealable on their larger body as the smaller mag’ed weapon on yours. The data you gather is still valid

  11. Seriously? These are the things that keep you up at night? *eye roll*

    No, the stuff that keeps me up at night are dreams of zombie velociraptors. That’s some scary stuff. I mean a velociraptor is scary, and a zombie is scary, but a freakish, shambling raptor with a lust for human brains that feels no pain? That will keep anyone up at night.

  12. “I’m going to carry the gun in the exact same condition that I shoot it in competition.” Why?

    “Practice how you carry.” Why again?

    Don’t wrap yourself around the axle trying to do everything the exact same way. If you’re going to compete with the SR9c, then compete to win. If you’re going to carry the same gun, make whatever changes you need to carry it effectively.

    Were it me, I would probably use the 10rd. magazines with the factory pinkie extensions. Those grip sleeves can give you a hell of a blood blister during fast reloads…


  13. One might think that if you are going to use this in competition you might shave a few seconds off your time doing fewer mag changes and in real life you may need those extra rounds to stop someone on enough cocane or whatever that is Now because of the drugs 8 foot tall and bullet proof.
    Actually magazines are quite cheap, one came with the gun ,buy one of the other and see how things go between the two.

  14. I totally agree on carrying what you compete with.

    I carry 18+1 (in .40 S&W) with a 18 round magazine spare. I purchased two 22 round magazines to carry as spares and for practice (can’t use them for Limited in USPSA) but they weren’t reliable.

    But I’m a little larger than you and it isn’t difficult for me to conceal it.

  15. As others have said, I carry with the smaller of my magazines in the firearm, and the larger as a spare – works well for me, though I confess to not using the absolute smallest magazine available to the PPS (I hate dangling pinkies).

    All that said, if you are actually going to carry the gun with the 17-rounder in place, go for it. But if you are just going to do so in order to compete with the 17-rounder, go with the 10. I have seen both flush-fit and extended mags “out in the wild”, and it all seems to depend on the person and carrying location as to how well they work.

  16. Wouldn’t a zombie velociraptor hunger for velociraptor brains?

    Actually, that would be a pretty useful line of defense against attacking velociraptors. The zombie raptors could thin the herd (pack? gaggle? murder?), or help buy you time to escape.

  17. Caleb, it’s about what is comfortable for you. If you can carry it comfortably with the full size mag then fine, if you can’t then go with the flush fitting mag.

    You can only leave so much up to us, in the end it’s you who is carrying this gun.

    That is what I (myself) would do. If I decided to run it with the flush fitting mags though I would get the finger extension floorplates for them.

  18. My other option is to use the 17 round magazines that are normally designed for the SR9 full size. When used with the grip adapter, these add about an inch and a half to the length of the grip of the SR9c. They really make the gun easier to hold on to, and since I’ll be shooting this gun in competition will definitely make the gun more controllable in fast shooting.

    A larger grip will make the SR9c more controllable in a life-or-death shooting situation, too. This doesn’t have to be an either/or scenario.

  19. Don’t carry a gun with a magazine disconnect. So much can make that gun go brick on you.

    Solve that HUGE issue first THEN work with the minor issue of what box to stuff in the gun.

    I’ll say right now, you’ve already had to pull that wussy .25 you used to have, and it might have saved your life. A small gun, in a pocket holster that took (what you felt) was too long to draw.

    The bottom line is have a gun that will work and you shoot well on you at all times. If you can conceal the bigger mag (or a bigger gun entirely) carry that. If you can’t but can carry the smaller mag easily, carry that. If neither, get your Ruger buddies to spot you an LCR, and while you carry it, shoot the everloving piss out of it as an endurance challenge so we can see if they hold up as well as a more conventional lightweight revolver.

  20. I just purchased the SR9c. Call it a Father’s Day gift. I plan to carry it with the 10 round mag and use the 17 as a back up. This makes sense to me. I have about 150 rounds thru it and love the way it shoots. I won’t sell my S&W 357 (640) but the SR9c will most likely be my main carry gun. Need to find a good IWB holster.

  21. cjrmultigun,

    “I’m going to carry the gun in the exact same condition that I shoot it in competition.” Why?

    “Practice how you carry.” Why again?

    I realize this is all academic to the denizens of crabcakeland, but out here in actual CCW-World, those of us who tote heaters like to practice with them, and even came up with this gun game called “IDPA” which has obviously since been overrun with gamer faggotry… 😉

    Hey, if he wants to game and wants to play the game to win, why not just get a G34 and stop wasting time with this SR9c nonsense?

  22. As another has said, “I’m late to the party.”

    Carry with the shorty mag, reload from the extended ones.

    To avoid the life-threatening blood blister if you pinch yourself slamming the extended mag with the adaptor sleeve on it, break the top edge of the sleeve, so it’s undercut a millimeter or two back from the outer circumference. More, if you can do it without compromising the “stop” function of the sleeve. I haven’t looked at one of the sleeves in question. Keep in mind you only need ONE good contact point on the sleeve to act as an overinsertion stop.

    Weerd Beerd is 100% correct on the mag disconnect, EXCEPT, I believe that making that alteration while running the test would invalidate your results. If it malfs or fails to fire (the mag disconnect working the way it’s supposed to IS NOT a malfunction) during the test in a manner directly attributable to the disconnect, then you can declare the gun a fialure in it’s current iteration, and move on. I suspect that you may run into problems in competition — isn’t deactivating a “safety” a DQ offence?

    But for personal carry when you AREN’T doing it for product review? Dumping that “cop-killer” magazine disconnect is a must. (Deliberately chose that phrase. . . maybe we can get Congress to go into PSH over the idea of “cop killer magazine disconnects that INTENTIONALLY disable an officer’s gun right when he needs it most!!!eleventy!!!” and get those abominations buried for good. {grin})

    For some strange reason, the magazine disconnects on GP35s tend to fall out approximately ten minutes afeter crossing the threshold to my house. . . damndest coinicidence you ever saw — it’s happened on at least five occaisions I can recall. I’ve got a little ZipLoc baggie full of them somewhere. Same thing happens to Series 80 Colts, but it takes longer. I’ve got a baggie full of Series 80 guts around here somewhere too. . . luckily the shims I installed in teh hammer group don’t fall out, and Series 70 firing pins work just fine afterwards!

  23. Geodkyt, actually I first started hating Mag Disconnects thanks to a cop. He mentioned how easy it is when packed into a modern cruiser with all the bells-whistles, and laptops and other things with your officer friendly belt on, how easy it is to bump your mag release JUST ENOUGH to take pressure off the disconnect. He showed me how the mag would LOOK seated, and stay put, but the gun was a brick.

    He said that was even worse if you drew the short straw and got the Impala!

  24. I shan’t be disabling the magazine disconnect, sadly. The point of the whole test is to shoot master class with an absolutely bone stock concealed carry gun. It’s going to test my skills behind the trigger.

    Tam’s absolutely right, if I wanted to just whack the classifier, I’d buy an M&P .40 longslide and a bunch of Cor-Bon match ammo and just have at it.

  25. If It was me, I’d use the compact mag, so I’d be able to use what’s easier to carry.

  26. Weerd,

    My issue with mag disconnects had to do with a police shooting, where the officer was doing a “tactical reload” and dropped the magazine he had in his hand.

    Then the Bad Guy popped around the corner, so the officer no longer had cover OR a functional firearm.

    Thus he had one round chambered, a Bad Guy (who was dealing with his own weapon problem; I don’t recall if it was a malf or he’d himself run empty) at close range, and it definately qualified as a Bad Day.

    IIRC, the officer managed to snatch another mag off his belt and get the gun up and running, but ONLY because the goblin wasn’t able to just turn the corner blazing.

    In comparison, the ONLY justification ‘ve heard for a mag disconnect that made any kind of sense was “Well, if I end up in a wrestling match and I think he’s gonna get the gun away from me, I can thumb the mag out and disable the gun!” Seems kind of weak and a long shot, compared to havig your gun quit working when either the mag falls out (as it is designed to do if that button gets punched) or the extra parts decide that “Today is a Good Day to Die!” and just break.

    Um. . . no thanks. I’ll stick with guns that work fine as single loaders if need be.

    I’ll hold off on an SR9C (or any future SR40) until I find out how to disable the mag disconnect WITHOUT reducing reliability even farther. Much as I really think that Ruger hit a winner on this family of pistols otherwise.

  27. Disabling the mag disconnect is actually very easy and doesn’t hurt reliability. I have a post up here somewhere on how to do it.

  28. Found it, thanks! Looks like a very simple design, easy to remove (for cleaning, of course. . . yup, yup. . . )

    OK, I’ll be looking more closely at an SR9c if it passes the “No-Drama Llama” test. . .

  29. 10 round mag from the holster, then 100 rd. CMAG for the reload from hell?

    I know, they don’t exist. But it’s a fun mind movie!

    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

  30. Saw a Youtube vid of a guy shooting a GLOCK that had a C-mag in it. I believe it was an MP5 C-mag that had been modified. Maybe someone should try it for the SR9.

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