How to Operate a 9 mm Ruger Pistol

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Established in 1949, Ruger has been a reliable manufacturer of 9mm handguns for decades. If you own a Ruger 9mm, it is imperative you understand how to fully operate your handgun. A Ruger in the hands of an owner who fully understand how to operate it can be a great tool for sport or self-defense. A Ruger in the hands of an untrained operator becomes a danger to everyone around. Take the time to understand your Ruger and these basic operating instructions. The Ruger uses a double/single action firing mechanism, with a decocker/safety, which means that the first shot is double action, and subsequent shots are single action. Engaging the safety also decocks the pistol, rendering it safe for carry.

Items you will need

  • Quality 9mm ammunition

  • Target

Loading Instructions

Move the safety in to the safe position. Make sure the letter S and the white dot are fully visible. The safety lever can be operated from both the left and right sides of the gun. on most Ruger 9mm guns the safety is found on the slide, near the hammer.

Load a magazine with the appropriate number of bullets for it's size. For a typical Ruger 9mm this will mean no more than ten rounds.

Slide the magazine into the well in the handgrip of your Ruger 9mm. The magazine should lock into place, and you will hear a click when this happens.

Firmly hold your Ruger in your shooting hand, but keep your finger away from the trigger. Point the gun in a safe direction. With the thumb and forefinger of your other hand, grab the rear of the slide and pull it back as far as it will go. When the slide is all the way back, release it and it will slide forward, loading a round in the chamber.

Firing Instructions

Engage the safety, which will also decock the gun. Point the gun towards the target and keep it pointed there at all times. Keep your finger off of the trigger until you are absolutely ready to fire.

Slide the safety into the firing position by pushing the safety lever up until the red dot is fully exposed.

Place your finger on the trigger. A Ruger 9mm does not need to be cocked in order to fire. It has a double-action mechanism, allowing you to fire the gun by fully depressing the trigger.

Slowly depress the trigger until the gun fires. Don't pull the trigger or your aim will be off. Instead use a smooth press. Keep this old adage in mind: Slow is smooth and smooth is fast. After the first shot, subsequent shots will require less effort, as they will be fired in single action mode.

After firing always return the safety to the safe position by pressing the safety lever downward. Engaging the safety on a Ruger 9mm will decock the gun. The hammer will fall, but the firing pin is blocked, so no round will fire.


  • Keep the safety on and your finger off of the trigger until you are absolutely ready to fire
  • Always point your Ruger 9mm in a safe direction or at the target at all times


  • Use high quality ammunition in your Ruger, as poor ammo can cause a jam or malfunction.
  • As with any firearm, read the manual. If you bought the gun used, contact Ruger and they will send you a manual. See the reference for the address.
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