In the 100th Year Birthdate of the 1911 many manufacturers have decided to test their skills at entering the 1911 market. At the beginning of 2011 many internet forums and gun magazines were a buzz asking and speculating if Ruger would enter the 1911 market. Though a crowded market many felt the reputation of Ruger behind a 1911 would win many hearts. Ruger known for it’s well made stout revolvers and no thrills but always reliable semi-auto’s decided to make this leap into the 1911 market, and they did it with a big bang (no pun intended, well maybe a little). Upon the first site of the Ruger SR 1911 my breath was taken away and my heart won. I looked high and low scouring the internet many late nights looking to get my hands on this stainless steel sleek beauty. The 1911 100 year old design is a beauty in itself and I never thought Ruger could produce such a specimen. I love Ruger firearms but they are not known for their beauty, they are known for their reliability and strength, just place this matte stainless finished SR1911 next to a Super Redhawk and you will understand. One of the most important facts which won my heart is the fact that this 1911 is Made Completely in the USA in Rugers casting facility, unlike many US based companies importing frames from Brazil and other parts of the world. After countless hours I managed to get my hands on this beauty in Oct 2011 after almost giving up hope, I also understand Ruger is about 30,000 behind in orders at this time which shows there is a very big demand for the SR1911. Though no one at Ruger would confirm this number for me.
I told you all this pistol is attractive, with it’s matte stainless finish on the slide and frame with black finished accents Beavertail Grip Safety, Slide Stop, Mainspring Housing and Thumb Safety makes this one of the most attractive stainless 1911’s on the market. As you can see Ruger shy’d away from many add on features you often see on a lot of 1911’s today. You won’t find a Tactical Rail, Ambi-Safety or front slide serrations. For the most part Ruger stayed with the original John Moses Browning blueprint when designing this beauty. Though most of the SR1911 is original you won’t find the swartz system firing pin block at all on this 1911. Most 1911’s utilize the swartz model 70 type system which utilizes the grip safety to disengage the firing pin block or some have gone to the series 80 system which has never won the hearts of the true 1911 fanatics. In fact Ruger went with no firing pin block at all instead utilizing a light titanium firing pin with a heavy firing pin spring. Though this setup passes the industry standard drop test, it will be interesting to see how the California market receives it or not since there is no firing pin block or loaded indicator.
The Ruger SR1911 is packaged inside of a white cardboard box with most of the normal accessories one would expect to find, a very detailed manual, bushing barrel wrench, fired casing, two magazines one 7 round and one 8 round. But Ruger goes a little further by including a nice black gun rug with the Ruger name embroidered on the outside. Most intriguing to me is the very large red and white card stating if you register your firearm online with Ruger you will receive a some sort of special offer. I did place a call to Ruger to try and find out what this special offer was only to be told in a very nice polite way register your firearm and find out what the surprise is. So if anyone knows or cares to share what the surprise is let us know.
When John Moses Browning created the 1911 there is no doubt he created the best fighting handguns of all times as evident by its 100 year anniversary and still selling strong. As we have seen there is no doubt Ruger did an outstanding job on the fit and finish on the SR1911 but is it capable of continuing the 1911 legacy? Let’s start with the SR1911 field stripped after our 250 round range evaluation.
As seen in the picture above the SR1911 comes with Browning’s original short guide rod, plunger and bushing. There have been many debates and friendships ended over the topic of the full length guide rod. Many argue the full length guide rod adds great accuracy and those on the other side argue a full length guide rod brings about unreliability. I was one who once argued against full length guide rod’s most foolishly because Mr. Browning knew what he was doing, and if a 1911 was supposed to have a FLGR then he would have included it. I know now from experience that if manufactured and put together right a full length guide rod 1911 is just as reliable as can be seen in some of the 1911 reports on this site. During Rugers manufacturing process it mills the barrel and bushing all from the same steel bar stock which assist with ensuring a better fit. As can be seen in this photo as well the skeletonized trigger breaks at a smooth 5 pounds according to my RCBS trigger gauge.
The barrel to bushing fit is not the only tight fit pieces of the SR1911. The SR1911 also has one of the best slide to frame fits I have seen on mass produced 1911’s, not only is it tight it is very square as John Moses Browning intended it to be. Some 1911’s may have a tight fit but you may notice round corners on the frame when examining them from the rear, not the SR1911. As also can be seen the SR1911 comes with LoProfile 2 dot rear site.
Having spent 3/4’s of the time commenting on the great sleek beautiful lines of SR1911 this review would be greatly insufficient if we do not comment on it’s fighting and defensive capabilities. Is the Ruger SR1911 worthy of continuing on the legacy of arguably the best fighting handgun the world has ever known?
All test were conducted at an indoor range utilizing 100 rounds of Winchester white box ammunition and 150 rounds of my reloaded ammunition utilizing X-treme 230gr round nose projectiles. The winchester white box was utilized to break in the SR1911 and the reloads were used for accuracy testing. Though I am very excited to report there were no malfunctions during this evaluation.
I assure you the Ruger SR1911 is way more accurate than I. Here lately in a number of my reviews and shooting I notice I have been pushing the trigger left versus having a steady slow pull straight to the rear. I continue to work to try and understand and figure out why I have started this all of a sudden.
This last target I wanted to experiment a little with speed and sight acquisition. I loaded both magazines with 5 rounds a piece, ran the target out to 25 yards with the intent of utilizing rapid fire and a reload. I was going to attempt to pull the trigger as fast as the SR1911 would recover on target and my eyes could clearly see the front sight.
So ask yourself would you want to be a bad guy looking down the barrel of the SR1911? Though only 250 rounds were fired I believe Ruger has proved itself as a viable 1911 builder. Their first endeavor the SR1911 has proved capable of continuing the tradition of the best fighting handgun this world has seen in 100 years. Ruger is making their mark as innovators in the firearms industry with introductions of the LCP and LCR. With the introduction of the SR1911 Ruger has carried forward tradition which gives the 1911 purist an affordable, beautiful firearm to treat themselves to in celebrating with the rest of us the 100th year birthdate of the 1911.