In 2011 –100 years after the introduction of the 1911, Ruger entered the 1911 market of which many believed already to be saturated. Ruger proved there was still room for another mass produced 1911 on the market with great sales of it’s SR1911 which I previously reviewed http://www.dayattherange.com/?p=1612 and conducted Ransom Rest test http://www.dayattherange.com/?p=1660
Two years later Ruger again surprised us by entering the 1911 Commander market. This 65 years after the Government conducted testing to issue military officers a lightweight combat pistol. The original offering had the frame made of hardened aluminum from Colt in 3 offerings 9mm, 38Super and 45ACP. Ruger in it’s offering remained with the 45ACP cartridge. Call me old fashion but Ruger also stuck with good old American steel for the frame which makes it a bit heavier than the original Colt offering, but there’s magic when holding cold steel in 1911 ergonomics. The frame made of 415 Steel investment casting and the slide from 415 CNC machined bar stock is a perfect match, to form the beautiful Ruger Commander 1911.
The Ruger SR1911 CMD’s high-profile fixed sights are dovetailed to slots in the slide and can be adjusted for windage zero, if necessary. The slightly front-tapered, blade-type front sight has a single white dot which is easy to pickup in the day time. The rear sight is a Novak Lo-Mount-style sight sporting two white dots again great for daylight shooting. If your intent is for a carry pistol which may require use in any light condition it is my recommendation to replace the sights with night sights. This is easily done, Ruger used standard style dovetail cuts in the slide.
Moving to the frame the checkered magazine catch/release is a high profile, tactical type. The beavertail steel grip safety has a slight bump on the bottom to insure a positive disconnect in highlyy stressful situations. The beavertail grip safety is nicely fitted and entirely cups the hammer to prevent “hammer bite” and permit as high a grip as possible. This high grip aides in recoil control allowing for quicker follow up shots.
Many 1911 manufacturers have resulted to using polymer main spring housing but not Ruger. The Ruger flat mainspring housing is made of steel, and bolsters attractive checkering of 25 lines per inch (lpi). The front strap is smooth or uncheckered, this would be the one feature I would change. My guess is Ruger as a cost reducing effort decided on keeping the front of the frame uncheckered. The magazine well has been beveled to ease insertion of magazines.
Ruger continued the original 1911 design and the commander followed the same design as it’s bigger brother by utilizing the series 70 specification with a slight twist. The Ruger SR1911 and SR1911CMD uses a titanium firing pin and an extra heavy firing pin return spring to help hold the firing pin back. Titanium in itself is very strong but light weight and by itself probably does not have the mass to set off the primer causing the pistol to fire if dropped. The extra heavy return spring is added insurance. Both of Ruger’s 1911 models do passe the drop test. I myself was glad to see Ruger follow the Series 70 design without the firing pin block that of the Series 80 design. It is my experience that out of the box a Series 70 design will have a better trigger pull and feel than that of a Series 80 and this 1911RugerCMD out of the box sported a 3 1/2 pound trigger pull as measured by my RCBS Trigger pull guage.
Accuracy of the SR1911CMD was nothing less than outstanding. The accuracy was tested with a Ransom Rest at 25 yards outdoors, 42degree weather in 17mph winds. After running 50 rounds of 45ACP through the SR1911CMD utilizing different magazines, Chip McCormick, Trip Research and the Ruger magazines accompanied with it. I experienced no failures and mounted it in the Ransom Rest with a 7 shot magazine, utilizing reloaded ammunition 230gr Berry’s Plated on top of 5.0gr of W231.
The SR1911CMD comes in a hard paperbox with all the manuals, 2 magazines sporting the Ruger logo, 1911 Barrel bushing wrench and a nice black gun rug with the Ruger name embroidered on the outside.
Like it’s big brother the full sized SR1911, the SR1911CMD is an excellent pistol and a great value. There are no plastic parts on this pistol, the barrel is “U” cut to make for easy chamber loaded identification and the throat was nicely polished. Having served the majority of my life in the United States Marine Corp I have an affection for American made products, and this I am very proud to say is fully made and assembled in the U.S.A. and lives up to my expectations, nicely done Ruger.