Review: Ruger SR1911 10mm Handgun

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The .45 ACP may be the go-to cartridge the 1911 program is known for, but lately, 9 mm appears to be garnering the lion’s share of attention. In fact, in 2016 Ruger went along with the 9 mm’s popularity by delivering its SR1911 in 9 mm, Although the pistol was well-done, it wasn’t until 2017 that the organization stepped up with an SR1911 that immediately caught my attention: the Ruger SR1911 in 10 mm.

Specifications:

Weight 43 oz.
Height 5.5″
Trigger Pull 4.5″
Length 8.63″
Slide Width 0.918″
Magazines Supplied 2
Maximum Grip Width 1.33″
Frame Width 0.765″
Magazine Capacity 7 or 8
Maximum Width 1.36″
Barrel Length 5.05″
Trigger Reach 2.8″

The Ruger SR1911 in 10 mm is aesthetically appealing with its silver, stainless-steel slide & frame & black, rubberized grip panels. Rather than appearing rough & bulky, the new SR1911 is sleek & presents an understated “cool” factor. Ruger bills it as a Series 70. In 1983, Colt caused several changes to the 1911 & classified post-1983 pistols as Series 80 guns.

Initially, Series 70 1911s differed in a variety of ways, such as the change from the Series 70 collet bushing to the Series 80 solid bushing, & the 70’s hammer’s half-cock cut versus the 80’s hammer shelf. But the most significant distinction is the firing pin block added to the Series 80. For its Series 70 SR1911, Ruger uses a titanium firing pin & heavy spring rather than a mechanical firing-pin block.

Ruger did blaze its trail when it happened to the newest SR1911’s barrel. There is no Series 70 collet bushing; this 10 mm highlights a bull barrel, which gradually widens somewhat towards the muzzle. It also has a full-length guide rod, which works with the weight of the bull barrel to lessen felt recoil & improve accuracy.

It has for a while now been assumed by many that Sturm, Ruger & Company would eventually introduce a 1911 pistol of their own, & it is finally here. It would seem that the 1911 pistol market is already saturated, & that there would be no place for another in that crowded market, but every day, more & more shooters realize the advantages of that gr& old pistol design. Over the past century, many great pistol designs have been proposed. Some have held on, while others have faded away. Still, 1911 keeps gaining in popularity. After being declared antiquated by self-proclaimed experts many times in the 20th century, there appears to be no one who is now demanding that the 1911 pistol will be fading into obscurity anytime soon. All new design introduced for a sidearm today has to compete against 1911, & most are found lacking when compared to the unity, power, reliability, & ease-of-use of the 1911 design.

I was first shown the current Ruger SR1911 back in early December of 2010. I had the opportunity, along with a few of other writers, to shoot the new Ruger at Gunsite Academy in Paulden, Arizona, & also to tour the Ruger factory in Prescott, getting a close look at the product line for the SR1911. Ruger has set up an entirely new production line for the SR1911, with all new machinery. Ruger has revamped the whole Prescott plant, & it runs very efficiently. The parts are all ordered, produced in-house, & distributed using a card system unlike any that I have ever seen before. It appears to be a straightforward system, & it keeps parts right within reach of the construction personnel. The whole inventory thing is run by one lovely young lady, & observing the performance of the Prescott plant; she must do her job very well.

The new SR1911 given here is pretty much identical to the ones that we fired for three days back in December, except the ruger sr1911 grips panels. The plan was original to ship the SR1911 with black synthetic rubber Hogue grips, but the production guns are shipping with some beautiful checkered wood grips. The Hogues were good grips, but I prefer the look of these wood grips. They carry the pistol a better appearance to me, contrasting with the otherwise stainless & black SR1911.

The SR1911 is made primarily of stainless steel. The slide is CNC machined from bar stock, & the frame is built using Ruger’s proven investment part process. One unique feature of the SR1911 build process that I mentioned in Prescott is that the barrel & barrel bushing is machined from the same piece of bar stock, & the two parts are kept together throughout the machining & assembly process, instead of just grabbing a barrel from one box & a bushing from another. These two elements start off as one piece, & both end up in the same pistol. Another unique feature of the SR1911 is that, unlike other 1911 guns on the market, the plunger housing is not a staked-on bit. The plunger housing is cast integrally with the frame, passing the possibility of the house ever coming loose from the structure.

Most of the short parts on the SR1911, such as the ruger sr1911 magazine release, slide lock, thumb safety, grip safety, ruger sr1911 sights, hammer, & mainspring housing, are finished in a matte black which contrasts beautifully with the satin stainless finish. The mainspring housing is flat & checkered, just as it should be. The magazine release is of the slightly elongated type, protruding .162 inch from glow with the frame. The wood grips are checkered in the double-diamond design, & wear the Ruger bird logo. The trigger is adjustable for overtravel, & is a skeletonized aluminum unit. The hammer is also skeletonized, & is polished on the sides. The grip safety is of the high-ride beavertail style, & has the raised bump at the bottom to ensure real disengagement by the hand for firing. The Novak sights are made of steel, & are of the three-white-dots pattern. The SR1911 gets supplied with two magazines; one is a seven-shot mag which becomes flush with the grip frame, & the other is an eight-shot mag with the extended base pad. Both mags are formed of stainless steel. The SR1911 will hold any aftermarket 1911 magazines.

The SR1911 uses a standard-configuration recoil spring guide rod. The extractor is also of the traditional & time-tested internal style. The SR1911 is the pre-Series 80 style, having no Swartz safety, nor any firing pin safety at all. Ruger does a titanium firing pin with a large firing pin spring, so no firing pin lock is needed. The SR1911 has no crucial internal lock; at least this first variation of this new Ruger does not. I do not know whether or not a version with an internal lock will be submitted later, but the SR1911 does happen with a nice Ruger padlock, for those who wish to use it. I have Ruger locks on all of my farm gates. The thumb safety is the extended style, & is a right-handed user only unit. I am told that a variety with an ambidextrous lock will be offered later. While on that topic, the SR1911 shown here is but the first change of Ruger 1911 pistol. Other variations are also intended, for those who prefer different features on a 1911 gun. Looking at the picture of the frame casting, it seems that Ruger is thinking ahead, with perhaps a report with an accessory rail to be produced later. I have no verified data on this, so that is just my speculation, but there is a market for such, as several shooters like to hang flashlights & such on their pistols. As for the ambidextrous safety, I can place a call to Brownell’s & have one on the way, & as soon as I purchase this Ruger, I will place one on it immediately. There is, , no magazine safety on the SR1911.

Shooting the SR1911 at Gunsite, my gun ran flawlessly, & I know of no problems encountered by any of the others shooters either. The Rutgers ran as a well-built 1911 should, & they were the first pistols off of the new line. The SR1911 has other nice techniques that we have come to expect on a quality 1911. The barrel is throated to feed hollowpoint ammunition reliably, & the feed ramp is polished. The ejection port is lowered, & the pistol uses the slightly-extended Comm&er style ejector for actual ejection of the empty cases. There is a witness hole at the rear of the barrel hood, to serve as a leading-chamber indicator. The trigger released crisply, & the release measured four & one-half pounds on my gun. The magazine well is slightly beveled to facilitate quick magazine insertion. The finely-checkered mainspring housing is composed of steel. The spread thumb safety clicks on & off positively, with just the right amount of stability. There is no discernable play within the barrel & slide, nor between the slide & frame. Lockup is tight.

Critical specifications for the SR1911 are placed in the chart below. The weights are recorded in ounces, & linear measurements in inches. The grip & frame widths were measured at their widest points. The maximum diameter is measured across the grip panels, & includes the finger safety. The height includes the sights but not the magazine base. The trigger pull is recorded as pounds of pressure. The weight consists of the empty eight-round magazine, with the base pad. Length is estimated from the muzzle to the tip of the beavertail grip safety.

Besides the extensive shooting that we did, I wanted to put a lot of rounds through this current SR1911, so I ordered a large quantity of 230 grain Remington hardball (full metal jacket) ammo . I like those folks. Their prices are reasonable, & shipping is usually the same day. Anyway, besides the hardball, I also examined the Ruger SR1911 with every type of 45 ACP ammo that I had available, mostly high-performance Buffalo Bore & Cor-Bon Plus P hollowpoint ammunition. The shooting was a lot easier than the shooting that I did here in Tennessee. The Ruger folks gave up with hundreds of magazines already loaded. Here, I had to pack my own, but that provided the weapon time to cool a bit between volleys.

The  ruger sr1911 holster is built for 1911, & I tried out a couple while involved in shooting that weapon. One original maker to me is Peters Custom Leather. The holster from Peters is a high-quality unit built for strong-side carry outside the belt, & does an excellent job of keeping the butt of the pistol tucked in tight for excellent concealment, as does the superb Range Master shown here from Simply Rugged Holsters. I have used Simply Rugged leather for many years, & it never disappoints. This gun holster is beautifully tooled around the border, & is designed to do double duty as a concealment holster or for field & range use.

There are lots of good choices on the exchange for a quality 1911 auto pistol, & from the vast amount of e-mail I get on the matter of choosing the right one, it is a hard decision for many. One must weigh the features, finish, materials, quality, & price. Another important feature to many purchasers is the country of manufacturer. There are many high-quality foreign 1911 pistols on the market, but given a preference, most shooters in the US choose an American produced 1911 if everything else is equal. However, in many cases, the price difference between a US-made 1911 & an import of the same quality is significant. This new Ruger SR1911 is 100% American made, down to the last pin & screw, but it is valued lower than many of the import 1911 pistols. I usually do not list the suggested list values in my reviews, but in this case, the price is one of the SR1911’s strong selling points. MSRP as of the date of this writing is $799 US. That is well under the price of other stainless American-made 1911 pistols, & it is even lower than similar imports.

The Ruger SR1911 is a pointed pistol that could compete with any different caliber 1911 pistol, even if it was valued like its competition. However, for an American-made 1911 of this quality at this price, the SR1911 has no match.

During additional range sessions, I ran the pistol through a variety of drills with complete satisfaction. Even with the hotter loads, the gun is comfortable to shoot due to its heft, those sticky rubber grips & that little bit of extra weight out front provided by the coned barrel & guide rod. Because it’s so well agreed to the task, I sighted the pistol in at 100 yards & banged away at steel plates.

Being in the middle of a heat wave I didn’t feel like shooting bench rest findings or chronographing loads so you’ll have to take my statement that the pistol shoots better than I do & the manufacturers do a pretty good job of recording velocities on the ammunition boxes.

The online payment for this pistol is in the seven to eight hundred dollar range & guns are available at your local dealer. I’ve got mine; you should get yours.

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