Ruger SR1911 Review
Part 1 - Introduction, Specifications and Summary
June 15, 2012

Clearly, 2011 was the year for 1911 pistols.  This 100 year anniversary of the 1911 pistol platform either motivated manufacturers to jump into the 1911 market or at least add something new to their current line of 1911 pistol.  Ruger was one of those manufacturers to boldly jump into the 1911 market with the introduction of their new SR1911 .45 Auto Pistol.  This new SR1911 Pistol is part of their new expanding line of "SR" pistols.  With the market busting at the seams with new 1911 pistols, what makes this 1911 Series 70 design stand out from the rest?  There are several things which come to mind.  The first is that there is no doubt that Ruger has a following of loyal Ruger fans and this new pistol will be just the thing to make them decide on getting a 1911 pistol.  Next, Ruger has a reputation for producing quality reliable products and when you couple their proven manufacturing practices with this popular pistol platform, the outcome will probably be great pistol.  Last, there are many people out there who fully support the idea of buying American made products and this all American pistol has real appeal.

 

Ok, it's now 2012 and I'm just getting around to doing my first review of one of these new 1911 pistols, so why the delay?  Well, in a years time, I can only review so many firearms and I wanted to see what else was going to come to the market.  After surveying the landscape I decided to go with the Ruger first for the reasons stated above which are summarized by saying I wanted to take a look at a quality American made Ruger 1911 pistol.  As with most quality 1911s, they don't give them away. At least Ruger's SR1911 Pistol has suggested retail price of $799 which is a good indication that they are trying to deliver value.  After doing some searching on the web, you should be able to find one for between $650 and $700 as long as your willing to pay shipping and transfer fees.  It will probably cost closer to $700-ish or just over in your local area unless you are lucky/unlucky enough to live in a large competitive metro area and have several places to choose from.  Considering a $700ish price and features like stainless steel, skeletonized trigger and hammer, adjustable over-travel stop trigger, and Novak sights, this pistol does seem to pack a lot of bang for the buck.

During my reviews I like to compare my results to the manufacturer's claims where possible so the following text in colored italics was taken directly from the Ruger website on 5/10/12 and gives an Overview, Key Features, and Specifications for the Ruger SR1911 Pistol.  The , and are my way to keep up with details that I have covered in this review with either photos, commentary or both.  I may also add commentary after these marks as necessary to explain some items if needed.

Overview

  • Introducing the RUGER® SR1911,™ a classically styled pistol designed with all of the modern manufacturing advances that you have come to expect from Ruger.
  • Accurate , rugged and reliable, the SR1911 is 100% American-made in American factories with American workers . Enthusiasts enjoy. Competition beware.

Key Features

  • CLASSIC STYLE: Original 1911 Series 70 design provides for easy takedown and re-assembly . Slim traditional design with hardwood grips and checkered backstrap .
  • MODERN MANUFACTURING: Precision CNC-controlled machining process results in a superior slide-to-frame fit and smooth slide travel. The stainless steel barrel and bushing are produced from the same bar stock, on the same machine, for improved accuracy.
  • PERFORMANCE: Positive barrel lock-up allows for a superior accuracy out-of-the-box . Oversized ejection port and extended magazine release enhance competition performance .
  • TRIGGER AND HAMMER: Lightweight, aluminum, skeletonized trigger features an adjustable over-travel stop and provides a very crisp, no creep, light trigger pull with a quick, positive reset . Skeletonized hammer is lightweight and provides faster cycling .
  • SIGHTING SYSTEM: Dovetailed, 3-dot sight system features a Novak® LoMount Carry rear and standard front sight that combines optimal target acquisition in an ideal carry configuration .
  • FRAME AND SLIDE: Stainless steel frame and slide feature blasted, low-glare finish and slide serrations for positive grip .
  • SAFETY: Oversized beavertail grip safety provides positive function and reliability . Extended thumb safety and slide stop lever provide for improved, positive manipulation . Visual inspection port allows for visual confirmation that chamber is loaded .
  • ALSO INCLUDES: Titanium firing pin ; one 7-round and one 8-round stainless steel magazine ; bushing wrench ; and soft case .

Specifications

  • Catalog Number: SR1911
  • Model Number: 6700
  • Caliber: .45 Auto
  • Slide Material: Stainless Steel
  • Slide Finish: Low-Glare Stainless
  • Grip Frame: Low-Glare Stainless Steel
  • Sights: Fixed Novak® 3-Dot
  • Capacity: 8+1 Using the 8-round magazine
  • Barrel Length: 5.00" 
  • Height: 5.45"
  • Overall Length: 8.67"
  • Weight: 39.00 oz. The review pistol with the 7 round magazine weighed in at 39.25 ounces.
  • Width: 1.34"
  • Twist: 1:16" RH
  • Grooves: 6
  • MA Approved & Certified: Yes
  • CA Approved: No
  • Suggested Retail: $799.00 Current street price between $650 and $700

This review is broken down into multiple parts with this page providing links to each part along with an overall summary of the specifications, pros and cons, and my final "bottom line" comments.  Make sure you take time to checkout the other parts of the review because they contain many photos and lots of commentary.  Also, there is an extreme amount of detail in those parts which is not covered on this page.

As you read these Pros and Cons below, keep in mind that it is hard to keep my particular preferences from creeping in the equation.  Therefore, it is important that you take the time to look at the other parts of this review so you can decide yourself on items which may be more of a personal preference.

Pros:

  • You get a quality stainless steel 1911 style pistol for about $650.
  • My "out of the box" accuracy grouped an averaged of 2.39" at 25 yards based on eight 5-shot groups using inexpensive ammunition shot from a bench by hand.  I feel certain that the pistol is capable of more accuracy.
  • Throughout my range testing, the SR1911 proved to be 100% reliable.
  • It comes with Novak 3-dot sights, skeletonized trigger and hammer.
  • It has attractive rosewood grips.
  • Ruger decided to go with a Series 70-ish design which keeps the traditional operational features of this pistol simple.
  • The pistol comes with two magazines (one 7-round and one 8-round).
  • 100% American Made!

Pro/Con/Comment? You Decide:

  • I would have preferred some checkering on the front of the grip and an ambidextrous safety, but that is just my preference.
  • The SR1911 comes with a soft pistol case.  Originally I was not a big fan of this style of case, but as my pistol collection has grown and I'm taking more toys to the range, I find that I can pack more pistols in my gun bag as long as they are in soft cases.
  • The front of the aluminum trigger seems to have some roughness around the hole for the over-travel stop, but I'm sure I can correct that myself later with a small file.
  • Ruger has used several MIM (Metal Injection Molding) parts and honestly I'm glad to see this trend.  When you look at a comparison of MIM versus Machining versus Casting for properly manufactured parts (see this link) , MIM parts have a clear advantage and it takes companies like Ruger who are willing to take the risks and invest in their process to bring quality as well as value to the consumer (us).  Will there be lessons learned along the way? Sure, but at least a company like Ruger will make things right when some type of issue comes up.

Cons:

  • The slide stop pin appears to be slightly undersized and measured 0.1970" in diameter.  I believe the minimum diameter should have been 0.1985".  Although I was pleased with the pistol's accuracy, a properly sized slide stop pin would help with producing an even more solid lockup.

 

Bottom Line:

My first thought that comes to mind is that the Ruger SR1911 Pistol is a great value firearm.  Ruger has delivered high quality, upgraded features and an accurate pistol at an extremely competitive price.  I don't think you will find a comparable American made 1911 style pistol from any another big name manufacturer for the same price.  Based on my impression of local SR1911 sales in the Atlanta area, the SR1911 Pistol is a hit and I would image that Ruger will be offering other models in the future.


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