Ruger SR1911CMD Review
Part 1 - Introduction, Specifications and Summary
April 26, 2013

Ruger SR1911CMD Review 

In 2011 Ruger entered into the 1911 market with their new SR1911 Pistol and it was an instant sensation.  In mid 2012, I performed a review of the SR1911 Pistol and was very impressed with the quality, performance and value that Ruger was able to put into this pistol.  I wasn't the only one to think this because SR1911s were hard to find in stock at most of the local gun stores in the Atlanta area.  As we got further into 2012, I was sure that the success of Ruger's SR1911 would soon spawn another model.  In January of 2013 my hunch proved to be good when Ruger introduced their new SR1911CMD commander-style pistol which has a shorter 4.25" barrel.  You can see both the SR1911 and SR1911CMD below.

          Figure 1 - SR1911                                             Figure 2 - SR1911CMD
Ruger SR1911   Ruger SR1911CMD

This next photo shows the SR1911 (top) that I reviewed last year and the SR1911CMD (bottom) which is featured in this review.

Figure 3
Ruger SR1911CMD Review

 

Other than the normal differences due to barrel lengths, a casual look at these two pistols makes you think they are nearly identical.  By taking a closer look and comparing the parts lists, you will find that it also has a different ejector.  After further study, it becomes clear that there were some other subtle differences which are driven by the shorter slide travel on a commander-style 1911 pistol.  None of this is out of the norm for a commander-style 1911 and the reason I'm pointing it out is to highlight that there are other slight mechanical differences between these two pistols. 

From a cost perspective, Ruger lists both models at an MSRP of $829.  After doing a quick search on the internet, the current (Feb-2013) price of the Ruger SR1911CMD seemed to vary from about $750 to $900 (above MSRP).  This premium price range is a function of the crazy times we live in at the moment.  Hopefully we will see the firearms market come back to normal in the future, but until then, be prepared to pay top dollar for nearly any firearm you purchase.

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 2/23/13 and gives the Key Features and Specifications for the Ruger SR1911CMD Pistol.  The , and are my way to keep up with details that I have covered in this review with either photos, commentary or both.

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: Swedged link pin; titanium firing pin; two 7-round magazines; bushing wrench; and soft case.

Specifications

  • Catalog Number: SR1911CMD
  • Model Number: 6702
  • Caliber: 45 Auto
  • Capacity: 7+1
  • Grip Frame: Low-Glare Stainless
  • Slide Material: Stainless Steel
  • Slide Finish: Low-Glare Stainless
  • Sights: Windage Adjustable Novak® 3-Dot
  • Barrel Length: 4.25" 4.30" measured from the tip of the barrel to the breach face
  • Overall Length: 7.75" review pistol measured 7.89" from the rear of the beaver tail to the tip of the barrel when sitting upside down on a flat surface
  • Height: 5.45"
  • Width: 1.34" review pistol measured 1.39"
  • Weight: 36.40 oz.
  • Twist: 1:16" RH
  • Grooves: 6
  • MA Approved & Certified: No
  • CA Approved: No
  • Suggested Retail: $829.00

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, many are similar to those identified in my Ruger SR1911 review.  Also, 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 for yourself on items which may be more of a personal preference.

Pros:

  • You get a quality stainless steel commander-style 1911 pistol at a competitive price.
  • My "out of the box" accuracy grouped an averaged of 2.54" at 25 yards based on 16 different 4-shot groups using a variety of ammunition shot from a bench by hand. I feel certain that the pistol is capable of more accuracy.
  • Throughout my range testing, the SR1911CMD 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 7-round magazines.
  • 100% American Made!
  • As I studied the parts for the SR1911CMD, I came to a similar opinion as I did for the original SR1911.  Ruger seems to have produced a quality pistol that should appeal to those who prefer the a "commander-style" 1911 pistol.  In my case, this SR1911CMD pistol seemed a little tighter and has a slightly better trigger pull than my full size SR1911.  This gives me two pistols as data points and so far Ruger is looking good on delivering quality pistols in their SR1911 platforms.

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.
  • 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). The use of MIM parts is probably also a key contributor to helping keep the cost down and value up on their SR1911 pistols.

Cons:

  • The slide stop pin appears to be slightly undersized and measured 0.1955" in diameter. I believe the minimum diameter should have been 0.1985". Although, the pistol seemed to be tight when locked up.

 

Bottom Line:

The Ruger SR1911CMD Commander-Style Pistol lived up to my high expectations based on already having reviewed the full size SR1911 pistol.  I was pleased with the quality, trigger pull and accuracy of this pistol.  It has proven to be 100% reliable so far and I don't expect that to change provided I care for the pistol properly.  If you are in the market for a commander-style pistol, I recommend you take a close look at the Ruger SR1911CMD Pistol the next time you are at the gun store.


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