Ruger SR45 Review
Part 1 - Introduction, Specifications and Summary
October 15, 2013

Once again, this year Ruger expands their offerings of the "SR" pistol line by adding the new SR45 to the mix.  This pistol, chambered .45 Auto, keeps the same style and feel as their SR9 and SR40 pistols, but does this in the popular .45 Auto caliber which should appeal to many shooters.  Just like their other SR pistols, the SR45 is offered in both the black nitride and brushed stainless steel slide finishes.  If all goes well with the SR45 pistol, and based on the success of the other SR offerings, my guess is that we can expect to see an SR45c (compact version) in the future.

    Figure 1 - Black Nitride Finish                           Figure 2 - Brushed Stainless Finish
  

 

If you have been following my reviews over the past few years, you already know that I'm a big fan of  Ruger firearms.  When you couple quality, reliability, competitive pricing and made in American, what's there not to like.  Back in 2011, I reviewed the SR9c and earlier this year I finished up a review of the SR9.  Both pistols have proven to be reliable and the SR9 has become my favorite carry pistol when out on my property where concealment is not an issue.  The photo below shows my collection of SR pistols (so far) and gives you a good look at how the SR45 compares to the SR9 and SR9c.

Figure 3

Earlier this year, when I found out that Ruger was offering this new SR45, I immediately thought it would make a great review pistol.  Also, I have been wanting to add a polymer frame .45 Auto pistol to my collection.  Since I already had the SR9c and SR9 pistols in the brushed stainless, I decided to go with the black nitride finish on the SR45.  Although the SR45 has been available since the beginning of the year, they have been very rare to see in local gun stores.  Ruger states a MSRP of $529 for the SR45, which is the same as the other SR pistols.  After doing some  research on the internet, it looks like the online price will vary from approximately $406 to $435 for this pistol.

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 6/21/13 and gives the Key Features and Specifications for the Ruger SR45 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

  • High-Visibility 3-Dot Sight System features a raked-forward front sight for easy removal from the holster.
  • Rear Sight is windage and elevation adjustable.
  • Unique Reversible Backstrap (Flat or Arched) that allows shooters to quickly customize the size and feel of the grip, without the issue of separate inserts or special tools.
  • Ambidextrous Thumb Safety and D-Shaped Magazine Release are easy to reach and actuate.
  • Integral Accessory Mounting Rail provides space for mounting lights, lasers and other tactical accessories.
  • Patented Loaded Chamber Indicator provides confirmation of a loaded or empty chamber.
  • Also Features two ten-round , flush-fit magazines loader and hard plastic case .

Specifications

  • Catalog Number: BSR45
  • Model Number: 3800
  • Caliber: 45 Auto
  • Slide Material: Alloy Steel
  • Slide Finish: Black Nitride
  • Grip Frame: Black, High Performance, Glass-Filled Nylon
  • Sights: Adjustable 3-Dot
  • Barrel Length: 4.50"
  • Overall Length: 8.00"
  • Height: 5.75"
  • Width: 1.27"
  • Weight: 30.15 oz. review pistol weighed in at 30.7 ounces empty and 37.8 ounces with 11 rounds of ammunition
  • Capacity: 10+1
  • Twist: 1:16" RH
  • Grooves: 6
  • MA Approved & Certified: No
  • CA Approved: No
  • Suggested Retail: $529.00

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, 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:

  • Ruger has added the big bore of the .45 Auto Caliber to their proven SR line of centerfire pistols.
  • Disassembly and reassembly of the Ruger SR45 is a very quick and simple task so there should be no excuses for not keeping your pistol clean.  The process of disassembly is similar to many pistols and the only trick is to remember to push the ejector to its down position.
  • With this being my third look at the inside of a SR centerfire pistol, I seem to continue to come up with the same thoughts.  The fire control and safety mechanisms in the SR45 (and other SR pistols) seem to be simple and functional.
  • If you want to customize your SR45, there are several aftermarket parts immediately available due to the commonality of the SR45 to the SR9 and SR40 pistol.  I think it is this commonality that helps to deliver quality and value to the consumer.
  • By averaging all 20 groups during my accuracy testing, I came up with a total average group size of 1.79" at 20 yards which I feel is a good representation of this pistols capability and I feel most people would be extremely pleased with the capability of this pistol.

Pro/Con/Comment (you decide)?:

  • When you consider the manual safety, trigger safety, striker blocker, magazine disconnect and loaded chamber indicator, clearly Ruger puts a lot of effort into producing a safe product.  Each person will have their own opinion on what safety option is needed for their own particular preference and situation.  For me, I generally like these added features.
  • Initially the pistol had an issue with the magazine latch allowing the magazines to drop out of the pistol, but Ruger quickly took care of the issue just like any good manufacturer should.

Cons:

  • The width of the SR45 measured 1.26" which is basically the same as the SR9 and SR40.  This is a little deceiving because this measurement is across the manual safety which represents the widest point.  The more important dimension is the width across the slide because this width has an impact on which holsters will fit the SR45.  The width across the slide measured 1.07" on my SR45 and 0.99" on my SR9.  This difference in width was enough to prevent the SR45 from fitting in my Blackhawk Serpa holster.  This may or may not be an issue for you, but it is something you should understand if you already own a SR pistol and you were thinking about using the same holster.  Since the Blackhawk holster is a rigid polymer holster, the holster is not forgiving of larger dimensions and other types of SR9/SR40 holsters may work for the SR45.

 

Bottom Line:

Ruger has done a nice job adding the SR45 .45 Auto pistol to their line of SR pistols.  The SR45 has a good feel in your hand just like their other SR pistols and shoots just as well.  I did have an issue with the magazines dropping out after shooting several boxes of ammunition, but Ruger replaced the magazine latch components and the pistol has functioned without issue since the repair.  The SR45 can deliver plenty of accuracy and I feel most people would be pleased with it's results.  If you are in the market for a good polymer frame .45 Auto pistol, as always, do your research, read and watch other reviews, and check out a Ruger SR45 the next time you are at the gun store.


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