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Reviews : Arsenal

Sturm, Ruger & Co. SR40 Duty Pistol

Ruger's new .40 S&W handgun was designed specifically for police service.

March 21, 2011  |  by Paul Scarlata - Also by this author

Editor's Note: Watch the hands-on demo video, "First Look at Ruger's SR40 Pistol." Also, please view our photo gallery, "Ruger SR40 Duty Pistol."

Ruger has offered an extensive line of centerfire semi-auto pistols in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP since the late 1980s. But none of them have proven popular with law enforcement.

And that's because most of Ruger's semi-autos were rather...Well...shall we say overengineered. That's not to say they weren't rugged, accurate, and easy to use because they were. But most of them had rather generous dimensions, which is a shortcoming in a pistol meant to be carried all day, especially if it has to be carried concealed.

The SR Legacy

In 2007 Ruger set about correcting this deficiency in its product line by introducing its first striker-fired, polymer-frame pistol, the SR9. While the pistol had much to recommend it, like most new designs, it experienced the usual teething problems, which resulted in Ruger refining the product.

A few cases were reported of the SR9 firing when it was dropped on the rear of the slide. Ruger did not merely warn its customers, it recalled every single pistol and retrofitted them with a new trigger mechanism at no cost to the owner.

The original design used a two-piece trigger comprised of an inner and outer "shoe," with the inner one hidden. The improved design uses a visible inner trigger blade, which retards rearward travel unless fully depressed. The redesigned trigger system also had reduced trigger over-travel, making trigger control more positive and rapid follow-up shots easier to achieve. Additionally, once the inner trigger blade is depressed, the length-of-travel is noticeably reduced, a very pleasing feature.

The improved SR9 proved very practical and rugged. Which put Ruger in competition with all the other manufacturers of duty pistols. And since all of its rivals offered compact and sub-compact versions of their pistols, Ruger released the SR9c compact in 2009.

Sizing Up

While the SR9 and SR9c have proven steady sellers, the U.S. law enforcement market is dominated by .40 caliber autoloaders. So it came as no surprise to me last year when I received a press release from Ruger announcing the introduction of the SR40.

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Comments (6)

Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

Michael @ 4/20/2011 2:29 PM

I have shot various Rugers and I own a first generation P90 45cal. that I carry on duty. The gun is alittle heavy but I love it. I think that ruger brand has come a long ways and I must say that I have never had a single problem with my gun, that is now 21 years old with lots of rounds put through it. It is a Very, Very dependable weapon.
I have S&W, Colt, Browning, and Sig, I think they are all great guns but, I enjoy the Ruger for a Duty Weapon. I think it shoots better the more rounds go through it and it's easy to clean. Yes, I think I will buy an SR40 too, how can I not.

Lou @ 9/26/2011 11:41 PM

You must be kidding. I have an SR9 and it is junk. I want to sell it but not to anyone I know or will ever see again. Stop saying every gun you evaluate is great. I would never advise anyone to use this weapon for defensive use. I stopped trying to sell this gun for half of what I paid after two months. The LCI on this Ruger is ridiculous!

wayne @ 5/23/2012 8:32 PM

I own a Ruger SR40 with the black slide. I carry it off duty. Its slim, reliable, accurate, and I like that it holds 15 rounds of ammo. I like the manual safety. The only thing I didnt like is that the finish on the slide started to show wear almost immediately.

Hank @ 3/1/2013 7:38 PM

I currently have a SR40 that I'm trying to find a duty holster for, any suggestions. Looked on several sites and so far it's a bust

Kevin @ 4/9/2013 4:15 PM

I carry a sr40 on duty and sr40c off duty. I had searched all over for a duty holster but could not find one. I ended up buying a serpa cqc and then buying a jacket slot mount for a standard serpa duty holster. I have used it for a year now and it has held up fine. It sits like a standard serpa and locks in like one, it just does not have the cover over the rear sights like the serpa duty holster.

David E. Smith @ 4/20/2014 6:53 PM

I purchased a Ruger P90 in 1995 and used it as a duty weapon until issued a Sig in around 2007. I am now retired and still have the P90. The only downside is that it is bulky. It is accurate, reliable, rugged, easy to clean. I have fired hundreds and hundreds of rounds through it and it is still reliable. Even the bulkiness has a plus in that the recoil is easier to manage. I don't know about the modern Ruger Pistols but I don't think you can go wrong with the P90.

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