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.
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.