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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

Accuracy testing was conducted at 50 feet from a rest with three different types of ammunition. While the pistol happily digested all three brands, it showed a preference for faster-stepping projectiles and as velocity increased the groups shrank in size.

The SR40 proved a pleasingly accurate pistol, shooting to point of aim for all three loads. Of the nine groups I produced, none was larger than three inches while a couple came in under two. Such performance from a service type pistol deserves positive comment.

After the accuracy testing, I set up a combat target, belted on a Galco Yaqui Belt Slide holster, and used up the remaining ammo running the Ruger through the following drills:

  • 15 yards-draw pistol and engage target with 10 rounds, slow aimed fire. Perform combat reload and repeat.
  • 10 yards-draw pistol and double-tap target, perform a combat reload and repeat. Reholster and repeat three more times.
  • 5 yards-draw pistol and double-tap target firing with an unsupported (one-handed) grip. Reholster and repeat three more times.

As I fired these combat drills, my opinion of the SR40 grew. It pointed very naturally and, thanks to its good ergonomics, recoil control was above average. This made for fast, accurate follow-up shots.

During these combat drills, the magazines fell free whether they were empty or not, slide forward or locked back. The generous magazine well opening also smoothed out reloads.

Most of the 44 rounds I sent into the target created a ragged group in the center of the "chest." And lastly, I did not experience a single failure to feed, fire, extract, or eject in the 200-plus rounds I fired.

But I have to mention two negatives about the SR40. It was quite difficult to get the first round into the magazine. After that the remaining 14 went in easily, but that first one was a pain. Also, the trigger pull—while it had a crisp let off—was a bit on the heavy side, although I would expect that to improve with use.

While I am always cautious about sounding too enthusiastic about any new firearm, I was quite impressed with the Ruger SR40. I believe it is capable of doing whatever might be expected of a police service handgun...and perhaps a bit more.

Paul Scarlata has served as an auxiliary police officer and is a frequent contributor to POLICE.

Related:

Ruger Introduces SR40 Pistol

VIDEO: First Look at Ruger's SR40 Pistol

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