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Reviews : Arsenal

Sturm, Ruger & Co. SR1911 Pistol

Ruger celebrates the M1911 centennial with a hard-nosed pistol for purists, collectors, and warriors.

June 07, 2011  |  by Paul Scarlata - Also by this author

Photo: Sean Pollock

Editor's note: View our extended photo gallery of images that didn't appear in the June "Arsenal" review iof the Ruger SR1911 in print.

Just into the second decade of the 20th Century the U.S. Army adopted a new handgun, the "U.S. Pistol, Automatic, Caliber .45, M1911"...And a legend was born. The M1911 (and the later M1911A1) didn't display any of the old world craftsmanship, mechanical intricacies, or svelte outlines of its European contemporaries such as the Parabellum/Luger or Mauser C96 Selbstaladepistole. But the gun that was nicknamed "Old Slabsides" by its detractors would go on to become the most respected military handgun of all time.

Three features endeared the M1911 to soldiers around the world: its utter reliability, its mechanical simplicity, and the performance of its .45 ACP cartridge. 

The first two of these features were trademarks of all of the firearms designed by the M1911's inventor, John Moses Browning. The third was a result of the U.S. Army's less than positive interaction with the Moro Juramentados of the Philippines whose propensity for soaking up .38 revolver bullets without being incapacitated led to the Army's insistence that any issue handgun be of at least .45 caliber.

Browning was only too happy to oblige and designed the "pistol, ball, caliber .45, M1911." This cartridge proved so effective that it is still issued to American soldiers, no changes being deemed necessary after more than a century of service.

The same features that have made the .45 ACP effective for the military made it equally attractive to law enforcement officers, especially members of tactical units who appreciate the 1911's excellent ergonomics and the accuracy provided by its single-action trigger.

Today several dozen manufacturers produce 1911 pistols to satisfy demand from collectors, gun enthusiasts, and warriors. One of the newest is Sturm, Ruger & Company.

Since the late 1980s, Ruger has offered an extensive line of 9mm, .40, and .45 caliber pistols. But while all of them have been commercially successful, they have seen only limited use by law enforcement agencies.

Until recently all Ruger centerfire pistols were built on alloy or polymer frames and utilized either a DA/SA or a variation of the so-called "Safe Action" trigger. But the company has always been known for its entrepreneurial acumen. So it came as no surprise to most gun writers when, in recognition of the 1911's centennial, Ruger announced its first 1911-type pistol, the SR1911.

A True 1911

At first glance there is no doubt that the SR1911 is...well... a 1911. It has all the classic features of Browning's most famous pistol but with a few modern, shall we say, "modifications" that significantly improve handling and shootability.

First of all, it's made from 100 percent stainless steel with a bead-blasted matte finish. The slide features a lowered and flared ejection port and is fitted with a set of Novak-style low mount three-dot sights. Square cut grasping grooves enable positive retraction of the slide, even with wet hands or when wearing gloves.

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Comments (8)

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

John Carp @ 6/7/2011 4:53 PM

I am so pleased to hear that Ruger has once again come through with an ultra high quality product. And, what could be better then a modern rendering of John Moses Browning's "perfect fighting pistol".

I am a huge Ruger fan, owning a KP89DAO, Stainless Mini -14 GB, and LCR. As far as 1911's go, I own a Colt's Stainless Government XSE, that is truly a magical pistol. It shoots far better then I ever could. I may be in the market for another 1911 and will take a good hard look, at the Ruger offering. I would like to see a night sight option and a rail for those so inclined. I imagine it won't be long, before the major after market sight company's will produce night sights. Bravo Ruger!

John Carp

LEO 21 years, Firearms and Less Lethal Instructor, Tactical Team member.

Bill VanEpps @ 2/24/2012 4:48 PM

American made by Sturm Ruger is all I need to know.

Ordered mine today.


Bob Manning @ 2/28/2012 8:17 PM

I am lucky enough to own one of these fine pistols, it is smooth shooting ,extremely accurate and great looking, made in U.S.A .

I also own a gunsite scout rifle and an sr 556e , all are fine examples of Ruger quality. Hats off to the boys at Ruger !!

James Herendeen @ 5/1/2012 7:25 PM

Outstanding! I'm in heaven! Best looking and performing 1911 for the buck. Colt and Kimber...look out!

richard johnson @ 6/19/2012 3:45 PM

i own14 rugers now i am waiting for number 15 my sr1911 whitch has been ordered for 8 months i hope it is as good as the others

John Reynold @ 9/1/2012 5:13 AM

Its about time
Thanks Ruger foe a great gun

Cesar abad @ 1/10/2014 4:55 PM

I am a very please owner of RUGER SR1911 and looking forward to get the Ruger SR1911 Commander. Colt Gold Cup and Colt Defender used to be my favorite but now when people asked me if I own a 1911 I told them I own a RUGER.

aussie bobby @ 3/1/2014 10:22 PM

just picked up my 1911 down here in australia ..absolutly love it ..great job ruger..

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