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Mark Rivera, Customer Retention Manager and CJIS Security Compliance Officer with Vigilant Solutions, served for sixteen years with the Maryland State Police, retiring at the rank of First Sergeant with thirteen of those years at the supervisory and command level. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Management from The Johns Hopkins University and Secret clearance through the FBI, Baltimore.

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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

For many years having an adjustable rear sight was considered de rigueur on any properly set up 1911 pistol, but fixed sights are once again in ascendancy. Not only is this sighting arrangement rugged to an extreme-which is what you need on a combat handgun-but with the .45 ACP cartridge, the point of impact between various bullet weights out to 25 yards is going to vary so little as to make no practical difference. In fact during my test firing of the SR1911, I used bullet weights ranging from 165 to 230 grains and at 25 yards they all shot close enough to point of aim to keep me happy.

And while we're discussing the slide, it should be pointed out that the SR1911 has an original style internal extractor and does not have Series 80 or any other type of firing pin block. In its place Ruger engineers used a lightweight titanium firing pin and a heavy firing pin spring. This set up is simpler, just as effective, and does not have a deleterious effect on the trigger pull.

A five-inch stainless steel barrel and muzzle bushing are standard and, so as to improve functioning, the frame and barrel feed ramps are highly polished. The recoil system is exactly the way Browning designed it and it functions just fine without any modern "refinements" such as full-length guide rods. This system has worked just fine for 100 years and has the added benefit of making disassembly significantly easier.

Ruger was a pioneer in using cast frames on its pistols, and it is no surprise that the SR1911 features one. A precision CNC-controlled machining process results in a superior slide-to-frame fit and smooth slide travel. The SR1911 does not have an integral frame rail for mounting lights, lasers, or other tactical accessories that are all but mandatory on police service pistols today.

A closer examination of the frame shows those areas where the SR1911 diverges from the original. First of all, metal has been removed from under the trigger guard to allow a higher grip on the pistol for improved recoil control, which is helped along by a sharply checkered mainspring housing. It comes with a seven-round and an eight-round magazine; the latter has an extended plastic base pad. The magazine well has been beveled and that along with an extended magazine release speeds up reloads.

Great Ergonomics

Both the thumb and grip safeties have been extended for more positive manipulation. The latter device is fitted with a palm swell to ensure positive depression while an extended beavertail tang helps to soften felt recoil and improve recoil control. Both the hammer and trigger are skeletonized, in the case of the former to speed up lock time. The trigger is screw adjustable for over travel.

Tradition comes to the fore again with a set of checkered wooden grips with Ruger logo medallions. While I freely admit to having synthetic grips on all my personal 1911s, I have to say that the Ruger wooden grips provided a secure purchase, even with perspiring hands. 

Range Time

Ruger provided me with an early production SR1911 to evaluate for POLICE Magazine. Because I am well versed in the mysteries of the breed, the new Ruger held few surprises for me.

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