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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

I found the slide a bit difficult to retract. This was a sign of tight slide and frame tolerances and a hefty recoil spring, and it became easier after I had run about 50 rounds through it. The trigger pull had a bit of take up and broke crisply at 4.4 pounds, which is just about what you want on a single-action service pistol.

A few days later, I headed out to the range with the Ruger, a selection of .45 ammo, and a BlackHawk SERPA CQC holster to see how it performed.

I test fired the SR1911 for accuracy from a rest at 25 yards; the results were very satisfying. (See "Shooting the Ruger SR1911," below). While all four types of ammo shot to point of aim, the Ruger showed a preference for slower moving projectiles and consistently printed the tightest groups with the Black Hills 200-grain LSWC target load.

After the chronographing was completed, I belted on the BlackHawk holster and proceeded to run a series of drills on a combat target set out at 10 yards, firing the Ruger with both supported and unsupported grips. 

The SR1911's sights provided a fast, sharp sight picture, enabling me to put rounds where I wanted them with commendable speed. The controls were well placed and could be manipulated easily. Thanks to the pistol's excellent ergonomics and, not insubstantial, weight, recoil control was very good, allowing fast, accurate follow-up shots. I tended to shoot a bit low but more about that later.

Seeing no need to haul a lot of ammo back to my office, I spent an enjoyable hour engaging steel targets on the 50- and 100-yard ranges. At the latter distance I had to "walk" a couple of rounds in to find out how much "Kentucky" elevation to use but after that the SR1911 and I racked up a respectable ratio of "clangs" to "bangs."

I had three failures to chamber with the Winchester ammunition fed from the seven-round magazine. But this problem seemed to sort itself out as the pistol was broken in, and they were the only malfunctions in the 200 or so rounds I ran through the SR1911 that afternoon.

Still, I must voice two criticisms that I have with Ruger's newest pistol. I tend to shoot low with any 1911 fitted with a flat mainspring housing, which is why all of mine have the arched style. I'm sure I'm not the only shooter with this preference. Secondly, the lack of an accessory rail is a serious problem on a contemporary combat pistol. It would not require a major design change to drill and tap the SR1911's dust cover to accept a rail, and I hope that Ruger will offer both of these items in the future.

Other than these issues, I found the SR1911 to be a fitting example of a 1911 pistol. It was well built of first-class materials, and it displayed excellent ergonomics; above average accuracy; and reliability. If you're in the market for a 1911 pistol for police service, Ruger's SR1911 ought to be given serious consideration.

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


Caliber: .45 ACP

Overall Length: 8.7 inches

Barrel Length: 5 inches

Height: 5.25 inches

Width: 1.3 inches

Weight (empty): 30 ounces

Magazine: 7-round and 8-round

Construction: stainless steel

Sights: front: white dot; rear: Novak-style Low Mount with dual white dots

Grips: Checkered wood

Features: Skeletonized aluminum trigger with overtravel stop, skeletonized hammer, chamber inspection port, extended thumb and grip safeties, titanium firing pin, busing wrench, nylon gun rug, lock, owner's manual

Price: $799

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