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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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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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