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Discussion Starter #1
Back in December of 2010 I had the privilege of being invited to Gunsite for the introduction of several new Ruger products, among them the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle, which I have reviewed previously.



Also present at the gunwriters' review was Ruger's then-secret SR1911, which we've been keeping quiet since. I personally am not a 1911 aficionado. I like the design and have owned several, but I'm not as familiar with the platform as some. One hundred years after its adoption by the U.S. Government as a military service sidearm, Ruger is now offering their version of John Moses Browning's classic pistol.

The 1911 type has been produced in many configurations by many manufacturers in numerous countries. Some companies currently producing the 1911 use parts imported from foreign countries, whereas Ruger's new SR1911 is wholly American-made. Every pin, spring, screw, and part is produced domestically in the United States of America.

The pistol is built on a 1911A1-styled frame, including crescent relief cuts on the frame behind the trigger, though it departs from the -A1 with a flat mainspring housing and a lowered and flared ejection port.


Pistol specs:

Manufacture: Sturm, Ruger & Co
Model: SR1911
Caliber: .45ACP
Capacity: 7 or 8 rounds
Barrel: 5 inches (mfr)
Weight: 36.4 oz (w/o mag)
Trigger pull: 5 lbs 7.0 oz (tested)
Grooves: 6
Twist: 1/16 right hand




We were amply provisioned for testing. Seen here are four .50-caliber cans of preloaded 7-round magazines. Because the only thing better than shooting is having somebody else load the mags.

...we ran out anyway. Ruger brought several more cases of .45ACP but after we burned through the initial lot of preloaded magazines we had to reload our own.

On the range with the SR1911. We shot in two alternating groups.


We also shot in low light...


...and later in full dark with flashlights. This range session yielded no usable pictures.

Later we toured the Ruger factory as Prescott, AZ, where we got to see the manufacturing of the SR1911 and various other pistols. This is the CNC machine used for milling barrels and bushings.


At left, matched barrels and bushings before the machine. At right, after machining.


Two SR1911 frames in the CNC machine.


Slides in CNC machine.


Slides after final cutting.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Back at Gunsite, Ruger's Mark Gurney enters the Playhouse with the SR1911.


Engaging a target.


Sheriff Jim Wilson entering the Playhouse.


Sheriff Jim engaging through the door.


The sheriff pie-ing.


The Gunsite instructors and range officers. Left to right: Il Ling New, Ed Head, Chris Weare, LaMonte Kintsel.


Left to right: Michael Bane, myself, and Jeff Quinn.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ruger sent me the current production SR1911.


Included is a padded pistol case, a lock, and a bushing wrench.


The SR1911, fresh out of the box.


The pistol features a conventional recoil spring instead of a full-length guide rod. It is of all steel construction with no plastic parts. Frame and slide are stainless steel, as are the barrel and bushing. The frame is cast. Originally the grips were black hard rubber, but since the gunwriters' review Ruger switched to Diamondwood. My understanding is that this is a laminate impregnated with resin for greater durability with a traditional appearance. The grip pattern is the classic double diamond with the Ruger emblem. Sights are Novak 3-dots dovetailed into the slide.

The SR1911 is built along the lines of the Series 70 1911s, as there is no firing pin safety block. Also of note, this model does NOT feature a magazine disconnect safety.


Included are one 7- and one 8-round magazine.


Over five test pulls the trigger averaged at 5 lbs 7.0 oz with a Lyman electronic gauge. This is a departure from the models tested at Gunsite, which felt considerably lighter.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Bottom of the slide.


Breech face and extractor.


Rear of the slide, showing firing pin and plate.


Barrel hood is stamped .45 AUTO.


Polished throat. The cutout at the rear of the barrel hood is the loaded chamber indicator.


Internal parts after field stripping.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Right grip panel, showing Ruger's emblem and Diamondwood grip panels.


Nicely beveled magazine well.


Ruger's obligatory warning, as present on the dust cover. Not overly obnoxious.


Skeletonized trigger with adjustable overtravel. Also note the pronounced magazine release.


Skeletonized combat hammer and extended safety lever.


Extended beavertail safety with raised memory bump. Also visible, the flat steel (not plastic) mainspring housing with not 20, not 30, but 25 lines per inch. Nicely done, Ruger.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Polished feed ramp.


Note the lack of firing pin safety block.


Demonstration of the loaded chamber indicator. Note brass casing. Simple, but effective.


Ruger's emblem on the right of the slide. Tastefully done.


Right side view of the SR1911.


Though I have yet to take this pistol to the range and put it through its paces, the model I tested at Gunsite ran flawlessly through countless rounds, and nobody on the firing line reported any malfunction that I am aware. Fit and finish are superb and frame to slide fit is tight with no play. As mentioned above, the trigger is heavier than that of the model tested at Gunsite, though possibly it may improve with shooting. The Novak sights are very user friendly and highly visible, allowing for quick target acquisition. The slide serrations allow for positive slide manipulation and are nicely cut to correspond with the angle of the pistol grip.

The black accents of the smaller structural components nicely compliment the satin stainless steel frame and slide, and the addition of reddish Diamondwood grips adds a touch of class, recalling the design's origins while embracing a century of refinements

Range report to follow.
 

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Very nicely presented. Thanks. It will be interesting to read comments from Average Joe buyers over the next few months and I look forward to your range report.
 

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Sweet,

You didn't happen to see a M77/357 in the secret pile, by any chance? :)
 

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Nice writeup and pics, thanks for sharing. Hey - Ruger finally made a decent set of factory stocks!!! :p I'd almost feel bad taking them off.....

OK, question for you 1911 nuts - separate feed ramp, or ramp integral with barrel, like my Kimber? I don't know if one is better than the other, or why. Never have figured it out on my own.

I suppose, if the gun works, it doesn't matter?
 

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Could an ambi safety be installed to make it a little more southpaw compatible? And can it be fitted with a 22 rf slide? I guess Im asking if its compatible with standard 1911 parts?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
100rd Break-in

I don't have all the ammo needed for a full range report and the wind was at 25+ mph today, but I was dying to get out and put some rounds downrange so I opted for a 100-rd break in session.

Decided to grab magazines from a couple of different manufacturers in addition to the two provided by Ruger. (Left to right: Ruger 8-round, Ruger 7-round, Chip McCormick 8-round, Chip McCormick 8-round Power Mag, Colt 8-round.)


Ammo used was Winchester White Box 230gr FMJ 100-round value pack.


Since I was using cheap ball ammo and was affected by excessive wind I was less concerned with accuracy this time. The test was primarily to check function and see if the sights were on. Distance was 7 yards with 5 rounds per target, offhand.


Silhouette target at 7 yards, with 5 rounds in the head and 45 at center mass, offhand.

(My cohort brought his 1937 S&W Brazilian contract model in .45ACP. I put five rounds into the smaller silhouette at top left.)

My cohort and two others at the range also put 30 rounds through the SR1911. During the 100-rd test with multiple magazines the pistol functioned flawlessly without a single malfunction. The sights out of the box were satisfactory and required no adjustment.

So far I am pleased with the reliability of the SR1911. Though this test was limited to ball ammo, another more in-depth range session is planned (including velocity, accuracy, and function with hollowpoints) hopefully next week.
 
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