Over the past 60-plus years, Sturm, Ruger & Co. has established an enviable reputation for manufacturing innovative, well-built pistols, rifles and shotguns. Founder Bill Ruger was known for building his guns tough, but he was also a gifted gun designer. Carrying on that tradition, the company that Bill Ruger and Alexander Sturm founded continues to introduce new designs as well as regular improvements to existing guns.

My first experience with Ruger handguns was not with the .22 LR Standard Mark I, the company’s very first gun, but rather with the 9mm P85, the company’s first semi-automatic, centerfire pistol. The P85 was built like a tank, and sort of looked like one with all of its angular surfaces. Today’s Ruger pistols have lost that tank look but not that tank-like toughness, and the new Ruger SR45 is no exception.

Gun Details

Based on the SR series, which was originally introduced in 2007, the new SR45 is a polymer-framed, full-sized, striker-fired, recoil-operated, semi-automatic pistol chambered in the powerful .45 ACP cartridge and featuring a 10+1 capacity. Ruger first developed its line of polymer (actually glass-filled nylon) frames to more easily reduce the dimensions of the pistol and make it lighter, slimmer and more convenient for lawful concealed carry. In this regard Ruger succeeded exponentially. The grip on the SR45 is exceedingly thin, to the point that, in hand, it feels like a single-stack gun despite its 10-round, double-stack magazine packed with fat .45 ACP cartridges. The grip is also very well checkered on the sides and front and stays in the hand well. The grip sides feature Ruger’s distinct heraldic-phoenix logo.

The grip’s backstrap has a rubberized insert that is removable and reversible. One side provides an arched profile; the other, a flat profile. While the SR45 is incredibly thin, I found it to be on the long side, front to back, even with my good-sized hands. The flat backstrap was much more comfortable for me, but it is certainly nice to have the option. The backstrap is held in place with a steel crosspin that serves double duty as an attachment point for a lanyard.

The frame’s dust cover features an integral accessory rail for mounting lights or lasers, and the triggerguard is nicely oversized for comfortable gloved use. The magazine release is ambidextrous, as is the thumb safety, a feature that southpaws will appreciate. The small slide catch helps prevent accidental activation, especially when shooting with a firm two-handed grip.

The pistol comes standard with two steel, 10-shot magazines with polymer followers and baseplates. The magazines include convenient witness holes to account for all 10 rounds. The baseplates feature a slightly extended finger rest and gripping grooves to make removal easier and faster, although the magazines do drop free under normal circumstances. A metal mag-loading tool is also included, but take note of the instructions since it works differently than most I have tried and requires manually loading the first round.

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  • Grant Page

    8 pound pull seems a little to much. Does anyone offer a trigger kit to lighten it?